Archive | January 2018

Looking back on 2017: my top 16, and the rest of my listening log…

Alright, so let’s get real: 2017 was grim stuff. But things are still okay on the whole. Every year is full of new opportunity and experience for all of us, and every year we all have so much to share. I got a new job and ended up checking out from maintaining this blog for most of the year. So, in a sense, I may have let my readers down. However, I remained an active listener for the entire year; hopefully this reflects in this post I have made to share my top 16 releases of the year as well as the rest of my listening log for new sounds in 2017. New Sakamoto and John Maus alone probably made my year as a music fan. But then, there are other releases that got under my skin (and stayed put) from lesser-known artists like Bus Gas, Aria Rostami, Neglect…anyway, without too much more rambling on, here they are:

  1. Micromelancolié- Anatomy of Modern Paintings [Audio.Visuals.Atmosphere.]
  2. Noveller- A Pink Sunset for No One [Fire Records]
  3. Bus Gas- Live On Leave Us [Spring Break Tapes]
  4. Janek Schaefer- Glitter in my Tears [Room 40]
  5. Federico Durand- La Niña Junco [12k]
  6. Ryuichi Sakamoto- async [Milan]
  7. Kate Carr- From a Wind Turbine to Vultures (And Back) [Flaming Pines]
  8. Neglect- Day of Purification I [Self-Released]
  9. William Basinski- A Shadow in Time [Temporary Residence Limited]
  10. John Maus- Screen Memories [Ribbon Music]
  11. Aria Rostami- Numb Years [Intimate Inanimate]
  12. murkok- So Little Music [Shimmering Moods]
  13. Evergreen Avenue- Sky Sailing [ACR]
  14. How to Cure Our Soul- Mare [Sequel]
  15. Jessop&co.- A Perfect Example of Dislodging [Czaszka Rec.]
  16. Canadensis- Chance [Anima Recordings]

And the rest…

My what now seems to be overly obsessive choice in previous years to make an arbitrary order out of 50+ other releases went out the window this year. I hope that one or more of these releases finds you well. I know I missed some stuff that I will catch up on in due time, particularly with regard to releases from well-known artists who are already spoken-for. Like any other year, 2017 gave me a lot to sort through, both from old standbys and emerging artists; just look at the crazy array of achingly gorgeous ambient/drone works including staples like Growing, The Fun Years, Will Long (Celer), and Golden Retriever as well as more obscure gems like Mark Tempelton’s textural Gentle Heart and Erik Kramer’s mysterious, American fingerstyle-influenced A House, Floating in the Middle of a Lake.  Enjoy. And happy new year!

36- Tomorrow’s Explorers

Ada Babar & B|_ank- [Tour Split 2017 Cassette]

Alan Courtis- Los Galpones

Aldous Harding- Party

Alethe- Lichtung

Alter- Pendulum

Altars Altars- Before We Dive

Amador-Ganga-Kalash- Fading Ground

Amulets- Planned Obsolescence

Andrea Belfi- alveare

Andrew Tasselmyer- Resonant Moments

Anjou- Epithymía

Anthéne- Monument Echo


Billy Gomberg- Transition

Bionulor- Furniture Music

Bleach for the Stars- The Time for Silver Flowers

Brian Eno- Reflection

Carey- Other People

Celer- Alcoves

Channelers- Faces of Love

Channelers- Slow Leaf Spell

Chihei Hatakeyama- Mirage

Claudia Bonarelli- Ecocide

Contrapaasso- Klexos

Crown Larks- Population

Crown of Eternity- Dream Architecture

David Evans- Suddenly Woken By the Sound of Stillness

David Fyans – Trübhand

Don Gero- Wizarding

Earthen Sea- An Act of Love

Eleh- Home Age

Elrond- All of Them but Us

Eraldo Bernocchi & Netherworld- Himuro

Erik Kramer- A House, Floating in the Middle of a Lake

Fabio Perletta- Ichinen 一念

Federico Mosconi- Colonne di Fumo

Forest Management- The Elevated Quiet

Forest Management & V I C I M- arid / Fragments

Francesco Giannico- Deepness

Fusiller- Dissolution

Future Islands- The Far Field

Gamardah Fungus- Fairytales

Gas- Narkopop

Ghost and Tape- Vár

Giorgio Dursi- Poetry Reading with Sound Footnotes

Giulio Aldinucci- Borders and Ruins

Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Luciferian Towers

Golden Donna- Carousel Hold

Golden Retriever- Rotations

Goldenrod- Beatitudes

Goldenrod- No Man’s Land

Gregg Kowalsky- L’Orange, L’Orange

Growing- Disorder

Hainbach- The Evening Hopefuls

Halftribe- Daydreams in Low Fidelity

Hammock- Columbus [OST]

