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Year End 2008

Whew, 2008... what a fucken year. Too much to think about, too much to comprehend, but hey - here's some vague attempt for all our writers (and some friends) to encapsulate things. Two-Thousand Nine ahoy!
 

Mike Wood

Best Album
Castanets “City of Refuge” (Asthmatic Kitty)
Brooding, introverted but nevertheless majestic, Vollmar again dares to be different
And ends up delivering much more than that.

Best Song
“The Greatest Sum” by Avett Brothers “Gleam II” (Ramseur Records)
This is a high lonesome country ballad that is as honest and unselfconscious a song as you are likely to hear. The rest of the record didn’t match up with it, but not much I heard did either.

Best Reissue
Mars, “Mars LP” (No More Records)
No-wave legends finally get their due on a collection of their best, of them at their greasiest, sinister, ‘70s NYC skronk.


Best Various Artists Compilation
“Como Now” 2008 (Daptone)

A moving human document as well as a set of hot gospel. The artists are all members of a small Mississippi church in the town of Como, and, given their moment to testify, let loose with raw, beautiful singing and the joy of being heard.


Best Anthology
“Living is Hard: West African Music in Britain, 1927-1929” (Honest Jon’s)

A not exhausting, but tasty selection of a neglected community, one whose plight of assimilation was recorded in the style of the music they brought with them. This is proud, defiant music with which to dance and feel a sense of belonging.

Best Cover Art
The Red Buddha, “Sunflower Sessions” (Spade Kitty)

Retro and trippy but totally fitting with the fun, powerful, tasty music inside.

Best Vinyl Only
Vollmar "The Avery Tell Them About It, Shower, and When Love Love Love" (Third Uncle)

Three CD-R releases combined into one LP, this gives you a great overview of the band’s development into a powerful, moody, daring unit.


Best CD-R Only
Sic Alps, “A Long Way Around To A Shortcut” (ADR)

The band continues to produce scary, scratchy rawk from their own private forest full of
traps and magic.

Best Cassette Only
Caethua, “Queenly Women Crowned and Uncrowned” (Abandon Ship)

Otherworldly and poetic, harrowing and naked, Caethua is the real deal: an artists who is fearless, and uses her own symbolism and narrative benchmarks to create new worlds.


Biggest Surprise
80s-90s Dylan outtakes

Biggest Disappointment
Elvis Costello

---

John Twells

Best Album
Kevin Drumm "Imperial Distortion" (Hospital Productions)

This was no contest – as soon as I heard “Imperial Distortion” I knew nothing else could beat the record to the top spot. It reminds me of some of my favourite record (Aphex Twin's “SAWII”, most obviously) but manages to retain its own distinct identity at the same time. Dark, oppressive but somehow beautiful, this was the album that showed people that noise didn't have to be noisy, it could actually be disarmingly pleasant – and the chills were even more pronounced.

Best Song
"Sexual Eruption" from Snoop Dogg "Ego Trippin'" (Geffen)

Initially played to me on a trip to Oslo this became an anthem of the year, taking me from city to city on its B12-aping synthesized muscle car. The beats didn't sound like regular hip hop, Snoop only rapped a verse – more like this please!

Best Debut
Vivian Girls "Vivian Girls" (In The Red)

Heavenly ruled, that's just a fact – so taking that sound into the murky Brooklyn-centric world of tape-recorded garage pop. Well, let's just say it wasn't a tough sell for me. Crunchy, but strangely catchy…

Best Anthology
Jewelled Antler box (Porter)


Best Reissue
Cluster "Sowiesoso" (4 Men With Beards)

Cluster are living legends, and hoovering up all their albums on vinyl has never been the easiest task. Thanks to the men with beards though it's becoming far cheaper to grab classics like this and they handle the releases with the reverence they deserve. Synth-drenched bliss – every home needs a copy of this.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"1970s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground" (Sublime Frequencies)

The Sublime Frequencies vinyl has surpassed all expectations and gone from strength to strength. It doesn't last long, but the quality of the releases is typically sky-high. This particular release is arguably their best to date and collects some quite off-kilter Algerian gems. A far cry from the label-defining Group Doueh album last year, but no less essential.

Best Cover Art
Prurient "Cocaine Death" (Hospital Productions)

It's almost law that I put a Fernow disc somewhere in a top list every year. This time I'll plump for the artwork because there's something very odd about this cover. I think it's the colours… the hipster chick, ready to whack a handful of cunt dust up her nose, with the Prurient spider's web to make sure you know what you're letting yourself in for. Simple but daaaaark.

Best Vinyl Only
Spine Scavenger "Shackles of Mind-Measured Time" (Troniks)

Pretty much anything Dilloway-related is worth clasping your grubby mitts on, but this was the absolute cream of the crop. DAMAGED synth work and possibly even better than last year's killer Demons disc…

Best CD-R Only
Emeralds "Live" (Gneiss Things)

Emeralds blew my mind this year with split records, tapes and CDs, but this was possibly my favourite of all. A collection of a bunch of live recordings, the quality just never ceases to amaze me – like Klaus Schulze/Cluster and all the other good things to come out of Germany in the ‘70s. Except different.

Best Cassette Only
Geography of Hell "Dresden 1945" (Hospital Productions)

It was obviously going to be a Hospital tape, but which one? They're all just so damned inviting – but this particular one was at the top of the pile. Doomy soundscapes have always been a weakness of mind and these soundscapes are as blackened as they come.

Best Live Show
Keith Fullerton Whitman @ Knitting Factory, NYC, May for the No Fun Festival

No Fun Fest was a blast, but the highlight for me was Keith Fullerton Whitman's damaged modular synth set. Better than Cluster, Religious Knives, Demons and Giffoni himself this was a real stand out of the festival, and of the year too. It's nice to see this sort of music played incredibly loud in a big venue – it doesn't happen too often.

Biggest Surprise
Kanye West's "808s & Heartbreak" being the best album he's ever done.

Biggest Disappointment
TV on the Radio "Dear Science" (4AD)

Most Overrated
Fuck Buttons "Street Horrrsing" (ATP)


---

BRYON HAYES

Best Album
Pocahaunted "Island Diamonds" (Arbor / Not Not Fun)

Dubbed out drones from my favourite West Coast girl group; the addition of low-end shaman Bobb Bruno spikes their usually singular smoke signals with some fried island love.

Best Debut
Transcendental Manship Highway "Lord of the Trees" (Carbon)

This is a release from late in the year, but from the moment I pressed Play and had my brain ejected from my skull, I was in love!

Best Anthology
Sir Victor Uwaifo "Guitar-Boy Superstar 1970-1976" (Soundway)

Totally kick-ass guitar shredding abounds on this collection of tunes in the Ekassa style from Nigerian Uwaifo. This man demands attention!!

Best Cover Art
Gown "On the River" (House of Alchemy)

A two-color full-page fold-out poster designed by Darryl Norsen, who has become one of my favourite artists as of late. A triumphant return for the House of Alchemy whose broken heart we hope can be mended.

Best Vinyl Only
Head of Wantastiquet "Mortagne" (Ecstatic Yod)

Hey, it’s Paul LaBrecque! What more can I say?? Gorgeous artwork too!

Best CD-R Only
Goliath Bird Eater "Pentagon Black" (Ruralfaune)

Bobb Bruno is the king of the universe. Nuff said...

Best Cassette Only
Ignatz "The Draft" (Scumbag Relations)

Crazy Belgian way-out folk gem that cannot be missed!

Best Live Show
Neil Young @ Air Canada Centre, Toronto, December 5

I don’t think anyone else at 63 can rock as hard as the master!!

Biggest Surprise
Obama ’08!!!! Welcome back to the world, America!!

Biggest Disappointment
The 2-month disappearance of the Canadian government after 2 consecutive Conservative minorities.

Most Overrated
Heath Ledger as the Joker.

 

Phil French
Magic Lantern / Super Minerals / Stunned Records

Best Song
"No Blood" by Brave Priest (written by Dan Barone) on “Precious Summers” (Stunned)
Can't think of any other jam this year that pumps me up so much…I had to put it out... party time!

Best Debut
Sun Araw "The Phynx" (Not Not Fun)

It's called "hitting the ground running," and I submit this album as the dictionary definition. Were I not Cameron's bandmate & next-door neighbor, I swear I'd still be ringing this bell.

Best Reissue
Ariel Kalma "Osmos" (BLUR)

P-e-r-f-e-c-t. Perfect!

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Greening Wave" box set (Housecraft)

Jeff Astin is gonna go supernova if he keeps pushing his label to degrees this nosebleedingly high. Every second of sound and every inch of packaging impeccably detailed bliss, the best imaginable summation of Housecraft's 2008 lightning streak.

Best Cover Art
Goliath Bird Eater "Black Pentagon" (Ruralfaune)

Bruno Parisse goes to town on the holy cult spook-photo route, perfect for this sick metal blast.

Best Vinyl Only
Robedoor "Shapeshifter Slave" (Olde English Spelling Bee)

Wax was meant for shit this heavy, plus more of Bruno's epic art.

Best CD-R Only
Sparkling Wide Pressure "Touching Pasture" (House of Alchemy)

A world I want to live in, all life's contradictions aligning at a beautiful single point.

Best Cassette Only
Tricorn & Queue "Hidden Entrances" (Digitalis Ltd.)

Infinity loops from the nursery of souls. Endless repeats of this one.

Biggest Disappointment
Wolf Eyes live… end of an era?

---

Paul Simpson

Best Album
DJ Donna Summer "Panther Tracks" (Cock Rock Disco)

A new album from Jason Forrest is always a big deal to me, so it's no shocker that I'm super excited about this album. But few other albums I've heard lately have been this densely packed with pure ROCKNESS, so it's just a given that this one gets the crown from me.

Best Song
"Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping" from Grouper "Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill" (Type)

"Dead Deer" is one of those albums I feel like I could just crawl inside and live in forever. On this song in particular, Liz Harris just nails it. Sometimes life is just too heavy to deal with and there's no place you'd rather be but safe and sound asleep in your bed.

Best Debut
Vivian Girls "Vivian Girls" (Mauled By Tigers/In The Red)

I'm just a sucker for this kind of thing. Super catchy, reverb, girl group harmonies, over in 20 minutes, I'm sold. True story: their bassist was my friend's physics TA at Rutgers.

Best Reissue
The Better Beatles "Mercy Beat" (Hook Or Crook)

Only a 45 of this was ever released (John Peel lost his copy and asked the band for another), but this collection of tracks from the biggest band ever (in an alternate, better universe) was one of the biggest discoveries of the year amongst weirdo FMU types like myself.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Little Things" (flau)

From a small label in Japan comes a beautiful collection of soft electro-acoustic folk songs from around the world.

Best Anthology
Gas "Nah Und Fern" (Kompakt)

Long out of print, the 4 albums Wolfgang Voigt recorded as Gas remain some of the best ambient minimal techno ever recorded. Essential music, and even better, new artwork, which means that you don't have the first Gas album's pukey artwork making you not want to ever listen to the album.

Best Cover Art
Windy Weber "I Hate People" (Kenedik/Blue Flea)

Because what expresses your hatred for humanity than your photo ID from the mid-'80s when you were in your goth phase?

Best Vinyl Only
People Like Us/Ergo Phizmiz "Withers In The Waking" (Touch)

I was going to give this one to the Drumcorps/Animosity 10" just because the artwork totally rules (best colored/foil stamped vinyl ever), but I picked this 7" up and had the A-side on loop for awhile. Everything Vicki Bennett touches turns to gold. I'm in love.

Best CD-R Only
Xervious/Raid "The Xerv" (Scolex Recordings)

An excellent 3" CD-R of glitchy IDM/gabber a la Void Settler.

Best Cassette Only
Rokhausen "The Data Cloud Sessions" (self-released)

OK, so there was a radio edit CD-R of this that got some airplay on WFMU, and this mix is available for free download online, but the only proper "release" of this was a limited cassette. I listened to this tape more than anything else this year and I can pretty much certainly say that it's my favorite mix ever.

Best Live Show
Brainwaves Festival @ Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA, November 21-23

I wrote up a review for this on this site already, but this was a truly once in a lifetime event that I was glad to be able to attend.

Biggest Surprise
Beck "Modern Guilt" (Geffen)

After two phoned-in albums that were only saved by their remixes, I had no expectations for this at all, especially considering that I've never cared for anything Dangermouse has done. It sort of sounds like a return to the mood of "Sea Change", but with the beat experimentation of his earlier works, and plenty of new ground he hasn't charted yet. It seems kind of odd that I look forward to his sad albums more than his happy albums now, but damn, he hit it out of the park with this one.

