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POST ROCK/MATH ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Post Rock/Math rock definition

POST-ROCK:

The term post-rock was coined by Simon Reynolds in issue 123 of The Wire (May 1994) to describe a sort of music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbres and textures rather than riffs and powerchords."

Originally used to describe the music of such bands as Stereolab, Disco Inferno, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis and Pram, it spread out to be frequently used for all sorts of jazz- and Krautrock-influenced, instrumental, electronica-added music made after 1994. Bands from the early 1990s such as Slint, or earlier, such as Talk Talk were influential on this genre. As with many musical genres, the term is arguably inadequate: it is used for the music of Tortoise as well as that of Mogwai, two bands who have very little in common besides the fact that their music is largely instrumental.

The aforementioned Tortoise was among the founders of the movement. After the second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, the band became a post-rock icon. After Millions... many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record, inspired by the "Tortoise-sound" and were often described as post-rock.

In the late nineties, Chicago, Illinois, became the home base of many different groups. John McEntire (of Tortoise) became an important producer for lots of them, as well as Jim O'Rourke (of Brice-Glace, Gastr del Sol and many more). Post-rock began to range from the slow, guitar-based ambience of Boxhead Ensemble to the up-tempo electronica of Stereolab.

Montreal, Quebec band Godspeed You Black Emperor! - later renamed 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor' - brought a political element with anti-globalization movement leanings.

By the early 2000s, the term had started to fall out of favor, while the major artists kept on making high quality recordings. The wide range of styles covered by the term had robbed it of its usefulness almost from the moment it was coined.

Closely related to post-rock is the genre known as Math rock, characterized by more percussive timbres, and more dissonant harmonic gestures.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Post-rock".



MATH ROCK:

Math Rock is a genre that emerged in the late 80's and that was influenced by both the intricacies of progressive and avant-garde rock - King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Henry Cow - and 20th century composers such as Steve Reich and John Cage. The music is characterized by complex structures, angular melodies and constant abrupt changes in tempo and time signature. The name Math Rock is a term that grew out of the Chicago scene and the artists working with engineer Steve Albini in an effort to describe the new style.

The basic building blocks of Math Rock can be traced back to the late 60's and 70's where Progressive Rock artists were making more elaborate compositions than the standard rock bands and were experimenting with song structures. Early Avant-garde groups like Massacre, and artists such as Captain Beefheart and John Zorn were highly influential to Math Rock bands and traces of their music can still be heard throughout the genre. Another big influence to the Math Rock approach was Slint with their album "Spiderland" which showcased many techniques that Math Rock bands will follow in the future. Punk also had significant impact on the sound of Math Rock bands. Other notable influences are: Post-Rock, Heavy Metal, and Jazz.

Although there are Math Rock bands in different countries around the world, most reside in the United States, the Midwest in particular, and tend to be divided by regions: Pittsburgh bands (Don Caballero, Six Horse) Chicago bands (Shellac, U.S. Maple), Ohio bands (Keelhaul, Craw) Louisville bands (June 44, Rodan, The For Carnation, Crain), and San Diego bands (Drive Like Jehu, Tristeza) among others on both coasts. Japan was also an important country in the Math Rock genre with bands like Ruins and Zeni Geva.

POST/MATH ROCK TEAM MEMBERS:
Zravkapt (Darryl)
Kelvin (LearsFool)
Audun(The Bearded Bard)
Angelmk (Angel)
The Truth (Tanner)
Austin (Horizons)
Jason (Second Life Syndrome)

Post Rock/Math rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Post Rock/Math rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.28 | 76 ratings
RANDOM AVENGER
Magyar Posse
4.23 | 79 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
Swans
4.14 | 534 ratings
ÁGÆTIS BYRJUN
Sigur Rós
4.13 | 542 ratings
LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.09 | 396 ratings
F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.17 | 54 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe
4.13 | 72 ratings
SOUNDTRACKS FOR THE BLIND
Swans
4.08 | 184 ratings
ENTER
Russian Circles
4.06 | 250 ratings
SHADOWS OF THE SUN
Ulver
4.23 | 29 ratings
KING NINE
Blueneck
4.26 | 22 ratings
HOW LONELY SITS THE CITY
Ascent Of Everest, The
4.34 | 16 ratings
PIEONEAR
Silence Kit
4.05 | 101 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.05 | 97 ratings
AMERICAN DON
Don Caballero
4.04 | 141 ratings
ULVER & TROMSØ CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: MESSE I.X - VI.X
Ulver
4.03 | 149 ratings
BERGTATT - ET EEVENTYR I 5 CAPITLER
Ulver
4.03 | 135 ratings
IN A COLD EMBRACE
Battlestations
4.06 | 81 ratings
THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE
Battlestations
4.15 | 32 ratings
VIXIT
Battlestations
4.05 | 84 ratings
CODENAME: DUSTSUCKER
Bark Psychosis

Post Rock/Math rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Post Rock/Math rock experts team

EMBERS
Up-C Down-C Left-C Right-C ABC + Start
I AM YOUR BASTARD WINGS
Eksi Ekso
RECORDING A TAPE THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT
Bell Orchestre
TREE, SWALLOW, HOUSES
Maps & Atlases

Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 F# A# ∞ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.09 | 396 ratings

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F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid

5 stars The way this album sounds is perfectly represented by the album art, with the tone and atmosphere sounding like the soundtrack to a post apocalyptic wasteland. The imagery invoked by each slow, sweeping passage of music is incredibly vivid, flooding your head with pictures of empty, desolate plains, wind picking up light dust and blowing it past, dead trees in the distance, everything broken. Despite such vivid, melancholic imagery, the music itself is incredibly beautiful, with the string arrangements sounding absolutely amazing, never overpowering the delicate soundscapes created, but also bringing absolutely immense power when needed, leading to many moments in which I felt completely blown away.

