Sonar, with David Torn – Tranceportation (Volume 1)

Welcome to the second in what seems to be a minimum of three RareNoise albums from Sonar and David Torn… The previous release – 2018’s Vortex – saw Torn on production and mixing duties. But he just couldn’t resist contributing some dirt to the purity (I oversimplify, naturally). The difference this time round is that…




Martin Clarke, Otto Willberg, Emil Karlsen – Shopping for Images

I’m struck by the incredibly intimate and clear sound; as if you’re listening inside the instruments, catching even the softest vibrations in the air. The clarity means the ear jumps from one instrument to the next, isolating each to savour the individual textures… but taken together, there’s a feeling of being swept along, washed down…




Sloth Racket – Dismantle Yourself

Sloth Racket’s collective sound is dense and detailed, with heavyweight textures from the hugely satisfying twin saxophone plus guitar front line. Together they are the perfect purveyors of clatter-jazz – creating that ‘playing while falling down the stairs’ sound via a constant improvised five-way balancing act of glorious and successful freedom. …the smeared, impressionistic dialogue…




The Best Jazz & Noise of 2019…?

As a card-carrying pedant, of course this isn’t the “best” jazz and noise of the last year. It’s just what I like the most out of what I’ve heard… These are the albums that sum up 2019 for me – dense, disorientating, immersive, cathartic… and then there’s also a strong vein of what might be…




RAIC – Häxan

The latest from the Richmond Avant Improv Collective and it’s a soundtrack… kind of. Häxan is the first in a series of improvised scores for silent and obscure movies. This first choice is a 1922 documentary-style horror from Swedish director, Benjamin Christensen, a study of superstition, witchcraft, and how ignorance and illness fuelled historical witch-hunts….




MPH – Taxonomies

Under the deceptive guise of easily absorbed melodies and rhythms, this is gently and subversively experimental. Subversive and submersive, this album lurks beneath a deceptively placid surface. No matter the occasional sweetness, and the apparently feather-delicate melodies, those opening notes on the piano betray a touch, a soupçon of menace. In fact, taking the opener…




Sgt. Elyas – Mountains of Powerless

Described as, “a fake-concept-album, where drums and guitar samples cohabit, fight, love and breed,” Mountains of Powerless is seven viciously enticing chunks of sound – you could be a rhinoceros and this would still get under your skin – with pulsating industrial soundscapes, glacial guitar feedback sculptures, and outworld rituals for a portable, battery-powered age….




Anthony Osborne – An Unknown Animal

The dog’s not keen – too many eerie drones and unexpected distant noises – but I rarely take the dog’s advice on music. I love it. If you’ve delighted in the harsh, jagged beauty of Osborne’s recent releases like The Language of the Birds and Storm Heaven and Protest, this is a different kettle: all…