My friends at New Amsterdam continue to produce a steady run of consistently fine, enjoyable recordings—that’s what we call taste.
Out next week is the latest from yMusic chamber ensemble: Balance Problems. This is their strongest release yet, with vibrant new pieces from Nico Muhly, Andrew Norman, Mark Dancigers, Jeremy Turner, Marcos Balter, and Timo Andres (you can skip the final track, Sufjan Steven’s boring imitation of Steve Reich, a bone for the Pitchfork crowd). What really stands out is how the music seems written so well for the sharp precision and sound of the group. Here’s a sample from Andrew Norman’s Music in Circles:
Out now is Palace of Wind, the debut release from Battle Trance, a four-tenor saxophone quartet. This is one of the more intriguing records of the year: the form is avant-garde, the musicians are using extended and abstract techniques, and the effect is visceral. The music is strongly in the vein of what Colin Stetson produces, but freer and more ambient. Check out a sample below, and catch them live at Roulette, tomorrow night, Sept. 24:
Battle Trance is lead by Matt Nelson, and he has his own recording out, Lower Bottoms, which is bracingly, even aggressively abstract, exploring the possibilities of noise through the body and the instrument. You can preorder now release date is October 21.