A funny thing about making year end best-of lists is that there's inevitably tons of great shit that comes out in a given year that you don't hear until after the year's over. Here's some really good records that came out in 2008 that I didn't hear until the last couple months:
Nico Muhly - Mothertounge Muhly re-interprets the genre of the art-song to incorporate 21st Century production techniques. Farfisa, synth, rhythmic minimalism, a soprano singing numbers; up my alley for sure.
Maryanne Amacher - Sound Characters vol. 2 Finally another record of Amacher's painfully under-documented work. The hour long multi-part composition Teo! is a masterpiece of contemporary electronic composition. Amacher uses richly textured sounds and psycho-acoustic effects to work directly in the realm of perception.
Kemialliset Ystavat "s/t" - This is my new favorite song! It sounds like a parade of animals in a Miyazaki movie. Jan Anderzén fell in love with Brenna's art and sent us their two newest albums in the mail as a trade for letting him use her images on their website. A real win-win situation. The leaders of psychedelic Finnish folk seem to strive towards abolishing conceptual binaries: acoustic/electronic, traditional/progressive, improvised/composed, past/future.
Fennesz - Black Sea While glitch electronica currently occupies a place in terms of cultural cache almost analogous to that of grunge during the late 90's, several of the movement's most talented practitioners continue to put out good records. Fennesz's solo albums have always tried to challenge the notion that experimental music is incapable of denoting sentiment, and "Black Sea" skillfully and naturally incorporates emotive tropes into a meticulous and compelling listening experience.
One thing to be aware of is that this was not originally conceived to be listened to straight through, but as something that you could just randomly tap into at any point. In the installation there was a foot pedal in front of the UFO that lit up the inside and played a random selection of this music.
Spielberg/KubrickThis just reminded me that Spielberg ruined not one, but two Stanley Kubrick movies. There was AI, of course. I know, I know: Kubrick wanted Spielberg to direct it, but still I can't help but think of it as a brilliant Kubrickrian concept botched by the schmaltz-meister.
I forgot about Aryan Papers though, which was to be Kubrick's World War 2/holocaust movie. He had been working on it in pre-production stages for a while when Schindler's List came out, and he decided they were too similar and that he needed to start working on something else. Thanks a lot, Spielberg!
Speaking of Kubrick, this article argues that his much-faulted misanthropy is actually kind of a good thing for humanity. I haven't seen Wall-E so I can't speak to his criticism of it, but I kind of agree with the sentiment.
¶ 9:35 AM4 Comments
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Brenna Murphy Music and PGirls in Vancouver
I made a recording of the piece I did for Brenna's art opening. Check it out: