The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Quietus Charts

Music Of The Month: The Best Albums And Tracks Of October 2022
Patrick Clarke , October 28th, 2022 08:35

tQ's top ten albums of October 2022 have arrived, plus a smattering of bangers released over the last month, all compiled for your listening pleasure

This end of October round-up represents the two-month mark since I took temporary charge of tQ while regular head honchos John Doran and Luke Turner take a step back for respective writing-sabbatical and child-rearing purposes. I can't say it's flown by – running the whole show while learning the ropes as I go has been exhausting, but it's also been immensely satisfying.

What's struck me the most about taking over commissioning process is just how many amazing ideas and amazing records we don't have space to cover. There really is such an abundance of exciting music in the world right now, it's both a torture to turn stuff down, and a luxury to have such wonders to choose from.

As much as I fantasise about greater resources for tQ, however, even if we had one hundred times the hours we do, and every writer on earth at our beck and call, we wouldn't cover it all. The list of albums and tracks below, then, is merely a snippet. The fact that even in this little slither of October's music there are such depths to be explored says it all.

All the below, as well as all the other excellent music we've covered at tQ this month will also be compiled into an hours-long playlist exclusive to our subscribers. In addition, subscribers can enjoy exclusive music from some of the world's most forward-thinking artists, regular deep-dive essays, a monthly podcast, specially-curated 'Organic Intelligence' guides to under the radar international sub-genres and more.

To sign up for all those benefits, and to help us keep bringing you the kind of music you're about to read about below, you can click here. And read on for the best of the best from September 2022.
Patrick Clarke

ALBUMS

Decius – Decius Vol. 1
(The Leaf Label)

Decius Vol. 1 is the album I wish I had to hand back when I was – let's not sugarcoat this, my mum doesn't read The Quietus – a tramp. The now long-lost era where I’d put the cheery responsible day-job me aside for a few hours to traipse to a dingy club across town where whoever you were – solicitors, truckers, civil servants, John Lewis members – was democratised by what you were wearing, where the zips were and what you wanted to do in it. Where a hoof of amyl allowed access and excess in pissy cubicles or bent over an oil barrel, and the sort of badly lit backrooms when London was the envy of Berlin with secretive places that are now consigned to history in favour of supermarkets, flats or fucking climbing centres.
Ian Wade – read the full review here

Persher – Man With The Magic Soap
(Thrill Jockey)

Man With The Magic Soap is an oblique, even difficult record – certainly in the context of those two producers and their core audience, and also the sort of music they’re plundering here, and the traditional audience for that. Jamie Roberts, who has used a few production names but is best known as Blawan, and Arthur Cayzer, who goes by Pariah for his solo releases, are both pretty widely respected in the UK club music milieu. The duo's productions and live hardware sets as Karenn have established them as European techno mainstays – not easy-option crowdpleaser stuff by any means, but replete with mighty raveable girder-whack rhythms and acid froth. Persher should by no means be viewed as Karenn under a new name. Here they are subjecting guitars and drums to heavy digital processing rather than occupying an electronics-but-analogue middle ground. That should not, however, be taken to mean a total absence of commonality with their other project in Man With The Magic Soap's maggoty post-genre techsludge.
Noel Gardner – read the full review here

Antonina Nowacka & Sofie Birch – Languoria
(Mondoj)

I feel I have known this album much longer than the few weeks I have spent with it. At one of the Unsound festival venues it was played in between the acts, and I had a moment of recognition, where I felt it was a record I had loved for years. I've said it before in this column and I'll say it again – Nowacka has such a distinctive voice and way of singing that makes me feel she is singing from beyond a threshold. She opens a small portal to a world not quite the same as this one. Birch's contributions only intensify this feeling, softening space and generating an aura in gossamer electronics and acoustics, shadowy echoes and vocal reflections. For fans of Joanna Brouk. Don't sleep! (Well, do, but only once you've hit play).
Jennifer Lucy Allan – read the full review here

The Umlauts – Another Fact
(PRAH Recordings)

