15 November 2010

2010 in Review

Yes another year has almost gone by and it's my list of the year to sum up the year in (counter)culture:

1. Aural Fit's new slab of psych-out-overdriven-noise-rock simply emerges as one of the tops of the year, at point sounding very much like Derek Bailey's noise rock project with Bill Laswell and others in Arcana's The Last Wave. Essential.

2. Seijaku, Keiji Haino's new project post-Fushitsusha, has been a blast long awaited for... a double whammy assault of distorto-outsider blues, on doubtmusic.

3. Another Haino must-have: Fushitisusha electro-shock pulsing through the double vinyl set which sends shivers down one's spine.

4. A slew of re-issues and first-time-available CD/vinyl from the fertile pre-punk/post Velvet scene of Columbus, Ohio: a lethal stew of Lou Reed, Avant guitar action, goofy no wave mindset and mid-West rock lineage inform these batch of excellent rockers/punkers. Blistering.

5. Two Hypnagogic Pop labels of Not Not Fun and Olde English Singing Bee: An unending stream of hypnotic retro-inform futuristic pop for the NOW - Forest Swords, Julian Lynch, Rangers, Pocahaunted, LA Vampires/Zola Jesus, Outer Limits Recordings and Sun Araw. Mind-melting.

6. Emeralds' rise and rise this year will guarantee them seminal and influential status in the years to come: a potent amalgamation of cosmic Kraut, retro-machine age vibes and noise to lull you and then wrap your brains all over.
7. Oneohtrix Point Never's new one for 2010: starting with a blast of electrical sandstorm and then proceeding to churn one's consciousness to bits.
8. A memorial for Shizuka who passed on beginning of the year. Powerful, cathartic and mystifying. Japanese psych at its most lunar.

9. Arthur Doyle released two head-clearing blasts of sax blurts on plastic. One of the few Fire Music proponents left today, and he is punk to the max too.

10. Long time coming but worth the wait: Steve Underwood of Harbinger Sound bringing us the first ever Noise Culture Magazine with chock-ful of interviews, reviews and articles on Noise of all sorts and beyond. I am already anticipating eagerly for issue number 2.

11. Los Angeles Free Society getting its recognition in London recently in October plus this year also see releases of both archival and new to update us on the latest adventures and past legacy of these bunch of underrated but essential collective of weirdness, freakdom and esoterica (in the best sense).

12. A masterpiece of the history of visionary artistes and musicians tapping into the Great Albion Spirit (both imagined, historical, re-shaped and futuristic as well as Utopian and Dystopian) by ex-Wire editor, Rob Young. More such texts please (David Keenan, when will your sequel to England's Hidden Reverse be out???)

Les Rallizes first (?) legit/semi-legit (??) re-issues on Phoenix Records of previously CD-R format. Widely available and generally good sound-wise but what a great way to introduce the pagans out there about this great band.

13. Acid Archives: what can I say? This is THE bible for anyone remotely keen on the deep psych underground, private press, ignored major label acts, outsiders and Incredibly Strange.
14. A year of great re-issues for these bunch of misanthropes and heavy punk-metal outsiders. An evil smile will emerge across your face whenever you listen to them.

15. Swans's latest album (as Michael Gira says Swans has been re-activated but not reformed) is a 21st century upgrade of post No-Wave post rock: anthemic, soaring and spiritual.
16. Sun City Girls last studio project which makes us wonder if they had not disbanded... Eclectic, other-worldly and rocking all at the same time.
17. Blixa Bargeld meets Carsten Nicolai: a blend of electronically-fuelled tone poem, adventurous vocal acrobatics (courtesy of Bargeld) and muscular and angular execution. One of the best works of the year.
18. Xasthur's last: featuring Marissa Nadler's ghostly vocalisations which fitted the hallowing songs well and rejecting all generic postures of buzzsaw guitars etc.


Anonymous said...

haino is hardly an 'outsider' as you put it. give the man some credit.

Psychmetalfreak said...

I did not mean Haino as an outsider but the form of blues he creates is definitely not in anyway traditional/conventional and thus the adjective. Thanks for the comment anyway!