High Plains- Cinderland

Hotel Neon- Context

Inner Travels- Sea of Leaves

The Institute for Creative Dying- Prairie Madness

J Butler- Real and Surreal

Jacek Doroszenko- Soundreaming

James Murray- Killing Ghosts

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma- On the Echoing Green

Jessop&co.- Illicit Representation of the Local Self

Johannes Malfatti- Surge

Lee Yi- An Instant for a Momentary Desolation

Leyland Kirby- We, So Tired of All the Darkness in Our Lives

Long Hallways- The Way Home

Lorenzo Balloni- すべてを捨てて⾃自らを解き放つ [to free oneself giving up everything]

Luca Nasciuti- Kishar

Marc Kate- As if We Were Never Here

Maiya Hershey- Tides

Marcus Fischer- Loss

Mark Tempelton- Gentle Heart

micromelancolié- No Respect for Grace and Virtue

Mike Majkowski- Days and Other Days

Monte Burrows- Skua

Monty Adkins- A Year at Usher’s Hill

Mordecai- It’s Never Enough

Mt Accord- A Day

Multi-mission- Field of View

Nate Scheible- Fairfax

nordBeck- Blenterop 1491

Oil Thief- Stratagem

øjeRum- Naar Ni Vaagner [CD]

Papillon- Aqueducts

Paskine- The Shapes of Collapses

Patkus- Alyosha

Pausal- Avifaunal

Pie are Squared- co(a)sts

Post Global Trio- Minus Seven

Protomartyr- Relatives in Descent

Pulse Emitter- Chilling in the Eye of the Storm

Radboud Mens & Matthijs Kouw – 1

Rafael Anton Irisarri- The Shameless Years

Rafael Toral- Space Solo 2

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement- Ambient Black Magic

Richard Chartier- Removed

Ridgewell- Mill City

Roarke Menzies- Breath’s Length

Robert Farrugia- Slow Morning

Roger Eno- This Floating World

Rui P. Andrade- All Lovers Go to Heaven

Rust Promoter- Toad Rippin’ Ephemera

Sam Boshnack Quintet- Nellie Bly Project

Samson Stilwell- Signals

Sarah Davachi- All My Circles Run

Sceptre Fretpen- Plugh

Siavash Amini- Tar

Sofia Ozdravovna- Housewife at the End of the World

Sound Meccano | Jura Laiva- Salty Wind and Inner Fire

Sugai Ken- UkabazUmorezU

Sunmoonstar- Rainbow Springs

System Lords- Intergalactic Reject

Tatsuro Kojima- a -> b

Taylor Deupree + Marcus Fischer- Lowlands [LP] [Tape]

Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet- Wisconsin Mining State

Thet Liturgiske Owäsendet- Hafvet

The Fun Years- Heroes of the Second Story Walk Up

The Gateless Gate- At Night

The Octopus Project- Memory Mirror

TMRPOE- Keep Sleeping

user_ambiguous- Whispers of a Dream

Valanx- Radiant Orbs of Abzu

VA- Gradations

VA- Sanctuary Sunday

VA- The Opposite of Aloof, Vol. 1

VA- The Opposite of Aloof, Vol. 2

VA- Siyavakashela Vol. 1

Visible Cloaks- Reassemblage

Wasting Seasons- Loom

Wasting Seasons- Things Go Away

Woodbender- The Fountain a Conduit

Yaca- I

Yann Novak- Surroundings

Zbeen- Tonal Whiplash

You can find two mixes I made compiling some of these releases here and here. Check ’em out.

My Top Five Films of 2017

Another list? People grumble about the saturation of lists in internet culture. I get that; scrolling through one too many and feeling overwhelmed can wig me out a little, too. Ultimately, though, I get pleasure out of seeing a whole of disparate information laid out in order. Knowing that someone cared enough to include something in a list of favorites is often reason enough to seek that thing out. And so I leave you with another, much shorter ordered list; here are my five favorite films of the year…the first one in particular I felt I had to name-check somewhere, as it is another great, compassionate character study by one of my favorite directors (technically from 2016, but given its widest release in the US in 2017). Give any one of these upwards of an hour and a half of your time when you can…they’re awesome!

  1. After the Storm dir. Hirokazu Kore-Eda
  2. Columbus dir. Kogonada
  3. Paterson dir. Jim Jarmusch
  4. Good Time dir. Benny & Josh Safdie
  5. Lady Bird dir. Greta Gerwig