Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So Many Great Records, Part 2

Ensemble – Excerpts [FatCat]

I wrote about this one on Ear To The Sound previously. My feelings for it haven’t changed.

Eternal Tapestry - Beyond The 4th Door [Thrill Jockey]

Superdrag had an album called Head Trip In Every Key. Eternal Tapestry took that title and ran with it.
eternal tapestry - beyond the 4th door (album preview) by experimedia

Explosions In The Sky - Take Care Take Care Take Care [Temporary Residence]

These guys always slay me.
Trembling Hands by Explosions in the Sky

Fatoumata Diawara – Fatou [World Circuit]

This one got on my radar thanks to Gilles Peterson. I STILL can’t believe BBC isn’t keeping him on as a host next year. If it weren’t for a whole bunch of bullshit with the cops dealing with Occupy folks (like pepper-spraying that grandma), it might have been the shittiest move of 2011.

Listen to "Bakonoba" here.

Feist – Metals [Arts & Crafts]

What can I say? This is a great follow-up to The Reminder because it is absolutely NOT a follow-up to The Reminder. She took her time and she did something new – credit to Feist for the confidence to do so.
Feist - How Come You Never Go There by Arts & Crafts

Field Assembly – Curtains [Independent]

I’m not entirely sure if this qualifies, because Curtains has yet to be released, but my buddy The Fantastic Mr. Fox sent it my way ages ago and I was blown away by it. So much so that it might make a repeat appearance in 2012 if it finds a home for release. FYI, "Daylight" is not from Curtains.
daylight by Field Assembly

First Nations - Black Beach [Independent]

Every now and then, an album comes into the station with artwork that just screams ‘you will like what I have inside.’ Black Beach was one of those.

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues [Sub Pop]

Shit. How is this not on my Top 20?
Fleet Foxes - Montezuma by gypsysphere

Florence & The Machine – Ceremonials [Universal Republic]

Epic, if occasionally overblown. Plus the whole racist video business kinda bummed me out.
Florence + the Machine - Only If For A Night by Talenthouse

Ghostpoet - Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jams [Brownswood]

More greatness courtesy of Gilles Peterson, this time it’s some thoughtful hip-hop via his Brownswood imprint.
Ghostpoet - Survive It by ghostpoet

Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost [True Panther Sounds]

Is this NOT on anyone’s list this year.
Girls - Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Rodrigo Fonseca

Greg MacPherson - Disintegration Blues [Disintegration Records]

Greg is one of those people who are so quiet and self-abashed that you’re constantly shocked at how loud they rock and how well they command a stage and an audience.

Check out the awesome live session Greg did for my radio show, here.

Happy Unfortunate - No Time To Sleep [Spaceship Audio]

These two local rappers were actually born in the era of hip-hop they hearken back to. Must’ve been listening to Tribe in the womb or something.

High Places - Original Colors [Thrill Jockey]

I kinda wanted to like this one more than I actually did. It was great, but it didn’t blow my mind like their self-titled record did.
High Places - Sophia by MysticalLunar

Himalayan Bear - Hard Times [Absolutely Kosher]

At times the Bear reminds me of Timber Timbre (with the haunting voice) but his music is warmer. It’s like a sad hug instead of a cold tingle in your spine.
Himalayan Bear "The Caballo" by AbsolutelyKosherRecords

Ikebe Shakedown - Ikebe Shakedown [Ubiquity]

Ear To The Sound readers will know my love for Nomo – this is from the same label and helps fill the afro-beat space they occupy in my year-enders.
Ikebe Shakedown - "Tujunga" by Ubiquity Records

Implodes - Black Earth [Kranky]

If the Mayans were right and the tectonic plates go haywire and the earth drops from beneath us, I want this to be the soundtrack to the end.
implodes 'oxblood' by kranky

Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean [Sub Pop]

It’s not as good as The Shepherd’s Dog, but an alright album from Mr. Beam is better than most things out there.

Isolee - Well Spent Youth [Pampa]

This was the very first record I put on the longlist this year when I heard an advance copy last Christmas. It stuck around.
Isolée - Transmission by Pampa Records

Jamie Woon - Mirror Writing [Polydor]

I know this dude gets a little lost in the James Blake shuffle, but his record stands on its own. Plus he got the Burial remix treatment.
Jamie Woon - Night Air by cameelah

Jennifer Castle – Castlemusic [Flemish Eye]

After previously recording under the name Castlemusic, Jennifer Castle put her own imprint on this, her most personal album to date.
Jennifer Castle - Powers (courtesy of Flemish Eye Records) by Pop Montreal

Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - From The Stairwell [Denovali]

Credit to my good friend Jeff Friesen for putting me on to this one. If you're not tuning into his great show, Scene and Not Seen, you're missing out.
the kilimanjaro darkjazz ensemble - from the stairwell (album preview) by experimedia

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