Well, here we are again at the end of the week, and oh what a week it was. So many great new releases and so much more to sift through. It’s weeks like this one, where I find myself on the brink of boredom, that remind me why music is such a treasure. To save you the trouble of scouring the depths of Bandcamp to find new music here are four new releases that might have gone under your radar.
Alan Vega – Mutator (Sacred Bones Records)
Alan Vega, prolific musician, visual artist, poet, and one half of the legendary New York City duo Suicide passed away in 2016. Mutator is the first in a series of unearthed recordings from Vega to be compiled and released by his longtime collaborator and partner Liz Lamere. His influence as a musician is unmatched by most and this record cements his reputation as an experimenter and boundary pusher. While many posthumous releases fall into the category of nostalgia Mutator finds it’s own voice as a unique release in Vega’s discography. The vocal performance on this record is perhaps the most unhinged and eclectic of Vega’s career. If you enjoy experiments in analog electronic and post punk music this is a release that will not disappoint. Truly a lasting testament to the creativity of an imaginative soul.
Mutator is out on Sacred Bones Records.
Natural Information Society With Evan Parker – Descension (Out of Our Constructions) (Eremite Records)
Staples of the Chicago underground Natural Information Society are joined by prolific British saxophonist Evan Parker on this latest release. Spanning over seventy five minutes Descension is a musical journey of pattern focused free jazz. Four tracks, each near twenty minutes in length weave and wind through a bevy of musical ideas that span genres and rhythms. Locked in tight repeating grooves, this is a record of dynamics and building and releasing energy. Parker’s saxophone performance is electric across the LP, managing to stay fresh and eclectic across the long run time. Certainly, one of the best jazz releases so far this year.
Descension (Out of Our Constructions) is out on Eremite Records.
Capra – In Transmission (Blacklight Media Records)
Louisiana based metallic hardcore band Capra are here with their debut full length In Transmission. Crushingly heavy riffs and ear piercing drum lines are this band’s strong suit. The LP is abrasive and rough around the edges, but totally kick ass in it’s own right. Despite the overall roughness of this record the riffs are surprisingly melodic and intricate, incorporating elements of math and noise rock. Lead singer Crow Lotus’ vocal performance is a harrowing display of raw energy that permeates the record. On the last track “Samuraiah Carey” the group finds their more melancholic tone, leading to a bittersweet finale. While the band is very reminiscent of peers like Converge and Harms Way, Capra still finds their own stamp on the genre.
In Transmission is out on Blacklight Media Records.
Dinosaur Jr. – Sweep It Into Space (Jagjaguwar)
Into their fourth decade and third iteration as a band Dinosaur Jr. prove their reliability as masters of melodic punk on their latest release, Sweep It Into Space. Partially recorded by Kurt Vile, his country rock finds it’s way onto to tracks like “I Ran Away” and “And Me”. For the most part though the LP will be very familiar to fans of the band. J Mascis stays true to the guitar led anthems that have been present in the band’s sound since the 80s. As per tradition bassist Lou Barlow is allotted two tracks, “Garden” and “You Wonder” which provide some much needed melancholic folk to the record. Although the band doesn’t push themselves in any new directions on this LP it still gives an excellent update to a legendary sound cultivated over many decades.
Sweep It Into Space is out on Jagjaguwar.