Playlist.

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Luca D'Alberto, Nicole Mitchell, Matt Mitchell, The Necks, Merzbow, 'Moana,' and other striking sounds heard lately at Night After Night HQ.

Early Audition: ACME, Thrive on Routine

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Listen to an exclusive preview of a gorgeous John Luther Adams piece included on 'Thrive on Routine,' the forthcoming album by New York's much admired ensemble ACME on the consistently impressive audiophile label Sono Luminus.

Playlist.

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Víkingur Ólafsson, Syrinx, Tanner Porter, Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School, Dana Jessen, and other striking sounds heard lately at Night After Night HQ.

Playlist.

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Kelly Moran, Nordic Affect, ACME, Morbid Angel, Linda Catlin Smith, and other stirring sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.

Heavenly rhetoric: Oracle Hysterical meets New Vintage Baroque.

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The Passionate Pilgrim, a new collaboration between composer-performer collective Oracle Hysterical and period-instruments ensemble New Vintage Baroque, is a fascinating Baroque-pop song cycle based on mostly debunked Shakespeare, coming soon on VIA Records and at National Sawdust January 21.

Playlist.

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The Nels Cline Singers, Alex Cline Ensemble, Steve Lacy Trio, Craig Taborn, Mark Dresser Seven, and other stirring sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.

Linda Catlin Smith and other timbres from Canada.

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A recording of Dirt Road, a gorgeous, austere 70-minute, 15-movement work by the Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith on the label Another Timbre, landed on my year-end Best of 2016: Noteworthy Recordings list. Now, welcome news: In February 2017, Another Timbre will launch a Canadian Composers Series with a two-disc collection of works by Smith and four further volumes.

On the Nature of Rabbit Holes

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Wondering whatever happened to a favorite jazz indie label from years gone by prompts a web search that yields unanticipated discoveries: excellent new music representing a vital young scene.

Playlist.

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Jaap van Zweden, Skylark Quartet, Eve Risser White Desert Orchestra, Karel Husa, Rudy Royston Trio, and other stirring sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.

Best of 2016: Noteworthy Recordings

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Trying to tally the year's "best" recordings is a thankless task, not least because there's no realistic chance anyone has heard everything.… every listener's taste is individual, and focus can be contingent upon situation. All of which said, the following lists comprise the new recordings and archival projects that impressed and moved me most in 2016, with an appendix of still more albums that brightened this year.