releases

2018 Favorites

I started with paragraphs then realized I'll only tolerate fragments.

These are my favorite albums this year:

Andrew Cyrille - Lebroba (ECM)

Frisell's the perfect complement to Smith's lead voice.

Autechre - NTS Sessions (Warp Records)

8 hours manifold Autechre; gonks stand out

Black Thought - Streams of Thought (1&2) (Human Re Sources)

Ninth hard loops, Remi soul songs, Black Thought super solid; replayable

Busdriver - Electricity Is on Our Side (Temporary Whatever)

sprawling but connected dots; hard to choose highlights; creative/dense with ideas

ERP - Afterimage (Forgotten Future)

nothing new but perfect

Helios - Veriditas (Ghostly International)

become alpine vapor in morning glow

Hprizm - Magnetic Memory (Don Giovanni Records)

I need an Asia remix with everyone on it.

Ian William Craig - Thresholder (130701)

voice as artifact, voice as endless presence

International Contemporary Ensemble, Anna Thorvaldsdottir - AEQUA (Sono Luminus)

textures, breaths, ancient melodies, heaviest sounds

anyone have 9.1?

Jakob Bro - Bay of Rainbows (ECM)

beautiful surfaces, depths and melodies; evening song most memorable from show

Jerry Quickley - (american) FOOL (Temporary Whatever)

word and sound in inventive, expressive mesh of stories

Low - Double Negative (Sub Pop)

very cool sound/style; seems everyone liked this

M. Geddes Gengras - Light Pipe (ROOM40)

echoes, FAX, mystery, space, ocean, endless

Myra Melford's Snowy Egret - The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12 Records)

captivating interplay

Oliver Coates - Shelley's on Zenn-la (RVNG Intl.)

great beats and textures, like this direction, plaid moments, where was this on lists

Skee Mask - Compro (Illian Tape)

beautiful detailed production, plenty of easy references (BoC, LTJ); does loving this over, say, safe in the hands of love (or a handful of others I could name) make me old?

Sylvie Courvoisier Trio - D'Agala (Intakt Records)

awesome trio, love the tidal crescendos of activity, when can I see live

Yves De Mey - Bleak Comfort (Latency)

best sound stories... Actually this one in particular has me thinking a bit on the topic of logic/functionality in music and composition, extending a bit to the arts and thinking/culture in general. Perhaps I'll take a moment to post this musing in a couple of weeks (probably not).

5 Favorite Performances

I'm amazed by how many shows I failed to attend from my calendar. In any case...

  • Ojai everything... maybe With Abandon?
  • Zorn/Anderson/Riley @ The Chapel (possibly somewhat for the fact of it, though it was great)
  • Saul Williams & Mivos Quartet @ Ford Theatre
  • Julian Lage Trio @ Lodge Room
  • Estonian Phil. Chamber Choir & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra @ Royce Hall (Adam's Lament++)

final installment

and one of these might appear in my next post

Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music (1980-1990) (Light in the Attic)

The title says it. Great compilation, comes with a great book. Nice package.

Get it

.

Joël Grare - Des pas sous la neige (Alpha)

Want more bells? Do you like bells? I like bells. Would you like to see George Wendt playing the bells? Well hell's bells, somebody had to do it. This is also cool.

ERP - Afterimage (Forgotten Future)

mastercraft

3 unlike

HTRK - Dying of Jealousy (Ghostly International)

HTRK is better each time.

space, delays, tones, need more

Anna Thorvaldsdottir & ICE - AEQUA (Sono Luminus)

light dark ice air dread serenity and breathing and breathing IDK but likely AOTY group so will have to think of more

Yuja Wang - The Berlin Recital (DG)

the LA concert was canceled, so at least I have this

also, while she obvs. has a fanbase, I feel like YW is the most-hated musician on social media..."

home stretch or almost

soon it'll be December

not sure how I'll find time to go over everything

Shad - A Short Story About War (Secret City Records)

less and less interest in most rap, but this is actually interesting

favorite: The Revolution/The Establishment (especially the establishment)

Andrew Cyrille - Lebroba (ECM)

Cyrille, Smith and Frisell sound great together. The music is textural and contemplative but also melodic, which is an attempt at saying something but could really describe any music that's not hyperactive and has pitches. "Really nice."

Demdike Stare - Passion (Modern Love)

tear it apart, send it a signal-fed gate, rip it up. there's definitely still life here. curious about the cover. murk

Alexander Lonquich - Schubert 1828 (Outhere Music)

"total dedication to schubert"

Richard Devine - Sort/Lave (Timesig)

a welcome album return, sounds torn to shreds, from the sculptural to the track/narrative-oriented. Off-topic, but I loved that Lipswitch jacket back in high school.

