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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

4.31 | 63 ratings
RANDOM AVENGER
Magyar Posse
4.28 | 70 ratings
CHILDREN OF GOD
Swans
4.29 | 46 ratings
FOR LONG TOMORROW
Toe
4.13 | 507 ratings
LIFT YOUR SKINNY FISTS LIKE ANTENNAS TO HEAVEN
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.13 | 507 ratings
ÁGÆTIS BYRJUN
Sigur Rós
4.14 | 176 ratings
ENTER
Russian Circles
4.17 | 64 ratings
SOUNDTRACKS FOR THE BLIND
Swans
4.58 | 12 ratings
DREAMS THAT COME A THING (PT I) - ...NEVER THOUGHT IT MAY SEEM...
Bosch's With You
4.07 | 380 ratings
F# A# ∞
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
4.25 | 30 ratings
BEAUTIFUL
About Tess
4.07 | 236 ratings
SHADOWS OF THE SUN
Ulver
4.18 | 41 ratings
PHANTASIA
Lite
4.17 | 42 ratings
THE COLLIBRO
Lis Er Stille (Liserstille)
4.25 | 25 ratings
KING NINE
Blueneck
4.34 | 18 ratings
HOW LONELY SITS THE CITY
Ascent Of Everest, The
4.06 | 129 ratings
ULVER & TROMSØ CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: MESSE I.X - VI.X
Ulver
4.07 | 95 ratings
ONE TIME FOR ALL TIME
65DaysOfStatic
4.08 | 81 ratings
CODENAME: DUSTSUCKER
Bark Psychosis
4.08 | 76 ratings
THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE
Battlestations
4.04 | 129 ratings
IN A COLD EMBRACE
Battlestations

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
RECORDING A TAPE THE COLOUR OF THE LIGHT
Bell Orchestre
ACTUAL MUSIC QUARTET RSM
Actual Music Quartet RSM
TREE, SWALLOW, HOUSES
Maps & Atlases

Latest Post Rock/Math rock Music Reviews


 Every Country's Sun by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.35 | 14 ratings

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Every Country's Sun
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Lewian

3 stars I like Mogwai and therefore I like this album, although it is just another Mogwai album, nothing spectacular. Mostly instrumental thick sounding postrock with quite a bit of distortion and noise at times; straight rhythms and simple but characteristic melodic and harmonic lines, as we know of them. The album starts very promising. "Coolverine" is very confident, calm and tasteful and boasts one of Mogwai's simple but unique addictive melody lines. "Party in the Dark" has vocals. I don't know who is singing but as you'd expect from a postrock band, it's not a top notch singer. However, the voices fit the sound of the song very well and again the melody is a winner. A nice little not too sophisticated song. "Brain Sweeties" is rather slow and atmospheric, an OK track but not quite as addictive as the first two. I don't find "Crossing the Road Material" that attractive; it has a Mogwai-typical dynamic, starting off very laid-back and then becomes louder and noisier, although the end is again totally calm. "aka 47" is the most meditative relaxing track, beautiful. "20 Size" is another "Mogwai by numbers" track, it has the typical sound and dynamic, but nothing remarkable. "1000 Foot Face" again has voices; this time the track is of the meditative variety. Once more the voices fit the sound well but once more this is nothing outstanding. After a run of not particularly remarkable tracks Mogwai are back at their best with "Don't Believe the Fife". This time the contrast between the very pastoral and calm beginning and the powerful end is strongest, and the melody is one of those I want to hear again and again without knowing why. "Battered at a Scramble" has another very strong contrast between calm beginning and more powerful end. I think the guitar distortion is overdone in this one, already in the beginning. Later there's a thick wall of sound, but of the less attractive variety. "Old Poisons" is a more powerful track and the distorted guitars make much more sense to me here. It's a rather noisy affair but follows a clear logic. Some headbanging maybe? The title track is the last one, another Mogwai-trademark slow build up and then the noise kicks in step by step. I can see why they picked this as the final, it works in this place but isn't overall very special in Mogwai's universe.

So this is a mixed bag quality-wise, a few tracks are very good, the majority is OK but stuff that we have heard lots of times from this band before. There's enough diversity on this album at least to make it a pleasant enough listen.

 Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything by SILVER MT. ZION, A album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.89 | 37 ratings

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Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
A Silver Mt. Zion Post Rock/Math rock

Review by ainasio

3 stars I find some excerpts from this album to be really exciting. The litany of "What We Loved Was Not Enough", of course, and "Rains Thru the Roof at Thee Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steez)", with its saddened mellotron. However, I don't think all the material is as good or inspirational. What bothers me the most is sound quality, a kind of low-fi, dirty and fuzzy. Not that I like crystal-clear recordings, far from it. I enjoy the opacity of old records like "Foxtrot", one of my favorites. But this deliberate dirtiness (I don't know if it's the right term in English) erodes the nuances almost to the point of making them disappear.
 Hex by BARK PSYCHOSIS album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.98 | 64 ratings

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Hex
Bark Psychosis Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Many consider this to be the first Post-Rock album although band leader and singer Graham Sutton was a huge TALK TALK fan and that's the band I thought of right away during my first spin of "Hex". I actually prefer the album they put out 10 years after this but there's no denying that this is an influential album. Sparse, ambient, lots of space are words and phrases that kept coming to mind as I listened to this. Lots of guests here adding vibes, flute, trumpet, djembe along with a string quartet. The main band adds vocals, drums, guitar, bass, organ, piano, melodica and more. I like that album cover as it reminds me of how good this is while listening to it at night while driving.

"The Loom" opens with relaxed piano as strings swell and recede in the background. Bass just before 1 1/2 minutes then drums and vocals join in before 2 minutes. I like the bass, percussion and atmosphere that follows as the vocals step aside. An experimental ending as well. "A Street Noise" opens with percussion and bass then vocals. Some trumpet comes and goes. It turns fuller with vocals just before a minute and contrasts will continue. Keys, bass and a very minimal sound starting after 3 1/2 minutes to the end.

"Absent Friend" has a relaxed start with sparse guitar, a beat and accordion-like sounds. It picks up a little with bass before a minute. Such a chill out tune. I like when the keys arrive making things brighter and they will come and go. Headphone music the rest of the way. Ambient is the word. "Big Shot" is laid back with organ to start. I love when that bass and drums takes over quickly reminding me of that great MOONGARDEN album "Round Midnight" especially when the vibes arrive.

"Fingerspit" opens with keys I think, a beat, atmosphere and reserved vocals. Trumpet around 3 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Bass, drums and more continue. Vocals are back just before 6 minutes along with some rare outbursts of trumpet. It's building. Manipulated vocals after 7 minutes. "Eyes & Smiles" is a tough go, just not a lot going on over the 8 plus minutes. Sparse acoustic guitar to begin with as fragile vocals join in. Lots of space here as discordant piano arrives before 5 minutes along with some outbursts but then it settles right down again. Vocals are back after 5 1/2 minutes. Acoustic guitar is back late to end it with relaxed drums.

"Pendulum Man" ends the album and this is almost 10 minutes of ambience. A guitar line is repeated as atmosphere rolls in. Atmosphere only after 4 minutes but the acoustic guitar returns quickly plus trumpet at 4 1/2 minutes. Organ follows. Sparse and relaxed. Piano and atmosphere lead late.

This will sit nicely beside my later TALK TALK albums. I'm far from being blown away by this minimalist work but I have a great appreciate for it considering it's 1994.

 Homey by CHON album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.26 | 8 ratings

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Homey
CHON Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Carbon-Hydrogen-Oxygen-Nitrogen kids are back with another mini-album of complex yet accessible twin-guitar exercises, ostensibly Math Rock but played with disarming bounce and brilliance.

As usual it's a very succinct collection: twelve songs in just over 39-minutes. But the reformed quartet (a new bassist appears on half the tracks) stuffs every available inch of the limited performance space with enough music to fill several lesser albums, all of it tightly secured inside a finely knotted mesh of interlocked guitars and busy pinpoint drumwork.

The album's up-to-the-minute digital pop sheen and occasional hip-hop styling might alienate the more conservative old-school Progheads among us. Trendy guest producers were enlisted to dress and manicure a few of the tracks, in at least one instance ("Berry Streets") spoiling a delicate melody with gimmicky dropped beats, distracting fractures, and ultra-hip epileptic edits.

The silver lining is a mood of pristine optimism perfectly timed for our troubled young millennium: the musical equivalent of a day at the beach in San Diego (the band's hometown), sunbathing under cloudless skies. That same warmth is likewise reflected in the album's tropical artwork and sanguine title, which I first read as the more colloquial "Homie". In truth, either name is appropriate: these guys were buddies before they were bandmates.

