The Jazz Club Vol. 7 – Defusing Jazz Fusion

Welcome to Jazz Club, where we might actually be on track this week! Actually, it’s true; we have a real topic and real albums to bring to your earballs, all about one of the most revolutionary (and highly criticized at the time) forms of jazz of all time, Jazz Fusion! A little note before we start, though: all three albums featured today have sizable contributions from guitarists. Although fusion includes more instrumentation beyond the guitar (for example, Mahavishnu Orchestra once included violinist Jon Luc Ponty), guitar was essentially the big focal point of the genre, as fusion is a blend (no duh) of a few genres with jazz, the biggest being rock music. (Of course, there are other jazz guitarists that aren’t fusion, such as Django Reinhardt, but this is a new sound we’re talking about.) So without further ado, let’s defuse a contentious – but rewarding – subgenre of jazz.

The Anatomy Of: Astronoid

We have (along with the rest of our niche of the community) been singing the praises of Astronoid for quite some time now. If you’ve never run into the name, imagine what would happen if you take a dream and then crash-landed it into a thrash metal concert. The guitars go fast, the drums blast away but the vocals are clean and soar high above the music. In composition as well there is a marked style, a bright, lazy, honey-slow drip that just pulls you right in. It’s like a hot, summer day when you were a child and the hours drew out in the long, dark tea time of the soul (as one Douglas Adams puts it) into a pastiche of nostalgia, fear, hope and dreams.

What goes into such a broth? How does a band like this come to be, seemingly emerging from nowhere to revolutionize what we thought was possible within the somewhat stale confines of thrash? Instead of speculating, hear it from the band themselves! We reached out just after our interview and asked the band our fateful, Anatomy Of question: what made you the musicians that you are today? More specifically, which musicians contributed to how you write, think and perform music? Below you can find styles ranging from progressive pop to Norse metal and much in between. Blast Air in the background and get ready to dive into what makes Astronoid tick.

No Heroes In New England // Week of June 26, 2015

Welcome to another entry of No Heroes in New England, where, if you haven’t already succumbed to tinnitus, you soon will. Every week we scour the North East (in reality, BandCamp) for the newest bands tearing the hardcore scene to shreds, and give you a taste of some pissed off New Englanders. Last week’s article covered Campaign Committee, Handsome Mansion, and Sunshine Ward, and can be accessed by clicking here. Let’s buckle up! Kimachi I can’t say I’m a big fan of melodic hardcore; at best it’s a hit-or-miss genre for me. I can stomach groups like Touche Amore because…

Warm – The Human Exemplar

Grunge is not a genre which I enjoy. However, many of its elements can be incorporated into other styles with pleasing results. The most successful of these, to my ears, are the vocals. Something about that raspy Chris Cornell dynamic just gets me going, reaching into places of excitement and lazy wonder. When you take these and you overlay them into metal, mostly the slower, more fuzzy sub-genres, you get an instant match. In the honey-rich lows of such bourbon infused drawls their lives a tension which meshes beautifully with feedback and deep drum rolls. Here, then, is where I introduce you to Warm. The band does, and has been doing since 2011, exactly what I just described. Their brand of stoner is reinforced with a vocalist who has learned well the lessons of the 90’s and their rock.

Stepping Stone: Seether // Disclaimer II

I’ve talked before about some of the music that got me where I am today, with the likes of Linkin Park and Ministry. At an earlier time than my forays into Ministry and industrial music, however, there were a certain key groups that I immediately latched onto, mostly because my friend let me rip his CDs onto my crappy little Sandisk MP3 player. I’m talking bands like Linkin Park, but, also, a not-so little group from South Africa called Seether and their sophomore album Disclaimer II.

36 – The Elitist Ones

So, we’re back, unsurprisingly. This week we cover a lot of news, and go deep on politics! Specifically, Brexit and how it affects the music industry, the whole hubbub about complaining about SJWs in metal (not gonna link that article) and the counter-hubbub, David Maxim Micic’s Stock Challenge where he made an EP with just free stock plugins, Steven Wilson’s cover of Prince getting removed from streaming services, this relatively older article about Spotify’s research on metal fans being more loyal listeners, Phil Bozeman of Whitechapel complaining about elitism on their new video, more info about the Agalloch breakup, Cavalera Conspiracy performing Sepultura’s Roots in its entirety live on its 20th anniversary, Tom “Fountainhead” Geldschlager and his copyright troubles with Obscura, Einar from Leprous joining Haken onstage, Wardruna/Enslaved/Skuggsja’s Norse By New York event, and Incendia management’s music PR event. We also talk about new music from Fountainhead, Periphery, Soilwork, Thank You Scientist, The Dear Hunter, Ringworm and Myrkur. Finally, we talk about hype culture and how it poisons everything. Enjoy!