Biggest Disappointment
Fennesz: "Black Sea" (Touch)

This one is slowly growing on me, but it's still nothing compared to his earlier stuff. A few decent moments and a whole lot of boring.

Most Overrated
Everything. Seriously, whatever's popular or indie-popular right now, I am so totally over. Like, come on, people, for real.

---

David Perron

Best Album
Pumice "Quo" (Soft Abuse)

There have been so many great albums that have come out this year, but this is the one I have returned to most often. With "Quo" you get your rock, pop, folk, blues, punk, noise, and drone all served up in a totally non-generic fashion and recorded with just the right amount of analog grit. You gotta love the sound of that howlin' Silver Guitar; here's hoping that some serious super glue and duct tape will keep it around for many years to come.

Best Song
"The Wait" from Times New Viking "Rip It Off" (Matador)

I could probably interchange "Teen Drama", "Another Day", or "End of All Things" from that album as well; the whole album sounds like a collection of great DIY 7" singles.

Best Debut
Crystal Stilts "Alight of Night" (Slumberland)

I'll refrain from bringing up any of the comparisons that have already been bandied about this group. Whatever you may have read about Crystal Stilts, good or bad, is probably true, but this batch of hazy, garage-pop nuggets is pretty boss and holds up to any scrutiny.

Best Reissue
Dead C "DR503 & Eusa Kills" (Ba Da Bing/Jagjaguwar)

Two absolutely essential albums finally back in print on beautiful heavy-duty vinyl and with The Sun Stabbed and Helen Said This EPs to boot. What more can I say, other than X-mas came a month early around these parts.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Victrola Favorites" (Dust-to-Digital)

Such a mind-boggling collection of rare and exotic sounds from around the world, with an equally fascinating hardbound book of Victrola-era ephemera. Much praise to Robert Millis and Jeffery Taylor of Climax Golden Twins for assembling such a flawless collection.

Best Anthology
"The George Mitchell Collection: Volume 1-45" (Fat Possum Records)

With 7 CDs this is a whole lotta blues music to take in, but Mitchell captured some great performances while doing the bulk of these field recordings in the Sixties. You get to hear from a slew of lesser known regional artists mixed among more familiar names such as R.L. Burnside, Fred MCDowell, Sleepy John Estes, and Othar Turner. The sound quality adds a nice intimacy to these songs, as one would hope with recordings of this nature.

Best Cover Art
Natural Snow Buildings, etc. "The Snowbringer Cult" and "The Dance of the Moon and the Sun" (Students of Decay)

You can concoct all sorts of imaginary worlds while gazing upon Solange's surrealist artwork and taking in the sounds of these albums.

Best Vinyl Only
The Hospitals "Hairdryer Peace" (self-released)

There was no shortage of completely blown-out, no-fi rock action this year, but I'd have to say that "Hairdryer Peace" takes the cake for the most whacked out assemblage of racket I heard. A challenging listen no doubt, but realizes a whole new realm for noise in music. I'm not sure if I've ever experienced such a mix of pure joy and terror while listening to an album before, but it happens consistently when "Animals Act Natural" blows wide open.

Best CD-R Only
John Charlton "Form Disruptor" (Carbon Records)

Like "Quo", this is an album I kept coming back to. Charlton cooks up such a broad range of bizarre sounds in such a short span of time.

Best Cassette Only
Pink Noise "Birdland" (Bennifer Editions)

I wish my pocketbook would allow me to keep up better with all the great cassette labels and releases. With the cool silk-screened poster and perfectly damaged electro-pop/punk sounds, Pink Noise's "Birdland" was the standout cassette-only release that did cross my path.

Best Live Show
Daniel Johnston @ First Avenue, Minneapolis
No Age & Abe Vigoda @ Triple Rock, Minneapolis.
Wire @ First Avenue, Minneapolis

My live show outings were fairly limited this year, so these are the ones that stood out.

Biggest Surprise
Hearing Arthur Russell sing country-tinged ditties on "Love Is Overtaking Me" and wholly enjoying it.

Biggest Disappointment
Getting stuck outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa due to flooding and not getting to see the Brothers Unconnected show in Iowa City.

Most Overrated
I'm confident that I'll have some breakthrough moment with the Gas "Nah und Fern" set, but up until now it hasn't risen above a nagging pulse that fills our house during occasional bouts of weekend cleaning.

---

Alastair McLernon

Best Album
Christina Carter “Texas Working Blues” (Blackest Rainbow)

Christina was on fine form this year (the crushingly intimate “Masque Femine” deserves a mention) but this tape was easily some of the most straight up beautiful guitar/vocal bliss of her musical life. Just too much. Christina’s releases always feel like perfectly formed statements, something that is desperately needed more in today’s hyper-prolific experimental underground.

Honorary mentions to the epic grandeur of Ulaan Khol’s “I” (Soft Abuse), the delicate beauty of Lau Nau’s “Nukkuu” (Locust) and Skullflower’s 3-disc monster of blistering noise/metal ecstasy “Circulus Vitiosus Deus” (Turgid Animal) among many others.

Best Song
"Vulgar Asceticism" from Leviathan "Massive Conspiracy Against All Life" (Moribund)

The highlight of the most relentlessly thrilling metal album of ’08, showcasing Wrest’s increasingly impressive compositional skills (as well as the looming influence of French outfit Blut Aus Nord’s warped atonality) as the piece writhes and contorts like the cover’s seeming depiction of a creature spiralling into the depths of hell.

Best Debut
Circuit des Yeux "Symphone" (De Stijl)

By turns bewildering, charming and unsettling. The perfect after-dark outsider bedroom psychosis WTF record of the year to confuse the hell out of your friends.

Best Reissue
Tunnel Canary “Jihad 1978-84” (Rundownsun)

The kind of record that fries your senses in more ways than one. Not least for the realisation that these guys were producing this kind of feral freeform squall as far back as ’78, predating the existence of most of your favourite noise pioneers. They’re also way cooler than you and me.

Best Anthology
Karen Dalton "Green Rocky Road" (Megaphone)

The release of never-before-heard Karen Dalton material is the kind of thing that simply makes my world that little bit better. Staggering.

Best Cover Art
Lil' Wayne “Tha Carter III” (Cash Money/Universal)

This baby is not impressed by all your “mystical” psych-folk collages.

Best Vinyl Only
Datashock "[symbol]" (Qbico)

Their performance, hunched over in the darkness doing Satan-knows-what, at this year’s Colour out of Space festival confirmed them in my mind as natural heirs to Double Leopard’s mantle as lords of mind melting drone. By the time this LP finishes I don’t know quite where I’ve been taken for the last 45 minutes, but I want to go back. You can come too. Bring snacks.

Best CD-R Only
Fursaxa "Kobold Moon" (Sylph)

After the ever-so-slight disappointment of last year’s ATP disc, Tara leads us once more into the dark woods and, like tales weaved by the brother’s Grimm, underpins her otherworldly creations with the downright sinister. One of the most beguiling works by one of the most singular voices in the modern underground “scene”. Just stay the hell away from her spindle.

Best Cassette Only
Peonies "Infinity Has No Exits" (Sloow Tapes)

Or rather the “Best Cassette-That-Wasn’t-Texas-Working-Blues” category. Peonies combined dark wordless vocal drift from the same beautifully possessed zone as Sachiko or Fursaxa, with a kind of ritualistic ominousness that at times came close to the sound of Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising as channelled by Pocahaunted. A criminally underheard release that really takes you “there”.

Best Live Show
Charlemagne Palestine @ St Giles in the Field, London, 18th Oct

Charlemagne’s six hour organ drone piece built slowly (S-L-O-W-L-Y) in intensity, wrapping the few who witnessed it in a warm cocoon of sound where time disappeared and the senses were completely enveloped. I found myself reluctant to look at a clock, unwilling to break the spell and return to Earth.

Biggest Surprise
Jandek “Glasgow Sunday 2005” (Corwood Industries)

Jandek does spoken word monologue. Jandek does harmonica. Jandek does drums. Yet Jandek still retains an “otherness” that is distinctly him, and released one of the most mind blowing records this year.

Biggest Disappointment
Gang Gang Dance “God’s Money” (Social Registry)

Gang Gang Dance followed up the wonderfully inventive “God’s Money” with an album that felt like a pointless and twee cycle through synth presets.

The ongoing “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” syndrome of Arsenal football club.

Most Overrated
No Age

Harmless fun but distinctly average.

---

Peter Taylor

Best Album
Directing Hand "What Put The Blood" (Dancing Wayans)

The band of the year for me. Both live and recorded the energy, emotion and innovation is unmatched. A must her and see, they seem free from any movement or genuine point of reference. Daring and original music from Scotland and England. The volume and ferocity teamed with an inconsistency of sporadic freeform music never feels inaccessible. The honesty and deeply human resonance’s affect like folk music should. This is accessible folk, from the voices of two open persons’, and made for welcoming people.


Best Song
"The Water" from Band "Ignatz" (K-RAA-K)

Classic Miles Devens, sounding like Skip James meeting Jandek in a broken tape recorder. Ignatz’s third album aptly titled “III” is incredible and should be devoured greedily.

Best Debut
Stephanie Hladowski "The High High Nest" (Singing Knives)

Sounding something like Stoyanka Boneva played via an archaic 78, this glorious 10”, "The High High Nest" is a folk gem by newcomer Hladowski. It swept me away on numerous occasions through four perfect songs. The record is well conceived and beautifully put together.

Best Reissue
Band "Kissing the Contemporary Bliss" (Family Vineyard)

This was an introduction to the world of Dredd Foole for me, and an expansion of the ever-growing Matt Valentine associated projects. Haunting howls, flutes and electric synths muse in mysterious voices to create the truly infectious sound of Dredd Foole.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"The Speech Organs" (Unverified)

All produced via vocal play. Highlights include the mesmerising "Towering Breaker" and haunting "Hereharehere".

Best Cover Art
My Cat Is An Alien "Triangular 8” Lathe" (Pseudoarcana)

Far off in New Zealand was wrought one 8” to rule them all… I’ll stop there, because I’m bringing up the bile of my wit. Pseudoarcana released 80 of these uniquely shaped triangular lathe cut vinyls this November, and understandably they sold out pretty quickly. My Cat Is An Alien deliver stellar vibrations that compliment the transparent lathe cut record insanely.

Best Vinyl Only
Bardo Pond "Batholith" (Three Lobed)

This album arrived earlier this year from the outer reaches of Bardo Ponds archives, compiling lost tunes and live favourites in a fully conceived LP. Released on heavy-duty vinyl, and wrapped in laboured artwork, "Batholith" rocked with a directness yet unfelt. A powerful testimony of BP’s power. A follow-up LP will be released early 2009.

Best CD-R Only
"James Ferraro" (New Age Tapes)

One of the year’s greatest efforts and the most amphetamine-ridden bliss-out you’re likely to hear. This is ceaseless music that trance and decayed pop fans will fall in love with – utter magic.

Best Cassette Only
Xela/Ajilvsga "I Love Her Till I Die" (Digitalis Ltd)

This is a little bit “in-house” but I feel it warrants a prize. Strangely enough the choice was between this and the Sea Zombies CS, also on Digitalis Ltd and also containing the efforts of John Twells and Brad Rose. This was a deeply moving decline into the depths of sludge that laps its tired tides within your guts – yummy.

Best Live Show
Fennesz & Charles Matthews @ Museum of Garden History, London, 09/05/08

Charles Matthews delivered some modernism with exquisite finesse. Fennesz played new material from the album “Black Sea”, which filled the church with electricity that danced mischievously on the stone walls. An emotional gig that sent shivers through my very being.

Biggest Surprise:
Discovering the sounds of Nackt Insecten, probably my favourite “Outer Limits” artist this year. His take on space drone and playful electronics warrants your full attention.

Biggest Disappointment:
The rocketing price of vinyl. I can’t afford most of it.

Most Overrated:
Bonnie Prince Billy “Lie in the Light”.

I discovered the “Get the Fuck On Jolly Live” recordings (without a doubt one of the finest Oldham collaborations, including Jim White and Mick Turner) this summer, which knocked my socks clean off! So I was very excited by the prospect of a new solo LP from Will Oldham (Lie in the Light), yet my excitement dwindled, as the songs remained dreary and redundant, with little of the soul I am so familiar with. P.S. I still love you Mr. Oldham.

