Some of the things I’ve enjoyed listening to this year:
Rian Treanor – A Rational Tangle (The Death of Rave)
Mark Fell named some tracks on his UL8 album ‘Acid in the Style of Rian Treanor’. Connie Treanor narrated the ‘Composing with Process‘ podcast by Mark Fell and Joe Gilmore.
Peder Mannerfelt – The Swedish Congo Record (Archives Intérieures)
An uncanny re-creation/re-synthesis of old recordings of Congolese music.
Also by Peder Mannerfelt – Variation EP (Ultimate Hits):
Theo Burt – Gloss (Presto!?)
In addition to this album on Lorenzo Senni’s label, Burt’s own label BUS Editions has released some interesting stuff. BUS also released bus17a 12″, a version of Hanne Darboven’s Opus 17a by EVOL which I transcribed for the group. An extra mp3 version and some text on the process are available: http://www.bus-editions.com/bus017a/
Errorsmith – Airbag (50Weapons), and Protogravity EP (PAN) with Mark Fell.
Quality sounds from Erik Wiegand and reliable rhythms from Mark Fell.
Russell Haswell – As Sure As Night Follows Day (Diagonal)
Relatively minimal short-form pieces compared with some of Haswell’s noiser and more complex music, these tracks have space for simpler patterns and transformations to develop. More musical, even. Some you could actually dance to:
Calum Gunn & Sebastian Camens – Slant Deviations (Conditional)
Algorithmically-controlled FM synthesis.
Also Baggy Sheps by Calum Gunn, based on Shepard tones.
Dale Cornish – Ulex (Entr’acte)
Not sure how to describe the sounds on this vinyl album – sparse, intense.
Aino Tytti – Millenium Mills (Touch)
A project recording the sounds of the derelict Millennium Mills buildings in London.
Morton J. Olsen – INTERRUPTIONS #19. The possibility of drumming (Ràdio Web MACBA)
A mix in which Olsen explores the idea of ‘innate music’, looking at the practice of drumming from an anthropological point of view, re-examining rhythmic rudiments and their socio-cultural origins. The documentation (PDF) states that the aim is to try to keep it simple, but Olsen admits that “in other ways this means making it more opaque and therefore complex”. The resulting mix is over three hours long. In his words:
I’ve made something that, in my early days, I might have considered a long and painful listening experience of percussion oriented music.
Also by Morten J. Olsen and Rubén Patiño – Natalia Martínez Ordóñez (Where To Now? Records):
Powell / Diagonal Records
Lots of good stuff out on Diagonal this year, also on Powell’s Melon Magic radio show – including Autechre’s remix of Russell Haswell’s Heavy Handed Sunset, and then there was that Steve Albini thing too.
EVOL‘s Flapper That EP (Diagonal) exploits the pareidolia effect, with sounds suggestive of words or vocals. Listening to it is like when you repeat a word until it loses its meaning, except these sounds do the opposite, acquiring different interpretations through repetition. Another good one from EVOL was the Purple Melters 12″ (iDEAL Recordings) on yellow vinyl with a smiley face sticker.
C. Reider – Tape Loops (Linear Obsessional)
A musician I know through the Disquiet Junto, Reider’s had a tough time due to ill health, but he’s on the mend I’m happy to say, and continues to produce good music. Tape Loops is made from old cassettes, and Certainty Reducing Signals is an album including some pieces from Junto projects.