Friday, December 15, 2006


Previously, this post was titled "Top 30 albums of 2006 according to a lonely radio DJ", but that was before Blogger froze while I was editing the post, and I had to start over (thankfully I always compose using a text editor). It's probably gonna screw up my formatting as well. POS.

SO! This time I had all this time from 3:30-7 to fill today, so I was like hey why don't I do a top 30 show? Way more trouble than it's worth... but here is the list. I played everything on here in my show in reverse chronological order, with #30 at 3:30 and #1 being played late at 7 cause I can't plan for crap. I hope you enjoyed the best music you never ever heard before ever.

1) BT - This Binary Universe - Binary Acoustics
song: The Anhtkythera Mechanism (10:07)
BT is known for house, vocal house, trance, and more recently for boy band music. It's always been obvious that he is an extremely talented producer, but he's always misused his talents... until now. This is the only album on the list which I have played on my show (over the course of several weeks) in its entirety. Seven songs all 8 to 15 minutes long, all epic with soaring crescendos. And it has the requisite minimum glitches to make me smile :) But wait! This album is actually a collection of soundtracks of animated movies (by varying artists), so you get a cool DVD that comes with the CD. Definitely the best of 2006.

2) Peeesseye - Commuting Between the Surface & the Underworld - Evolving Ear
song: oo-ee-oo (12:46)
These guys just keep getting better and better with every successive album. Obscure random vocalist/free jazz percussionist + electronics guy/pump organist + acoustic/electric guitarrist, only weirder. Yes they do crazy stuff, but they also make sure to maintain a sense of melodic structure as well, resulting in truely amazing music. Previously the tones/notes used were electronically generated, and I love how they're using their acoustic instruments nowadays.

3) Akron/Family - Meek Warrior - Young God
song: The Rider (Dolphin Song) (7:21)
These men ROCK. OUT. HARD. Way better live though, with their epic builds and crashes. This album doesn't really do them justice, but there's still some damn amazing music on here.

4) Hella - Acoustics - 5RC
song: 1-800-Ghost Dance (3:18)
What happens when you lock Hella in a studio with no access to electricity? This nifty little EP, containing some of their more well known songs played with an acoustic guitar and some sort of percussion. They're math rock, but they come off on this EP as Amish IDM.

Well it looks like I pulled the inexcusable. I accidentally left out The Mathematicians. THE FRIKKEN METHEMATICIANS MAN. Crap. Well here is how the Mathematicians would have looked in my list had I been on top of things. And they would have been #5. Sigh...
4.5) The Mathematicians - Level Two - S/R
The geekiest music you can shake a slide rule at. Insightful lyrics, and music seeking to fit into the hip hop world or the retro 80s world but failing to find friends with similar interests. They not only rock out live, but their musical skill and precision is unsurpassed.

5) Cassandra Wilson - Thunderbird - Blue Note
song: Easy Rider (7:03)
She's known for her amazing deep and beautiful singing voice over jazz music, but she goes on a tangent on this album, with the music taking on a more Massive Attack or Portishead vibe. This song here though is all blues. Man, when she pours her heart out, she pours her heart out! I don't know if she'll be able to top this in her career, but I so badly want to see her try.

6) Dani Siciliano - Slappers - !K7
song: They Can Wait (4:51)
How can this album be so awesome, when her last one was SO HORRIBLE??? One of life's mysteries I guess. While her previous stuff is boring, this is bouncy, quirky, entertaining. This is the direction IDM should be going in. All you kids trying to sound like Autechre need to give this a listen.

7) Aoki Takamasa + Tujiko Noriko - 28 - Fat Cat
song: Nolicom (5:49)
Aoki Takamasa is an amazing glitch artist. In this album, he teams up with vocalist Tujiko Noriko. This is no "Simply Funk", which is probably my favorite album of all time, but the snap, crackle, pop, and stutter of his sine waves with her voice still manage a solid euphoric episode. Wait what am I saying? I shouldn't have put off the reviews on the top of the list till last.

8) Rose for Bohdan - ????? - Death Bomb Arc
song: Covered in Monkeys (6:38)
Noise rock. "Oh, you mean like Merzbow?" No, that's noise, this is noise rock. Infinite loop between this item on the list and two items down. Confused? Good, this is the right frame of mind to listen to this. Really spazzy stuff, I bet they'd kick so much rear live.

Belong - All Equal Now, The Door Opens The Other Way

9) Black Angels - Passover - Light In The Attic
song: Black Grease (4:33)
Two words: Vietnam Rock. I need not say more, but I just wanted to mention how much these guys ROCK THE HELL OUT kthx.

10) PCRV - Big Sky - C.I.P.
song: Excerpt (10:09)
Noise. "Oh, you mean like Japanther?" No, that's noise rock. This is noise, like Merzbow. See when someone unplugs a hot guitar and everyone else winces, I say MOAR, and PCRV is there to fill the void. This song I play the most audience friendly... I was very close to playing Rurality Pt 1 instead. Harsh but pretty. Am I really that weird?