It's encouraging to hear such invigorating dexterity and breathless instrumental precision in a group of musicians still in their early twenties. The new set may not advance the unique CHON style too far beyond their year 2015 debut album "Grow". But it's an easy effort to recommend, not least for the added perks: the compact disc edition includes a promotional air freshener and, in place of lyrics, a tasty banana nut-loaf recipe from second guitarist Erick Hansel. Food for your mind and stomach: you can't get much more progressive than that.

 The Seer by SWANS album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 146 ratings

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The Seer
Swans Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well I'm slowly getting through SWANS discography and so far I'd say "Soundtracks For The Blind" is my favourite, and I do Like "To Be Kind" better than "The Seer" for what it's worth. "The Seer" is a double album with 2 hours worth of music for our listening pleasure(haha). Yes as usual this is long, repetitive and experimental, and while I don't love it I almost always seem to come away very impressed with Gira's final product. A ton of guests helps out here which is surprising to me as there doesn't seem to be that many instruments in play but apparently I'm wrong.

Disc one starts with "Lunacy" as we get this repetitive guitar melody and keys I think as the atmosphere rolls in. Vocal expressions too before it kicks into a heavy groove. Vocals and a more stripped down sound 2 1/2 minutes in and this will continue until it turns more powerful a minute later. A calm before 4 1/2 minutes and relaxed vocals will also join in.

"Mother Of The World" has this repetitive mechanical rhythm that goes on and on. Organ joins in before 2 1/2 minutes. Some vocals a minute later and then it all stops 4 1/2 minutes in as a powerful sound kicks in with male vocals. It's slowing down at 5 1/2 minutes and then it seems to actually get brighter before 6 1/2 minutes. "The Wolf" is a short one with slow drawn out vocals that pretty much speak the words. The atmosphere before a minute is really cool.

"The Seer" is the long one at over 32 minutes. Yikes! It sounds like bag pipes amongst all that atmosphere that seems to hum and hover. It starts to wind down around 2 1/2 minutes and soon we get a beat with what sounds like banjo and atmosphere. Hints of power come and go as this plays out. Vocals arrive as it builds with some active drum work. Later it's building before 11 minutes until we get chaos a minute later. It then starts to slow down as we get repetitive outbursts of power that come and go. They stop around 22 minutes as it stays powerful and atmospheric. It then starts to calm down with some harmonica. A beat and more arrives around 28 minutes and vocals follow. It's more powerful after 30 minutes.

"The Seer Returns" has this rhythm that seems to go in circles here. It turns powerful rather quickly and we get male spoken words after 1 1/2 minutes. Soon he's singing but in a relaxed manner. It's louder later on, catchy stuff. "93 Ave. B Blues" is the most experimental track on here, very avant. We get those sounds that cry out from the start to the point of screeching. A dark atmosphere comes and goes along with vocal expressions. It turns explosive after 4 minutes until 5 minutes in. "The Daughter Brings The Water" ends disc one and it's mainly a guitar melody with Gira singing.

Disc two starts with "Song For A Warrior" and we get this relaxed sound with guitar, piano and atmosphere as reserved female vocals join in. There's a brief instrumental break as well. "Avatar" opens with a sample of something I can't recognize as bells and drums join in. Sounds like sleigh bells. The beats are getting louder along with the atmosphere after 3 minutes but then it settles back a minute later. Male vocals before 5 minutes. It kicks in hard before 8 minutes and the tempo picks up as well.

"A Piece Of The Sky" might be my favourite. The sound reminds me of a very large fire that crackles away and from the title of this song it may have been caused by lightning or something else. Vocal melodies just before 2 minutes replace the fire. Soon it's atmosphere only humming and hovering over the soundscape. Vocals after 6 1/2 minutes before it all turns quite noisy. A heavy rhythm takes over before 10 minutes and continues until before 15 minutes when it settles down with a relaxed beat and picked guitar. Male vocals after 15 1/2 minutes as the relaxed sound continues to the end.

"The Apostate" ends it in an apocalyptic manner. It almost sounds like sirens going off over and over as we get this disturbing mood. Explosive sounds after 6 minutes. Absolute insanity during this long section. The tempo picks up before 9 minutes. It seems to be settling back some 12 1/2 minutes in then a repetitive beat that's catchy kicks in a minute later. Vocals a minute after that. Grating sounds before 19 minutes then suddenly 22 minutes in we get a barrage of loud drums and yells to end it.