---

Kevin Richards

Best Album
Sunken "Eye electric nerve, Brain electric organ” (PseudoArcana)

The more I think about it and listen to it, this album really was one of the most stellar releases this year from a label that has put out a lot of great music. While it is hard to pick just one “best” album, if I had to (and I do), this would be it. This music takes the age old concept of spontaneous improvisation to so many new places in such an aesthetically beautiful and intelligent manner that I can’t help but come back to it over and over again.

Best Song
"Books on Tape" from Milton Melvin Croissant III "Lives of Leaves" (Ash From Sweat)

(this is where to get a hold of this one)
I have seen this guy play this song about a million times (no seriously) and it always puts a smile on my face. This seven inch finally captures some of his best work on one fine slab of wax. Get this shit!

Best Debut(s)
Peaking Lights/Mythical Beast

I don’t know if these are necessarily debuts, but all the things I have been able to get my hands on are really good. I think the upcoming Ecstatic Yod release from Peaking Lights is going to chart pretty high on my list (and hopefully many others’ as well) next year and the Mythical Beast album on Language of Stone may be the best heavy album since the first Black Sabbath record dropped. Both of these bands more than deliver live, so check them out if you are ever presented with the opportunity. You will thank yourself later.

Best Reissue
Group Inerane "Guitars from Agadez" (Sublime Frequencies)

Music like this only comes around so often. I think it is universally agreed upon by all that have heard this one that this is a really amazing collection of incredible songs by some amazingly talented people. Karen Dalton’s “Green Rocky Road” was a very very close second; I would probably declare it a tie actually. Both of these discs are must haves.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Brave New Whales" (Fourier Transform)

This comp had so many choice cuts by so many great artists that I had never heard of. A 3 disc comp that you can listen to all of the way through with very few disappointing tracks is such a rarity, and one that introduces me to so many great artists that I was previously unaware of is kind of a shoe in. the packaging on this one was gorgeous as well.

Best Anthology
Jade Stone and Love "Mosaics: Pieces of Stone” (Subliminal Sounds)

I had to find a place to put this one on my list and this was the best spot I could find. I really can’t even begin to explain why this one is so great, but I keep coming back to it over and over again. I am not even sure if this is technically an anthology, but I am pretty sure this is just about everything this group recorded. Seriously, check this one out; it fills a certain spot in my record collection that I didn’t even realize I was missing.

Best Cover Art
Windows "Virgins in a Virgin Grain Field/Three Molotov cocktails" (Egyptian Brain Removing Hook)

(this is where to get a hold of this one)
I am a sucker for gatefolds and this double 3” had one of the most clever/sleek designs making use of this packaging style. I saw a lot of beautifully packaged tapes, CD-Rs, and LPs and this one still kind of sticks out to me. But I have also become a huge fan of Brittany Gould’s totally sick graphics (see any Married in Berdichev release, por a hemplo the 7” listed below).

Best Vinyl Only
Married in Berdichev! "Married in Berdichev" (Gilgongo)

Seriously, have you not heard this one?! I don’t know that this requires much explanation other than it is a beautifully packaged seven inch full of really great music from a good friend on a good label. If you don’t like this one you may be an idiot.

Best CD-R Only
Chuch - everything this guy has put out (self-released)

(this guy has a MySpace, if you have a hard time finding this one let me know or go to the Temples page and you will see it)
Chuch is something else. The way this guy thinks about processing his guitar sound, and the resulting recordings are among the most forward thinking music that I heard this year. If the term “next level shit” could ever appear in a dictionary, this guy would be the accompanying illustration. He also makes an appearance on the excellent Brave New Whales comp which is how I first heard of him.

Best Live Show
The Judy Experience @ the Glob, Denver, 10-15-08

I saw a shitload of insanely amazing shows this year (including Jandek, Mythical Beast, Expo 70, Married in Berdichev, MMCIII, Dugout Canoe, Birth, the list is looooooong!) but of all the ones I went to, this was by far the most honestly moving. Hard to explain, but this band MUST be experienced live to really get it. This is a perfect example of music being much more than notes or rhythms or any combination of its individual elements; this is music as pure expression of being. Check out Matt Slaby’s blog on the show for a really great account of this night with some pics as well, and check out The Judy Experience’s disc out now on Cochon records!

Biggest Surprise
Getting to write for Foxy D. Not to be a kiss ass, but I think this page along with WFMU and Aquarius Records has done a lot to expand people’s taste and thinking about music and encourage sonic exploration of all sorts. Its things like this that keep music a living, evolving art form and I am thankful that I have gotten to be a small part of it.

Biggest Disappointment
This year was pretty crazy, and for the most part I am not disappointed at all in the end; it was a really good year. The biggest disappointment would still have to be that after thousands of years of existence, mankind has not yet found a way to “transcend the bullshit”. Maybe next year…

Most Overrated
This new neo-retro-new wave-disco “dance punk” revival (maybe it isn’t so much a “revival” as it is the gasping death throes) or whatever you want to call it. While there is a lot of really good electronic music coming out (e.g. Burial, Flying Lotus to name just a few of the groups that I felt put out some really amazing albums this year), and a lot of it might fall in the “dance” music genre, most of it just sounds like the Faint rehashed to me or some bad Oakenfoldian “ambient house” spin off, and that shit was weak the first time around. Making beats and music using computers and samples is a serious art form that has been sorely abused/underestimated/neglected lately in the realm of popular music; especially since this is one of the few areas of music that could still be somewhat uncharted for someone with a little imagination. If you do have some actual good examples of this to recommend, or some sort of explanation of this please clue me in. Apparently this is what the “kids” have been into lately, and maybe I’m just getting old, but seriously, I just don’t get it.

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Matt Blackall

Best Album
Grouper "Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill" (Type)

I feel like I could listen to this all day, everyday (and honestly, I've come pretty close to doing so) and never get sick of it. The melodies and moods on this album are truly haunting, unforgettable, and, above all else, beautiful. This music has certainly wormed its way into my subconscious.

Best Song
"Long Night" from Jim O'Rourke "Long Night" (Streamline)

A two-and-a-half hour electronic drone piece counts as a song, right? This piece was recorded in 1990 and was shelved until this year, but it definitely fits right in with a lot of contemporary sounds. Spread over two CDs, this is a minimal, subtle work that is well worth the time commitment to enjoy properly.

Best Debut
Ex Reverie "The Door Into Summer" (Language of Stone)

A fantastic album full of bombastic glam and folk inspired rockers. Even after dozens of spins through this, the album opener "Second Son" still sends a chill down my spine. The rest of the album doesn't disappoint either, with its combination of tight arrangements, strong vocals, and just the right amount mysticism and mysteriousness. It's a great album dig into and get lost inside, which is why I still haven't put it down after almost a full year.

Best Reissue
Skip James "1931 Sessions" (Mississippi Records)

These tracks have been reissued several times, but the good people at Mississippi Records should get credit for 1) putting them out on high quality vinyl and 2) doing such a beautiful job of it. These scratchy, ghostly songs sound magnificent in an analog format and record nerds (such as myself) get the added thrill of pretending that they had the luck/deep pockets to pick up some original Skip James 78s every time they drop the needle on the record. (Seriously, I can't imagine I'm the only one that feels this way.) To top it off, the cover art is fantastic. Each album comes with a copy of a rare photo of James glued to the front of the record jacket. In every way, this is a reissue done right.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Ambient Not Not Ambient" (Audio Dregs)

This comp is packed with great tracks from artists like E*vax, White Rainbow, Mudboy, Yellow Swans, Grouper, and Valet, among several others. Also, it doesn't cost a lot of money, which is nice for us music lovers in these tough financial times. Even if you're familiar with all of the artists already, this is worth picking up to have them all in one convenient little package as a ready-made mix CD, if you will.

Best Anthology
Bo Diddley "Road Runner: The Chess Masters 1959-1960" (Hip-O Select)

Now that he's gone, this is a great reminder of just how amazing and innovative Bo Diddley really was. Also, I can't help but be impressed with the quantity and quality of music Diddley packed into just two short years.

Best Cover Art
Matthew Riley "Let Us Cross Over the River and Rest Under the Shade of the Trees" (Compensatory Phenomenon)

I just got this a few weeks ago, but it's definitely the best-looking cover art I've seen all year. The silkscreening is excellent, but the neatest touch has to be the antique photo stitched to the front of the CD jacket. I can only imagine how long it took to put 50 of these together, but the results warrant the effort. It also helps that the music housed inside this fine packaging sounds really good, as well.

Best Vinyl Only
Nick Butcher "Bee Removal" (Hometapes)

Nick Butcher's sophomore effort is an excellent continuation of his experiments in unconventional, personal music. His use of found sounds and materials make his music far more intimate, organic, and pretty than you might expect from such abstract parts. You could call it minimal music with a lot of heart and soul. No matter what, it stands as a great musical statement.

Best CD-R Only
Kelly Nesbitt "Beaks that Could Smile" (L'animaux Tryst (Field) Recordings)

I got this to review pretty early this year and I was floored by it (you can find that review on this very site). Needless to say, that feeling hasn't worn off and I still love this CD-R now several months after the fact. The songwriting, lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation are all extremely ambitious, beautiful, and memorable. Given how great this is, I'm definitely hoping Kelly Nesbitt has something else up her sleeve for 2009.

Best Cassette Only
Caethua "Queenly Women Crowned and Uncrowned" (Abandon Ship)

This multifaceted, autobiographical music is definitely the best cassette release I heard all year, if not one of the best releases period. The mix of instrumental and experimental soundscapes with strong folk-style songs makes this one unforgettable.

Best Live Show
Ornette Coleman, 8 Bold Souls @ Grant Park, Chicago, 8/31/08, Chicago Jazz Festival

There's not much I can say about Ornette Coleman that hasn't already been said, except that it was a treat to see him perform in person, even if it was from very far away. Coleman is nearly 80 years old and still managed to play a fantastic, extensive set. As for the 8 Bold Souls, I'd never heard of them before I saw them perform, but I discovered a new jazz favorite that night. This unique ensemble (in addition to the expected jazz instruments, they had a cello and tuba) mixed more straightforward and experimental jazz into their tunes and made music that was both approachable and challenging, all at once. All of this happened under the stars with the lit-up Chicago skyline as a backdrop. You really can't ask for a better venue.

Biggest Surprise
After a two-year break from their last album, Helvetia came back with not one, but TWO fantastic new albums, first "The Acrobats" and then "Headless Machine of the Heart." Well, I guess I knew that "The Acrobats" was coming out, but the second was a big surprise. At any rate, I was (and am) a big fan of Duster (the previous project of part of the band) and Helvetia has become a fast favorite, as well.

Biggest Disappointment
The passing of Paul Newman, Bo Diddley, Klaus Dinger, and Isaac Hayes, among many others. They all certainly did more than their fair share to make the world a more interesting place.

Most Overrated
Girl Talk.
 

Joris Heemskerk

Best Album
Prurient "The Black Post Society" (Cold Spring)

I feel as if 2008 is the year Dominick Fernow finally found his voice and proved to be the ultimate Big Dog in the genre of Noise. Whether he wants it or not, this guy is the force to be reckoned with. The rage and the fury but also the deeply rooted pain and frustration. This album has it all.

Best of the rest
The Bug “London Zoo” (Ninja Tune)
Jason Crumer “Ottoman Black” (Hospital)
Burning Star Core “Challenger” (Hospital)
Emeralds “Live” (Gneiss Things)
Yellow Tears “Pissmop” (Hospital)
Oscillating Innards “Nadir Emergence” (Troniks/Iatrogensis)
Kanye West "808s and Heartbreak"
Sunn O))) "Dømkirke" (Southern Lord)

Best Song
"Poison Dart" from The Bug "London Zoo" (Ninja Tune)

This whole album made my summer a whole lot sweatier than the weather did. Rough and tough avant-dub fed through layers of street wisdom and roughneck mentality. Once Warrior Queen starts ripping her verse on “Poison Dart” and Kevin Martin throws down those deeply hallucinatic, post-dubstep beats I put on an evil grin and start nodding my head uncontrollably. Good feeling.
Best Debut
Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides " Bataille De Battle" (Singing Knives)

They just pop up, these new names. This year, again, a lot of those cool kids took center stage and left an impression. This duo is something special though. On this album, they take the spacious, abstraction of Taj Mahal Travellers and mix it into a more European-styled brew, taking cues from musique concrete and raw European jazz structures.

