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'Experimental' Bands // p 1

Darren's favorite bands for his Song Of The Day filtered by Experimental
401 Bands
Algiers

Algiers

Algiers is an American rock band from Atlanta, Georgia formed in 2012. The band consists of multi-instrumentalists Franklin James Fisher, Ryan Mahan, Lee Tesche, and Matt Tong. Algiers pulls from a divergent number of musical (and nonmusical) influences; the most notable of which being post-punk, gospel, Southern Gothic literature, Hip hop, and the concept of the Other. Their sound has been described as dystopian soul due to its somber mood, afrofolk inspired vocal approach, and heavy emphasis on atonal textures.

History
Fisher, Mahan, and Tesche met and grew up playing music together in Atlanta, Georgia but officially formed in London in 2012 with the release of their first single. They chose the name Algiers in reference to a key historical site of anti-colonial struggle, symbolizing a contested space where violence, racism, resistance, and religion commingle.

The group released their first single “Blood” in January 2012 via Atlanta based label Double Phantom. Byron Coley for The Wire wrote “Although the fusion may have been touched upon in recordings related to both The Birthday Party and The Gun Club, Algiers are dedicated to grafting gospel music onto post-punk guitar-cuzz...this record is mesmerising and really sucks you in with its weird power.”

The band's self-titled debut album was released through Matador on June 2, 2015. Ahead of their eponymous release, the band opened for Interpol, during their North American Tour. Matt Tong, formerly of Bloc Party, began playing drums for Algiers at this time.

In the spring of the following year, the band premiered and toured the Eastern US screening the sixth installment of Brendan Canty of Fugazi and Christoph Green’s Burn to Shine film series. Burn to Shine Atlanta was curated by Lee Tesche of Algiers and filmed in the summer of 2007. This was followed by a live installation with renowned Japanese flower artist Makoto Azuma that saw the band performing in the Californian desert underneath a palm tree suspended in mid air.

On June 23, 2017, Algiers released their second studio album, The Underside of Power. The album was produced by Adrian Utley of Portishead and Ali Chant and mixed by Randall Dunn. This coincided with a European stadium tour that found the band opening up for Depeche Mode and remixing the lead single from their Spirit album. At the same time, it was revealed that Algiers had also been working in the studio with Massive Attack and were releasing an experimental tape and zine series. Much of 2018 saw the band on the road with Young Fathers, a DIY tour with Downtown Boys, and a special set at the Black Cat 25th anniversary party.

Their live show has been described as "recalling at various points PIL’s dub-style expansions, Afrobeat, industrial, no wave, free jazz, Suicide, the XTC of “Travels in Nihilon,” Nick Cave’s fire and brimstone, and musique concrète."

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 'Blood'

'Blood'
Saturday, February 1, 2020

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Amen Dunes

Amen Dunes

Damon McMahon founded the band Amen Dunes in 2006 in New York, New York.

Amen Dunes' fifth record, Freedom, has received positive reviews, with Pitchfork calling it McMahon's "euphoric breakthrough". In addition to his regular collaborators Parker Kindred and Jordi Wheeler, Freedom features Delicate Steve and underground Roman musician Panoram. Chris Coady  (Beach House) produced. The record was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City and Sunset Sound in Los Angeles.

Amen Dunes is made up of McMahon and a rotating cast of musicians. In an interview, McMahon explained: "It's a solo project, but it's a band when it's in action, you know what I mean? I always relate to people like David Bowie, who were very considered with their collaborators, and collaboration is what he did, and it's a big part of what I do, but it's a solo project. I have a band per album, you could say. Even less, I have different band for each stage of album development. Because I had a band that helped me flesh out these songs, and then there's a different group of guys who are coming on the road with me."

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 'Splits Are Parted'

'Splits Are Parted'
Thursday, November 12, 2020

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Björk

Björk

jörk Guðmundsdóttir (/bjɜːrk/; Icelandic: pjœr̥k]; born 21 November 1965) is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, composer, actress, record producer, and DJ. Over her four-decade career, she has developed an eclectic musical style that draws on a range of influences and genres spanning electronic, pop, experimental, classical, trip hop, IDM, and avant-garde music.

Born and raised in Reykjavík, she began her music career at age 11 and first gained international recognition as the lead singer of the alternative rock band the Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single "Birthday" was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favorite among music critics. After the band's breakup, Björk embarked on a solo career in 1993, coming to prominence as a solo artist with albums such as Debut (1993), Post (1995), and Homogenic (1997), while collaborating with a range of artists and exploring a variety of multimedia projects.