I just get so intrigued with how experimental the SWANS can be with all those samples thrown in too. It's innovative music but certainly not for everybody. I'm sure some think it's all trash but despite my enjoyment factor not being as high as I'd like this is a 4 star album in my world.

 Field Recordings by FIERCE & THE DEAD, THE album cover Live, 2017
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Field Recordings
The Fierce & The Dead Post Rock/Math rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Half an hour of a live blast!

I've been following TFATD music for some years, mainly due to my knowledge of Matt Steven's music, and it has been a band I've always enjoyed and would love to see live someday soon. I attended to the Ramblin Man Fair 2014 and remember it was a wonderful experience with such a formidable audience, I mention this because I imagine they hit hard on stage at that fest where this live album was recorded.

The music they bring has touches of heavy prog, some Crimsonian elements and of course, post-rock atmospheres. Despite it is short, you will surely enjoy what the quartet can offer with only six songs and less than 30 minutes. Starting with "Magnet in Your Face", a two-minute blast of energy that has both the heavy prog and the post rock sides of music. "Ark" starts with a raw bass sound that later is complemented (and maybe contrasted) by delicate guitar sound and an always accurate drums play. There are some heavier and powerful slices that make the music explode, however, they slow down themselves with softer passages.

"Dancing Robots" is a piece I didn't know, I assume is a non-album (or soon-to-be) track. It has a post-rockish start but later it becomes rockier, with a sound that is easy to remember and enjoy. After two minutes the chaos appear! The four musicians create a heavy prog atmosphere (far from metal, just to clarify) that will make you shake your head. "Verbose" has a very nice interplay between bass and guitar, while drums and the other (post-rockish) guitar work together as background. It is a nice track that can be easily enjoyable, catchy for a festival audience.

"Palm Trees" could be my favorite track here, I like it a lot and would love to listen to it in concert, I would get excited. Though the rock and the heavy hints are present, the post-rock term works here wonderfully, in a very emotional song that in the end becomes so powerful. The performance finishes with "666?6" which is a very good track to finish a cool performance. Raw bass and delicate repetitive guitars creating wonderful rock atmospheres that I assure left the audience wanting for more.

Enjoy it!

 Burner by BREADWINNER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.90 | 4 ratings

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Burner
Breadwinner Post Rock/Math rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars Progressive sludge grunge in full nerdy regalia. BREADWINNER were a short-lived math rock meets alternative metal ( = math metal ) band that formed in Richmond, VA in 1990 and lasted a mere two years leaving very few historical artifacts in their wake. However, despite the scarcity of product, the trio of Pen Rollings on guitar, Robert Donne on bass and Chris Farmer on drums have been cited as one of the very first early bands to fall under the genre category of math rock that took the sounds of noise rock and post-hardcore and married them with complex time signature deviations usually reserved for jazz and progressive rock and taking it even further into more abrasive and alienating arenas.

The compilation BURNER is a mere EP in length release that only hits the 20 minute and 23 second mark but nevertheless compiles the complete catalogue of the band's output including their one EP "Supplementary Cig" as well as the two singles "Tourette's" and the untitled track that usually is simply written as " ". Each single acts effectively as three track EPs with some tracks appearing twice. This compilation BURNER also includes three unreleased tracks which constitutes the band's entire musical output which appeared on Merge Records which would go on to become more famous for breaking more known indie rock artists such as Squirrel Nut Zippers, Lambchop, Neutral Milk Hotel and Arcade Fire.

Despite the misleading album cover that brings collages of indie pop electronica albums to mind such as Stereolab, the music is characterized by heavily distorted guitars and bass with fairly robotic and precision timed drumming that follows the same style as heard in sludge metal bands. Labeled as math rock but BREADWINNER existed before the term did, the jittery time signature attacks are wrapped up in thrashy metal riffs, doom laden grooves with post-punk artistic guitar counterpoints while the tracks exist somewhere between the monotonous stream of post-rock, the technical time signature frenzies of math rock and the extreme caustic bombast of extreme metal with heavy crushing distorted guitars turned up to maximum decibelage.

