~An article by Jordan Volz



Honorable Mentions:

Absinthe (Provisoire) | Alejandra
France

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Absinthe (Provisoire)

Absinthe (Provisoire) is one of those bands that we hate to love (or love to hate) because you can never really pinpoint what exactly it sounds like. At times you might be tempted to compare the band to Godspeed You! Black Emporer, due to it's post-rock inclinations, whereas other times a metallic edge cuts through the work to reveal this strangely mutated avant-garde skeleton akin to Kayo Dot. The latter always refers to themselves as "orchestral metal," and Absinthe might do well to advertise itself as such, but the music itself is amorphous; long passages of noise and feedback clatter through the sonic landscape for what seems like eternity before any sort of familiar framework is discovered.
-Jordan Volz


The Allstar Project | Something to Do With Death
Portugal

The Silent Ballet Wiki: The Allstar Project

Who would have thunk that Portugal was develping a little post-rock scene with the likes of Riding Panico, Lemur, Fossil, and The Allstar Project (unfortunately not the name of a post-rock supergroup). Something to Do With Death is a guitar-rock opus, channeling the post-rock gods with layers of distorted guitars and audio samples, often providing more variety than you'd expect from such a bland starting point. Kubrick would be proud.
-Jordan Volz


Disappearer | Disappearer
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Disappearer

Disappearer have a created a very solid piece of work with this self-titled EP, one which never gets lost in itself and is always providing an aural challenge, and most likely, an aural pleasure. Though definitely a more metal based post-rock offering, this EP is at times the missing link between the two much vaunted genres.
-James Ould (Review)


Don Caballero | World Class Listening Problem
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Don Caballero

The legendary Don Caballero return with their first offering in over half a decade, which comes as a surprise because 75% of the lineup are new members. What Don Cab is able to show on this offering is that it no longer has the stronghold on the math-rock sound that it once had, as we've seen numerous bands over the last few year making significant contributions to the genre's ideology (see You.May.Die.In.The.Desert). The complexity of the material on World Class Listening Problem is still commendable, but the majority of it sounds dated and uninspired.
-Jordan Volz


Fago.Sepia | Lâme Sûre Ruse Mal
France

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Fago.Sepia

Fago.Sepia warms the heart. Rich melodies inhabit Lame Sure Ruse Mal, and a jazzy influence brings the formality down a few notches An overwhelming organicism floods the album. Fago.Sepia constructs the album from the ground up with their bare hands the personal touch is the selling point of this piece.
-Jordan Volz


From the Sky | Like Crystal in a World of Glass
England

The Silent Ballet Wiki: From the Sky

The new EP represents a marked shift in direction musically. A somehow more mature sound is apparent - remarkable, given that two band members are still teenagers - with considerably darker overtones and a heavier edge... Perhaps From the Sky named themselves as an homage to their idols Explosions in the Sky; however, with this new EP, their have emerged from the shadow of the Texan foursome and proved themselves more than capable in their own right. Expect great things from this young band.
-Richard White (Review)


The Instant | Notes and Errata
Australia

The Silent Ballet Wiki: The Instant

The real quality of this band probably doesn’t appear until the fourth track, "A/B Movement," where the drawn out, progressive, epic grooves that The Instant do so well are revealed in all of their brooding glory...The second half of Notes And Errata has a dark, warm quality to it, with an integrity that brings together the whole album into its place. Throughout, particularly, the exhaustingly energetic grooves of “Ginger Cat Runs," there is a demonstration of an understanding between players, with their instruments, and with the dynamic of instrumental music. There is a buzz in the air when The Instant plays music, whether they be taking a slow-moving, slow-building, emotional groove such as album closer “The Landing”, or the intense harmonic approach and soft to loud dynamics of “A/B Movement” and “Ginger Cat Runs”.
-Marcus Whale (Review)


Kwoon | Tales and Dreams
France

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Kwoon

It doesn't take long into Tales and Dreams before Kwoon unviels their influences. "Intro" may through the listener for a loop (perhaps a snapshot from Scars of the Midwest?), and even "I Lived on the Moon," with it's gloriously ascending guitar line, may still leave us scratching our heads. Some very somber vocals are even added to the mix to further complicate the matters; yes, Kwoon is a post rock band that likes to sing on occasion. Then we come to "Blue Melody" and as the slow, celestrial ambience slowly begins to dissolve, the pace of the guitar quickens and the drums flare to life, signaling the beginning of the triumphant finale. The sextet sure knows how to pack a powerful punch, a punch which sends me back listening to Agaetis Byrjun.
-Jordan Volz