Best Reissue
GAS "Nah Und Fern” (Kompakt)

Put into one beautiful package it's hard not to marvel at Voigt's masterful craftsmanship.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Lipa Kodi Ya City Council: Nigerian High Life" (Mississippi)

Listen to the first track on this compilation and if you have any warmth in your hips you’ll start moving like a drunk kid immediately. One of the strongest openers in the history of openers, this piece of Afro-funk complete with horns, James Brown like “hey”s and fierce drumming. But there’s more to Africa than just tribal dancing and that’s what this album shows. Lots of primitive blues moves with psychedelic exotica touches, tinny production, hypnotising vocals, you feel the humidity in the African air breezing upon you.

Best Vinyl Only
Emaciator "Reflection” (Accidie)

Four sides of cold and haunting desperation. A bridge between old school, Industrial wastelands and sublime, modern day composition.

Best CD-R Only
Wasteland Jazz Unit "Solar Static Coves” (American Tapes)

Who knew biker gangs dug jazz? This sounds like some leather clad dudes in that scary dark alley pounding the shit out of you with a saxophone. And they waste no time either. Put a random album of theirs in and they totally rip your ears apart from the get go. The ultimate freejazz.

Best Cassette Only
Emeralds & Dilloway "Under Pressure” (Hanson)

Two of the best, getting it on and KILLING it. I couldn’t have wished for a better outcome
of such a pairing. Dillloway totally respects the majesty of the Emeralds vibe but while completely transforming their celestial synth waves into morbid sheets of pulsating goo.

Best Live Show
Julie Mittens @ Perron_55, Venlo (NL), 12/11/2008

First time seeing these Dutch freerock mountaineers live and it was completely like the revelation it was when I first heard their debut CD-R. Intense streams of blood red guitar psychedelics, amazing interaction between the band’s rock solid rhythm section and Aart-Jan just blazing his path right through. And all of that in my hometown, dreams can come true.

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John Ganiard

Best Album
The Walkmen "You & Me" (Gigantic)

I suppose this is probably an unconventional choice amongst digitalis writers, but no album spoke to me like “You & Me”. The Walkmen have been around long enough to have sort of an odd history, and have followed a trajectory of having been indie critic darlings to having a brief popular-amongst-college student notoriety to having been written up by the major press, etc. They’ve also been endlessly compared to their peers and influences. Find me an early review that doesn’t mention The Strokes or The French Kicks or some other New York band they were apparently associated with through some sort of New York band fraternity. With a couple of mediocre releases over the past three or four years (including a cover of Nilsson and Lennon’s “Pussy Cats” ), The Walkmen seemed poised to be forgotten. But with themes of coming back from vacation and the strangeness of early adulthood (“My sisters are married to all of my friends” Hamilton Leithauser sings on “In The New Year”), “You & Me” was a surprising, timeless, and refreshing record. It is earnest, well though-out rock and roll. It is not derivative, or ironic, or rushed, or worried. It is simply a good, no, great rock and roll album. And sure, I love listening to the weirdest of weird, the screeching and howling of recluses, self released and housed in hand painted wax paper sleeves. And yes, I’ll also listen to the pitchfork-approved, hyper-derivative apocalypse-fearing pop of bands like Deerhunter and TV on the Radio—stuff destined for year-end lists and seemingly not much else. But sometimes I pine for simple days I wasn’t alive for, and a bunch of well dressed thirty-year-olds apparently did as well, and this comforts me.

Best Song
"The Rip" from Portishead’s "Third" (Mercury)

Replace “best” with “most listened to this year by John Ganiard”. School made me listen to a sadly limited amount of music this year, so this list is nowhere near learned. But this song is still incredible.

Best Debut
Navigator "Throwing Tongues" (Magic Goat)

Super promising lo-fi folk awesomeness. Also check out this dude’s 10 song tribute to the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

Best Reissue
D Yellow Swans "Deterioration" (Modern Radio)

My scope is limited by the number or reissues I actually listened to. “Deterioration” was a tape-only release available at a couple of live dates. I think I wrote in my review of it that the fact that the can reissue shit this good that was previously fairly rare meant that, even though they’ve disbanded, there is a treasure trove of awesome waiting to be uncovered for the masses. Maybe I didn’t write that but I should have.


Best Cover Art
Pentemple "O))) Presents…" (Southern Lord)

I dug it.


Best CD-R Only
Joe + N "Leaves Fall" (Carbon)

A sliver of beauty in incredible packaging from Joe Tunis.


Biggest Surprise:
The ability to finally delve into the music of my dreams and write about it.

Biggest Disappointment:
School sort of getting in the way of the above.

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Jan-Arne Sohns

Best Album
Grails "Doomsdayer’s Holiday" (Temporary Residence)

I’ve admired Grails ever since their "Black Tar Prophecies" releases. This was advertised as an EP to prepare for the "Take Refuge in Clean Living" album on Important later in the year, but to me this is Grail’s best release to date.

Best Song
"Tjälen" from Ättestupa "s/t" (Release the Bats)

Just listen to the excerpt on the label’s MySpace site. Decent stuff for sure, until at about 3 minutes a killer hookline (!) peels out of the thick layers of sound.

Best Debut
Ättestupa "s/t" (Release the Bats)

Totally obscure band, great packaging and above all, epic tracks that span the whole range from Finnish free-folk to doom metal. I also like this because the visuals and the sounds of this album match so perfectly.

Best Reissue
Sylvain Chauveau "The Black Book of Capitalism" (Type)

Probably my favourite Chauveau release to date – and I hadn’t even known the original.

Best Anthology
Andy Stott "Unknown Exception (Selected Tracks Vol.I)" (Modern Love)

Modern Love rule! And they deliver again with this much-needed collection of Andy Stott’s twelves. Some rare, some not, but excellent minimal Dub/Deep House throughout.

Best Cover Art
Sunno))) "Domkirke" (Southern Lord)

A lot of people are experiencing Sunno))) fatigue. This release is splendid though, especially due to the addition of Bergen cathedral’s organ to the Sunno))) sound texture. In true Southern Lord fashion, the cover art is great as well, not only proving how effective robes still are as visual codes but also using enlarged painting to announce their abstract drones. Add to that the pure weight of the package...

Best Vinyl Only
Machinefabriek/Matt Davies “Onkruid“/“Sanctuary“ (A Room Forever)

Like some other people I stopped caring about each and every Machinefabriek release. I’ve never been disappointed by the man, I guess I just had enough for a while. This 12“ is one of his career highlights, as far as I can tell, just because of the unusual format for a Machinefabriek release: On vinyl, the two tracks get room to breathe, which means that the atmospheres are way more organic and genuine.

Best CD-R Only
Lanterns "Mad River" (Housecraft)

This could have been mentioned in the surprise category as well. Rough narrative drones that I haven’t found matched all year.

Best Cassette Only
Ajilvsga "Gathering of Owls" (Digitalis ltd.)

I could have gone for other Ajilvsga tapes as well but this one really spells out their aesthetics perfectly. This, the “Arroyo“ CD-R and the “Crossed Bones“ CD-R on Stunned are the best Ajilvsga releases in an incredible year imo (there must have been some 15 releases). Bring on the split series!

Best Live Show
MV&EE @ FFUS (Wagon am Nordbahnhof), Stuttgart, January 2008

Excellent gig in an old railway wagon. MV&EE totally freaked out on one of their songs – I can’t remember which one, though. It took me a while to realize there was another band member somewhere next to the bar. She turned out to be Samara Lubelski. Nobody knew who she was, which in my eyes added a sad note.

Biggest Surprise
Ester Poland: “Lepakonmetsästys“

See my review of this.

Biggest Disappointment
The death of David Foster Wallace – and the fact that such a man found this world unbearable to live in.

Most Overrated
Torche “Meanderthal“ (Hydra Head)


Top 30:

All releases LP/CD unless otherwise noted.

1. Grails: Doomsdayer’s Holiday (Temporary Residence)
2. Grouper: Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (Type)
3. Ilyas Ahmed: The Vertigo of Dawn (Time-Lag)
4. Dead Reptile Shrine: Burning Black Infinity (LP on Cocainacopia)
5. Ättestupa: s/t (LP on Release the Bats)
6. Sharron Kraus: The Fox’s Wedding (CD on Durtro/Jnana)
7. Portishead: Third (Universal)
8. Rose Kemp: Unholy Majesty (Aurora Borealis/One Little Indian)
9. The Mausoleums: Blackened Fawns Cleanse the Earth With Fire (CD-R on Chinese Workers Labor Union)
10. Blue Sabbath Black Cheer: The Endless Blockade (LP on Gnarled Forest)
11. Xela/MGR: Calling for Vanished Faces/Shipping Gold (LP on Barge)
12. Hush Arbors: (Ecstatic Peace)
13. Anduin: Forever Waiting (SMTG Limited)
14. Ursula Bogner: Recordings 1969-1988 (Faitiche)
15. Ester Poland: Lepakonmetsästys (CD-R on Wooden Sherpa)
16. Ignatz: III ((K-raa-k)3)
17. Blood of the Black Owl: A Feral Spirit (Aurora Borealis/Bindrune)
18. Njiqahdda: Ints | Nji | Verfatu (CD-R on Njiijn Arts Productions)
19. Andy Stott: Unknown Exception (Selected Tracks Vol.I) (CD on Modern Love)
20. Peter Broderick: Float (Type)
21. Jacaszek: Treny (Miasmah)
22. Valet: Naked Acid (Kranky)
23. Goldmund: The Malady of Elegance (Type)
24. Bohren und der Club of Gore: Dolores (Pias)
25. Earth: The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord)
26. Burial Hex: Initiations (Aurora Borealis)
27. Ulaan Khol: II (CD on Soft Abuse)
28. Mamaleek: s/t (self-released CD-R)
29. Cave: Hunt Like Devil (Permanent)
30. Sunno))): Domkirke (LP on Southern Lord)


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Franklin Teagle

Best Album
Kevin Drumm “Imperial Distortion” (Hospital Productions)

This new album from one of the kings of noise took an almost entirely unexpected turn with two lengthy discs of gentle, ambient burn. Taken as a whole, the album is just as devastating as any of his harshest and loudest works. Gorgeous and subtle, disc two ends brilliantly with a brief and devilish blast of the distortion that its title advertises.

Best Song
Martial Canterel “Windscreen” from “Weird Records Volume II: Analog Electronic Music 2008” (Weird Records)

A true dark pop genius on the rise, Sean McBride’s Martial Canterel project kicked off the “Weird Compilation Vol. II” with frigid perfection. Handling sequenced synths and analog drum machines as though he had an extra limb or two, McBride combines mastery of analog machinery with songwriting ability that could ice down the sweatiest dance floor.

Best Debut
Disfigure Mare “Delta Maidenhair” (Agents of Chaos)

Who knows whether or not we’ll see more work from this new Jeff Witscher project, but this way-too-limited tape was easily one of the most stunning of the year. Utilizing the deep romantic longing that coats his ambient project Marble Sky, Witscher adds obscured vocals to create a work that’s as otherworldly as it is beautiful.

Best Reissue
Ramleh “The Hand of Glory” (Hospital Productions/Harbinger Sound)

My previous experience with this and most of Ramleh’s early catalog was through the “We Created It, Let’s Take It Over” series released on Pure. I never quite realized how poor the quality of those discs was until I spun this 12”, which was like hearing the band for the first time. It’s a dense, powerful, and outright psychedelic swirl of sound from a band that will always be the ultimate in power electronics in my mind. If Harbinger finally releases the long-planned “Awake!” box set in 2009, chalk that down as next year’s best re-issue without fail.

Best Various Artists Compilation
“Weird Records Volume II: Analog Electronic Music 2008” (Weird Records)

A near-perfect sequel to the previous, entirely seminal compilation of contemporary minimal wave artists. This time around, Weird Records brilliantly combined the dark pop songs from the likes of Xeno & Oaklander and Sleep Museum with vicious noise from Spine Scavenger, Envenomist, and more. With heavy use of analog synth as the common factor, both aesthetics compliment each other in fascinating ways.

Best Anthology
Gas “Nah und Fern” (Kompakt)

I’m not usually one for beat-driven techno, but this anthology of all four albums by Wolfgang Voigt’s project hit the spot and then some. Drenched in achingly gorgeous melody and densely textured, each track is a transcendent journey to bliss and back. The steady beats ultimately serve their purpose as the vehicle to shuttle you through the ambient atmospheres.

