Nick Storring

Steve Roach. Structures from Silence. Since the mid-2000s, a lot of ambient music has been moving into increasingly abrasive and gothic territory—at times even cozying into the coffin right next to doom metal. The recent reappraisal of New Age music, on the other hand, has brought some welcome sweetness and even humour[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Rasmussen, Dorji, Damon. To The Animal Kingdom. To these ears, the most exciting improvised music—regardless of its temperament—carefully balances surprise and stability. The strongest performances of this work tend to maximize the friction between compulsive change and the urge to establish a clear, communal sound world[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Daniel Lentz. River of 1,000 Streams. Daniel Lentz is one of a number of composers who emerged in the wake of American minimalism and used some of the movement's primary tenets to leverage a distinct, hard-to-pin-down voice. But the sweeping River of 1000 Streams, a work for solo piano and cascading delays, is anything but[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Civvie. Inheritance. Weaving is a frequent metaphor for music-making, especially when the interplay of discrete elements creates a single cohesive texture. The Winnipeg trio Civvie's overcast, mahogany-hued sonics lend themselves to such a metaphor, but their peculiar instrumentation adds another dimension[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 129

Nick Fraser. Is Life Long? The opening four minutes of Toronto drummer and composer Nick Fraser's new disc consists almost entirely of long astringent tones that seem simultaneously on the brink of decay and of gathering momentum. This impression is compounded by Fraser’s brittle, skittering accompaniment of[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Those Who Walk Away. The Infected Mass. Though Gavin Bryars’ 1972 The Sinking of the Titanic is itself widely known, its influence on subsequent works by other composers has yet to be duly recognized. One could argue that Bryars’ work gave rise to an entire subgenre’s worth of imitators who wrapped their elegiac[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 127

Mark Hannesson. Angels. When one thinks of the work of the Wandelweiser label’s composers, one might imagine an ultrafragile, moment-to-moment formlessness that hovers indefinitely for a piece’s duration—any given sonority is somehow equivalent to any other. Mark Hannesson’s new disc of solo[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 127

The Cosmic Range. New Latitudes. I’d certainly forgive someone who proclaimed that capital-P psychedelia’s death knell sounded long ago. With so many acts flogging the familiar, tired mélange of tropes pilfered from various underground-rock sources of yore, it’s difficult to find any new music[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Benedict Schlepper-Connolly. The Weathered Stone. At a time when rhythmic repetition in chamber music is so often co-morbid with cloyingly banal indie-isms, The Weathered Stone, from Irish composer Benedict Schlepper-Connolly, offers a rather bright glimmer of hope.   From the outset, with its first and titular track (a[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 126

Amy Brandon. Scavenger. Truro-based guitarist and composer Amy Brandon is a quietly singular figure whose musical language hovers softly between numerous familiar styles—notably outside jazz, fingerstyle, and modern composition. Scavenger, her debut recording, isn’t especially conspicuous, yet it’[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 126

Various Artists. Kudatah—Vol. 1 Electronic dance music has always been notorious for its overly rarefied stylistic niches. Within the past few years, the cartoonish overabundance of incomprehensible genre designations has folded in on itself, producing a vast polymorphous body of peculiar and self-aware work. Record labels[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

R. Andrew Lee. Adrian Knight—Obsessions. The last decade has seen an increase in long, single-movement repertoire for the piano, much of which has been the vehicle for inventive and introspective compositional voices.   Adrian Knight’s quietly eccentric “Obsessions” is a potent addition to this[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring Issue 125