Listed: Matmos + Adrian Crowley
In addition to touring with and alongside Bjork, Bay Area duo Matmos have released some of the finest eletronic records of the past decade. 2001's A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure, which was made nearly entirely of sounds sampled from plastic surgeries, was considered by many critics to be one of the year's best records. Their most recent album, Live, High and Dirty, also heavily features friend/collaborator Lesser and was released on their own Vague Terrain Records.
Recent Top Ten And One To Grown On (in no particular order)
1. Max de Wardener - Stops (Soundslike) – Really gorgeous recordings of a huge church organ combined with clicky, cut-up electronic rhythms. Nary a cliché in sight.
2. Pesach Chaim - I'm a Baal Teshuva (CD Freedom) – Seemingly totally sincere, completely insane record of “Jewish heavy metal music” with heartfelt lyrics about studying Talmudic law on top of crunchy metal riffage.
3. Kas Product - Try Out (RCA) – I just found a beat up vinyl copy of this French new wave band from 1982 that sounds like a more Siouxsie-d out version of electro darlings Adult. Trés cool.
4. J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations (Hungaroton) – Sure this is a great piece of music, but have you heard it when re-scored for two Hungarian cimbaloms? Agnes Szakaly and Rozsa Farkas pluck Bach's masterpiece into weird, shimmering shapes.
5. James Scott - The Complete Works (Basta) – Do you need two CDs of sprightly rags composed by a disciple of Scott Joplin and handsomely illustrated by Chris Ware? Of course you do.
6. Deerhoof - Reveille (Kill Rock Stars) – Sweet vocals from Satomi, righteously heavy guitars, stirring blasts of crackly noise and a drummer who sounds like Keith Moon falling down the stairs all add up to the art rock record of the year.
8. Aero-Mic'd - s/t (Aero-Mic'd) – Self released home made sound collage magic from noted visual artist Wayne Smith. A twinkly little audio gem.
9. Ohne - s/t (Ohne) – Totally “out” sound art stew. Ingredients: field recordings, chainsaws, accordians, pianos, intimate bodily recordings, incomprehensible crooning, it\'s all in there. A mind-blowing, lease-breaking listening experience.
10. Various Artists - New York (Apartment B) – An IDM comp that cross wires electronics and acoustic instruments without sounding like watered down post-rock? Yes it is possible. Great stuff that gives off a melancholy, organic glow.
10+. Henry Flynt - Graduation and Other New Country and Blues Music (Ampersand) – Hillbilly trance music made by an avant garde maverick out of interlocking guitar and violin and drum patterns that just keep truckin' on and on and on. Ecstatic and unique.
Irish singer-songwriter Adrian Crowley has been compared to Will Oldham, Nick Drake, Mark Kozelek, and other upper-eschelon recording artists. His second and most recent album, When You Are Here You Are Family, was recorded in Chicago with Steve Albini and was his first to receive stateside release. His debut album, A Strange Kind (1999), will soon be reissued in the United States by Ba Da Bing!
Top Ten of the Moment in No Particular Order (hard to choose):
1. Arab Strap - The Red Thread (Matador) – Possibly my favourite band at the moment. Scottish man, Aidan Moffat's voice could stand alone on a stage and pack a punch. The sound of this record is incredible. Take for instance the opening guitar chords of “Screaming in the trees.” My jaw just drops every time.
2. Edith Frost - Wonder Wonder (Drag City) – What a voice - such amazing quality to it. So multi-layered and ancient sounding.
3. Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci - The Blue Trees (Mantra) – A friend gave this to me recently and I've been playing it mostly in the morning (and the afternoon and evening). This is an amazing Welsh band (who I'm going to see play for the first time next week) There is a real pastoral and nostalgic feel to it. Pure, sweet happiness that makes you smirk inside. My favourite song on it must be “A Face Like Summer.”
4. Empress - 1996-1999 (Geographic) This amazing and understated band from Leeds, England released this compilation of demos and outakes that preceded 2000's record entitled Empress .By all accounts Leeds is grey and wet for most of the year but it still mananges to produce shimmeringly beautiful music.
5. The Sick Anchors - s/t (Lost Dog) Subtitled “beauteous soundscapes to remedy the weariest hearts.” This features the vocals of Aidan Moffat once again -a must listen, even just for the hilarious and gorgeous rendition of that otherwise terrible pop song “Whole Again.” (Also includes Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite – ed.)
6. Low - Things We Lost in the Fire (Kranky) – I love everything about this record. The marriage of the two voices couldn’t be more perfect. And I went to see them play recently in a Cathedral in Dublin. It was the ultimate setting.
7. Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson (Polygram International) – Recorded in 1971, this record embodies a cinematic and vertiginous sensation. And his voice sounds cool, too.
9. A Silver Mount Zion - He has left us alone, but shafts of light sometimes grace the corners of our room (Constellation) – Frightening and life affirming at once.
10. Smog - Red Apple Falls (Drag City) – I just love it to smithereens.
By Dusted Magazine