Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top 10+ Studio Output of 2012

Under normal circumstances, I'd build up to the major/official list, but the year is over & I'm starting at the top. I'll post a handful of other 2012 lists, but here's the main event!

Bag of Hammers
Originally, I had a single trans-Psych Fest alumni entry - but that seemed like too much literally stacking the deck. So here it comes!

#10 The Word On My Lips Is Your Name - Tape Loop Orchestra
[Full TOP 10 post]

Excerpt from "The Word On My Lips Is Your Name" (2012)

Genre - Classico-Ambient Tape-Loop Music
Official/tumblr - oursmallideas.tumblr.com/
Location - Burnley, Manchester, UK

Review - Fluid-Radio
Download/Purchase - Ltd. to 400 copies...

A 2xCD of two 45-minute tracks of gentle musical evolution. Sleep and sadness and nightfall and dreams - good music to get lost in and then find yourself someplace different later on. I took a chance on this one, and have found myself rolling it out quite a bit so far.

#9 Bend Beyond - Woods
[Full TOP 10 post]

"Cali in a Cup" from Bend Beyond (2012)
"Find Them Empty" from Bend Beyond (2012)

Genre - Psych-Folk-Pop
Official - woodsist.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/woodsfamilyband
Location - Brooklyn, New York City, NY

Review - Tiny Mix Tapes
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Amazon [& on vinyl]

Woods has remained unbelievably consistent for these last few albums. This one comes through a bit too cleaned-up though... As usual, several extremely good tunes.

#8 Chaudelande, Vol. 2,
"5th Sun" 7" single,
Innerspace Broadcasts, Vol. 3 (co-live with Black Bombain), &
Collisions 03 split-12" (with $hit & $hine) - GNOD
[Full TOP 10 post]

"Genocider" from Chaudelande, Vol. 2 (2012)
"5th Sun" from 7" single (2012)

Genre - Machine Noise-Drone
Official/tumblr - ingnodwetrust.tumblr.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/gnodgnod
Location - Salford, England

Review - Writing About Music blog
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Chaudelande, Vol. 2

I'd actually say 2012 was kind of a mess for Gnod overall, but it's been very interesting trying to keep up. And by the time I write the Top 10 post for these, I might have changed my tune about some things.

(Technically, the "Black Gnod" thing is live - but I've only received it a couple of days ago... Bonus entry!)

#7 VII - Maserati
Blood Bleeds - Vincas
[Full TOP 10 post]

"Abracadabracab" by Maserati, from VII (2012)
"Saw Her" by Vincas, from Blood Bleeds (2012)

Genre - Motorik Delay-Action Post-Rock
Official - ihaveadagger.net/
Myspace - myspace.com/maseratirocks
Location - Athens, GA

Review - American:Aftermath
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Temporary Residence Ltd.

The new Maserati has grown on me quite a bit since I first started listening to it. I was such a big fan of the last 2 or 3, that I'm not sure this could live up to those. But I did find a lot to groove on in various spots.

#6 Lilacs & Champagne - Lilacs & Champagne
[Full TOP 10 post]

Lilacs & Champagne
"Everywhere, Everyone" from Lilacs & Champagne (2012)

Genre - Soft-Prog Mash-Up Edit
Facebook - facebook.com/Lilacs-Champagne/
Location - Portland, OR

Review - Pitchfork
Purchase/Download - Mexican Summer
Download - Amazon, iTunes

Excellent album by half of the 4 dudes in Grails - extremely different than the main band. This one was all sampled out on weird outside referents - but done very musically.

