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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

 

The ever essential Fast 'n' Bulbous presents the annual year end wrap up: Fast 'n' Bulbous - 2003 Year-End Summary including Fester's Lucky 13 -- The Best Albums of 2003

Includes loose genre breakdowns.

As I have said before the man behind Fast 'n' Bulbous, A.S. Van Dorston is one of few high profile critics I respect [along with Chuck Eddy], not that I agree entirely with his music aesthetics - but in his approach - the willingness to research, listen and appreciate a wide variety of music.

# posted by DJ Martian 9:03 PM
 

Splendid have a feature on progressive rock [that maybe was inspired by Simon Reynolds prog overview] >> 14 Prog Records Worth Losing Your Indie Cred Over

# posted by DJ Martian 12:29 PM

Monday, December 29, 2003

 

Stylus have started counting down their Favourite 20 Albums of 2003

...380 of those albums were named by Stylus writers in their year-end lists of favorite albums. It�s an enormous number that typifies how little consensus we actually have among our incredibly diverse staff.

Q: Any chance of also having a basic listing of the 380 albums that were nominated, at the end of the week?

# posted by DJ Martian 10:44 PM
 

This Week's New Releases

This week - the week between Christmas and New Year - for new releases is typically a dead week.

Most independent distributors are not distributing new album releases for record companies this week, also many specialist mail order/ online shops have closed over the holidays for a well earned break.

No new releases info from Boomkat, Norman Records and Rough Trade. Piccadilly Records listed a few new releases/ reissues, but there was nothing significant of note. A quick scan of some other Online CD stores - only listed a few naff/ unremarkable compilations.

There are a number of delayed releases that include imports - have therefore rolled over a week or more.

Normal service will resume next week, also I am in the process of sorting info: re new release schedule for January and February.

# posted by DJ Martian 6:14 PM

Sunday, December 28, 2003

 

Music blog to check: Musica Generica

Including >> Top 25 Albums of 2003 And at number 1�

Explosions in the Sky - The World is not a Cold Dark Place (Temporary Residence)

# posted by DJ Martian 4:14 AM

Saturday, December 27, 2003

 

Ejazznews.com present Ejazznews.com Top 10 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 4:15 PM
 

Diligent Worker - Top 30 Albums of 2003

>> The Diligent Worker

# posted by DJ Martian 3:52 PM

Friday, December 26, 2003

 

6 Music have: Radiohead 6 Music Selector available on demand.

# posted by DJ Martian 5:56 PM
 

This week's Jazz on 3 show on Radio 3 is best of 2003 live music special.

# posted by DJ Martian 5:43 PM
 

From mail order specialist Backroads: BACKROADS MUSIC - BEST OF 2003

Here's our list of favorites for 2003. In another year of transition for the industry and for Backroads, the music was stronger than ever! Placing titles in the 5 categories is quite challenging, as it seems many titles have elements from more than one section &emdash; many cross-cultural titles actually fit into several! We even have a "5 that Matter Most" dept.! In any case, here's the Best of 2003 -- Instrumental, (includes Acoustic & Electronic music)," Space/Ambient/Electronic, Vocal/Chant, World Music, & Chill Out/Nu Ambient/Electronica - call 'em what you will!

# posted by DJ Martian 5:29 PM
 

From Aquarius Records: aquarius records staff faves 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 4:16 PM
 

KindaMuzik present 2003 best of lists from their writers: EINDEJAARSLIJSTJES GALORE 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 3:34 PM
 

From Singapore: Big O's Albums of the Year

# posted by DJ Martian 3:27 PM
 

No Ripcord present THE NO RIPCORD TOP 50 ALBUMS OF 2003 selected highlights:

49. Sylvain Chauveau - "Un Autre D�cembre" (Fat Cat)
47. Deerhoof - "Apple 'O" (5 Rue Christine)
45. Autechre - "Draft 7.30" (Warp)
42. Do Make Say Think - "Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn" (Constellation)
41. Rachel's - "Systems/Layers" (Quarterstick)
35. A Silver Mt. Zion - "This Is Our Punk Rock" (Constellation)
34. Mira Calix - "Skimskitta" (Warp)
32. why? - "oaklandazulasylum" (anticon)
31. Black Dice - "Beaches & Canyons" (Fat Cat) [This was a 2003 release in the UK]
26. Mars Volta - "Deloused in the Comatorium" (Island)
24. Elbow - "Cast of Thousands" (V2)
18. The Rapture - "Echoes" (Strummer / Universal)
17. Prefuse 73 - "One Word Extinguisher" (Warp)
14. TV on the Radio - "Young Liars EP" (Tough & Go)

and Top 5

5. Radiohead - "Hail to the Thief" (Parlophone)
4. Four Tet - "Rounds" (Domino)
3. British Sea Power - "The Decline Of British Sea Power" (Rough Trade)
2. Manitoba - "Up In Flames" (Leaf)
1. M83 - "Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts" (Gooom / Labels)


Main webpage for >> No Ripcord

# posted by DJ Martian 12:59 AM

Thursday, December 25, 2003

 

CMJ Bulletin Board discussion thread on Best Metal album of '03?

# posted by DJ Martian 9:01 PM
 

This has been significantly updated since I linked to it earlier in the month >> 2003 Favorites By the Donewaiting.com Staff

# posted by DJ Martian 7:56 PM
 

The Butterscotch Threshold presents 37 Best Albums of 2003

taking the top slot: Jaga Jazzist - The Stix

# posted by DJ Martian 7:05 PM
 

Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree lists his favourite albums of 2003

Massive Attack - 100th Window
The Mars Volta � Deloused in the Comatorium
Vidna Obmana � Spore
Nurse With Wound � Salt Marie Celeste
Set Fire to Flames - Telegraphs/Mouths Trapped in Static

Ryoji Ikeda � Op
Monolake � Momentum
Plastikman � Closer
Mew - Frengers
Autechre - Draft 7.30
Asmus Tietchens � Delta Menge

# posted by DJ Martian 6:59 PM
 

Exploding Plastic present their Top Electronic and Dance Albums Of 2003

Taking the top slot ...1: The Rip Off Artist - Pet Sounds

# posted by DJ Martian 6:48 PM

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

 

Indieworkshop.com relay the news that Mission Of Burma has signed to Matador Records - the band will record a new album that is scheduled for a May 2004 release.

