August 16 Reviews / What have I missed?

I readily admit that I've missed out on reviewing a lot of things on this site in 2007 so far. That said, I thought I would ask readers their thoughts on things that I should definitely try to seek out during the last four months of the year.

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Recent loves:

Ben Frost "Theory of Machines"
Oren Ambarchi "In Pendulum’s Embrace"
Om "Pilgrimage"
Shape of Broad Minds "Craft of The Lost Art"

Still loving:

Raccoo-oo-oon "Behold Secret Kingdom"
Death Ambient "Drunken Forest"
Souvenir's Young America "An Ocean Without Water"
Dalek "Abondoned Language"

Ready to love:

Radiohead "In Rainbows"
Wildildlife "Six"
Jesu "Lifeline"
Scott Walker "And Who Shall Go To The Ball? And What Shall Go To The Ball?"

check out the emily haines-soft skeleton releases.

The Choker
and Electrelane!

The Choker
I find it hard to believe you've never reviewed any Deerhoof albums...what gives?

circle - katapult is amazing

....actually, circle - katapult is a hell of a lot better release from them than their most recent output might have suggested.

also, the assemble head in sunburst sound- ekranoplan is pretty cool as well. nice use of a theremin on it.

dextro - consequence music

this release has been getting lots of play in my ipod.

iLiKETRAiNS indeed! But you probably meant Elegies to Lessons Learnt instead of Progress-Reform from last year. Elegies is a stunning work of art, especially the song Spencer Perceval. I'm always amazed at the effort they put into the history research behind the story of each song.

Been listening to the new Efterklang and it's just over all unremarkable. Nothing memorable about any of the songs. I'm pretty disappointed.

Listened to a few suggestions off here but nothing changed my previously posted top 10 list. The new Om record is growing on me but I didn't instantly like it.

Has anyone heard the new Cloudland Canyon record - silver Tongue Sisyphus? sounds like it might be worth a look...

Check out iLiKETRAiNS - Progress-Reform

I mentioned Meursault and Quetzolcoatl earlier, but I would also recommend Pocahaunted, who have had a host of releases this year. Their "Hunted Gathering" collaborative double CD with Robedoor is particularly wonderful.
There have also been a number of releases from Nadja, and there'll be a new album on Alien8 very soon.
Other great recordings (on small labels and in limited runs) by Alistair Crosbie, Birchville Cat Motel, GHQ and many others.
Click on my name for more.


love the burial but it's just an ep, new dalek is the best hip hop record in years, and kammerflimmer is one of the most underrated bands still around. jinx was amazing.

new justice though, fucking horrible...

I got a promo from Leaf last week, the artwork is excellent and in a similar vein to that of 'under giant trees'

This band

have a new ep coming out and it sounds quite nice, piano driven post-rock

I can't believe no one here has mentioned Burial's EP, Ghost Hardware. I think it's a new peak for him, and his contribution to the excellent all-exclusive Box of Dub set was similarly stunning.

The new Dalek album is also really in a league of its own: hugely moving, imposingly dense, but also somehow compulsively listenable.

The Kammerflimmer Kollektief album, Jinx, is also exceptional. They've really tapped into something, channelling some spirit.

Also I second the Sunny Day in Glasgow review. Some of the tracks on there are simply overwhelming, and as a whole its a remarkably strong and consistent debut.

The Justice debut is the most fun album I've heard all year, though you've probably heard it already.

I've very much enjoyed every Efterklang release, but the Parade trailer did sound atrocious. How is it that everyone seems to have heard it already?

I really liked the Efterklang album as well, but it's the only thing I've heard from them so I had no expectations.

It took me a while to get into the Efterklang one, but there are a run of three or 4 tracks near the middle that are just amazing. And the whole thing sounds fantastic at top volume in my car (always a good indication of a great album).

Why is everyone so down on the new Efterklang album? I think it's totally amazing. It definitely rewards multiple listens.

Great review of Strawberry Jam. I think you're right that they're onto something new and I think this one is more of a transitional album, though still great in its own right. I just saw them live the other night and was surprised at how much they relied on electronics. Deakin wasn't there so the only guitar was Avey on maybe 2 or 3 songs and Panda Bear spent more time working electronics than he did on drums (which was unfortunate). If the show was hinting at where they're moving, the next album should be incredibly noisy w/melodies buried even deeper in the songs than in the past.