The music is entirely instrumental and the band has been cited as an influence for Battles and Lamb Of God but this sort of post-hardcore / metal fusion seemed to be quite popular with bands in the 90s and i can hear aspects of BREADWINNER that also could have possibly influenced many bands ranging from Thought Industry to even Tool. While the metal scene of the day was dominated by glam metal as well as the nascent extreme metal of thrash, death and doom, BREADWINNER was in a world of their own that offered glimpses into the mainstream culture without adhering to the paradigms that had been codified into orthodoxy. Highly precise without existing in the world of guitar shredders, BREADWINNER somehow drifted into a new technical realm of the extreme noise rock meets metal universe and in the process laid down the grounds for other bands to build upon.

 Différance by JAMBINAI album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.33 | 3 ratings

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Différance
Jambinai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mortte

3 stars Jambinai was a really promising band, when I got this their first album after their concert in Finland. And the promises fullfilled in their next "a Hermitage"! I am not an expert of postrock, but I believe this first is more the style of that genre than the second one. Of course here are too those Korean instruments to make this more interesting. This album also includes one of their greatest songs "Connection". Ilwoo had told in Finland´s first gig, that there were many years, when North and South Korean relatives couldn´t meet each other. Some years ago this was again possible and then Jambinai decided to compose this instrumental song about that.

"Time Of Extinction" starts with Eynyong playing a riff in Geomungo. Soon there comes really heavy beat back of it, but also soon the song changes acoustic but keeps its` very depressive feeling in the end of it. Next "Grace Kelly" starts with acoustic guitar and then comes really Ministry-like uptempo electric musicwall. Soon there´s just mystical guitar and ladies of the band singing something very dark. Song ends into same uptempo part. The next "Glow Upon Closed Eyes" is opposite of previous song, it´s mostly acoustic and reminds the ambient songs of Pink Floyd. Both Paramita´s have same structure: quiet acoustic background growing tension that outbursts into end of piece. "Hand Of Redemption" is again uptempo Ministry-like piece that slows into end of it, but stays very depressive. Empty Pupil pt.1 starts with electric noise, but slowly changes acoustic towards it´s part 2. When Geomungo starts it´s riffs, there come also hard beats and songs intensity grows again. The Last "Connection" is the crown of this album: it starts really serene, then comes short electronic sound and after that Bomi starts to play a beautiful melody with her Haegum. Ilwoo joins her with the Piri, also guitar starts to play really beautiful chords into back of the main melody. The song grows really great way. This song moves me always when I hear it!

This first album was really hard to find anywhere soon after it´s release, but gladly there has been made re-releases with different cover that seem to be available at least in Discogs. In my first Jambinai review I forgot to mention that I believe many King Crimson fans will like Jambinai, specially the ones who like KC after seventies material. Both bands have same kind of dynamic changes, from very heavy to really sensitive. This album sounds still so great that I really would wanted to give it also four stars, but because a Hermitage is so much better, I give it only three.

 A Hermitage (隱棲은서) by JAMBINAI album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 5 ratings

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A Hermitage (隱棲은서)
Jambinai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mortte

4 stars This album was one of my highlights in 2016! I am not a postrock fan at all, but Jambinai is a great exception. I think the reason is, that I believe the bands leader Ilwoo Lee is not trying to do postrock, I think he just wants to do great music. Also of course the traditional Korean instruments make their sound very personal. To me Piri is not sounding oboe at all, it has much more higher sound. Also Haegum is more like rebab, geomungo looks like some bass kantele, but has really own sound. Also I believe the warm production is one reason, why I like this album so much, in "They Keep Silence"-video it looks, they´ve used analog equipments in recording. Jambinai`s music is mostly instrumental, but there are also few sung and spoken songs.

Jambinai played their first outside Korean gig in Finland, World Village-festival 2013. To my shame I wasn´t there, but I was really glad my friend brought me their first album there. In 2016 I noticed they´ve released this album. Then another friend told me, they were performing Modern Sky-festival in Finland. Then I didn´t miss that memorable gig.

Starting piece "Wardrope" in Hermitage really hits listeners face. It hammers 7/8 rhythm straight to the head and Ilwoo screams the vocals. "Echo Of Creation" starts also with very hard beats, but soon there are only two guitar notes repeating and Ilwoo and Eynyoug start to hymn very sad melody. The song grows into end. The next "the Everything that you lost" starts again with four repeating guitar notes, then Ilwoo starts to play piri and piano also joins. This song also grows in a very great way and stays very beautiful. "Abyss" is again very cruel piece, there non-band member Ignito saying spoken words. It´s shame lyrics are not translated into English, but it´s not hard to me imagine Ignitos is telling death sentence to me or someone else.

