Essential New Music: Spiral Wave Nomads' "First Encounters"

Essential New Music: Spiral Wave Nomads’ “First Encounters”

Photo by David Zukauskas This album may be a first encounter, but it’s by no means a first impression. Guitarist
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Essential New Music: Wendy Eisenberg's "Auto"

Essential New Music: Wendy Eisenberg’s “Auto”

When you need to respond quickly, you might let your fingers do the walking. Wendy Eisenberg has the sort of
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Essential New Music: Toho Sara's "Toho Sara"

Essential New Music: Toho Sara’s “Toho Sara”

Time sure can do a number on status and perspective. In 2020, Makoto Kawabata is the ringleader of the celebrated,
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Essential New Music: The Silence's "Electric Meditations"

Essential New Music: The Silence’s “Electric Meditations”

When musicians revise their practices to achieve a new normal post-pandemic, they might want to take notes from Masaki Batoh.
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Essential New Music: Rempis / Parker / Flaten / Cunningham's "Stringers And Struts"

Essential New Music: Rempis / Parker / Flaten / Cunningham’s “Stringers And Struts”

This quartet gathered for the first—and so far only—time on a late summer night when everyone happened to be playing
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Essential New Music: Monoshock's "Runnin’ Ape-Like From The Backwards Superman 1989-1995"

Essential New Music: Monoshock’s “Runnin’ Ape-Like From The Backwards Superman 1989-1995”

Some devotees of two-wheeled navigation will argue that monoshock suspension is superior because it enhances stability. The music of Monoshock
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Essential New Music: Rafael Toral & João Pais Filipe's "Jupiter And Beyond"

Essential New Music: Rafael Toral & João Pais Filipe’s “Jupiter And Beyond”

No living musician relates more to space than Rafael Toral. He’s employed recordings captured by NASA and played music that
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Essential New Music: Mic Harrison And The High Score's "Bright Spot"

Essential New Music: Mic Harrison And The High Score’s “Bright Spot”

Bright Spot could be labeled “bar-band music,” but while that tag is often used pejoratively, it’s the highest of praise
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Essential New Music: David Nance's "Staunch Honey"

Essential New Music: David Nance’s “Staunch Honey”

A voice whispers. Some sticks dance on the rim of a drum. A couple contrasting guitars weave around some Bo
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Essential New Music: Luke Stewart's "Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet"

Essential New Music: Luke Stewart’s “Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet”

The Exposure Series is an annual Chicago event (years with global pandemics excepted) that draws together improvising musicians from the
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Essential New Music: Tetuzi Akiyama's "Thaumaturgy"

Essential New Music: Tetuzi Akiyama’s “Thaumaturgy”

If you had to sum up the relationship between magicians and their audiences in one question, it would be, “Do
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Essential New Music: The Dead C's "Unknowns"

Essential New Music: The Dead C’s “Unknowns”

In disasters lurk opportunities. The Dead C, a trio that’s operated out of various towns on New Zealand’s South Island
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Essential New Music: Julia Reidy's "Vanish"

Essential New Music: Julia Reidy’s “Vanish”

Cristina Marx/Photomusix If you spot a photo of Julia Reidy hefting her acoustic 12-string guitar, you might think she’s a
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Essential New Music: Gunn-Truscinski Duo's "Soundkeeper"

Essential New Music: Gunn-Truscinski Duo’s “Soundkeeper”

Steve Gunn has spent quite a bit of the last decade establishing himself as a singer, songwriter and bandleader, and
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Essential New Music: Yo La Tengo's "Sleepless Night"

Essential New Music: Yo La Tengo’s “Sleepless Night”

If you’re a player, it’s handy to have a few high cards hidden up your sleeve. But you also need
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Essential New Music: John Butcher / Thomas Lehn / Matthew Shipp's "The Clawed Stone"

Essential New Music: John Butcher / Thomas Lehn / Matthew Shipp’s “The Clawed Stone”

The Clawed Stone is the second recording by English saxophonist John Butcher, German synthesizer player Thomas Lehn and American pianist
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Essential New Music: Chris Smith's "Second Hand Smoke"

Essential New Music: Chris Smith’s “Second Hand Smoke”

What could be more disappointing than secondhand smoke? You breath it in, it leaves its mark on you, and you
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Essential New Music: Sally Anne Morgan's "Thread"

Essential New Music: Sally Anne Morgan’s “Thread”

Thread introduces Sally Anne Morgan as a solo artist who understands the task of being a folk musician in the
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