Best Cover Art
Bones of Seabirds “Subterranean Lightsource” (Small Doses)

In my highly biased opinion, there’s no better visual combination than Matt Yacoub’s psychedelic artwork and Small Doses owner Joe Beres’ impeccable design sense. With a printed vellum obi and a large fold-out print, this disc would be worth owning even if it didn’t house Ryan McGill’s interstellar synth drones.

Best Vinyl Only
Emaciator “Coveting” (Not Not Fun)

Jon Borges’ excellent project shifted even further into beautiful bleakness throughout 2008 with a grip of killer cassettes and its first vinyl. This LP is my favorite of them all. Shifting from monolithic walls of static, to fragile drones, to spare guitar twang, the album fused the project’s recurring themes of isolation and dread with a slight but noticeable sense of warmth.

Best CD-R Only
Oneohtrix Point Never “A Pact Between Strangers” (Gneiss Things)

Distant and dreamy analog synth work from Daniel Lopatin of Astronaut and Infinity Window. This is some of the most compelling work I’ve heard from the project to date, and another notch in the belt for the amazingly consistent Gneiss Things label. With a running time of less than thirty minutes, it’s ideal for back-to-back listens and really leaves you wanting more. Also, I can’t think of many pieces that use animal sounds more effectively than the title track.

Best Cassette Only
Mark McGuire “Amethyst Waves” (Wagon)

Make no mistake about it: Emeralds’ McGuire was on fire this year. Every limited cassette and CD-R he released was well worth hunting down, but this one was surely the penultimate. Packed with sentimental beauty, both guitar compositions are as touching as anything I’ve heard by the likes of John Fahey or James Blackshaw. “A Matter of Time” still gives me chills after many listens.


Best Live Show
Astro @ Knitting Factory, New York City, No Fun Fest

If a performance ever earned the phrase “mind-bending,” it was certainly this one. Despite Grandpa Tony Conrad cutting into the set time with an over-long snooze fest of a performance and an obnoxious (most likely drugged out) kid who had to be thrown out, Hiroshi Hasegawa graced/ravaged our eardrums with at least 45 minutes of the most cosmically intense analog synth tones I’ll ever experience. I could hardly walk straight afterward.
 

Cory Card

Best Album
Andrew King and Brown Sierra "Thalassocracy" (Epiphany)

King’s renditions of sea shanties are accompanied by field recordings and other various sounds created by the Brown Sierra, the two manage to create an album that stays true to tradition while expanding into the avant-garde. King’s vocals color the narratives he tells so beautifully while the Brown Sierra flesh the tales out into full surreal environments. “Thalassocracy” is both a difficult and intoxicating listen that has kept my mouth open and drooling since I first hearing it.


Best Song
Cold Cave “Heaven’s Gate” (Dais)

Like all great pop songs inextricably sad, yet somehow uplifting. Cold Cave really found a magic blend here.


Best Various Artists Compilation
"Home On the Range" (Open Range Records)

Though I feel a slight bit hesitant to choose this one as we did contribute a track, I do feel that this one warrants mentioning, as it is a great testament to very careful arrangement. Not only are many of the contributing artist’s tracks brilliant efforts, but the release flows so smoothly without a down moment to mention. It’s rather unfortunate that this was only released in an edition of 50.

Best Anthology
Astral Social Club “vols. 8-16”

How can one ever go wrong with 6 straight hours of Astral Social Club? It never gets old.

Best Cover Art
The North Sea "Clean White Beds" (Period.Tapes)

Louis Caldarola’s tongue in cheek artwork for this album is not only incredibly funny, but also amazingly well done. It features a rendering of a hospital bed with a bright red bloodstain in its center (“Clean White Beds” on Period.Tapes), richly silk screened with each graphic detail well thought out. One should definitely track this one down and search out the hilarious visual touches added to the stickers on the tape.

Best Vinyl Only
Cold Cave "The Trees Grew Emotions and Died" (Dais)

It’s very rare, in this house, that one will here the same record play at a minimum of once per day. For the most part we like variety. Yet ever since my good friend Ryan Martin laid a copy of this 12” of amazingly crafted darkwave synth-pop on me, it has rarely left the turntable, and has never been properly shelved. It simply makes you want to groove on to its hypnotic sadness. I really wish I had grabbed a second copy of this one, as I can definitely see the grooves wearing thin.

Best CD-R Only
Rambutan "Rusted Prayers Converge" (Tape Drift)

Rambutan’s “Rusted Prayers Converge” is quite an amazing listen that combines the best qualities of contemporary underground sounds with the sensibilities of modern composition. Though all the works featured here are improvised there is an extreme sensitivity and control over the structuring of sound that is rarely heard within improvised noise.

Best Cassette Only/Debut
These Feather Have Plumes "These Feathers Have Plumes" (Period.Tapes)

This is probably one of the most original takes on drone that I’ve heard in quite some time. The three pieces featured on this tape are incredibly evocative works that really encompass the listener, transporting them to an almost tangible place filled with tendrils of smoke and occasional flashes of brilliant light. This is an album that I can’t ever really stop gushing about once I get started.

Best Live Show
Skull Defects @ The Meddlesome Cave

This was quite a surprise that I basically just walked into. The Skull Defects (whom I had heard of but had yet to hear) were in town and playing in a friend’s basement. The music was great, but I have to say half the intrigue and enjoyment was simply due to the environment itself, as it had been quite some time since I had seen a show in a basement, let alone extremely enjoyed it.

Biggest Surprise
Magik Markers “Gucci Rapidshare Download” (Three Lobed)

I’ve constantly been on the fence with the Magik Markers, “I Trust My Guitar” was good, but from then out things really went on a wavering path. Going way downhill with their poorly packaged, poorly recorded and fascistly overpriced live CD-Rs to a semi-intriguing but overall mediocre foray into proper songwriting on “Boss” and finally back beyond my wildest expectations with this one. “Gucci Rapidshare Download” can be considered the Marker’s post-songwriting album, with the best elements of their experimental nature intact combined with the pop sensibilities they developed on “Boss” making for an album that literarily had me stopping in my tracks when I first heard it.

Biggest Disappointment
The Dead C @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC

I’m probably going to get a horrible amount of flack for this one, as many found this to be one of “the greatest moments in their lives,” but honestly I wasn’t feeling it. Yes for the first ten minutes or so the show was great, you could really feel the power and very tasteful levels of musicianship that these three have developed over the past 20 or so years. I wish they had had the taste to stop after the first song, as it all became a rather redundant affair, with each musician maintaining a very cliché role within the structure of the whole. The songs themselves were new, but felt as if they could have been old, basically ignoring the past ten years of their career… I honestly would have rather seen them do one of those classic album rehashes that I so adamantly abhor.

 

Jordan Spencer

Best Album
Lau Nau "Nukkuu" (Locust)

I can't even explain how much I love this record. Infinitely beautiful, It's relaxing and easy to put on in the background, but so absolutely full of interesting sounds that it never gets boring.

Best Song
"Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping" Grouper from "Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill" (Type Records)

B E A U T I F U L and simplistic. Everyone knew this record was going to be great and I don't think it disappointed a bit.

Best Debut
Magic Lantern "High Beams" LP (Not Not Fun)

Another Not Not Fun stunner. Not counting the very few outrageously limited releases before it, this first big blast from Magic Lantern has put them (and NNF) on the radar of those outside the bedroom-label underground. SXSW next year? Big times.

Best Reissue
all Plus Tapes

I've got Brad to thank for the tip-off to these. Dara Puspita and Los Holy's have not left my tape-deck - constant rotation between the three tapes. Can't wait to see what else comes down the line from these wonderful bootleggers.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Hand Rolled Oblivion" (Music Your Mind Will Love You)

STILL have not made it all the way through this. Track after track after track. An epic closing statement for the end of an incredible label. Dozens of one-off mystery collaborations and improvisations to perfectly soundtrack the night hours. Those Aussie's have it right.

Best Cover Art
Everything on Housecraft and all the L'animaux Tryst Haunt 7"s


Best Vinyl Only
Inca Ore "Birthday of Bless You" (Not Not Fun)

Eva has perfected making noise beautiful and really shown it's not a man's game. Have not taken this out of rotation since I got it. Absolutely perfect.
AND
Barn Owl "From Our Mouths a Perpetual Light" (Not Not Fun)
Another pure-white NNF vinyl is definitely tied for this spot. No way I could pick between the two. Barn Owl have come SO far since their debut and I'm loving every step of it. This record is so menacing and raw while still retaining its moments of relaxation and “sleeping-outside” sort of vibes.

Best CD-R Only
Elm "Bxogonoas" (Digitalis)

I should've known to expect great things from 50% of Barn Owl, but man I was blown away. Cannot wait for the upcoming releases Jon has planned. Fingers crossed for an LP in '09 for sure. Awesome artwork/packaging on this one too. Some of the best on the LTD. front.

Best Cassette Only
Christina Carter "Working Texas Blues" (Blackest Rainbow)

One of about a billion incredible releases from Joe at BR. Dude is pumping them out. This is one of the absolute best CC solo releases ever. The vocals are just perfect for wobbling on cassette tape and it's just quiet enough to really feel like a ghostly old recording.

Best Live Show
Pelt @ Terrastock 7, Louisville, KY, June

A truly special occasion. A solid hour of mesmerizing deep drones somewhere between La Monte Young and the current Finnish folk scene. Everyone with tickets to the festival was crammed into the space and the entire audience was silent. Powerful and moving in ways words cannot describe. Set of the ‘00s.

Biggest Surprise
Raccoo-oo-oon and Yellow Swans breaking up.

Biggest Disappointment
Raccoo-oo-oon and Yellow Swans breaking up.

Most Overrated
The whole “shit-gaze” scene that seems to be exploding. Seems like everyone and their cousin are getting a 7" of shitty lo-fi pop-songs put out. There are quite a few that get some HEAVY play from me, but there's just too much to sift through.

Best Labels
Stunned, L'animaux Tryst, Digitalis Ltd, Night People (and a “duh” for Not Not Fun)

---

Stephan Bauer

Best Album
Rachel Unthank & the Winterset "The Bairns" (Rough Trade)

Normally I’m not such a big fan of traditional britfolk, but the second album by Rachel Unthank & the Winterset just has such great songs on it that I simply HAD to love it. Sometimes they sound like Robert Wyatt or Mark Hollis (i.e. thoughtful) and sometimes just wide open emotional.

Best Song
"Glide” by Fennesz from “Black Sea” (Touch)

I don’t know whether you can call this tune a “song” as there are no lyrics, but none the less it’s the best single piece of music that I’ve heard so far this year. It’s built just like all good ambient tunes – an empty hiss in the beginning and end and a slowly growing beautiful harmony in the middle. It’s Fennesz at his best.

Best Debut
Vampire Weekend "Vampire Weekend" (XL)

Vampire Weekend are the freshest band in years – seriously. There are good albums every year, but hardly ever a new band – though very retro – sounds so fresh and new, and at the same time really good. I am desperately waiting for the next Vampire Weekend album.

Best Reissue
Natural Snow Buildings "The Dance of the Moon & Sun" (Students of Decay)

This is very epic, maybe even too epic. A double album, each CD packed with 80 minutes of music. Two additional full length CDs and two complementary 3” CDs. That’s a lot of music to listen to, and actually almost 80% of it is really good. So I try to listen to each of those 6 CDs as if it was a single release, and keep enjoying it.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Kitsuné Maison Compilation 6" (Kitsuné)

Alright, this may not perfectly fit into the Foxy Digitalis world, but I just love this compilation. It combines the typical French vocoder disco house with the cheesiest elements of ‘80s pop. Almost every single one of the 18 tracks contained on the album is a killer, and that’s hard to get on a compilation.

Best Anthology
Various Artists "Jewelled Antler Library" (Porter Records)

I don’t know if this counts as an anthology, but I guess it does because it sort of shows Jewelled Antler at its peak and almost all central artists. The 12 “library” subscription series 3” CDs were now reissued by jazz label Porter Records. It was the least a label could do. It both looks really good, but was also well remastered.

Best CD-R Only
GHQ "Seven & Eight" (Heavy Blossom)

GHQ keep on delivering. It may start to sound same-y, but nonetheless with all that mediocre stuff coming out on CD-R and cassette these days, GHQ are still on top the pile and every release is worth ten times more than the best of six Sunburned live CD-Rs.

Best Cassette Only
Attar Cups "Attar Cups" (Sloow Tapes)

Sloow Tapes is the best tape label anyway, but the Attar Cups one they released is one of their best ever. To my knowledge, Attar Cups consist of some dudes from Visitations and some other people from the Northeast of the US. Their music is – umm – free folk, but really good one.

