Jul 272020


I’m trying to get back into the more normal swing of things after some recent disruptive events I’ve already written about. I made a start yesterday with a two-part SHADES OF BLACK, and am continuing today with this round-up of other music I’ve recently been enjoying. As you’ll see, I probably could have made this Part 3 of yesterday’s column, because it does lean pretty hard into blackened sounds.


If you suspect, or perhaps have already concluded, that metal made exclusively with trumpet, trombone, and drums isn’t your kind of thing, I urge you (again) to reconsider. And if you’ve already embraced what Ottone Pesante do with those instruments, the first track in this collection will cause you to squeeze them harder to your chest (figuratively speaking, of course, because hugs may be disease-riddled these days). Continue reading »

Jul 072020


Those of us who form the core staff at NCS have recently been reconsidering lots of the things we do here and how we do them. To be more precise, much of the discussion has involved what I do here and how I do them. A lot of the discussion boils down to being more selective in what we publish, and more willing to publish fewer posts every day if that’s necessary to make greater scrutiny possible.

One likely outcome of those discussions is that I will accept fewer premieres. For a while now I’ve been writing two or more premieres every day. I only agree to premiere music that I like and that I think fits the musical focus of the site, but that still leads to lots of premieres. I admit that I have a hard time saying no. One consequence of so many premieres is that I have much less time to write about music that I find on my own, including round-ups of new music and stand-alone reviews of records that we’re not premiering.

Because I’ve put myself in the position of not being able to write round-ups as often as I’d like, the backlogs grow to gargantuan proportions. I resort to gigantic Overflowing Streams collections in an effort to work through the backlogs, but even that format (in which I cut back on my own verbiage) takes time to put together, and so I wind up not even publishing those kinds of collections more than once a week (if I can even manage that).

This process of discussion and self-reflection has led me to realize another problem I’ve created for myself. Continue reading »