I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago (maybe longer) on how I sometimes really like to listen to songs sung in languages I don’t understand. I think I’d rather not know what the lyrics mean than to hear them and be disappointed that they don’t do the music justice. I’ve been listening to a lot of music in foreign languages recently, but also a lot of instrumental music and things that fall somewhere in-between.

I will now attempt to describe these sounds.

Azhrak : Below the Arctic Ocean
– This is a single track of keyboard based atmospherica, which really works on several levels and which suggests should a full-length work appear at some point it will be rather special.

Death by Panda : One Fifteen Four Four (direct download link) – This is the followup to “House Made of Glass”. It’s got less vocals, but still works on most of the levels that it’s predecessor operates in.

Kouki : Revolute
– I don’t know what to make of this group. They have recorded hours of music, mostly in huge blocks of sound like this. I would describe “Revolute” as mainly ambient music, and very worth listening to, but don’t expect everything else they have recorded to be either of these things. I’m considering putting together a CD of some of their shorter works to see if they make more sense in bite-sized chunks which I suspect they will.

Saint-Jean : Zikophren – The new album from my favourite French group is a bit of a departure, in that it actually moves beyond the Chanson sound they have trademarked into something a little more modern. Feedback lurks under the surface of a couple of tracks, and it is a darker and more satisfying album than anything that has gone before.

Tryad : Listen – This is one of the most popular albums on Jamendo, so I thought I’d give it a listen. The first track is amazing, but after that is meanders along and doesn’t really go anywhere. This is a fairly good album, and probably the most professional sounding set of songs I’ve reviewed this week; it just lacks a little soul.

Usta : Pierwszy Pocałunek – Polish progressive jazz with vocals anyone? I like this, but would only listen to it when alone or on headphones. And I can’t even begin to understand what they are singing about which I suspect is a good thing.