XLR8R's Year-End Top Ten Album Picks
The Album Leaf Into The Blue Again Sub Pop
Jimmy LaVelle is one hell of a talented musician. Having collaborated with Sigur Ros, The Black Heart Procession, and a whole bunch of post-post-punk bands, the songwriter is at his most intimate and comfortable on Into The Blue Again. Serene piano leads and Boards of Canada-esque drum programming make this one of Sub Pop’s best releases this year.
Michael Mayer Immer 2 Kompakt
Following up Kompakt cofounder Michael Mayer’s last comp Immer nearly three years hence, the “archangel of house” is back with a lo-fi, spacey offering for the dance-ready masses. Featuring killer tracks from Lindstrom, Crowdpleaser & St. Plomb, and a 13-minute-plus odyssey from Geiger, this mix will get you all tender and shook to hell.
Various A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box Rhino
It’s about time someone released 53 of the most important Goth tracks, which have inspired legions of eyeliner-clad ladies and gents to dance around with limbs flailing from all angles. Featuring hits from the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen, Christian Death, and Cranes, this Goth megalith of a compilation has got us feeling bummed in the best of ways.
Kashmere Stage Band Texas Thunder Soul 1968-1974 Stones Throw
Funk don’t come easy...unless you were in the Kashmere Stage Band sometime during their 12-year reign. For those of you who aren’t extreme vinyl nerds or funk archivists, KSB was a revolving-door high school band that knew the meaning of wholesome jams. This two-disc collection contains re-masters, unreleased wonders, and live performances–a hidden gem from a bygone era.
Black Devil Disco Club 28 After Lo
The history of BDDC is a tricky one. While, initially, an ultra-rare disco find for crate diggers, the group was known for pieces created in the late '70s. That is, until Rephlex "reissued" one of the group’s mind-bogglingly contemporary-sounding records. Some say it is vintage genius; others give credit to electronic engineer Bernard Fevre for production. Either way, this is amazing, fucked-up disco at its most obscure.
Lithops Mound Magnet Thrill Jockey
Mouse on Mars’ Jan St. Werner returns under his Lithops alias–this time he offers us some playfully chopped-up electronic mayhem. Dirty and sporadic as all hell, Mound Magnet digs in with subtle grooves amongst these ferociously mischievous compositions. As expected, this record cooks.
Skream Skream! Tempa
Fuck yes. The dude who mastered the dubstep/grime template comes full-force with a most amazing debut. Somehow the UK-based producer can blend technically astute jazz percussion, distorted thump, and his infamous dubbed-out basslines, creating a diverse, but consistent album for the kids.
Múm Peel Sessions FatCat
It’s true. The 2002 Múm Peel Sessions have arrived and each one of the four tracks is completely smoking. This reworked EP features the most epic hits off of Múm’s debut Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today is Okay, and showcases the darkly scattered sound that has established the band’s place in atmospheric music history.
The Knife Deep Cuts Mute
Deep Cuts is quite possibly one of the best electro-pop albums known to man, and our homies at Mute have done the right thing by reissuing the Swedish duo’s anthemic masterpiece, complete with a bonus DVD disc and remixes from Rex the Dog, Dahlback, and Mylo. This is the sound of salvation.
Mono & World’s End Girlfriend Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain Temporary Residence
Palmless Prayer/Mass Murder Refrain finds the Japanese orchestral giants collaborating with electronic composer World’s End Girlfriend for a fine piece of classical chamber-music action. Drink from a chalice in your basement to this one, dramatists of the world.
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