Courtship Ritual: Kingdom of Beauty

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Courtship Ritual can be spotted performing their restrained tunes with an equally minimal setup in Brooklyn venues like Baby’s All Right—regularly joined on stage by hired belly dancers whose hypnotic choreography enhance the otherworldly mood. “Kingdom of Beauty” is a particularly poignant track that demonstrates Monica Salazar’s covetable vocal timbre, along with her and guitarist Jared Olmsted’s penchant for augmenting sparseness to great effect. Courtship …

Asante Phenix: Nameless

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Brooklyn’s own Asante Phenix stood out amid a slurry of new acts that this year’s CMJ brought into the city. The MC effortlessly blends witty yet heartfelt bars with buttery smooth vocals on his latest track “Nameless.” A downtempo beat puts Phenix’s vocal range at the forefront of the single, while kaleidoscopic sonic textures create a lush soundscape to get lost in. A must listen …

ASSEMBLE XII: A Sonic Experiment at the Ace Hotel

The avant-garde collective gathers for another explosive, one-of-a-kind performance in NYC

It’s CMJ week in NYC, meaning the streets are flooded with thousands of artists vying for attention. In a festival that offers more music than anyone can possibly endure, avant-garde performance experiment ASSEMBLE puts on a sonic experience like no other. ASSEMBLE, created by Pat Noecker (who performs as an experimental cell phone musician under the name RAFT), is a series of improvisational collaborative round-robins …