Lite | Filmlets
Japan

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Lite

The instrumentation is what you would expect in a mathy instrumental album like this--namely fantastic. Of course, one cannot write a review of a band like Lite without at least giving a mention to the rhythm section and Akinori Yamamoto can drum with the best of them... Yamamoto's drums take on a nice organic feel to them and don't seem to vie for the forefront position leaving the guitar and bass to duel nicely. Filmlets is truly a remarkable album.
-Dan Wotherspoon (Review)


Maybeshewill | Japanese Spy Transcript
England

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Maybeshewill

When I found out about Maybeshewill in 2005 and had sampled a few of its songs, I knew this band was onto something good. Maybeshewill travels the road less traveled. It travels down the same path as 65 Days of Static, the path that fuses together post-rock with electronica and doesn't apologize for the rough edges. Now if we can just convince more bands to do something similar, I could retire a happy man.
-Jordan Volz (Review)


Max Richter | Songs From Before
England

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Max+Richter

The CD has a few piano lead pieces, which are very like Sylvain Chauveau’s music, but it is mostly made up of more ambient/experimental string based tracks that obviously draw heavily from artists such as Brian Eno. There are also occasional spoken pieces in these songs, read by psychedelic/free jazz musician Robert Wyatt...the album is excellent.
- Ian Nicholls (Review)


Mountains in the Sky | Accipio
Australia

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Mountains in the Sky

Right from the outset, it is patently clear that Mountains In The Sky's music is, well, just a little unusual...Having listened to Accipio, it soon becomes apparent - quite unexpectedly - just how appropriate this 'psychexotic-beatronica' label is for Mountains In The Sky. Even in the course of the five tracks - which all merge seamlessly and could easily represent, as intended, five parts of the same song - a variety of crazy styles are successfully employed.
- Richard White (Review)


My Education | Moody Dipper
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: My Education

These opening strains are Anoice style classical music; and it turns out this EP is a bit of a blinder. Seemingly now set in a sound which I would describe as a blend of Esmerine and Grace Cathedral Park, the not-so-famous sons of Austin have learned to not smash the hell out their drums and end all their tracks in feedback. The new material all shows a movement toward a more refined, structured sound – not a complete change in direction by any means – but a definite progression. A progression that I for one welcome, and I hope is built upon, or at least carried forward, into future recordings.
-Ian Nicholls (Review)


North | Siberia
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: North

Siberia isn't the most original piece of music created in 2006, but for a debut release the passion and brutality of the music turns a few heads. Reports of the live show are nothing less than spectacular, and these two things in combination generally lead to a worthwhile debut album. With a full length due next year, this is a band to watch.
-Jordan Volz

Once We Were | Contra
Sweden

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Once We Were

Contra comes in two parts: one part premeditated and one with an improvisational backbone. The former does well for itself, as Once We Were concentrates on what it does best -- writing small, energetic songs with hints of jazz incorporated into the fold. The latter, while novel, doesn't match up with the first disc, and while that stays true to the theme of the album ("Contra"), it doesn't necessarily mean it was a great idea to begin with. You can't oversell cohension these days.
-Jordan Volz

Ratatat | Classics
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Ratatat

Initially, the album gives the impression of being a stylistically clear continuation of the band's earlier self-titled release, most obviously, because it sounds similar to it. But being that Ratatat’s sound is definitely distinctive in the realm of indie and electronica, this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, there doesn’t seem to be as many memorable moments on Classics in comparison with its debut, which is upsetting... To Ratatat’s credit, they have managed to sound quite unlike anything else out there.
- David Fisher (Review)


Red Sparowes | Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Red Sparowes

While their songwriting continues to be a tad on the predictable side, some new flares have been brought in, and a fluidity not found previously is present here. Many of the tracks tend to concentrate more on the mellower parts of the Red Sparowes’ arsenal, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering their heavier passages tend to fall a little flat.
-Nick Brandt (Review)


