Thursday, December 29, 2011



1. Jagadishwar - ALICE COLTRANE
2. In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country - MIRA CALIX W/ OLIVER COATES
3. Archer Heights - NO UFO'S
5. Looking Glass - DUKE ELLINGTON
6. Night Waltz - KIM FREE
7. Sail The Summer Winds - JOHN BARRY
8. Omegatamine - INNERCITY
9. Colomb - NICOLAS JAAR
10. Inci - LEILA
11. This Is The Story Of Paradise Lost - LEYLAND KIRBY
12. Skybound - MOLLY NILSSON
14. Blankets - SHLOHMO

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Earth Minutes

The first time I heard Pete Swanson's masterful I Don't Rock At All, I knew there would be nothing I loved more this year . The
restraint, focus, and harmonic labyrinths of this record are simply infinite and stand alone. Gang Gang Dance made the album of their lives with Eye Contact: an album so large, so far-reaching, and shamelessly, masterfully perfect. If Glass Jar doesn't make you fall to all kinds of pieces, I don't know what will.

There were so many similarly perfect releases this year, it was actually a struggle to even narrow my favorites down to a mere fifty. Emeralds continued their world-do
mination tour with absolutely fine releases from Steve Hauschildt, Mark McGuire, and through John Elliott's Mego-offshoot label, Spectrum Spools. Oneohtrix Point Never as the new pop music. James Ferraro in Koyaanisqatsi-style hi-fi. Laurel Halo's expansion and feminization of the Artificial Intelligence series. Julia Holter, ancient and modern. The year of Kurt Vile.. the greatest songwriter in the world. Thurston Moore unplugged and goodbye Mirror/Dash. Hype Williams and KWJAZ outta nowhere and like nothing else. Rustie.. Rustie.

Puro Instict's Dreamboat Annie: flawless. Panda Bear stretching great, gigantic, oceanic melodies out as far as they can go- once inside there's no way out. PJ Harvey deservedly winning a second Mercury
Prize for her strangest, yet strangely most uplifting record yet. St. Vincent as Eric Rohmer. Charlotte, always perfect. Seefeel and Radiohead continuing to develop and refine just what a band can sound like. Kate Bush being Kate Bush like no one else can. Bridget Hadyen's secret din. Maria Minerva's triple-threat. Clams Casino's ecstatic and dreamy ambient hip-hop.

Meg Baird's stunning, life-affirming, and meditational Seasons On Earth. Seriously, that voice.. Charlambides: still, always. The Caretaker's ragtime-Disintegration Loops sonatas. Elisa Ambrogio and Ben Chasny's celestial West Hartford parking lot love songs. The Magik Markers it's not. Group Doueh's electric desert blues. Wind In Willows: out-of-space and out-of-time. Balam Acab's cherub/mermaid lullabies.

The one thing all of these records have in common is feeling. Real feelings, genuine and pure. Here is a list of my favorites of the year, all of which have inspired me in more ways than I know how to say thank you for.

