The Roux: August – Week I

Welcome to The Roux! Every Friday, new music is released and though the internet and streaming make it easier than ever to discover something new, the main channels usually rep the same established big names, this leaves equally great albums on the sidelines. Each of these artists is talented and accomplished in their own right. With this weekly feature, we do the searching so you don’t have to, selecting ten releases that were discovered while exploring beyond the algorithm. There’s something here for everyone no matter your taste, so read through, listen, and experience something new!

All releases are linked to the artists’ respective Bandcamp pages.

1. A Sudden Nowhere

by Phill Reynolds

A gorgeously produced folk record, Phill Reynolds has a rough weathered voice that fits the more sparse acoustic arrangments beautifully. When the tracks break away from tradition, flourishes here and there, like the shoegaze-folk of “You’ll Be Fine” or the horns on “Time Is Now” make “A Sudden Nowhere” an engaging release filled with equal parts darkness and light.

Best for fans of folk.

2. This Abysmal Sea

by The Night Porter

For anyone unfamiliar with Tom Wilson’s work as The Night Poter, “This Abysmal Sea” is a great starting point. At only four tracks, TBS places a lot of his qualities in a moderately accessible format. Abrasive noise, pseudo-ambient sections, and static sprawls are all available here!

Best for fans of noise/drone/experimental.

3. Not Everybody Makes It

by Mark Solotroff

An elegy for loved ones lost, Mark Solotroff encapsulates this despair within six ten-minute drones that enclose the listener with the buried ghosts of melodies, appearing to only be dragged back under, prolonging that ache for an unbroken hour.

Best for fans of experimental/drone.

4. madeira – ep

by Home Learning

On the more romantic side of ambient, Home Learning’s latest release easily shapeshifts to fit a variety of moods. The madeira ep can be meditative, serene, dispirited, dreamlike, and ceremonial. Overall, however, the music is warm, which gives madeira a reassuring quality.

Best for fans of ambient.

5. A Digestible Society

by Band’O’Mammoth

A cacophonous display of equal parts metal, drone, and experimental noise, “A Digestible Society” is unrelenting in its sonic attack. The harrowing two-part “Mother Cried, When the Milkman Died” both opens and closes the record in two extremes, a harsh barrage, and a more pensive dirge.

Best for fans of noise/drone/experimental.

6. Since Subito

by Meatshell

A playful, folksy take on vocal jazz, the way “Since Subito” radiates emotion is quite intriguing. The juxtaposition against the lyrical themes makes it more than just vocal exercise, climate change and childbirth are both explored in chaotic arrangments that highlight both musician’s skills.

Best for fans of jazz/experimental/folk.

7. Moral Failure

by Harm Signals

Merciless! “Moral Failure” is a behemoth of a record; Harm Signals not only set fire with this record they soak every second in kerosene! An absolutely ruthless wall of the most sublime noise.

Best for fans of noise/drone.

8. Havuz I-II

by Koray Kantarcioğlu

A two-part, long-form experiment with loops, Havuz is a slow burner, ever-shifting from start to finish; no loop overstays its welcome, making this an adventuresome exercise in sound.

Best for fans of drone/experimental.

9. Where There’s Life

by Rich Ruth

Recorded in the early months of the pandemic, “Where There’s Life” is a reflection on uncertainty. Opener “The Snag” is perhaps the most foreboding piece here as space opens up on later tracks like the pastoral “It’s the Water,” making this album rather spacious and easy-going. It’s the musical equivalent of listening to the absence of humans, the way the electronics simulate the texture and sounds of nature reaffirms that life is in flux.

Best for fans of ambient/electronic.

10. Music To Make Your Body Suffer

by Tomek Chołoniewski

Five piercing arrangements by avante-garde musician, Tomek Choloneiwski, MTMYBS isn’t the most comfortable album to get through but its understated alchemical mix of complex textures and tones separated by space gives this album the characteristics of a horror film soundtrack.

Best for fans of experimental/drone/jazz.

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