a closer listen

ACL 2012: Guest Lists Part II

The second installment of our guest list series comes from artists who have contributed to our mix series, or that were interviewed for my  column Sound Propositions.  Like Joe Cocker here, we get by with a little help from our friends.

Machinefabriek (Rutger Zuydervelt) remains one of our favorite artists, and luckily for us also one of the most prolific.  His trilogy with Celer was so successful that we asked the two to list each other’s favorite releases.  (Read those here).

Rutger Zuydervelt’s best of 2012

1. Will Guthrie – Sticks, Stones & Breaking Bones (Antboy Music)
2. Laurie Spiegel – The Expanding Universe (Unseen Worlds)
3. Anne-James Chaton with Alva Noto and Andy Moor – Décade (Raster-Noton)
4. Greg Haines – Digressions (Preservation)
5. Mount Eerie – Clear Moon/Ocean Roar (P.W Elverum & Sun/7 e.p.)
6. Hildur Guðnadóttir – Leyfdu ljosinu (Touch)
7. Theesatisfaction – awE naturalE (Sub Pop)
8. Eli Keszler – Catching Net (PAN)
9. Lander Gyselinck and Hester Venrooy – Point Break (entr’acte)
10. Andy Stott – Luxury Problems (Modern Love)
11. The xx – Coexcist (Young Turks)
12. Kane Ikin – Sublunar (12K)
13. Helena Gough – Knot Invariants (entr’acte)
14. Oren Ambarchi & Robin Fox – Connected (Kranky)
15. Björk – Biophilia (Polydor)
16. Roel Meelkop – Secret Garden (OtO)
17. Diagram & Moliné – Ley (entr’acte)
18. Andrea Belfi – Wege (Room40)
19. Machinist – Convergence (Narrominded)
20. Locrian & Christoph Heemann – s/t (Handmade Birds)

Other highlights of the year include performing in Riga [Latvia] (amongst many other great places), touring with Celer, recording with Michel Banabila and Jaap Blonk, making an installation for the NAI (Dutch Architecture Institute), working with Sarah Payton, the premiere of Chris Teerink’s Sol LeWitt film (with my soundtrack), seeing Swans live and getting a cat.

Enrico Coniglio is a guitarist, environmental sound recordist and sound artist from Venice, Italy. A  member of AIPS – Archivio Italiano Paesaggi Sonori, Coniglio has a marked interest in landscape aesthetics which manifests itself in his audio work as well as his photography.  He also co-runs the Laverna and Galaverna labels, and has contributed to Herion as well as many other groups.  Along with Alessandro Doni, he recently published “noWHere – an ideal manifest for sound artists,” which I am presently translating into English.

Enrico Coniglio’s Best of 2012

Considering the huge amount of music produced, even within a niche as
one of the “experimental” music, it seems difficult to decide which
are the best releases in the year, knowing full well that you cannot
listen to everything that come out, as it is impossible to draw up an
exhaustive list. So, I chose the titles below according to a few
simple conditions:

– my limited knowledge of the releases out on 2012;
– my inability to listen to too much music;
– with respect to an imaginary thread that goes from modern classical
to ambient music;
– with respect to the Italian scene (artists, producers, labels) that
I admire and I feel duty-bound to promote. Say that I’m a chauvinist
🙂

1 if, Bwana, Antonio Della Marina, Marta Vigna, Michele Spanghero,
Veronika Vitàzkovà, Sandro Carta “A Proposal For T.” (Ozky E-Sound)
2 Giovanni Lami “In sirenis” (Danilo Montanari editore)
3 VVAA “Loud Listening” (Cronica electronica)
4 Pietro Riparbelli “Three Days of Silence” (Gruenrekorder)
5 Zbeen “Stasis” (Entr’acte)
6 Øe “Transfer” (Murmur)
7 Julia Kent & Barbara De Dominicis “Parallel 41” (Baskaru)
8 Yasuhiro Moprinaga “Sceneries from the castellated wall” (Galaverna)
9 Attilio Novellino “Through glass” (Valeot)
10 RETINA.IT “Descending into crevasse” (Glacial movements)

I apologize to all those I have not included in this brief “shopping
list”. I would also like to point out that the relationship between
numbers and the releases listed is arbitrary, I’m definitely not able
to say what is the best album of the year. But I’m sure that, in the
face of too much music produced, artists and labels should make a deep
reflection on the problem of what is called “market saturation” and
respect to the limits of the “growth” as an economic and cultural
model, nowadays clearly in crisis.