'The Dead Flag Blues' has one of the greatest spoken word passages in music, perfectly capturing the essence of the band, with the dark brooding nature of it, backed up by a slowly building, atmospheric orchestral arrangement that sounds absolutely amazing. During the entire runtime of the track, there is honestly not too much progression, with mostly subtle changes as it goes on, simply getting somewhat more grandiose by the end. This is a common theme that I actually really like, using long stretches of music to capture a certain image or emotion, and then simply building on it slowly, in order to not disrupt what is being created. While this has the potential to end up becoming extremely boring, I find this album immersive enough to keep me engaged the entire way through. 'East Hastings' manages to be even greater than the first song, having a slow build throughout, becoming gradually more intense, having some more melodic elements to it, such as the incredible cello playing off the quiet guitar riff, slowly becoming more intense as the drumming slowly becomes more involved, faster, more complex. Instrument after instrument is slowly added, as the song continues to increase until it becomes incredibly intense. This part blows me away every time I listen to it, and is the best part of the album for sure. 'Providence' is much longer and more free flowing, with many points in which things escalate immensely, with smatterings of trumpets and other instruments throughout, and is definitely another very high quality piece, with some absolutely awe inspiringly beautiful musical passages.

While some may find this sort of music somewhat dull, due to its generally slow pace and general uneventfulness at points, I personally find this album to be absolutely incredible. The amount of emotion packed into each minute of each song is nothing short of breathtaking, along with some extremely vivid sonic imagery. Despite this only being my first taste of GY!BE, I definitely want to listen to more, because this album is an utter masterpiece in my opinion.

Best Songs: All of them

Weakest Songs: None of them

Verdict: For anyone interested in expansive soundscapes and powerful atmosphere, I highly recommend this album, but if you prefer your music to be more song focused, I'd say that you probably wouldn't enjoy this album, since I can definitely see how this could be boring to some.

 Greed by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.41 | 26 ratings

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Greed
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid

4 stars After 2 LPs of pure aural assault, 'Swans' take a bit of a left turn with their 3rd album, 'Greed'. The sound is more involved and layered than before, no longer just having the goal of repeatedly battering the listener over the head with simple, abrasive beats and showing pure anger through each screamed note and hard hits against the drums. Rather than being simply angry and aggressive, this album becomes downright depressing, with Gira's vocals being much more desperate and defeated, and the songs droning without the same punch as could be found on 'Cop'. Despite this, it's made up for by the eerie atmosphere that each song contains, making effective use of short moments of silence, providing a powerful feeling of isolation.

'Fool' is a very clear, direct way of expressing the change in sound that the band goes through here, having no percussion, with nothing but slow echoey piano chords with the occasional moment of guitar. This is complemented by the bleak lyrics and monotone singing of Michael Gira. 'Anything For You' displays the use of silence in the album, with the beat not being a constant wall of sound, but being quite empty sounding, with clear gaps throughout where there's nothing but vocals, sometimes not even that much. 'Nobody' and 'Greed' both share many similarities, both use Jarboe's vocals less as actual vocals, but instead editing and looping them in order for them to simply become another instrument. This goes to the point that in 'Nobody', they genuinely sound similar to a harmonica, to the point where that's what I thought they were for the first 5 listens of this album. Out of these two, I definitely prefer 'Greed' having the vocals have a near ethereal quality to them that contrasts perfectly with the dissonant riffs, harsh beat, and extremely unpleasant tone that the song has. 'Stupid Child' is a slightly quieter song with quite memorable, almost hypnotic drumming, being much more in the industrial vein compared to most songs on the album. 'Heaven' shows one of the first instances of 'Swans'' incredible buildups and climaxes to their songs, starting off similarly to most of the songs here, before building up, having Gira sound more and more desperate as it progresses, with this desperation turning into anger, until the song ends up sounding like the mutterings of a madman, truly an incredible moment. The closing track is by far the most violent and definitely one of my favourites on the album, having a beat that is reminiscent of 'Filth' in terms of the way it feels as if you're getting attacked with each smash of the drum-kit. I love the addition of the synthesizers, as it really gives this song an interesting edge to it, further increasing the empty feeling this album creates by replacing an instrument played by a human (the guitar is mostly absent from this song) with something artificial.

The atmosphere present on this album marks a definite step forward in 'Swans', being quite experimental with their overall sound while also not deviating from it in an extreme way, still keeping a general sense of bleakness and heaviness to everything, with their industrial sound still strong, especially towards the end of the album. However, the songs do have a degree of variation in them, not all sticking to a single tone and style, instead giving some identity to each song, whether it's through crescendos, lack of percussion, or even synthesizers, providing a more varied listen. While I still personally prefer the raw aggression of their debut album, I definitely prefer this to 'Cop'. This is also probably a slightly easier entry point into the band, although nowhere is really a great one, both due to how consistently inaccessible their music is, and because of how rapidly their sound changes anyway.

Best Songs: Fool, Greed, Money Is Flesh

Weakest Songs: None

Verdict: A slightly more experimental Swans album that still has its roots in their industrial sound. Atmospheric and uncomfortable to listen to, but a must for those who really like extremely heavy industrial music or those who like dense atmosphere and tone, as this album will appeal quite a bit.