I would recommend The Lightning Bug Situation's new album 'A Leaf; A Stream'. I just ordered it from CDBaby, it is so varied, really nicely written and wonderfully composed. I think fans of quirky American indie like Pavement and Grandaddy would love it. You can listen to some samples by pressing my name

Yes! Good call on the new Dead Letters, awesome record!

Two other great albums are “Box of Birch” by A Broken Consort on Sustain-Release and “Nor’easter” by Slow Six on New Albion.

I’ve heard a track of the new Giuseppe Ielasi album (August) on 12k which was quite amazing, seems like a very good release. I'm also curious about the new Oren Ambarchi release on Touch. Their release of the Marhaug/Asheim collaboration earlier this year was great, organ pipe drones meets noise, very nice.

Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words - Fall, Fall, Falling...

On the Kalligrammofon label.

Annie, I think you're right about Ghastly City Sleep, but I cannot stop listening to the song 'Suchness' in particular.

I downloaded The Whiskers album Logan and agree it's impressive, although I don't think they take themselves too seriously.

And as for the Songs of Green Pheasant review, i guess it all about opinions, but it's probably my favourite album this year. I just love it

I will add a few more....I have just discovered Chromatics, and now I am awaiting their new one. Jose Gonzales should be more of the same, but also good. And I am with others who are disappointed with the new Efterklang. (Huh??)

Well, I've been milking this one out for a month now, so I figured I might as well let it run one more week. I'll have a new discussion topic next week, but this one has been excellent so far. Lots of good suggestions, so I'm going to do my best to get around to lots of them before the year is up.

Michael, I can't back the Ghastly City Sleep record. Nothing all that new or interesting. But the Helios is growing on me. And Gary is right on about the Magnolis Electric Co box set. I thought it would be too much music but it's all pretty amazing.

I quite liked the Helios one, havent heard the Kinski album but ive never really been a fan.

I've being enjoying both iLiKETRAiNS AND Ghastly City Sleep this week. Both are well worth checking out

disappointed in the mum, efterklang, helios, and kinski records. all of them were pretty horrible.

new angels of light was great but the new akron/family i can't get into.

i'm still jaming the new magnilia electric so, tomahawk, souvenir's young america, and vic chesnutt.

new jesu ep next month. wonder if it will be good?

Josh, ive listened to the efterklang album 6 or 7 times now and i think it is unmistakenably Efterklang. The first three songs sort of drift in without leaving much of an impression. But after that, 'Horseback Tenors', 'Frida Found A Friend' and 'Maison De Réflexion' are stunning. Its certainly different form 'Under Giant Trees' and, indeed, 'Tripper', but i reckon it at least warrants further investigation

the whiskers self-titled debut. it's fantastic and it's free here:

Michael: i would be interested to know what you think of the Efterklang...

I think the new Paul Duncan (Above the Trees) is quite amazing and seriously underrated. I would definitely suggest giving that one a try.

A Broken Consort - Box Of Birch !

Josh, just got the efterklang album today from Leaf. Havent had a chance to listen yet, but cannot wait to see what they have come up with. Will you be reviewing this one Almostcool?

I am not mad on the new Mum album, they seem to have lost something. I seems kind of thrown together to me.

But I have heard both positive and negative reactions, but nothing in the middle ground

I've also heard some good things about Kemialliset Ystävät, but have yet to hear them!

Looking forward to the new Jens Lekman (a whole terrible lot actually), as well as the new Mum, despite its reception thus far, haha.

wow. i'm surprised at the reaction to the new mum album. i quite enjoyed it. if you think IT was disappointing though, wait till you hear Efterklang's new album. to call it a disappointment is severe understatement.

we're all being very kind and quite generous to the new mum saying it's merely mediocre and disappointing.

milenasong ~ seven sisters
port-royal ~ afraid to dance (*****)
hecq ~ 0000
gudrun gut ~ i put a record on
greetings from tuskan ~ lullabies for the warriors

I uploaded a couple songs from the KY album for anyone wanting to sample...

I also thought the new mum album was pretty mediocre.

Another recommendation that I just heard yesterday - Kemialliset Ystävät's self-titled album. Absolutely off-the-wall freak folk with a nice dose of krautrock influence. Much more freak than folk than their labelmates Islaja and Paavoharju. Too complex an album to judge after just two listens, but it's at the very least one of the most challenging albums of the year, and probably one of the very best.

