[Music] Vadim Petrenko – RIO​-​Collection /Rock In Opposition/

The Rock-In-Opposition movement had a very short shelf life, but produced some of the most amazing avant-progressive rock bands.  Think of acts like Univers Zero, Henry CowArt Zoyd, the Art Bears, Stormy Six and others.  Their influence was felt far and wide, and you can hear it in the work of former ZGA guitarist Vadim Petrenko.  He has synthesized the influences of his favorite artists and added his own take on the genre.  His work with ZGA was stunning, so I’m looking forward to hear how he develops as a solo artist.

[Music] Djam Karet – The Devouring

I’m particularly pleased to be reviewing this album, as it comes from a VERY local band.  They were living in city of Claremont, California, a college town minutes from my home, and the drummer, Chuck Oken, Jr., owns Rhino Records, by far the best independent record shop in the Inland Empire.  It was the first place I whet my appetite in new music.  Also, the fact that it’s on Cuneiform Records, who were based not too far from me (in Silver Springs, Maryland) when I my then-wife and I lived in Germantown.  It’s so nice to see this album being offered by the label.
Djam Karet are a progressive rock band, but I saw the comparisons to Pink Floyd off-putting.  Floyd is Floyd.  Karet is Karet.  There may be points of commonality here and there, but Djam Karet drift off into a more exploratory mode of long rock improvisations.  If there is anyone who DJ should be compared with, I’d reckon it would be King Crimson between 1973 and 1981, though without the intricacy of Adrian Belew’s guitar skronk.  This is exceptionally good prog, even after 22 years.

[Music] Stvannyr – Valley Of Shadows

Stvannyr consist of 2/3 of the post-rock/atmospheric metal group Realm of Wolves, but this project might actually be heavier.  We’ve come to expect some fine instrumental tracks from István and his crew, and this album is no exception.  The guitar playing is clean, sharp, excellent in terms of metal music (which is not my cup of tea normally, making this album that much more exceptional).  It’s crisply recorded, and loud enough

Post-rock music keeps branching out into fresh territory, which makes musicians practicing this dark art a pleasure to enjoy.

[Music] o /\/\ /\/\ – █▄▄█

There is no information I can find out about the project (or performer?) o /\/\ /\/\, except to say that said person is from Slovakia.  I was looking for something heavy and noisy to wake me up after going through the hideous process of moving apartments in Beijing.  Well, this did the trick.

Though labeled as ‘blacknoise‘, this tends to be more wall-of-sound guitar improvisation than the cheesy metal I’ve seen other bands pull off under this genre.

This is an impressive album as noise records go.

[Music] Muslimgauze – Eleven Minarets

It’s a bit perplexing to think that Bryn Jones (a.k.a. Muslimgauze) has been dead for 20 years, and yet continues to ‘release’ music.  He must have been far more prolific than anyone could ever have imagined.  Thankfully, the quality of a good deal of this archival music has been excellent.  Not everything holds up, but this release gives the fans of the man what they want – experimental beats with a techno sensibility, made for dancing with heavy boots, I suppose.