Ah, Christmas. A time of year where our deepest capitalist fetishes are preyed upon through the inundation of Michael Bublé‘s sweet, sweet croon. I like Christmas music as much as the next guy, but when you’ve been barraged by it since November 1st, it starts to get a little bit old. If you need a break from it, or if you just plain hate it, or if it doesn’t apply to your beliefs in any way and you’re sick of being pummeled by music for a holiday you don’t even celebrate, then try these off-kilter albums and EPs.
13th Month – Kelman Duran
Kelman Duran traveled to the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, to record sounds for 13th Month. Released on Riobamba‘s label APOCALIPSIS, the album’s title is based upon the 13-month lunar calendar of the Lakota Native Americans. Similar to DJ Python‘s phenomenal ambient-meets-dembow EP Dulce Compañia, Kelman Duran folds traditional Latinx rhythms into mottled vocal samples and ghostly reverberations. I haven’t stopped thinking about 13th Month since I hit “play” last month, as it unveils more and more idiosyncrasies in the music upon each listen.
Sort/Lave – Richard Devine
HOLY SHIT THIS IS A WEIRD ALBUM. Listening to Sort/Lave is akin to what I think it would be like to take the drug that Bradley Cooper does in Limitless. My brain feels bigger? Is that a thing? Listen to this. Make your brain grow big and strong, my children.
Wild Yout EP – Flohio
By far one of my favorite rappers. Flohio burst into my life last year after her appearance on L-VIS 1990‘s “Yeah Yeah,” and I’ve been following her ever since. Flohio’s style is dark and distinctive, with a hard-hitting growl to her flow that rivals even the toughest grime MCs.
IC-01 Hanoi – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Recorded in Hanoi during studio sessions for their previous album Sex & Food, UMO’s first instrumental album is an extended journey in free-form experimental jazz. That sounds awful, I know, but on IC-01 Hanoi it actually rocks. Just try it. I think you’ll like it.
FT4C EP – Sevendeaths
Another work that’s partially improvised, but with an entirely different feel to it. Sevendeaths’ FT4C utilizes contact microphones, looping machines, modular synthesis and granular sampling, which sounds very technical and cold, right? The music is the exact opposite of that—it’s utterly beautiful, like looking outside your window late at night to see the first pristine, peaceful snowfall of winter. If it was a full-length, it’d be a contender for my favorite album of the year. Best listened to in the most immersive format possible.
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