Daniel Gregory (Dead Pilot Records)
Some records I enjoyed this year:
Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here?
Teebs – Ardour
Fang Island – Fang Island
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Love Is a Stream
Horseback – The Invisible Mountain
Locrian – The Crystal World
Kyle Bobby Dunn – A Young Persons Guide To…
Lovesliescrushing – Girl. Echo. Sun. Veils.
Infinite Body – Carve Out The Face Of My God
Four Tet – There Is Love In You
Some films I enjoyed this year:
End of Year List:
Kayo Dot ‘Coyote’ – Hydra Head
Perfume Genius ‘Learning’ – Matador
Owen Pallet ‘Heartland’ – Domino
Blue Water White Death – ‘self-titled’ – Graveface
These New Puritans – ‘Hidden’ – Angular Recording Corporation
Current 93 – Baalstorm sings Omega – Coptic Cat
Baby Dee – ‘A Book of Songs for Anne-Marie’ – Drag City
Antony and The Johnsons – ‘Swanlights’ – Secretly Canadian
Sun City Girls – ‘Funeral Mariachi’ – Abduction
Albums that have governed my year, beyond those released within it:
Edward Artemyev – score to Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’.
ASVA – ‘Presences of Absences’ – promotional copy (to be released 2011)
Filastine – ‘Burn It’
Talk Talk – ‘Laughing Stock’
The Smiths – ‘Demos’
Wormsblood – ‘In The Stars’
Michael McLinn – ‘Some Strings Attached’
Kayo Dot – ‘Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue’
Bobby Beausoleil – ‘Lucifer Rising OST’
Gigs of the Year:
Philip Glass, Brighton Dome
The Irrepressibles, Royal Festival Hall
Swans, Concorde 2, Brighton
Parenthetical Girls, The Luminaire, London
Boredoms, Kentish Town Forum, London
Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle, Coil)
Henryck Gorecki (Polish composer of, amongst other sublime things, ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’)
Most listened to right now:
James Blake ‘Limit To Your Love’.
Adrain Dollemore (aka Glockenspiel)
With regard to buying records, it’s been a very quiet year. Infact it has been in general. I really enjoyed ‘The Best of Times’ by Sage Francis and finally got into the first cloudDead album.
Other highlights – Getting back on my feet after a broken leg & dislocated ankle. Two opperations & 16 weeks on crutches.
– Living in my woodcutter’s cottage.
– Raving it up with Ed and the mamouth mdma fuelled walk/adventure home across the Bucks countryside.
– Various gigs playing guitar (but mostly feedback) with Treecreeper.
– Seeing Ed’s first performances as ELTB & feeling very proud of my mate.
– Writting tunes with & the start of the live ELTB band.
Fingers crossed for a more productive 2011 & hopefully some new Glockenspiel music.
ERIC QUACH (PARALLEL LINES/ MAINS DE GIVRE / THISQUIETARMY)
+ Beach House – Teen Dream
+ Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Kollaps Tradixionales
+ Swans – My Father Will Guide You Like a Rope to the Sky
+ Benoit Pioulard – Lasted
+ Emeralds – Does it Look Like I’m Here?
+ Monarch – Sabbat Noir
+ Menace Ruine – The Unions of the Irreconciliables
+ Aun – Black Pyramids
+ Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – The Social Network Soundtrack
+ Interpol – Interpol
+ lovesliescrushing – girl.echo.suns.veils.
+ Year of No Light – Ausserwelt
+ Expo ’70 – The Vanishing World Within
+ Locrian – Territories
+ Celer – Weavings Of A Rapid Disenchantment
– Releasing collaborative vinyl LPs with Scott Cortez & Yellow6.
– Releasing Parallel Lines, Mains de Givre & thisquietarmy albums.
