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    Yoshinori Hayashi

    On The Turntable

    Yoshinori Hayashi :: Ambivalence

    Is this electronic music? Is it samba? Is it jazz? Is it classical minimalism? It’s hard to say what, exactly, is happening on Ambivalence, but it’s one of the most intriguing and beguiling records of the year. At times, Hayashi comes across as a Henry Flynt figure, blurring the line between process and composition.

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    Maki Asakawa

    On The Turntable

    Maki Asakawa :: Gogo 午後

    Night music. Japanese chanteuse and composer Maki Asakawa’s career spanned three decades, experimenting with the forms of jazz, folk, blues and pop. And while adept at all of the aforementioned, the artist was at her most interesting when she worked her own hybrid of sound. And in the case of standards, she often elevated the original material to new heights in mood, tone and texture.

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    Makaya McCraven

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    Makaya McCraven :: Universal Beings

    Makaya McCraven does one thing, and he does it extremely well: he edits. On his third release in the past two years, the Chicago drummer and producer recorded live improvisations with stars of the London, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles jazz scene, then processed them all into mostly unplayable soundscapes of beats, horns, and grooves – preserving both the sanctity of live improv and that of computer music at the same time. Universal Beings is his sharpest release yet, proving McCraven’s ear for sonic detail and erasing any speculation that the scenes pushing jazz forward at the moment might be more interested in competing than cooperating.

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    Aqueduct Ensemble

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    Aqueduct Ensemble :: Improvisations On An Apricot

    Some beautiful/beguiling sounds. This one is kinda like a classic ECM LP that’s been chopped, screwed, glitched and dubbed out. It goes beyond being a gimmick, though – Improvisations On An Apricot is an immersive listen, filled with rich tones and enveloping ambiance. There are gentle, peaceful vibes throughout, but it never turns into sonic wallpaper; there’s something new, fresh and weird happening from moment to moment. 

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    Peel Dream Magazine

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    Peel Dream Magazine :: Modern Meta Physic

    One of the more true inheritors of the mantle of Stereolab to emerge in some time, this debut album from Joe Stevens under his Peel Dream Magazine name (note the John Peel reference) was significant enough to gather the interest of Slumberland Records. In a year full of great albums packed with great individual songs, Modern Meta Physic is an album of an evolving mood, spending its 40 minute run time putting you in a place that is as much a creation of some abstract sense of past as it is a channeling of the present.

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    Ronald Langestraat

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    Ronald Langestraat :: Searching

    27-minute eccentric fusion / funk / lounge jewel. Unearthed and released last November — 34 years after Langestraat cut it to a four-track tape recorder in his living room.

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    William Tyler

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    William Tyler :: Goes West

    A stunning and artfully constructed set of songs, it finds the Los Angeles-via-Nashville composer on acoustic guitar, joined by a cast of sympathetic collaborators, including Meg Duffy and Bill Frisell on electric guitar, bassist (and producer) Brad Cook, James Wallace on keys, and Griffin Goldsmith on drums.

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    Deerhunter

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    Deerhunter :: Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?

    The return of Deerhunter. Co-produced by Cate Le Bon. First taste:  “Death in Midsummer”.

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Joe Tossini & Friends :: If I Should Fall In Love

…I dropped the needle, disappeared into the couch and let saccharine waves of perverse lounge cascade over me. I may have even closed my eyes (poetic license). I have no idea of the artist’s intent, or what they were aiming for, as I’d already tossed the accompanying press materials. But often this is a good thing. The record works fine as-is. Whatever it is.