Best Live Show
Vampire Weekend @ Luxor, Cologne

Admitted, they sound live a lot like on CD, so you may think: What’s the point of seeing them live? Well, it’s being around other people, drinking a lot of beer AND most of all hearing two tracks that weren’t on the CD.

Biggest Disappointment
“Free folk” altogether. I still admire the whole scene and everyone putting so much effort in it, but I’d just wish there was some more quality control, some going through hours of material and evaluating what should be released and what shouldn’t. I’m a typical consumer. I need some guidance on what’s good and what’s not.

Most Overrated
Bon Iver.
His album is album of the year almost everywhere. But I’d rather listen to some Bonnie Prince Billy because Bon Iver is terribly BORING.

---

Eric Hardiman

Best Album
Graham Lambkin & Jason LesCalleet “The Breadwinner” (Erstwhile)

Two geniuses of sound art converge to produce a powerful and compelling record that I’ll be listening to years from now. If you don’t have it yet, just stop reading now and order yourself a copy. A close second is Burning Star Core “Challenger” (Hospital Productions). C. Spencer Yeh upped his already superb game on this one, creating a beautiful, complex, and masterful album. It hangs together incredibly well and shows a desire to spread out into new realms, all while keeping the listener glued to the speakers. Perfect cover art too. Third would be Ulaan Khol I and II (Soft Abuse), both of which had a powerful hold on me this year. Steven R. Smith continues to amaze. Finally, two other records I played pretty obsessively this year were Los Llamarada “Take the Sky” (S.S. Records) and Gown “For the Maples” (Three Lobed). Whew.

Best Song
“Cold and Sober” from The Drones “Havilah” (ATP Recordings)
.
Like their best songs, this track is sparse and filled with just the right amount of anguished restraint to leaven the beauty of the songwriting. Ostensibly a ballad I suppose, but it’s so much better than that implies. Unsettling in the right ways, and memorable enough to stay lodged in my head for weeks on end. Second and third place go to “Why Must I Pay” and “Iran’s Nuclear Threat” from The Rebel’s “Northern Rocks Bear Weird Vegetable” (Sacred Bones Records). Strange and strangely addictive songs from a record that has a death grip on me. Finally, several songs from Lau Nau’s “Nukkuu” (Locus Music), Crystal Stilts’ “Alight the Night” (Slumberland) and Portishead’s “Third” (Mercury) could easily rest in this category.

Best Debut
Invisible Bees "1st (Insect Music Forms Volume 1)" (Anti-Guru Recordings)
.
Beautiful, restrained, and patient debut from this British duo who I hope we'll be hearing lots more from soon. Eclectic instrumentation, evocative sounds, some drones, some folk, some Taj Mahal Travellers feel, and an impressive attention to sonic detail. An emotionally resonant release I'll be listening to years from now.

Best Reissue
Harvey Milk “My Love is Higher Than Your Assessment of What My Love Could Be” (Relapse)
Pretty tough to choose a winner in this category (big nod goes to the Dara Puspita cassettes on Plus Tapes), but Harvey Milk’s debut needs to be heard far and wide. I lived in Athens when they started, and got to see almost all of their earliest shows, a rare case of being in the right time at the right place for me. Those shows blew my mind wide open, and the perfection of this record is still evident on every listen. It’s almost too beautiful for words, but also heavy, pummeling, and deeply mysterious. Truly deserving of the term “masterpiece”. The fact that they are still playing music and putting out new material is a minor miracle we should all be thankful for. Second place goes to “Dark Shadows” by Cold Sun (World in Sound), a psychedelic gem from 1970. Also, Dennis Wilson's “Pacific Ocean Blue” (Sundazed) is pretty essential.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Hand-rolled Oblivion" (Music Your Mind Will Love You).

Massive 3CD-R set that serves as a beautiful swansong for this amazing Australian label that has inspired us all for years. I'm still listening to this and discovering new pleasures every time. Let's hope Michael's next label continues the quality tradition! Second place goes to “1970s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground” (Sublime Frequencies) If you’ve got any of the Sublime Frequencies material, you’re probably already tuned in to this. If not, you’re in for a treat. Essential stuff.

Best Cover Art
V/A "Hand-rolled Oblivion" (Music Your Mind Will Love You)

Beautiful cover, lovely texture to feel in your hands, and overall excellent packaging. It's clear a lot of hard work and thought went into this one. Came as no surprise from MYMWLY of course. Grab one if you can while they're still around. Second place for cover art goes to Invisible Bees "1st (Insect Music Forms Volume 1) (Anti-Guru Recordings). Lovingly hand assembled, bound gatefold cover for this one. Excellent.

Best Vinyl Only
Glory Fkn Sun “Spectra” (Tipped Bowler Tapes)

Antony Milton from New Zealand’s involved, so that’s all you really need to know to ensure that this is worth hearing. But it’s so much more than just another Milton project – this is his trio with Ben Spiers and Simon O’Rourke, and it’s perfect on vinyl. Heavy, crackling, warm, and dark all at the same time, this record is able to transport me elsewhere in seconds flat. Second place to Comoros “s/t” (Fedora Corpse), a nicely understated record from Philadelphia that ought to be more widely heard. Finally, Tom Carter's "Shots at Infinity 2" (Important), which is excellent.

Best CD-R Only
Zanzibar Snails “Brown Dwarf” (Mayyrh)

A genre boundary crossing release that has a great sense of narrative, timing, and texture. Guitars, viola, electronics, and percussion melted together with great focus. This one got many many listens here, and I’m excited to hear more from them. Others that could have easily shared the top spot were GHQ’s “Seven and Eight” (Heavy Blossom), Invisible Bees "1st (Insect Music Forms Volume 1) (Anti-Guru Recordings), Sparkling Wide Pressure "Touching Pasture" (Students of Decay"), and of course, the massive Birchville Cat Motel "Second Curved Surface Destroyer" 3CD-R set (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon). Another amazing swansong, but thankfully, it's pretty clear that Campbell Kneale's got lots more surprises in store for ‘09.

Best Cassette Only
Hunting Rituals “A Slow Slow Death” (Housecraft)

A captivating, moody, probing tape full of dub-y and psychedelic shades, but still retaining the core HR sound. Utterly transcending the “noise” genre, this one is haunting, addictive, and remained in my tape player most of the summer. A very close second goes to Fossils From the Sun “The Living Mixer” (Peasant Magik), whose intense minimal electronics explorations also blew me away this year. And a close third goes to Wether/Women in Tragedy (Earth Space Noise Research Laboratories). Mike Haley’s Wether project provided a complex, rich, and intriguing first side, and Women in Tragedy gave us a near perfect side of heavy dub/noise/rock/ improv splatter. And since it was a great year for tapes, there’s a fourth too – Panopticon Eyelids “Glitter Vomit” (Abandon Ship), which for me was the car party jam tape of the summer. Totally joyous and full of raucous Beefheart-inspired riffs, this one was intoxicatingly fun.

Best Live Show
A three way tie between
(1) the No More Bush Fest @Albany Sonic Arts Collective/UAG in Albany, NY;
(2) Golden Jooklo Age / Blue Prostitutes / Mean Motion / Peaking Lights @ the Helderberg House in Albany, NY, and
(3) Michael Chapman and Jack Rose, also @ the Helderberg House in Albany, NY.

The No More Bush Fest featured amazing performances from all involved, including Bill Nace, John Morton, Byron Coley & Ziamuluch, Charles Plymell, Val Webber, Jack Rose, Wovoka, 50 Foot Women & Axolotl, and finally Zaimph in a zoned out and hauntingly beautiful closing set. At the second show, Golden Jooklo Age pulled out all the stops and stunned everyone in attendance with their incredible free jazz/raga blend. Each of the other bands gave massive performances too, and it was especially refreshing to meet musicians whose personalities were as amazing as their music. Michael Chapman charmed a private audience in the Burnt Hills basement with his stories, and mesmerized us all with his songs. Sitting a few feet away from him on the floor certainly felt like being in the presence of greatness and wisdom. Best of all, at all three of these shows, the camaraderie between artists, bands and audiences was palpable. New friendships were formed, new collaborations happened, and everyone drank of the communal spirit vibe. These were very magical shows and everyone lucky enough to have been there knew it.

---

Charles Franklin

Obviously, I can't claim to have heard everything released this year, so don't think of this as a definitive list. It was a great year for finding strangely beautiful sounds, and this is just my opinion of some of the music that moved me.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock and Fuzz Funk in 1970s Nigeria” (Soundway)

Truly a super fun collection that slipped completely under my radar until now. Lively rhythms meshed together with psyched out guitar and organ- try to grab this or the other comps that Soundway is putting out.

Best Cover Art
Housecraft Label

Jeffry Astin's Housecraft label has really blown my mind this year with consistently beautiful packaging. Each tape and CD-R is transformed into an art object with Jeffry's sensitive collage work. His aesthetic is full of washed out 1970s colors and surrealist combinations- a perfect visual accompaniment to the sounds of Housecraft.

Runners up:
Stunned records, Goaty Tapes, Arbor

I'm really digging the exquisitely packaged tapes this year

Best Vinyl Only
The Blithe Sons "The Great Orthochromatic Wheel" (Family Vineyard)

This is a perfect example of what makes these guys so special. Everything is so subtle and magical- a presence that is very hard to define. It feels like the first hint of springtime.

Best CD-R Only
Sand Rattle Kins "13 Steps From Kava Conch" (Chocolate Monk)

A perfectly strange disc that really lingers in the subconscious- like being surrounded by wild animals in a circuit bent netherworld.

Runner up:
Oneohtrix Point Never “A Pact Between Strangers” (Gneiss Things)


Best Cassette Only
Oneohtrix Point Never "Ruined Lives" (Young Tapes)

Young Tapes consistently hit the right spot for me this year, but this tape was definitely my favorite. Equal parts sci-fi soundtrack and meditation mood-setter; I couldn't keep this one out of the player.

Runners up:
Ducktails "II" (Future Sound Recordings), James Ferraro “Last American Hero” (Taped Sounds), Tricorn and Queue “Continual Passage” (Stunned Records)


Best Live Show
Fuzz O' Thee Edge 1 @ Murfreesboro Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro, TN, 11/1/2008

Okay, I'm being a little self-indulgent here seeing that I actually had a part in organizing this show, but it really was such a thrill to bring a diverse range of experimental music to my hometown. Katchmare, Matt Baumann and Eric Barnett all gave memorable performances, and with the support of great local filmmakers and musicians the night was well rounded. Hope we can do it again soon.

Runner up: Nels Cline Singers @ Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN 7/17/2008- scorching!


---

Ben Lynch

Best album of the year
Pentemple "O))) Presents…" (Southern Lord)

Is it sacrilegious to really enjoy drums on a drone record? Is it still a drone record if they use drums? Either way, Sunn O))) played an Australian tour warm up show in Melbourne, asked Oren Ambarchi and Striborg (Sin Nanna) to contribute, and then had Oren master the results - Pentemple was the outcome. Magnificently deranged Sin Nanna drumming over a typical Sunn O))) bottom end assault, the result a standout AOTY.

Honourable mentions to Li Jianhong "San Sheng Shi" and The North Sea "Gated Community"



LP of the year
Spine Scavenger "Shackles of Man Measured Time" (Troniks)
By far the most interesting of the Aaron Dilloway projects (and I include Wolf Eyes), the A side of this record BLEW MY MIND from the first listen. One looping synth note descends into a mess of noisy carnage, while the B side eases the assault a little.

Honourable mention must go to The North Sea "Crusades" (Digitalis)
I've never been so happy to miss out on a limited release cassette as when I finally got this beautiful piece of wax on my turntable.



Tape of the Year
Ajilvsga "Buffalo Altar" (Anathema Sound)
A menacing, snarling, beast of a tape, this is the soundtrack to hell. Which I suppose is where you’ll be going if you worship at the Buffalo Altar anyway. Special mention must be made of the excellent artwork as well.



Gig of the year
Antony Milton & Birchville Cat Motel @ Serial Space, Chippendale, Sydney, Oct 7

Antony Milton did what Antony Milton does best – sat down with a guitar and e-bow, an old walkman with tapes of bird noises, and a couple of pedals, and proceeded to take the gathered throng on the kind of trip and only a loveably scruffy journeyman such as he could envision. Followed by BCM in one of his final shows under his old moniker, who proceeded to warp minds and soil trousers with a blistering wall of anguished howls and pulsating synths. If this is the direction we can expect under the “Our Love Will Destroy The Earth” handle, then sign me up.

