It seems unlikely that I’m going to hear any new music before the end of the year so time to join boomkat, et al and find some semblence of order in the random variety of records I’ve purchased this year. For me, 2011 has been quite a poor year compared to 2010. Where’s the “God Was Like No” or the “Does It Look Like I’m Here?” because they’ve received far more plays than any of the albums below. Nonetheless, my top records in no particular order:
1) The Magic Place – Julianna Barwick. Beautiful music, great album, well implemented. Keep Up The Good Work is astounding as is Prizewinning. Julianna’s layered approach to melody using just looped fragments of her voice is mesmorising. Would love to see her build them up live. The problem is that I think Florine remains the better work.
2) Ways Of Meaning – Kyle Bobby Dunn. Wonderful. But not the double disc masterpiece that was 2010’s “A Young Person’s Guide To..” I don’t feel like the composition has moved on since that record and suspect these were probably recorded at a similar point in time.
(Not from Ways Of Meaning but a fine example)
3) S/t – A Winged Victory For The Sullen. Not Stars of the Lid. But still looking forward to seeing them perform next year, particularly after my abysmal attempt at seeing Stars of the Lid in Birmingham. No such problems with public transport now I’m in London.
4) Ravedeath, 1972 – Tim Hecker. Love “The Piano Drop”. Heavy. Entire album is really good actually and this one grew on me as I got used to it being a bit less intense than I was expecting.
5) Please Stop Loving Me – Nicholas Szcepanik. Discovered this thanks to anti gravity bunny. I remember hearing earlier work on Drone Poets. This has improved a lot from there. Nicholas’s best work yet and probably, if forced, my album of the year. Not quite as enamoured as Anti Gravity Bunny but a mature emotive piece of drone that moved me. That’s all you can ask from music.
Great Soundtracks: Drive and Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Also enjoyed We Need To Talk About Kevin but more of that when I do my top movies of 2011 since that’ll feature for certain regardless of how I feel About Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Quirky: Brandon’s shortwaves. It’s not the River by William Basinski which was very much a shortwave radio composition but this is still memorable. This is a collection of weird findings that you can probably only find out in the states. Makes me want to build my own receiver and see what I can find.