Rosolina Mar | Before and After Dinner
Italy

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Rosolina Mar

So there you have it, my first post-rock breakdancing experience; people throwing themselves around on the floor, uncontrollably, I might add, to instrumental punk-funk; some of the most exciting, urgent, fresh and invigorating post-rock I’ve heard in fucking ages, I will add. It’s the kinda shit that not only gets parties started, but demolishes your makeshift dance floor and hooks you up with the hot bird in the Caspian T-shirt in the process. And you know when she’s shaking it, even white boys got to shout…
-Alex Bradshaw (Review)


Ryan Teague | Coins & Crosses
England

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Ryan Teague

Teague's follow-up to last year's Six Preludes is about as cinematic as they come. Six Preludes was praised for its fusion of electronic and acoustic worlds, which Teague was strayed away from somewhat in Coins and Crosses. The album is a mix of emotions, ranging from euphoric highs to ghastly depressing lows, all the while presiding over the cinematic importance of the music. This is moving music; Teague excells at guiding the listener through his shimmering world.
-Jordan Volz

The Screaming Eagles | Enemy Gold
Canada

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Screaming Eagles

In a year almost wholly dominated by depressing instrumental music, albums like Enemy Gold are a diamond in the rough.The Screaming Eagles take a poppier route to success ("Doo doo doo doo") and recall images of that charming band Ellis the Vacuumchild. I don't think I've ever felt so good about myself than when I'm listning to Emeny Gold.
-Jordan Volz


Shogun Kunitoki | Tasankokaiku
Finland

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Shogun Kunitoki

The Helsinki based quartet Shogun Kunitoki was formed in 1998, almost 8 years before unleashing their debut full length Tasankokaiku. During this time, the four electrochemists have been fine tuning their trance inducing potion made up of many sounds, from computer game blips to analog synths and washes of static noise. Their time spent locked away in the laboratory was well worth it, as the pieces they have conjured are blissful, interesting, and ethereal, now finally available for ingestion by the masses.
-Nick Brandt (Review)


Solitary Extraction | Tape Deck Orchestra
Canada

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Solitary Extraction

Brad Weber, of the now defunct Winter Equinox, offers up what is perhaps one of the most schizophrenic collections of songs this years. From track to track there's no telling what Weber will unleash on the listener, except his has a penchant for the glockenspeil. Sometimes acostic, sometimes electronic, Tape Deck Orchestra is a wild ride with a multitude of approaches to instrumental layerings. Impressive, to say the least.
-Jordan Volz


The Timeout Drawer | Alone
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: The Timeout Drawer

The Timeout Drawer have fashioned material of staggering splendour. The precise arrangement transcends the genre, catapulting monotonous stereotypes into the stratosphere; when “Man Must Breathe” separates from its melancholic intro into a soaring electro-fuzz monster, your jaw won’t so much as drop but disconnect from your face completely. That’s not to say that the rest of the record follows suit. The ambient interlude, the recovery period, that succeeds the opening cavalcade, “Women And Children Line The Rocky Shore”, emphasizes the flowing nature of the disc. To pick tracks as standalone experiences would destroy the beguilement that the band have created, the aural aesthetic that resonates so vividly; disrupting this flow would not give the EP the credit it so rightly deserves.
-Alex Bradshaw (Review)


Unfortunaut | Of Here and Now
United States

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Unfortunaut

While conducting their business sans vocals, the band brings a more pummeling approach to the classic instrumental rock formula, with satisfying results...Another impressive outfit from the windy city, slowly becoming the hellish underbelly of the instrumental rock scene. I, for one, cannot wait to be suffocated by the immanent full length these lads are brewing in their cavern.
-Nick Brandt (Review)


Yasushi Yoshida | No Freeway, No Plan, No Trees, No Ghosts
Japan

The Silent Ballet Wiki: Yasushi Yoshida

Yasushi Yoshida shares a label with World's End Girlfriend, but the comparisons don't extend much further than that. Sure, both take an interest in classical music, but WEG is a grating, experimental project, and Yoshida is almost purely traditional. Fans of Max Richter and Johann Johannsson will salivate at Yoshida's compositions -- there is little not to like.
-Jordan Volz


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