instrumental Archive

Album Review: Gel-Sol — Horse Head Bookends

It’s inevitable: the first thing one notices about Horse Head Bookends, the latest album from Andrew Reichel (d/b/a/ Gel-Sol), is its stunningly original album artwork and packaging. The vinyl LP is housed in a black, die-cut sleeve with a front window that serves as a frame for a 12×12 full-color art. There’s a collage for

New Music Review Roundup, Part 3

Today I wrap up three days’ worth of reviews of new music. Dig if you will. The Pollyseeds – Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1 As far as I know, none of the music on Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 is used on the soundtrack of the Amazon Original series Bosch, but – like that crime

New Music Review Roundup, Part 1

I’ve got lots of new music to tell you about. Eighteen albums in all, which I’ll cover over three days. Let’s get started. The Brigadier – Wash Away the Day Imagine a hybrid of mid-sixties Brian Wilson, the Raspberries, Brill Building girl group pop (sung by a guy) and the Rubinoos. Now add a dash

Jean-Michel Jarre: Embracing — Yet Remaining Wary of — Technology

A pioneer in electronic music, French composer-performer Jean-Michel Jarre is as well-known for his stage spectaculars as for his innovations in ambient and new age music. Though he has always embraced new technology – from his earliest projects, his musical tools included synthesizers and drum machines – he remains wary of some of the uses

Album Review: Jean Jacques Perrey — Moog Indigo

Perhaps Jean Jacques Perrey shouldn’t be thought of in the same context as Jean-Michel Jarre, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and other early pioneers of the synthesizer-as-musical-instrument. His work wasn’t as edgy and experimental as that of those other guys. But here’s the thing: a half-century on, spinning a Perrey album is far more likely to bring a

Russian Circles: Making Music in a Post-rock World

In a valiant attempt to provide helpful points of reference for music listeners, journalists have concocted all manner of genre labels. Some – folk-rock, for example – are useful in describing a style of music. Others are virtually meaningless. So it is with post-rock, a term first used in the mid 1990s to describe music

Album Review: Attilio Mineo — Man in Space with Sounds

A breathlessly earnest announcer welcomes the listener to the record as a wonderfully evocative orchestra creates an instrumental backdrop meant to evoke outer space. With the help of some gee-whiz electronic studio effects – heaps of reverb, percussion that suggests a much more accessible Edgard Varese – the listener is transported to a sonic world

The New Mastersounds: Funky Collaborators

The New Mastersounds have a long-standing and close relationship with music fans in Asheville. Founded in Leeds, England in 1999, the soul jazz / fusion / funk band played its first Asheville date more than 8 years ago, at the Grey Eagle. Since that time, the group has returned more times than the musicians can

Album Mini-review: Jake Shimabukuro — Nashville Sessions

File next to: Michael Hedges, Joe Satriani Generally associated with Hawaiian music and culture, in recent years the ukulele has gained wider acceptance and credibility as a musical instrument suitable for other genres. To the uninitiated, the term “ukulele virtuoso” might seem a kind of joke, but there’s no doubt as to Shimabukuro’s astounding facility

Album Mini-review: Dhani Harrison & Paul Hicks — Seattle Road

File next to: Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, thenewno2 When George Harrison first stepped out of the shadow of the Beatles, he did so with a pair of albums that few heard. Electronic Sounds was a synthesizer record, and Wonderwall was the soundtrack for a film. Though he’s his own man, Harrison’s son Dhani‘s musical career has