Readers might be cognizant of the fact that I never post things that I don’t like, so you won’t find me writing anything negative. With that being said, there are some labels who simply never let me down, and when a new release arrives from them, I’m more than happy to give them an open ear.
Steve Feigenbaum has captained Cuneiform Records for as long as I can remember, and 2019 was another amazing year for them. This compilation highlights the best releases. From the label’s Bandcamp site:
This special “Name Your Price” compilation album features creative and mind bending music throughout the course of 11 tracks all of which was released by Cuneiform Records in 2019.
We invite you to listen to ‘Cuneiform Records: The Albums of 2019’ and explore the wide spectrum of music we recently released over the year. Each track by each artist is unique; we invite you to sample all. And then, if you’ve not already done so, we encourage you to listen the full albums by the artists who most appeal to you
It’s a crying shame that Belarusian Rock-In-Opposition-influenced band Rational Diet is no more. For my taste, they had carried the torch first illumined by bands such as Art Zoyd, Univers Zero and Henry Cow.
If you could harness a King Crimson-esque rhythm section, violent horns and chanting reminiscent of Magma, you would have Japan’s incredible Bi Kyo Ran. Truly, the love child of Crimson, Magma, and maybe Fela Kuti.
Foltin are one of the most innovative groups in the Republic of Macedonia. I’ve always wondered why those into Rock-In-Opposition music didn’t gravitate to their quirky music much sooner. Nikola Kodjabashia is a Macedonian pianist currently based in the United Kingdom who works primarily composing avant-garde music. How this pairing could produce such sumptuous, smoky trip-hop not out-of-place in any New York jazz bar is beyond me. Well worth seeking out!
Because there is so much incredible music coming out all the time, documenting it is becoming a bit of a nightmare. Thankfully, I’m subscribed to enough Facebook music groups to keep me abreast as to what new sounds are popping up.
One of the best new artists I’ve come across is a Chilean composer called Santiago Fradejas. He works comfortably in the fields of electroacoustic music, post-industrial soundscapes, drone, improv and contemporary classical. This particular album really highlights the wide range of genres he’s able to tackle.
Santiago’s work is worth seeking out. It’s my hope that he gets signed to a label who can properly promote him, and soon.