Stuff We Missed (Will)
In putting together our Best of Lists, we realized there was some stuff that we really loved that we had never written about over the course of the year. We know we aren’t going to do it all justice, but each staff member at Reviler is going to get together a post giving a little information about some of the stuff that they didn’t write about in 2011 that they wish they had. This is our final installment.
Diamond Mine by King Creosote & Jon Hopkins
This is such a wonderful collection from a highly unlikely collaboration. King Creosote is a Scottish folk singer, the type of middle-aged dude you’d expect to see wasted and blathering in a portside pub. Jon Hopkins is a world-renowned electronic dance musician. For Diamond Mine, Hopkins abandons the big bass for the fragile coo of a melodium; King Creosote does what he does best, which usually involves turning failed relationships into depressing anecdotes. The duo played a spectacularly under-attended set at the 7th St. this summer, working through this album from start to finish.
Raum Zeit by Boyle
Boyle is a sound artist and dronescapist based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, who I first heard about when I was still co-hosting Nowlikephotographs on Radio K. I was drawn to an oddity in our mailbox: a five-disc album called Raum Zeit wrapped in neon-green construction paper, with nearly every song descriptively titled “24 Feb 2010” or some similar construction. It sat on my bookshelf for a month or two, but when I finally started peeling back the layers, I found a lush collection of minimal ambient pieces. I was drawn to the scope and sheer DIYness of the project—and ultimately I ended up putting it on before bed for the next 10 months (still going strong). Boyle updates his Soundcloud page with new audio vignettes often if you like what you hear below.
Banjo or Freakout by Banjo or Freakout
I’m usually turned off by the wimpy aesthetic of dreampop, but Banjo or Freakout totally captivated me. It’s too bad that this flew under the indie-radar—much of Alessio Natalizia’s songcraft is just as good, if not better, than the Deerhunter/Atlas Sound album everyone’s been frothing over.
Legendary Weapons by Wu-Tang
From what I can tell, crew-album Legendary Weapons was something of a return-to-form for the Killer Bees. Ghostface Killah is especially on his game here, which isn’t too surprising after hearing his more recent album Apollo Kids. As with all Wu-Tang albums, there’s never enough Inspectah Deck, but this one’s got tight production and well-wrought, ever-surprising rhymes.
The Gorgon Tongue: Impale Golden Horn by Horseback
There’s been an inexplicable black metal resurgence going on over the past six months, and one of the bands that has been chronically left out of the discussion is Horseback. Like Liturgy, Horseback take an experimental tack to a generally stale genre. Their Gorgon Tongue release was so experimental, it wasn’t even black metal. In fact, it was closer to Brian Eno’s Music For Airports. In short: washed-out, sublime ambient. And this video is transfixing.
50 Words for Snow by Kate Bush
If I could relive the last month of my life, I would write 50 Words for Snow into my Top 10 Albums list. I’m something of a newcomer to the Bush camp, having only ambient awareness of a few singles she released in the ‘80s. One listen to her latest album, though, and I’m a convert—drinking the Kool-Aid and wearing the bubble-wrap armor. For about five years I didn’t seek out very much lyric-based music, because I felt that most of the words just about anyone was singing were vapid dribble. Bush, however, has a grasp on the type of storytelling and use of poetic language that gets me excited about song. My favorite song from the album is “Snowed in at Wheeler Street,” a dramatic piano-driven duet with Elton John. Yeah. I know. Trust me. Listen. Now.
Quick Hits: Looking Forward to these things in 2012
The Something Rain by Tindersticks
4evaNaDay by Big K.R.I.T.
The Narrow Garden by Eyvind Kang
Whatever the hell Moon Glyph does next year