Saturday, January 3, 2009

In an interstellar burst...

VII: a year in music

That's quite enough silence from me. I'm back, it's 2009, Harpooned Nightmares is open for business once again. To kickstart the year, I've looked back at the new releases, both songs and albums, that I enjoyed most in 2008...

Here is a list of the 25 new albums I enjoyed most, each accompanied by 3 easy-to-digest phrases or buzzwords which, when taken together, should produce an effect similar to the experience of listening to the album, without the need to spend time or money on it. (joking)


25. Rarely Seen Above Ground - Organic Sampler [drummer's one-man band/motorik/hypnotic]
24. Eine Kleine Nacht Musik - Eine Kleine Nacht Musik [70s electronica/krautrock/dancefloor]
23. Autechre - Quaristice [magnificent electronica/distant/cerebral]
22. Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping [psychedelic/ambitious/bizarre]
21. The Bug - London Zoo [dark/urban/angry]
20. Flying Lotus - Los Angeles [fun/funk/freak]
19. Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dympna [astonishing/fierce/boundary-pushing]
18. Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing [wonderful/lush/epic]
17. The Field - The Sound Of Light EP* [sublime/ethereal dance/blissful]
16. She & Him - Volume One [M. Ward + Zooey Deschanel/gorgeous/caramel]
15. Deerhunter - Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. [Bradford still rising/krautrock/kill yr. amps]
14. Nine Inch Nails - The Slip [especially its second half/euphoric/bleak]
13. Grace Jones - Hurricane [still peerless/dub/superb]
12. Clark - Turning Dragon [visionary/vicious beats/hyperkinetic]
11. Daedelus - Love To Make Music To [melting pot/unique/electronic virtuoso]
10. Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches [lush/experimental/shimmering electronics]
9. The Advisory Circle - Other Channels [forgotten ceefax glow/beautiful/ghostly]
8. Mogwai - The Hawk Is Howling [post-rock masters/gigantic/faultless]
7. Dusk & Blackdown - Margins Music [urban/intense/hugely impressive]
6. Leila - Blood Looms And Blooms [electronica/layered/rich]
5. Fennesz - Black Sea [oceans/vast/atmospheric]
4. Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel [dreams/sorrow/drowsy garage]
3. Beach House - Devotion [singular/heavenly/nostalgic]
2. Pivot - O Sountrack My Heart [electrifying/Vangelis synths/angular Battles guitars]
1. Portishead - Third [masterful/pitch black/haunting]

Most of these albums are available from iTunes, Warpmart or Boomkat.

* qualifies as it's an hour long!

Other fine albums were released by the Dodos, Meshuggah, Jape, Max Tundra, Erykah Badu, Bonnie Prince Billy and DJ/Rupture.
The Hold Steady are still appalling and should just stop.

Incidentally, my favourite soundtrack of the year was Jonny Greenwood - There Will Be Blood.

Here's a "top 20" of songs from 2008. To coin an infectious phrase, twenty is plenty. Some of them were saddled with flabby, pointless, divisive or forgettable albums; some, including the top 3, stood out as the high points of superb LPs. I can't explain the abundance of glitzy electropop in the list (at least three separate instances), nor am I prepared to omit any of those songs. You may well hate everything I've chosen, but either way, a mixtape - with the #7 song unfortunately missing - is available to download; just click the links at the bottom of the list.


20. Nine Inch Nails - Head Down
19. Little Boots - Stuck On Repeat
18. Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Letter From God To Man
17. Lisa Hannigan - Lille
16. Kylie Minogue - The One
15. Grace Jones - Corporate Cannibal
14. Leila - Mettle
13. Kanye West - Bad News
12. Girls Aloud - Turn To Stone
11. Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened
10. Atlas Sound - Recent Bedroom
9. Crystal Castles - Untrust Us
8. Mystery Jets - Flakes
7. Sunken Foal - Of Low Count And Light Pocket
6. DJ Mujava - Township Funk
5. Beck - Youthless
4. Patrick Kelleher - Coat To Wear
3. Portishead - The Rip
2. Pivot - O Soundtrack My Heart
1. Beach House - Gila

Songs of 2008 (you'll need to download both parts): [ part 1 ] [ part 2 ].

WinRar is available for free here.
Save both parts to the same folder, then extract part 1 and the second part will automatically extract, resulting in a listenable end product, shorn of mess and unwieldy file extensions.

Remember, if you like what you hear, you can and should support the artists by buying these tracks on either iTunes, Warpmart or Boomkat.

Now that that's out of the way, I can begin posting in earnest again...


Gardenhead said...

Brilliant lists. I was considering the Field sound of Lighht EP myself a few weeks ago and forgot about it completely. How weird. In fairness it would surely make my top seven. Guy's a genius.
Looking forward to more of this soon.

Adam said...

Good to see you back blogging, boss. I'm gonna admit that I have avoided Pivot and have heard not a single note of any of their stuff. I have no idea why really, but that's how it panned out. Going by your other selectons, I'm going to assume we have a lot of crossover tastes so should I just bite the bullet and listen to Pivot? I really hate the name 'Pivot' so, sadly, that may have factored in my ignoring of them.