Nov 2nd Reviews / What have I missed?

I was feeling productive this week and managed six reviews. I'm hoping to keep up that pace through the end of the year, so I can cover more things. Oh, and it's just a weird coincidence that the original release date of both of my podcast reviews is 1972.

I know that there are a ton of things that I haven't reviewed on this site this year, but with two months left to go until it's over, what are some must-haves that I absolutely need to check out? Anything else you'd like to see me try to get to before 2006 is over?

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My listing at the moment :
1. aMute : The Sea Horse Limbo
Because of the pure beauty of this album and its epic songs.
2. The Isles : Perfumed Lands
Because I simply enjoy every minute of it.
3. Tim Hecker : Harmony in Ultra Violet
It's not a revolution in Hecker's sound but still tehe density of its textures always take my breath away.

Mentioned already but:

Clark - 'Body Riddle'
Grizzly Bear - 'Yellow House'

Both on Warp and both great. I can't believe the Clark LP hasn't been getting more props! Easily his best yet and one of the best electronic releases of the year in my book.

Sam, Tokyo

I agree with Michel about Natural Snow Buildings.

Thanks for the Kronos Quartet recommendations. I'm going to try and get hold of some of this stuff. And Phases is now head of my Christmas list.

Regarding the Kronos Quartet I love "you've stolen my heart" with bollywood diva Asha Bhosle.

Thought you weren't much precisely excited about that barber's adagio ;)

You're still doing a hell of a job with the site, this has become my source for recommendations and such. None of which, I might add, have I been disappointed with; quite the opposite!

-A Hawk and A Hacksaw - The Way the Wind Blows
-Dosh - The Lost Take (no really, I've only just gotten it and I'm absolutely amazed)
And though this is probably more of my personal fancy, I'm still in love with Sandro Perri's "Plays Polmo Polpo"

I can't believe I missed out mentioning Gareth Dickson's album - that's a really good one.

Some others:
Final - 3
White Rock - The Exploder
Heather leigh - Pot Baby

I noticed someone mentioned Phon Noir's album her. If you click my name you can read an interview I did with him.

sorry forgot to add my name at the top
Albums you may have missed??:

"Sea" / Last Days
"Going To Jib Choons..." / Strap The Button
"Meisha's Morning" / Talk Less Say More
"Enjoy Eternal Bliss" / Yndi Halda
"Esoteric Escape" / Keser
"The Way The Wind Blows" / A Hawk and A Hacksaw
"Our New Quarters" / Julian Fane..

Thats just off the top of my head, theres too much music and too little time!!!!

nothing like a "best of list" to get the discussions out of its limp state.
I agree with a lot of Bubbachumps list as well as Michel's inclusion of Geoff Mullen's album. Now I'm curious about Grouper's new one. I liked the first one but not enough to buy another album by her, but if you say it's a different direction...

oh yeah

Le volume courbe - killed my best friend

add that one too.

I love "bongo rock" keep spinning it constantly since I first bought it 4 years ago. Nice review.

Mmm, let's see... here's some of the albums I think you might have missed this year:

Sao Paulo underground - sauna um dois tres
Lindstrom & prins thomas - s/t
Lindstrom - it's a feedelity affair
My my - songs for the gentle
Canonic - scott solter plays pattern is movement (best remix album I've heard this year)

And on the folk section I think you've been missing some very important ones, aside the ones already mentioned by Bubbachups which are all wonderful I'll add:

The zoo wheel - first born, grand days
Red Favorite - s/t
Chamellows - rat hearts
voice of the seven woods - twisted nerve 7"
Gareth Dickson - the amber goose dance
Larkin Grimm - the last tree

Mmm all I can think right now... you reviewed some of my favorite of the year already.

I also second several of caliper remote's picks.

Mahogany - "Connectivity!"
Parenthetical Girls - "Safe As Houses"

American Watercolor Movement - It Takes Fifteen To Tango In My Book
-Deliciously overwrought, danceable, headspinning, and hilarious.

Boduf Songs - Lion Devours The Sun
-Having reviewed his EP, I hope it's only a matter of time before getting a warm blanket and getting to this.

Catlandgrey - Self-Titled
-Aquarius Records said it well: 'Simple spare drumming spread out over swoonsome dreaminess and moody melancholia, horns moan, bells chime, guitars shimmer and drift, vocals whisper and croon, everything wrapped in a glistening mist of reverb, flecked with tiny glimmers of electronica glitchery. So nice.'

Encre - Plexus II
-A departure from his earlier work, this is one long, cinematic drone.

Geoff Mullen - The Air In Pieces
-Cinematic noise? For some reason the word 'cinematic' comes to mind when musicians incorporate sparse orchestral elements.

Goslings - Grandeur Of Hair
-Distorted drone-sludge.

Grouper - Wide
-A bit more variety than the last release. Less ambience, more 'songs'.

Hwyl Nofio - Hounded By Fury
-Harrowing. Like The Rachel's from Hell.

Library Tapes - Feelings For Something Lost
-Delicate post-rockishness in the vein of Colleen, except more memorable.

