Backtracking Andy Vaz
Spotlight 2

Balam Acab
Blue Sausage Infant
Steve Brand
Harold Budd
Causa Sui
Cosmin TRG
Ricardo Donoso
Paul Eg
Roman Flügel
Emmanuelle Gibello
Greie Gut Fraktion
Gurun Gurun
Chihei Hatakeyama
Saito Koji
Tobias Lilja
Martin & Wright
Jasmina Maschina
Nickolas Mohanna
The OO-Ray
A Produce & Loren Nerell
Jody Redhage
The Mark Segger Sextet
Sub Loam
The Teknoist
To Destroy A City
Damian Valles
Andy Vaz

Compilations / Mixes
Audible Approaches
Dave Clarke
Marcel Fengler
Jamie Jones
Kompakt Total 12
Damian Lazarus
Soma Records—20 Years
Stilnovo Sessions Vol. 1

A Wake A Week
James Blackshaw + Scaffolding
Fabio Orsi
Pleq & Anna Rose Carter
Pleq & Lauki
Pascal Savy
Dirk Serries
Jeffrey Wentworth Stevens
David Tagg
Mano Le Tough
Simon Whetham

To Destroy A City: To Destroy A City

Not inaccurately, n5MD itself suggests listeners might be tempted to draw analogies between To Destroy A City and kindred n5MD acts Lights Out Asia and port-royal. Certainly To Destroy A City tills a similar field to its label brethren, though the blend of shoegaze and post-rock the Chicago-based trio's issued on its self-titled debut album holds up very well on its own terms, thank you very much. It's got all of the epic drama and guitar-laced atmosphere one associates with those genres, and one comes away from the recording impressed by how accomplished the album's emotive set-pieces are for such a relatively new band. A typical piece assembles reverb-heavy guitar lines, electric piano, synth washes, electronic beat progamming, and live drumming into a stately setting of about six minutes duration, making “Narcotic Sea,” a dramatic slow-builder that climaxes in a rush of guitar-drums-and-electric piano splendour, a representative example of the band's music.

With eight pieces clocking in at forty-one minutes, the album's succinct, too, as the group times the individual pieces wisely—neither too short nor too long, each sticks around long enough to convincingly make its case before ceding the stage to its successor. Often mournful and melancholy in tone, the album's tracks nevertheless convey measured hopefulness and uplift as they work towards their oft-soaring resolutions. To Destroy A City is thoughtfully sequenced, too, with the album following a clear trajectory that begins with the stately “Metaphor,” where sparse piano chords and atmospheric guitar peals establish a melancholy mood, and then carries on into “The Marvels of Modern Civilization,” an New Order-esque jaunt that offers a counterpoint to the brooding character of the other tracks. In keeping with its title, the penultimate “Goodbye, Dear Friend” is understandably elegiac, while the closing “March” works a bit of Sigur Ros-like grandeur into its intensifying attack. For the record, though Andrew Welch (drums, synths, programming), Jeff Anderson (guitar, keyboards), and Michael Marshall (guitar) only formally pooled their respective talents in the summer of 2010, the refined product of their labours sounds like the work of a band that's been together much longer.

October 2011