Our Fall Music Preview comes to a close with the largest of our five articles. Together, we’ve listed an average of four albums a day for the next two months. And since we’ve only included pre-September announcements, we’re expecting the total figure to more than double!
This is a good time to remind our readers that we can’t review everything; even in the instrumental field, we won’t even come close. That’s why we offer a list of recommended blogs and retailers on our Links page, as well as a constantly updated scroll of samples on our News page. Those who love hearing as much new music as possible are directed to these resources.
A note on our cover image: with hundreds of albums being released this season, one would think that there would be more featuring fall images. And yet, this is the only one that stands out. Congratulations to n5MD and Fall Therapy for riding the wave of autumn!
We wish all of our readers a happy fall ~ may your next favorite album be found right here!
Rich’s Pick: Puce Mary ~ The Drought (PAN, October 5)
Inspired by “transformation and survival,” The Drought is one of the most violent albums on our list, but it’s also one of the most relevant. In the last few years, we’ve seen an upswing in degrading public statements about women, immigrants and virtually anyone “not like us.” We need more spokeswomen like Puce Mary, who lays it all out on this album and comes up with a stunner. Continuing the theme of confrontation, Amnesia Scanner bursts out of the gate with Another Life (also on PAN, September 7), which is about as punk as electronic music gets, including a guest appearance by Pan Daijing.
Artists often split their influences. We have an Ambient Electronic section in our Ambient Preview and an Electronic Ambient section in our Electronic Preview, but the two are closely related. In The Ocean Between Us, Diamondstein & Sangam alternate sounds. The album was born out of sorrow and loss, but seeks to travel toward transcendence (Doom Trip, October 16). In like fashion, we included two of n5MD’s fall releases in the former section, but Fall Therapy lands here; You Look Different is a perfect evocation of the season (October 19). Mueller_Roedelius continues their collaboration on the self-explanatory Imagori II (Greenland, October 5). Mårble‘s Elixir of Immortality exudes serenity with flute and synths (Stamp the Wax, September 28). Take Leave‘s Inner Sea contains the sounds of birds and waves, but is also packed with gentle beats and tambourines (Project Mooncircle, October 30).
Readers may be surprised to find this category in our Electronic section, but it’s been a draw for a slew of modern composers. After breaking through in a big way with 2017’s Black Origami, Jlin returns with a curve ball: the score for Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography (Planet Mu, September 28). Nordra‘s multimedia score for Pylon II has been waiting years for a physical release, but will finally get to see the light of day on SIGE September 21. And while Ital Tek‘s Bodied was not specifically written for a dance performance, its choral touches and internal dynamism make it perfect for the stage, as seen in the video for “Blood Rain” below (Planet Mu, September 7).
Smooth, Happy, Heartwarming
We believe all-female bands Grúska Babúska and Haiku Salut should become friends if they’re not already hanging out. They each exude a positive, creative vibe, filling nooks and crannies with happy instrumentation. We’ve already reviewed the former band’s Tor (Moller Records, September 1) and the latter’s There Is No Elsewhere (Prah, September 7), and we’re convinced that those who like one will like the other as well. A multitude of instruments are played by Daniel Brandt on Channels (piano, trombone, bass, violin, plastic, wood), no surprise given his home on Erased Tapes. The album offers a perfect synthesis of modern composition and dance (October 12). Cellist Emil Abramyan adds piano and electronics to his repertoire on Movement, flirting with the dance floor and discovering a willing partner (Kingdoms, 7 September).