Natural Snow Buildings - The Dance Of The Moon & The Sun
-More droney, post-rockishness.

Svarte Greiner - Knive
-Maybe it's the recent passing of Halloween that's having something to do with all the spooky choices.

You must absolutly review "Trompe-l'oeil" by Malajube. The greatest album to have come out this year. Plus it's from Montréal, Québec!

{ kaleb }
HEAR: manatees [motivesounds]

I would also heartily recommend Kronos Quartet's "Black Angels," "Pieces Of Africa," and "Kronos Quartet Performs Alfred Schnittke: The Complete String Quartets."

The Steve Reich collection seems mighty interesting to me. I was planning on introducing myself to his work for a while now, but after reading your review I don't think I can get away with not buying this compilation. I've just put it on order, cheers for the convincing review. ;-)

Oh crap! Thanks for catching that. Must have botched it while updating last night.

Fixed now.

Just a note, Hollinndagain isn't really released on Bpitch Control, is it? Should be Paw Tracks.

Thanks for a great site!

Lastly, regarding Kronos Quartet, it's almost impossible to know where to start because they've done such a massive, varied amount of work.

Some of my favorites include...

"Winter Was Hard"
This _might_ be the best basic introduction to the group, as they perform stunning pieces by Terry Riley, Arvo Part, John Zorn, Alfred Schnittke, and others, as well as a devastating version of "Adagio for Strings" by Barber that will leave you blubbering on the floor afterwards.

"Howl U.S.A."
This one is very much akin to Reich's "Different Trains" or even The Books as the group takes spoken word pieces by Allan Ginsberg and others and then turn them on their head with some amazing music that veers from hyper experimental to playful and fun.

This is a soundtrack to the old silent Dracula film composed by Philip Glass. It's outstanding, and honestly one of my favorite Glass pieces, as well as some damn fine playing by Kronos Quartet as well.

"Night Prayers"
This one is probably their most "mystical" sounding recording. It's one of the first releases that I purchased by the group and still one of my favorites. It also has a great deal of variety (as do many of their releases), but it feels pretty cohesive. Lovely stuff.

In regards to the new Steve Reich box set, I think that it is indeed a better introduction to his music than the full box set, mainly for price reasons, but also for how much music you get. If you compare the tracklistings of each, there are honestly only a couple things that you're missing on the smaller box set, including "Marimbas" (which is great, I will admit), "City Life" (which as I mentioned in my review, I would have liked to have seen on this set), and a couple other things. Those include a more expansive collection of his very early tape experiments, (which in my opinion don't hold up quite as well over time) and "The Cave," which I also feel is one of his lesser works. Because of the difference in cost, it's easy enough to buy the new set, then pick up a couple other discs of his and still spend less than half of what you would purchasing the out-of-print 10CD set.

To be completely honest, I haven't listened closely enough to the "Music For 18 Musicians" contained on the new box set to tell you which version it is (bad of me, I know). I will say that both recordings of it are great, in my opinion, with slightly different things that I like about each. I don't really have a favorite between the two.

Oh, and I picked up that dosh album recently. I've been a fan for sometime now, whenever it was that I heard "steve the cat" I was hooked, and his live performance was really innovative.

Anyway, your review was right on; this release is awesome.

I second the raccoo-oo-oon suggestion from earlier. This band has a really moving energy about them; cool stuff.

I'm not about to post a top 20 list. I'm still in the process of hunting down several things. It is starting to take form, though.

It's funny that several people below have mentioned the aMute. I'm actually listening to it right now. It will be reviewed in the near future.

In regards to the Decemberists, I might try to get in a review of that one at some point here (as well as the newer Yo La Tengo). I have both of them, but lately have preferred to feature some lesser-known stuff instead. I've felt constantly behind the past couple months, so I'm hoping to sneak some Wednesday updates in along the way during the next eight weeks as well.

I think its incredible the amount of in-depth reviews you manage to put up each week. Reviewing five albums each week with this quality level is one hell of a job! But six is just insane, seriously, don't forget about your friends and family! ;-)

A couple of days ago I made a top 10 of 2006 thus far. This is what I came up with:
01 Om - Conference of the Birds (Holy Mountain)
02 Paul Labrecque & Valerie Webb - Trees, Chants and Hollers (Eclipse)
03 Birchville Cat Motel - Our Love Will Destroy the World (Pseudo Arcana)
04 Galbraith, Neilson, Youngs - Belsayer Time (Time-Lag)
05 Charalambides - A Vintage Burden (Kranky)
06 Tim Hecker - Harmony in Ultraviolet (Kranky)
07 Good Stuff House - Good Stuff House (Time-Lag)
08 Paul Flaherty & Chris Corsano - The Beloved Music (Family Vineyard)
09 Valley of Ashes - Cavehill Hunters' Attrition (Blackvelvetfuckerrecordings)
10 Raccoo-oo-oon - Mythos Folkways Vol. No. 1 (Woodsist)

In the meantime I've received the new Joanna Newsom album and the debut album by Geoff Mullen on Last Visible Dog which are both serious top 10 contenders and are well worth seeking out. Both the new Johann Johannsson and Max Richter albums are also stunning. At this moment I like the Max Richter a little bit more. Sadly I still haven't received the latest Bardo Pond record (Ticket Crystals). Should be another killer record.

