Xiu Xiu delivers what might be its most adventurous and harrowing album to date... which is saying a lot.
Four Pieces for Mirai finds James Ferraro at the top of his MIDI composition game and leaves me on the edge of my seat for the albums it's teasing towards.
Just a month following the sad but deliberate closure of Graham Lambkin's Kye record label, the sound and visual artist has embraced digital distribution by joining Bandcamp. His five, long out of print solo albums are now on the platform, as is a new compilation of previously unreleased material. The recording of this collection spans from the first of those albums in 2001, all the way through last year; with the project effectively serving as an alternate history of the man's post-Shadow Ring career up to this point. The sprawling opening track, for instance, could be another world's Salmon Run.
Consequently, I recommend listening to the actual albums first if you're not familiar with them – given their aforementioned OOP status, that's a distinct possibility. Salmon Run is my favorite sound collage / musique concrète work of all time, Amateur Doubles is one of this decade's greatest ambient works, and Community was one of my 2016 faves, so it's hard to go wrong with any of those. But if you'd prefer a baptism by fire with this comp, fucking go for it.
A second volume of unreleased material is due out later in the year; not to mention a collaborative double album with Áine O'Dwyer on the way via Erstwhile. Suffice it to say Graham's making big plays in 2018.
Utopia is one of Björk's most majestic and revealing albums yet, but it's also her most bloated and unkempt.
Here's the beautiful and formless lead single from Björk's forthcoming follow-up to Vulnicura, Utopia. It's due out sometime in November, so there's still time to ponder how much like Tinder the album's going to sound. (Probably not much.)
Update You can watch the song's video via Nowness now:
After all these years, Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica still stands as one of rock's most challenging and boundary-pushing albums.
Nicolas Jaar experiments with vocals and a lot more on his latest album, Sirens.