Honourable mention goes to Sonic Youth doing Daydream Nation, which was predictably superb.

 

Bruno Parisse

Best Album
Burial Hex "Initiations" (Aurora Borealis)

This one was a little surprise for me. BH wasn’t my favorite project of the mighty Clay Ruby, but with this one he has found the perfect combination between the sharpest melodies and the deepest melancholic noises. Totally haunted.

Best Song
Lateral Hyetography “Some Girlzzz” A side version (Really Coastal)


Best Debut
Sun Araw "The Phynx" (Not Not Fun)

Cool stuff by cool guys on a cool label. "Boat Trip" EP is also super cool (and what a front cover).

Best Reissue + Anthology
Dennis Wilson "Pacific Ocean Blue/Bambu (The Caribou Sessions)" (Legacy)

A complete reissue of Dennis Wilson's works, maybe the most underrated Beach Boys member and certainly the most sensible.

Best Various Artists Compilation
“Wilde Jaeger” (Percht)

WJ is a unique compilation of Alpine Folk Music, Pagan Ritual Music and authentic field-recordings from the darkest woods and deepest valleys to the highest peaks of the sacred Central-European Alps, as well as of other pagan and alpine regions in Europe and the USA. 2CD-R set in a wooden box. What else?

Best Cover Art
Emeralds / Quintana Roo “split” (Arbor)

And as always, everything on Not Not Fun, special mention to Housecraft artworks too.

Best Vinyl Only
Pocahaunted “Island Diamonds” (Arbor)

At the beginning it was a vinyl only release . I don’t know why but it reminds me of Seefeel, you know that too pure/naïve band.

Mention: The Skaters LP on Eclipse

Best CD-R Only
James Ferraro "Postremo Mundus Techno-Symposium" (New Age)

Because he comes from outer space , because his music goes to outer space

Special mention to: Nackt Insecten "Mysterious Ceremonial Disc" (Blackest Rainbow)

Best Cassette Only
Oneohtrix Point Never “Transmat Memories” (Taped Sounds)

So mystic. New age synths for dolphins.

Mention Xela “The Illuminated” (Digitalis Ltd), Xiphiidae “Lakehouse Apparition” (Cloud Valley), Dolphins into the Future “Voyage”, Druids of Huge "Druids of Huge" (Arbor)

Best Live Show
Sonic Boom @ IAO Festival, Bordeaux, France, December 29

For the venue on two tracks of the legendary Kevin Ayers (Soft Machine), it was the spacemen free.

Biggest Disappointment
Death of Freddie Hubbard (RIP 12/29/2008)


Most Overrated
There's already too much music I love to speak about that I don't want to waste my time to talk about the one I don't like.

Best name band
Hairmaiden of the Totem Robe


Best "metal" album
Judas Priest "Nostradamus" (Sony)


Best "Digitalis Industries" release
Ajilvsga "Gathering of Owls"


Most underrated artist/band
"Musiques Immédiates" artists


Best new label
Stunned


Sexiest choreography
Beyonce “Single Ladies”


Best player of the year
I hate to do it, but I think Cristiano Ronaldo is.


---

Tim Goodwillie

Best Album
It must exist. But I did not hear it.
In the most part due to the decisions I have made in my life:
two kids, no money job, a request to our dear hosts at Foxy the D for only reissues to review, and my own chronic (musical) masturbations (new glands, inflamed organs, and mysterious miseries)

So, out of time and space, prompted by the movement of others towards too bright a light, my answer is sadly, for you modernists and diggers, Roxy Music’s BBC Sessions “First Kiss”, from my friend and soggy tenant the good Ged, Mr. Fantastic Ego. Ought7 was my Gene Clark obsession, and Ought8 my Roxy Music fareak out, and these sessions are the classic “first two” period but with Eno showing very little restraint, feel it, and again sorry.

Best Song
Peaking Lights “Silver Tongue Soft Whisper”
This is first triggered track on their Myspace and every time I checked it I forget the sound was coming from inside my computer, hope this one is on their new Night People platter, and soon? Else, I might have to use the dough to keep the milkman at the door.

Best Debut
(see Best Album apology)
“and I... I am a monster I can't believe the thing I've done.”
J.D.

Best Reissue

Roy Harper, Gene Clark, Neil Young, Linda Perhacs, and most deservingly and needed Rodriquez’ “Cold Fact”
I had his “Sugarman” track on a compilation my friend David Hollander (the Lil’ Earl of “What's Happening!!” and extra extra rare grooves) had made back at the turn of the century, based on chronological song citations in the personal letters of Philip K. Dick, and . . . oh my!

“If I were a rich man,
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.”
J.B&S.H

Best Various Artist Compilation
Well . . . Shit, this is where I am at, I go to the community center and sweat with the oldies (and hot mommies) every morning, I download gangs of free DJ mixes, with insanely high BPMs that shock my none-sweaty self. They are:

Flagrant Fowl “Tambourine Dream”
Midwest Brooklyn Transplants dancerate down-tempo alt pop hits, so good it like candy.

Girl Talk “Feed the Animals”
I know . . . fuck you! Shit leaves nasty cocaine burns but it makes time stop, so fast, never dug the Z-Trip stuff it was always like he was just spinning a magic radio dial, but Mr. G.G. is fucking four deep and spins, with lube.

Other Various Blogs and Coms:

Flamin’ Hotz, mashit, Fairtilizer, Barefiles, newmixes, and on and on . . .

“Mowing Down M.C.s Like I'm Mowing A Lawn” –B.B.

The real comp shit that’s got me hitting it
“through the morning and through the night” –G.C.
is a multi-volume functional cull mix CD-R from my friend Dante Carfagna of super obscure Midwest roots country 45s from the Fifties and early Sixties? Tiny bit of Jesus and a whole bunch of broken hearts and bottles. (You are a fucking shit brain if you do not buy everything that Dante has even looked at; dude is a straight up summoner!)

Best Anthology
Cross my “Best Album Apology” with a love of the album format and the question is moot, doot.

Best Cover Art
In a tie with most brain draining public erection, at The Goodwill, and a faded copy of Linda Ronstadt’s “Hasten Down the Wind” . . . ahem . . .
“Do you have a public restroom?”

Best Vinyl Only
Expo 70 / Rahdunes split (Kill Shaman)

This is not only the “Best Vinyl Only” release this year, it is the only vinyl released this year that I own.

Hate me with donations! Please.+

Best CD-R Only
I wish I would of got one of Aaron and Indra (Peaking Lights) tour only handmades but the gin in my juice loosed my focus and then they were gone.

“Baby come back” - P.B&J.C.C

Best Cassette Only
I know it is totally gay, and insular, and not allowed, but it was also one of the reasons I listened to so little new music this year, my own fucking “Greenmachines for all the Childrens” on our sweet master’s Digitalis Ltd.

“Why you hate me?” –S.U.C.

Best Live Show
On a fucking theme,
Peaking Lights, Expo 70, and Sounding the Deep @ The Pistol in K.C.’s West Bottoms
Story of my life, the little I get is the mothrafuking shit!

Biggest Surprise
The end of the world is not the end of our world, it is the end of theirs, now it is their turn “love or leave it”.

Bring 2012; I have dreams that extend beyond it.

Biggest Disappointment
That my people are still P.O.W.O.Ds
(Prisoners of the War on Drugs)
LET MY PEOPLE GROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or else we’ll loose the Elves.

The Green Man commeth.

Most Overrated
Still, powdered drugs and hairless pussies.

“A new day . . . oh, a new day.” –K.J.

 

John Cavanagh

Best Album
Nalle "The Siren's Wave" (Locust Music)

Alright, hands up! I'm picking something I produced with the band, but I defy anyone to say this is nepotism/narcissism or e-g-o (well, maybe just a touch of the latter) as this album is an outstanding achievement by Nalle and sounds like no other. I'm very proud of “The Siren's Wave” and if I picked another album instead, just because I was involved with this one, it wouldn't be my genuine choice.

Best Song
"Infinity" from Band "K-Space" (Ad Hoc Records)

To enter this as a "song" is stretching the boundary, but where else to put it?... and it has to be in my favourites of 2008 somewhere. “Infinity” is a song without ending, literally, as every time you play the 20 minute piece from its home on a CD-rom, it remixes itself to create a radically different listening experience. K-Space is Ken Hyder, Tim Hodgkinson and Gendos Chamzyryn and “Infinity” really has to be heard to be believed!

Best Debut
Sexy Kids "Sisters Are Forever" 7" (Slumberland)

I've picked a single here, as I suspect there never will be a Sexy Kids album. I hope this is proved wrong, but each time I've seen this Glasgow-based band live, there hangs in the air the feeling that it might be their last show. Two members, for example, lived in New York for a while, but then returned and Sexy Kids appeared again. Their shows are filled with an infectious energy and their sound, although rooted in a rich canon of Scottish pop-punk music, is instantly their own. Oh - and the 45 is on bubblegum pink vinyl too!

Best Reissue
Bill Quick "Maravillosa Gente" (Time-Lag)

A lost gem from 1972. Sure, its sound is instantly identifiable with that era, but its a lovely discovery and produced to the usual impeccable Time-Lag standard.

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Fairytales Can Come True - UK Popsike from the late '60s" (Psychic Circle)

I treasure this album for the opening track alone. “The Summer of Last Year” was the only single by The Pyramid, featuring John Paul Jones pre-Led Zep and Ian Matthews before Fairport formed. I had long wanted a copy of this and found several more gems amidst an enjoyable 20 track selection compiled by Nick Salomon.

Best Anthology
Silver Apples "Selections" (Chicken Coop Recordings)

This LP compiled early Silver Apples material which Simeon still performs live with a special bonus track: the long-lost recording of Simeon and Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner. I saw Simeon play in Glasgow in 2008 and it was a pleasure to see him on such good form, clearly enjoying performing as much as ever. The Hendrix track turned up in the late Danny Taylor's attic and it was exciting to hear something assumed lost forever.

Best Cover Art
Adrian Crowley "Long Distance Swimmer" (Tin Angel)

Iker Spozio's artworks for records, posters or whatever are never less than exemplary. This triptych CD case really shows how the medium can rise to something special in visual presentation. Even the quality of the paper surface had a good feeling to it. Incidentally, I liked Adrian's songs too!

Best Vinyl Only
Directing Hand "Songs from The Red House" (Singing Knives)

A charming record, displaying Lavinia Blackwall and Alex Neilson's fondness for both folk forms and abstract improv. The sleeve design - painted by Lavinia - is lovely and Directing Hand has now morphed into a full band lineup called The Trembling Bells with the additional talents of Ben Reynolds, Simon Shaw (Lucky Luke), Aby Vulliamy (Nalle/One Ensemble) and George Murray (Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra etc.). I mention all of this because the debut album by Trembling Bells will appear in 2009 and is sure to be one of the highlights of the new year.

Best CD-R Only
Loner Deluxe "Lost & Found" (Rusted Rail)

This is an especially difficult choice. In 2008 I enjoyed CD-R releases on the new Glasgow improv label Iorram, who deserve mention here for unique music attractively packaged, Alan Davidson continued to weave magic with his Kitchen Cynics records and I could happily have chosen from either of these sources, but Loner Deluxe gets the vote as it is a particularly fine double 3" CD-R and it happens to be sitting in front of me as I type this, as I've been playing it quite a lot.

Best Cassette Only
Gnod "The Somnambulist's Tale" (Sloow Tapes)

This turned up quite late in the year and immediately found itself on a regular spooling in my cassette deck. The combination of spoken word elements and enchanting instrumental sounds drew me in and kept me listening.

Best Live Show
Peter Parker, We Are The Physics and The 1990s at the Buffalo Bar, Islington, London, Saturday 13th December 2008.

I happened to be in London when my friends were playing there, so I went to see Peter Parker and the 1990s. As soon as we stepped into the room, I knew it was a good night: Eno's Seven Deadly Fins segued into Hobbies, a Joe Meek production for Jenny Moss, and these were accompanied by a free glass of sherry (how civilized!) and a mince pie! Some aspects of the show were not ideal. Peter Parker could've had a better sound mix and Jackie McKeown had a duff guitar lead near the start of the '90s set. However, I made an exciting new discovery in We Are The Physics and bought their album straight away and the atmosphere of the whole show left me wishing that the last tube trains in London ran just a bit later, as we had to rush out at the end.

