February 2020 in Experimental Music

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Usually, February is quite the dismal affair: no one goes outside and everyone posts too many things about love or a lack thereof on social media. February gloominess certainly stayed true for the state of American politics, but I’ve been quite lucky to find some solace and, believe it or not, positivity, this past month. As for music, a wide swath of new releases for March and April were announced, and many of them look like they’re going to be delights; a bunch of new releases brought vibrancy to the otherwise bleak month.

Below, you’ll find a few of my favorite listens from February, and a few experimental albums I’m really looking forward to in the coming months. As always, ample context is included. Enjoy!

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Oliver Coates, calm slime loud 1cut

calm slime loud 1cut is a three minute track of distorted cello. A world of static shrouds repeating simplistic, poignant melodies. Oliver Coates manipulates his instrument’s sound to create a sharp and electric atmosphere of noise. This one’s for all the people looking for an answer to shoegaze in 2020, the Radiohead fans who want to know the work of the band’s interesting collaborators, and the noise obsessed.

 

Goldfeather, Valentino Pier EP (slashsound)

Valentino Pier EP, the next edition in a series of EP’s that break down Goldfeather’s 2019 album, Water Damaged Valentine, presents washed out, glitchy remixes of the album’s original songs. It opens with the mesmerizing nostalgia of “Valentino Pier,” where the repeating phrase “I love you more than anything” haunts through vocal manipulations and quirky accompaniment, then ventures into a remix by Null Object that adds a pulsing beat, replacing downtrodden guitar with funky glitches. Phong Tran’s remix of “Alone Again” follows with cave-like echoing and a slowed-down melody, emphasizing the feeling of loneliness through chopped up melodies and eccentric electronics. As a whole, Valentino Pier EP is a fresh take on previously released songs. You might remember The Road to Sounds video premiere of Goldfeather’s “Alone Again,” which you can revisit here.

 

yMusic, Ecstatic Science (New Amsterdam Records)

yMusic is a sextet who’s collaborated with a who’s-who of music, even working with Paul Simon. Since their founding in 2008, they’ve toured all over the world, to arenas and classical concert halls alike. They’re driven by this spirit of collaboration — with musicians they love, regardless of genre. Ecstatic Science is their fourth studio album, featuring an eclectic mix of vibrant works by a series of composers they’ve championed. Gabriella Smith’s Tessellations opens the record with syncopated zeal; Missy Mazzoli’s Ecstatic Science follows with rich harmony and fast-paced, ascendant melody; Paul Wiancko’s Thous&nths bounces between lively syncopations and exultant tunes. The album emits a pulsating energy through its immaculate precision and spirited performance.

 

A few albums and artists to watch…

Yves Tumor is releasing a new album, Heaven To A Tortured Mind, on April 3. The first single, “Gospel for a New Century,” is a fantastic blend of catchy melodies, electric rhythm, and biting sound.

 

Nnux, a project of Ana López Reyes, releases a new experimental electronic album on March 20, titled Ciudad. The first single, “Piezas,” is a captivating immersion. 

 

Matt Evans, a percussionist known for his work with Tigue and Bearthoven, is releasing his debut solo album, New Topographics, on April 17. The first video, for the song “Cold Moon,” is glitchy and visceral, ambient and textural.

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Listen to the new releases mentioned here on The Road to Sound‘s playlist below:

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