UnderMusic - A selection of Obscure Albums - Vol 01

October 6, 2020 || #UnderMusic

There are tens of thousands of albums to listen to. Some are cult and monumental, but a lot more went under the radar, being more "obscure."

As an explorer of music who goes on a daily basis to discover new stuff and a like for finding niche/obscure albums. I wanted to share some. Here's a first selection of six albums I really enjoy. 🎵

But before, how do I consider an album "Obscure" ?

An album may not have the same level of "underground" for everyone, "Mainstream" listeners can deem an album obscure whereas people liking the scene this album comes from may say it's a cult and very popular album. I had to make a decision and decided to choose albums who had less than 100 ratings on the website RateYourMusic.com. It can be a little biased but I had to choose a criterona of obscurity.

L.O.T.I.O.N - World Wide W.E.B (2019)

Genres : Digital Hardcore / Hardcore Punk / Synth Punk

How to make Cyberpunk music without leaning on Synthwave aesthetics? My answer would be this album by New York hardcore band LOTION. This album compiles noisy cybernetic sounds with very anti-war messages and crazy unique aesthetics. The guitars are sometimes so bit crushed they sound like a dying terminator but it contributes to the very cybernetic dystopian, thanks also to the effects on the vocals.

Cosmosquad - Cosmosquad (1997)

Genres : Jazz Fusion / Jazz-Rock / Jazz-Funk

Fusing Jazz Fusion with Instrumental Prog is a match made in heaven for me, so when I came across this album, I was instantly bound to listen to this. Jeff Kollman, leader and guitarist of the group delivers great riff work, helped by bassist Barry Sparks who delivers some stellar work. This album is the debut of the band, and the only is this style, as the band went on making more Prog Rock and Prog Metal stuff later on. Still, this album is a gem.

Paul Desmond - Summertime (1969)

Genres : Bossa Nova / Jazz

Cool, soothing and relaxing Jazz perfect as background music for doing nothing on a Sunday afternoon. This album is, for me, an entry level album of Jazz for people curious to try it out but "afraid" of the wild experimentations some artists can involve in their projects. While being very calm, this album also has some upbeat moment here and there, thanks to all the musicians involved in this album.

Genres : Dark Ambient / Industrial / Field Recordings

Cryo Chamber is a major label of Dark Ambient, founded by Simon Heath (Atrium Carceri/Sabled Sun), and this label got amazing taste for artists. But Aegri Somnia's "Monde Obscure" is by far one of the scariest album of this genre I've heard. A bleak, dark and extremely gloomy atmosphere envelops this album and makes you feel like you're lost in a giant abandoned skyscraper after a sinister disaster and you can feel the darkness of the haunted place. It's not for everyone, but it's a damn great album.

Artus - Ors (2016)

Genres : Gascon Folk Music, Rock in Opposition

Hailing from Pau in France, this family band feels like a fusion pure Gascon folklore with the experimentations and complexity of bands such as King Crimson. But it's also more than that, there's a lot of musical influences I feel while listening this album. From Post-Rock with the alternacies of calm and musical blasts and the Noise Rock-ish production. Constantly shifting and evolving this album truly feels like a living creature, the "ors" (bear in occitan) watches you from the forest, waiting for you to dare enter his realm.

HAH - Hypercut (2018)

Genres : Avant-Garde Metal, Mathcore, Breakcore, Noisecore

Right at the first second of the opener of this album "Jean-Pierre" you know this album is going to be a tough ride. Supersonic speed bass and chaotic breakcore-like drums through the whole 42 minutes. You really can't see where the next track is going to sound like... Extremely good instrumentation work and technique shown, whether it's about the vocals, the drums, the saxophone the... rubber ducks ? You name it, this album is, as a comment said "Igorrr on crack, and when you know what Igorrr can craft, you can barely imagine this amazing album without any listening.

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