volumio-album-week

Introducing Volumio's Album of the Week

We thought it was time to start sharing a little more about the Volumio team... You might have heard from some of us or have talked to us during a moment. But what better way to know about us by the music we enjoy listening to?

Let us introduce our Volumio's album of the week. To prepare ourselves for the weekend, we will deliver a list of curated suggestions of our favorite music collections. One album, once a week... a mix of art and pure sound quality to freeze yourself in instants that you hopefully will remember.

Week #1

Our first week's recommendation is a newly fresh studio album from the Norwegian act Ulver - "Flowers of Evil".

 

ulver-Flowers-of-evils
 

Recently released in August 2020, Flowers of Evil “finds the wolf pack exploring the fear and wonder of mankind’s fall from redemption”.

An outstanding album, which gives a touch of what a synth-pop album should have; from instrumental greatness to nostalgic touch. The difference is that ULVER has proof once again that they don't need to follow the rest by simply creating catchy electronic sounds to please the general audience.

If you don't believe us, listen it for yourself and feel the greatness with "Machine Guns and Peacock Feathers"

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Flowers of Evil By Ulver 

 

Week #2

Let's go back to 2014 and transport yourself into a new dimension with the album LUX by French group Ez3kiel.

ez3kiel-LUX-album-cover

We can describe LUX as a combination of powerful and dramatic, in a vibrant way.

One of a kind... 

With LUX, Ez3kiel includes a mix of electronic with a modern post-rock, providing a captivating combination that we believe on stage it sounds incredibly hypnotic, but even at home, it can satiate immensely.

A must-track to be listened: “Dead in Valhalla”

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: LUX by Ez3kiel

 

 

Week #3

 Let's enjoy a mix of jazz and psychedelic rock with album of the week: Trust in the Lifeforce of the deep Mystery realeased on 2019 by THE COMET IS COMING
the comet is coming album

One of the projects of the unstoppable Shabaka Hutchings, king of British Nu Jazz. Psychedelia, cosmic electronics and lysergic colors in a mix of Flying Lotus experiments.

"Imagine a culture that rests on a more spiritual relationship with the earth and with lovers... Unable to listen, we keep talking... Unable to notice ourselves, unable to stop and unwilling to learn" unforgettable words from song Blood of the past.

This record is a true avant-garde journey guided by jazz paths, a jazz steeped in groove, from rock to funk, from acid house to d'n'b, from clarinets to sax, TCIC leads us to discover a new reality that is not only musical, but a lively artistic kaleidoscope.

Must-tracks to be listened: BLOOD OF THE PAST & SUMMON THE FIRE

Purchase the vinyl on AmazonTrust in the Lifeforce of the deep Mystery by The Comet Is Coming

 

Week #4

 Slowcore and dreampop... This week's album is from Cigarettes After Sex, their eponymous album from 2017.

Cigarettes after sex

We are in the indie world, but not the noble one, the trendy one. The CIGARETTES AFTER SEX give us a concentration of pure androgynous, nocturnal and minimal hyper-romanticism that intensifies piece by piece. The songs can be more properly called bedroom stories, 10 compact tracks soaked in bourbon and romance.

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Cigarettes After Sex by Cigarettes After Sex

Week #5

The newly released album (2020) City Burials by KATATONIA, a mix of progressive rock with metal.

Katatonia-City-Burials

Take the time to dig into this album, really feel it. There is so much to uncover and dissect. A compelling and powerful composition of musicianship and lyrical content. The entire album gravitates above all to a leaden and modern pathos, and to the melancholy voice of Renkse. The atmospheres are decidedly nocturnal, with metropolitan and decadent moods, with a catchy vein to dilute.

The tracklist explores different coordinates, but a common thread is maintained between all of them: although resized, they remain moments that touch an urban and suffused progressive, with polyrhythms and sophisticated chisels inserted here and there as ornaments; but at the same time we have a collection of songs that reaffirm the group’s most emotional alternative-rock / metal pedigree with dark shades.

Must-tracks to be listened: BEHIND THE BLOOD, THE WINTER OF OUR PASSING & CITY GLACIERS

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: City Burials by KATATONIA

Week #6

Let's take a step back to 2016 to listen to progressive avant jazz with math rock in CHROMB's album 1000.

