Aboombong – Asynchronic (Self released)
Never Been to Konono
- June 20, 2009: Four revered avant garde genres – Drone, Freejazz, Musique concrète and Krautrock – set out into the heart of Central Africa armed with nothing but DAT recorders to make an audio documentary on the lost land of Konono.
- June 22, 2009: Local witnesses reported they saw the genres wandering around the city of Kinshasa. They were asking for a place called Konono, but were met with perplexed and elusive looks. The only attentive response they got came from a Bandundu fisherman who explained to them that the word konono roughly translates as ‘stiffness of the body’, but that he had no knowledge of an actual place with that name. Consumed by the silent frustration of what was apparently a failed expedition they appeared cold, lost and haunted for the rest of the day.
- June 23, 2009: A French-Canadian exchange student reported Drone and Freejazz were asking for directions on how to get into the heart of the Congolese rainforest. The genres left Kinshasa early in the morning and were never seen again.
- June 27, 2009: An exhaustive 100 men search which lasted for 12 days was conducted but no trace of the genres was found.
- October 5, 2009: The case is declared inactive and unsolved.
- November 25, 2009: Students from the University of Congo’s anthropology department discover a duffel bag labeled as ‘Aboombong – Asynchronic‘ containing four DAT tapes, a bloodied volley ball, a Punjabi ektara, a Vietnamese jack fruit danmo, bone cymbal mallets and several other unusual ethnic instruments. The duffel bag was buried under the foundation of a secluded cabin deep inside the rainforest. The bag is examined by the local authorities who announce they were the property of Drone and its crew.
- January 1, 2010: With permission of the genre’s families select pieces of the tapes are publicly released with the purpose of attracting the international media’s attention towards the case and help raise donations for private investigation.
Available for download HERE.
Alessandro Bosetti – Zwölfzungen (Sedimental)
Laida and Mikel looking for rhymes. (Basque)
The prosody of unknown languages as music. The premise is simple: Zwölfzungen is a recollection of twelve different languages that were unknown to the artist and which he felt had enough aural significance to be interpreted into songs. Of course, a collection of impenetrable dialogues would certainly not be worthy of the admission price alone, in this album, however, Bosetti dissects and scrambles every language in musical terms before sneaking himself into conversation by way of subtle electroacoustic arrangements. The effect created is, for the most part, stunningly rewarding – specially for linguistic voyeurs as myself – and it’s a concept I seriously wish to hear explored further into the future.
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today (4ad)
Bright Lit Blue Skies
Before Today is a lesson for every artist in how to appeal to a broader audience without sacrificing any of your personal aesthetics. Ariel Pink’s music continues to play with the manipulative power of conscious nostalgia but in a more structured and enjoyable form; less concerned with the eccentric production techniques and awkward experimentation than with the unstoppable, zany pop moments on which he has always been quite proficient.
Graffiti6 – Colours (NWFree)
Created amidst tight schedules as a side project to provide creative relief for everyone involved, Colours was always meant to be direct, unfussy and economical. It’s this sort of approach that shapes the band’s sound nicely – polished for sure – but with a keen sense of spontaneity that comes from not dwelling on their musical statements too long, helping their open air, soul pop to blossom while leaving some welcome untempered edges.
Jatoma – s/t (Kompakt)
I’m not even sure why I care so much for this album. It’s delightful for sure, but in a borderline hedonistic sort of way - pleasant but vacuous. Why, then has it kept me coming back for more? For starters I know I love a particularity about their production methods: in a similar fashion to artists like Matmos and Herbert, Jatoma take pride in using their own field recordings of mundane objects as samples and blending them into more traditional sound patches – a practice I’d definitely adopt were I an electronic artist - and which concedes every song in here a very discernable breath and gravity of its own.
On the other hand, the album keeps running like a mirage or a soft drug - I have trouble remembering any of its contents after I’m well done with it but when I’m actually hooked the experience is so strong and hallucinatory it demands undivided attention. Its subtle sensorial beauty will find a way to creep under your skin and keep you begging for more.
John Roberts – Glass Eights (Dial)
The silky flow and carefully constructed narrative of Glass Eights is one of the best treats I’ve heard inside the house genre. At turns blissful and gloomy Glass Eights‘ ambivalence and attention to detail might be its most important assets: It exhibits a marked dancefloor functionality with its pristine highs and its inclination towards sensory pleasure but it’s equally engaging and satisfying when keeping you company at home.
A great album to add to any music collection regardless of how clueless or disinterested you feel when it comes to house music.
Monster Rally – Coral (self released)
Monster Rally is the sound of remnants of long-forgotten records crunched down – through sampling wizardry – to perfect bite-sized Bacharachian miniatures as addictive and melt-in-your-mouth delicious as chocolate M&Ms.
Each song is perfect, as far as plagiarism goes; forever lost in a time and place between 60′s AM radio and the offbeat pop experiments off the 90s. The idea of breaking down the sounds of a lost era into a personal style might feel increasingly depleted nowadays but it’s remarkable how consistent and effective Monster Rally’s music is. I find it hard to listen to Coral and not feel an intense desire to live in an alternate universe where its always summer and we never have to get old.
Available for download HERE
Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (Modular)
Where some bands fail miserably at evoking old school rock with a unique personality, Tame Impala succeed in sewing their influences together into an enveloping listening that doesn’t feel derivative. Innerspeaker never economizes on the riffs and the production details and it’s all the better for it.
Wild Nothing – Gemini (Captured Tracks)
The 80′s art school bedroom experience for those of us who weren’t there. Jack Tatum apes the most memorable acts from the anglopop indie scene from the late 80′s and early 90s with undeniably and provoking ease. A noteworthy exercise in style, which more often than not goes beyond the feats of the great music era he’s lovingly trying to evoke.
Zs – New Slaves (The Social Registry)
Acres of Skin
I don’t really listen to a lot of noise music but New Slaves consistently blew my mind throughout the year. Zs play loose not out of limitation but out of confidence, they enjoy looking around at the destruction they create around them. Like someone suffering from uncontrollable rage and OCD at the same time, they clean the room and arrange everything in perfect order before breaking everything in their path the next minute. Violent smart fun for the whole family.