#5 Brainstorm split-12" (Moore/Majeure),
Light Echoes - Steve Moore,
Solar Maximum & Trancer - Majeure, and
Rusting Cyphers of a Forgotten Sky &
Abul Mogard - VCO Recordings label
[Full TOP 10 post]

Brainstorm split
"Alternate Quantum Realities" by SM2600, from Brainstorm (2012)
"Solar Maximum" by Majeure, from Solar Maximum (2012)

Genre - Spaced Electronicals
Steve Moore/tumblr - stevemoore2600.tumblr.com/
Label Bandcamp - vcorecordings.bandcamp.com/
Location - various, including Serbia

Review - Consequence of Sound
Download - Amazon search, iTunes, VCO online
Purchase - Majeure @ TRL / SM @ Cuneiform

Wow, we're really covering a lot of familiar Top 10 ground here this year. The 2 guys from Zombi did separate sides of a split, released a bunch of solo stuff, and put out some strong material on their own (cassette) label, VCO Recordings. Some spacey electo, some Italo disco, some noise-experimentalism, and some Eastern Euro ambient.

#4 Elemental (LP's & CD's) - Demdike Stare
Slant Azymuth - Demdike Stare & Andy Votel
[Full TOP 10 post]

"Erosion of Mediocrity" from Elemental 4: Rose (2012)
"Violetta" from Elemental 2: Violetta (2011)

Genre - Dark Occult-Dub Ambient
Official/Myspace - myspace.com/pookawig
Location - Lancashire, Britain

Review - Austinist
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Forced Exposure

Massive collection here from Demdike: four LP's released as a series (with a sweet art-book binder), then a 2xCD collection with alternate mixes and some bonus tracks. Dense, challenging compositions from some alternate DJ reality of obscure samples, odd metallic rhythms, and doomy electronics. Boss!

#3 Ascent - Six Organs of Admittance
[Full TOP 10 post]

"One Thousand Birds" from Ascent (2012)
"Even If You Knew" from Ascent (2012)

Genre - Folk + Rock Guitar-Heroics
Official - sixorgans.com/
Myspace - myspace.com/sixorgans
Location - California, USA

Review - Filter Magazine
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Forced Exposure

I was floored by how much I dug this record. Some light drone-folk, some blistering guitar shredding, some pared-down tunes, some full-band... But all of it worked so well, and somehow fit together as an actual album.

#2 Bag of Hammers - Linus Pauling Quartet
[Full TOP 10 post]

"Victory Gin" from Bag of Hammers (2012)
"Crom" from Bag of Hammers (2012)

Genre - Heavy Stoner Psych-Metal Rock-core
Official/blog - worshipguitars.org/LP4/
Myspace - myspace.com/linuspaulingquartet
Location - Houston, TX

Review - Space City Rock
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - CDbaby

The best new album of new original material in about a decade from probably my favorite active hometown heroes. And I'm saying the stuff over that time has been really good too. Heavy stoner-blues psych-metal garage-noise jams on the massive NerdLore topics of our era: Conan, 2001, The Dope, Soylent Green, Mind Flayers and homonculi.

#1 World Music - Goat
[Full TOP 10 post]

"Goatman" from World Music (2012)
"Goathead" from World Music (2012)

Genre - Voodoo-delic Afro-Funk
Official/blog - goatsweden.blogspot.com/
Location - Korpilombolo, Sweden

Review - The Quietus
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - Forced Exposure

Super-extra-jammin' greatness!!! (that's right, 3!) An insane balance of: the funk, psychedelic Wah-Wah, fun songwriting, partying, World influences, chanted female vocals, a literally incredible backstory, all in a debut album from an outlaw band of Swedes.

These also ran:

#11 Circles - Moon Duo ("I Can See You" + "Circles")

#12 Secret Sounds, & Shooting Guns split-7" - The Cult of Dom Keller ("Painted Skulls" + "Secret sound 5")

#13 Aufheben - The Brian Jonestown Massacre (full album)

#14 Belbury Tales - Belbury Poly ("Chapel Perilous")

#15 Taste the Lazer - The Time & Space Machine ("Studio 23")

#16 Peel It - Indian Jewelry (full album)

#17 "Watch Out Boy" RSD 7" - The Black Angels ("I'd Rather Be Lonely" + "She's Not There")

#18 777: Cosmosophy, & What Once Was: Liber II - Blut Aus Nord ("Epitome XVII")

#19 Astral House - by Dead Sea Apes (full album)

#20 Born Blond, Prophetic Frequencies, & Aureliua 12" EP's - by Cloudland Canyon ("Aureliua")

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