SEC_  is  Mimmo Napolitano, the guy behind Toxo Records and many related musical projects, including Aspec(t).  Hailing from Naples, Italy, one of my favorite cities anywhere in the world, his idiosyncratic music perfectly encapsulates the tension between chaos and order that defines that city for me.  Testacoda, his recent collaboration with Jerome Noetinger on Bocian Records, was a highlight of 2012 for me.  Here are his.


Albums:
Kevin Drumm “Crowded” (Bocian Records)
Franck Vigroux “We (nous autre)” (D’autre cordes)
Scott Walker “Bish Bosch” (4AD)
P16.D4 “Passagen” (Monotype records)
Francisco Meirino “Untitled phenomenas in concrete” (Cave12 records)

Concerts:
Andy Guhl @ Altera! 2012 – Napoli 18.03.2012
Francisco Lopez @ Flussi festival – Avellino 28.08.2012

Discovered:
Emptyset

Mise_en_scene  is Tel Aviv’s Shay Nassi, an experimental electronic musician who produced our most recent artist curated mix.

1. SR Hess + mise_en_scene – Non-Distinction
2. Günter Schlienz – Tape Studies
3. Locrian & Christoph Heemann – Locrian & Christoph Heemann
4. Emptyset – Medium
5. Mika Vainio – FE3O4 – Magnetite
6. Eleh – Homage To The Pointed Waveforms
7. Suum Cuique – Ascetic Ideals
8. Demdike Stare – Elemental
9. Pleq + Philippe Lamy: Momentum
10. Burzum – Umskiptar

It seems wrong somehow to give STEVE RODEN
a brief introduction.  His work as an artist incorporates a wide variety of practices, from painting to sound work to translating poetry from languages he can’t understand.  I met Steve at Montreal’s Suoni per il Popolo festival earlier this year, and we carried on a massive dialogue afterwards which will soon be published in two parts for Sound Propositions.  Considering he’s the pioneer of the ‘lowercase’ style, I’ve left his best of is his own style.

performing with stephen vitiello in the rothko chappel, waking up at 5 am and driving with damien simon to a small chapel in monfort sur meu to make recordings of a pump organ and celesta. performing with seth cluett in canada, finally meeting and performing with: mathias delplanque, lawrence english, and hearing france jobim remix my installation… meeting the sound pocket people in hong kong, being part of a sound installation with richard chariter, robert crouch and yann novak. performing with glenn bach while watching a man with blue colored sweat… seeing faust live for the first time, the plethora of new vinyl, especially celer, machinefabriek, and vatican shadow. buying a ton of old 45s from all over the world; having richard gere pimp my book of old music photos… and standing in the record store not able to figure out which music should be purchased on vinyl, CD or download – and finally, my first cassette release since 1990!

Dennis Huddleston aka 36 inaugurated our mix series and set a high bar for those who came after.  As if Hollow and Hypersona weren’t good enough, he truly out did himself with his latest LP Lithea.  Cassette connoisseurs may be adviced to check out his tape series, but unfortunately they’re long gone by now.  Luckily you still have these lovely sounds to sooth you.

Lee Gamble – Diversions 1994-1996
Funk Obese – ECL I-VI ‘Dark Matters’
Burial – Kindred EP
NRSB-11 ‎– NRSB-11
Dam Mantle – Her Woes
Maribou State – Olivia EP
Dez Andres – Things U Like
ASC & Sam KDC – Decayed Society
Chromatics – Kill for Love
1991 – High-Tech High-Life

Jara Tarnovski  is a member of the excellent Czech group Gurun Gurun, and his mix of Czech and Slovak experimental music remains one of our most popular mixes.