 Cop by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.42 | 33 ratings

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Cop
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid

3 stars Swans' second album is a very different beast from its predecessor, while still being extremely heavy, more so than 'Filth'. All of the pure fury present in 'Filth' has be taken away, and while it definitely keeps the no-wave sound, it is also extremely sludgy. Each note played is dragged out, the percussion being noisy and abrasive, and instruments screeching and the songs really dwelling on particular vocal lines, as was the case with 'Filth' as well. Even Michael Gira's vocals are nothing like what they were before, without any angered, aggressive screaming, instead with him drawling and groaning, further adding to the extremely strange, unpleasant, sometimes nauseating soundscape that this alum creates. However, despite how impressively heavy this album is, I honestly prefer 'Filth', as I find this album to honestly feel somewhat boring by the end, as every song sounds more or less the same, and while there are some better cuts such as 'Half Life' and 'Cop' which do stand out somewhat, in part due to the more memorable vocal lines giving something to latch onto, the majority of them are extremely interchangeable, and while on one hand, this keeps the album consistent, it also makes the album feel 5 times longer than it is. The bottom line is, while this album is extremely impressive in its own right, I personally do not enjoy listening to it that much. Despite this, I definitely can see the merit here, with such crushingly heavy music expertly creating a soundscape that simply drags you into the music. While 'Filth' was repeatedly bashing you over the head, 'Cop' instead takes another approach, burying you under the layers of noise instead.

Best Songs: Half Life, Cop

Weakest Songs: Clay Man

Verdict: Heavier than their debut album, with a sludgier sound and some extremely immersive soundscapes. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes this sort of heaviness, but otherwise would advise that you give this one a miss, as you'll find nothing of interest here.

 Brennisteinn by SIGUR RÓS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
2.51 | 13 ratings

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Brennisteinn
Sigur Rós Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This EP or single was released 3 days after the release of their 7th album Kveikur. At this point, the band was down to a threesome. They had promised their fans that they would be exploring new territory on this new album.

The first track on the EP is "Brennisteinn" (Brimstone) and it shows that this promise is kept. The track is taken off of the new album and appears exactly as it does on the album. It starts off with processed noise, possibly a rainstorm, and soon the music comes plodding in quite loudly considering this is Sigur Ros. Things do mellow a bit when Jonsi starts singing, but there is a throbbing guitar with a limping marching rhythm feeling dark on the low end, but with some positive sounding synths. There is a definite new edge to the sound of this track as it starts off quite intense and discordant, and takes a while before it gets into more soothing territory about half way through. For a while Jonsi stays in his higher register, but the music gets intense again with a very tricky rhythm. I know a lot of Sigur Ros fans that were perturbed about this new sound, but to me it only testifies of their brilliance when it comes to great music, even when it is a little strange and disturbing, even approaching avant-prog at times. It does end on a more orchestral and soothing feeling though.

"Hryggjarsula" (Backbone) is even more experimental with plodding and dark processed guitar and screeching bowed guitar swirling around. At 2 minutes, things suddenly turn more symphonic for a short time and that fades and is replaced by a low- register drone. There is an unsettling low screech in there to, probably from the bow. Though this is dark, it still has a degree of beauty underlying everything. A chunky, processed sound of thunder booms in the distance.

"Ofbirta" (Glow) is the last track. Like the previous track, this is not on the album. This one has more of a brighter sound to it utilizing a multi-tone drone and slow sustained notes deep in the mix. The sound lends itself a bit more to the older sound of the band, but relies more on the sustained drone as the notes emerge from out of the middle of it.

For most people, this EP probably won't be worth the trouble because if you are interested in the new experimental sound of the band, you would be better off getting Kveikur. Those that love the more peaceful and emotional sounds of the band should stick with the older albums, as this EP is quite harsh, though it is still beautiful and desolate. Fans that love the band, like me, and want to hear the other avenues that the band was exploring at the time will definitely be interested in this, especially the unreleased tracks. It is regrettably short though, so we'll stick with 3 stars.

 Travels In Constants (Vol. 22): The Phoenix Tree by MONO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
4.04 | 4 ratings

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Travels In Constants (Vol. 22): The Phoenix Tree
Mono Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In between 2006's "You Are There" and 2009's "Hymn to the Immortal Wind", 2 seminal albums in the excellent Japanese post- rock band "Mono"'s discography, an EP was released to help keep fans appeased during this time. This EP was part of a greater series called "Travels in Constants", a collection of limited release EPs released between the years 1999 and 2015 by the American label Temporary Residence Limited. These EPs featured bands like "Mogwai", "Explosions in the Sky", "Low", "Songs: Ohia" and "Eluvium" to name a few and there were 25 volumes total. Volume 22 was Mono's contribution to this series and the EP was called "The Phoenix Tree". The 4 tracks on this EP were released exclusively on this EP and are centered around the aftermath of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and the rising of the city from the ashes.

Mono is a band that has received a lot of respect in the post-rock genre as a band that has been at the forefront of the movement. The band still releases new albums, and has one coming soon in 2019. Their music is definitely a moody brand of post rock, yet they stay mostly away from the avant-garde style of GY!BE and incorporate a more melodic and beautiful, yet dark sound. Most of their music is also instrumental. The basic band is made up of four individuals, Yoda and Takaagira Goto on guitars, Tamaki on bass and Yasunori Takada on drums. This EP also features a small string ensemble.

The EP "The Phoenix Tree" starts out with "Gone". The track is a pensive and soft song starting with two guitars playing counter melodies. The basic band soon joins as the music swells a bit, but stays melodic and pensive and soon becomes more stately as strings join in. Instead of a slow crescendo, this one intensifies in shorter stages since it is rather short at 4 minutes, so it becomes abrasive quickly representing how quickly things can change.