Saloli - The Deep End (Kranky)

new age lullaby keyboard jams

Myra Melford's Snowy Egret - The Other Side of Air (Firehouse 12 Records)

A+ come to LA

Ian William Craig - Thresholder (Fat Cat Records)

grainy noisy patchy emotive edge

a bunch

M. Geddes Gengras - Light Pipe

trip and trip

longtime

Subtle Degrees - A Dance that Empties (New Amsterdam)

Hypnotic sax & drum patterns from Travis Laplante & Gerald Cleaver.

Witnessed without knowledge of the project at Blue Whale a few weeks ago and was transported.

Yes, that’s all acoustic/played.

Forest Drive West - Apparitions (Livity Sound)

oh, right, I love techno, I forgot

just the essentials

Vril - Anima Mundi (Delsin)

speaking of which

Delsin redo

some unbeatable repetitive blissouts

Hotel Neon - Means of Knowing (ARCHIVES)

and speaking of blissing

Kenny Segal - Happy Little Trees

vibe. man behind some of the best//\\on his own

Eli Keszler - Stadium (Shelter Press)

very cool percussion, pads, bass

this morning listening to it again in the car I was thinking “this clicky thing right now reminds me of the drummer at the oneohtrix point never show on monday,” and now that I’m looking up a few background pieces of information that won’t really inform what’s here anyway I see this: "whilst this year he has toured with Oneohtrix Point Never’s MYRIAD live show”

so yeah, that's the guy

that was a pretty strange show btw... and (of course) completely different from the Stone show... but I guess that was 7 years ago

2quick

Fatima - And Yet It's All Love (Eglo Records)


like the songs and production. songs

Quatuor Voce - Itinéraire (Alpha)


really enjoyable / interesting quartet music pointing to/from different directions. alpha has been great

a bunch of stuff finally

If I followed my normal rules I'd still be stuck in revisions, but I adjusted the flow to clear some items out.
Some favorites.

Helios - Veriditas (Ghostly International)


Hey guys, let's make some gorgeous music.
Ok, cool, sounds good.

This One (ECM)


Three great musicians on an intimate recording. Beautiful, (mostly) calm music that intensifies in waves. Can't wait to see them next month.

JK Flesh - New Horizon (Electric Deluxe)


super heavy, lots of grain, has its waterfall moment (to sound like I was born yesterday). really good

Oliver Coates - Shelley's on Zenn-La (RVNG Intl.)


freshers. steps into more dance terrain with a unique sounding album on idm/techno tips but for anyone

Barbara Hannigan & Reinbert de Leeuw - Vienna: Fin de Siècle (Alpha)


Romantic, nature-infused (except for mr G who skips it), star-lit poetry, set to the music of a place and time. Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Zemlinsky, Alma Mahler, Wolf. I might not be aware of this if not for BH's upcoming role but have really enjoyed listens both with and without the translations "in hand." recommend

Low - Double Neative(Sub Pop)


Washes of words, guitar, and textures. I love the weaving of not only melodic motifs but technical / timbral motifs (in the application of filters/distortion etc). Carries a quality that reminds me of some of Sylvain Chauveau's music that I've liked. Apparently I'm late to the show.

not exactly denis lavant

Tim Hecker - Konoyo (Kranky)


brooding and detailed, not as fully-saturated-wash. he's good at {}---[]](

marathons

stephan mathieu - radiance
john zorn - book of beriah

one and then flooded


Great trio. Cool to see it on ECM. Looks like I'm early. How does this stuff get out?
Book LA.
Will be awhile until next time. Flooded with new music + listening inspired by the Chinen book.

oh and I'm bored of the tweet thing

only 2

a few others were very close

Aphex Twin - Collapse (Warp)

scream in car

Sungjae Son - Near East Quartet (ECM)

jazz east rock great

a few

Semblance - Forma (Kranky)


sequencer workouts and washes of wind and piano, deed it

Tord Gustavsen Trio - The Other Side (ECM)


pretty moody goody
I'm early.

Nostrum Grocers - Nostrum Grocers (Ruby Yacht)


great voices and moods, fun to relisten, not always sure what's what. milo and elucid.
I think you mean tonkotsu...

3

Eiko Ishibashi & Darin Gray - Ichida (Black Truffle)

Excellent performance of pads, loops, horns, piano. Textures, rhythms, melodies stretched across the duration...

Jake Muir - Lady's Mantle ()

all the hazy feels you need

Oneohtrix Point Never - The Station ()

fantasy suite

do u evn blie

OZMOTIC - Elusive Balance (Touch)


drones, glitches and sax make it perfect
"I make it perfect."