The very harsh feeling continues into next "Deus Benedicat Tibi", but just when you are thinking the end chaos is too much for you, you hear great, sad melody played by acoustic guitar, when "The Mountain" starts. It´s really a masterpiece of this album, Haegum starts soon repeat same sad melody when guitars and geomungo develop the melody same time. "Naburak" returns to the cruel side of the album, but it´s more acoustic than other heavy pieces. In the end of it there is silent part, where Haegum sounds like Rick Wright ´s organ in Pink Floyd silent psychedelic parts. In this song it was really great to see how Eunyoug gives geomungo a ride making also interesting sounds, just like guitar heroes have done to guitars. Don´t have no idea, how this instrument is played in Korean traditional music. Album ends really great way in "They Keep Silence" which has the most hitpotential in this album, although it´s just too dark to the world´s hitlists. In this song Ilwoo sings very chill way.

Really recommend Jambinai to the people who likes Pink Floyd and Ministry. I can´t listen whole Ministry album through, but in this Jambinai album those really heavy and really sensitive parts are in a very great balance. I think this great, original band really deserves much more attention in this today´s world, where too many musicmakers haven´t got courage to take risks to go outside their music genre. Last year I could have given this five stars, but because I wait this band to make their masterpiece in next album, I give now four.

 Oblivion Hymns by HAMMOCK album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.40 | 11 ratings

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Oblivion Hymns
Hammock Post Rock/Math rock

Review by bertolino

5 stars For nearly a first, as long as any Hammock record review figure on this site, (cheers to "Morsenator" who, having a different approach than mine, this being a very good thing, still invested good time to make them known to the happy few!) I've chosen "Oblivion hymns" to present my overall view of their "oeuvre". As i'm mainly french speaking, and doesn't feel nearly as fluent in english as i'd wish, you may find as many "french expression"s as your language of choice seems to allow. Hammock can conveniently be put in the "post rock" category, with the heavy weights, (Mogwai, Godspeed you..., ant other Explosions in the sky). Myself i'd like to open a "Music for the soul" category for them. In fact that's what they provide to me. Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson mainly use textural and processed guitars to create a tapestry of sound which is both soothing and quietly unsettling. One who takes a look at the song titles can't miss the overall feelings and impressions they wish to communicate, knowing that the music is mostly instrumental. Music for sorrow but still, after listening any of their records, you just feel uplifted.

I've discovered them with "Chasing After Shadows...Living with the Ghosts" their 2010's offering, and simply been hooked. Bought at once the following one "Departure songs" a double cd charged to the brim (any Hammock cd is good value as long as one talk about duration!), inspiration being, in my understanding, the matters of the loved ones gone, our own mortality, near death experiences or generation's transmission for good exemples, or, importantly, the capacity or audacity of letting go. Vast program you would say. But it truly seems to be their mission, and i can't chase the idea that they are like non religious angels offered to cure my sadness. Now, i'm not particuly depressive, reasonably happy and healthy for my old age (many prog fans on this site, by very definition , should reach their sixties pretty soon like me...) but i like to feel that as long as any Hammock music is available to me, nothing strongly wrong can happen to my sanity! This may put quite a pressure on their shoulders if they happen to read this, but in the same time they may feel rewarded because that's just the way they seem to interract with the listener.

I now have seven of their records and it can't seem to be enough. And even if a superficial first listening can give the impression that it's "du pareil au même" (just of the same if you wish), i just happen to wait eagerly for the next one. And still their sound has evolved. More keys nowadays, some rythmic patterns more or less present on others, "Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow" is related to an installation in direct link to Sigur Ros. And i'm quite found of the female voices and choir effects which are more and more part of the musical setting. So why Oblivion Hymns? Apart from being a convenient entry ticket resuming the whole discography, it may figure more of these female voices giving a more melodic and accessible side to the music. And the cover picture is simply striking! You can easily pass over it, thinking it's a kind of "fauvism" effect, but once you've caught it, you may feel like me that just staring at the picture may create a kind of spiritual experience.

My other reviews don't adress the record matters in any way like this one. Factuals or song by song descriptions, a prosaic look to the music i love, but in this case it just seems to be the music who loves me! Five stars is just in order to the "bien-être" effect they provide. Long life and afterlife to Hammock!

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