"Black Rain" flows from the last track on a metallic fading drone. This 9 minute track takes more time to develop as guitars swirl quietly around each other in a more complimentary style this time. Shortly after the 3 minute mark, guest Giovanna Cacciola begins a reading in Italian as the band continue a lovely backdrop and I swear I can hear mellotron underneath it all. This is one of the few times the band utilizes any kind of vocals. At 7 minutes, there is a sudden increase in intensity without any build and the vocals stop as the band plays with a lot of passion.

"Rainbow" hints at the promise of better days to come with a short track featuring only the string ensemble playing a brighter sounding theme.

"Little Boy (1945 - Future)" ends the EP with another 9 minute track. It starts with a music box playing with the melody slightly askew. This fades out and a drone fades in with sustained guitar notes playing around it. Soon, the music box starts again with it's previous theme and the guitars and drone adding a backdrop. A slow crescendo builds with strings joining in. Intensity grows with the crescendo. At 5:30, we reach a plateau as drums start in and a lovely melody is birthed from the music box theme. Churning guitars continue to build the intensity from this into a beautiful and emotional ending.

Mono continues to amaze on this EP which adequately fills the gap between albums during this time. It is no small feat the way the band builds a beautiful melody against a bleak backdrop, but this is their main strength. The tracks on this limited released EP are now available on the collection "Gone: A Collection of EPs 2000-2007" and would be the best way to obtain the tracks from this EP, but if you find either copy, you would be well served to get either one. It is not very often that I can rate an EP above 3 stars, especially one that is available on another album, but in this case, the music just soars and should not be missed, especially among post-rock fans. Highly recommended.

 Mirrored by BATTLES album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.81 | 128 ratings

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Mirrored
Battles Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid

4 stars I really love the general sound present on this album, taking math rock, and then making it extremely playful and fun, in the process also making it an easy listen, despite the technicality present here. As with standard math rock, odd time signatures and changes are abundant, but the extremely happy, playful edge that they have, along with the mostly entertaining vocals make this an easy album to get into. It's clear that each member of the band knows what they're doing, as the interplay between them along with the various techniques that are applied to each song make this quite diverse and impressive. What further makes this a unique experience is the extra effects that are used quite tastefully, almost always sounding they have a real purpose to enhance the song, rather than being tacked on.

'Race : In' and 'Atlas' start off the album with an impressive one-two punch, 'Race : In' showing off various techniques to be used throughout, most notably the prominence of the keyboard in the sound of the band, along with the fast paced drumming and generally chaotic, yet extremely calculated approach that many songs here have. 'Atlas' is the song that essentially sums up the entire album, having an extremely groovy beat, with a wonderfully happy sound all around, with some high pitched, altered vocals further pushing this tone, making it seem like no wonder that this song was included as part of the 'Little Big Planet' soundtrack. 'Ddiamondd' serves as the best of the shorter tracks on the album, taking the quirky vocals to another level, with sounds of clapping and whistling that slowly morph into what sound like sirens only adding to the weirdness of this song. The longer songs on the album are really where I feel this album shines, being able to extend particular grooves and ideas to their logical conclusions, with 'Tonto' being a prime example of this. This song stands out to me for that constant underlying bassline that works perfectly with the great vocal melody and small jams. They then bring attention to this by having it not appear in the middle section, giving it a slightly emptier feel to it, that then is removed once it is reintroduced, and then gradually slows down, each note becoming more drawn out. The compositions on this album have many complexities such as this, making it a great album to look at in more detail as well as just for a fun listen. 'Rainbow' is another song fully demonstrating this, starting off with the melody from 'Ddiamondd' before gradually building up and becoming slightly abrasive at points, repeating themes but adding small elements to it with each occurrence of repetition. The way this crescendo then dies down and once again gradually picks up is quite impressive as well. The final song really worth talking about is 'Tij', which is the song that wears its complexity on its sleeve in many places, utilising looping techniques to create some truly wonderful motifs, along with further proving just how many tricks 'Battles' can apply, having these longer songs serve as showcases for said techniques.

My issues with the album are mostly small and inconsequential, but there is one that definitely adds up to have me consider this far from a perfect experience. My main issue is that the album is somewhat inconsistent, with some shorter tracks being quite lacklustre or just straight up bad, with 'Bad Trails' being pleasant, yet ultimately dull and repetitive, and 'Leyendecker' sounding straight up terrible, with the vocals being incredibly obnoxious, somewhat breaking the amazing flow that the album has for its majority.

I simply adore how fun this album is, each big song using various techniques with high skill, while always keeping an extremely playful tone to them. I love how this is simultaneously an extremely fun album to casually listen to, and one that is great to sit down and analyse. I highly recommend this to basically anyone who enjoys some lighter, fun music, after all, a track from it was in Little Big Planet, so I doubt it would scare too many people away.

Best Tracks: Atlas, Tonto, Tij, Race : In

Weakest Tracks: Leyendecker, Bad Trails

Verdict: It's math rock, but fun and accessible, and is an album that I recommend most people to listen to as long as they aren't looking for anything particularly intense, despite a couple of poor tracks.

 Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards by SILVER MT. ZION, A album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.57 | 70 ratings

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Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upwards
A Silver Mt. Zion Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Originally made up of 3 members from 'Godspeed You! Black Emperor', 'A Silver Mt. Zion' (SMZ) recruited 3 more members to expand their band for their second album 'Born Into Trouble as the Sparks Fly Upward'. The original members were guitarist Efrim Menuck who founded the band to work on ideas that didn't fit into the music of GY!BE and he enlisted violinist Sophie Trudeau and bassist Thierry Amar. The new members that were brought on for this album were guitarist Ian Ilavsky, cellist Becky Foon and violinist Jessica Moss. Drums on this album are played by Eric Craven who was not an official member. The name off the band was also expanded to 'The Silver Mount Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band'.