– Ressurecting TQA Recods with the 5 releases of the aural diptych series
– Playing churches in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec & Hamilton, Ontario
– Getting flown to Halifax to perform an art vernissage
– Playing Suoni Per Il Popolo festival
– Playing shows with Monarch!, Noveller, Grouper, Dave Bryant (Godspeed) & various black metal bands…
PASCAL ASSELIN (PARALLEL LINES/ MILLIMETRIK/LE CHAT BLANC ORCHESTRA)
1- Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
2- Maserati – Pyramid of the Sun
3- Girl Unit – Wut
4- Oneohtrix Point Never- Returnal
5- The death of both Jerry Fuchs and Jay Reatard (really sad for the music world)
Oleg Shpudeiko aka heinali
I don’t usually listen much to the newest music, I tend more to listen to the this year’s releases next year or even later. But here are some of them:
Something For a Rainy Day EP by the beautiful Anna Rose Carter
I Drink The Air Before Me by Nico Muhly
Fin d’Hiver by M e m ó r
Myla by Aiode
How They Are by the Peter wonderful Broderick
and his sister’s From the Ground LP is great too
LLYRÌA by Nik Bärtsch’s RONIN
Murmuüre by Murmuüre
Infra by Max Richter
Nighttide by Swartz
Fenrir EP by Ursine Vulpine
Small Craft on a Milk Sea by Brian Eno
A Spoonful of Yeast by Herb Diamante and Friends
Yet most of the time in 2010 I listened to the Arvo Part, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly, J.S. Bach, L.W. Beethoven, C. Debussy, S. Rachmaninov, Brian Eno, I. Xenakis, The Angelic Process and occasional Merzbow. And I discovered and rediscovered tons of great music, but I’d spare you and won’t mention all of them. I don’t read much usually, yet I rediscovered Anton Chekhov this year. Read almost every his work, and had a little study of Chekhov’s poetics. And amongst the top entertainment movies this year are:
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Kick-Ass (Kudos to Murphy!)
I guess the new Woody Allen’s work is on this list too though I haven’t seen it yet.
I also happen to watch this year such great works as the Serious Man by Cohen brothers, Antichrist by Lars von Trier, Cashback by Sean Ellis, Whatever Works by Woody Allen, Che by Steven Sodeberg,
Michael Curtis Hilde aka Mountainhood
i can tell you that my favorite holiday meal to cook is roasted rabbit with cardamom green and wild mushrooms.
i like to pick the mushrooms myself.
Joseph Davenport aka Millipede
Here are my favorite records of 2010:
1. Yellow Swans – Going Places
2. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
3. Skullflower – Strange Keys to Untune Gods’ Firmament
4. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Love is a Stream
5. The National – High Violet
6. Marcus Fjellstrom – Schattenspieler
7. Crystal Castles – II
8. How To Dress Well – Love Remains
9. Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal
10. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
also all three Demdike Stare LPS – Forest of Evil/Liberation Through Hearing/Voices of Dust
Thing I loved about 2010 more than all of these records:
1. Birth of my daughter Bianca Blair Davenport
Andrew Weathers (Full Spectrum Records)
Favorite Food-Related Memories of 2010
Maybe even more than sound, I love food. Here is a quick run-down of some of my favorite meals of the past year, in no particular order. I also enjoyed music from Christopher Willits, Sam Amidon, Steve Reich and Megafaun this year.
Meskerem Ethiopian, Adams-Morgan, DC – The most delicious food that I have ever eaten. I love Ethiopian food more than anything else.
Asheville Pizza & Brewing, Asheville, NC – Badlands Pizza and Moog Filtered Ale
Schlafly Tap Room, St. Louis, MO – Delicious Holiday Ale, kind of a horrible experience with their fries.
Skyline, Cincinnati, OH – We drove for at least an hour, and this was the only open place to get chili.
Goode & Co., Houston, TX – Beef Brisket, Potato Salad and a Lone Star with Stubborn Tiny Lights Vs. Clustering Darkness Forever, ok?
Oklahoma Joe’s, Kansas City, MO – Beef Brisket & van trouble
Maria’s Taqueria, Shepherdstown, WV – Incredible tacos and water from a tupperware
Unnamed Pizza Delivery, Chicago, IL – my first deep dish pizza experience. I have never been so full in my life.