We’ve been greatly enjoying the two-sided summer 12″ from Maribou State, sporting “Turnmills” and the New Order-esque “Feels Good.” Kingdoms in Colour is not far away, and the turquoise vinyl looks spiffy as well (Counter, September 7). Max Cooper combines visuals with a strong stage presence, and we expect that One Hundred Billion Sparks will have full accompaniment in concert. Two videos have already been released, the most effective being the clearly needed Hope. The warm album will follow on September 20. It’s been a long time since we’ve heard new music from Orbital, but the veterans are returning strong with Monsters Exist (September 14). We’ve been enjoying “Tiny Foldable Cities” all summer, which reminds us of “The Box.” If you missed it earlier this year, here it is again:
Futureset‘s Drawings of Desire and Hate may be only twelve minutes long, but it’s enough to establish a mood of dramatic melancholy. The EP is out September 14 on -OUS, where one will also find the live, Cairo-sampling stormer Arabian Nights from Bit-Tuner (September 7). We were initially confused by Mayerling‘s Roche, as the opening track is straight-up rock; turns out it was just an overture. The remainder is solid electronics (Hands in the Dark, September 7). disrupt calls on dialogue and “23rd century library music” to tell a science fiction tale on Omega Station (Jahtari Records, September 20). NHK revisits and reworks a prior album on Reflexes, inserting a number of new tunes in the process (DFA, 7 September). Double bass joins the action on Chogori‘s Heat Haze, a shimmering album whose title conjures the humidity of the summer that won’t end (Modular Field, September 21). Rabit changes gears with Life After Death, dialing back the beats to concentrate on strange abstractions and dramatic excursions. Yes, that’s opera you’re hearing below, with beats (Halcyon Veil, October 5).
A smiling vibe permeates Mirror, the upcoming album from Stefan Smith, preceded by the track of the same name (Sapiens, October 12). Dustin Wong has a nice positive one coming, as Fluid World Building 101 with Shaman Bambu is released September 14 on Hausu Mountain; check out the playful preview video below. Mitch von Arx also seems to be in a good mood on Pyramids; we suspect listeners will be as well (Project: Mooncircle, September 28). Indonesia’s Munir recalls the 70s and 80s with vintage synths and samples on Grand Paradise Hotel (Dopeness Galore, 6 September). Earlier this year, Brendon Anderegg released an album; now it’s Koen Holtkamp‘s turn. Recording as BEAST, the artist will release Ens on Thrill Jockey November 9, making it the latest release of our entire preview.
The cover of Marc Aubele‘s Sport should appeal to athletes everywhere, as it portrays fourteen different sports in neon green. The music itself is quite danceable, and with any luck might find its way to an adventuresome broadcast (Ingrown Records, September 18). Those with pop sensibilities will enjoy Daniel T.‘s sunny Heliotrope, which contains a few vocal tracks; we suspect a crossover hit (Cascine, September 14). The same thing holds true for Peter Zirbs‘ What If We Don’t Exist?, which includes a number of vocal tracks and concentrates on the cinematic sound (Fabrique, October 19).
House and Techno
Seven albums in, Thomas Fehlmann continues to make engaging music. Los Lagos is liquid and immersive, informed by multiple genres including ambient and jazz (Kompact, September 7). Marcel Dettman‘s Test-File is short, but it packs a punch; there’s no wasted space here (Ostgut Ton, September 14). Also on Ostgut Ton comes Inland & Julian Charrière‘s audio-visual project An Invitation to Disappear; from the looks of the teaser video, the release party should be a wild event (September 28). After 30 years of DJing, Arnaud Le Texier is finally set to release his debut album ( ! ). Granular Therapy should be snatched up immediately by the tens of thousands who have been to his shows (Children of Tomorrow, September 15). Lawrence‘s Illusions sports warm bass and feels like a comfortable couch (Dial, October 5). Julia Govor‘s 3-track Jujuka Vol. 1 EP comes with a friendly bonus: the artist’s own comic book panels (September 7). Idealist follows last year’s Source EP with the full-length techno LP Mind Field (Echocord, October 19), while Neel‘s four-track Transition EP offers steady beats and exudes a confident vibe (Token, September 7). The Lotus Eaters started to collaborate by remixing each other’s material, after which they released a pair of well-received EPs. Now the duo is set to release their debut album Desatura on Stroboscopic Artefacts. Not everything is suited for the dance floor, as the music purposely stretches the definition of techno (October 5). In similar fashion, veteran Jeff Mills leads the band Spiral Deluxe on Voodoo Magic, smoothly splicing techno and jazz (September 7).
