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Angel Olsen – May As Well / All Right Now

Burn Your Fire For No Witness wasn’t so much a complete overhaul of Angel Olsen’s sound as an expansion of it. While most probably remember it for the rawer and riff-heavier songs like “Forgiven/Forgotten”, “Stars” and “Hi-Five”, there were a handful of fragile, sparsely arranged moments that – as I already mention in the review – made the record such a magnificent grower. These emotionally draining and complex slow-burners somehow felt denser and more rugged (and still no less intimate) than much of her earlier efforts.

Jagjaguwar is conveniently reissuing a deluxe version of Burn Your Fire For No Witness on November 18 – just in time for Christmas shoppings and the yearly wrap ups – and will contain five bonus tracks including “All Right Now” and “May As Well”, both of them now available for streaming above and below. Sound wise, the pair takes of where these above mentioned somber, slower-paced beauties like “Iota” and “Enemy” left us. And similarly, there is a sense of directness and candor to these arrangements that sound raw, bleeding and open-hearted – all at once. The cynic in me might not be the biggest fan of deluxe reissues – least of all the very same year – but as long as more people get a chance to discover (or re-discover) the beauty of this album, who am I to disagree.

 

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Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD – Gunshowers (ft. Elzhi)

Instrumental jazz fusion trio BBND released their third album – aptly titled III – earlier this year. And although the result was somewhat unbalanced, tracks like “CS60”, “Can’t Leave the Night” and “Since You Asked Kindly” curved III towards being largely favorable. Less than half-a-year later, the trio announced a new album – this time a collaborative effort with hip hop-legend and Wu-Tang Clansman Ghostface Killah – and a new track “Gunshowers” to mark the occasion. The instrumental are slightly more traditional and funk rooted than what I would normally expect from BBND, but it works damn good underneath Ghostface’s and Elhzi’s lyrically dense – and intense – verses. Expect a whole album of this early next year when Sour Soul drops.

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Atelje – Transition / Ode To Studio

Atelje is Dan Lissvik’s new solo project. You may or may not know that he, together with Rasmus Hägg, formed the Swedish band Studio before calling it quits roughly two years ago. Since then, he kept himself busy producing ceo’s Wonderland, Young Galazy’s Ultramarine and remixed the likes of Haim and Say Lou Lou.

The two tracks so far premiered from this new project show Lisvvik at his most free-floating and structurally unbound. Wailing Balearic guitars, bright synth chords and an overall cosmic ambiance are the cornerstones of both “Ode To Studio” and “Transition”, taken from a forthcoming LP titled Meditation.

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Video: Grouper – Made of Air / Holding

Seven out of the eight songs on Liz Harris 10th studio album Ruins was written and recorded using a 4-track recorded, a piano and not much else in 2011 around abandoned ruins in Aljezur, Portugal; all scarcely layered, beautiful and ghostly piano driven pieces that sound clearer in structure than any of Grouper’s past albums. The exception to Ruins formula is its 11-minute finale “Made of Air”. Home recorded nearly a decade ago in her mother’s house (and seven years before the rest of Ruins), it’s a strange mood breaker, taking a much darker turn, and leads us back to the drifting ambient drones of pre-Dragging a Dead Dear Up a Hill era Grouper. Also listen to “Holding” below and pay attention to the difference in sound; between the pair, Harris crafted something that feels like a stunning boil-down of her past and present selves.

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Jay Rock – Pay For It (ft. Kendrick Lamar & Chantal)

Jay Rock has been mysteriously silent since his debut album Follow Me Home came out in 2011. Well, not absent in a literal sense, since his domination at guest-features on songs like ‘Black Lip Bastard’ and ‘Money Trees’ has solidified him as one of the best guest rappers in the game. Ever since TDE’s rise he’s relegated himself to this role, despite being one of the original members of the label. He’s finally back at it with ‘Pray For It,’ featuring Kendrick Lamar. As per typical, Rock and Lamar focus on their place in the game and in the streets. Lamar’s place in the middle of the song provide a nice switch-up to Rock’s one-dimensional flows. The chorus, sung beautifully by Chantal, elaborates nicely the words of Rock in simplier terms. The inclusion of light drums incorporating themselves during the chorus, and outro along with swaying violins, helps distinguish the atmosphere of gritty street life with shades of sadness thrown in. Jay Rock’s album, currently untitled, should be released by the end of the year.

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Run The Jewels – Blockbuster Night Pt.2 (ft. Depost & Wiki)

Hip hop hasn’t treated us with too many stunners this year, but that all changed when Run The Jewels dropped RTJ2 this friday– a strong candidate for hip hop album of the year (or just plain album of the year). If you love hip hop (or great music in general), there’s a good chance you haven’t listened to anything else than RTJ2 this weekend. yet maybe you’ve wondered why there isn’t a “Blockbuster Night Part 2”? Except that there is. It’s a digital bonus track and you can stream it now above.