Several of Björk's albums have reached the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, the most recent being Vulnicura (2015). Björk has had 31 singles reach the top 40 on pop charts around the world, with 22 top 40 hits in the UK, including the top 10 hits "It's Oh So Quiet", "Army of Me", and "Hyperballad". She is reported to have sold between 20 and 40 million records worldwide as of 2015. She has won the 2010 Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in recognition of her "deeply personal music and lyrics, her precise arrangements and her unique voice." Björk was included in Time's 2015 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She was ranked both sixtieth and eighty-first in Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers and songwriters lists respectively. Björk also won five BRIT Awards, and has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards.

Outside her music career, Björk starred in the 2000 Lars von Trier film Dancer in the Dark, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I've Seen It All". Her 2011 album Biophillia was marketed as an interactive app album with its own education program. Björk has also been an advocate for environmental causes in her home country Iceland. A full-scale retrospective exhibition dedicated to Björk was held at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2015.

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 'Venus as a Boy'

'Venus as a Boy'
Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead is an alternative rock band composed of Kazu Makino (vocals, keys/rhythm guitar) and twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace (drums/keys and lead guitar/keys/vocals, respectively) that formed in New York City in 1993. The band's earliest albums were noted for their noise rock influences, though their sound evolved by the early 2000s with the releases of Misery is a Butterfly (2004) and 23 (2007), which both incorporated elements of dream pop, shoegaze and other genres. They have released nine regular studio albums and have toured internationally.

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 'Messenger'

'Messenger'
Thursday, April 25, 2019

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Bodywash

Bodywash

On the song “Sunspots”, Bodywash vocalists Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter sing, “When everything is so serene, it’s hard to see/We miss the cracks that open up beneath our feet.” It’s the perfect distillation of the Montreal band’s new full-length record, Comforter, both in mood and sound. Long Decter and Steward’s harmonies rise over an icy sheet of programmed drums and a fog of synth and guitar, deceptively peaceful on the surface, hiding the roiling chaos underneath.

Bodywash was formed in 2014 when Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter began jamming in a basement rehearsal room at McGill University. Bonding over a shared affection for shoegaze and dream pop, the two found an immediate chemistry. “There is an excitement that comes from having people of diverse backgrounds and personalities in one room,” says Steward, “trying to make something beautiful together.” Tom Gould joined soon after on bass, and they recorded an EP in 2016.

When it came time to make a full-length album, Bodywash enlisted Nigel Ward to record the LP. However, the road to Comforter wasn’t easy. The recording process spanned two years and five recording studios, with the band constantly rewriting, reworking, and rearranging songs, until every note and tone felt exactly right. Drummer Ryan White joined the band mid-way through the recording process. “The album evolved as we were evolving as a band,” says Long Decter. “You can hear us grow and change with each song.” The final product was mixed by Taylor Smith and Austin Tufts of the band Braids, and was mastered by Evan Tighe.

“The joy of experimentation is everything,” says Steward. “The whole thing is alchemic, trying to combine a bunch of ingredients together to make gold, or whatever gold is.” Long Decter agrees. “We’re perfectionists,” she says, “but it comes from a place of feeling.”

The result is the perfect insomniac’s record, a late-night album of emotional extremes, from the enveloping warmth of shoegaze to the stark electronics of 90s trip-hop and IDM. Guitars blur in and out, melodies vanish and appear, synths blinking like lights in a fog. It’s an album of obsessive detail buried in a blur of reverb. It draws you in and pushes you away in equal measure.

Album standout “Twins” began as a thirty-second guitar loop, with Steward adding layer after layer of synths. It careens from despair to an exhilaration, a manic scream of a song that reaches a full catharsis. “We deal a lot in sonic moments of anxiety,” says Long Decter, “but the goal is to live in that space between extremes, between worry and comfort.” The band’s restless experimentation can best be seen on the shimmering “With Heat.” Initially a guitar-driven indie rock tune Steward wrote for a contest, the song took on new life when Long Decter broke the song into spare parts on a computer, slowing it down, changing the key, adding layer after layer until something entirely new emerged, and the song took its final form.

The album closes with the epic “Another Plane.” Built on a combination of krautrock-style rhythms and breakbeats with a haze of guitars and synths hovering above, it glimmers with possibility. The song is a harrowing account of the frantic moments when reality begins to blur, a gaze over the emotional edge of things. With its increasing emphasis on electronics, “Another Plane” is also a look into what sonic possibilities might lie ahead for the band.

