Sunday, January 4, 2009

:::: ALBUMS OF 2008 ::::


TOP ALBUMS OF 2008 IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
---------------------------------------------------------

Bernard Parmegiani "L'oeuvre Musicale - Box Set" (INA-GRM)
Anthony Braxton/Milford Graves/William Parker "Beyond Quantum" (Tzadik)
Autechre "Quaristice (Versions)" (Warp UK)
Boris "Smile (Japanese Edition)" (DIW phalanx)
Hecker & Haswell/Mika Vanio "Popol Vuh Remix" (Mego)
V/A "Money Will Ruin Everything II" (Rune Grammofon)
Zeitkratzer "Electronics - Box Set" (Zeitkratzer)
Coh "Strings" (Raster-Noton)
FM3 "Buddha Machine II" (FM3)
KTL "IV" (Mego)
GAS "Nah Und Fern - Box Set" (Kompakt)
Stephan Mathieu "Radioland" (Die Schachtel)
Birchville Cat Motel "Seventh Ruined Hex" (Important)
Skullflower "Circulus Vitiosus Deus" (Turgid Animal)
Jasper TX "Black Sleep" (Miasmah)

Continuing from the films list above... like cinema, the year in sounds there was the curious repeat theme;
2008 was a year for diggers. Wherein, even 'established' acts like Autechre and Boris released their best work
in editions which were never distributed beyond their country of origin. The Japanese version of Boris' "Smile"
and Autechre's audacious "Quaristice - Special Edition" respectively... and all the while more obscure out-there
sounds continue to be released in editions of 300 (Skullflower) and 1000 (Stephan Mathieu) which in both cases
never reached large portions of their audience before becoming unavailable. So, be glad for mp3 blogs!

Overall again, this was another pretty darn explorative year in sound. There were many works that took the
ears to exciting places that did so in distinct, expressive and adventurous ways. In particular appearing again
in the strange crossroads where Modern Classical, Musique Concrete, Improv, Metal, 'Noise' and academic
Avant traditions all meet. Some of these were even witnessed out in the world in a 3rd Dimension kind of
way, performed live, loud and vital.

TOP LIVE MUSIC SHOWS OF 2008
---------------------------------------

Alva Noto / Frank Breatschnieder / Olaf Bender - SFAI - San Francisco
Boredoms - Neumos - Seattle
Boris - Neumos - Seattle
My Bloody Valentine - Concourse - San Francisco
Asunder - Neumos - Seattle
Autechre - Neumos - Seattle
The Bug - Decibel Fest - Seattle

As an aside, once again this year Dubstep & Grime replaced Hip Hop as my musical candy/junkfood of
choice, offering a nutrition-less but tasty counter to the more brainy culinary type sounds listed above -
and an ideal soundtrack to public transportation in the urban 'scape:

V/A "'Steppas Delight : Dubstep Present & Future" (SoulJazz)
Goth-Trad "Genesis" (SoulJazz)
V/A "Skull Disco : Soundboy's Gravestone Gets Desecrated by Vandals" (Skull Disco)
The Bug "London Zoo" (Ninja Tune)
Plastician "Rinse Mix : Volume 6" (Rinse FM)
Roots Manuva "Slime & Reason" (Big Dada)
V/A "An England Story : From Dancehall to Grime - 25 Years of the MC in the UK" (SoulJazz)

Didn't travel this year to see art openings quite as much as previous years, so those didn't amount
to enough to make a separate list of VISUAL ART, but great exhibits were seen throughout the year at:

SFMOMA
Lawrimore Project
Western Bridge Gallery
Frye Art Museum
Henry Art Gallery

...And lets not forget the most important event in arts / culture / politics here in usamerica this past
year, took place on the night of Nov. 4th!