Trader Joe’s, Chicago, IL – hummus, bread, cheese, OJ and horrifying explosions
Mooney’s Mediterranean Cafe, Winston-Salem, NC – a falafel so good, I went twice
Future Recordings world headquarters, San Diego, CA – good memories with the Future Recordings family and pasta via Kyle Woodworth
Zippy’s BBQ Shack, Cedar Falls, IA – one delicious burger
Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, St. Louis, MO – homemade vegan pasta with the perfect amount of bell peppers that I needed at that moment.
Bridges Household, Greensboro, NC – an evening of great food and beer with buds
Thai Garden, Greensboro, NC – best pad thai lunch special in NC
Green Bean, Greensboro, NC – secret delicious drink with Andrew Marino and continuous good coffee and music throughout the year
Tate Street Coffee, Greensboro, NC – continuous great coffee and awkward rendezvous
Church Steps, Buffalo, NY – horrible dinner of bologna on white bread with the Ensemble, a low point in my eating life.
Backyard Barbeque, Durham, NC – a divine eastern-NC BBQ sandwich after two months away from home with the Ensemble
Cosmic Cantina, Durham, NC – a requirement after every Durham show with Khristian Weeks. I recommend the veggie burrito, a favorite since I was 14.
Flying Burrito, Chapel Hill, NC – burritos with my dad and composition professor during SignalFest
Justin Wright (Expo 70)
Geoff Mullen / Keith Fullerton Whitman “November 28, 2009”
Electric Wizard “Black Masses”
Cough “Ritual Abuse”
Love Cry Want s/t
Moebius & Beerbohm “Strange Music” & “Double Cut”
Black Swan “In 8 Movements”
Jooklo Duo “The Warrior”
Black Mountain Transmitter “Theory & Practice”
Svarte Greiner “Penpals Forever (And Ever)”
Expo ’70 tour seeing all the bands I played with!
2010 has been a strange year. Intense and weird. It sort of just ran by me while I was busy with other things. There have been some bad things but there has also been good ones. I guess it all evens out in the end right?
So it’s that time again. Where we look back at what has been and here are some excellent records from the past year, in no particular order at all:
The Bear Quartet – Monty Python (Adrian Recordings)
I love them because The Bear Quartet always is the best band in the world, even when they’re not that good. And I’m not saying Monty Python is a bad album, because it’s not, it’s brilliant in every way. Just listen to the lyrics on Lovers Goodbye. That track pretty much sums up all that they are in one perfect song. I think The Bear Quartet could quite possibly be one of the most important bands we have in Sweden today. Their music is unruly, intense, uncompromising… always on the move towards something new and unexpected. I often try to explain to people just what makes them so good. But in order to get them I guess you have to know the story and have heard the albums. Seen the evolution over the years and the unwillingness to stay in one place or to do as people expect or do things the way you should do. They’re a band existing solely on their own terms, far away from everything that’s bland and mainstream. They do whatever they please and they exist in a perpetual now.
The Bear Quartet are kind of my idols. Although I bet they would detest me if they heard me say that, and that’s just another reason for loving them even more…
Yellow Swans – Going Places (Type)
Their swan song and a show of force. There’s something sympathetic with a band that chooses to call it quits before they start their down-hill slope. Although I think we could have taken some more, right? Then again, now we get tons of solo albums from Pete Swanson and that ain’t no bad thing either so I’m really not complaining here. Going Places is a masterpiece and I’m just bummed I missed out on the vinyl edition.
Greg Haines – Until The Point Of Hushed Support (Sonic Pieces)
And so it finally saw the light of day. I know Greg’s been working on this album off and on for the last couple of years, struggling to get it recorded and done. And I’m very glad he pulled through. When my wife first heard it she thought it was a new Jóhann Jóhannsson album. And she wasn’t too far off with that notion actually. There’s something grand yet restrained in this piece of music. It’s orchestrated and lush, but never over the top. Where I feel that Jóhann Jóhannsson has kind of turned into the Coldplay of ”modern classical” Greg stays away from the more obvious clichés and adds some much needed grittyness to it all. Very lovely and very good from this exiled Englishman.
