21 December 2009

2009:The Year In Review

After a long hiatus of quite a few weeks, finally back for a retrospective for the year. This has been a great year for music for me, with key Noise acts issuing hefty box sets charting their evolving aesthetics throughout their history, of which many, have spanned decades. Hygnagogic Pop is still in the stage of critical review, of its status as a valid generic name for a wide spectrum of acts which do not seem to have much in common except for some semblance to a retro-reinvention of past sounds from the 1960s/1970s/1980s. Japanese psychedelic rock has been great still but the fact that we are seeing more retro-issues is beginning to get a bit worrying. Many good to great books on music and its attendant culture were published this year as well. In terms of visuals, two amazing DVD box sets entered my life this year which sad to say I have not been able to fully digest yet. The following is basically a pictorial summary of my ups for the year, I hope yours have been as great, on the cultural frontier as well.

- Schimpfluch Gruppe: Sudden Infant/G* Park/Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock/etc.: Mind boggling, my late discovery of the rest of the guys (I was quite into Sudden Infant & Ohne already) from this amazing collective of actionist-influenced noise-niks.

- Hijokaidan: The box set is a gem...

- Incapacitants: This is another box set gem...

- Alejandro Jodorowsky: Psychedelia in full frontal assault; even though it has been more than 30 to 40 years, the films are still vital and prophetic in the 21st century.

- Ramleh + Consumer Electronics: The return of 2 of the most important Power Electronics outfits, updated 2009 style.

- Gary War: Finally, a "pop" act that really push the envelope of the interface between noise, psych pop, electronica and garage rock after all these years of barren musical desert.

- Jeff Keen: My official favourite film maker/director/conceptualist par excellence. If we could make noise image, Keen's films embody it.

- Bobby Beausoleil + Kenneth Anger: Another film master who bridges psychedelia, magick and alter consciousness which is stil, relevant in today's world.

- Bill Orcutt + Harry Pussy: The re-issue of the Pussy's live stuff plus Orcutt's comeback LP is so very essential to the current state of the music scene as who are the real deal in underground music scene

- The Stooges: A necessary box set release which tells us so much more about one of the few most crucial groups in rock for the past 40 years.

- PSF Records: As great as ever, with retrospective DVDs and re-issues of lost classics and possible future canon fodder, to me, still the greatest record label of the past two decades.

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