There also have been some amazing reissues so far this year. My favorites are:
Book of Am - Book of Am (Wah Wah)
Loren Connors - Night Through (Family Vineyard)
Arthur Russell - First Thought Best Thought (Audika)
Shuji Inaba - Yoenzange (Last Visible Dog)

I am still playing catchup like you (too much time dabbling in the past), but so far I am really impressed with (in no particular order):

Clark - Body Riddle
Subtle - For Hero : For Fool
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent Things
Lilys - Everything Wrong Is Imaginary
Under Byen - Samme Stof Som Stof
Guillemots - Through the Windowpane
Bonobo - Days to Come

I know it's not typically the style you tend to review, but what about the new Decemberists album? You've reviewed a few of their other albums, and this one has some different sounds on it than they've displayed in the past.

The new Subtle - For Hero For Fool is definitely essential.
Squarepusher - Hello Everything is an obvious choice as well.

Oh, I will third aMute's aMute "The Sea Horse Limbo" (on intr_version).
What a fantastic album.

Hi Aaron,

It's off the question, but I wondered if you could expand on why you consider the Reich set you reviewed an even better intro to his work than the 10-disc set. Honestly, I've been weighing up for weeks which of these to get hold of, as having renewed my interest in his work with all his 70th birthday celebrations going on, I wanted to replace my old minidisc recordings of most of his stuff with some spanking new cds. Obviously this new set is much much cheaper, but there's lots of stuff that isn't included that I'd need too (though maybe not worth the extra cost) - like The Four Movement, Six Marimbas, Nagoya Marimbas etc. Is the recording of Music for 18 Musicians the best version?

I recently saw The Desert Music performed live, along with The Three Movements and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and it blew me away. Incidentally, it was your review of Music for 18 Musicians a few years ago which first turned me onto Reich, so many thanks!

Also, you've mentioned your passion for the Kronos Quartet a few times...could you recommend where to start with these (other than Different Trains)?

Manyfingers - Our worn shadow (acuarela) to me this one is absolutely unmissable, a pure gem re-released this year with a live bonus dvd + an extra track on cd
Spinform - Bryter tystnaden (hobby industries)
Matt Elliott - Failing songs (ici d'ailleurs)
Kaada - Music for moviebikers (ipecac)
Part timer - s/t (moteer)
Depth affect - Arche lymb (autres directions in music)
Clogs - Lantern (Talitres)
Christopher Willits - Surf boundaries (ghostly)
aMute - The sea horse limbo (intr version)

Meursault - "Nothing Changed This Week" & By "Lamplight" - two beautiful semi-ambient/acoustic CD-Rs on Eagle And Serpent Recordings. I doubt if you'll find them now (try Volcanic Tongue), but if you're interested, let me know. A third album ("Poor Blood") is on the way.

Susan Matthews - "Bruiser"
Slomo - "The Creep"
Birchville Cat Motel - "Curved Surface Destroyer"
White Rock - "The Exploder"

Unlabel's Series52 collection has been really good - a limited (100 only) one-off CD, one released each week. [They're a bit behind at the moment, but I've got the first 26 so far.] Worth checking their site to see what might take your fancy.
I highly recommend Drumm Chimp, Calder and Koutaro Fukui.

I'd say:
Skream - Skream! (3LP version is much better)
Kode 9 and Space Ape - Memories of the future
Various Artists - Dubstep Allstars vol 3/4
Depth Affect - Arche Lymb
Shogun Kunitoki - Tasankaiku (?)
Those are all top stuff.
Hope you get to listen

Caliper Remote
Here are mine:

1. A Lily - Wake:Sleep
2. Adrian Klumpes - Be Still
3. aMute - The Sea Horse Limbo
4. Atone - Un An
5. RF - Views Of Distant Towns
6. Glider - One Day At A Time
7. Last Days - Sea
8. The London Apartments - Logistics and Navigation
9. Near The Parenthesis - Go Out And See
10. Phon Noir - Putting Holes In October Skies
11. Shearwater - Palo Santo
12. The Radio Dept. - Pet Grief
13. Xiu Xiu - The Air Force
14. New Tulsa Drone??

And I'm sure you'll get to the Johann Johannsson album...

Well, this is what blew my mind thus far in '06 though it might not be your cup of tea...
1. GHQ - Cosmology of the Eye (time-lag)
2. Galbraith / Nielson / Youngs - Belsayer Time (time-lag)
3. Dialing In - Cows in Lye (pseudoarcana)
4. Pumice - Yeahnahvienna (soft abuse)
5. Loren Connors - Sails (table of the elements)
6. Peter Wright - Red Lion (digitalis)
7. Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood - Goodbye (digitalis)
8. Steven R. Smith - The Anchorite (Important)
9. Keiji Haino - Aminamina (important)
10.Ilyas Ahmed - Speaking of Shadows (self-released)