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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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!

Oyaarss – Bads [2012, Ad Noiseam]

Following a variety of hints of this guy’s extraordinary work here and there (an awesome 12″ on Creative Space, an excelent remix on Cloaks’ 3by3 and a free self released compilation) we finaly get to listen to the proper full lenght, only after the last minute switch from 3by3 to AdNoiseam. I really wish this would also come out on vinyl, but still it’s as much enjoyable as expected. Haunting atmospheres layered on top of bone crushing distortion and industrial infused breaks help put the sum of his work into a frame, with the tunes feeding off each other into a complete whole, as few like minded (and similar sounding) artists can accomplish.

Keith Fullerton Whitman – Generators [2012, Editions Mego]

An instant hit for me on the first listen. The release contains two live versions of Keith Fullerton Whitman’s “Generator,” recorded in 2010 and presented in a very special way. Instead of taking the feed from the soundboard the pieces are recorded through microphones in a live space allowing the room to shape the sound with it’s decay, resonances and ambient noise. The A side “Issue Generator (for Eliane Radigue)” is tuneful, melodic and rich whereas the B side “High Zero Generator” starts off far more experimental with 7 or so minutes of pure textures; bleeps, scratches and pops, building up to the more melodic and familiar synth patterns. A fascinating listen.

Below KFW doing a live take of “Generator” (September 2010, Silver Spring, MD, US).

Duane Pitre – Feel Free & Split w/ eleh [2012, Important Records]

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What a beautiful set of releases showcasing two of the three different versions of Pitre’s latest minimal composition. More detail on the whys and hows can be found here and explained in better ways than I could. The LP has already become one of my favourites for the year and I can say I prefer it to the more condensed installation version of the split, which also features a 20 minute stretch of eleh doing what he does best in the lower regions of the audible palette, in a rather lethargic mode, endless as the title suggests…

KTL – V [2012, Editions Mego]

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I never was a huge fan of KTL, what with their gloomy doom metal sound and all, without ever having gone into the series of live recordings they released over the years. This latest album though goes into unfamiliar territories, exploring the same aesthetics in their sound through a very different perspective. Electronic elements come to the foreground, with the orchestrated Phill 2 being a definite highlight, a french spoken theatrical ‘interlude’ that lasts 16 minutes longer than i could take being a definite downlight and the bonus 12″ showcasing an even more extreme approach to it all (which I hope they release in some other format, cause 300 are too few and this is what people should be able to listen from the whole effort). Everything from the amazing Mark Fell version of their logo on the cover (so glad they got rid of the blair-witchy one) to each side of each record containing exceptional audiophile material, makes this an essential release. What were they thinking with the artsy rear cover though, I really couldn’t say… />

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Demdike Stare & Slant Azymuth – Make Do And Mend EP1 [2012, Finders Keepers Records]

Not much to say about this one, after the solid a side of demdike stare’s dive into some cinematic horror territories stretching their digeridoo skills and the carthatic slant azymouth spaced yet chilling flip side, just try and find a way to listen to this.

Info here

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Spyweirdos – Feeling of Movement [2012, Creative Space]

  

Only fair for the first post to be about the delayed but highly anticipated Feeling of Movement, marking Spyweirdos’ best work yet as has carves with surgical precision through a series of highly detailed samples provided by some of the local scene’s most highly acclaimed musicians, only to piece together an intense sonic experience for the listener.

grab the free 320 of the release to get a taste: http://creativespace.gr/releases/29