Mission of Burma [along with the Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Husker Du and Pere Ubu] are considered legends of American Underground Punk Rock.

# posted by DJ Martian 8:42 PM
 

Blabbermouth report Norwegian Industrial Metal band: RED HARVEST To Enter Studio In January - the album is scheduled for release late spring/early summer through Nocturnal Art Productions

# posted by DJ Martian 7:41 PM
 

pk's favourite 50 albums of 2003 are listed on electroambientdreampop � ELECTRO-AMBIENT-DREAMPOP

# posted by DJ Martian 6:08 PM
 

Just listened to a M83 remix of Goldfrapp's Black Cherry track - to be released next year. Astonishing electronic-drone production from M83 with a Cocteau Twin-esque feel and Alison Goldfrapp sounding similar to Liz Fraser.

Soundgenerator report Goldfrapp - Black Cherry will be released as a single on 23rd February 2004.

# posted by DJ Martian 6:03 PM
 

Splendid interview Markus Popp about his So project

# posted by DJ Martian 2:20 PM
 

Uncut >> New website for Uncut magazine. Sign up for their newsletter. Also details of what's in the next issue, due on sale Thursday January 8th.

# posted by DJ Martian 1:31 PM
 

Worlds of Possibility has a fine year end 2003 music round up.

# posted by DJ Martian 1:21 PM
 

New Issue [12] of earplug

Earplug is a biweekly email newsletter, delivering a handpicked selection of news, sounds, videos, and original features for the international electronic music community.

# posted by DJ Martian 1:08 PM
 

As I mentioned recently Basement Gallery is reverse counting down his favourite albums of the year, Number 1 to be revealed on December 26th.

# posted by DJ Martian 1:27 AM
 

Cokemachineglow present THE CMG YEAR-END EXTRAVAGANZA!

# posted by DJ Martian 1:11 AM
 

Reminder: on this week's John Peel shows on Radio 1 it's the Festive Fifty

Weds 24 Dec: Festive Fifty part 1

Thurs 25 Dec: Festive Fifty part 2

Yep it's that time of the year - when the listeners of the John Peel show have voted for the Top 50 tracks of the year. According to Peel this year's chart is a good un, they have tightened up the voting to stop vote rigging - that apparenly has blightened the Festive 50 over the previous few years.

One thing is for sure there is bound to be at least one track by The Fall.

Previous Festive 50s - my first Festive 50 was way back in 1985 as a 15 year old.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:58 AM

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

 

dotmusic present DOTMUSIC YEAR END POLL

# posted by DJ Martian 9:09 PM
 

Lost At Sea present Lost At Sea - 20 Albums of 2003

MusicEmissions.com present MusicEmissions.com - Top 10 Albums of 2003

[More US Magnet magazine reading types]

# posted by DJ Martian 12:50 AM
 

Blabbermouth: CRADLE OF FILTH Sign With ROADRUNNER RECORDS! The forthcoming album, tentatively titled "Nymphetamine" is scheduled for a June 2004 release.

CRADLE OF FILTH bassist David Pybus describes the new material as an "eclectic mix between the group's 'Damnation..' and 'Cruelty...' albums with a renewed vigour for melody, songmanship and plain fucking weirdness spat into the smelting bowl. Revolting human worms, you have been warned!"

how long can they go on for? surely comical parody black metal has had it's day - or will they reinvent themselves?

# posted by DJ Martian 12:34 AM
 

The Brainwashed Brain - V06I50 - 12212003

This week's The Brainwashed Brain includes reviews of:

Diamanda Gal�s - Defixiones: Will And Testament"
Mute

Diamanda Gal�s - La Serpenta Canta"
Mute

310 - Recessional
Leaf

Boy Robot - Glamorizing Corporate Lifestyle
City Centre Offices

# posted by DJ Martian 12:22 AM

Monday, December 22, 2003

 

New Releases @ Piccadilly Records

Some new releases listed in the weekly guide [via e-mail] from Manchester's music emporium: Piccadilly Records

Piano Magic - The Troubled Sleep Of Piano Magic
Green UFOs

Piano Magic have been refining their unique brand of tender, heartbroken, two-bar-fire pop music since 1996. Sonically, they're the spiritual heirs to the likes of Disco Inferno or "Faith"-era The Cure. Lyrically, not a million miles away from the blue moods of the Smiths - think "Asleep", "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" or "Well I Wonder". The combination has always only ever touched those who want to be touched. "The Troubled Sleep Of Piano Magic" was recorded between Winter 2002 and Summer 2003 at The Fortress studios in London and at the band's home studio, Murder Mile. As with last year's "Writers Without Homes", the record was produced by the band and engineered by Robinson Hughes and Gareth Parton.

Operator - Welcome To The Wonderful World
Remae

Great new project featuring the mighty talent of Scott McCloud (Soulside / Girls Vs Boys and New Wet Kojak). This time McCloud has teamed up with esteemed Italian producer / electronic composer Teho Teardo. They recorded a ten track album of punk rock (as expected from Mccloud) infused electronica and pop. Imagine the likes of Underworld or Fluke or Adult as played by and fronted by the gritty urban punk of Girls Vs Boys, an excellent melding of two different stylings, bringing out the best in McCloud's smoke tainted vocal, and Teho's eclectic yet accessible electronica / pop musings.

Various Artists / Mutant Disco
Ze

With the 00s facination for all things early 80s, it seems only proper that one of the best labels from that era should get a bit of spotlight attention. "Mutant Disco" is the sister compilation to "NY No Wave", also on Ze. Where the latter comp focuses on the rock end of the punk-funk scene, "Mutant Disco" goes for disco-not-disco stylings. These tracks range from the slo-mo weirdness of Aural Exciters, to the awesome dub disco of Was Not Was, sleazy funk of The Waitresses (hey, they did more than "Christmas Wrapping" you know!) Hi-NRG disco of Material, Cristina and Lizzy Mercier Descloux and the perfect pop of Kid Creole & The Coconuts. Listening to all these tracks now, it makes me wish i'd had more money as a teenager, so that I wouldn't be contemplating an expedition on eBay to track down the originals!