The music would also begin to rely more on vocals sung mostly by Menuck who has a very distinctive voice that can be hard to listen to at first, but also has very emotional delivery that you get used to. The music is also based on the post rock/punk sound. Menuck uses punk rock sensibilities in his music but with much expansion in the basic unrefined sound made famous by the punk movement.

The first track is 'Sisters! Brothers! Small Boats of Fire Are Falling From the Sky!' Starting out with echoing percussive sounds, the track seems ambient at first, but soon strings start playing a mournful, yet lovely melody which is a little unsettling with a slight dissonance. Soon, the strings back off a bit and a new, pensive melody is introduced by a piano. Intensity increases some as layers of strings get added along with an atmospheric bowed guitar, but it mostly stays soft.

'This Gentle Hearts Like Shot Birds Fallen' starts with some interesting sounds possibly to imitate birds, then atmospheric guitars, one high pitched and one lower, play spooky counter melodies, and then strings come in later giving the coldness more depth. As it continues, the music seems to shimmer like reflecting light.

'Built Then Burnt (Hurrah! Hurrah!)' begins with subdued spoken word like the reading of some dramatic passage. Soon violins and echoing guitars fade in slowly, again with a slow and pensive melody. There isn't much of an increase until you reach the end there is a sudden noisy crescendo and the track follows directly into the next track.

'Take These Hands and Throw Them in the River' continues to build from the last track and is the first time on the album that Efrim sings. Tense strings continue to churn under his intense and abrasive vocals. Guitars play a drone that increases in volume until around the 3 minute mark, then they drop out. Strings continue to build tension and soon vocals begin with a new melody and things intensify again and then drop off at 5 minutes to the sound of chirping birds and a very subdued drone that you have to listen closely to even hear.

'Could've Moved Mountains . . . ' starts off very quietly as a lone guitar softly plays slowly over a quiet drone. If you listen closely, you can hear soft vocals singing, almost indiscernible. The guitar slowly increases in volume while another guitar chimes along quietly. At 4 minutes, a violin establishes a more discernable melodic line and the guitar becomes more dynamic. After a while, more strings join in and the guitar is pushed to the back until they eventually fade and we're left with the lone guitar again, but more intense this time, and the vocals become slightly louder. Soon the strings return, bringing percussion with them this time, though it is quite minimal. Intensity builds and then levels off and we are left with voices.

'Tho You Are Gone I Still Often Walk W/You' emerges from the last track with a cello and piano playing off of each other.

'C'monCOMEON (Loose an Endless Longing)' immediately begins at full volume with the full band and a lot more percussion than what we have heard so far on the album. Even though there have been a few loud sections in the music to this point, they have usually been slow to develop. This track is a complete contrast of all of that with a lot more noise and sound. It all drops off at 3:45 and suddenly becomes atmospheric, with effects coming from soft feedback. A layered brass section fades in from this and churning guitars get dragged in with them, then chaotic percussion quickly fades in. This establishes a huge wall of noise by 5:30 and continues until it fades at the end at just after 8 minutes.

'Triumph of Our Tired Eyes' starts with a guitar playing an arpeggio and Efrim provides vocals again and it's joined by melodic strings and minimal percussion.

This album uses dynamics through repetition by increasing volume and layers as in the first album, but also relies on vocals and minimalism more. There are still loud passages, but even with the expanded line up, the power is in the quieter sections. The music is beautiful but it also has an underlying tension and some noisy pay offs, just fewer times than some of their future albums. It is good to hear the band experiment and not just rely on copying the GY!BE sound, but expanding on it. However, the bad thing is that with trying new things, SMZ shows their vulnerability. This will improve at times, but there are other times when the punk sentimentality just goes a bit over the top. However, SMZ still remains one of my favorite post rock/experimental bands.

 Tunnel Blanket by THIS WILL DESTROY YOU album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 24 ratings

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Tunnel Blanket
This Will Destroy You Post Rock/Math rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'This Will Destroy You' (TWDY) is a progressive rock band that plays heavy guitar instrumental post rock. 'Tunnel Blanket' is their 3rd full length album. They got started in the business by releasing what was supposed to be a demo tape, and it ended up getting such great response, that it actually became their first album 'Young Mountain', which is an excellent album.

'Tunnel Blanket' is a much darker album that has an overall theme of death. It is more centered around ambience and drone- like pieces. This album is the first to feature keyboardist Donovan Jones and drummer Alex Bhore.

It starts out with the longest track 'Little Smoke' which has a run time of over 12 minutes. The first 3 minutes are quite soft and quiet, exploring ambient textures, but it suddenly erupts into a very loud, doom metal style wall of sound with a very slow dirge-like beat. This extremely loud section continues until around the 10 minute mark where it finally goes to an atmospheric ending.

'Glass Realms' begins with a soft drone with some static noise. It continues on with a slowly changing chord pattern under- layed with an organ drone. This one is more of a shoegaze style with very little change except for a gradual change in intensity at around the 4:30 mark which crescendos slowly to the end.

'Communal Blood' was released as the first single of the album. This 8 minute track starts off ambient with a subdued drone based on two slowly changed chords and a quiet thumping sound creating tension. At 3 minutes, there is a sudden increase in sound and a crashing cymbal as a slow moving melody is established by the guitars. The music continues to grow as it continues. At 6:30, percussion stops and the music continues to float on until percussion starts again later.

