Exactly what it says above, really. Alex might do one too if you ask him nicely.
Considering I run a Creative Commons label, it’s perhaps a little odd that none of these were released on something similar (of course, RoR releases would feature heavily in this list)- and the lack of links to similar projects is one of the key weaknesses of RoR, and something we hope to rectify soon (yup, that links section might even be done).
Anyway, without further ado here’s what I’ve enjoyed this year…
Evangelista- Hello, Voyagers
Oh yes! A dark, buzzing, deliciously hysterical (hysteria= madness of the womb) album from Carla Bozulich and co that sounds like nothing else I’ve ever heard. Fucked-up jazz, clattering improv, heavy metal skronk and the most incredible vocal performance of the year. A startlingly personal- and startlingly political album that, when you listen carefully, calls for something radically different, radically better. Hysteria as the motor for political change. An album that’s truly changed me.
Four Tet- Ringer
Alex always does the writing about electronic releases on RoR because I haven’t got a clue where to start. This is techno, right (cos of the bpm, yeah?), but it’s also trance (at least, it’s trance-inducing). Whatever- it’s got the art of euprohic, 4/4 minimalism down to a treat.
Valerio Cosi- Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock
Saxophone ragas, motorik opuses, free jazz wig outs and electronic manipulation par excellence. A sense of beatific delirium underpins the whole album. Cosi’s only 24 as well. Remarkable!
Religious Knives- The Door
Strident psych/art-rock with Nico-esque vocals and much underlying darkness. I’ve only listened to it twice- neither time carefully- so I can’t write too much, but it’s really grabbed me.
Thee Silver Mt.Zion Memorial Orchestra- 13 Blues for 13 Moons
Abandons the sacred harp singing, Jewish folk and chamber music influences and goes for a full on rock hoedown. Achieves the old ASMZ trick of being beautiful, desperate, sad and hopeful all at the same time: a tiny beacon of hope permeating through to the darkest times.
Philip Jeck- Sand
Haunt-o-logical. The finest album of vinyl manipulation I’ve heard (and nowhere near as cold as that descriptor implies).
Lovvers- Think EP
Snotty, abrasive punk but with a great ear for a melody and a nicely terrible 60s psych/surf production. You’ll be humming bits all day. Lovvers related release to come on RoR in 2009!
July Skies- The Weather Clock
Inspired by postwar utopianism (New Towns, The Festival of Britain), personal memories (holidays to Wales by Train) and Slowdive’s Pygmalion. Beautifully haunting, and my favourite artwork of the year.
Eric Chenaux- Sloppy Ground
Gentle, woozy psych-folk with some excellent guitar wig outs and lovely lyrics.
Teenage Panzerkorps- Games for Slaves
Lofi, teutonic post-punk from San Francisco. Everything I like about The Fall without everything I don’t like about The Fall. Dark and at once repulsive and seductive like an East German block of flats.
Cloudland Canyon- Lie In Light
High Places- The Storm
Lords- Everything Is People
So’eza- 7 Obstacles
Hercules & Love Affair- ST
Antony & the Johnsons- Another World EP
Final- Dead Air
DISAPPOINMENTS, BUT WITH THEIR MOMENTS…
Mercury Rev- Snowflake Midnight
Fuck Buttons- Street Horrsing
British Sea Power- Do You Like Rock Music?
I STILL HAVEN’T HEARD BUT WILL POSSIBLY LIKE…
Fennesz- The Black Sea
The Dead Science- Villainaire
David Byrne & Brian Eno- Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
The Lindstrom album
Nomo- Ghost Rock
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy- Lie Down In The Light (well, I’ve only listened to it once so I can’t pass judgement yet)
Gang Gang Dance- Saint Dymphna
Atlas Sound- Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
Metronomy- Nights Out
School of the Seven Bells- Alpinisms
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Advisory Circle – Other Channel