Re:Jazz - Re:Mix
Infracom

You'll remember that Infracom celebrated their 100th release by getting Mathias Vogt to totally re-record the best of their back catalogue with a live jazz band as Re:Jazz "A Love Affair", well this LP continues the theme, by getting in various artists to remix THAT album. Confusing huh! The great and the good line up here to add their stamp to these tracks, covering everything from nu-jazz to reggae, with house, broken beats and electronica in between: Nicola Conte, Frost & Wagner, Swell Session, Russ Gabriel, Jazztronik, John Tejada, Les Gammas, Akufen, Bugge Wesseltoft, Yukihiro Fukutomi and more.

# posted by DJ Martian 11:16 PM
 

Tiny Mix Tapes present their Top 25 Albums of 2003
[Another website that doesn't supply a user friendly summary list.]

# posted by DJ Martian 5:35 PM
 

Jason Gross of Perfect Sound Forever on Rockcritics.com: Favourite Scribings for 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 5:31 PM
 

Jonty Skrufff presents Skrufff Selected Top 10 Compilations of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 5:26 PM
 

dotmusic report The Rapture to release a new single: Love Is All in 2004.

# posted by DJ Martian 5:21 PM
 

BBC News: Radiohead take over radio station

# posted by DJ Martian 4:08 PM
 

Playlouder also do the singles: Top 50 Singles of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 4:04 PM
 

As usual with Playlouder a very mixed bag - some predictables, those that are overrated, and a few surprises: Playlouder - Top 50 Albums of 2003

1 The Darkness
2 The Hidden Cameras
3 Four Tet
4 Outkast
5 The White Stripes
6-10
6 The Mars Volta
7 Jane's Addiction
8 Nick Cave
9 Dizzee Rascal
10 British Sea Power
11-15
11 Rancid
12 Gold Chains
13 Non-Prophets
14 Yeah Yeah Yeahs
15 Missy Elliott
16-20
16 Killing Joke
17 The Fall
18 Blur
19 Buck 65
20 The Faint
21-25
21 RZA
22 Peaches
23 The Rapture
24 Postal Service
25 Basement Jaxx
26-30
26 Muse
27 Goldfrapp
28 Hot Hot Heat
29 Iggy Pop
30 Simple Kid
31-35
31 Stellastarr*
32 Har Mar Superstar
33 Elbow
34 Carina Round
35 Girls Aloud
36-40
36 Iron Maiden
37 Gonzales
38 Junior Senior
39 LFO
40 Belle and Sebastian
41-45
41 Marilyn Manson
42 Mogwai
43 Patrick Wolf
44 Arab Strap
45 Joe Strummer
46-50
46 Pink Grease
47 Adam Green
48 Gillian Welch
49 Beans
50 Future Ex-Wife

# posted by DJ Martian 3:41 PM
 

Additions galore at Almost Cool - Top Albums of 2003 - Reader List - this will be an essential read over the coming weeks.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:46 AM
 

SPOTLIGHT...KEY NEW RELEASES THIS WEEK:

Key new album releases for December 22nd [A more detailed release listing including other new releases, compilations and reissues - can be found further up this webpage.]

This Week: December 22nd

Keith Berry - The Golden Boat (Trente Oiseaux)
Cex - Maryland Mansions (Jade Tree) EP
Del Funicular - Del Funicular (Horror) EP
Tomas Phillips - Dit (Trente Oiseaux)
Thuja - All Strange Beasts Of The Past (Emperor Jones)
Tlone - Vivid Scenes (Musikexperience)

For Reference:

Last Week: December 15th

The Buddy System - Application (U Cover)
Cracked Circuits - The Machine Stops (Electron Soul)
Frog Pocket - Moon Mountain Of The Fords (Benbecula) EP
Diamanda Gal�s - Defixiones, Will and Testament (Mute)
Harco Pront - Jibberish (Music For Speakers)
Pixel - Display (Rater Post)
Proswell - Carrot Dossier (Merck)
The Radio Dept - Pulling our Weight (Labrador) EP
Skullflower - Exquisite Fucking Boredom (Tumult)
Twine - Twine (Ghostly International)
Vista Le Vie - Dont (Fcommunications)

# posted by DJ Martian 12:19 AM
 

Online Discussion: Writing About Jazz Music

From Jazzhouse.org - Jazz Journalists Association

December 22, from 8 to 11 p.m. Eastern,

you're invited to join an online discussion on the joys and challenges of writing about jazz. Simply log on to jazzhouse.org and follow the link to the forum. Panelists for the evening include: Dan Ouellette (DownBeat); Paul de Barros (DownBeat, Seattle Post-Intelligencer); Mark Miller (Globe and Mail); Bill Bennett (JazzTimes); Larry Blumenfeld (Jazziz); Zan Stewart (Newark Star-Ledger); Steve Dollar (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Newsday); Aaron Cohen (DownBeat). Moderators are Howard Mandel and James Hale.

Also see the website for various critics Top 10s of the year.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:00 AM

Sunday, December 21, 2003

 

Rocklist: republish Bang Albums of 2003 - you can see why the magazine had to finish it had become Q mark-2.

# posted by DJ Martian 10:34 PM
 

Currently listening to Nick Luscombe - Flo-motion on Xfm - a look back on some of the best electronic music of 2003. You can tune in via the web.

# posted by DJ Martian 10:20 PM
 

Experimental Electronics / IDM 2003 from the viewpoint of Gridface - 2003 Top Ten

# posted by DJ Martian 9:49 PM
 

DPRP report that English Progressive Rock band IQ hope to release their new studio album in early May 2004.

I must say that the title track to the last studio IQ album: Seventh House - weighing in at circa 15 minutes was a monumental masterpiece, the way that track build ups and flows is sublime.

# posted by DJ Martian 9:24 PM
 

The latest free MP3 downloads @ Epitonic worth a browse through, to see if something captures your attention.

# posted by DJ Martian 9:01 PM
 

A specialist best of 2003 @ Musicfolio's Top 20 Albums of 2003 covering Gothic, Ethereal, & DarkSynth/EBM 2003 Releases.

# posted by DJ Martian 8:29 PM
 

BBC Music review gnu - suro

Revisionist electric jazz from Japanese minimalist fusion outfit led by free improv saxophonist Masahiko Okura.

There are hints of Terry Riley, Soft Machine and the dubby restraint of Isotope 217 or The Chicago Underground Duo in their brand of minimalist fusion.

