Albums Of The Month: Music We’ve Loved This April

Sunn O))), Fat White Family, Sly & The Family Drone, Khotin and Abdu Ali make up just some of our favourite releases of the last month

‘Got Sprung…’ by Lisa Cradduck

As we edge closer and closer to the British summer, our latest round-up of the month’s best music looks back on the much-anticipated return of Sunn O))) (with Steve Albini in tow), the latest record from Fat White Family, hazy ambient sounds from Khotin and plenty more.

Amongst our collection of the month’s best albums, you can also find a clutch of our favourite new tracks from April. Keep reading below to find out what was on repeat in tQ’s office over the last four weeks.

Albums Of The Month

Sunn O))) – Life Metal

This is a record that does exactly what its title promises, a vibrant, bright, beautiful collection of overpowering sound and immense delicacy that is, once again, proof that those who reduce the Sunn O))) concept to being a two-riff-pony hiding behind daft cowls are missing the point. Moreover, it’s arguably the most fun Sunn O))) have ever sounded – and what could be more alive, or more metal, than that? Luke Turner – read the full review here

Fat White Family – Serfs Up!

As a collaborative effort (one look at the sleeve notes shows the vast array of musicians involved) Serfs Up! is pitch-perfect. It’s no surprise that this was a tough record to make, but from pain and hardship comes great art. Their previous release, Songs for Our Mothers, clearly represented a vile descent into Hades, and was peppered with a violent undercurrent that ran through its veins. With their third album, the band has taken an about-turn, reaching out from the circles of purgatory towards a realm of blissful enlightenment. Yet the uneasy listening and lyrical bite still resonates beneath lush strings and saxophone flourishes. There is a subversive pulse even in its brightest corners, and unexpected moments of silliness and joy throughout. Serfs Up! provides a glistering antidote to the wasteland of Britain in 2019. Adelle Stripe – read the full review here

Khotin – Beautiful You

There is an effortless synergy in its organically placed cycles of loops and samples. Even though the temptation is there, Khotin never overloads the canvas. He maintains a level of minimalism, utilizing just enough layers that the frame never feels overcrowded. The result is a lo-fi sepia-saturated soundscape that has a sense of understated dynamism to it, like snapshots of quiet movement and hushed activity. A fuzzy loop of pastoral hues interposed with gentle washes of playful chords that emits a buddha-like glow all of its own. Kareem Ghezawi – read the full review here

Sly & The Family Drone – Gentle Persuaders

It would be tempting to label their new record Gentle Persuaders as something of a reset, a new beginning after a traumatic and depleting 2018, but in fact it represents consolidation and subsequent progression. It finds the band rallying every element that makes their brand of head-crushing noise so invigorating, and then refining it into something altogether more potent. They have always been something of a nebulous band, always offering invigorating chaos but never in the same manner as before, and this latest iteration is their most concentrated yet heard on record. Patrick Clarke – read the full review here

Abdu Ali – FIYAH!!!

The beats here may slap like club beats slap, but the sounds that twist and turn over them are unlike anything else, mixing the energy of punk, the squelch of p-funk, the strut and heat of ballroom house, the future shock of experimental electronica, and the wild, freeform harmolodics of free jazz – not to mention the unique personality of Abdu Ali themselves, a kind of deep space activist mystic sexual libertine straight out of the fiction of Samuel Delany or Ursula LeGuin – all together in one deeply weird and utterly compelling, unpackageable package. This is a record of epic proportions, bursting with sounds of quantum strangeness, running head first along multiple paths at once, smashing through every barrier in its way. Robert Barry – read the full review here

MSYLMA – Dhil-un Taht Shajarat Al-Zaqum

Even if – like me – you need to rely on hearsay and your own sense of good faith to make sense of the narrative on Dhil-un Taht Shajarat Al-Zaqum, the rewards are astonishing. MSYLMA’s voice drips with sadness, anger, despair and hope, each line delivered in a wash of reverb and echo to make matters all the more otherworldly. To delve into Dhil-un Taht Shajarat Al-Zaqum is to submerge oneself into a dream world, drifting along or swallowed whole by MSYLMA’s bold combination of ragged electronics, subtle melodies and impassioned delivery. On ‘Li-Kul-i Murad-in Hijaa’, this explodes into a cosmic vortex as free-form drums, crackling guitar and buzzing bass all collide like a hurricane sweeping down on a house. Joseph Burnett – read the full review here

Tracks Of The Month

Kasper Marott – ‘Sky Dreams’

The producer of one of 2018’s most euphoric club tracks in ‘Keflavik’ steps up with an equally massive trance-y banger for the second release on Courtesy’s fledgling Kulør label.

K-LONE – ‘Sine Language’

The first taste of Wisdom Teeth label boss K-LONE’s first full EP on his own label fuses brittle electro beats with rap samples.

FKA twigs – ‘Cellophane’

twigs sounds as stunning and haunting as ever on this precursor to her first album since 2014’s LP1.

LOFT – ‘That Hyde Trakk’

Manchester’s LOFT turns her hand to twisted jungle on the first taste of her debut EP for the Tri Angle label.

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