Spotlight: Brian Eno - Lux [Warp]
As if Eno doesn't already have enough under his belt, he decided to go ahead and make yet another album. Seven years after Another Day on Earth, Lux clocks in at four massive tracks that run over an hour long. Eno recalls his earlier ambient work in the '70s: the album is as free as 1975's Discreet Music yet has progressions similar to those from 1978's Music for Airports. Lux is cinematic and progressive; it's what Eno does best. The sounds are encapsulating and striking as spotlights are shined on minute and subtle shifts. Whereas modern ambient music often just holds onto the same motifs on an endless loop, Eno manages to create an active journey with Lux by building on several lines and layering them with counterpoints. It's essential Eno and, after seven years, it's about damn time. [B+]
How to destroy angels_ - An omen EP_ [Columbia]
We agree with Randal Roberts:
Trent Reznor, whose early career was spent in a testosterone swirl of machine-gun rhythms but who over the years developed a way to wallow in a slower, creepier kind of misery, has let in some sunlight.
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch - The Mystery of Heaven [Sacred Bones]
Aside from making iconic experimental films, Jim Jarmusch is quite the heavy shredder. On their second collaboration, minimalist lute player Jozef Van Wissem and Jarmusch create another clash of the calming lute against dissonant guitar thrashes, a disquieting pairing that stirs up astoundingly pleasing harmonies.
Oneida - A List of the Burning Mountains [Jagjaguwar]
Oneida stays true to their enigmatic and ever-evolving style on their 12th studio album. Consisting of only two tracks, A List of the Burning Mountains is like a venture into what drone splattered with noise explosions would sound like. Definitely one to try on for yourself.
Sonic Youth - Smart Bar Chicago 1985 [Goofin']
All heads were turned when Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore announced their separation last year. Thankfully, Sonic Youth, now working on archival projects, has released another live album from 1985 recorded in Chicago while the band was on tour supporting their sophomore release, Bad Moon Rising. The album, mixed and mastered by the band, also features an unreleased version of "Kat 'N' Hat."
Steve Hauschildt - Sequitur [Kranky]
Dropping his sophomore solo album only a week after Emerald's 2012 release (and a few days after bandmate Mark McGuire's latest solo release), electronica mastermind Steve Hauschildt expands on his debut from last year and weaves in airy layering of orchestral swells in with his signature hyperactive vocoder melodies.
Tyvek - On Triple Beams [In the Red]
Detroit punk rockers Tyvek shell out another raucous album. On Triple Beams is more coherent with a more transparent direction and recognizable identity than some of Tyvek's previously wandering, more experimental releases. That said, expect fuzzy guitars, gritty vocals and tons of killer riffs.
The Weeknd - Trilogy [Republic]
The Weeknd's gargantuan "debut album," Trilogy has been predictably remastered and rereleased and the songs of last year's House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence sound fresher than ever. In fact, they sound so good. Here's the deal: come for the album's perfectly solid new songs, ("Twenty Eight," "Valerie" and "Till Dawn") stay for Able Tesfaye's dark, nihilistic confessions and purebred ingenuity. Read our full review here.
Action Bronson - Rare Chandeliers [Vice]
Ecstasy - Wild Songs [Acephale]
El Perro Del Mar - Pale Fire [Memphis Industries / The Control Group]
Forma - OFF / ON [Spectrum Spools]
Hauschka - Salon Des Amateurs (Remixes) [Fat Cat]
Lana Del Rey - Pradise [Interscope]
Lust For Youth - Growing Seeds [Sacred Bones]
Rick Alverson - Music From The Comedy, A Film By Rick Alverson [Jagjaguwar]
School of Seven Bells - Put Your Sad Down [Vagrant]
Social Studies - Developer [Antenna Farm]
Sufjan Stevens - Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10 [Asthmatic Kitty]
The Babies - Our House on the Hill [Woodsist]
VA - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 [Atlantic]
William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops [Temporary Residence]