All Album Reviews

Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring

Mark Hollis and Talk Talk went through a sea change after the synth pop successes of their earlier albums, The Party’s Over and It’s My Life. Colour marked a shift to a more tangible sound—the sound of real instruments, being played at the peak of musicianship, with a deft touch and with a discerning ear towards how separate pieces make up a whole.

The Chameleons – Script of the Bridge

What’s recorded here is extremely tight, virtuosic, and while subsequent albums would prove this band contained heaps of talent, the debut album caught lightning in a bottle, and attained heights that wouldn’t quite be reached again.

Cluster – Zuckerzeit

If you reach your hand into a box full of Cluster albums and select a random record, you’re bound to come out with something either pretty good to fantastic. Zuckerzeit is Cluster’s introduction to drum machines, albeit not the dance variety. These drums shift and burble. They croak and whoosh. They are rudimentary in their […]

Yellow Magic Orchestra – Technodelic

“This must be the ugliest piece of bread I’ve ever eaten.” -YMO And with that, begins Yellow Magic Orchestra’s fifth—and arguably best—album, Technodelic. As opposed to the object of their disgust in that opening line, the album sparkles and is an absolutely gorgeous set of electronic pop music from a group at the very height […]

Manuel Göttsching – E2-E4

“When I played it back I thought, ‘This is OK actually, maybe I should release it.’ All the technical aspects of the recording were just right, too, not a single fault. I didn’t have to change anything. It was perfect.” -Manuel Göttsching Anyone who has ever picked up an instrument and spent time improvising, either […]

Franco Nanni – Elicoide

Released in limited quantities in 1987, Elicoide is a beautiful example of minimalism in the tradition of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Cage, or Daniel Lentz, but with synths. It was recorded live in a single take by Nanni, contrabassist Paolo Grandi, Leonardo Croatto, and Marcela Pérez Silva. The album is built around evolving repeating […]

Mariah – Utakata No Hibi

The long-running project of saxophonist Yasuaki Shimizu, this album represents in most listeners’ opinions (and mine) the pinnacle of his craftsmanship and the height of Mariah’s artistic endeavors. Each track here still feels fresh, as though it was recorded yesterday. This has much to do with the team of musicians Shimizu had surrounded himself with. […]