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

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.

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.

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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joostdb’s Top 10 Releases of 2011

In no particular order my favorite releases of the year. For each release a standout track has been selected that can be streamed. If you like what you hear, support the artists!

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