'Reprise' was released as the b-side to the single, and is another 8 minute piece. This one features some nice textures in the beginning with a layered drone and subdued keyboard chord changes. The feeling is much more peaceful and at 3 minutes you start to hear some strings come in quietly and one of the drone layers gets processed into a start/stop pattern while other layers continue on around it. The quietness of this track makes you listen closer and as you do, you notice a lot of sounds and textures going on among the layers. Very nice.

'Killed the Lord, Left for the New World' starts with a pulsating drone and a guitar quickly starts a slow melody on the top of it. After 1 minute, a percussion pattern starts that is almost a mid-tempo tribal best. At 2 minutes, this beat stops and the music continues to float around quietly. Deep in the mix, you can hear indiscernible voices chanting and after awhile, the percussion starts again. Soon the music actually get a nice lushness to it, which is a welcome reprieve to the darkness of the previous track. Music increases and a more symphonic drone which sound almost like a mellotron is created by the keys.

'Osario' is a relatively short track that quickly builds to high pitched drones and a subdued percussive sound all cemented together with a keyboard drone. This is followed by 'Black Dunes' with a return to an ambient style. The music sounds like it is coming from far away as things stay soft until a sudden increase in noise at 3:30. Again you get the wall of noise creating a doom metal feel with a slow beat.

'Powdered Hand' is a deep drone with a soft keyboard melody played over the top and some vocal field recordings thrown in.

The mixture of ambience and dark drones with sudden outbursts of sound is nice, and a few of the tracks are great, but, overall it does start to sound the same. The music does work well if used for background music and some tracks can almost put you into a meditative state, but since about half of the tracks have sudden outbursts, you never know when that state will be interrupted. It's a good album, but really there isn't anything that improves on the excellent first album, in fact, it might be a lot harder for many people to listen to it, and there are some sections that really require close listening to get the full effect. This style has been done better by other artists, but, again, it's not like the music is terrible, it just doesn't vary much from the usual formulas.

 Filth by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.89 | 46 ratings

BUY
Filth
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid

4 stars The title says all. This album is just extremely disgusting sounding in many ways, ranging from the harsh industrial beats, to the deranged, aggressive screaming of Michael Gira. Each song here is filled with such visceral rage that while being somewhat uncomfortable to listen to, manages to end up sounding pretty great.

The songs are very repetitive, focusing on a couple of rhythmic patterns with constant, pumping, noisy drums, while simple phrases such as "flex your muscles" are repeated ad nauseum. The songs all have a similar, intense, off-putting nature to them, some, such as 'Big Strong Boss' being downright terrifying with high pitched screeches and a feeling that something is hunting you down, feeling as if you're being chased by some unknown force. As a whole, the album is incredibly cohesive and unified in sound and tone all the way through, each track being downright ugly, straightforward, repetitive and downright amazing for how unsettling and violent it gets.

I can't really talk too much about individual tracks here, as they all share extremely similar attributes, and are very similar quality-wise. Tracks that are the exception to this are 'Stay Here' and 'Big Strong Boss', which each are highly memorable. 'Stay Here's' hook is the one that will always get stuck in my head, the yelling of "flex your muscles" as a heavy, industrial groove blares is something that I doubt I'll forget at any point soon. 'Big Strong Boss' follows this by picking up the pace and heavily utilising high pitched noise.

This is unrelentingly heavy all the way through, providing no respite at all throughout its relatively short run-time, making every second of this just further aural bombardment, which while initially quite unlistenable, grows on you and ends up becoming an incredible experience. This is not an easy album to listen to by any means, but it is one that if you can deal with an obscene amount of noise and dissonance, I highly recommend for an extremely visceral experience. While I can't rate this perfectly, due to the fact that it never reaches a high enough point to warrant that, it's a damn great album nonetheless.

Best Songs: Stay Here, Big Strong Boss, Weakling

Weakest Songs: none

Verdict: Extremely difficult listen, but an overall rewarding one. Highly recommended for anyone who can deal with a lot of noise.

 Kings Of Time by MAGYAR POSSE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.76 | 37 ratings

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Kings Of Time
Magyar Posse Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Post-rock hasn't been very crowded subgenre in Finland. There's still no serious competitor -- perhaps apart from Plain Fade -- for Magyar Posse to be remembered as the best Finnish post-rock group ever. The Pori-based band recorded just three albums before calling it a day in 2012, but each of them is an excellent and, in a good way, representative item of the subgenre. Recorded in 2003 and released two years after the debut We Will Carry You Over The Mountains, Kings of Time contains seven untitled tracks. According to guitarist Harri Sippola, they simply didn't invent any names good enough. Whatever the reason is, the namelessness functions well as it gives the listener total freedom to form his/her own unique inner visions from the lyricless and very cinematic music. Instead of a regular cover leaflet/booklet, there are four two-sided cards featuring graphic art by Herra Ylppö (in a Soviet-like style; see the album cover here).

Maiju Peltomäki and Finnish-American experimental artist Vuk add some human voices to the album, but Magyar Posse's music is instrumental all the way. The opening part is the second longest at 7:31. For the first half it just paints an abstract and spacey soundscape, almost like early Tangerine Dream, until the entry of softly played acoustic guitar and hazy female voice. On the more intense 2nd part violin and female voice colour the typically gritty post-rock sound. Both the sonic details and the sorrowful melodies bring Ennio Morricone's film music in mind. This association lingers nearby throughout the 48-minute suite, which is not a bad thing in my opinion.