I found the latest mum release to be very disappointing.

Fully back the Valgeir Sigur?sson. Wow. Seriously.

Pitchfork was right...A Place to Bury Strangers is amazing

I must have missed that one Almostcool, i'll check back. Be interesting to read you thoughts, just recieved a promo of that in the mail.

Just a matter of interest: Has anyone heard the new Mum album?. Im not convinced by it

Michael, I reviewed the Redhooker on this site a couple weeks back.

I'm going to try to get to the new Slow Six album on this site soon. Also, their first (I think) album is being re-released by Western Vinyl this fall.


i just got an email from Slow Six the other day, the album is fantastic. A member also has a project called Redhooker that is well worth checking out (he also used to be in Antony & The Johnsons btw).

For Dynamophone Curium, Pornopop and Disinterested are all excellent

Glad you liked the Marnie Stern album. I was meaning to reccomend that one too.

Hey. Just a couple of recommendations.

First one would be the two track "a crystal skull in Peru" by Cloaks, got it after reading this review in foxydigitalis:
His music reminded me of Steve Reich and your recently reviewed Lubomyr Melnyk. It's very beautiful I think you might be interested.

Then recently on the classical radio I heard this russian composer called Alexander Knaifel, his work particulary reminded me of Arvo Part. I recommend the "Svete Tikhiy" album. his music is very simple but it's a curse now, can't stop listening. I think it's a bit hard to find so drop me a mail and I'll send it to you if you're interested.

Just had an idea for a future topic. It's a bit geeky, but here goes: you could ask people to name the Top 10 tracks on their iTunes play count. No way to hide behind what we claim to like, just the tracks we've most listened to. Might be quite interesting...

Awesome new Tarentel review! That collection is soooo good! New Helios I thought was a total bore though.

I'm going to 2nd both the Valgeir Sigurdsson and the Souvenir's Young America records for getting reviews on here. Good stuff!

Pale Young Gentlemen. Easily. It's messed up theatrical/rock/pop with cello, but not experimental. Oh, and it's phenomenal.

I also have to add Slow Six "Nor'easter" to albums that need to be reviewed. Avant-garde classical music at it's best...haunting and beautiful.

Michael, I have heard Dynamophone artist Halou before and will check out Po's new album as well.

edit: the label i mentioned is actually dynamophone

im glad you like the tobias lilja one jon, its fantastic. I agree on the Valgeir Sigurdsson one too, the song with Bonnie Prince Billy sends shivers down my spine. But almostcool has reviewed ben frost and nico muhly so im sure he'll be all over this one.

On another note, i just got a promo copy of phon noir's 2nd album, its absolutely gorgeous. And check out a wonderful label called Dynamophoen, very impressed with the cd's they sent me (from packaging, press releases and the actual music)

Michael, thanks for the Tobias Lilja heads up. It's fantastic! Definitely deserves a review from this site.
Gotta 2nd Valgeir Sigurdsson. Love it.

erik n.
the antiques. sewn with stitches.
valet. blood is clean.
slap [unmodified]. auto [repeat]EP.
a place to bury strangers. s/t.

Aereogramme - My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go

It was released in January and still holds a strong and firm place as the top album of the year for me. So sad they broke up. They were the beacon of everything that was right about music today.

Kerry Lambert
Hi, i'd like to send my album to you. Can I have your postal address?

my email address is

Danny B
I love your site, and love the input of my fellow readers! Keep it up!!!

Just reading the M.I.A review. She performed at the Connect festival i went to and I have to say i dont understand what's going on. What is all the fuss about. Her live set reminded me of one of those cheesy kids showf from the mid-80's. Pantomine music

I'm really into the new Bola record. should be out on vinyl in a few weeks. Skam puts out great stuff.

At the suggestion of multiple people on here, I checked out that Souvenir's Young America record and liked it alot. Really liked the new Tomahawk record as well. Pretty unexpected direction on that one.

Haven't heard the new Angels of Light record but I'm looking forward to hearing it later today.

i'll be seeing bjork this weekend at the connect festival here in scotland and im most looking forward to it.

I have another suggestion, i noticed the a fat cat band in the review section. The new album by Our Brother The Native sounds promising and I really liked a tracvk by a Seattle based band called Welcome. Definitely check them out

Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I will say that you'll see reviews for a few of the things mentioned in the future. I'm hoping to hear at least a good portion of the things mentioned below, although I have heard some of them (Bjork, Islaja, Cocorosie, Frog Eyes, and a few others) that just didn't do a lot for me.

