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New Music Reviews, A Chill Start to the New Year - 5 Things to Listen to #4

Back on this train again, let's get going! Firstly, I want to try and improve the way I do this and part of that is going to be including recommendations and basic reviews for more things that I'm listening to. Ultimately, there's a lot of music that I listen to that I want to go back to, that I recommend, or that I simply have an opinion on, but don't have enough to say about to warrant a full mention here. To work past this I'm going to try and have a spreadsheet (or perhaps another database type in future) that can allow for quick review and comment on many more sounds and songs. I still want to do these posts, but this allows for expansion in some really good ways. As part of this, I will be rating each release out of 10.


2021 should hopefully be less turbulent than 2020, so let's get our chill on.




 

Quarter-Life Crisis - Quarter-Life Crisis (2020) - 8.5/10


Beautiful and wide-ranging set of collaborative pieces between Ryan Hemsworth and various other artists that he wanted to work with for several years. The strong emphasis on collaboration in this EP results in no two songs sounding quite alike, but still with the foundational core from Hemsworth's instrumental writing. Highly recommended to chill back with during a year where we need to recover.



 

Bryce Lamar - Hands (2020) - 7/10


A stunning combination of traditional Hindustani music with deep house and slow progressive aesthetics and instrumentations. A single with constant undying pulse and flow, but without gaining or losing energy. Almost meditative levels of stillness that come from a lack of change as opposed to a lack of movement. Definitely worth a listen as there's very little like this out there.


 

Clarice Jensen - The Experience Of Repetition As Death (2020) - 8.5/10


Some truly stunning minimalist work here. Expect incredibly slow progressions, seamlessly moving from thread to musical thread. The entire album is comprised of slowly evolving grey areas between two distinct sections that are actually rarely ever seen. The focus is the journey, not the destination. Incredibly intricate harmony work and paced so slowly that you get to fully take in each one as it arrives and fades.



 

elitimesfour - t;he_si...gna_l (2020) - 7.5/10


Based loosely on the idea of an alien invasion somewhere in the outer reaches of space. This album captures a very alien quality by having sudden and jarring snaps between samples and sharp, inhuman cuts of effects. Despite this, it maintains a very nice balance of energy levels that doesn't overcome the listener. Let this wash over you and journey out into somewhere unknown. Rules are broken, genres are blended, but it's all alien and it's all good.



 

Four Tet - Parallel (2020) - 8.5/10


Very chill and eclectic mix of electronic sounds and samples. Every piece of the album further shows the range of styles that Kieran Hebden has accumulated across the years. There is consistency across the album as a whole, but in vague nondescript ways. There are leans towards minimalism and repetition, but without some of the predictability that often saturates the genre. Highly recommend.



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