The Deeep - Muddy Tracks, 12” (100% Silk)
This elusive astral-dub trio seem to exist in the smokey either of Toronto’s experimental music scene, only surfacing to prove that they can breath our air as well. Solid remixes on the B-side. (Quick prediction for 2012: Trip-hop (think early Trick/late Portishead) is coming back.)
Sic Alps - Napa Asylum, 2xLP (Drag City)
“When I come home drunk at three in the morning this is the kind of music I want to make. Like a fucked up Donovan.” - Matt Davey (John Milner You’re So Boss, Blame Face) Couldn’t agree more. Fucked-up electric-folk. Eerie, nocturnal jangle.
Lantern - I Don’t Know/Out Of Our Heads, 7” (Mammoth Cave)
Speaking of garage rock, sometimes you just need do it right. This is some tougher than your average fare. Blown out boogie that smells of bar room floors and screaming at people from cars.
Dirty Beaches - Badlands, LP (Zoo Music)
Dirty Beaches - Lone Runner, 7” (Suicide Squeeze)
I’ll drink this Kool-Aid up as long as he’s serving.This was the year I feel in love with Dirty Beaches murky , sample-base nostalgia. A haunted home to bits of rockabilly, Rhythm and Blues, and the greaser nation. Sometimes it makes me think of an oversexed Mark E. Smith. Excited to see what the addition of a drums and sax to his live band will bring.
Leyland Kirby - Eager To Tear Apart The Stars, LP (History Always Favours The Winners)
The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, LP (History Always Favours The Winners)
A Beautiful pair of records by James Leyland Kirby, AKA The Caretaker. Faternal twins, “Eager to Tear…” sounds like what the strong-willed hear when they go to heaven, all deep base and the recorded hissing of a hundred-year-old harp. “An Empty Bliss…” on the other hand, an interpretation of Alzheimer’s, culled from a collection of Ballroom 78”s, sounds like a mind falling apart. Next level sad music.
Holy Cobras - Forever, LP (Telephone Explosion)
I may have listened to this record more than any other this year. What to call it? Punkraut-Rock? Psych-Core? I see it as being brought back by robots from the same future as The Pink Noise, or from the same space ship The Stooges got Fun House from. But that’s neither here nor there. One of the best live bands to see.
TOMUTONTTU - TOMUUNTUU, One-sided picture-disc (Beniffer Editions)
Sexiest looking record of the year. Beniffer does it again. 21 minutes of floating on trippy electric winds care of Finland. Created by Jan Anderzen for the Aanen Lumo Fesitval for New Sounds in Helsinki. I don’t think I’ll ever fully comprehend this record.
US Girls - US Girls On KRAAK, LP (KRAAK)
US Girls/Slim Twig - Split EP, 12” (Palmist)
I’ve been a long time admirer of Megan Remy’s dark, minimal pop, but since her kinship with Slim Twig, her songs have a more classical, powerful approach. There are some serious jams on these records with serious staying power. If modern radio had any guts it could sound like this.
The Men - Leave Home, LP (Sacred Bones)
Look at this funny post-hardcore hodgepodge, freely riffing on Fugazi, Space Man 3, The Ramones, and whoever else they happen to be listening to. Starts with a nod to shoegaze before climaxing with sludgy drone and coming down with some drum machine punk. Also look for their brutal Devo cover.