Long Story Short : Softaware, Steve Hadfield, Matt Evans, Monochrome Echo

I thought I was done with these Long Story Short pieces for the year, but man, the music just isn’t stopping. There’s been some albums I haven’t gotten a chance to dig into until recently so I’m going to throw a couple more albums your way before the clock runs out on 2022. I hate the thought of not mentioning some amazing music to put into your ears, and these below are most definitely amazing.

I’m not going to get to everything, I know that. There’s so much music being released, yet only a limited time to not only listen, but then sit down and give that music a good, hard look. I want to spend some time with an album before I talk about it. First impressions are one thing, but the second, third, fourth, and fifth are something else altogether. I know there’s plenty of folks that will be surprised at some omissions on my overall year-end list, and there are albums I wanted to spend time with but just didn’t have the time. Especially albums you’ve been reading about on lots of other year-end lists. I’ve got some “popular” releases that I loved and rank high, but for the most part I’m covering things you may not have heard.

If you want to hear someone’s opinion of this or that pop/rock/hip hop/metal/electronic darling, then there’s so many more other sites you can hit to read about those. And I implore you to do so. Hit as many year-end lists as you can because I guarantee you’ll find some stuff you hadn’t heard of that may end up being your new favorite album and/or band. That’s the beauty of it all, because you can’t hear it all there’s another set of ears that can cover the vast ocean of sound as well that will fill you in on what you didn’t get a chance to listen to.

So without further adieu, check these great albums out below then we’ll talk more next week about those year-end lists.

Softaware : Molt

Colin Nance is one half of the dark synth duo Harglow. They make the kind of electronic music that you’d likely hear entering some leather club in Berlin or to score a seance(or exorcism.) The music is jagged darkwave with a heavy dose of brutalist post-punk and industrial music on psychedelics. But when he’s flying solo as Softaware it’s another trip altogether.

Softaware is light and airy; dream pop, synth pop, and even touches of chillwave. Washed Out, Neon Indian, and Tycho are touched upon in Colin’s Softaware, and his newest album with Outpost 31 called Molt shimmers in light and electro pop glee. 14 tracks spread over a sprawling and engaging listening experience. And even though there’s no dank dungeon club vibe, the songs are still densely-layered and rich in heady sonics. Colin Nance has made a hell of a pop record with Softaware’s Molt.

Steve Hadfield : Piano Vignettes

The latest from Disintegration State’s co-founder Steve Hadfield is a darkly-lit collection of piano pieces twisted, stretched, distorted, and turned in onto themselves in the most interesting way. Piano Vignettes, released on Waxing Crescent Records, finds Hadfield taking inspiration from German musician and visual artist Alva Noto. In-particular Noto’s collaboration with composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

On Piano Vignettes Steve Hadfield warps the piano into something new and fresh, making these sonic moments that sometimes feel cinematic, sometimes harrowing, sometimes both and always turning the idea of traditional composition completely on its head.

Matt Evans : Soft Science

The latest album from NY-based percussionist Matt Evans is a kinetic and ethereal sound trip filled with busy, esoteric percussion and otherworldly soundscapes. Soft Science, released on the great Moon Glyph Records, combines intricate rhythms with mysterious moods ala shades of noir and sci fi landscapes.

Listening to the intricate percussion it’s like Stewart Copeland’s The Rhythmatist on a micro, but equally heady scale. According to the album liner notes, “The album sews together equal parts millennial iconography (mushrooms / house plants / anime) and retro-futurist sci-fi (Sam Delaney, THX 1138, Ursula Le Guin) in an expression of waning utopic yearning.” I think this sums up Soft Science pretty damn well. Add in vibes like Robert Harrison’s Day of the Dead score, Cluster, and Mark Isham’s Vapor Drawings on top of the woozy, dream-like atmosphere and you’ve got something quite unique and singular.

.Monochrome Echo : Moonkeeper Exodus

Monochrome Echo, aka Simon Little, brings his epic synth journey to a close which he began nearly two years ago with the album Moonkeeper. Moonkeeper Exodus followed this past February continuing the lush electronic constructs and story line involving the Europa Outpost. We now have come full circle with Moonkeeper Exodus, where we find out that sometimes when we keep looking for answers to the universe’s greatest mysteries we end up getting those answers…and they’re not what we were hoping for.

Simon Little continues to give us fascinating stories interwoven among heady and engaging electro compositions that invite you to open your mind and let the sounds engulf you, all the while building these stunning worlds in your imagination.

My advice? Clear your schedule and put the Moonkeeper trilogy on the old hi fi and see where your mind(and Simon Little) take you.

Now go forth my readers and find musical treasures in those digital realms you call the interweb. All of these are available over at Bandcamp, and easily downloadable. Put them in your skulls and float away for a bit.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some lists to work on.

One thought on “Long Story Short : Softaware, Steve Hadfield, Matt Evans, Monochrome Echo

  1. I love these posts. I used to do a Sunday Service on the KMA, capturing the week in one post, but then I found I’d get comments on one album and I’d written about five, so I spaced them out individually again. It doesn’t matter, I mean, I know folks don’t go back to stuff anyway, and it’s not about the comments (although I love chatting with folks), but I thought (at the time) that each album deserved it’s own individual look and so I went back to that and it just stayed that way. Deke liked the Sunday Services and wants them back, though, I think lol. Who knows, maybe someday I won’t have time again and it’ll happen out of necessity. Anyway this was a long comment and I didn’t mention any of the albums you posted about. See? Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

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