Comforter is a document to a band’s own becoming, the exhilaration that comes from constant exploration, the drive for perfection and the joy of learning how to let things just be. It’s a mix of contradictions, the smothering warmth and the frigid cold, the chaotic and the peaceful. It’s a testament to the way that from many familiar ingredients something new can be formed, the joy and wonder of what’s possible when four people are in a room together, trying to make something beautiful.

– Jimmy Cajoleas

Source luminellerecs.com

 'Paradisiac'

'Paradisiac'
Monday, December 2, 2019

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Brian Eno

Brian Eno

Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, RDI (/ˈiːnoʊ/; born Brian Peter George Eno, 15 May 1948) is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop, and electronica. A self-described "non-musician", Eno has helped introduce unique conceptual approaches and recording techniques to contemporary music. He has been described as one of popular music's most influential and innovative figures.

Born in Suffolk, Eno studied painting and experimental music at the art school of Ipswich Civic College in the mid 1960s, and then at Winchester School of Art. He joined glam rock group Roxy Music as synthesiser player in 1971. After recording two albums with Roxy Music, he departed in 1973 to record a number of solo albums, coining the term "ambient music" to describe his work on releases such as Another Green World (1975), Discreet Music (1975), and Music for Airports (1978). He also collaborated with artists such as Robert Fripp, Cluster, Harold Budd, David Bowie on his "Berlin Trilogy", and David Byrne, and produced albums by artists including John Cale, Jon Hassell, Laraaji, Talking Heads and Devo, and the no wave compilation No New York (1978).

Eno has continued to record solo albums and work with artists including U2, Laurie Anderson, Grace Jones, Slowdive, Coldplay, James Blake, and Damon Albarn. Dating back to his time as a student, he has also worked in media including sound installations and his mid-70s co-development of Oblique Strategies, a deck of cards featuring cryptic aphorisms intended to spur creative thinking. From the 1970s onwards, Eno's installations have included the sails of the Sydney Opera House in 2009 and the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank in 2016. An advocate of a range of humanitarian causes, Eno writes on a variety of subjects and is a founding member of the Long Now Foundation. In 2019, Eno was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Roxy Music.

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 'Manganese'

'Manganese'
Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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 'Deep Blue Day'

'Deep Blue Day'
Sunday, August 18, 2019

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Captain Beefheart

Captain Beefheart

Don Van Vliet (/væn ˈvliːt/, born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and visual artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. He conducted a rotating ensemble called the Magic Band, with whom he recorded 13 studio albums between 1964 and 1982. His music blended elements of blues, free jazz, rock, and the avant-garde with idiosyncratic rhythms, absurdist wordplay, and his wide vocal range. Known for his enigmatic persona, Beefheart frequently constructed myths about his life and was known to exercise an almost dictatorial control over his supporting musicians. Although he achieved little commercial success, he sustained a cult following as a "highly significant" and "incalculable" influence on an array of new wave, punk, and experimental rock artists.

An artistic prodigy in his childhood, Van Vliet developed an eclectic musical taste during his teen years in Lancaster, California, and formed "a mutually useful but volatile" friendship with musician Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band line-up, initiated by Alexis Snouffer, the same year. The group released their debut album Safe as Milk in 1967 on Buddah Records. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels they signed to Zappa's Straight Records, where they released 1969's Trout Mask Replica; the album would later rank 58th in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1974, frustrated by lack of commercial success, he pursued a more conventional rock sound, but the ensuing albums were critically panned; this move, combined with not having been paid for a European tour, and years of enduring Beefheart's abusive behavior, led the entire band to quit.

Beefheart eventually formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained critical approval through three final albums: Shiny Beast (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982). Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music in 1982. He pursued a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture, and a venture which proved to be his most financially secure. His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010, having suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years.

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 'Plastic Factory'

'Plastic Factory'
Friday, April 10, 2020

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David Bowie

David Bowie

David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie (/ˈboʊi/, BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. He was a leading figure in the music industry and is considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, with his music and stagecraft having a significant impact on popular music. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists. In the UK, he was awarded ten platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and released eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and nine gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Born in Brixton, South London, Bowie developed an interest in music as a child, eventually studying art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. "Space Oddity" became his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart after its release in July 1969. After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of his single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie's style shifted radically towards a sound he characterised as "plastic soul", initially alienating many of his UK devotees but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth, directed by Nicolas Roeg, and released Station to Station. The following year, he further confounded musical expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low (1977), the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that came to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". "Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.

