Album Premiere: Journey Test by Purple Decades

Purple Decades is an alias for Cincinnati-based pianist, composer, & producer Tristan Eckerson that offers a low-key departure from the solo piano work he releases under his own name, affording him a wider canvas upon which to explore a broad spectrum of electronic textures and subtly cinematic soundscapes. First introduced with the 2020 EP Thought…

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Through a Musical Lens: Derek Hunter Wilson

Derek Hunter Wilson is a multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Portland, Oregon who has worked in recent years primarily in the realms of ambient and modern classical music. Improvisation is an important part of Wilson’s musical practice, serving as a way of “being in the present moment and practicing emotional honesty”. This side of his…

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Travelogue: New sounds for a new year

While it may have been a year to forget in many ways, 2022 left us with plenty of fine music to savor thanks to the irrepressible creative drive of the artistic community. Having spent the better part of the past two weeks immersed in a great deal of that music, it is time to take…

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2022 in Review: The Art of the EP

The EP is often overlooked when it comes annual round-ups, but this format continually proves it can provide us with outsized moments of wonder and delight and the year in music would not be the same without them as these 16 releases demonstrate.

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2022 in Review: Electroacoustic, Folk, and Jazz

This is a category I especially enjoy each year for its variety, eclecticism, and nomadic spirit. Here is a selection of memorable releases from the musical edge lands where electroacoustic music and field recordings meet folk, jazz, and other analog experiments in sound.

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2022 in Review: Ambient & Drone

Music can be a great companion allowing us to feel connected, comforted, and even transported through just the sounds that fill the space between our ears. From their cinematic vistas and atmospheric soundscapes to their a generous embrace of stillness, beauty, and self-reflection, the albums in this category are especially well suited to do just…

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2022 in Review: A Sense of Place and Time

The act of creating a sense of a place or capturing a moment in time is a fairly common motif in a great deal of instrumental music, especially ambient, but it is intrinsically at the very core of these works released in 2022. Some are personal narratives or depictions of landscape either real or imagined while…

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Travelogue: A Modern Classical Sunday with Bigo & Twigetti

It is a cool, rainy Sunday in the mid-Atlantic, a grey day just tinged by the last embers of fading fall colors – a perfect setting to turn inwards and cozy up to some contemplative modern and post-classical sounds. London-based boutique label Bigo & Twigetti has us generously covered in that regard. If that sounds…

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Sound Impression: One by Adriaan Swerts

When we say that music heals, we are usually mean in a metaphysical sense. Many of us turn to it to calm the mind and sooth the soul, but when our bodies hurt, we look to other cures. For Belgian musician & composer Adriaan Swerts, however, making music has a genuinely anodyne effect. Swerts suffers…

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