PeerGynt Lobogris – [2011] The Edge of Forever

Varied showcase of versatile artist from prog rock over downtempo to classic piano.

This Spanish music producer probably is one of the most active members on music licensing platform Jamendo: exactly 60 releases ranging from 2007 to 2020. Guitar centric progressive rock is his staple, but he does not like to limit himself to a single genre per album. Note to self: review more of his output, this stuff is good!

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Various Artists – [2018] Spirare

Massive electronica and acoustic compilation from acoustic ambient to noisy industrial. Sad it’s over.

The final (as in: last) release by Breathe, a decade long experiment in delivering free compilations, albums and live recordings, based in Mexico. This 29 track collection exhibits the full breadth the label has to offer. And makes my job to only pick 2 tracks all the harder…

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ALONE – [2017] Beautiful Universe

Essential space ambient music with cinematic ambitions.

Space-based ambient music, calmly uplifting. Produced by artist ALONE from Saint Petersburg, this album consists mostly of long, stretched-out synth pad sounds. Bass only fades in late into a song, drums are a rare occurrence.

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{tantrum} – [2011] {tantrum} EP

Brass indie pop from Indonesia. Refreshingly conventional piano arrangements and vocals.

If you remember the sound of Badly Drawn Boy‘s soundtrack for the movie About a Boy, this is exactly how this band sounds. Leisurely paced pop songs with pleasant vocals and recipe book song structures. Trumpets and Indonesian lyrics add flavour to some of the 11 tracks.

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The Smashing Pumpkins – [2000] MACHINA II / The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music

A true case of an underground release. Uncompromising hard rock, akin to Nine Inch Nails marrying AC/DC, straight from vinyl.

Yes, this is a release by the Smashing Pumpkins, released by the artists partly in protest against their record label. The original release consisted of only 25 hand-pressed LPs, which found their way to radio stations and devoted fans, with instructions to duplicate and spread the record. And so it did. This version was digitized by a radio station, so hopefully this is as close as possible to the band’s intentions, and those are: rock hard.

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dUASsEMIcOLCHEIAS iNVERTIDAS – [2011] SADITREVNi SAIEHCLOcIMEsSAUd

Exceptionally virtuous psychadelic jazz rock frenzy. Like Mr. Bungle’s slightly more experimental cousin.

Wow, what a ride this is. At times, I scratch my head wondering “what the heck did they want with this?”. But mostly, virtuosic saxophone, galloping guitar, furious drums make you want their 13 minute long track to last even longer. Similar to progressive or post rock, all tracks start slow, to then slowly ramp up to a loud finale. If you can forgive occasional weirdness, please follow me to exhibit no. 1:

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Ant Neely – [2008] Not Fit For Human Consumption

Wide range of styles and techniques on a single solo artist review: pop album, movie score and a little bit of funk.

Ant Neely is one of the few artists on this blog who have their own Wikipedia article. And then there is this single free album, released on Jamendo and CDBaby. The style is… special, in that this album probably is the artist’s business card, showing off quirky production techniques and repertoire from vocal pop to dark cinematic.

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Bit Shifter – [2006] Information Chase

Essential chiptune album from the (g)olden age of Creative Commons music.

Six 8-bit style tracks produced on the Game Boy, the album itself an oldie by now, coming from one of the genre’s great names. While I don’t recommend to listen to hours of chiptunes in a single run, the nostalgic vibes one can get out of this genre well justify exposing your ears to raw sawtooth, blank noise and only mildly filtered sine waves…

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As Above So Below – [2016] Ritos I

Debut EP of “Portugese project doing cinematic postrock”. Special treat: excellently crafted melody lines.

What I like about post rock as a genre is how consistent it is. Once you have heard 3-4 albums, you immediately can recognise it and start concentrating on subtle differences, or bath your ears in the never-ending chord progressions above percussive loops that slowly build up to a loud, but modestly self-restrained instrumental finale. And that’s what awaits you here, as well…

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