Sunday, January 01, 2012

(photo: Yuko Zama)

OK, though I think this gets sillier and sillier over time, here's a listing of the recordings that I've enjoyed most over the past year. I'm fudging more than usual this year in that there are six, count 'em, six releases among which choosing a favorite seems especially ridiculous; any one could occupy the top spot on a given day. I will say that, in terms of momentousness, Φ, by virtue of its bringing together, with such delicious tension, the two main "schools" of interest to me in contemporary music, might have the conceptual edge. In any case, alpha:

1. Jurg Frey - metal, stone, skin, foliage, air (Nick Hennies) (l'Innomable)
1. Radu Malfatti/Keith Rowe - Φ (Erstwhile)
1. Michael Pisaro - asleep, street, pipes tones (Gravity Wave)
1. Michael Pisaro - fields have ears (Another Timbre)
1. Michael Pisaro - close constellations and drum on the ground (Gravity Wave)
1. Keith Rowe/John Tilbury - E.E. Tension and Circumstance (Potlatch)

Five more to make a Top 11:

7. Keith Rowe - Concentration of the Stare (bottrop boy)
8. Lucio Capece/Radu Malfatti - Explorational (b-boim)
9. Cornelius Cardew - Works 1960 - 1970 (+3db)
10. Toshimaru Nakamura - Maruto (Erstwhile)
11. Michael Pisaro - Hearing Metal 2 (Gravity Wave)

(photo: fabonthemoon)

Ten more superb albums that should be on everyone's list:

Antoine Beuger- un lieu pour etre deux (Copy for Your Records)
John Cage - Four4 (Another Timbre)
Luc Ferrari/Rinus van Alebeek - Cycles des Souvenirs (Mathka)
Hong Chulki/Jin Sangtae/Kevin Parks - 音影 (Celadon)
MIMEO - Wigry (Bolt/Monotone)
Joe Panzner - Clearing, Polluted (Copy for Your Records)
Robert Schumann - Dichteliebe (Bolt)
Mites - something but it's not tomorrow (CDR)
Seijiro Murayama/Stephane Rives - Axiom for the Duration (Potlatch)
Haptic - Scilens (Entr'acte)

(pausing to mention four historical items that are incredible:)

Eliane Radigue - Transamorem-Transmortem (Important)
Various - I listen to the Wind that Obliterates My Traces (Dust to Digital)
Derek Bailey - Concert in Milwaukee (Incus)
John Cage _ Ryoanji (hat ART)

So much good music, I feel compelled to also list these other releases, all excellent, all more than worthy of your time:

Greg Kelley/Olivia Block - Resolution (Erstwhile)
Craig Shepard - On Foot (Wandelweiser)
Taku Unami/Takahiro Kawaguchi - Teatro Assente (Erstwhile)
Dominic Lash/Patrick Farmer/Sarah Hughes - Droplets (Another Timbre)
Richard Garet/Asher Thal-Nir - Melting Ground (contour editions)
Anne Guthrie/Barry Chabala - Preston Hollow (Roeba)
Hankil Ryu /Hong Chulki/Choi Joonyong - Inferior Music (Balloon & Needle)
Giuseppe Ielasi(Bellows) - Handcut (Senufo)
Graham Lambkin - Amateur Doubles (Kye)
Michael Pisaro - Hearing Metal 3 (Gravity Wave)
Nikos Veliotis/Klaus Filip -Slugabed (Hibari)
John Wall/Alex Rodgers, Alex - Work 2006-2011 (entr'acte)
John Cage - The Works for Percussion (Mode)
Richard Kamerman - changes.txt (Engraved Glass)
Patrick Farmer - Like falling out of trees… (Consumer Waste)
Anne Guthrie - Perhaps a favorable organic moment (Copy for Your Records)
Ben Owen - 05012009FP (winds measure)
John Cage/Morton Feldman - In a Silent Way (Stradivarius)
Manfred Werder - 2009 (5) (Cathnor)
Mites - something to ponder upon (Mystery Sea)
Graham Stephenson - Defiantly Not (Pilgrim Talk)
Jeph Jerman - Arrantre (CD) (no label)
Eric Cordier/Seijiro Murayama - Nuit (Herbal International)
Jason Kahn - Dotolim (Balloon & Needle)
Ben Owen -Birds and Water, 1 (Notice Recordings)
Gill Arno - Lacunae (winds measure)
Jamie Drouin/Lance Olsen - Absence + Forgiveness (Infrequency)
Christian Wolff - Kompositionen 1950-1972 (Edition RZ)
Boris Hauf/Stephen Hess/Keefe Jackson/Juun - Prismatics (Creative Sources)

As always, much thanks to those of you who send these beautiful things my way.


Michael Campbell said...

Did I miss your review of the new Rowe/Tilbury?

Brian Olewnick said...

no, haven't written it up yet, but it's gotten more than enough play around here (plus I'd heard a pre-release version for a while) to garner its place...