We don’t always discover all the good music ourselves; in order to do so, we also rely on our friends. This month, we invited dozens of guest artists and label owners to submit their own year-end lists. We’re really happy about their selections and hope you’ll use them as we do: as a suggestion list for further listening.
Celer (Will Long) and Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) are two of the most prolific artists we cover, releasing new music on a near-monthly basis. This year, the two also toured together and released a series of 7″s, as well as a set of concert downloads. In addition to asking each to submit their own year-end lists, we asked each to list their favorite 2012 music recorded by the other!
Will Long best of 2012
1. Terre Thaemlitz – Soulnessless (Comatonse)
2. Locrian and Christoph Heemann (Handmade Birds)
3. Greg Haines – Digressions (Preservation)
4. Luis Nanook – Okano Ueno Romero (Flyrec)
5. Vatican Shadow – Ghosts of Chechnya (Hospital)
Will Long best of Machinefabriek 2012
1. Machinefabriek – Forks (Banned)
2. Machinefabriek – Stroomtoon (Nuun)
3. Steve Roden & Machinefabriek – Lichtung (ESR)
4. Banabila & Machinefabriek (Self-released)
5. Jaap Blonk & Machinefabriek – Deep Fried (Kontrans)
Rutger Zuydervelt best of Celer 2012
2. Redness + Perplexity
3. Rags of Contentment
4. Discourses of the Wicked re-issue
5. Collaborations with Machinefabriek (sorry, just went soooo well …)
Look for Machinefabriek’s overall list in Part Two and a Celer review at A Closer Listen early in 2013!
Michael Tanner records under many guises, including Plinth, Taskerlands, The Cloisters and of course his own. In 2012, he was also part of the Tyneham House project and received our award for Ambient Artist of the Year. Yet this title should not lead one to believe that his work is restricted to the ambient field; the folk, modern composition and experimental fields can claim him as well.
Kate Carr is both a recording artist and the head of the Flaming Pines label. In 2012, she impressed us with her own Return to New Caledonia, her collaboration with Gail Priest, Blue | Green, and a slew of fantastic label releases. The latest of these, the Birds of a Feather series, will continue throughout 2013.
Kate Carr’s Ten Best Releases of 2012
Richard Skelton – Verse of Birds (Corbel Stone Press)
Oren Ambarchi – Sagittarian domain (Editions Mego)
Simon Scott – Below Sea Level (12k)
Vladislav Delay – Espoo (Raster Noton)
Nicholas Bernier – Music from a Book (Denovali)
EUS, Postdrome & Saaad – Sustained Layers (BLWBCK)
Philip Blackburn – Ghostly Psalms (Innova)
The Green Kingdom – Incidental Music (Tench)
Simon Whetham – Concert for no-one (Impulsive Habitat)
Fighting Lion – Sparkling Days, Sparkling Nights (No-Source)
Monique Recknagel is the founder and visionary owner of the Sonic Pieces label, a consistent source for great music as well as for exquisite handmade packaging. In the past few years, Sonic Pieces has become one of the world’s most reliable launchers of new talent, bringing A & R to a whole new level.
Monique Recknagel’s Top 5 most frequently listened to records in 2012
Zelienople – The World Is A House On Fire (Type)
Carl Oesterhelt / Johannes Enders – Divertimento für Tenorsaxophon und kleines Ensemble (Alien Transistor)
Kreng – Works for Abattoir Fermé (Miasmah)
Codeine – The White Birch (Numero Group)
Clare Fisher – Easy Livin’ (Revelation Records)
Monique Recknagel’s Top 5 Concerts of 2012
A Hawk And A Hacksaw (HAU1, Berlin)
Gonzales (Heimathafen, Berlin)
Deaf Center (Kings Place, London)
Kim Doo Soo (Ausland, Berlin)
Volcano the Bear (Monarch, Berlin)
Tonesucker is one of the loudest collectives around, but their output is more than just noise. In 2012, they released their finest work to date, the astonishing Omnia Convivia Crastina, a work packed not only with abrasion, but with melodic grace. The members of the band pooled their efforts to create this list.
1. Scott Walker – Bish Bosh
2. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
3. Richard Skelton – Verse of Birds
4. Asmus Tietchens – Abraum
5. The Bohman Brothers – Back on the Streets
6. Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
7. Beach House – Bloom
8. Peter Cusack – Sounds from Dangerous Places
9. Rhodri Davis – Wound Response
10. The Sixteen – Palestrina Volumes 1 & 2
The prolific Ryan Huber graced our site under various pseudonyms this year, recording as Sujo, Vopat and Olekranon. His brand of drone is thick, regal and majestic. In a perfect world, it would used as the soundtrack to coronations. A collaboration with Sun Hammer and a new Olekranon album topped off Huber’s 2012; the former was reviewed here last month, and the latter will be covered in early 2013.
Ryan Huber’s Top 9 Albums (and a movie)
Theologian, “Chasms of My Heart”
Sun Hammer + Radere, “Lotophagen”
Emeralds, “Just to Feel Anything”
Dinosaur Jr., “I Bet on Sky”
Horseback / Locrian, “New Dominions”
Drudkh, “Eternal Turn of the Wheel”
Leviathan, “True Traitor, True Whore”
A Place to Bury Strangers, “Worship”
The Comedy (film)
Costa Rica’s Jose Acuña (EUS) was featured twice on our site this year, the first time in collaboration with Postdrome & Saåad, the second with his own Los Otros, which was in turn followed by a stellar remix album. His music may be drone, but it sneaks into other categories as well, a fact brought to the fore on Los Otros Remixed.
Jose Acuña’s Top Ten Releases (* = highest recommendation)
Anathema – Wheater Systems
Änglagård – Viljans Öga
*Black Swan – Aeterna
Gultskra Artikler – Abtu Anet
Joe Frawley – A Hundred Years
*Kira Kira – Feathermagnetik
Night Shift – Trespasser’s Guide to Nowhere
Ihsahn – Eremita
Storm Corrosion – Storm Corrosion
T.R.A.M. – Lingua Franca
Whether as Hills! Werewolves! Run! or as We Are the Wooden Houses, Stephen Benson and Marc Gillen never fail to impress ~ although those who listen to both guises would swear that the players were different. The same is true of their year-end lists.
Stephen Benson’s list
1. Can – The Lost Tapes
2. Deep Magic – Closed Eyes
3. The Eccentronic Research Council – 1612 Underture
4. The Fog Signals – The Ghosts of Bush
5. Grouper – Violet Replacement
6. Magpahi & Paper Dollhouse – Devon Folklore Tapes Vol, IV
7. The Men – Open Your Heart
8. Mohave Triangles – Eternal Light of the Desert Plateaus
9. Pye Corner Audio – Black Mill Tapes Vols. 1 & 2
10. Nicholas Szczepanik – Candor of Night
Marc Gillen’s list
1. White Fence – Perfume Volumes 1 & 2
2. Cat Power – Sun
3. Steeling Sheep – Into the diamond sun
4. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
5. Julia Holter – Ekstasis
6. DIIV – Oshin
7. Donnie and Joe Emerson – Dreamin wild
8. Ty Seagull – Twins
9. Mount Eerie – Clear moon
10. Goat – World music
Byron Christoloudou is also known as Byron Felt, the founder of the Felt Collective; and as Golders Green, responsible for one of the year’s most honored albums. (Look for it on multiple year-end lists on our site!) He was generous enough to provide not only his picks, but the links to his choices ~ very helpful, since so many of these are new to us.
7 En / Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Split (http://www.ctatsu.com/portfolio/en-jefre-cantu-ledesma/)