Jara Tarnovski’s best of 2012

10 best albums of 2012 (in alphabetical order):
Barbara De Dominicis & Julia Kent – Parallel 41 (Baskaru)
Beak> – >> (Invada)
Dans Les Arbres – Canopee (ECM)
David Cordero & Carles Guajardo – OST Emma (Foehn)
Don Preston – Filters, Oscillators & Envelopes 1967-82 (Sub Rosa)
Evade – Destroy & Dream (Kitchen)
Federsel & Mäkelä – An Evening with Federsel & Mäkelä (Poli5)
Gareth Dickson – Quite A Way Away (12k)
Jessica Bailiff – At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky (Kranky)
Oval – OvalDNA (Shitkatapult)

10 tracks that made my year 2012 (in alphabetical order):
Anthony Moore – A, B, C, D, Gol’fish
Arianna Savall – El Mariner
Boduf Songs – Temping
Bronius Kutavicius – Last Pagan Rites
Etnografinis Ansamblis – Tututis
Julia Holter – Marienbad
Lee Ranaldo – Off The Wall
Master’s Hammer – Vracejte konve na misto
Miles Davis – Montreux ’73
OTK – Srdce

Alex Gray seems to have a project for every day of the week.  He releases beautiful chill out music as Deep Magic, crazy fucked up collaged beat driven music as  DJ/Purple/Image, is a touring member of the Sun Araw Band, and more mix tapes than I can remember in 2012 alone. Alex also creates the artwork for his tape releases, running the art-centric label  Deep Tapes to put out limited releases of works by himself and his friends.

Alex Gray’s favorite stuff of 2012

mirror to mirror -body moving slowly
empyset
dak – leaving tape
top – tape
matthew sullivan + sean mccann record
sun araw – inner treaty
silent servant mnml ssgs mix
farrah abraham – my teenage dream has ended
the homies in
l.a. , oakland, moscow , berlin australia , mexico , oxnard ////
The anonymous drone artist Black Swan quietly appeared on the scene in 2010 with In 8 Movements, followed the next year by The Quiet Divide.  In 2012 he’s shown no sign of slowing down, or revealing his identity, not only releasing two stunning LPs (Aeterna and Heaven), and collaborations with site favorites 36 and EUS, but also an outstanding mix for us.  Read more from BS here.

Black Swan’s best of 2012

Absolute favorite albums from 2012:
As shocking as some may appear to you, the albums listed below have been added to my imaginary and contradictory ‘Number One Favorite Albums of all time’ list, having been released in 2012. They’ve all have been played loudly, numerous times a day, for the passed year. Some ambient, most not. Absolute best new music I’ve heard this year and in general, hands down.

Lights Out Asia – Hy Brasil (Dying with this album in my hands would be considered dying happy).
Drape – An Idea And Its Map
Camera – Radiate!
EUS – Los Otros
36 – Lithea
OM – Advaitic Songs
Godspeed You Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
Beach House – Bloom
Air – Le Voyage Dans La Lune
Brian Eno – Lux
Pan & Me – Paal

Film Releases:
Beyond the Black Rainbow
I can’t stress how much I love this film- it’s become an obsession. Panos Cosmatos proved himself as an extremely talented director. Jeremy Schmidt’s score and music was a perfect match, just beautiful. Though technically released within the festival circuit in 2010, its 2012 official release gave the world a brand new new cult film, which could’ve been passed off as thirty years old- completely worthy of the term ‘cult’. This is the kind of movie I’ve been awaiting for many, may years. To me, it’s atmospheric, surreal, visual, nostalgic and perfect in every way. I really hope 2013 sees a soundtrack release on vinyl… (A must see for any Boards of Canada fan, as well).

Being in the post production end of film, I had a chance to do some work on Lynne Ramsay’s ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’, released in 2011. A heartbreaking film, presented flawlessly starring Thilda Swinton, who many could swear is actually Thom Yorke : ) Great film, a must see for sure.

I can’t stress how much I love this film- it’s become an obsession. Panos Cosmatos proved himself as an extremely talented director. Jeremy Schmidt’s score and music was a perfect match, just beautiful. Though technically released within the festival circuit in 2010, its 2012 official release gave the world a brand new cult film, which could’ve been passed off as thirty years old- completely worthy of the term ‘cult’ in general. This is the kind of movie I’ve been awaiting for many, many years. To me, it’s atmospheric, surreal, visual, nostalgic and perfect in every way. I really hope 2013 sees a soundtrack release on vinyl… (A must see for any Boards of Canada fan, as well).


