"I had a big manifesto of 'no's' at the beginning, [of things] that I didn't want to do." As a composer, violinist, and multi-instrumentalist, Christopher Tignor has, since the early '00s, led the New York City-based instrumental groups Slow Six and Wires.Under.Tension. Up until recently, however,...

Circuit des Yeux's performances are like a guided tour through several decades of psychedelia; cherry-picked moments of visionary art rock, viewed through a classy romantic noir cabaret lens. The band is in full tilt as my girlfriend and I enter the Doug Fir's rough hewn...

"Some boys began to drink beer and whiskey, a few began to smoke marijuana" -- so says a voice seemingly beamed in from a middle twentieth century nature documentary on the partying habits of young men. It's an interesting sample, but perhaps a bit misleading....

GRAMMIES - GREAT SOUNDING Album Review
Everything you need to know about GRAMMIES' new record GREAT SOUNDING can be found in its gloriously stupid title. The album constantly inverts itself, offering up increasingly next level instrumentation, song craft and emotional depth to an altar of self-sacrifice, producing a rare jazz gem that excels through humility rather than bombast. It's an unconventional combination of far out mid-70s avant jazz, one piece jumpsuit boogie grooves and budget bin New Age cassette tape ambiance that conjures magic from the hilarious excess of early '80s Adult Contemporary without stepping into joke band territory or leaning too much on whimsical nostalgia and irony. Essentially, we can take GRAMMIES seriously because they don't beg us to. But conceptual riffage aside, the most important thing about GREAT SOUNDING is that it reproduces the experience of watching the band blow out an untreated show space while giving their compositional skills and deeply psychedelic vibes space to glow.

Sankt Otten - Engtanz Depression
The genre formerly known as post-rock has had a long, convoluted, and troubled history. It was originally used in print by the rock critic Simon Reynolds to describe bands like Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis, who were bringing in elements of less whitebread music - disco, African rhythms, jazz, krautrock, and Jamaican dub -- and extending their structures to more widescreen classical formats, and blending them with the primal fury of rock 'n roll. Post-rock may have also been the last and greatest victim of co-option and conformity (or can at least share that honor with dubstep), before finally succumbing to postmodern dissolution for good. What became of post-rock? Oh-so-serious dudes in black clothes with long band names, mindlessly aping Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky, turned what could have been the most promising mixture of head and heart, guts and chops into a marketing cliché. Thankfully, the German instrumental duo Sankt Otten rewind the clock with Engantz Depression, and make us reassess the possibilities of blending rock instruments with electronic music for a compelling hybrid that takes post-rock back to its roots, to begin again.

 

2014 was an amazing time for music, and this year, rather than asking the Gina Altamura and Van Pham of the interdisciplinary Portland venue and nightclub Holocene to list their favorite up-and-coming Portland musicians, we decided to give them the opportunity to highlight their favorite shows of 2014, both local and international. The dynamic result is not exclusively Holocene-centric, and definitely gives ample nods to Portland's experimental music scene.
PHOTO: SZA @ Holocene, Courtesy of Red Bull Sound Select SEE ALL POSTS RELATED TO: PORTLAND MUSICIANS + HOLOCENE PORTLAND  

With wide-reaching arms and hungry ears, each of our writers has compiled his or her top albums of the year, for you to peruse our eclectic, atypical, and only occasionally overlapping tastes. You'd be well-served to check out every single record here.
Vivian Hua - dance, indie, pop, psychedelic, electronic Troy Micheau - metal, electronic, experimental, ambient Jason Simpson - pop, soul, electronic, ambient Ian King - electronic, ambient, instrumental, pop Peter Woodburn - ambient, metal, garage, indie Judy Nelson - dance, electronic, indie, pop, hip-hop Albums of the Year 2014