11) Nightmares on Wax - In A Space Outta Sound - Warp
song: Me! (5:57)
Remember their last album? I don't even remember the name of it, it was so boring. What happened to the Carboot Soul days? Well this isn't NOW back from the past, but they are back from the boring, and do a bunch of unexpected stuff on this album. Well worth checking out if you were disappointed by whatever-it-was-called.

12) Another Electronic Musician - Use - N5MD
song: Collapse (4:54)
The first time I heard this guy was back when was cool. He's come a long long way since those times, lemme tell ya. Great dubby IDM.

13) Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain - Locust
song: New Music For Bowed Animals (8:15)
This album is a great mix of electronic/ambient music and indie stuff with vocals. Something for everyone! The ambient parts though, are so sweeet.

14) Miho Hatori - Ecdysis - Rykodisc
song: Ecdysis (4:26)
Bjork's lost twin sister, srsly. She's done well for herself since she left Cibo Matto, whatever that band was. I love this album and look forward to more from her.

15) Badawi - Safe - Asphodel
song: The Bedouin Walks Alone (7:10)
Febuary of this year, I said "Definitely one of the top albums of 2006 hands down." Apparently this means 15th... Pretty good year eh? Great beat programming, great lush sound. Like an orchestra from the future in your living room.

16) William Orbit - Hello Waveforms - Sanctuary
song: They Live In The Sky (4:57)
This guy surprised me with this album. Very lush trip hop, something you might more expect from early Nightmares on Wax. Overachiever of the year in my opinion, and a well deserved spot on this list.

17) The Kamikaze Hearts - Oneida Road - Collar City
song: Top of Your Head (3:01)
The covers they do at their live shows are better, but I tend to love anything this Albany band does anyway. Four part harmonies and plenty of stringed instruments, mm mmm! I saw them live at the Sanctuary For Independent Media in Troy, and it was one of the best shows I've been to. (heh and thanks guys for dropping by. someday i'll learn your names...)

18) The Antarcicans -
Teach Children: Fear All Teachings of Eternity, the doom of Self & Nature - The New Black
song: The Ghost of the Trees & the Erase of Man (12:15)
The best post rock since Godspeed You Black Emperor. No lie. I for one welcome the apocalypse.

19) The Album Leaf - Into The Blue Again - Sub Pop
song: Shine (5:53)
Not as good as his previous album, but it still delivers. The usual rhodes and drums and other pretty stuff, though more vocals. His rhodes is way better than his voice, so I chose an intrumental track. Nonetheless I send you my love Jimmy, plz accept it :3

20) Disasterpeace - Atebite And The Warring Nations - Daddy's Dead
songs: The Great Stitch Divide I - Here Comes The Plaid Platoon (6:36)
The Great Stitch Divide II - We Are The Eveready Argyle Army (4:32)
Epic chiptunes with live drums (and occaisionally other ambience/synths). I couldn't pick just one song, since the best work on here is inexplicably split up into multiple parts! It's all good though, very very good.

21) B. Fleischmann - The Humbucking Coil - Morr
song: Broken Monitors (7:08)
Laid back living room electronic music. This track especially reminds me of Ulrich Schnauss, and given how I'm such an Ulrich fanboy, that does score some points with me, heh heh.

22) Skalpel - Konfusion - Ninja Tune
song: Shivers (4:16)
Ninja Tune delivers again! Lots of nice jazz influenced electronic music, as is typical with this outstanding label. This track in particular reminds me a lot of The Cinematic Orchestra, who is also on Ninja Tune.

23) Bitcrush - In Distance - N5MD
song: Falling Inward (9:27)
This song is one of my favorite songs ever, epic and gorgeous. However, not all the songs on here live up to this. Still an amazing album however, a nice mix of post rock and ambient IDM.

24) Glenn Kotche - Mobile - Nonesuch
song: Monkey Chant (11:32)
A percussionist's solo album. He sure plays a lot of different drums, sounds more like an ensemble. At times he will rub the drum heads in such a way that it sounds more like an electroacoustic composition than a percussive piece. An entertaining listen.

25) Elliott Brood - Ambassador - Six Shooter
song: The Bridge (3:04)
Just another alternatice countryish sort of album. Many good songs on here.

26) Birdy Nam Nam - S/T - Uncivilized World
song: Jazz It At Home (5:57)
Some of the best turntablism you will hear, ever.

27) John Medeski & Matthew Shipp -
Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery - Thirsty Ear
song: Round 2 (8:49)
The Blue Series always has some great stuff... hell even Beans was able to impress with his Blue Series album. This is no exception, some great illbient jazz on here.

28) Albumen - Lake Desolation - Treble Hook Sounds
song: Eyes Like Stars (5:38)
Previously, I commented "Starts like your normal underground band, turns electronic, then just rocks out on the last track." I ordinarily wouldn't expect such diversity from such an obviously independent album (its catalog number is #001, way to start your own label kid :D). And from upstate NY to boot! () Continues to be a personal favorite of an album.

29) Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood - Anti
song: John Saw That Number (4:06)
I *love* her voice! Especially in this song. I don't even bother listening to the lyrics, just to the sound of her perky high pitched voice.

30) Niobe - White Hats - Tomlab
song: Up Hill And Down Dale (4:04)
Really neat vocals on this one, obscure harmonies.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Holy crap Steve. Longest blog, and longest show EVER.