Throughout this EP, tensions are built and feelings are flirted with only to see no resolution at the end of the tunnel. The last and lengthiest track, 'Another Fact', is a euphoric lamentation for the hypnotised dancers. Loud and raunchy, it swallows the rusty old rooms with overdriven arpeggios and yells until it finally climaxes with an explosion. Throughout the EP, there is a metallic feel to the sound – except the metal is severely rusted. A pulsating roar of buzz, clangs and grit, Another Fact is an exploration in art-punk that made me want to sway faster.
Shrey Kathuria – read the full review here

Carl Stone – We Jazz Reworks Vol. 2
(We Jazz)

Some more doctrinaire jazz fans may be challenged by Carl Stone's edits on We Jazz Reworks Vol. 2. Plenty of artists have crossed the sonic streams for decades, but as with any long-tailed musical tradition, jazz has its more puritanical sects who might think Stone’s slicing and dicing goes against an 'in the moment' ethos long associated with the music. There's a point to be made there, but in a sense, Stone's snips, layers, and impossible swerves make the whole listening experience into jazz, into dense worlds where listeners can choose to hone their focus on one of several unpredictable aural paths.
Dustin Krcatovich – read the full review here

Shit And Shine – New Confusion
(Rocket Recordings)

It's on 'Runnin' Around', the fifth track of Shit and Shine's fifteenth album, New Confusion, where a disembodied voice spits out the phrase "I hate this fucking machine." Although the album's battery of sounds seem soaked and glossed and churned and cut using electronics (nothing of this material world could fully produce what's heard here), there's also a pervasive sense that Shit and Shine head honcho Craig Clouse is attempting to fight his tools, and they're fighting back. Basslines seem almost to dig their heels in, veering between notes in resisting portamento. Stumbling rhythms get caught out by chopped-up and spat-out arrangements. The high frequency in 'Park Road 1 - C' recalls the ugly digital clipping that occurs when an output is forced to deliver a voltage higher than its capacity.
Will Ainsley – read the full review here

Nze Nze – Adzi Akal
(Teenage Menopause)

Fans of Senyawa will find plenty to admire in Nze Nze. While the former thrust Indonesian folklore into a fearsome, post-industrial setting, French three-piece Nze Nze take the warrior songs of the Fang, a Bantu people based in Central Africa, weld them to thunderous beats and drown them in echo. French vocalist Mathieu Ruben N'Dongo, whose father comes from the region (and who also records as Coldgeist and Sacred Lodge) has teamed up with the two members of duo UVB-76 (Gaëtan Bizien and Tioma Tchoulanov). They share a common attraction to the places where post punk, industrial, dub and ritual African rhythms meet, and Adzi Akal ('eat the metal') is the thrilling outcome. The trio are at full pelt on 'A Kele Nkoo Oking', which provides a juddering platform for N'Dongo to unleash his range of throaty whispers, low whoops and guttural growling, while a barrage of jackhammer beats rains down on 'Yemendzine''s insistent motorik-punk groove, but there are more measured, atmospheric moments to savour too, like the rustle and harp twang of opener 'Odzamboga', and 'Oku' with its slippery rhythm that feels like it's been constructed out of wet logs.
David McKenna – read the full review here

Minami Deutsch – Fortune Goodies
(Guruguru Brain)

Released on digital format only earlier in the year, the third studio album by contemporary Japanese psych/krautrock band, Minami Deutsch, finally saw a vinyl release at the end of October. What a gorgeous package the first pressing is too —turquoise and natural split vinyl, with some of the best cover art I've seen all year. Relocating from Tokyo to Berlin has, according to a press release, resulted in the deployment of a wider musical palette than their usual Can and Neu!-inspired propulsive grooves. Whilst this is noticeable on tracks such as the dreamy garage rock of 'Pueblo' or 'Whereabouts', or the folky 'Interpreters Of Forest' (which wouldn't be out of place on a Masaki Batoh album), the intermittent changes of pace act as welcome counterpoints to the band's more hypnotic fare.

