12.30.2009

"It's All Happening!"



12.27.2009

2009: five

...and more things i liked.

Real Estate 7"s, CDR and EP


an astonishingly strong batch of straightforward back porch rock n roll tunes. the mixes / recording quality of the songs on the 7"s and tour CDR just feel more vital and alive than the versions found on the full-length. the Reality EP is a solid cap to a big year for a great band. really good live show too.

Modern Love (and related)

it has been fun following the Modern Love stable this year and catching up on some of the better things i've missed. Move D, MLZ, Claro Intelecto, Andy Stott, Pendle Coven, Millie & Andrea and HATE...a really, really strong lineup (just nevermind Demdike Stare). always tuneful, often very deep, and regularly bringing a warm (but never overbearing) sense of nostalgia. get familiar here.

Peaking Lights / Indra Dunis & Aaron Coyes / Good Style Shop

a great band made up of two great people who run a great store in the great city of madison. expect continued greatness in the near future. check them out here or here or track them down on facebook.

Ceephax

really got into Ceephax earlier this year. what Andy is doing right now is by and large more fun and more listenable than what his brother Tom (Squarepusher) is up to (although Numbers Lucent was quite good). looking forward to United Acid Emirates next year. visit him here.

Fripp & Eno

man are those albums good.

this scene from Dark Star:


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and i think that'll wrap things up for this year. if you have any thoughts or favorites you'd like to share please do.

i'll talk about the decade in a little while, i need to organize my thoughts a bit.

12.26.2009

2009: four

here are a bunch of things i liked in general this past year.

everything Floating Points did

Floating Points is blending / hopping between elements of disco, hip-hop, dubstep, house and whatever else like nobody else working right now. after a year dense with quality releases on Planet µ, Eglo and R2, as well as some very nice remixes (Sebastien Tellier, Basement Jaxx), i almost hope this guy never releases a full length and just keeps making top shelf singles and EPs. check him out here or on facebook

everything Oneohtrix Point Never did

i got deep into everything OPN / Dan Lopatin related this year. Dan's collaborations with others were excellent (Infinity Window, Skyramps). his releases on tape were epic. and Rifts collected 3+ LPs worth of transcendental material spanning back to 2003, emptying the archives as it were and leaving things open wide for fresh changes in the future. not to mention a dvd full of stuff like this:

dan exists on the web here and his skull theft blog will mess with your brain.

tapes

there was just so much from so many labels, i kind of have to group it all together. releases from:

- Rene Hell / Secret Abuse / Marble Sky / Mare / Disfigure Mare
- Earn (probably my favorite artist working right now / favorite discovery of this year)
- Earth Station
- Color Dream
- Rale
- Infinite Body
- Terrors
- Bryter Layter
- Raglani
- Mark Lord
- Work/Death
- Flower Man
- Face Worker
- Exercise
- Treetops
(among others)

on labels like:

- Ekhein
- Young
- Arbor
- Callow God / Agents of Chaos
- Cavelife
- Monorail Trespassing
- Catholic
- Night People
(among others)

the scene is just swelling with new stuff all the time but i feel like i have my favorites and i know what i like. that is a nice feeling.

Andrew Broder's series of free releases

in the early part of the year Andy (best known for his work as / playing in Fog) released 10 (!) separate improv-based experiments. varying levels of noise and melody emerge from turntable muck, clouds of guitar pedal dust and tape loop exorcisms. they are still free to download here and you can not be a freeloader like me and paypal him some moneys here.

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stay tuned...

12.23.2009

2009: three

happy holidays planet earth.

here are some more favorite releases.

Infinite Body - CMBCMEINAPTD (Teenage Teardrops)

Clues - Clues (Constellation)

ex-Unicorn Alden Penner and co. arrive to save us from the disaster that has become Islands. lanky and odd at times, thunderous at others, frequently compelling rock tunes.

Ghislain Poirier - Soca Sound System (Ninja Tune)

this sort of came out of nowhere. tried it on a whim and knocked my socks off. a searing blaze of dancehall styles grinding up against juke / ghettotech. knocks it out of the park. and i really dislike most dancehall.

