My Education and Ross Major LPs, and other treats from Haute Magie

It's been a good while since I reviewed a post-rock album, so this seems like a good place to pick up. My Education hail from Austin, Texas, and have apparently been playing together for ten years plus. I was reluctant to listen to this at first, not liking the name of the band or the name of the album, but I tossed my ignorant preconceptions aside and listened to some of this, and was pretty impressed. It's not groundbreaking or original in the overcrowded post-rock scene - instrumental post-rock with the addition of classical instrumentation and ambient overtones - but the songs are well-written, well-played, and quite gorgeous. Honestly, quite powerful and nearly overwhelmingly intense at times. There's a solo in the title track that blew me away and got me up out of my seat. They know how to rock - that much is for sure - but they also know to exercise restraint, letting their instruments breathe just enough, and at the right times to give the songs the space they need to move the listener. This would be a contender for post-rock album of the year if there weren't a new Godspeed album out, but hey, second to Godspeed is pretty lofty territory anyway. This will be available on vinyl (five different colors), cassette, and CD. For more information, and to stream a couple tracks, go here.

Bathaus is a band that I know absolutely nothing about, but when Haute Magie puts a record out, it's generally a good indication that the band is doing something right. That turned out to be the case here. I still don't know anything about the band, but I know I like what I've heard of this weird, weird tape. And weird may be an understatement. Cut-up fragments of all kinds of weird instrumentation going on here - heavy synthesizers, sparse and dark electronics, vocals high on reverb, and some heavy beats provide quite a mess to wade through. But the mess is pretty trippy, and pretty good. The first press of the ARCANE|||CUT tape sold out, so Haute Magie is on to a second press. Definitely check out the samples here, and grab the tape before the second press sells out as well.

I've got to be honest, I don't know anything about Rome's Mushy, either, but the stream I've heard of the B-side of this forthcoming 7" is pretty rad. She describes herself as "a trip into a dark wood on heroin" and after listening to the track, that seems to be an accurate way to describe what's going on here. Stream the track here, and get more info here.

And while it is by no means new, I've been spinning this record a lot lately, and have somehow neglected tell you all about it. It's called Horatio Hymns, by folk artist Ross Major. This record here is absolutely essential for anyone that's into folk music, especially if you like your folk music with lots of psychedelia and touches of drone throughout. But don't take my word for it - stream the album and read a little bit about what's behind it here, and let yourself be carried away by a great record that few people talked about. A true diamond in the rough.

All of these, as well as many other fine recordings, can be ordered from our friends at Haute Magie.

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