Here we have a band who are pushing boundaries, creating music without electric guitar which takes Zappa, Soft Machine, The Residents, John Zorn and Art Zoyd into logical and illogical extremes, blending sounds which have no place being put together, to create something which is strangely enthralling and enticing while at the same time also being harsh and abrasive. They use atonality almost as a weapon to distract the listener when things could almost be getting too commercial and poptastic. It is challenging music where there really are no limits. There is a sense of humour, playfulness even, within some of the sounds, but the result is always something which many music lovers are going to find too harsh to be enjoyed.

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: 1000 by CHROMB!

Week #7

Back to the early 2000s with SOPHIE ZELMANI and her ballad folk album Sing and Dance.

sophie-zelmani-sing-dance-album

The story of the Swedish Sophie Zelmani is common to other singer-songwriters from northern Europe: shy, shady and reflective, she spends most of her adolescence creating poems that have a therapeutic-liberating meaning for her, then one day she begins to write songs and discovers his primary artistic vein. So she sends a demo to a couple of record labels and, surprisingly, Sony opens its doors to her alongside the expert guitarist Lars Halapi, a member of the Bo Kaspers Orkester group. Relying on the simple, straightforward, instinctive and emotional philosophy that repeats: "A good song is only a good song", the artist crystallizes in the folds of "Sing and Dance" a collage full of melancholy and intimate ballads such as "Oh Dear" and "Once" proposed in duet with Freddie Wadling alternating with sunny melodies by "People", "Breeze" and "Yes I Am" where the spontaneous grace of his voice and the freshness of the music travel in unison, drawing a palette of pastel sounds encased with pure emotional art and precious instrumental virtuosity.

This album is almost now 20 years old but has an unmatched artistic and productive sound freshness on its side.

Hoping with these few lines you discover or rediscover a real unique talent.

Must-track to be listened: 

  • Going Home
  • Breeze

Purchase the CD on Amazon: Sing & Dance by Sophie Zelmani

Week #8

Let's stay in the early 2000s this moment with CELLDWELLER and its eponymous album.

celldweller

 

The first self titled CELLDWELLER album marks a new generation in the US electro-rock fields, musically taking on a style most akin to industrial rock, an 18 tracks production heavy beast. A self proclaimed perfectionist, Klayton's high level of editing and tweaking for the sake makes it better with every single song. 

What we find here is an album that benefits from a strong electronic backing and production that brings everything in the mix forward into the spotlight, and further strengthens the overall style of the album. Instrumentally, Klayton's 'jack of all trades, master of none' approach to things brings a strong performance to the record. Although lacking anything close to a lead guitar, the wall of rhythm guitars riffage more than does the job, with songs like 'One Good Reason' and 'Own Little World' featuring a catchy, guitar driven sound. Songs like 'Under My Feet' and 'Symbiont' flourish in percussion driven segments, and the blend of acoustic and electric drum kits found throughout the album works exceedingly well.

The writing on this album is by far his best. 

In contrast with his later work, Klayton's vocal delivery on the album largely remains moody and features far less production, benefiting the darker nature of the lyrics greatly, and giving songs like 'Fadeaway' a big boost. The crown jewel of the album, 'The Last Firstborn', stands as the embodiment of everything this album is: a blend of electronic trance with metal screams and a big wall of guitar distortion.

Must-track to be listened: Switchback & The Last Firstborn

Purchase it on AmazonCelldweller by Celldweller

Week #9

A post-punk, rock, industrial album of the week with Criminal by THE SOFT MOON (2018)

The-Soft-Moon-Criminal

Luis Vasquez is still not over his personal demons. Since The Soft Moon’s self-titled 2010 debut, the mechanized riffs, post-punk squirms and groggy krautrock beats of the Oakland-based one-man-band have remained. On Criminal, The Soft Moon’s fourth studio album, these sounds are at their most gruelling, and most sharply-produced, yet.

Criminal details some of the darkest aspects of the human experience – shame, guilt, violence, desperation, self-loathing. Give something, then, is a pleasing break from the intense motor that runs through the first couple of tracks, as higher-pitched synths observe more nuanced vocals that wreak of desperation rather than sheer anger. It’s still painstaking, but on an album defined by its horror, there is beauty in the spaciousness which is wrought into delicate melodies.The album’s opener “Burn” fits its name, sudden and pulsing, a hot industrial song about lost control and a frightening kind of helplessness, one that is almost akin to dependence.

