Tag Archives: Chicago

Huntsmen builds a hostile desert world on epic sophomore LP, Mandala of Fear

Photo Courtesy of Prosthetic Records

Two years after its full-length debut American Scrap, Chicago metal outfit Huntsmen have returned with a bluesy concept album more than twice the length of its predecessor. Mandala of Fear, the band’s 85 minute sophomore effort, immerses listeners in a hostile desert world to which even God has turned a blind eye. Continue reading Huntsmen builds a hostile desert world on epic sophomore LP, Mandala of Fear

Jordan Reyes balances childlike wonder with world-weary dissonance on the dual release Fairchild Soundtrack + Border Land EP

Photo Courtesy of Whited Sepulchre Records

Jordan Reyes’ latest output is not your typical album. Although its runtime of 36 minutes falls in the range of a full-length, Fairchild Soundtrack + Border Land EP is really a combination of the Chicago musician’s recent film score and a three song EP, with both sharing similar textures and feelings. But, despite these commonalities, listening to each project on this release is like visiting opposite extremes: one minimalistic and breezy, the other chaotic and challenging. Continue reading Jordan Reyes balances childlike wonder with world-weary dissonance on the dual release Fairchild Soundtrack + Border Land EP

Forest Management explores the formidable landscape of night on its new classically-inspired double album After Dark

Photo Courtesy of American Dreams Records

To interpret a piece as celebrated as Claude Debussy’s La Mer is a bold undertaking for any musician, even those as accomplished as Tosconini, Bernstein or John Williams. And further, to successfully adapt it into a different style of music comes with its own set of challenges.

But the decision by Forest Management, the Chicago-based music project of John Daniel, to sample and recontextualize the famous symphonic sketches into an ambient double LP feels wholly appropriate. After all, Debussy valued sound and texture over melody and progression much like today’s ambient artists. “There is no theory. You merely have to listen,” Debussy once said. “Pleasure is the law.” Continue reading Forest Management explores the formidable landscape of night on its new classically-inspired double album After Dark

Tim Buckley: Live at the Electric Theatre Co. 1968 provides another compelling touchstone in mapping out the masterful singer-songwriter’s stylistic progression

Photo from Manifesto Records

In the age of the smartphone, if a musician was to test out new songs and ideas in front of a live audience, then, like clockwork, videos would be posted online for everyone to see and post comments. And even if the songs weren’t played live, there’s always the possibility of demos being leaked and downloaded, which has happened to dozens of musicians this century. But, back in 1968, the pre-internet world allowed for artists to take bigger risks in performances without fear of backlash from music bloggers. Continue reading Tim Buckley: Live at the Electric Theatre Co. 1968 provides another compelling touchstone in mapping out the masterful singer-songwriter’s stylistic progression