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Goodbye 2010!

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights”.

- Hamilton Wright Mable.

It’s a bit ironic but, this is my first “last post of  year” (and I feel very nervous).
I really want to thank everyone who visited us this year and kudos to those who took some time to comment on the posts.
I want  to close the year with this playlist because there is nothing more perfect than to receive the year dancin’.
Happy New Year to all!

P.S. My “best of ” lists are on my tumblr: Top of albums: here & Top of compilations: here

Image: Haw-lin

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Category: Motel de Moka

Late Night and It was Her Birthday

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” Very Late Night. One day after Moka’s Birthday. “

01. Ruben Gonzalez – Pa’ gozar
Chanchullo (2000)
02. Ø + NotoLos
Wohltemperiert (Raster-Norton, 2001)
03. Ø + NotoHain
Wohltemperiert (Raster-Norton, 2001)
04. Gidon KremerSoledad
Hommage a Piazzolla (1996)
05. TchaikovskyThe Seasons, Selection (Sviatoslav Richter In 1983), June, Barcarolle
Great Pianists of the Century – vol 4 (2002)
06. Chopin - Mazurka No.51 in F minor Op.68 No.4
Chopin Maria Joao Pires (2009)
07. ChopinMazurka No.40 in F minor Op.63 No.2 – Lento
Chopin Maria Joao Pires (2009)
08. DebussyPréludes – Livre 1 – 11. La Danse De Puck
Claude Debussy: Préludes, Vol. 1; Images (1978)
09. Satie - Gymnopédies – 2. Lent Et Triste
The Magic Of Satie : Jean-Yves Thibaudet (2002)

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Well, simple music becomes complicated very quickly when it comes to making a list for Moka. My brain turns right noodly, she does have her peculiar taste you know. So maybe this year I string up something delicate and extremely beautiful pieces instead of themes. It’s a Late night list, the kind one wants to hear the last thing before the day ends. Maybe she’ll be too tired to notice imperfect list and just enjoy the songs instead. heh. But they are some of the best interpreted pieces I found so far. (start from track 4. The first 3 is to annoys her. I can’t help it.) And Happy Birthday, Moka.

image: NIN, *nacnud*

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Category: Acoustic

Moka’s Top 10 Albums 2010

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)
Free

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)
Little Houseboat

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)
Porcelain

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)
Color Sky

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)
Lucidity

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)
Chinatown

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.

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Category: Best Indie Albums, Best Of

Winter 2010. Sutra

“In the ponds, at all times, lotuses of various colors as large as chariot-wheels are in bloom. Blue flowers radiate blue light, brilliance and splendor; yellow ones radiate yellow light, brilliance and splendor; red ones radiate red light, brilliance and splendor; white ones radiate white light, brilliance and splendor; four-colored ones radiate four-colored light, brilliance and splendor. Shariputra, that Buddha-land is full of such glorious adornments of supreme qualities, which are most pleasing to the mind. For this reason, that land is called ‘Utmost Bliss.’ The Sutra on Praise of the Pure Land and Protection.

Postrock. End of 2010.

01. Rovo - Sukhna
Tonic (Tzadik, 2002)
02. The Mercury ProgramThe Vortex East
From the Vapor of Gasoline (Tiger Style, 2000)
03. Alva Noto - Prototype 5
Prototypes (Efa Imports, 2000)
04. Hauschka - Kreuzung
The Prepared Piano (Karaoke Kalk, 2005)
05. Low - Rope
I Could Live in Hope (Vernon Yard Records, 1994)
06. Kammerflimmer KollektiefAoki Takamasa – After the Rain rmx
Kammerflimmer Kollektief Remixed (Staubgold Germany, 2006)

note: Here, I am. Sorry missing in action. I was busy stirring up trouble on the other side of internet. Trouble is, I am so back up with my music listening. I don’t think I have anything up date until few more days. Don’t even ask about end of year list. There isn’t going to be one from me. (maybe a quick impression, but nowhere near complete listening and arranging them nicely.) In the meantime, I have 3 lists that I prepared last November for a series of winter list, mostly long and programatic. This is second one, post rock. Think of it like a lotus flower in frozen winter lake, magically alive in the middle of desolate landscape with early 2000 post-rock texture. The Mercury Program is my old favorite.

image: jude hill

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Category: Experimental

I know that she is made of smoke

Photo: Candy Black Studio.

Sadness round at the hollow of the throat—inside, and one good thing: it makes you horny.
- Priscilla Becker.

Seems like I’m not satisfied. I have too much on my mind. It seems like I have more temptations put on me than anyone. Course, that’s what the Bible said, that’s the way we’d be tried out. And every time I ask God to remove this awful burden off of my heart, he does.

- Excerpt of a conversation with Nettie Featherstone.

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Category: Electronica, Pop, Rock

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down. [1]


Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think--' (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `--yes, that's about the right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.) [2]



O long-silent Sybil,
you of the winged dreams,
Speak out from your temple of light
as the serious constellations
with Greek names
still stare down on us
as a lighthouse moves its megaphone
over the sea
Speak out and shine upon us
the sea-light of Greece
the diamond light of Greece

Far-seeing Sybil, forever hidden,
Come out of your cave at last
And speak to us in the poet's voice
the voice of the fourth person singular
the voice of the inscrutable future
the voice of the people mixed
with a wild soft laughter--
And give us new dreams to dream,
Give us new myths to live by! [3]


So our princes who have lost their principalities after many years’ of possession shouldn’t blame their loss on fortuna. The real culprit is their own indolence, going through quiet times with no thought of the possibility of change (it’s a common human fault, failing to prepare for tempests unless one is actually in one!). And when eventually bad times did come, they thought of •flight rather than •self-defence, hoping that the people, upset by conquerors’ insolence, would recall them. This course of action may be all right when there’s no alternative, but it is not all right to neglect alternatives and choose this one; it amounts to voluntarily falling because you think that in due course someone will pick you up. If you do get rescued (and you probably won’t), that won’t make you secure; the only rescue that is really helpful to you is the one performed by you, the one that depends on yourself and your virtù. [4]