Hudson Mohawke - Polyfolk Dance (Warp)

somehow leagues better than the god-awful tangle that is Butter despite being released in the same year. slick neon shining beats and punchy tunes. it's no wonder dude's being tapped for big-name production.

Secret Abuse - The Immeasurable Gift (Arbor)

Abe Vigoda - Reviver (Post Present Medium)

Rale - Whispering Gallery (Arbor)

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still more coming...

12.18.2009

2009: two

here are a bunch of releases i liked. not too much stuff that totally knocked me for a loop but there was never a lack of something interesting to be had. a lot of favorites from last year returning, it seems...

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion (Domino)

let's just get it out of the way up top. i might feel differently about it years down the line but this year this album just sounds really good. hooks and brightness and depth and everything. "Brothersport" sounds like carnivale in the future. and all my friends have heard me say it but i'll say it again here in print: MPP is proof positive that more (if not all) bands should listen to techno.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Ashes Grammar (Mis Ojos Discos)

Lotus Plaza - The Floodlight Collective (Kranky)

i enjoyed this far more than any other Deerhunter-related release this year.

Kevin Drumm - Imperial Horizon (Hospital Productions)

Prurient - Rose Pillar (Heartworm Press)

Few Nolder - New Folder (Planet µ)

while this LP does recycle some tracks from last year (really good tracks at that), it manages to cover a lot of ground and is a fun listen from front to back. also has one of my absolute total favorite songs / musical moments of the year (crank it at 4.50 on "Top," watch your house cave in from bass destruction).

Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country (Kranky)

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saving more for the next post...

12.17.2009

2009: one

i guess it's that time.

let's start with 2009. i will attempt (and fail) to encompass the decade later.

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here are a bunch of songs i liked. most are from this year. some are not.

a lack of comments does not mean i like a song less. i really like all of these songs. it just means i don't have anything particularly insightful to add beyond "i like this song a lot."

Mountains - "Choral"

while Choral is solid as an album, nothing else on the record has the title track's sense of graceful, expansive unfurling.

Boxcutter - "Mya Rave v2"

synth stabs so thick and mighty they should liquefy your brains. one of the more soulful dancefloor blasts to be had this year, irrespective of whatever genre you want to assign it to.

The Radio Dept. - "David"

Washed Out - "Belong"

Tiny Vipers - "Dreamer"

i literally can not sit through all of Life On Earth and its soul-nullifying sadness. heavier and darker than the heaviest, blackest metal if you ask me. "Dreamer" is really beautiful, though, especially the way Jesy sings out in the final moments.

Aphex Twin - "Stone in Focus"

just realized this was not on the CD version of Selected Ambient Works II i've had for years. i feel ashamed to have missed it for so long. new to me, but feels familiar and sounds just...just the best.

Nite Jewel - "What Did He Say"

Donnacha Costello - "Waltz For Chet"
Andy Stott - "Brief Encounter
"

two tracks that share a particular rimclick sound (i'm no pro so i can't say exactly what it is) and a mellow shuffling after-after-hours vibe. lovely.

Tu M' - "Monochrome # 01"

Dog Day - "Rome"

Joker - "Digidesign" and "Snake Eater"

"Snake Eater" is really simple, i will admit. but the way those vocal samples from the hammy, faux-007 theme to MGS3 just...explode...it gets me smiling every time.

Pearson Sound - "PLSN"
2562 - "Third Wave"

these songs seem like they'd go well back to back for two reasons: 1.) both have this sort of warped space organ melody going on and 2.) both have really smart, lively percussion. that woodblock on "PLSN" is so snappy and the snare pops / clicks on "Third Wave" are perfectly timed.

A Made Up Sound - "Rework"

Tanlines - "Power Everything"

DMX Krew - "I'm All Alone (Cylob Remix)"

perpetually rediscovering how fantastic this track is.

Zomby - "Digital Flora" and "Digital Fauna"

despite definite hit and miss tendencies (the hell was the excuse for One Foot Ahead of the Other? is chiptune club material now???), "Digital Flora" and "Digital Fauna" make for an emotive and urgent-feeling match set. something-something-future-noir-step?

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more to come...

12.09.2009

brittle glue


maybe i'll crack it open and try to fix it again someday but for now the contents of this tape are lost to the world.

12.03.2009