Pariah - From Here Where We Are (Houndstooth)


Things have come a long way since bass/beat days of Detroit Falls (which was in my 2010 beat mix). We're more in like bee maskish drifto it's good.

Carl Stone - Electronic Music from the Eighties and Nineties (Unseen Worlds)


Another awesome Cstone compilation. Music that bleeds and bends and folds and blends and drifts. Process experiments and time-bending environments.

finally caught up

exm / Mitoma - I/O Disc (Kaer'Uiks)

I love being given recommendations. I love it even more when they're this good. Groans, whines, fractured beats.

Black Thought - Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 (Human Re Sources)

super solid. love that it's vol. 1. A friend last week prompted a discussion of daytona/ye/nasir.... "yes, but..."

John Coltrane - Both Directions at Once (Impulse!)

It's not some rando show bootleg remastered. It's not 12 takes of songs you've already heard. It's a no-joke Classic Quartet session from 1963. Does not disappoint on that heavy promise. Kind of amazing that this fell out the sky (or closet).

The Essential Anthony Braxton: The Arista Years

I'm supposedly not a huge fan of compilations, but I've loved listening to this collection of idiosyncratic, playful, exploratory pieces by Anthony Braxton. It's a more reasonable experience than the previously released "complete" Arista. Braxton's compositions and performances bear the weight of genre and practice influences but break through expected boundaries with confidence. Of course this sax-bass duet would be played this way. Why wouldn't it? The music is able to occupy strange and natural spheres at once. Some of the highlights for me are more obvious pieces: the deterioration and minimalism of 22-M, the power on H-46M, the solo Giant Steps rendition.

Abul Mogard - Above All Dreams (Ecstatic)

Outstanding gorgeous synthjourneymusic.

Busdriver - Electricity is on our Side

So I have about 25 new albums that I'm listening to right now... more than usual, and it will take me awhile to work through them and come up with selects.

In the meantime I've been cheating my usual listening procedures and going back to one in particular.

Busdriver's new album is amazing.

Skee Mask - Compro (Ilian Tape)

This is really good. Techno, D&B, ambient elements all sounding amazing and working together well. Between this and Shred I'm a fan...

the end of an era

I mean... Selections from April.

MAJ Battle of the Bands

wow, bands

Kristjan Randalu - Absence (ECM)


not just sustains and brushes, but tasteful feedback too
It's a warm amalgamation.
winner of the "That Beautiful Chamber Sound" Award

The Nels Cline 4 - Currents, Constellations (Blue Note)


nels cline, julian lage, scott colley, tom rainey
captivating set of songs, from the muscular to the sensitive
winner of the "I Uploaded River Mouth as an Example of a Sound to Go After for this Thing I'm Working on" Award

John Zorn - Insurrection


julian lage, matt hollenberg, kenny grohowski, trevor dunn
winner of the Grand Prize
Notice who's on two of these albums. This one opens with some wild macho mayhem before stepping into sweet Dreamer territory. Comparable to C,C above in its variety but goes further in most directions, perhaps a little less Americana-oriented. From sweet to droned-out to metal-hard to thrashed. It's a wild album. This time when the editor asks if they "really brought it" I won't tell him that the sound was crappy and I couldn't hear anything and I don't recommend ever visiting this venue. I'll tell him, "Yes, they really brought it."

oceans

Félicia Atkinson - Coyotes (Geographic North)


raft down a steaming river of tones, voicebitscrackles, bells

speaking of warmth

Saba - Care for Me (Saba Pivot)


emotional/expressive/interesting throughout
fits w TDE vibes IMO but maybe I just don't get out enough
broken girls

northern exposure

Grouper - Grid of Points (Kranky)


Unloading with less haze and more direct emotion. I think of evocative, bereft [it's not] dreampop.

okay, we can have fun too

Thomas Fehlmann & Terrence Dixon - We Take It From Here (Tresor)


Not your (my) typical austere techno. Develops into something totally fun and infectious. Sounds like it's being played.

In Living the True Gods

Autechre - NTS Sessions 1-4 (Warp Records)


nobody does it better
the greatest
"he's a thot..."
if you only have 8 hours this holiday season,

loner

Lucy Railton - Paradise 94 (Modern Love)

cellomachine

this week's

Electric Indigo - 5 1 1 5 9 3 (Imbalance Computer Music)

crisp, staged, dynamic electronic music

depths and surfaces

Park Jiha - Communion

this is cool. melodies, atmosphere, sounds. music stuff?

I love hearing the expression of instruments with which I'm generally unfamiliar.

Flux Quartet - Michael Hersch: Images from a Closed Ward (New Focus Recordings)

Sustained (a)harmonies, from slowly terrifying to stab-punctuated aggressive/frantic to heartbreaking.