50 Favorite Records, 2011

I Don't Rock At All - Pete Swanson - Three Lobed
Eye Contact - Gang Gang Dance - 4AD
3. 50 Words For Snow - Kate Bush - Fish People
4. Smoke Ring For My Halo - Kurt Vile - Matador
5. Tomboy - Panda Bear - Paw Tracks
6. Glass Swords - Rustie - Warp
7. Hour Logic - Laurel Halo - Hippos In Tanks
8. One Nation - Hype Williams - Hippos In Tanks
9. Headbangers In Ecstasy - Puro Instinct - Mexican Summer
10. Tragedy - Julia Holter - Leaving Records
11. Tragedy & Geometry - Steve Hauschildt - Kranky
12. The Vision - Joker - 4AD
13. Far Side Virtual - James Ferraro - Hippos In Tanks
14. Seasons On Earth - Meg Baird - Drag City
15. Stage Whisper - Charlotte Gainsbourg - Because Music
16. 200 Years - 200 Years - Drag City
17. KWJAZ - KWJAZ - Not Not Fun
18. Wander/Wonder - Balam Acab - Tri Angle
19. Instrumentals - Clams Casino - Type
20. Satin Panthers - Hudson Mohawke - Warp
21. Demolished Thoughts - Thurston Moore - Matador
22. Let England Shake - PJ Harvey - Vagrant
23. Nothing - Zomby - 4AD
24. Shadows - Floating Points - Eglo
25. Seefeel - Seefeel - Warp
26. Replica - Oneohtrix Point Never - Software
27. The King Of Limbs - Radiohead - Ticker Tape Ltd
28. Severant - Kuedo - Planet Mu
29. An Empty Bliss Beyond This World - The Caretaker - History Always Favours The Winners
30. Looping State Of Mind - The Field - Kompakt
31. Not From Here - Innercity - Ginjoha
32. Overall Aura - Wind In Willows - 6'th Planet
33. Street Halo - Burial - Hyperdub
34. As The Crow Flies - The Advisory Circle - Ghost Box
35. 936 - Peaking Lights - Not Not Fun
36. Hertta Lussu Ässä - Hertta Lussu Ässä - De Stijl
37. In Dust - Roll The Dice - Leaf
38. Noble Savage - Maria Minerva - 100% Silk
39. Terra - Julian Lynch - Underwater Peoples
40. Sagara - Diskjokke - Smalltown Supersound
41. Original Colors - High Places - Thrill Jockey
42. Zayna Jumma - Group Doueh - Sublime Frequencies
43. FRKWYS Vol 8 - Blues Control & Laraaji - Rvng Intl
44. Mind Controls The Flood - No UFO's - Public Information
45. A Siren Blares In An Indifferent Ocean - Bridget Hayden - (K-RAA-K)³
46. Exile - Charalambides - Kranky
47. Get Lost - Mark McGuire - Editions Mego
48. Cinderella Stamps - Ashtray Navigations - Memoirs Of An Aesthete
49. Elemental Disgrace - Hive Mind - Spectrum Spools
50. The Spectacle Of Light Abductions - Fourth World Magazine - Pacific City Sound Visions

Thursday, November 24, 2011

West End Girls


3. Small Hours - JOHN MARTYN
4. Leaving The World Behind - ERIC SERRA
5. Hope We Never Surface - TWO LONE SWORDSMEN
7. Nitedrive - FUSE
8. Serenade Out Of Tune - PEER RABEN
9. Summerdays - WEEKEND
10. Un Homme Et Une Femme - MORGAN FISHER
12. Goodnight - TRIOSK

Isabelle Antena

As part of the trio Antena, Isabelle Antena created one of my very favorite records ever, and one that couldn't be any closer to my heart: Camino Del Sol. Released by Les Disques Du Crépuscule in 1982 and later expanded by Numero Group in 2004, there are very few things in this world that come close to the inner-Riviera, sun-soaked perfection of these songs. Exotic, gentle, breezy, insular, and pure, the sound of this record is transportive, mysterious, and comforting. These songs sound like a faded postcard, a fuzzy memory.. like they were trapped in a bottle washed up on shore. I really can't say enough about how special this record is to me. There is no reason for anyone not to be close to these songs.

Since Antena, Isabelle has released several beautiful solo albums, each combining elements of bossa-nova, café-bleu cool jazz, and synth-pop samba. Her debut solo release, En Cavale, was released in 1986, again by Les Disques Du Crépuscule, followed by 1987's Hoping For Love. These records, filled with everyday dreams and far-off longing, are equally evocative, easy, and smart. Her next two albums, Tous Mes Caprices and Jouez La Cinq, expanded to include more of a late-'80s sophisti-pop, lounge-torch sound.

Isabelle has also worked in several side projects, including Fragile On The Rocks, The Powaga Sisters, and Pause Cafe. She continued releasing records through the '90's and 2000's and still performs live. Truly a personal vision, expanded upon for decades, the music of Isabelle Antena is filled with a timeless beauty that stands alone.

LTM has reissued many of her albums which are available through iTunes or from Darla. Camino Del Sol is available on CD, download, or vinyl from Numero Group. For more information, you can also visit Isabelle's website here.

Isabelle was kind enough to send me a list of some of her favorite music.


Innervisions - STEVIE WONDER
Harvest - NEIL YOUNG
Radio-Activity - KRAFTWERK
Songs In The Key Of Life - STEVIE WONDER
Take It Off - CHIC
My Favorite Things - JOHN COLTRANE
Other Directions - NICOLA CONTE

...I guess there's too many to tell but let's also say that some of my favorite artists, such as Peggy Lee, recorded plenty of singles that were collected onto albums after, but don't exist officially as a long playing recording. And also, some of my favorite music (like classical, from Handel to Bartok, or Chopin, or ....too many), is recorded in too many versions to tell exactly which is the best recording.