Dusted Features

2009: Susanna Bolle

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Features

Dusted writer Susanna Bolle recounts the 10 albums that made their mark during a busy year.

2009: Susanna Bolle

2009 was a busy year and the cacophony of life’s petty torments and day-to-day responsibilities sometimes made it difficult to really listen to all that much. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the records that it made to my year’s best list were unexpected pleasures that drifted in like fog or, in one case, blasted through like mortar fire.

  • Release Date: November 10 | Label: Type

    Marc Richter makes music and also runs a lovely little record label called Dekorder. As Black to Comm, Richter is known for creating long, immersive drones. However, on this, his debut album on the Type imprint, Richter opts for shorter song-length pieces. He layers and combines samples from old records, location recordings, and live instrumentation to create ten noisily sensuous – and often surpassingly beautiful – sonic vignettes.

  • Release Date: May 18 | Label: Digitalis

    These guys seem to be the forgotten cousins in the American synth-fueled explosion. Lots of critical ink has been spilled for acts like Emeralds and Oneohtrix Point Never, while Kentucky’s Caboladies slip by largely unnoticed. Miss them at your peril, though. Their music, while similarly trippy, is a little noisier and a lot more rhythmically complex and just plain sonically dense than that of the majority of their brethren. While things get rather dreamy at times, there are fewer nods, thank heavens, to anything remotely resembling New Age.

  • Release Date: November 10 | Label: Caravan

    Add one part Mika Vainio, one part 90s vintage Berlin dub techno, and some beautiful, if often abrasive production and that pretty much adds up to Emptyset. The debut album from this duo from Bristol brims over with glorious sub bass, blasts of white noise, and gorgeously dystopic atmosphere.

  • Release Date: May 1 | Label: Dekorder

    This anagrammatical project by German experimental music legend, Asmus Tietchens, is both his most accessible and off-putting. The songs are relaxed avant-lounge instrumentals, but the sounds – a weird combination of liquid and metal – are pure Tietchens. A profoundly odd and eminently enjoyable record.

  • Release Date: April 20 | Label: 3024

    Dutch dubstep producer, Martyn, operates at the genre’s outer limits, where the boundaries separating dubstep from techno and drum ‘n’ bass and a zillion other bass-centric styles are distinctly blurred. On his full-length debut, Martyn pulls and tweaks dubstep in many different ways. But this is no disparate collection of 12"s. Throughout, Martyn maintains a curious cohesion and subtle narrative flow. Tracks have an undulating dancefloor swing, with nervous rhythms anchored by some awe-inspiringly deep bass.

  • Release Date: August 25 | Label: Important

    Before discovering Buddhism and her beloved ARP synthesizer, composer Eliane Radigue made several absolutely stunning tape pieces. This collection features some of Radigue’s last works using feedback and magnetic tape. Though the raw materials are different, Radigue’s meditative sound – all delicate shades and subtle variations – are evident. There are no squalls of feedback. In fact, the sheer warmth and beauty of the tones Radigue elicits from such basic ingredients is breathtaking.

  • Release Date: September 14 | Label: Arbor

    There are lots of drone records that came out this year, but none hit the mark quite as true as this EP by Los Angeles’ Bill Hutson. These beautifully crafted modular synthesizer pieces are lovely examples of the glory of slow-motion and attention to subtle detail. The music has an elemental feel to it, as the sounds envelop and swirl around like fog.

  • Release Date: August 25 | Label: Finders Keepers

    The German pair who brought the world "Dracula’s Music Cabinet" in the late 1960s top themselves – and how – with this collection of space rock silliness. Originally released in 1971, the album contains all manner of crazy alien-and-astronaut-themed songs. While it does contain some ferocious Saturnian monsters, ultimately, space is one groovy place.

  • Release Date: February 16 | Label: ReR Megacorp

    Immediately following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918 until the Stalinist crackdown in the early 1930s, the Soviet Union experienced an intense period of artistic experimentation. While many people are familiar with the work of visual artists like Kazemir Malevich and Alexander Rodchenko or the films of Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, less attention has been given to the sonic experiments of this era. This amazing collection features original recordings and modern recreations of sound works from the early Soviet Union. There’s some amazing stuff here, from the monumental, such as Arsenii Avraamov’s explosive "Symphony of Sirens," a piece from 1922 that originally used the entire city of Baku as its stage, to more modest works like Konstantin Melnikov’s appropriately soporific, "Sonata of Sleep."

  • Release Date: ??? | Label: Weltraum

    Oh, my! This excellent, vinyl-only compilation features an over-the-top-notch collection of western-influenced music from Egypt, India, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Turkey from the 1960s and 70s. There are hypnotic belly dances, driving beats, surf guitar, and seriously eccentric funk from legends like Omar Khorshid, Les Mogol (Mogollar), Baligh Hamdi, and Takeshi Terauchi.

    By Susanna Bolle

    Read More

    View all articles by Susanna Bolle

    ©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.