Instrumental and experimental albums sizzle 

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The fall’s onslaught of pop shouldn’t drown out the arrival of some tasty experimental and instrumental albums. Norwegian avant-gardist Jenny Hval, who has visited genres from dissonant EDM to psychedelia, melds the wordplay of 1980s-era Laurie Anderson with the serious intent of Holly Herndon to create a divine treatise, The Practice of Love (Sacred Bones Music). Hval’s lyricism in “Ashes to Ashes” and the title track is breathtaking.

The Massachusetts free ensemble behind the cultural insurgent group Anti-Naturals, Idea Fire Company, are back after a hiatus with the quiet but intense The Light That Never Ceases to Fail (Feeding Tube Records). The last two IFCO records featured pianist Karla Borecky in chamber-ensemble works; here she, Scott Foust and Mike Popovich sound like a late-night jazz club trio.

For jazz mixed with heavy psychedelia, see two companion works by the Swedish jazz trio Elephant9, Psychedelic Backfire I & II (Rune Grammofon), with the second disc featuring guitarist Reine Fiske. As with heavy fusion rock in previous decades, these performances are perfect for those who like jazz smooth and raucous at the same time.


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