I’ve been giving a lot of thought this week to what kind of small role The Moderns can play in light of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s clear that artists around the world are suffering, economically and otherwise. Please do what you can to support them financially. Buy their recordings. Buy their merch. Many have just completed production runs in time for spring/summer tour dates. They’re sitting on vinyl, cassettes, CDs, T-shirts and all the rest. They need our financial support, perhaps more than ever.
In the past, I’ve experimented with one-sentence music reviews (OSMR) to spread the word about as many new releases as possible. The idea is to write something that helps music lovers identify recordings worth checking out. The reviews are also suitable for the artists to use in their promotional materials.
As always, you won’t find negative reviews in this space. The Moderns has always been dedicated to artists and recordings I think deserve your attention. I apply a critical ear to everything that comes across my desk; I just don’t choose to write about recordings I don’t like. (Not on this site, at least.)
So, for the week ending Mar. 21, please enjoy batch one of The Moderns OSMR.
Jac Berrocal, David Fenech, Vincent Epplay – Ice Exposure: An unheralded godfather of post-punk, improv giant Jac Berrocal and his trio have delivered an entirely combustible fusion of jazz, electronics and spoken-word poetry.
Golem Mecanique – Nona, Decima et Morta: This is what the world feels like; right now.
Gorovitz – Manela – Timber Framing: Drums alongside tenor saxophone and flute fed through synthesizers and effects pedals – the musical equivalent of a wool sweater.
Sara Oswald & Feldermelder – Hidden in Kaoris Castle: You have never heard a cello sound like this; Oswald’s performance paired with Feldermelder’s electronics is somehow both startling and comforting.
Levi Patel – A Shifting Lightness: It is recordings like this that make you wonder why so few classical music lovers have gotten over the 18th century.
RDG – Planetary Sound Fiction: Danish producer Ruben Nielsen’s debut invites us on a ride with Killa P, Rider Shafique, K Man, Ill Chill, Monti and Yaa Aisin – maybe rap has a future after all.
Jan Wagner – Kapitel: Undefined, gently beautiful ambient music – this is whatever you want it to be.
Max de Wardener – Music For Detuned Pianos: Performed by Kit Downes, this is isn’t just new classical music; it is classical music from a parallel universe.
Maike Zazie – Seismopsychollage: It is difficult to imagine a more perfectly romantic album.