Mem1: +1

You tend to assume that you're venturing into the outer reaches of abstract experimentalism when artist names and album titles start to resemble lines of machine code. But while you wouldn't exactly describe Mem1's third CD as populist, it does demonstrate that rigorous methodology needn't always produce militant austerity. Mem1's recorded works can be characterised as a series of dialogues between the cello explorations of Laura Cetilia and the electronic manipulations of her husband Mark, and +1 opens up their conversation to a series of third parties. The music is unquestionably enriched as a result. Collaborators include Jan Jelinek and Erik Carlson (aka Area C), whose guitar creeps and probes with tremulous delicacy. But although the mood is largely meditative, there's no shortage of variety — Jeremy Drake's massed, layered scrapings and Frank Bretschneider's splintered pulse both add welcome measures of astringency. -Chris Sharp

The Wire (2009)