Best albums first half of 2009

Sunday, 5 July, 2009

DM-Stith-Heavy-Ghostsanimal-hospital-memoryThis is my top 10 list of albums released in 2009 (listed alphabetically).

Animal Collective ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’, Domino. Finally they made me understand why there is so much hype around them.
Animal Hospital ‘Memory’, Barge Recordings. Varied and layered soundscape par excellence.
Dan Deacon ‘Bromst’, Carpark Records. Unstoppable dance punk electronica.
Decorate Decorate ‘Instructions’, A:larm Music. Yes, they skipped the dots. Read my review here.
Julie Doiron ‘I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day’, Jagjaguwar. A female singersongwriter shows her personality.
Mountains ‘Choral’, Thrill Jockey. Warm, rich, detailed drone.
The Horrors ‘Primary Colours’, XL recordings. Absolutely stunning mix of Joy Division and Neu!
Tim Hecker ‘An Imaginary Country’, Kranky. Dense drone and overwhelmingly captivating.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs ‘Zero’, Interscope. Sexy and rocking with attitude and popular melodies.
Zu ‘Carboniferous’, Ipecac. Read .chrz review here.

I also want to promote a list of the five best albums I bought this year, but was released last year or earlier.

b.fleischmann, ‘Angst is not a weltanschauung!’. Morr Music. Read my short review here.
DM Stith ‘Heavy Ghost’. Asthmatic kitty records. Probably the record I’ve listened to the most. For fans of Radioheads new material.
Kazuki Tomokawa ‘ Blue water, red water’, P.S.F Records. Read my comment on Tomokawa here.
Mugison ‘Lonely Mountain’, Accidental records. Islandic singersong writer. Really nice, calm and lonely.
Paavoharju ‘Yhä Hämärää’, Fonal records. Folk-electronica from Finland. Mysterious and wise.

Advertisements

Kazuki Tomokawa

Thursday, 26 March, 2009

Kazuki TomokawaSome of the best records I probably never get to hear. But I do my best to neglect the prediction. Bubbachup at Motel de Moka made a real nice entry a while ago about the best albums in 2008.

I will listen more to Dennis González & Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers Septet and Fire on Fire in the future. But the one that really got me on fire was the album Blue Water, Red Water [青い水赤い水] by Kazuki Tomokawa.

I bought five albums very cheap from P.S.F Records (send and received within less than a week) among them the awesome “Blue water, red water”. His voice is described as screaming, and I would ad haunting, yet story telling. Although some people might know him, he is rather unfamiliar in the western countries. I hope this will change.

Kazuki Tomokawa has been productive over the last decades and has release several albums. He is a folk singer, and the main thing – to me – is his voice and temperament. It’s sometimes brutal, sometimes intense.
Only one out the five bought albums has an English title. It makes it more exotic and hardly available, but also very compelling and inspiring. I believe Scandinavian listeners might be more familiar with some of the works of Kazuki Tomokawa. I still got a lot to learn about him, and there are several hours of listening to this Japanese singer songwriter. But it isn’t half as weird as it sounds.

His website is in Japanese only – http://www.interq.or.jp/www-user/kurenai/

Wikipedia has a better view of his releases than discogs – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuki_Tomokawa

There is a really nice introduction at the blog Sonic Asymmetry, although the blogpost is mostly written as a review of the album “Erise no me”.

And you might be lucky to download full albums at Time has told me.

I can also recommend the fine review of Blue Water, Red Water at Brainwashed which – as always – includes some one minute snippets.

Alegranza and The Vodoun Effect

Thursday, 22 January, 2009

el guincho - alegranzaorchestre_poly-rythmo_de_co

I have a deal with Chrz to exchange an album every quarter. In Q4 2008 I received “Alegranza”. A tropical pop album with lots of percussion released 2008 by a guy born at the Canary Island (close to the coast of Northwestern Africa). It took me about the 8 first tracks to comprehend the music, but on the last track I found my self dancing around the table as a native indian dancing around the totem pole.
Chrz did also receive an album in the “World”-genre in Q4. Just before The Wire had a theme on West African Psycedelia (Issue 298; december 2008), I heard about Analog Africa. “The Vodoun effect” by Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou contains “funk and sato” from a period between 1972 and 1975. It’s an acid trip experienced on traditional African instruments. The repetition, the trance-like effect, is great and in many ways it requires attention and indulgence.
Both albums are absolutely worth listening to for every open minded musical interested persons.