The dynamics are wide along the album that uses dramatic percussion, strong piano clusters and desperately wailing voices, and very delicate and dreamy nuances as well, but the melancholic atmosphere is never broken by an irritating sense of edginess just for the sake of it. The compositions also rely sincerely on the melodies that are full of emotion. All in all, Kings of Time is relatively accessible as a post-rock album, never losing the listener's attention with directionless sonic mess. For a good reason the Finnish rock critics named it as one of the year's finest domestic albums, and after 14 years it still sounds timeless.

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Bands/Artists Country
[BLEU] Switzerland
100 ONCES United States
1099 Norway
12TWELVE Spain
33.3 United States
37500 YENS France
3ND Japan
417.3 Russia
52 COMMERCIAL ROAD United Kingdom
65DAYSOFSTATIC United Kingdom
A. ARMADA United States
ABOUT TESS Japan
ACANTILADOS Argentina
ACROSS THE WAVES Iran
ACTARUS Luxembourg
ACTIVITIES OF DUST United States
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM Russia
ADEBISI SHANK Ireland
AERIAL Sweden
AESTHESYS Russia
AFFORMANCE Greece
AIMING FOR ENRIKE Norway
AIUA United States
AL SABO United States
ALBINOBEACH South Africa
THE ALBUM LEAF United States
ALFHEIMR United States
ALL ANGELS GONE France
ALL WILL BE QUIET Finland
ALL YOU'VE SEEN Switzerland
THE ALLSTAR PROJECT Portugal
ALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN United Kingdom
AM FOST LA MUNTE SI MI-A PLACUT Romania
AMBIENTE Mexico
THE AMERICAN DOLLAR United States
AN ORDINARY VISION Italy
ANA NEVER Serbia
ANALECTA United States
ANATHEME France
ANCIENTS Multi-National
AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR United Kingdom
AND STARS COLLIDE United Kingdom
ANOICE Japan
ANTARCTIC United States
THE ANTARCTICANS United States
ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN United Kingdom
ANTETHIC Russia
ANTIER Spain
THE ANTONI TASHEV PROJECT Bulgaria
APRICOT RAIL Australia
APRIL RAIN Russia
ARAMID United States
ARBOR LIGHTS United Kingdom
ARCTIC PLATEAU Italy
ARROWAY France
ART.FICIAL Brazil
AS THE POETS AFFIRM Canada
THE ASCENT OF EVEREST United States
ASTRO SONIC Norway
ATTILION Indonesia
AUDREY FALL Latvia
AUREA HYBRIDE Mexico
AUSTIN TV Mexico
AUTO!AUTOMATIC!! United States
AUTOMASSAGE Slovenia
AUTUMN MOONLIGHT Argentina
THE AUTUMN PROJECT United States
BAFFODORO Italy
GABRIEL BAKER United States
BALMORHEA United States
THE BALTIC SEA United States
BANGLADEAFY United States
BARK PSYCHOSIS United Kingdom
BATTLES United States
BATTLESTATIONS Belgium
BEAST PLEASE BE STILL United States
BEATEN BY THEM Multi-National
THE BEAUTY THE WORLD MAKES US HOPE FOR France
BECAUSE OF GHOSTS Australia
BELEGOST United States
BELL ORCHESTRE Canada
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BELYE FLAGI ZAZHIGAYTE MEDLENNO Russia
BESIDES Poland
THE BEST PESSIMIST Ukraine
BETRAYAL AT BESPIN Finland
BEWARE OF SAFETY United States
BEYOND FREQUENCY Brazil
LA BIBLIOTECA DESERTA Italy
BILL IN THE TEA Italy
BILLY MAHONIE United Kingdom
BIRDS OF FIRE United States
BLACK FOREST/BLACK SEA United States
BLACKPAPERPLANES Belarus
BLUEBRIDGE QUARTET Sweden
BLUENECK United Kingdom
THE BODY LOVERS United States
WES BORLAND United States
BOSCH'S WITH YOU Russia
BOXHEAD ENSEMBLE United States
BRAINBOW United States
BRASS KNUCKLE SURFER United States
BREADWINNER United States
BRONTIDE United Kingdom
BRONZE FAWN United States
THE BRONZED CHORUS United States
BROUGHTON'S RULES United States
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THE BURNING SEA Australia
BY THE END OF TONIGHT United States
C Czech Republic
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CARNENERA Italy
CARTA United States
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CASPIAN United States
CAUDAL Germany
CAVES OF STEEL Norway
CECILIA::EYES Belgium
CELESTIAL WOLVES Belgium
CHARTS AND MAPS United States
CHEVAL DE FRISE France
CHICAGO ODENSE ENSEMBLE Multi-National
CHON United States
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE United States
IL CIELO DI BAGDAD Italy
CINEMATIQUE Austria
CINEMECHANICA United States
CLEAN OF CORE Japan
CLESSIDRA Italy
CLEVER GIRL United States
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COALA PASCAL Ukraine
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COLARIS Germany
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DATURAH Germany
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DEADFILE Greece
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DETWIIJE United Kingdom
DEXTRO United Kingdom
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DICK HUDSON Italy
DIETRICH Argentina
DIRTY THREE Australia
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DO MAKE SAY THINK Canada
DON CABALLERO United States
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DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS Croatia
DORENA Sweden
DRESDA Italy
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EATEN BY TIGERS United Kingdom
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EF Sweden
EFRIM MANUEL MENUCK Canada
EFTERKLANG Denmark
EIMOG Italy
EKSI EKSO United States
EL RUPE Portugal
ELLIS THE VACUUMCHILD Sweden
ELOHYMN United Kingdom
EMPHASIS Croatia
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EN PLEIN AIR Italy
ENABLERS United States
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ENGRAMA ([ENGRAMA]) Multi-National
ENVY Japan
EPIGRAM Canada
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EROICA United States
ESMERINE Canada
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EVERSHAM Australia