Matteo Uggeri
aka Hue topped out modern composition chart this year with Pagetos, his collaboration with Luca Mauri and Francesco Giannico.  In addition to numerous collaborations (such as the Remote Control project with Luca Sigurta and his unique work with Bob Corn), he’s also a member of the group Sparkle in Grey.   Read more about Uggeri’s work in Sound Propositions 02.

Albums:
BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Larry Yes and the Tangled Mess – The Next Wave of Omnigalactic Peace Warriors

then…:
McGuffin Electric – Merde, il pleut
Rella the Woodcutter – The Golden Undertow
Christian Alati – An Elephant into This Building
Tea Rockers Quintet – Cerimony
Wu Na – Deform from Within
Chris Dooks & Machinefabriek – The Eskadalemudir Armonium

Discovers of the year (but dated later):
Sven Kacirek – The Kenya Sessions
Ben Frost – By the Throat
Jon Lajoie – Every Normal Guy

Publications:
Solar Ipse #5 ( a great paper fanzine, very eclectic!)

Films:
Monsieur Lazhar
Il comandante e la cicogna
We Are Legion

and for the concerts:
Luminance Ration – Live @ Macao November 2012

Concerts:
Andrew Bird, live in Milan, November 2012
many unknown artists listened in the island of Bali, Indonesia, playing their gamelan

Experiences:
Playing at the “Shake Your Soul” festival in San Martino Spino, where my friend Tizio usually organizes his “Musica nelle valli” festival, that this year had to be cancelled due to the terrible earthquake that hit that area. We made this little new festival to gather money for that area, and we got a lot of fun.
The last Tagofest in Marina di Massa, which was the most important festival in Italy for very underground music. Now it’s over, after eight years.
I know is a bit self-referential but… recording a new album with Sparkle in Grey in Andrea Serrapiglio’s BadInstruemnt Studio – An unforgettable lovely great experience.

Giuseppe Ielasi is simply a master of his craft.  In addition to a solo LP that is amongst his best and his third LP as Bellows collaborating with Nicola Ratti, he has several very exciting collaborations in the pipeline.  Ielasi’s Senufo Editions labels has continued to release top quality work, and he’s mastered many of our favorite releases this year as well.  I recently interviewed Giuseppe for Sound Propositions, which will appear early in the new year.

Astor “Alcor” (Kye)
Morton Feldman “Crippled Symmetry”
Foust ! “Space Sickness” (eh?)
Pierre Gerard “Principe d’Incertitutde” (self released)
Ryu Hankil / Kim Taeyong / Lee Youngji “Profile” (Manual)
Eva Maria Houben “Druids and Questions” (Wandelweiser)
Dale Lloyd “Organisms” (and/Oar)
Roc Marciano “Reloaded” (Decon)
Michael Pisaro / Toshiya Tsunoda “Crosshatches” (Erstwhile)
Keith Rowe “September” (Erstwhile)
Robert Turman “Flux” (Spectrum Spools)
Jakob Ullmann “Fremde Zeit Addendum” (Edition RZ)
Mark Vernon “Static Cinema” (Entr’acte)

I came across Low Light Mixes on Mixcloud earlier this year.  Curated by Dave, I was immediately impressed by the taste that went into making these mixes, and was unsurprised to learn that Low Light has such a dedicated audience.  I invited Dave to share a mix with us, and he’s produced “Daylight Fades,” revolving around the music of Harold Budd, easily our most listened to mix so far.  Dave has impeccable taste, so make sure you comb through this one especially closely.

