The Out Door columnists Marc Masters and Grayson Haver Currin select their 20 favorite experimental releases of the year, featuring everything from wordless hymns sung by ghosts, to brain-massaging minimalism, to solitary field recordings, to a symphony of cicadas.
Marc Masters highlights a half dozen notable recent albums that defy musical norms and twist expectations, including records by genre-pushing bassist Joshua Abrams, outsider bluesman Little Howlin’ Wolf, and lo-fi schizophrenics Chinese Girls.
Boundless German composer and pianist Nils Frahm took advantage of the wild tones conjured by the world’s tallest piano to make his most recent album, Solo. And now he’s trying to make an even bigger dream come true. By Marc Masters.
Marc Masters and Grayson Haver Currin survey a few great recent records by duos and also chart the journeys of instrumental dub/metal act Blind Idiot God, sound artist Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, and Dutch jazz/metal duo Dead Neanderthals.
In the last Out Door of 2014, Grayson Haver Currin and Marc Masters profile their favorite experimental artists of the year: Australian multi-instrumentalist Oren Ambarchi and NYC pianist Matthew Shipp.
Grayson Haver Currin and Marc Masters run down some of the best under-the-radar releases of the year. Also: Jon Mueller and the end of Death Blues, San Francisco reissue label Superior Viaduct, and guitarists Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge.
A survey of artists who have been making music their own way for a long time—Laraaji, Gang Wizard—as well as a defense of the controversial My Husband’s Stupid Record Collection blog. By Marc Masters and Grayson Haver Currin.