instrumental Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 2

More quick reviews. Some good’uns in this batch, including titles from the always-reliable Omnivore Recordings. Brian Cullman – The Opposite of Time Moody and atmospheric are the first two adjectives that come to mind when spinning The Opposite of Time, the second solo album from Cullman. His day job is as music journalist; that explains

The Bo-Keys: Today’s New School of Old-school (Part 1)

One of the most intriguing album releases of this year doesn’t sound like a new record, not at all. Recorded in Memphis, Tennessee and featuring veteran musicians from the city’s rich musical history, The Bo-Keys‘ Heartaches by the Number (Omnivore Recordings) builds upon classic songwriting and like-minded original tunes to create a timeless recording. But

The Digs: Travel to the Beat of a Different Drum

“We’re pulling from a lot of places at once, trying to create our own thing,” says Ram Mandelkorn, guitarist and songwriter for Asheville-based soul/jazz/funk outfit The Digs. “And we’re getting closer to it.” The instrumental group features a unique lineup: guitar plus a keyboardist who plays bass lines with his left hand, and a rotating

Asheville Electro Music Festival: High Technology, Human Scale

In his influential 1982 book Megatrends, author John Naisbitt observed that “whenever new technology is introduced into society, there must be a counterbalancing human response, or the technology is rejected.” The very human and innovative nature of 21st century synthesizer-based music is a real-world example of Naisbitt’s observations in action. A local group of musicians

Album Review: The Deadly Ones — It’s Monster Surfing Time

Two of pop culture’s kitschiest phenomenons collide on this new reissue of an ultra-rare LP from 1964. Not counting revivals and renewed interest, surf rock was popular from about 1962 to ’64 (a year that – not at all coincidentally – The Beatles took off in America). Originally centered around southern California, the style quickly

Album Mini-review: Matthew Bourne — moogmemory

File next to: Philip Glass, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Brian Eno The Memorymoog was the last synthesizer produced by Moog Music during the original company’s run; while a deeply versatile and expressive instrument, its complex inner workings made it highly unreliable, and that contributed both to the damaging of Moog’s reputation and to the

Album Review: The Dining Rooms — Do Hipsters Love Sun (Ra)?

More even than the album title, the title of the tenth track on Do Hipsters Love Sun (Ra)? sums up the musical approach of The Dining Rooms on their twenfth full-length album. “Instrumental Hip Hop Is Back” delivers on its titular promise. The Milan, Italian group is essentially a duo – multi-instrumentalists and co-producers Stefano

Album Mini-review: Dr. Lonnie Smith — Evolution

File next to: Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Shirley Scott The title might be taken as a hint that the music’s going somewhere it hasn’t been before, but that’s not really the case with Evolution, the 24th long player from the esteemed soul-jazz organist and early associate of guitarist George Benson. And the honorific Dr. Lonnie

Hundred-word Reviews for February 2016, Part 3

Today’s five hundred-word reviews are all in the jazz category. All new music, too. Jim Clayton – Lenny Jumps In Soulful, piano-led jazz pop is the purview of Jim Clayton and his band. Nice tunes and clean, spare arrangements are all over this disc’s eleven tracks. Mostly originals, but the standard “Cheek to Cheek” you’ll

Album Mini-review: Endless Tapes — Brilliant Waves

File next to: Brian Eno, Lunatic Soul, *Low-era David Bowie Considering the pedigree of the better-known half of this duo, one might expect Brilliant Waves to lean in a muscular and “proggy” direction.” Bassist Colin Edwin is renowned for his work on twenty Porcupine Tree albums, plus many other projects that showcase a harder, musically