The following tracks, “Choke” and “Give Something” take a down tempo turn, brooding, softer giving off an almost liquid texture. Clear throughout Criminal is the singer’s bald-faced struggle, his wrestling with something deep insider; what is more, it feels like he’s losing, badly, especially as “Give Something” seethes restlessly to its dystopian finish. On “The Pain” the tempo picks back up, forging one of the record’s most dramatic constructions, a fury of heart racing keys and pulsing beats. As the record crackles to a finish on a triptych of songs (“Young” “Born Into This” and the title track) one is left with no other recourse than to believe Vasquez, his performance, the way he feels every instrumental shock mimics the experience of being abandoned.

Additional suggestions to be listened:

  • Criminal Remixed album - 2018
  • Criminal Instrumental album - 2018

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Criminal by The Soft Moon

Week #10

Om advaitic songs

The Americans Om, a pearl in the stoner sludge panorama (project by Sleep's icon Al Cisneros), in their 2012 album Advaitic Songs, evoke ancient rituals in psychedelic mystical landscapes, unreal landscapes wrapped in dreamlike atmospheres. An aimless journey through India, through supernatural worlds, choruses that sing disturbing litanies, everything contributes to creating dark and arcane fantasies.

The first track, "Addis", knows how to convey the idea: you hear a voice singing mysterious words, almost a Middle Eastern chant, in the background percussion and strings and the journey begins. With "State Of Non-Return", however, the unstoppable rhythm leads to a landscape that is much more 'hard', which will no longer be perceived for the rest of the album and which refers to the past stoner rock, apart from the calm closure again.

“Gethsemane”, in fact, takes up the mystical journey we had undertaken with “Addis”; but the piece lasts 10 minutes in which it knows how to build a spiritual and timeless atmosphere: strings, percussions, bass, singing an austere prayer to any god, even if this is a typically oriental spirituality. "Sinai" begins with the bursting of arcane words praising the mystery that reveals an Arabian sun. We are confused by the suggestive carpet of arches, which obscures the sun and makes the journey continue in other scenarios.

"Haqq al-Yaqin", the last stage, is firmly anchored to a gothic and gloomy universe: the sound is solemn, the song a sacred melody among the gloomy spires of an ancient cathedral. The record ends and it is not easy to return with a clear mind.

Must-track to be listened:

  • STATE OF NON RETURN
  • SINAI
  • HAQQ AL-YAQIN

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Advaitic Songs by OM

Week #10

The album of the last week of 2020 is Forever Blue by A.A. Williams, a combo of post rock, post classical. Released this 2020.

Classical studies as a child, falling in love with Deftones and the most extreme metal, a guitar found on the street, the first compositions, an eponymous EP and, then, the leap in quality, with a 10 "vinyl entitled "Exit In Darkness" composed in collaboration with the Japanese post rock band Mono. These are the stages in the short career of A.A. Williams, a young Londoner who with "Forever Blue", her debut published via Bella Union, finally tries her hand at long distance.

Eight songs for forty-three mins, in which the young songwriter puts her studies and passion for the most experimental rock. 

From the first listening, in fact, influences from bands such as the mentioned Mono, Rachel's, Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros and Cult Of Luna are perceived, relocated in a sound context in which also contemporary classical and contemporary textures emerge, opening to a livid and crepuscular folk. However, it would be very simplistic to frame this debut through its bands of inspiration: in fact, the album shows all the talent of a young artist who writes great songs and has many things to say through her own original artistic vision.

"Forever Blue" is first and foremost the perfect representation of the dramatic liturgy of our times, the ghostly photograph of a world adrift and hopeless.

It is one of the best albums of this grey year, a complex and fascinating record, surrounded by a sadness that does not evaporate, but that drags and wraps around a candlelight, a glimmer of hope.

Purchase the vinyl on Amazon: Forever Blue by A.A. Williams

Well.. we want to hear from you, what are your thoughts on it? Have you listened to them before? Are they related to your music preferences?

Tell us in the comments!

Reviews written by DED@Volumio

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