These posts are written by: Dave Tremblay

Hey! Listen to Öz Ürügülü!

Öz Ürügülü is a very little-known sextet from Switzerland. Indeed, at this moment, they have slightly more than 420 likes on facebook. Fortunately, this is by no means a measure of a band’s talent. I came across Öz Ürügülü about a year ago, and was very impressed by their debut, Forgotten Archives. Earlier this week, I got an automated email from bandcamp telling me that they’ve just released a new album: Fashion and Welfare.

Beyond the Veil: Behold the Xenharmonic, or, Understanding Microtonal Music

Microtonal music is a subject seldom tackled. First, it’s complex and pretty much endless, and then it’s also quite obscure, being only rarely used in day-to-day context. Therefore, it’s often never even encountered to begin with. With this article, I will try to demystify the theory behind microtonal music so you can understand it, and hopefully appreciate it. I will also hop between the terms microtonal and xenharmonic, as they are interchangeable.

Brain Tentacles – Brain Tentacles

Brain Tentacles is a three-year-old project with members from Virginia, Illinois, and Ohio. They recently signed to Relapse Records and worked on their self-titled debut album, to be released on September 30. The formation is similar in shape to Trioscapes: a trio comprising a saxophonist, a bassist, and a drummer. However, the comparisons stop there, as Brain Tentacles’ doomy, sludgy, saxophone-filled metal is far from the progressive fusion rock of Trioscapes.

Beyond the Veil: Twelve-Tone Technique

For this week’s Beyond the Veil, I’ll be your substitute teacher. We’re going to look into twelve-tone technique, also called dodecaphony and twelve-tone serialism. It’s a technique used in some of today’s more “intellectual” metal writing. It’s a useful knowledge to possess, as it can add colour to your compositional palette and help you grow as a musician and as a listener as well. So, let’s lift the veil of obscurity on twelve-tone serialism, and let me introduce you to this technique, listeners and musicians alike!

Fire! Orchestra – Ritual (Can This Even Be Called Music?)

To understand what Fire! Orchestra is, we have to first know whence it came. And that would be the Fire! trio. Since 2009, Fire! is comprised of mastermind, saxophonist, and keyboardist Mats Gustafsson (who is widely known as a great jazz musician, especially for his improvisational style), bassist Johan Berthling, and drummer Andreas Werliin, both of whom are also known in the Swedish jazz scene for their work in other bands. As of today, they have released three full-length albums on their own, as well as two collaborations – one with Oren Ambarchi (In the Mouth a Hand), and one with Jim O’Rourke (Unreleased?) – plus a couple of EPs. They gained further recognition by playing fresh, inspired and energetic avant-jazz, getting better with each subsequent album, culminating with their 2016 release, She Sleeps, She Sleeps. Back in 2012, they had the idea of expanding their formula with the addition of an orchestra. Now with nineteen musicians instead of three, there was much more space for experimentation and variety, although there was already a lot of both in their simpler format.

Can This Even Be Called Music? 苦しみ (Kurushimi)

The Southern hemisphere’s island-continent of Australia has lately been the unholiest of breeding grounds for music, and the label Art as Catharsis has been hand-picking the most beautifully hideous flowers for years to make an ever-growing bouquet of the most obscene kind. They deal with all sorts of music, mostly metal – post-metal, drone, shoegaze, black metal, you name it – and jazz, but always with an experimental twist to it, and often blending various styles and blurring the lines between the genres. Most recently, I’ve come to absolutely love it through bands like Instrumental (adj.), Dumbsaint, Serious Beak, We Lost the Sea and, today’s topic, Kurushimi.