# posted by DJ Martian 8:20 PM
 

Breezeblock also profile Warp's Jimmy Edgar - he will be on the show Jan 12th 2004.

# posted by DJ Martian 8:12 PM
 

This week's Breezeblock on Radio 1 is a drum n bass twinheaded special: Xmas Sleezeblock Pt 1 >> DJ Zinc and MC Dynamite

# posted by DJ Martian 8:08 PM
 

Jess Harvell @ Technicolor has an expanded 2003, In Review feature taking in his fav singles and albums of the year.

# posted by DJ Martian 7:56 PM
 

Adrian Belew from King Crimson is the special guest on 6 Music - Freak Zone later today.

Also on 6 Music, starting tomorrow: 6 Music Selector: Radiohead

# posted by DJ Martian 5:37 PM
 

The results are in: The 2003 Annual Nightingale Awards

# posted by DJ Martian 4:32 PM
 

2003 Lists

From record label Astralwerks: Astralwerks - Year in Review: Top 10 Albums as chosen by our staff

Barcode Album of 2003 winner 1. Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place

Freeform.org: 2003 Favorites (so far) [the person who runs the kozmigroov website]

Jazz Online: Jazz Online's Best of 2003

Metacritic are adding more Top 10 charts from various online as well as print publications.

Interesting to note a few albums have broken into Top 20 album metascores for 2003 [having at least 7 reviews to qualify] including @ 2 John Cale - HoboSapiens and @ 4 The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place by Explosions In The Sky.

also: silence is a rhythm too - Top 50 of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 4:26 PM

Saturday, December 20, 2003

 

New The Cure Album = The Summer 2004

RollingStone.com speaks to Robert Smith

"The heavier sound we're going for is more to do with the tempos and dynamics and the space were leaving," he says."The more space you leave, the heavier you get. It's actually the antithesis of the new-metal assault, which is all about piling things on. It's going back to the Faith period, but making the sounds themselves a lot heavier and more savage."

The album should be recorded by February to be released in the Summer 2004.

# posted by DJ Martian 8:42 PM
 

The latest Blue Room show on Radio 1: Blue Room - Tracklisting includes a track by Ninja Tune's Blockhead, who has been tipped as the new DJ Shadow.

BBC Collective have a recent interview with Blockhead

# posted by DJ Martian 7:14 PM
 

NYC's Other Music have now put up Other Music Year End Recap on their website.

# posted by DJ Martian 5:33 PM
 

It's a trap! presents It's a trap - top 10 records of 2003...

# posted by DJ Martian 4:08 PM
 

Playlouder review Explosions In The Sky - Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place

# posted by DJ Martian 4:05 PM
 

From BBC Collective: BBC Collective - A Year in Music and Best Albums of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 2:21 AM
 

themilkfactory.co.uk - January 2004

themilkfactory.co.uk deliver another fine selection of reviews. [The summaries below are taken from themilkfactory.co.uk e-mail/website, to see the full reviews go to the link above]


ALBUM OF THE MONTH
Adventure Time - Dreams Of Water Themes
The musical project of LA�s hottest young producer, Daedelus, and Dublad founder Frosty, Dreams Of Water Themes is like a perfect Christmas stoking: full of little gems that will keep everybody amused for a long time.

REVIEWS
Air - Talkie Walkie
Air, or the difficulty to follow up a universal record. As they struggle to shake off the success of their first album, Talkie Walkie sees the band returning to the smooth ambiences of Moon Safari.

Chib - Moco
First solo release from Japanese artist Yokiko Chiba, aka Chib, Moco plays with found sounds and melody in a unique way. A beautiful and delicate piece of work that needs to be listened to.

Electronic Barnacle Island - Deeply Faulted Area Resembling An Upright Deck Of Cards
First album from Electronic Barnacle Island, and second release from Florida-based label Kirakira, Deeply Faulted Area� is an interesting collection of dark melodic electronica.

Gcttcatt - ampErase
Has this album benefited of any human interractions at all is a question that could remain wouldn't it be for an unlikely name, Martin Hg, being associated with Gcttcatt's first release. And it's on Mego if there was any doubt...

Maitreya - Telluric Waves
Maitreya�s second journey into slumbered territories is a beautifully crafted piece of work in which Steve Lomax, the brain behind the project, swaps the solitude of deep space for deep sea life forms.

Neat Little Boxes - Sprungbrett
First Neat Little Boxes collection of tracks, Sprungbrett offers a glimpse into Mark Rose�s melodic world through eight concise and delicate vignettes.

Schlammpeitziger - Everything Without All Inclusive
Next stage in the sonic adventures of Schlammpeitziger, Everything Without All Inclusive is as fascinating, charming and humorous as Jo Zimmermann�s previous work, and his sound has matured in a very convincing way.

# posted by DJ Martian 1:20 AM

Friday, December 19, 2003

 

If I were an editor of a weekly music magazine this week's front cover would feature: 2003 Review

This week's front cover is obviously a 2003 Review, I am still sorting out my end of review - that includes my ambitious 2003 Albums Taxonomy project that I announced earlier this month.

In the meantime, there is more than enough to chew on - in the links to end of year lists, that I have conveniently collected - in the above link. [this is still work in progress]

Throughout the year I have been developing this resource: DJ Martian Tracking the Best Albums of 2003

as David Stubbs, in The Wire - mentioned for 2003

"The continuing, expotential, proliferation, expansion, multipication of musical activity in the leftfield and beyond" [is both a positive and a burden.]

The truth is in 2003 - this has been the most prolific year EVER for interesting releases.

The music is splintered over numerous genre micro-scenes and some of the most interesting developments happening in cross-musical fertilization, between different sound approaches.

As a person with diverse music interests, it can be frustrating to watch some of the poor selections re: end of year lists rolling in particularly from the established printed press.

On the other hand there have been some enlightened choices/ opinions from online sources, including artist recommendations from outside the UK [it's much easier to monitor developments in your country ] - music from other countries - there are complications such poor distribution of releases, imports, delayed releases or in some cases albums are not released in the UK.

In many ways the discipline of reading and evaluating other peoples opinions and then listening to these recommendations - I believe is a positive aspect of the end of year approach.

also...

