For quite some time now, every Thursday has brought the publication of a review looking back at an album in McLatchey's Second Tier, where our friend Mike visits or re-visits one of his favorite releases. Today marks the start of the next tier, which once again will feature classics from a wide variety of styles, from jazz to classic prog to electronic to death metal — and many places in between.
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-12-22
For this series, we'll simply go in alphabetical order by artist, more or less. There's no sense letting petty rules get in the way of good music, or good music writing. We're starting off with an ambient gem from 1999, Altara from A Produce and M. Griffin. In the weeks to come — who knows how long it will take? — we'll see such artists as Agitation Free, DFA, Miles Davis, East of Eden, and Agorophobic Nosebleed, as well as well-known progressive groups like Yes, Genesis, Camel, Banco, and Änglagård. So check back every week (or more often, since we have new reviews on every other day as well!) and see what Uncle Mike has to say. When an artist has more than one title in the list, we'll throw them out the same day to save time.
In general, we are always focusing on new releases and reissues, since that's what you'll find available now, but there's more to good music that just the new, so it's good to take time for remembering the best of what past decades have to offer. Some of the new reviews revisit things we've reviewed before, so you'll get an additional viewpoint on those — sometimes from another writer back when the music was new, sometimes from Mike himself, so now you can see how views change (or not) on music over the decades.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more
Porcupine Tree - The Sky Moves Sideways & Moonloop EP – Their third full album, The Sky Moves Sideways is Porcupine Tree's strongest release yet. Featuring three long 17-18 minutes tracks, the album flows effortlessly from laid back Floyd-like... (1995) » Read more
The Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus - The Gift of Tears & Le Liturgie pour le Fin du Temp – RAIJ are a mysterious ensemble of musicians whose music is genuinely unclassifiable. Operating somewhere near the 4AD / Dead Can Dance axis, the music by this fascinating combo is transfixing,... (1995) » Read more
Delta Saxophone Quartet - Dedicated to You... But You Weren't Listening – The subtle influences of the Soft Machine’s legacy are inherent in many European acts from Bill Bruford’s Earthworks to Theo Travis’s working ensembles. The Delta Saxophone Quartet... (2008) » Read more