Björk - Arisen My Senses (One Little Indian Records)

Lanark Artefax, Jlin, Kelly Lee Owens. What an awesome suite of refractions of this great song. Would love a 2.5-hour mix of a selection of Bjork remixes.

5+12

Tessela & Lanark Artefax - WHYTBLU01

two great tracks. put these in your set.

The Fear Ratio - Live EP (Skam Records)

cool set of live tracks, love the playful slam of repeating highs on the OOOOOOH that makes little sense out of that frame. ERA sounds like it's from tri repetae, which is great. would enjoy their show.

Dedekind Cut - Tahoe (Kranky)

t'challa on the ancestral plane

Yann Novak - The Future is a Forward Escape into the Past (Touch)

details

Brett Naucke - The Mansion (Spectrum Spools)

dense world

Pierre Henry - Polyphonies (Decca Records)

Excellent retrospective compilation documenting the genius of Pierre Henry. Highly recommended.

quick 5

Jerry Quickley - (american) FOOL (Temporary Whatever)

peel and repeat

Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet - Landfall (Nonesuch)

It's funny how sometimes I'm not inclined to check out what icons are doing because I feel like I've been there... and then I'm reminded. Also interesting to go back to that time and place.

Maelstrom - Alph4 (Central Processing Unit)

goes

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Async - Remodels (Commons)

great reworking. had the chance to lie down for the duration. difficult to choose between itunes classic and whitecap.

and... Victory Lap. can't lie

whysomuch

I've been going through a lot (of music). So many new releases at the start of the year.

Took awhile to rule things out and keep things in.

Good to clear stuff out in time for the feb16 explosion.

these are the most-loved

Metaphors (Selected Soundworks from the Cinema of Apichatpoing Weerasethakul) (Sub Rosa Label)


Engrossing concrete environments teeming with insect buzz and occasional wafts of serene guitar, romantic fragments and upfront pop. Cool highlight of the sound work of these films, of which I've only seen a few.

Sylvie Courvoisier Trio - D'Agala (Intakt Records)


Awesome interplay. Typically exploratory, sometimes heavy, sometimes knotty, always interesting. Great group. Would love to see.

Kit Downes - Obsidian (ECM)


Organ recording. Really cool stuff, from the exalted to the eerie. Had a chance to listen in the dark and get into each instrument. Recommended (redundant).

Matthewdavid - Time Flying Beats (Leaving Records)


What happened to "and now people need some healing?" Heavy in car.

Evidence - Weather or Not (Rhymesayers Entertainment)


Hard beats, great flow. Even some content.

Shuttle358 - Field (12k)


best droneycomputersounds great cover good one

Yves De Mey - Bleak Comfort (Latency)


awesome sound design on heavy rhythm

Natalia Lafourcade - Musas Vol. II (Sony Mexico)


In the words of S.R., "You've done it again."

Favorite Albums

These are my favorite albums of 2017.

Tarkovsky Quartet - Nuit blanche (ECM)


soft and contemplative, moving between the composed and the improvised, hauntingly pretty, drifting through ephemera

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. (TDE)


Sure I might have had enough of a few of the songs on the radio, but it's another great album with songs to immediately enjoy, rapping to relish, content to think about. Another entry in a catalog of outstanding releases that are also broadly popular.

Justin Walter - Unseen Forces (Kranky)


Directional flotation, serenity without stasis. Atmospheric without limiting itself.

Natalia Lafourcade - Musas (Columbia)


These songs are great. The performance is great. Los Macorinos are great. Her live performance was great. The videos are great:

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - On the Echoing Green (Mexican Summer)


das erhabene

Sote - Sacred Horror in Design (Opal Tapes)


electro-acoustic magic

milo - who told you to think??!!?!?!?! (Ruby Yacht)


milo's works are better each time. banks is not the future milo the future

Sylvain Chauveau - Post-Everything (Brocoli)


very electronic music pop

Post-Everything by Sylvain Chauveau

Lee Gamble - Mnestic Pressure (Hyperdub)


d&b+ae?

Kassel Jaeger - Aster (Editions Mego)


Atmospheres, buzz evolutions, interruptions, darkness. Kind of scary. That release with Jim O'Rourke was also a good one.

Open Mike Eagle - Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music Group)


I appreciate the layers and ambiguities, listening to it again and making more of it, reading interviews and making more of it. Some great quietly-spoken, close-mic moments.

Anouar Brahem - Blue Maqams (ECM)


quiet fire, need live, Y2B

Claire M Singer - Fairge (Touch Records)


where was this in the blade runner movie

Bjork - Utopia (One Little Indian)


blissing me

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