As in the tradition of the weekly music press, this weekly feature will take a rest next week and will return on January 1st with A 2004 Preview - when I will speculate what are the 100 most anticipated Artists/ bands that will release albums in 2004, from my viewpoint.

# posted by DJ Martian 11:28 PM
 

Boomkat with a massive 2003 review: Boomkat - End of Year 2003 including...

>> Boomkat 2003 Top 50 Chart and Guest Charts

Summary: [includes ep and albums. includes some that are vinyl only releases - refer to boomkat website.]


1
CLARO INTELECTO - Peace Of Mind EP
Ai Records

# 2
RHYTHM AND SOUND - With The Artists
Burial Mix

# 3
XELA - For Frosty Mornings And Summer Nights
Neo Ouija

# 4
AUTOMAT - Introspection EP
SCSI

# 5
CORKER / CONBOY - In Light Of That Learnt Later
Vertical Form

# 6
RENE LOWE (VAINQUEUR) + PAUL ST. HILAIRE (TIKIMAN) - Faith
False Tuned

# 7
CYNE - Time Being
Botanica Del Jibaro

# 8
PENDLE COVEN - Trouble At Mill EP
Modern Love

# 9
MONOLAKE - Linear Atomium Reminiscence
Imbalance

# 10
STATIC - Flavour Has No Name
City Centre Offices

# 11
AUTECHRE - Draft 7.30
Warp

# 12
B.FLEISCHMANN - Welcome Tourist
Morr Music / Charizma

# 13
SHAKE / SOUNDHACK - Convalescence
Frictional

# 14
KAMAN LEUNG - Desolate
Lacerated

# 15
THE NOTWIST - Lichter
Alien Transistor

# 16
BONNIE PRINCE BILLY - Master And Everyone
Domino

# 17
LALI PUNA - Left Handed
Morr Music

# 18
OLA BERGMAN - Pseudocarp
New Speak

# 19
MF DOOM IS VIKTOR VAUGHN - Vaudeville Villain
Sound-Ink

# 20
JUNIOR BOYS - Birthday
Kin

# 21
CLICKITS - Clickits
Moteer

# 22
ULRICH SCHNAUSS - A Strangely Isolated Place
City Centre Offices

# 23
AMEN ANDREWS (LUKE VIBERT) - Volume 3
Rephlex

# 24
CHRIST - Metamorphic Reproduction Miracle
Benbecula

# 25
SECONDO - It's Okay, I've Overstood
Dreck

# 26
BEN MILSTEIN - Away
Outside Recordings

# 27
ALVA NOTO + RYUICHI SAKAMOTO - Vrioon
Raster Noton

# 28
SHADOW HUNTAZ - That Ain't Where It's @
Skam

# 29
INTRICATE - In Conclusion
Spezial Material

# 30
KING GEEDORAH AKA M.F. DOOM - Take Me To Your Leader
Big Dada

# 31
MS JOHN SODA - While Talking
Morr Music

# 32
DEZ WILLIAMS - Elektronik Religion
SCSI

# 33
VARIOUS / AI - New Town
Ai Records

# 34
ALIAS - Muted
Anticon

# 35
CEEPHAX - Exidy Tours
Firstcask

# 36
LAURENT BRONDEL / FRANK & BILL - Smak 11/12
Skam

# 37
FOUR TET - Rounds
Domino

# 38
BOY ROBOT - Set It For Me
City Centre Offices

# 39
RICARDO VILLALOBOS - Alcachofa
Playhouse

# 40
TSUCHIYA YASUYUKI - Prea
Progressive Form

# 41
ISO 68 - Here / There
Hausmusik

# 42
YASUME - Where We're From The Birds Sing A Pretty Song
City Centre Offices

# 43
LAB RAT XL (DREXCIYA) - Mice Or Cyborg
Clone

# 44
PLURAMON - Dreams Top Rock
Karaoke Kalk

# 45
SIXTOO - Antagonist Survival Kit
Vertical Form

# 46
NINA NASTASIA - Run To Ruin
Touch & Go

# 47
BABBLETRON - Mechanical Royalty
Embedded

# 48
VARIOUS / SPEZIAL MATERIAL - SM03 - A Spezial Material compilation
Spezial Material

# 49
PULSEPROGRAMMING - Tulsa For One Second
Aesthetics

# 50
MCENROE - Disenfranchised
Peanuts & Corn

# posted by DJ Martian 7:49 PM
 

Interesting to find out what Dutch music fans rate in 2003: Uw Jaarlijst 2003 Hier!

# posted by DJ Martian 5:56 PM
 

The Wire magazine 50 Records of the Year plus loose Genre spotlights: 2003 Rewind

# posted by DJ Martian 5:37 PM
 

Pitchfork present Pitchfork Top 50 Albums of 2003

50 Supersilent: 6
49 Cyann & Ben: Spring
48 Saturday Looks Good to Me: All Your Summer Songs
47 George: The Magic Lantern
46 M. Ward: Transfiguration of Vincent
45 Ms. John Soda: No P. or D.
44 Alejandra & Aeron: Bousha Blue Blazes
43 Fiery Furnaces: Gallowbird's Bark
42 Broadcast: Haha Sound
41 The Darkness: Permission to Land
40 Animal Collective: Here Comes the Indian
39 Angels of Light: Everything Is Good Here / Please
Come Home
38 Califone: Quicksand/Cradlesnakes
37 DM + Jemini: Ghetto Pop Life
36 Junior Senior: D-D-Don't Stop the Beat
35 The Decemberists: Castaways & Cutouts
34 Cat Power: You Are Free
33 My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves
32 Menomena: I Am the Fun Blame Monster
31 The Decemberists: Her Majesty
30 Aesop Rock: Bazooka Tooth
29 Postal Service: Give Up
28 TV on the Radio: Young Liars EP
27 Ellen Allien: Berlinette
26 Ted Leo/Pharmacists: Hearts of Oak
25 Viktor Vaughn: Vaudeville Villain
24 The Clientele: The Violet Hour
23 Lightning Bolt: Wonderful Rainbow
22 Outkast: Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
21 Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co.
20 King Geedorah: Take Me to Your Leader
19 Non-Prophets: Hope
18 The Wrens: The Meadowlands
17 Jay-Z: The Black Album
16 Deerhoof: Apple O
15 Four Tet: Rounds
14 Exploding Hearts: Guitar Romantic
13 Mu: Afro Finger & Gel
12 Dizzee Rascal: Boy in Da Corner
11 The Strokes: Room on Fire
10 The Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone
09 Broken Social Scene: You Forgot It in People
08 M83: Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
07 The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow
06 Prefuse 73: One Word Extinguisher + Extinguished
05 Manitoba: Up in Flames
04 Radiohead: Hail to the Thief
03 Sufjan Stevens: Greetings from Michigan
02 The Books: The Lemon of Pink
01 The Rapture: Echoes

[thanks to Scott P - for supplying the summary list - double quick !]

