This week: temporal slips, immersive oddity, melancholy and euphoria

By in Features





Essential weekend listening.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Kelly Doherty and Becky Rogers, alongside contributors Emily Hill and James Hammond.

Kali Malone

Does Spring Hide Its Joy

(Ideologic Organ)


Joined by Lucy Railton on cello and Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’ Malley on guitar, Kali Malone sets intricate foundations in the tuning ratios of just intonation and uses sine wave oscillations to work long-form magic on Does Spring Hide Its Joy. Following up on last year’s sublime Living Torch LP, this 3LP set stretches out to longer durations and encourages temporal slips through immersion in the trio’s seamless interplay.–JH


Cautionary Tales Of Youth



The Records That Made Me alumnus Låpsley returns for her third album, the follow-up to 2020’s Through Water. As ever, the London-based artist’s distinct smoky vocals remain a centrepiece on Cautionary Tales Of Youth. However, the album is a sonic expansion as Låpsley successfully folds Afrobeats and Latin influences into her established heady, immersive electronic sound. Dealing with the oscillating melancholy and euphoria of early twenties life, Låpsley’s songwriting is at its most honest and affirming.–KD

Rian Treanor & Ocen James


(Nyege Nyege Tapes)


British producer Rian Treanor and Acholi fiddle player Ocen James collaborate on this deeply varied release from Nyege Nyege Tapes. Saccades moves swiftly between electronic rhythms and organic instrumentation, placing the two collaborators’ approaches in direct conversation with one another. Treanor and James allow no rest, pushing their writing to extremes–paralysing and danceable, melodic and cacophonous. A layered work that is guided by its tools.–KD

Raul Lovisoni/Francesco Messina

Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo

(Superior Viaduct)


As a veritable treasure trove of adventurous sounds, the 1970s discography of the Italian Cramps label is a source worth returning to for reissue campaigns, and this latest edition from Superior Viaduct brings an immersive oddity back to the fore. With Rene Dumaul’s legendary surrealist novel Mount Analogue as their imaginative spark, Raul Lovisoni and Francesco Messina created this no-rough-edges affair in 1979, questing into open and soothing territories with synthesizers, piano, harp, crystal glasses and vocal drones.–JH

Guided By Voices

La La Land

(Rockathon Records)


Guided By Voices return for their 15th album since 2016 and 37th album overall (!). Seemingly writing a song as frequently as the average person writes a message has occasionally led to a quality control issue for GBV but La La Land is a gem from the Ohio indie-rockers. Filled with driving rock anthems that further the band’s forays into prog, La La Land is a robust, heavy album that maintains the whimsical frivolity of their more poppy outings.–KD

Italia 90

Living Human Treasure

(Brace Yourself Records)


Opting for substance over style (though not lacking in the latter), Italia 90 aren’t interested viral soundbites about the current political state of the world. Instead, their debut LP allows for sprawling deep dives into the generational damage state religion can cause (“Magdalene”) and the ineptitude of some to unlearn abusive or discriminatory behaviours (“Tales From Beyond”). All backed by punk-distorted fusions of bossa nova jazz, goth rock and industrial new wave, Living Human Treasure is a confident debut that, while knowing its place, isn’t afraid to bite at something bigger.—BR

Various Artists

Enter The Decagon

(Fasaan Sweden)


Enter The Decagon bring their friends and family together for a unique compilation that dives into the deep end of industrial, folk, jazz and ambient sounds. Featuring artists from across the globe, the release kicks off with the shimmering violin work of Copenhagen-based artist Kristi Brud, whose composition was originally recorded for the short film, The Abduction of Europa. The full body of work sits in the realm of musical art. Delicate ambience builds into almost religious chanting before the release changing pace into Goa-esque mid-nighties breaks. A stunning album.–EH

Various Artists

RITMICHE ITALIANE – Percussions and Oddities from the Italian Avant-Garde (1976-1995)

(Ultimo Tango)


Ultimo Tango unearths a compilation of deep cuts from the Italian avant-garde; a selection of six new-age pieces composed by forward-thinking sound artists between 1976 and 1995. The progressive nature of these pieces traverses all concepts of time and space–taking influences from a cosmic universe of musical sounds from across the globe and crime movie soundtracks. Leftfield but not completely abrasive, the release sees West African percussion and Jazz contribute to the rich textures throughout.–EH