Well, it’s december and nearly everyone everywhere is doing that charty-farty game – and so do we. Before our “regular” best-of-lists for this year will follow here (presumably at end of this month) I’ve decided to give you my netlabel favourites first.
That’s highly questionable – why should I seperate “free” netaudio music from commercial releases on physical labels – as I’m absolutely convinced that the quality of music is independent from its form of distribution? Isn’t this separation a debasement à la “here are my netlabel picks but later you will have the the “real” ones”?
So, believe me, all of the following are possible candidates for every 2008 best-of review I could make, I’m just presenting them in an extra list, because it gives me the opportunity to include more of them than in a combined list (vice versa I can include more non-netlabel stuff in the later one).
Additionally “Netlabel Favourites 2008″ isn’t really correct, because this is more a retrospective through the last 12 Machtdose podcast episodes, which means the reviewed time frame is Dec 07 – Nov 08. (as the podcast epidodes mostly present tracks released in the month before).
Ok, enough said, here are my
Top 10 albums
10. The Transisters – Under Control
If you listen to the straightforward guitar sound of this band you probably can’t prevent to think of others like Interpol / Editors / She Wants Revenge – but they can withstand these maybe sometimes annoying comparisions. Very well produced EP with a strong approach and tone.
9. La Nueva Guardia – El Melancólico Sueño Del Niño
A band from Argentina playing Tango. It isn’t that simple. They mix it with all kinds of Electronica and this matches better than you probably expect. Traditional and elecronical sounds are corresponding and what an interesting and extensive dialog this is.
8. Walheimat – “das sofa hier ist unbequem.”
That bloke here is doing something I would call “Schrammel-Pop”. Music which maybe sounds nicely, but not naive. A strange voice, more talking than singing, lyrics that leave you puzzled most of the time. But hey, it keeps you on track, you will listen to it again and again, with increasing fun.
7. The Upstairs – Ku Nobatkan Jadi Fantasi EP
This is a popular band in Indonesia. And I totally agree with that. I just like their style, e. g. how they are taking sixties music references and combine it with their own sound or that they’re seemingly cool but also have humor. Absolutely entertaining stuff, good party music.
6. The Silent Ballet: Volume 9
The 9th issue by magazine The Silent Ballet is the best one of the series so far. Although it is a compilation of various artists (with well-known names out of the let’s say ambient corner like Peter Broderick or the Abassi Brothers and artists you may know more from the netaudio scene like Bersarin Quartett or Bosques de mi Mente) it surprisingly works perfect as an album, harmoniously combined, with its own cinematic atmosphere.
5. Vertical67 – Reflect
A journey that leads you through a tempest of brilliant breaks, nevertheless fortified with a lot of melodic particles. Nearly 80 minutes of pure headphone pleasure, deep and substantial. Just trust me – or proof it by yourself, but get that thing.
4. The Wind Whisles
Melodic indie folk by a likeable couple out of Vancouver. They have a thing to invite guests and friends to their sessions (as for a good meal) – and it seems that there is a friendly gesture in their music in general. You’re surely with them after you’ve heard only a few tacts.
3. March Rosetta – Late in time
“Late in time” is a very good title for this intimate and cautious album to be discovered. It unfolds its qualities the more often you hear it. Place it somewhere between Raz O’Hara, Morgan Geist and Brian Ferry, but you still don’t have it then. Listen again.
2. New Earth Objects – live at schmiede 14.06.2007
Happily enough the concert of this improvisation trio has been recorded, otherwise the music would have gone forever and we would never have known it. New Earth Objects are hypnotists, just get drowned in their loops, bleeps, sounds. Very meditative while lacking almost any esoteric touch. Let me know if they ever come around close by here.
1. Entertainment For The Braindead – Hydrophobia
Subtle songs by young Julia Kotowski, recorded at home with a very simple setup. Slightly neurotic lyrics, betimes you hear some kitchen appliance as percussion instrument without knowing it. Album of the year not only for talent but also the (aesthetic) attitude. No wonder that two labels (aaahh and aerotone) wanted to release it at the same time. You hardly believe how beautiful this is.