# posted by DJ Martian 2:53 PM
 

Almost Cool review Pluramon - Dreams Top Rock

# posted by DJ Martian 2:08 PM
 

K-punk begins a selective look at his fave music of 2003.

# posted by DJ Martian 2:06 PM
 

The Guardian: Essential listening for 2004

John Fordham picks the jazz gigs and recordings to look out for next year

# posted by DJ Martian 1:54 PM
 

How useless a critic is Alexis Petridis? Answered: 10 musts for 2004

# posted by DJ Martian 1:50 PM
 

The respected, Almost Cool reviewer: publishes: Almost Cool - Top 20 Albums of 2003

Also the Readers are requested to send in their 2003 lists: Almost Cool - Top Albums of 2003 Reader List

# posted by DJ Martian 1:22 PM
 

The readers of themilkfactory.co.uk have their say on the: Best of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 1:15 PM
 

themilkfactory.co.uk present: themilkfactory.co.uk - 2003 Review including top 20 albums and 10 singles.

Here comes the end of another year, and all can be said is that 2003 has been one hell of a rich year, with labels such as Warp, Rephlex and Leaf enjoying a particular good one, with no less than four albums in our top ten for Warp only.

Topping our list is the excellent Brooklyn-based Animal Collective, our discovery of the year, with the most artisanal album we�ve heard this year. Far from the cocooned world of a studio, the band set to record Campfire Songs on a screened-in porch on three mini-disc players. With street noises continuously threatening the fragile sound constructions, this album, released in limited quantity, is a clear winner. But this year�s been so varied and excellent that our top 20 features people as diverse as Twine, Victor Gama, Broadcast, Maja Ratke, Luke Vibert or Leafcutter John. This doesn�t pretend to be the ultimate list for 2003 (despite what�s said above!); it is only our favourite records for this year, but God we love them!�

# posted by DJ Martian 1:11 PM
 

Norman Records include customer feedback re faves of 2003, plus next week's releases are reviewed.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:55 PM
 

Reminder: This week's Mixing It on Radio 3 [19th December 2003]

Mark Russell and Robert Sandall talk to rock legend John Cale about his new album, Hobo Sapiens.

>> Mixing It

# posted by DJ Martian 12:32 AM
 

Some of the recent 2003 best of links on this blog have been found @ Fimoculous who is also collecting end of year lists, but not just in Music, many other topics.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:15 AM
 

Another 2003 list: Canned's Top 20 Albums of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 12:12 AM
 

Derk Richardson from SF Gate: Derk's Dozen Favorite antipop CDs of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 12:10 AM
 

FREEwilliamsburg: freewilliamsburg: Best in Music 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 12:05 AM
 

Denverpost.com: The best jazz of 2003 By Bret Saunders, including new releases and reissues.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:01 AM

Thursday, December 18, 2003

 

Citypages [thats from the "Twin Cities" in the US - you know em!] presents Top-Ten-o-Matic of various critics and writers.

# posted by DJ Martian 11:57 PM
 

Independent music online retailer, Parasol presents Parasolarians' Top Picks of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 11:32 PM
 

One World - Radio 1

This week's One World features a drum n bass special Thu 18th Dec - J Majik and MC Tali [No further info ! at the mo]

However details of the next 2 shows: One World 2003 Highlights

One World 2003 Highlights

Shows to be broadcast on Radio 1 on 25th Dec 2003 and 1 Jan 2004: Both Midnight - 4am [in reality a day date later as shows starts at Midnight UK time]

Part 1: 25th Dec Midnight -4am :: Part 2: 1st Jan Midnight -4am

>> One World

# posted by DJ Martian 11:19 PM
 

From Baltimore in the US: City Paper year-end top ten plus staff lists.

# posted by DJ Martian 10:19 PM
 

New music blog alert: Dip Dip Dive

# posted by DJ Martian 10:14 PM
 

Favourite Albums of 2003 @ fast 'n' bulbous has once again been updated. I look forward to the yearly Lucky 13 feature.

Also: The Best New Artists of the 00s including artists that have released albums in 2003.

# posted by DJ Martian 10:02 PM
 

The latest placings @ The Best Rock Albums of 2003 by Piero Scaruffi

# posted by DJ Martian 9:23 PM
 

Music blog: NO MATTER WHAT YOU HEARD select best ep and single of 2003, plus albums to come soon.

Also via this blog links to: Thrown Askew - 10 in 2003 and Of the Record - 2003: Top 25 Albums - that is too "Magnet Magazine" for me.

# posted by DJ Martian 9:17 PM
 

Notice >> At the moment Blogger driven weblogs are NOT being updated automatically via weblogs.com which feeds into my updating list @ blo.gs favorites [Over 100 + Music Blogs tracked]

However if you run a blog you can easily update manually @ blo.gs by entering the name of your blog & URL.

[However note, if you use the manual method - blo.gs will ignore other updating systems for 3 days. So you need to continue to use manual updates, however you can bookmark the manual form easily - to make updates a one click operation.]

Updates = More readers for your blog.