After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its parent album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), and "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen. He reached his commercial peak in 1983 with Let's Dance; the album's title track topped both UK and US charts. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including industrial and jungle. He also continued acting; his roles included Major Jack Celliers in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth (1986), Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Nikola Tesla in The Prestige (2006), among other film and television appearances and cameos. He stopped touring after 2004 and his last live performance was at a charity event in 2006. In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with The Next Day. He remained musically active until he died of liver cancer two days after the release of his final album, Blackstar (2016).

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David Sylvian

David Sylvian

David Sylvian (born David Alan Batt, 23 February 1958) is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as frontman of the band Japan. The band's androgynous look and increasingly electronic sound made them an important influence on the UK's early-1980s New Romantic scene. Following their breakup, Sylvian embarked on a solo career with his debut album Brilliant Trees (1984). His solo work has been described by AllMusic as "far-ranging and esoteric," and has included collaborations with artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robert Fripp, Holger Czukay, and Fennesz.

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 'Wanderlust'

'Wanderlust'
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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 'Darkest Dreaming'

'Darkest Dreaming'
Friday, April 5, 2019

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Dirty Beaches

Dirty Beaches

Alex Zhang Hungtai (born September 4, 1980 in Taipei) is a Taiwanese-born Canadian musician and actor. In addition to his given name, he makes music under the names Last Lizard and Dirty Beaches.

Zhang released several EPs and three albums as Dirty Beaches on cassette-only labels before releasing his fourth full-length, Badlands, in March 2011. Badlands, unlike Zhang's earlier work, included his vocals on most songs. The album was long listed as a nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. Drifters/Love Is The Devil followed in 2013, pushing further into no wave, electronic music, jazz and ambient territory.

In 2014 Zhang decided to end the Dirty Beaches project after releasing the instrumental album Stateless, on which he played sax. As Last Lizard, Zhang collaborated with jazz and improvisational musicians and released new solo pieces on Soundcloud, Vimeo and Vine. In 2016 Zhang released the instrumental piano album Knave of Hearts under his own name.

Zhang has also recorded original film soundtracks for several documentaries, including Water Park (2012) and Who Is Arthur Chu? (2017), in addition to directing music videos for himself and others.

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 'Lord Knows Best'

'Lord Knows Best'
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

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 'True Blue'

'True Blue'
Sunday, January 6, 2019

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Elysian Fields

Elysian Fields

Elysian Fields is an American band based in Brooklyn, New York, founded in 1995 by the co-composers Jennifer Charles (vocals, instruments) and Oren Bloedow (guitar). Their music has sometimes been described as "noir rock", due to its sultry, dark and mysterious inflections, be it sonically or lyrically. The band uses mainly acoustic instruments, predominantly guitar, piano, bass and drums, with the occasional appearance of eastern instruments, classical strings, and subtle electronics, the focal point being the voice of Charles in the forefront.

Based in New York City, Elysian Fields have found underground success in the United States but are more popular in Europe. The author of The Dark Stuff, Nick Kent, says of their music, "Maybe we have their out-of-the-mainstreamness to thank for a sound that is still unique -- as sensual as a sleepwalker's wet dream." Since its formation, the band has won quite a devoted cult following, largely by word of mouth. Besides its well received albums, the band is also noted for its strong live performances. The rest of the band has included many of New York's strongest players: all the members of Jeff Buckley's band, members of Medeski Martin and Wood, Ed Pastorini, Ben Perowsky, James Genus, Thomas Bartlett, Jamie Saft and members of Ollabelle have all played in Elysian Fields at various times.

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 'Black Acres'

'Black Acres'
Monday, February 18, 2019

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 'Queen Of The Meadow'

'Queen Of The Meadow'
Sunday, August 26, 2018

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Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus

Steven Ellison (born October 7, 1983), known by his stage name Flying Lotus or sometimes FlyLo, is an American record producer, musician, DJ, filmmaker, and rapper from Los Angeles, California. He is also the founder of the record label Brainfeeder.

Flying Lotus has released six studio albums‍—‌1983 (2006), Los Angeles (2008), Cosmogramma (2010), Until the Quiet Comes (2012), You're Dead! (2014), and Flamagra (2019)‍—‌to critical acclaim. He has produced much of the bumper music on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block. He also contributed remixes for fellow Plug Research artists including Mia Doi Todd.

In 2012, Ellison began rapping under the persona Captain Murphy, based on the Sealab 2021 character of the same name. Ellison kept this fact a secret for several months, finally revealing his identity several weeks after the release of his first rap mixtape, Duality.

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 'Obligatory Cadence'

'Obligatory Cadence'
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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