Although it's a fine line between pastiche and genuine creativity when bands wear their krautrock influences so obviously on their sleeves, Minami Deutsch walk that line with aplomb, often evidencing an admirable sense of restraint that makes for satisfying payoffs. 'Your Pulse' sounds like a long-lost meeting between Michael Rother and Damo Suzuki, distilling the notion of what that might entail to its most effortless equation. 'Still Foggy' could almost be a remix of Can's 'Mushroom', with additional percussive flourishes summoned seance-fashion out of the ether. The album's tracks flow together easily with a cosy, mesmeric warmth that marks this apart from the band's previous releases.
Sean Kitching

Gilla Band – Most Normal
(Rough Trade)

There are several things that make Gilla Band's music so remarkable, but foremost among them is the arresting juxtaposition between the intensity of the music and the stream-of-consciousness lyrics delivered via Dara Kiely's idiosyncratic screams. Over the years, they've sung about chicken fillet rolls, the folk tale of the (literally) two-faced English nobleman Edward Mordake, garlic curry cheese chips, and bleached moustaches. The references within their songs have often been quotidian but made to seem unfamiliar thanks to the context they put them in. On Most Normal, however, Kiely writes more directly than before; sharing more of himself with his bandmates and audience.
Zara Hedderman – read an interview here

Loraine James – Building Something Beautiful For Me
(Phantom Limb)

Queer London electronic artist Loraine James pays homage to the very nearly criminally overlooked work of late composer Julius Eastman on Building Something Beautiful For Me, an at times stunning electronic album that continues his radical, minimal legacy, while Anglifying some of his messages. Like Eastman, James often stitches social activism into her music. Her album For You And I (tQ's 2019 Album of the Year) was a grimy, glitching pressure release of skittish beats and underdog anger. Building Something Beautiful For Me is a gentler listen by comparison, with some anger still there – just distilled into something more gleaming and triumphant. Standout tracks are the accelerated cosmic whirrs of 'Black Excellence (Stay On It)' and 'Enfield, Always' (name-checking the beloved part of North London where James grew up in a tower block). Her hypnotising chimes recall the holographic, mesmerising dream loops of Oneohtrix Point Never, while her flattened, low key vocals and loops for days conjure up solo tracks from another working class provocateur, Hackney's Dean Blunt.
Claire Sawers – read the full review here

TRACKS

Algiers – 'Irreversible Damage'

The always-incredible Algiers announce their forthcoming record SHOOK with this absolute rager of a single featuring none other than Rage Against The Machine's Zack De La Rocha.
Patrick Clarke

Fever Ray – 'What They Call Us'

Co-produced by Karin Dreijer, together with their brother and fellow former The Knife member Olof, this comeback single from Fever Ray is a journey through sorrowful, vintage Dreijer-esque synths, oppressive bass drum hits, and Karin's distinctive vocal.
Christian Eede

Kelela – 'Happy Ending'

When she returned last month with the wistful ambient single 'Washed Away', Kelela promised that "the bangers are on the way," and with the unveiling of the LSDXOXO-produced 'Happy Ending', she wasn't lying. Wedding breakbeats and a low-key melody to Kelela's ever-gripping voice, it's a callback to the artist at her uptempo best.
Christian Eede

Young Fathers – 'I Saw'

Uplifting and galvanising, albeit in a totally frantic way, the Young Fathers continue to plot one hell of a path to their next record Heavy Heavy.
Patrick Clarke

crash830 – 'rast'

This cut from crash830, the alias of Brooklyn artist and 3XL crew affiliate Ben Bondy, is a gorgeous, reverb-drenched, lo-fi journey through shoegaze guitars, heavily processed post-rock vocals and galloping breakbeats that was captured during a live performance late last year at New York venue Baby's All Right.
Christian Eede

Pearson Sound – 'Red Sky'

The lead track from Pearson Sound's latest EP for Hessle Audio has been floating around in the DJ sets of the label's co-founders and friends for over a year, sending train-spotting fans of the imprint into a frenzy – and it's no wonder why. Serving up all the best elements of the producer's work – those expertly chopped-up breakbeats, that screwface-inducing bassline, the soaring hands-in-the-air synths – it's one of the year's best club cuts and a fine way to see off Hessle Audio's 15th year.
Christian Eede