# posted by DJ Martian 8:57 PM
 

Best Albums of 2003 - FRED of LA

Fred of LA @ electroambientdreampop � ELECTRO-AMBIENT-DREAMPOP delivers his musical analysis of 2003

1. Nobukazu Takemura � Songbook

2. Under Byen - Det Er Mig Der Holder Traeerne Sammen
3. Emilie Simon - Emilie Simon
4. Sufjan Stevens - Greetings From Michigan
5. Hector Zazou - Strong Currents
6. Ilya - Poise Is The Greater Architect
7. Xiu Xiu - A Promise
8. Kaada - Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time
9. Kahimi Karie - Trapeziste
10. Matt Elliott - The Mess We Made

11. Tujiko Noriko - From Tokyo To Naiagara
12. Alpha - Stargazing
13. Broadway Project - The Vessel
14. AGF - Westernization Completed
15. Halou - Wholeness ep
16. Goldfrapp - Black Cherry
17. Isobel Campbell - Amorino
18. The Russian Futurists - Let's Get Ready To Crumble
19. Why? � Oaklandazulasylum
20. Massive Attack - 100th Window

21. Clue To Kalo - Come Here When You Sleepwalk
22. Aereogramme - Sleep and Release
23. Lamb - Between Darkness and Wonder
24. Pleasant Stitch - Capacitator ep
25. Lazarus - Songs For An Unborn Sun
26. Petracovich - Blue Cotton Skin
27. Pluramon - Dreams Top Rock
28. Laika - Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing
29. Azure Ray - Hold On Love
30. Niobe - Tse Tse

31. Via Tania - Under A Different Sky
32. Lullatone - Computer Recital
33. Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place
34. Barak Moffett - Consumers All
35. Barbara Morgenstern - Nichts Muss
36. Antenne - #2
37. Styrofoam � I'm What's There To Show That Something's Missing
38. Medicine � The Mechanical Forces Of Love
39. Juana Molina - Segundo
40. Kuchen Meets Mapstation - s/t

41. Spokane - Measurement
42. Colleen - Everyone Wants Answers
43. Anjali - The World of Lady A
44. Robin Guthrie - Imperial
45. Zegunder - Tumbleweeds
46. Pulseprogramming - Tulsa For A Second
47. Architecture In Helsinki - Fingers Crossed
48. The Gasman - Remedial
49. Haco / Sakamoto - Ash In The Rainbow
50. Nanang Tatang - Muki


�and several more noteworthy contenders:


Aco � Irony
Animal Collective - Here Comes The Indian
Appliance � You Are Unearthed
Tywanna Jo Baskette - Fancy Blue
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Falling Through A Field
The Books � The Lemon Of Pink
Broadcast - Haha Sound
Chandeen - Echoes
Clear Horizon - Clear Horizon
Console - Reset the Preset
Holger Czukay & U-She - The New Millennium
Devics � The Stars Of Saint Andrea
The Dining Rooms - Tre
Donna Regina � Late
Dorine Muraille - Mani
Echostar - Sola
Empress - The Sounds They Made
Entre Rios - Sal
Flare � Hung
Frog Eyes - The Golden River
George - The Magic Lantern
Martin L Gore - Counterfeit 2
Gregor Samsa - 21:36 ep
Guther � I Know You Know
Matthew Herbert - Goodbye Swingtime
M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, Lost Ghosts
Manual � Isares ep
Najwa Nimri - Mayday
Nina Nastasia - Run To Ruin
no-man - together we're stranger
On Air Library - A Lifetime or More (split CD w The Album Leaf)
Nobukazu Takemura - 10th
Twine - Twine
Noe Venable � The World Is Bound By Secret Knots
Yasume � Where We're From The Birds Sing A Pretty Song

# posted by DJ Martian 8:44 PM
 

BW & BK report Paradise Lost to record new album in 2004.

# posted by DJ Martian 8:32 PM
 

Simon Reynolds presents FAVES 2003 @ Blissblog

# posted by DJ Martian 8:22 PM
 

OTHER MUSIC'S 2003 RECAP

Selected highlights from NYC's Other Music 2003 list: [via email]

***OUTSTANDING ELECTRONIC ALBUMS***

FOUR TET "Rounds" (Domino)

When it comes to post-rock/folktronica, Four Tet, a/k/a Kieran Hebden, has
established a reputation as one of the greats. "Rounds" is definitely his
most accomplished album to date and here he has perfected his formula of
jazzy, folky bedroom electronics. On this record Kieran seems to take
inspiration in everything from folk and bluegrass, to traditional Indian, to
old school hip hop. Beautiful.
[JS]


SPACEK "Vintage Hi-Tech" (!K7)

The British trio, led by Steve Spacek, create another stunning slow burner
with "Vintage Hi-Tech," the perfect title for their brand of warm
atmospheric UK Soul. Is this space age funk, post-millennium soul, or just
plain ol' funky? You be the judge. I can't say enough good things about this
record
. [DG]


VILLALOBOS "Alcachofa" (Playhouse)

Recent minimal house releases have been more "yawn" than "YEAH!!" But I when
I walked into the OM office while this was playing I had to stop in my
tracks. This man is single-handedly reinventing the use of the vocoder for
psychedelic stimulation. The tracks segue nicely into each other for an
uninterrupted listening session and dig deep into you and rewire your
psyche. Guaranteed to be as influential as Akufen's "My Way."
[SM]

BOOKS "The Lemon of Pink" (Tomlab)

Somewhere between the folktronica of Four Tet and the sampling collage of DJ
Shadow lies the music of Nick Zammuto and Paul De Jong, collectively known
as the Books. "The Lemon of Pink" is a beautiful and pastoral montage of
cut-up vocals, found sounds, and acoustic instruments. Zammuto spent some
time wandering around the Appalachians before this record came together, and
you can definitely hear the influence of his travels in the album's ambient
Americana sound. Peaceful, serene, and ultra-melodic
. [RH]


NOTO/SAKAMOTO "Vrioon" (Raster Noton)

Equal parts Alva Noto's cold and dry minimalism and the simple yet lyrical
romanticism of Ryuichi Sakamoto's piano work, "Vrioon" is a carefully
crafted series of miniatures. Sakamoto's piano slowly phrases its way
through the brittle framework of Noto's static and pulse letting each note
linger just long enough to let us anticipate the next one. An elegant
release, this is Noto's most rewarding collaborative project yet.
[KH]
(TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE)

BUG "Pressure" (Tigerbeat6)

I'm glad to see what's brewing with the likes of dj/rupture, DJ Scud, and
the Brooklyn Beats Collective. Effortlessly creating some of the most
wicked dancehall and ragga breakbeats around, this full-length from
producer Bug features various toasters and vocalists including Daddy Freddy,
Roger Robinson, and others. BOOMBASTIC rhythms abound and have you moving
instantly with no effort. Recommended for the 'ard core!
[DG]

TRIOSK MEETS JAN JELINEK "1+3+1" (~scape)

Jan Jelinek sharpens the quality of his sounds by capturing the sound of
Australian jazz trio Triosk, and the tracks ride that beautiful line
between modern electronic music and modern live jazz. Although loops are
used throughout, there is a definite "live" tension retained throughout the
album. Maybe if Four Tet and the Necks collaborated the results would be
somewhat like "1+3+1," but probably not with results as good as this one.

