Between The Cracks: Essential Releases You Need To Hear

Check out our weekly mini-guide to the best new releases you need to hear.

With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. Each week we select new releases, from across the musical soundscape, that require your attention. Stream albums from Immortal Onion, Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus, Ak’chamel, The Ecstatic Brotherhood of Nux Vomica, Elliot Bergman and Yumiko Morioka. Happy listening – and don’t forget to hit the links and support the artists.

 

Immortal Onion – XD [Experience Design] 

Fresh new jazz via Polish independent label U Know Me Records. Get acquainted with Immortal Onion an exciting instrumental band from Gdańsk in northern Poland. The group consists of Ziemowit Klimek (upright bass/bass guitar/moog), Tomir Śpiołek (keyboards) and Wojtek Warmijak (drums). On their second studio album, the trio creates a striking blend of far-flung styles from jazz, to minimalism as well as fusion, electronic music and even a hint of progressive metal. Standouts include, ‘Eye Tracking’, ‘Triggers’, ‘Interaction’ and ‘IA (Information Architecture)’. If you like EABS, Quantum Trio and Piotr Damasiewicz, then adding this album to your collection is a must!

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Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus – Songs of Yearning

Having broken their 20-year or so silence with Beauty Will Save the World in 2015, Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus returns with a new record called Songs of Yearning. It is challenging to label RAIJ’s music in a specific category. Across their fourth LP, they deliver an enticing fusion of weird folk, industrial, eastern religious sounds, acoustic and electric instrumentation, with ethereal vocals. Basically, no two tracks sound the same, and throughout its duration, you’ll hear songs in six different languages: Greek, French, English, Latin, a Finnish dialect of Swedish, and Russian. Oh, and just in case you need extra incentive you get a second album called Nocturnes when you purchase the 2xLP or 2xCD physical edition of Songs of Yearning. Stumbling across this album has, for me, been the most welcome discovery of the year so far. This album will be high on many year-end lists.

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Ak’chamel, The Ecstatic Brotherhood of Nux Vomica – The Totemist

First vinyl release of Ak’chamel after a prolific cassette discography, The Totemist is a deep psychedelic-folk album with hints of mysticism, some of which was written and recorded in a ghost-town in the Chihuahuan Desert in far West Texas. In this place, the dead outnumber the living. Various overdubs and field recordings were captured in the historic Terlingua cemetery: an ancient burial ground filled with small grottoes and graves made of sticks and stones. This offers a heady and absorbing mix that shapeshifts from desert rock, acid folk and psychedelic music. Standouts from this top drawer album include ‘Firedriver’, ‘The Funeral of a Woman Whose Soul is Trapped in the Sun’, ‘Dark Hat’, and ‘Phallus Pallace’. Don’t sleep!

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Elliot Bergman – Peace Bells

Los Angeles based musician and visual artist Elliot Bergman continues to impress with his colourful and vivid atmospherics in new album Peace Bells. Fresh, ambitious and inventive Peace Bells was recorded over a weekend at the Felix Art Fair in Los Angeles, in the booth of Shane Campbell Gallery. Armed with his self-made instruments that include amplified African Mbiras, and bells made from melted-down guns and bullet casings. Packed with intricate details that gently wash over you with style, the project is a wonderful array of rhythmic and otherworldly textures that provide the musical balm we all could do with right now. 

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Reissue

 

Yumiko Morioka – Resonance

Berlin-based imprint Métron Records recently reissued the first and only solo recording by Japanese pianist Yumiko Morioka. Originally released in 1987 on Akira Ito’s ‘Green & Water’ label the album titled Resonance features ten beautiful and timeless classical new age compositions. Recorded on a Bösendorfer grand piano, the LP draws influence from the popular environmental music culture prevalent in Japan during the late 80s, as well as finding inspiration from Western musicians like Erik Satie and Brian Eno. This one will heal and soothe your mind during these difficult times.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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