Benjamin Nelson lives in Boston, is a musician, buyer/seller of records, and co-curator/director of Non-Event. He can be reached at [email protected] for shows or current inventory.
NON-EVENT is currently running a kickstarter for their upcoming season. You should help them out for they are absolutely one of the foremost proponents of bringing cutting edge and interesting music to the Boston area year after year: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1665987477/non-event-2012-concert-season
His top ten:
Being asked for a top 10 is incredibly hard, especially when I am not always super timely about picking things up when they first come out. Regardless of my being slow, below in no particular order are my top 10 new titles I managed to picked up this last year (reissues and the like excluded).
Mark Fell- Manitutshu Double LP, Editions Mego
Mark has killed it this last year album wise, cranking out the most baffling generative system/abstracted “dance” music you have ever heard. For me, this one was the pick of the litter.
Death Grips- Exmilitary, Third Worlds
This thing hit me right about the time I finally got my hands on the Shabazz Palaces full length and immediately overshadowed it for me. Dark and abstract, great lyrics, Manson, Black Flag and Link Wray samples. Winner.
Circle Of Ouroborus – Unituli: The Dream Fire LP, Hospital Productions
Released in Finland last year, leave it to Hospital Productions to finally bring it to the states. Melodic and melancholy black metal of the highest order with much more of a depressed and mournful sound than straight up agression. Get over it tough guys, whisper screams such and we all know you are doing it.
I am going to go ahead and just put the whole label down. Run by artist Graham Lambkin (formerly of The Shadow Ring), Kye has had an outstanding year, putting out 8 titles, all of them worth hearing. Most notably the second Call Back The Giants album, an essential Moniek Darge reissue, a full length by Helm, and Graham’s totally perplexing Amateur Doubles. But, the absolute gem here has to be the Vincent Over The Sink 7″. Music ruined, completely broken down, never to make sense again.
Ashley Paul – Hidden Face/Leave Mine 7″, Emerald Cocoon
Ashley has really outdone herself on this one. Heading more and more in an almost “song” like direction, expertly timed clangs, guitar, saxophone, and vocals blend to create something totally unique. Incredibly detailed and structured requiring many many repeat listens.
Carl Calm- A Party Tide cassette, self-released
Whether playing in synth duo Caboladies, as Palmetto Moon Electronic Group, or as Carl Calm, Eric Lanham is always on point. Landing here somewhere between John Bender’s synthpop stylings, Bruce Haack (including a tribute track), and a more bent and updated take on the classic IDM feel. A real masterpiece in need of a serious reissue.
Golden Retriever- Light Cones KP, Root Strata
Also one of the best live sets I saw this year (thanks to the Spectral Rehab crew!). No shame emotive bass clarinet wailing couples with deep synth textures. Pure moods.
Kitchens Floor- Look Forward To Nothing, Siltbreeze/Bedroom Suck
Catchy as all hell and just as sloppy. Plus a song about kidney infections as an added bonus!
Justin Meyers- Resonating Upon Harmonic Ground LP, Second Sleep
New music has become a rare thing from Mr. Meyer’s in the last few years, but he never fails to deliver. While only single sided, Resonating still gives plenty to mull over. A heavy textural piece that brings to mind Damion Romero and Toshiya Tsunoda.
Follow up to the epic “Plays Mahler”, Pat Maher is an absolute expert at slowing things down (also see DJ/Expressway Yo-Yo Dieting), and the proof is in the pudding on this one. Thrift store dollar record melted and mixed into an absolute mess of texture and bleak ambience.