Best of 2012:
1) Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself & Hands of Glory
2) Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams
3) Neil Young – Psychdelic pill
4) Deep Sea Diver – History Speaks
5) The Lumineers – The Lumineers
6) Of Monsters & Men – My Head is an Animal
8) Father John Misty – Fear Fun
9) Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again
10) Best Coast – The Only Place
11) The Avett bothers – The Once and Future Carpenter
12) Arrange – New Memory
13) Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Here
14) Daniel Rossen – Silent Hour/Golden Mile
15) Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
16) The xx – Coexist
17) Elbow – Dead in the Boot
18) Grizzly Bear – Shields
19) DIIV – Oshin
20) Sun Kil Moon – among the leaves
21) Tallest Man on Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
22) David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
23) Vic and Gab – Bridges and Guns
24) Punch Brothers – who’s feeling young now
25) Arrange – New Memory
26) Alt-J – an awesome wave

ambient:
1) Kyle Bobby Dunn – Bring Me The Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn
2) Bersarin Quartett – II
3) mohn – mohn
4) 36 – Lithea
5) Taylow Deupree – Faint
6) Forrest Fang – Animism
7) Loops of Your Heart – And Never Ending Nights
8) Loscil – Sketches from New Brighton
9) Sonmi451 – four peaks
10) Steve Roach & Dirk Serries – low volume music
11) Spheruleus – Cyanometry
12) v.a. – lost in the humming air (music inspired by harold budd)
13) Willamette – always in postscript
14) Marconi Union – Different Colours
15) Eivind Aarset – Dream Logic
16) Nils Frahm – Screws
17) John Adams – Harmonielehre – Short Ride in a Fast Machine
18) VA – …and darkness came
19) Andy Stott – luxury problems
20) Peter James – Landfall

Singles:
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love
Icona Pop – I Love It
Tilly And The Wall – Heavy Mood
The Lumineers – Hey Ho
Kishi Bashi – bright whites
Cloud Nothings – Stay Useless
Best Coast – The Only Place
Gregory Porter – Be Good
Japandroids – The House that Heaven Built

Best re-discoveries:
Nina Simone – i put a spell on you [1965]
laurie spiegel – the expanding universe
art blakey & the jazz messengers
Miles Davis – a tribute to jack johnson
Double Muffled Dolphin – who’s on third

Soundtracks:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Cloud Atlas

Barbara De Dominicis, besides using her voice, loves collecting sounds, manipulating them and inventing sound textures.  Parallel 41, her collaboration with Canadian cellist Julia Kent, released a CD and DVD this year, a track of which is included in my end of year mix.   Among her current  projects is Exqusite What [as both curator and creator] a collective inspired by the Surrealist practice  of exquisite corpses dedicated to the creation of an audio-visual web platform.  She has recently been  invited by GIRRL [girrlsound :digitalgirrl to curate and produce a series of radio podcasts entitled  ”The Cat Cinderella” with the aim of promoting  the dissemination of works by women artists on the brink between net_art, sound art and audio documentary.  In 2012 she became a member of AIPS.  She will be a future subject of Sound Propositions.

Barbara De Dominicis Top Albums of 2012

Christoph Berg – Paraphrases  (Facture)
Circuit Des Yeux – Helen, You Bitch (Magnetic South)
Missy Mazzoli – Song from the Uproar: Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt (New Amsterdam Records)
Andrea Serrapiglio- The Ship (self produced)
Zbeen – Stasis (Entr’acte)
Isnaj Dui – Abstracts On Solitude (hibernate)
Franck Vigroux – We (nous autre) (D’autre cordes)
Valgeir Sigurdsson – Architecture Of Loss (Bedroom Community)
Øe- Transfer (Murmur)
Hildur Guðnadóttir – Leyfðu Ljósinu (Touch)
Joane Hétu – La Femme territoire ou 21 fragments d’humus (Ambiances Magnétiques)
Etre – Abitacolo Ostile (2006-2011)  (Privileged to fail records)
Bérangère Maximin – No One is an Island -(Sub Rosa)
Attilio Novellino- Through Glass (Valeot)
Swans – The Seer (Young God)
Petra Jean Phillipson – Notes on Death (Montpatry Press)
Suzanne Ciani – Lixiviation (Finders Keepers Records)
Giulio Aldinucci -Tarsia (Nomadic Kids Republic)
Cyanometry – Spheruleus (Tessellate Recordings)
Luca Sigurta – Bliss(FRraTto9 uNdeR tHE sky)