Biggest Surprise
Frank Rothkamm's "Opus Spongebobicum" on Flux Records
was a delight. The concept was inspired by Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, but Frank's choice of an initial theme to explore was... the theme from Spongebob Squarepants! I thought the concept was great fun and the piano playing is pretty amazing too.

Biggest Disappointment
Hearing repeatedly how great Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen were when they played live in Scotland and not having gone to see them.

Most Overrated
I've avoided reading too much hype this past year, so I'm not feeling too let down by anything I can think of!

---

Ryan Emmett

Best Album
Fabulous Diamonds "Fabulous Diamonds" (Siltbreeze)

I can't stand choosing a best album. Although I can narrow it down to a top ten in no particular order, it really depends on my mood what I feel is the absolute best. It is like being forced to pick a favorite "genre" or "style". So, after considering it for over a month I came to the conclusion that although this release may not be the absolute solid top of the heap, it is one that I have enjoyed any time of the day and any mood I am in. I can hear the songs in my head when I haven't heard the album for weeks and am once again anxious to go home and give it another spin. This duo has something locked down very tight on this record and it is nearly flawless to me. Yes, they have 2008 Siltbreeze hype. Yes, they are from Australia and that is so very novel. But after putting every biographical aspect about them aside, they have some killer songs and a sound that references genres (dub, kraut, punk, shoegaze, ‘60s classical avant garde, more) in a very interesting way that truly fuses ideas rather than a sloppy audio collage. A solid 10/10.

Best CD-R Only
Caboladies "Body Tides" (Mountaain)

I was honored to play with this band over the summer. I had heard great things but didn't have a chance to hear properly until their live show. It kicked my ass. Then these cool dudes helped us out with a place to stay and shit, chilling and listening to old "prettier" Hototogisu and other Matthew Bower records. Later on our tour we decided to slide a mix CD-R of their material they gave us into the player. I sort of expected that maybe the sounds would closely resemble that psych-abstract Bower vibe, and they did, but Caboladies certainly have their own style working for them. Also, it is the sickest music ever for driving around in the Rocky Mountains... on the edge of the cliffs! Real psychologically heavy and deep. A couple months later, Hair Police came to play in town and I spotted this little "Body Tides" number sitting on the table and had to buy one up. TOTALLY BROUGHT THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS INTO MY LIVING ROOM. This being released on Robert Beatty's Mountaain label is totally cosmic. This CD-R will probably be worn out by next year at this time.

Best Cover Art
Burning Star Core "Challenger" (Plastic)

Much like picking a favorite album, picking the best artwork is difficult. I love album artwork. It is more or less what got me into various types of music. It is the main reason I love the 12" format. Bigger artwork. Better experience. In the end, when I think back on this year I can't seem to get Robert Beatty's artwork depicting vibrant rainbows dripping and shooting from moons out of my head. Just totally wicked shit that perfectly compliments this beautiful record (which nearly made my album of the year). Stellar.

Biggest Surprise
Cave "Hunt Like A Devil EP/Jamz EP" and "self-titled 10" split w/California Raisins" (Permanent)

End of the year finish-line stuff right here. Saw them live in December. One of the best rock shows all year. Kicked my ass. Spent my friend's beer money to buy these two records that come with high quality CDs included. Paid my friend back later. Thanks Darren. Listen to these guys frequently now and they're kicking my ass all the time. Lovin' it.

Best Reissue
Group Doueh "Guitar Music From The Western Sahara" CD (Sublime Frequencies)

I have very little to say about this except that it is raw and great. It is excellent that it was reissued so it can be available to more people.

Top 15 Audio Treats of the Year. In no particular order and not including what I've already mentioned:

15. Emeralds "Solar Bridge" CD (Hanson)
14. Prurient "And Still, Wanting" CD (No Fun Productions)
13. Fennesz "Black Sea" CD (Touch)
12. Coast to Coast AM radio show
11. Lil' Wayne "Tha Carter III" CD (Cash Money)
10. v/a "Shadow Music of Thailand" (Sublime Frequencies)
09. Hair Police "Certainty of Swarms" (No Fun Productions)
08. Ty Segall "Ty Segall" (Castle Face)
07. Lwa @ The Glory Hole in Iowa City
06. Blank Dogs "On Two Sides" (Troubleman Unlimited)
05. No Bunny "Love Visions" (Bubbledumb)
04. Touring with Tusk Lord, Chris Niels and Mike Tamburo
03. Hair Police/Emeralds/Dilloway/Tusco Terror @ The Embassy in Cleveland
02. Brainbombs - Fucking Mess (Lystring)
01. Fantastic Voyagers Festival @ ModernFormations in Pittsburgh

---

Dave Miller

Best Album
Ben Nash “The Seventh Goodbye “ (Aurora Borealis)
No other album this year has accompanied me more. A copy was in my car and in my home stereo for over a month straight. And never has my mouth watered for more material than after I heard this. It is a great album start to finish. One word: EPIC. I love epic albums and this one is a solid and consistent album where every track fits a common context with the others. I’m a huge fan of Mr. Nash’s guitar abilities but love that he explores drone in his work too. I love the two color letterpress printed card packaging too! Aces!

Best Song
“Fog Water Shroud” by Elm from “Woven Into Light” (Blackest Rainbow)

Perfect mood and atmosphere… a crescendoing drone with delicate guitar pluckings. Gorgeous, soothing, and gentle. Everyone has to hear this!

Best Debut
Steve Gunn “Sundowner” (Digitalis)

A great journey through Steve Gunn’s world of guitar. Short enough to leave you wanting more, so I’m glad I got the bonus disc with it. Solid material that is sure to give him a name.

Best Reissue
Ilyas Ahmed “Between Two Skies/Towards the Night” (Digitalis)
It is a shame that Ilyas Ahmed’s CDRs have vanished so quickly, but all thanks are due to Digitalis Industries for making a couple gems available again. Ahmed is simply amazing, with Thom Yorke style vocals over his guitar meanderings. Melancholy that offers beauty to a depressed life. It lifts a sorrowful spirit.

Best Various Artists Compilation
“The Dusty Tales” 2xCD (Dust Wind Tales)

Anything with the likes of Siddhi, Beggin’ Your Pardon Miss Joan, and throuRoof has to be good.

Best Anthology
The Smiths “The Sound of The Smiths” (Rhino)

Gives you everything that other Smiths collections have failed to do: remastered sound quality, all the singles ever, and obscurities. The best opportunity to hear one of the most influential bands ever.

Best Cover Art
Attar Cups “Untitled” (Blackest Rainbow)

This photograph is a stunning example of great composition and I think even one of the best uses of light I’ve ever seen. It creates quite an environment. I’m assuming it was taken by BR’s own Joe Blanchard since he does so much of the label’s cover art. Simply love it!

Best Vinyl Only
Barn Owl/Tom Carter “s/t” (Blackest Rainbow)
Everything Barn Owl touches is golden, and this is no exception.

Best CD-R Only
Elm “Woven Into Light” (Blackest Rainbow)

I love Barn Owl and I love their solo stuff! This is the second release from Jon’s project. Absolutely spellbinding!

Best Cassette Only
Sean McCann “Jasmine” (The Offices of Moore & Moore)

Another breathtaking release from the creative mind of Sean McCann. He always has a new offering for his listeners, each one unique from the last. This is no exception. Four tracks around 8 min. each.

Best Live Show
Converge @ Reggie’s Rock Club, Chicago, April 5
The most energetic show I’ve attended! An adrenaline-pumping, releasing, and cathartic experience. A shot of ecstasy for those in anger management or just pissed off.

Biggest Surprise
throuRoof “Whale Bones” (Sentient Recognition Archive)


Biggest Disappointment
Cam Deas, untitled 3” CD-R


Most Overrated
Wolfmangler, “Cooking with Wolves” LP (Black Horizons)


---

Eden Hemming Rose

(My list was written in bits and pieces when I could snatch a minute, so it is in no way comprehensive.)

Favorite MySpace Discovery
Yatagarasu

Best Personal Rediscovery
Pavement "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" (Matador)
How have I lived for almost 15 years without "Gold Soundz", "Range Life" and "Cut Your Hair" on constant repeat? I first heard this in my best friend's brother's room, surrounded by massive shelves full of records and CDs; I rediscovered it again this year surrounded by shelves of CDs and tapes. And it still sounds just as fresh as it did to my virginal ears in 1994.

Most Mysterious
Fria Konstellationen "Musik om Fria Konstellationen" (Rev/Vega Records)
There was no informational page when this showed up in the mail. All of the (very limited) information is in Swedish, and most of the reviews online are in Swedish too. It took me Googling it just now to even figure out what the band's name is. But it's good.

Best Song
"Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping" from Grouper "Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill" (Type),
or "(Bjorn) One More Year" from Ljudbilden & Piloten's "One Hundred Fifty-Five" (Nosordo)

Best Various Artists Compilation
"Spleencoffin Presents: Ladyz in Noyz" (Spleencoffin)

Yes, I am a lady but I swear I'm not biased. I'm mostly sad that I couldn't elbow my way into this awesome pool and stand next to my talented XX-chromosome peers. All the ladyz on this compilation could rip your asshole out with their bare hands but they're making sweet noyz instead.

also freaking fantastic:
"Oh, Run Into Me, But Don't Hurt Me!" (Sub Rosa)
The voices of women in the '20s and '30s singing about all kinds of blues inspiration haunt me like my grandmother's childhood ghost.

Best Cover Art
Los Pranks "Los Pranks" (Digitalis Ltd)

Yeah, I'm picking my own artwork. So sue me. The inaugural artwork for Digitalis Ltd. (and the first silk-screening project I ever did!) is still a major source of pride for me. I would sleep on a pillow of Los Pranks covers with Los Pranks sheets if I could. But I'm not a fan of papercuts.

Best Cassette Only
Caethua "The Pleasures of Manhood" (Night People)

I'm sad that I only just heard this. The murky songs are equal parts sad and joyful, confused and uncompromising. I'd like to think that that's what manhood is really like....

Best Live Show
Language of Light, Ajilvsga, and Peaking Lights @ The Monolith, Tulsa, November 13
Of the three shows I went to this year, this is the one that actually had an audience other than me. But even without an audience, it still would have been the best. It reminded me of the shows I went to when I was 17, when I was supposed to be innocently hanging out in my best friend's basement but was out smoking cigarettes and making friends instead. My only regret is not getting to talk to Indra and Aaron more.

Albums I Have to Mention, Even if They Don’t Have a Special Category
"Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-Rock and Fuzz Funk in 1970s Nigeria” (Soundway)
and Bon Iver “For Emma, Forever Ago” (Jagjaguwar).

Biggest Surprise
President-elect Barack Obama. I seriously refused to believe it until McCain ceded. Hell, I still don't entirely believe it. America actually did something right for once? Nah. Wake me up when the Bush presidency is really over.... Aw shit, now I'm going to have to start believing in this country again.

Also, meeting a guy at my university who was not only into weird music too but introduced me to one of the most amazing things I've ever heard, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts' album "Dhama Suna" (Erato) (not 2008 but still worth mentioning).

Biggest Disappointment
Christmas. When you graduate from university five days before Christmas, and sit in front of the Christmas tree while opening your graduation presents, it really drains all the little-kid-excitement from Christmas itself.

Most Overrated
This may sound weird and I'm still a huge pinko, but Barack Obama. The reason I voted for him in the first place is because he inspires me, not because I thought he would be able to create utopia on Earth. I'm pretty tired of people acting like he's going to save the world, bring peace and prosperity and happiness to everyone, solve our racial problems (or already has!) and still have time to put his feet up at night. If you want change, stop waiting for politicians to do it. If you really want change, you're going to have to stop reading this website, go out there and get it yourself.
 
-- Brad Rose (14 January, 2009)
Foxy Digitalis is sweet as buns.
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15 September, 2013
Lucky 13 Jani Hellén\'s 13,000,000th dream.. podcast :: by Jani Hellén

10 August, 2010
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5 August, 2010
First set of tunes from the man behind Hobo Cult/Hobo Cubes... podcast :: by Frank Ouellette

15 July, 2010
LAFMS Podcast #1 A selection of tracks from the might Los Angeles Free Music Society.. podcast :: by Andrew Murdock Livingston

3 July, 2010
ALPHACAST A collection of songs from the mighty Colin Ward AKA Alphabets in celebration of the ALPHABOX release... podcast :: by Brad Rose
 
 
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