Motorpsycho – Heavy Metal Fruit (Rune Grammofon)
Motorpsycho is, rivaled only by Supersilent, the best band in Norway (and imagine my excitement when I saw them perform together at Rockefeller in Oslo in March. Two and a-half hours of insane jamming and improvisations). When I first started hearing about this album there was talk about it being a space opera with twenty-minute songs and long, spaced out jams. And that’s exactly what it turned out to be. But all of this is of course paired with the most beautiful 60’s melodies, amazing guitar play from Hans-Magnus Ryan and some of the most beautiful arrangements the group has ever produced. Motorpsycho celebrated twenty years as a band 2010 and I would not be surprised if they go at it for another twenty years. And by all means, please do!
Dan Berglund’s Tonbruket – Tonbruket (ACT)
How does one find his way out of a personal tragedy? When Esbjörn Svensson died in 2008 Sweden, and the rest of the world for that matter, lost a brilliant musician. And I can imagine Dan Berglund lost his place. After playing for so long together in Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Dan must have been devastated. But from the wreckage of this tragedy Tonbruket was born. The music exists somewhere between jazz, country and… something else entirely. I can’t recommend this album strongly enough. One of the absolute highlights of the album is the track Song For E. Sometimes the simplest of gestures are the grandest.
Zelienople – Hollywood (Under The Spire)
In the summer of 2009 I did a two-week US tour. And when I was i Chicago I played at The Empty Bottle and that was one of the best shows I’ve ever experienced. But that had nothing to do with me but rather with the fact that I shared the stage with Zelienople. And it was mind blowing. I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am to have seen the live. It was brilliant.
While we were in Chicago we stayed at Mike’s place and hung a bit with the guys and they’re just the best people ever. Completely retarded with a humor bordering what’s socially accepted and that just made them even nicer in my mind.
Everything I’ve heard from them has been absolutely brilliant and Hollywood is no exception. Two long tracks full of textures, hazy melodies, menace and more serene passages. Amazing.
Sam Amidon – I See The Sign (Bedroom Community)
The follow-up to the amazing All Is Well. There were periods when I listened to All Is Well twice a day for weeks on end. It’s still one of my absolute favourite albums. And because of this I knew that I See The Sign wouldn’t be equally good, that just wouldn’t be possible. And it’s not either but it’s still a very beautiful album (although I could have lived without some of the tracks). But no one can deny the greatness of the R. Kelly cover Relief. And trust me, this is not a joke. Sam Amidon means every word when he sings:
What a relief to know that, we are one
What a relief to know that, the war is over
What a relief to know that, there’s an angel in the sky
What a relief to know that, love is still a lie…
So, lots of good music, lots of good things happening I guess. But I just wanna stop here for a moment and send a thought to Adam D. Mills. Adam was the man behind the very nice Australian label Sound & Fury who released my cassette Waverly Cemetary (Sydney) with the very lovely and talented Penelope Joy. Adam is unfortunately no longer with us. He didn’t live to see his 30th birthday, and that pains me. Our lives are so damn fragile and there’s just so little time to do all the things we want to do in life isn’t there? So 2010 went fast but it was pretty good and I believe 2011 will go even faster. I won’t have time to do half of the things I want to do, there will be ups and downs and I’ll grow one year older…
But hey, it’s like my mom always says: If you stay alive, you get older.
Simple but true.
So, let’s stay alive and get older. Deal?
Dag Rosenqvist, Gothenburg
‘Albums I Like’
I am not very good at ‘Best Of 2010’ or ‘My favourite ….. of the year’ so this may not be what you are expecting. Dan very kindly asked me to provide a bit about my favourite 2010 things, and so I think that possibly the easiest way to do this is to mention a few of my 2010 ‘inspirational’ albums. Before I begin, I would like to point out that not all these albums were released this year, but they are albums that have meant a lot to me over the last 12 months, therefore, just a few albums that I like. Also I’d like to point out that with days of consideration that there would be about a thousand albums on this list, but these are literally the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
Nils Frahm – Unter/Uber
I feel incerdibly lucky that some of my most favourite musicians I actually know personally. Nils is one of these people. He is one of those musicians that make it look so easy! If only it were so simple. Unter/Uber, apart from being the best pieces of mastering I have ever heard, is just perfect. The two piano miniatures are so expressive and beautiful. Nils is a musician that knows exactly what he is doing!