I'm going to leave this one open for one more week because it's generated some good suggestions so far.

Also, I don't have a new topic in mind yet...

Yes, the sonics are endless. Cool interview. Never seen your site, but it's nice.

I'd love to see a review on this site too. Maybe I'll tell Crucial Blast to send one in.

I agree on that level shaun, the SYA album is perfect for headphones, theres a lot of attention to detail. If you are interested i actually interviewed the band.

...also very much looking forward to the new Beirut album!

Michael, I agree that the Grails record shows a greater change from past efforts, but everytime I listen to the SYA record, I hear something new. i'm excited to hear the new Efterklang full length, the EP showed potential. Never cared for them in the past.

My Top 10 for 2007 (so far)

Souvenir's Young America - An Ocean Without Water
Earth - Hibernaculum
Low - Drums And Guns
Tarentel - Ghetto Beats On The Surface Of The Sun
Jesu - Sundown / Sunrise
Grails - Burning Off Impurities
Throbbing Gristle - Part Two The Endless Not
World’s End Girlfriend - Hurtbreak Wonderland
Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail
Zelienople - His / Hers

Yes! I'm so glad someone else thinks highly of the new Souvenir's Young america record. It has been glued to my turntable all week!

My favorite records recently:

Souvenir's Young America "An Ocean Without Water" (Crucial Blast)
Martin and Machinefabriek "Cello Recycling / Cello Drowing" (Type)
Raccoo-oo-oon "Behold Secret Kingdom" (Release The Bats)
Alcest "Souvenirs D’un Autre Monde" (Profound Lore)
Death Ambient "Drunken Forest" (Tzadik)

The berg sans nipple - Along the quai (Team love)
Mice parade - s/t (Fat cat)
Epic45 - May your heart be the map (Make minemusic)
Crescent - Little waves (Fat cat)
Milenasong - Seven sisters (Monika enterprise)
Arca - On ne distinguait plus les têtes (Ici d'ailleurs)
Bexar bexar - Tropism (Own records)
The national - Boxer (Beggars banquet)
Bracken - We know about the need (Anticon)
Thee stranded horse - Churning strides (Talitres)
Cocorosie - The adventures or ghosthorse and stillborn (Touch&go)

and probably more that will come to mind later...

I liked the SYA release too, shaun, but i think Grails' effort was a bit more accomplished

The best I've heard this year could be anyone of these guys:

Tobias Lilja
Slow Dancing Society
Songs of Green Pheasant

Hands down the best record of the year is Souvenir's Young America "An Ocean Without Water." Came out on CD and LP on Crucial Blast. Great mix of electronic, country, and metal influences. Similar to the new Grails record (which is also great) but with amazing electronic undertones through out and heavy parts you don't expect.

The best thing I bought this year is the Fovea Hex Box (3EPs and 3 Remix-CDs by Hafler Trio). The last Remix-CD runs one hour and is said to be the last "physical" CD McKenzie will ever publish (according to his site).
Haven't stopped listening to this for weeks....

I prefer "Blind & Faithless", the 2nd Jesu track on the Eluvium split LP.
The new albums by Meursault and Hrsta are pretty darn fantastic.

I don't know why, but I think Jesu are better suited to the crushing metal sound of old. Perhaps it is soemthing to do with the fact they feature ex-Godflesh members

That's understandable. I'll freely admit I like Jesu more when they veer towards shoegaze as opposed to metal. "Farewell" is becoming my favorite song of there's, though the other two songs on there aren't quite in the same league.

Derek, I wasn't too mad on the eluvium/jesu release. I did like Eluvium's part, but Jesu seem to have lost the plot in my view

I'll second the request for the After Dark compilation and A Sunny Day in Glasgow and third the one for the Slaraffenland album. I'd also add:

Pantha du Prince - This Bliss
Fog - Ditherer
The Jesu/Eluvium split album, which is better than both Conqueror and Copia!
Raccoo-oo-oon - Behold Secret Kingdom
Pole - Steingarten

And of course make sure to get to Random Spirit Lover which is the best thing Spencer Krug has done to date. For my money, it's the best album of the year and I don't see it being outdone in the next few months.

couldn't give James Blackshaw more than 5.5, he sounds like Yngwie Malmsteen's youngest brother of an acoustic guitar. boring

Great review of the Blackshaw - this is shooting up my list of favourite albums this year - it offers a wonderful enveloping richness that is completely bewitching.
My vote for something you should check out is still Dan Deacon - Spiderman of the Rings, a big, noisy, ravey record. I'm not sure all of it works, but it's a load of fun when it does.