Tomás Urquieta mixes samples of Spanish protest into the hard beats of Dueños de Nada, the rare political album that is also worth dancing to (Infinite Machine, September 28). At 25 tracks and 200 minutes, the self-titled debut of Mutant Beat Dance has been long in the making; techno, industrial, and Detroit grooves are but three of many influences (Rush Hour Music, 7 September). The stitched foot cover of VTSS‘ Self Will is an indication that the music will be rough, and it is. The beats are steady, the distortion levels in the red (Intrepid Skin, October 16). Ancient Methods enlists Regis, Purient, Cindytalk and more to tell the Biblical story of the fall of Jericho on The Jericho Records (October 1). JK Flesh returns on Speedy J’s Electric Deluxe with the dark and grimy New Horizon (September 14). More hard beats are found on Kaczmarek‘s K.A.C.Z.M.A.R.E.K., with a twist; the producer also works with a painter, as demonstrated in this video (KCZMRK, October 8).
For Unique Tastes
Peruvian duo Dengue Dengue Dengue incorporates the sampled sounds of Amazonian tribes in the six-track Semilerro. The title means incubator or seed, and the music is meant to honor local cultures while inspiring global cooperation (On the Corner, September 21). Co La‘s Sensory Dub Example is a 20-minute, four part track on a one-sided 12″, delving deep into the heart of abstraction through the repetition of samples (Orange Milk, September 14). Tomat Petrella‘s “Trappist 1 e” sounds like an electro-IDM blend at first, but then it melts into a beat-free, trumpet-led suite; it’s the lead single from Kepler, released by !K7 on September 28.
Beats meet backward masking on MMPH‘s Serenade, an EP that sees the producer continue to stretch boundaries after being signed to Tri-Angle last year (September 7). A bit of drum and bass is present on Blackfilm‘s Zero One Seven, along with dub and some solid string action. The album will be released on Denovali on September 28, along with a reissue of Along the Corridors plus a digital EP containing two exclusive tracks. Warm pads meet hyperactive drums on Elusive‘s retro-minded Consonance, out September 7 on Alpha Pup. Under the guidance of Frank Bretschneider, the Raster label is releasing the compilation Sichten 1, featuring tracks by Zavoloka, Benjamin Brunn and more (September 17). Richard Devine returns to Timesig after a six-year hiatus, sounding as good as ever. Sort\Lave is an obvious match for the Venetian Snares imprint, percussive and deep (Planet Mu, November 2). How much unreleased music does Aphex Twin have in his vaults? We may never know; the supply seems endless. There’s a seizure warning up for the T69 Collapse video, but a million people have already seen it and we haven’t heard of any problems. The Collapse EP will be out September 14 on Warp.
Long Arm‘s Darkly may have “started as a piano album,” but it’s wandered far afield since then, now hovering on the outskirts of a very dark forest (Project Mooncircle, November 2). The six-track Seraphim is a blast of intensity from Shalt; a harrowing indictment of modern society that one can also dance to (Astral Plane, September 14, pictured right). Factory Floor has been releasing singles all summer from A Soundtrack to a Film (that film being Metropolis). On October 12 the full score will be revealed (Heart of Data). The spirit of Coil and Psychic TV is personified by scene veteran Drew McDowall on The Third Helix, an album that honors the artist’s former bands while paving a new road. “Rhizome” even bears a hint of modern composition (Dais, September 21). The industrial club highlight of Djedjotronic‘s R.U.R. is obviously Take Me Down, featuring guest vocals by Douglas McCarthy. The band spends the rest of the album in a retro homage (Boysnoize, September 14). It’s encouraging to hear a new album from extremists Sigillum S. Sporting a new lineup, the trio offers noise without compromise on The Irresistible Art of Space Colonization and Its Mutation Implications (Transmutation Ltd., September 14). Raum provides all-out distortion on the violent Wreck the Bloodline, due September 15 on Clan Destine Records, channeling the spirit of the aforementioned bands; and Atonal Festival favorites Bliss Signal combine metal and electronics on their self-titled debut, due September 28 on True Panther Sounds.