Goldmund – Famous Places
Keith Kennif is a musician that needs no introduction. Famous Places is yet another stunning piece of work. This may sound strange to a lot of people, but as a musician it seems to make sense to me …. his ‘note selection’ is just perfect. Obviously what I mean is the choice of notes within a particular key, but what I am trying to describe is more than that, its not only the combination but the emotion he manages to carry with it. Maybe that is my way of describing something that is impossible to describe, I don’t know.
Jonsi & Alex – Riceboy Sleeps
This is a record that will always amaze me and I always will continue to listen to it. Maybe it is because the money was behind it and the production values where high that sets it apart. I think many people would take that stance, but not me. I believe that from its core this record is something very special and it manages to capture the ideals of Ambient/Modern Classical music perfectly. I love the fact that, unlike with Sigur Ros, it doesn’t seem to be a record in which there is Jonsi’s constant obvious audible presence, vocally and texturally. This record is very special to me.
Jakob – Solace
Post rock seems to be very saturated at the moment, but the best always seem to stand out, bands like Laura, This Will Destroy You, Mogwai, Gregor Samsa etc… I class Jakob as one of them. Solace is a brilliant album and manages to create a mix of swathes of reverbed atmospheric guitar and the slight hint of melodical development. The album is not trying to be complex and techincally it is very simple, yet it holds a virtuosic quality which runs through the entire record. A great album!
Clark – Totems Flare
Clark’s sample work is out of this world and his album structures are just perfect. As far as IDM albums go I think this is the best example. Chris Clark’s astounding musicianship really shows through here and every track is perfectly put together, not a sound nor note is lost in the mix, it’s all there knocking your socks off. I strongly suggest listining to this album, it might just change the way you look at electronic music.
Cathal Rodgers aka Wereju
Music I enjoyed 2010 (the ones I can remember right now)
Kevin Drumm – Necro Acoustic
Autechre – Oversteps
Yellow Swans – Going Places
Ellie Goulding – Lights
Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here
Coheed and Cambria – Year of the Black Rainbow
Deftones – Diamond Eyes
Forbidden – Omega Wave
Kevin Drumm/John Weise – Untitled
Brian Grainger – Diamond Tears on Slate
David Tagg – Pentecost
Athiest – Jupiter
Brainworlds – Fractalscape
Hidden Orchestra – Night Walks
Yeasayer – Odd Blood
Daft Punk – Tron Legacy
Nicholas Szczepanik – Dear Dad
Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope To the Sky
Didn’t get to see too many movies, but I did quite enjoy Inception and Sherlock Holmes
Not so cool was the volcanic ash forcing the cancellation of shows by Tim Hecker and Ben Frost… but I was strong, I didn’t cry…
Shinobu Nemoto aka Summons of Shining Ruins
1. 8m/m films of photographer unknown.
2. 1/4reel to reel tapes of unknown recorder.
3. SHINJUKUS / “Our dream is a new sound” (Cassette tape).
4. SONY reel to reel recorder TC-900.
5. HELIOS/”Thermo Cat”.
6. Alley in Kamakura-city.
7. A dining room in the rocky place of ENOSHIMA.
8. Classical guitar of YAMAHA.
9. CANON/518SV, ELMO/SP-E. movie camera and a film projector.
10. ” FUGU” square (Square in neighborhood, there is nobody all time).
In a year with a lot of loss and sadness these were some of the people, food/drink and activities that made 2010 bearable…
Quality time with Mrs. Tagg
Maker’s Mark Whiskey
All the amazing fans, artists and labels that have supported this year! Thank you!
Favorite Music: (In no particular order)
Millipede – Full Bloom
Brian Grainger – Silver Horns Heard Over Green Hills
EN – The Absent Coast
Loren Conners – Hell’s Kitchen Park Reissue
Paul Motian – Lost in a Dream
Infinite Body – Carve out the face of my god
Shinobu Nemoto – Melted loop trips
Tobias Hellkvist – Evolutions
Deftones – Diamond Eyes
Milieu – The Loneliness of Empty Roads
Deepchord Presents Echospace: Liumin
The Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
Barn Owl – Ancestral Star