Risko, just got that electrelane album. Thanks for drawing my attention to it...great!

The After Dark compilation (on the Italians Do It Better label) is OUTSTANDING.

Efdemin's S/T is a good one.

Also Bjorks latest, Volta.

Michio Kurihara's Sunset Notes is an exquisite album.

electrelane- no shouts no calls (the album of the year so far for me)
frog eyes - tears of the valedictorian

I think that Slaraffenland's cover of Paranoid Android on the recent OK Computer tribute album was just great, they've pulled it off brilliantly

yep, the new National album is great, likely in the top position so far for indie rock, although I am curious what the new sunset rubdown will be like. What I have heard from the new Aesop Rock I think is better than his recent efforts. The new Murcof should also be a winner. I heard that the Valgeir Sigurðsson album has been released, but can´t find it anywhere (?)

the new national album is great, hasn't left my stereo yet.
but i guess you've already heard that one :-).

I agree with Brent. The Slaraffenland album is truly a gem.

Elwin Rijken
Yes Apefar, the new Stars album is (yet again) magnificent.
I'll be seeing them september the 29th in Paradiso, Amsterdam.

I don't think you've missed that awfully much. I can't think of anyone else going through the amount of new music more thoroughly than you.

Anyways, Here's a small list I liked:
Wildbirds and Peacedrums - Heartcore
Deadbeat - Journeyman's Annual
Menomena - Friend and Foe
Tomahawk - Anonymous
Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
Taxi Taxi! - Taxi Taxi! (EP)

Especially looking forward to:
The 4 new Constellation releases
Murcof - Cosmos
Efterklang - Parades
Dieter Schöön - LaBlaza
Valgeir Sigurðsson - Ekvilibrium

Looking through the lists, I see a few things that I've already gotten and didn't care for, as well as a few that I've picked up over time and have really loved (but haven't yet reviewed).

Over the course of the next couple months (and especially towards the end of the year, when the release schedule slows a bit), I'll be running reviews of things I've missed and/or just discovered, so hopefully some of the below will show up then.

Can't recommend these enough:

world's end girlfriend - Hurtbreak Wonderland
Kyle Bobby Dunn - Six Cognitive Works
Erik Enocksson - Farval Falkenburg
James Blackshaw - The Cloud of Unknowing
Mono - The Phoenix Tree
Rafael Anton Irisarri - Daydreaming
Elegi - Sistereis
soccer Comittee- sC
Thee, Stranded Horse - Churning Strides

aerial - the sentinal (no method)
caina - mourner (profound lore)

future conditional
the north sea
marissa nadler
small sails
mixtapes & cellmates
epic 45
mira calix
the voices
hala strana
gareth s brown
boy in static
a sunny day in glasgow
the mary onettes

I highly reccomend Alcests -Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde,it was realesed on prophecy productions recently. The album in my opinion was very good,though at first the vocals did puzzle me.Im interested to see what you think about it.

even though it didnt come out this year i think you should review the reissue of bruce haack's the electric lucifer. it came out for the first time on cd this year and i think it might interest you and fit right in with the general feel of the reviews

what about the rest of the fovea hex eps? the last two are the best.

Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum
Earth - Hibernaculum
Pantha du Prince - This Bliss
The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies
Slaraffenland - Private Cinema
Studio - Yearbook 1

Wish I could tell you something, but I've been collecting a lot of the old Basic Channel/Chain Reaction collection (well, as much as I can afford)...

But, I am looking forward to the new Aesop Rock disc...

if you haven't heard it already, I would thoroughly recommend Songs of Green Pheasant's new album 'Gyllyng St'.

There's a new Meursault album on Students Of Decay, which is bound to be lovely.
Plus you could try one or more of the numerous Quetzolcoatl releases

I really dig the No Age album, but some people seem sour on it. Also, the new Tenniscoats record is pretty good. And seeing as you reviewed that Motohiro Nakashima album a while ago, the output on Loaf in general has been pretty high quality and is worth tracking down.

I have really enjoyed releases from vxpxc and expo 70.