Markus Mehr
Hidden Shoals Recordings

With Off, Markus Mehr completes his ambient trilogy, In, On and Off.  The single, 42-minute-track begins with a low hum that builds on the grumble of the bowed string bass underneath.  Myriad quiet effects peak in and out while piano enters in a minor key, clear as day above the wall of sound.  This piano has a classical, ominous sound to it and adds a chilling level of suspense, coming and going throughout the piece.  Around the 11-minute mark, the song fluctuates between high and low pitches while other sounds float overtop.  This feel is consistent through the majority of the track’s next 20 minutes.  A chanting choir joins the mix around the 20-minute mark, and fades in and out throughout the track. The track transitions at ~21 minutes, as the wall of sound dissolves into the distant gallop of a horse on cobblestone and the listener is left with the suspenseful piano.  Gradually, hectic sounds return to reform the wall of sound.  With about five minutes left, the flowing section breathes its last breath and the piece completes its journey.  A choppy buzz meets the repetition of a high-pitched keyboard phrase interspersed with the choir’s chant, as the track fades into nothingness. – Gabe Cavallaro

Chelsea Light Moving
Chelsea Light Moving

Chelsea Light Moving, led by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, bears much resemblance to some aspects of Sonic Youth. It sounds more similar to Dirty than Goo though. The songs seem to have a triad sort of structure; they start with slower, quiet bass riffs Thurston sings over which soon pick up and eventually end with long, distorted guitar solos, and occasionally another verse. In the absence of Kim Gordon’s uniquely firm, somewhat angsty vocals, Moore makes his voice rougher in songs that call for it. Overall, fans of Sonic Youth will most likely enjoy Moore’s new, yet familiar project. – Jana French

Reviews curated and edited by: JJ Posway