100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on AlarmPress.com. Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.

Yoshida Brothers: Cross-Continental Shamisen Fusion

The striking, twangy, percussive sound of the Japanese shamisen has attracted listeners around the world, fascinated by what the slender, three-string instrument can produce. The Yoshida Brothers take risks with the shamisen, meshing a fast, traditional style with rock, bluegrass, and cinematic styles.

Orange Tulip Conspiracy Necessitates Musical Unpredictability

As one of the principal songwriters in Estradasphere, guitarist/composer Jason Schimmel has always loved combining disparate styles in new and jaw-dropping ways. But with Estradasphere on hold and a wealth of solo material, Schimmel now leads Orange Tulip Conspiracy, a similarly constructed but substantially different enterprise.

AlarmPress.com’s 12 Favorite Posts of 2008

As we enter 2009, here is a look back at our favorite posts from last year — including Q&As and interviews with Tuareg freedom singers, Japanese-infused prog metallists, and a regretful folk rapper as well as columns, top-ten lists, Lollapalooza coverage, and our DIY venue spotlight.

Watch God of Shamisen in the Studio for Upcoming Japanese Release

Infusing traditional Japanese sounds with shredding, progressive metal, Tsugaru-shamisen master Kevin Kmetz creates a high-speed cultural collision with his band God of Shamisen.

The group released a phenomenal full-length late this year on Reptile Records, and now Kmetz is working on a major-label release for EMI Japan.

After the jump, you can watch a few exclusive videos of the group in the studio.  Make sure to throw those horns up for the double bass, and be sure to geek out for the Star Wars cover.

Weekly Music News Roundup

The London Sinfonietta celebrates its 40th anniversary with a series of miniature compositions; electro-acoustic madman Dan Deacon unveils a 15-piece live ensemble this week; prog/doom rockers Giant Squid announce details for their upcoming album; Fantômas has been added to Australia’s Big Day Out festival, and much more.

Q&A: God of Shamisen

Led by Tsugaru-shamisen master Kevin Kmetz, Santa Cruz’s God of Shamisen creates cultural collisions in the form of shredding, Japanese-infused progressive metal. Scott Morrow catches up with Kmetz and bassist/producer Mark Thornton on the heels of the group’s full-length debut release.