B/B/S – Brick Mask & Half Moon [2013, Miasmah Recordings]

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By now miasmah recordings have proven their high level output is one to watch out for, with gems like Gabriel Saloman’s Adhere solo effort LP or Kreng’s awesome box set in late ’12 being some of last year’s most interesting outings. Continue reading

Joostdb’s 2012 roundup

In no particular order some of my favorite music of the year. For each release a standout track has been selected that can be streamed for your listening pleasure.

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kernelcoremode’s top releases of 2012

Our friend Kernelcoremode of Creative Space has shared his list of favorite releases for 2012 with us and to spice it up even more he’s offering a two and a half hour mix of tunes taken from the list below.

Download here (320kbps mp3).

for more info go to www.creativespace.gr

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psontis’ top picks for 2012

After a very long hiatus we are back and we’re planning to get this place up and running again. And what better place to reboot than a sequence of posts of our favourite releases for 2012. It has been an awesome year for the industry and it took some effort to cherry-pick the following twenty:

01. Oren Ambarchi – Audience of One (Touch)

Legend in his own right Oren Ambarchi returns to Touch with a behemoth of an album especially due to the backbone of the album, Knots, a thirtyfive minute long workout with the help of various well established artists (Kang, Talia, Boothby)

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N.Racker – Flock Toxicant , N.Racker b/w Tarnation Rooks [2012, Pre-Cert Entertainment]

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Amazing combo delivered by Pre-Cert in their most interesting ‘signing’ up to now. First up with a split cassette pairing N.Racker with Tarnation Rooks (who is rumoured to be Andy Votel). Side A comes with a very experimental approach and a rather avant garde-ish vibe in contrast to Side B which sticks to the familiar Pre-Cert output and is less of a surprise. With Flock Toxicant though is were N.Racker truly won me over, fusing perfectly together drones with very organic vibes and the folklore element the Pre-Cert camp has come to be known for. All this without forgetting their obsession with horror flicks, using such influences to create a chilling atmosphere throughout the LP. This surely is my favourite release (and definitely the darkest and most imposing one) out of a label whose standards have been set high from the very first outings.

Fire! & Oren Ambarchi – In The Mouth A Hand [2012, Rune Grammofon]

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A long overdue update on (what might be) my favorite band’s latest release for Rune Grammofon. After an excellent debut album and an awesome colab with Jim O’Rourke (that delivered both an LP and an excellent 10″ EP) they now are joined by none other than legendary drummer & guitarist Oren Ambarchi. What we have here is a more dense approach of their sound with the known jazz elements being always apparent: Berthling’s bass working overtime layering intense rhythms patterns, Werlin’s drums pulling it all together tightly, main man Gustafsson focusing more on the electronics rather than making his sax as dominating as before. The main reason for this different approach must be Ambarchi’s input pulling them all to a much noisier terrain harassing his guitar and adding those beautiful low end drones as well as the sheer force of his distinctive guitar reefs. A double LP that pulls you in and beats you with information, this definitely is one for multiple listens being more and more rewarding every time it hits the platter. No bullshit, their best output to date, which just lets me craving for what might come next!

Pete Swanson/Moin – Positive/Elsie [2012, Confessions]

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Exceptional 7″ offering to kick start Blackest Ever Black’s new imprint, Confessions. Side A finds Pete Swanson picking up where he left off with his Man with Potential LP last year, weird repetitive electronics that people tend to call techno (I don’t really agree) but this is all about the B Side for me with Moin showcasing some very sleek guitar drones laid on top of a numbed out 4/4 kick and the proper amount of spoken word that doesn’t become cheesy. Very curious as to where this venture will go with future releases, but definitely off to an amazing start!

Thisquietarmy – Vessels [2011, Aurora Borealis]

Somehow this one skipped my radar during 2011 but thankfully found its way to my playlist this weekend and what a treat this was! After looking into him I realised there is more to be discovered about Eric Quach aka thisquietarmy but seems like ‘Vessels’ was the best place to start. With a naval theme throughout the album and having his guitar drones as the backbone for it, he creates an interesting listen which leaps from tranquille moments of subtle synthwork and lazy percussions (the quiet seascape at dusk waiting for the sun to hide behind the horizon) to blasts of sonic energy with all three ingredients being overused and abused only to leave the listener with powerful orchestrations filling the room soon after the initial force of impact has settled in (brutal currents and waves crushing on the same shores that felt comforting and safe just moments ago).  Highly recommended

Phono Stage Addition

This weekend I went ahead and purchased the NAD PP3i in order to stop feeding the signal from the turntables to the amp, through my mixer. The descision on which phono stage to get was mainly reached by browsing the net and reading reviews since the cost was fairly low and I wasn’t up for going into extensive sound testing in a variety of systems and combinations. One of the straight out of the box advantages is the ability to connect my computer via USB and record my collection in up to 24bit/96kHz qualitiy.
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Shackleton – Music for the quiet hour / The drawbar organ EPs [2012, Woe To The Septic Heart!]

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Out of sheer completism I had to have the box set, but I can see how Shackleton has planned this release out and why. The three EPs feel overproduced in a bad way, with a couple of tunes being the exception of what is mostly Shackleton testing out his solo riffs on the drawbar organ. Having ‘Man on a string’ in mind these 12s felt a wee bit disappointing! But after moving on to ‘Music for the quiet hour’ it became apparent how Shackleton has once again surpassed himself! Dark and loomy drones, otherworldly vocals, elaborate and complex percussion which builds and builds into Vengeance Tenfold’s letter to his grand daughter, only to reach her in a new, better, post-apocalyptic earth. This is Shackleton at his best, with a captivating narrative throughout the whole listen! It all comes together with the extraordinary art we’ve come to love by Zeke Clough embracing all covers and an extra book with the uniquely grotesque images and the aforementioned letter for you to read in your own free time.