EVERYTHING IS MADE IN CHINA Russia
THE EVPATORIA REPORT Switzerland
EXHAUST Canada
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EXXASENS Spain
F.A.T. France
FALCONBROOK United States
FARAQUET United States
FAREWELL POETRY France
FATHER FIGURE United States
THE FIERCE & THE DEAD United Kingdom
FINLAND Norway
FJORD Romania
FLARES Germany
FLIES ARE SPIES FROM HELL United Kingdom
THE FLOWERS OF HELL United Kingdom
FLY PAN AM Canada
FLYING SAUCER ATTACK United Kingdom
FOBIA INC Poland
FOLLOWED BY GHOSTS United States
FOR A MINOR REFLECTION Iceland
FORM AND FATE United States
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FORSQUEAK Italy
FOXHOLE United States
FRAGILE China
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FUGUE United States
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GO RUN DONKEY HOT! Croatia
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GRANDE DUKE United Kingdom
GREGOR SAMSA United States
HAIDA United Kingdom
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HAMMOCK United States
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HARBORING GHOSTS United States
HAZARDS OF SWIMMING NAKED Australia
HEARTS OF ATLANTIS Russia
HELIOS United States
HELLA United States
HELSINGFORS United Kingdom
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HER NAME IS CALLA United Kingdom
HERMITAGE Italy
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HIBERNAL Australia
HITCHCOCK GO HOME! France
THE HOSEMOBILE United States
HOW COMES THE CONSTELLATIONS SHINE Portugal
HRSTA Canada
HUA LUN China
HUME United States
HUNGRIA Argentina
HUNGRY GHOSTS Australia
HURTMOLD Brazil
THE HYLOZOISTS Canada
I AM THE ARCHITECT Germany
I AM WAITING FOR YOU LAST SUMMER Russia
I HEAR SIRENS United States
I LIKE TRAINS United Kingdom
I WAS GIVEN FEET TO FOLLOW YOU United States
I WILL KILL CHITA Russia
IF THESE TREES COULD TALK United States
ILYDAEN Belgium
IMMANU EL Sweden
IN EACH HAND A CUTLASS Singapore
IN THE WAKE OF GIANTS United States
IN(OUR)FINITE SPACE Canada
INDIGNU Portugal
INFINITE THIRD United States
INTERNATIONAL KARATE Australia
IOSEB Sweden
JAKOB New Zealand
JAMBINAI Korea
JARDÍN DE LA CROIX Spain
JENIFEREVER Sweden
THE JOE K-PLAN Spain
JOHNNYTWENTYTHREE United States
JOVENABUELO Chile
JOY WANTS ETERNITY United States
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JUNG PEOPLE Canada
JUNIUS United States
KAIRON; IRSE! Finland
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KERMIT Spain
KERRETTA New Zealand
KILLINGTON FALL United Kingdom
KIMIKA Canada
KINDER Peru
KLEVER Russia
KOKOMO Germany
KOMAS MIDA Sweden
KOMATSU Finland
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KRISTEN Poland
KROBAK Ukraine
KUATO Canada
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KWOON France
LA FLAG Portugal
LA MAR Venezuela
LABIRINTO Brazil
LABRADFORD United States
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A LILY United Kingdom
LIMP Denmark
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LITE Japan
LO' THERE DO I SEE MY BROTHER United States
LONG DISTANCE CALLING Germany
LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS United States
LORAINE United States
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LOST IN THE RIOTS United Kingdom
LOST REVERIE Mexico
LOTTO Poland
LOVELY GIRLS ARE BLIND France
LOWERCASE NOISES United States
THE LUNA MOTH United States
LUNAR Croatia
LUZPARÍS Argentina
LYMBYC SYSTYM United States
MAGYAR POSSE Finland
MAN MOUNTAIN United States
MAN ZERO Croatia
MAPS United States
MAPS & ATLASES United States
MARRIAGES United States
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MEANWHILE BACK IN COMMUNIST RUSSIA United Kingdom
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THE MERCURY PROGRAM United States
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METALLIC TASTE OF BLOOD Multi-National
MIAOU Japan
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MINIMUS Portugal
MINIONTV United Kingdom
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MØN France
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MOTEK Belgium
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MOYA Belarus
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NED HOPER Russia
NEGEV United Kingdom
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A NEW SILENT CORPORATION Italy
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NICE WINGS ICARUS! Ukraine
NO ONE WISHED TO SETTLE HERE Poland
NOMADS United States
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NUITO Japan
O'BROTHER United States
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OAQK Japan
OBSTACLES Denmark
OCEANIC Canada
ODDARRANG Finland
OISEAUX - TEMPETE France
OKETO United States
OSHEAN Russia
OSTINATO United States
OVUM Japan
OXES United States
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PAWA UP FIRST Canada
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PERTEGO Italy
PETROGRAD IN TRANSIT United States
PG. LOST Sweden
PHEWWHOO Japan
THE PHYSICS HOUSE BAND United Kingdom
PIGLET United States
THE PIRATE SHIP QUINTET United Kingdom
PLAIN FADE Finland
PLANETS United States
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PNEU France
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QUALIA United Kingdom
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RADIO FREE ISAAC Croatia
RAISED BY SWANS Canada
RED ROOM CINEMA United States
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SDNMT Germany
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SET FIRE TO FLAMES Canada
SGT. Japan
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SWEEK Belgium
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