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Guest Reviews: Tyondai Braxton

As the son of out-jazz composer Anthony Braxton, a member of acclaimed post-rock super-group Battles, and a renowned solo artist, Tyondai Braxton is certainly one of the biggest names in the avant-pop music world. His second solo album, Central Market (Warp), is somewhat of a departure, for after years of strictly solo efforts, the new record sees him collaborating with NYC's Wordless Music Orchestra. For Braxton, it was an amazing experience "to try out some difficult pieces quickly," and discover that his loop-based work paired nicely with a Stravinsky influence. Here, the NYC-based composer talks about some of the music he enjoyed the most in 2009.

Dirty Projectors
Bitte Orca
Domino
I've seen Dirty Projectors through many different incarnations over the decade, all of them awe-inspiring. Bitte Orca pools all of what Dave Longstreth has been exploring over the years into a powerful, succinct statement. With the unbelievable talent that makes up the band, it’s no wonder this record came out the way it did. Truly masterful.

itsnotyouitsme
Walled Gardens
New Amsterdam
Caleb Burhans and Greg McMurray come out of the gate with a pastoral, all-encompassing sound. Mostly ambient, the sounds continuously subvert a dominant texture with strings, guitar, voice, and electronics falling over each other. Beautiful.

Amarcord Nino Rota
Hannibal
Great movie, great soundtrack. Nino Rota is one of my favorite composers. I cooked a huge Italian dinner to this the other night. I had an apron on and was tasting spaghetti sauce from a large wooden spoon and this huge pot fell to the floor. I started laughing so fucking hard. My girlfriend walked in on me and I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. The music made it so much more funny.

Sunn 0)))
Monoliths and Dimensions
Southern Lord
This is my favorite of the records I’ve heard from Sunn 0))). Epic and patient. When the women's choir on “Big Church” comes in, you understand the scope of what they're working with here. One of my faves this year.

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