Jennifer Vena Wood – “Soft All the Time”

Rough-edged folk delivered with a minimalist arrangement – a voice, a guitar, and some poetry. Like most material in this genre, your enjoyment is going to be directly tied to how much you enjoy not just the format but also the particulars. 

The voice here is solid but unpolished. The guitar is simple and straightforward, unadorned with either effects or unnecessary displays of virtuosity. The lyrics are clever, well constructed and engaging, so if they click with you, this will likely find a home in your heart. Recommended for listening on a porch with a view of a mountainside, or at least when you’re feeling like you wish you had one.

Floby – “Civilization (Justice cover)”

Ever wonder if the pulsing electronics of Justice would work translated into something like late ‘70s era Blue Oyster Cult? Well, this cover of “Civilization” is here to clear things up. Given that the original is something like an electronic-noise update of ‘70s era BOC, it should come as no surprise then that yeah, it works pretty well! 

Trade the slick, hyper-compressed electro-noise of Justice with some rough-edged four-track “guitars, guts and glory” demo level production and you’ll know exactly what to expect. Definitely worth a listen for fans of the band, or anyone who likes hearing electronic music reinterpreted into more rocklike contexts.

NOIBSEBO – “572 Songs”

Ten minutes of weird, shifting drum-machine rhythms, splashes of noise and atonal soundscapes full of scrapes and whines. Has an unsettled and unsettling vibe that would almost work as an avant garde horror score. Definitely not for everyone, but I think the people who are going to appreciate it are already convinced to give it a try, so what else can I say?

Signal Infusion – The Skipped Beat

Well produced post-industrial soundscape that goes heavy and dark without sacrficing musicality. The four tracks I sampled offer a musical vision that’s dark, brooding, angry and intriguing. “Panic Defense” offers up moody, heavy, industrial beats and timbres splashed with the occasional bit of strings. “Race to the Bottom” pairs the industrial vibe with skippy IDM percussion and random synth stabs for a more abstract take on a similar soundspace. 

“Give Up or Persevere” pushes the energy to huge, cinematic levels, sounding like the intro music for the cool antihero in a yet-to-be made SciFi blockbuster. “Like Father, Like Son” gets into what might count as synthwave territory but a more nuanced and laidback take than what that genre usually offers, keeping it closer to its cinematic roots. Overall a polished and intriguing take on the cyberpunk sound.

Atomic Shadow – Hippopotamus Suitcase

I’m not going to lie, this speaks to me on a deep, personal level. While it isn’t all that close to what I actually create in its execution, I feel like it’s spiritually quite close.  Musically, this is experimental work on every level – soundscapes, musique concrete, field recordings and drones, all grooving together (with a pict, perhaps). 

Occasionally pretty but more often bracing or even abrasive, this is all very well crafted and well thought out. It never feels random or disjointed, even when it gets very, very weird – which is often. A treat for sonic adventurers and maybe worth a listen even if you’ve never really clicked with this sort of material before.

Please note this artist requests that if you wish to support their work, you purchase it from them at Gumroad and use Bandcamp just to preview it.

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