20 Best Avant Albums of 2015 – Rolling Stone
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20 Best Avant Albums of 2015

The year’s best in noise, out-jazz, contemporary classical, ambient, drone and more

Charlemagne Palestine

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On the fringes of 2015, great experimental statements were made from Brooklyn bands, drone icons and one Academy Award winning actor.

Liturgy, 'The Ark Work'

Liturgy, ‘The Ark Work’

The most ambitious art-rock statement of the year is an ecstatic jumble of disciplines, ideas and textures. Once a metal band (at least peripherally), the Brooklyn bluster-cullers of Liturgy still build with a blackened base coat of euphoric blastgaze. But on their third album, that's merely one ingredient in an intense mish-mash of future-minded concepts. You can imagine links to the synthetic horns blasting pastel scribbles from the vaporwave cassette underground and the monumental tone swells that earned John Luther Adams a Pulitzer Prize. Songs sputter and hiccup with disorienting digital processing — once a staple of chin-stroke-y "glitch techno," now a staple of big room "complextro" dubstep. The glockenspiels of mid-Aughts indie rock are recontextualized into shimmering walls; the triplet flows of mid-10s Southern rap are rethought as polyrhythmic alt-metal moans. Any cutting-edge contemporary movement seems up for grabs — and all aiming for some combination of transcendence and bloodshed.

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