[SM]

MINAMO "Beautiful" (Apestaartje)

A four piece collective from Japan, Minamo fuse their influences of
classical minimalism, psychedelic folk, electronica, free improvisation,
noise, etc., to create a universe of sound that is entirely their own.
They're true wizards of the slow, gradually unfolding process -- the musical
equivalent to the opening of a flower. This is deep music that demands your
full attention, because music like this needs time to creep into your whole
being and ultimately take over.
[DD]

COLDER "Again" (Output)

Marc Nguyen Tan (a/k/a Colder) clearly regards the late-'70s to early-'80s
as ground zero for his sound. He takes his cues from Joy Division, Can,
Suicide, and various other post-punk legends, while still retaining a
stronghold on the future at times recalling moments of Closer Musik, and
Pole. If anyone could predict what a band like Joy Division would sound like
in 2003, Marc Nguyen Tan does just that. Colder has created a kind of
tribute to that era that is both respectful to what has come before him
while also adding to that sound.
[JS]

RHYTHM & SOUND "With the Artists" (Asphodel)
RHYTHM & SOUND "The Versions" (Asphodel)

Rhythm & Sound, cull eight selections from their much sought after 10"
series; released as two separate CDs, "Artists" features the full vocal
versions, "Versions" for the dubs. They create a warm, digital dub world,
often visited by contemporaries like Pole or Basic Channel; dark minimal
textures crawl in, out, and through your speakers. The vocal CD features
Love Joys, Cornell Campbell, Paul St. Hilaire (a/k/a Tikiman), among others,
while the companion disc places R&S firmly in the minimal techno and digital
dub arena. Ecstatically recommended!
[DG]
"Artists"

MANITOBA "Up In Flames" (Domino/Leaf)

Manitoba's second album is a production masterpiece, full of '60s
psychedelic flourishes, tape loops, distorted guitars, and beautiful
melodies. Like Spiritualized with beats, or Mercury Rev mixed with the Beach
Boys, "Up In Flames" is the essential blissed-out late night album for 2003.

[JS]

GUSTAVO LAMAS "Brotes" (Onitor)

Unlike typical German house productions, Lamas is not content with letting
the same two beats alternately loop on and on; he's always shifting up
and down while keeping it minimal. Lamas keeps changing his melodies
constantly but so subtle and tasteful, all you'll do is keep nodding your
head. His tracks stand apart by having all the qualities of new deep techno
(dubby, warm minimal Basic Channel style) mixed with a controlled tropical,
yet still moody beauty.
[SM]

SO "SO" (Thrill Jockey)

Markus Popp's mid-'90s recordings as Oval were seminal explorations in early
glitch electronics. Here we have the debut of a new project "So," Popp's
collaboration with Japanese vocalist Eri. All the sounds are heavily
processed through various customized filters but there is much more of an
obvious reference to the original source material than on any of the Oval
recordings, with Eri's vocals and guitar often coming to the forefront
amongst Popp's both soothing and jarring digital washes.
[KH]

AUTECHRE "Draft 7.30" (Warp)

Where the last two Autechre full-lengths pummeled you over the head with
hyper distorted beats, ear piercing tones, and technological expertise,
Autechre's latest album focuses on melody, hip hop influenced breaks, and
layer upon layer of sound. "Draft 7.30" is definitely the most accomplished
Autechre album to date recalling moments in time from their past recorded
output, while still looking far into the future.
[JS]

MATTHEW HERBERT BIG BAND "Goodbye Swingtime" (Accidental/!K7)

Matthew Herbert records a modern swing record for our time, boasting guest
vocals from Arto Lindsey, Super_Colliders' Jamie Lidell, and longtime
collaborator Dani Sciliano. There are still Herbert's trademark sound
glitches, but they are used more to accentuate the brass arrangements and
the beats aren't four-on-the-floor at all. Upon further listening and liner
note examinations, one finds that it's a thinly veiled protest album aimed
at the current Bush administration. One of the most cleverly executed
concept albums I've heard in years.
[DH]

STYROFOAM "I'm What's There..." (Morr)

Arne Van Petegem's songwriting has definitely matured with this release
leaving behind the crunchy electronics and distorted vocals of the past for
a new, cleaner and more melodic pop approach. Rumor has it the Notwist are
the ones responsible for edging on Arne to explore the more vocal driven pop
side of electronic music, and for this we all thank you! Absolutely
stunning, and a must for anyone who has purchased "Neon Golden."
[JS]

M83 "Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts" (Gooom)

M83 are a French duo with a fetish for old synthesizers and epic
orchestrations, stretching dense chords of buzzing analog sounds and guitars
over drum machine beats and haunting, manipulated voices. Much in the spirit
of Alain Goraguer's score to "La Planete Sauvage," M83 songs are
otherworldly yet sensually human at the same time. Recommended for fans of
Boards of Canada, My Bloody Valentine, and Mum
. [GH]

ULRICH SCHNAUSS "A Strangely Isolated Place" (City Centre)

It seems that Ulrich Schnauss has taken a new direction like many of his
peers and incorporated elements of late-'80s and early-'90s shoegazing bands
into his brand of melodic electronics. "Gone Forever" could be the long lost
Slowdive track from their classic "Pygmalion" album, filled with downtempo
beats, lulling synth washes, and lovely female vocals that float by. He has
created an album equally as good as his debut.
[JS]

***OUTSTANDING ROCK ALBUMS***

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE "You Forgot It in People" (Arts & Crafts)

Broken Social Scene is a 11 piece Canadian collective and features members
of Stars, Do Make Say Think, A Silver Mt. Zion. The various musicians
frequently switch instruments and roles; so song for song, there is a lot of
musical ground being covered -- from the post-rock grandeur of bands like
Godspeed, to otherworldly ethereal of Sigur Ros, to the bittersweet yearning
of Jeff Buckley. It's an album that explores many different directions but
underneath it all are fantastic pop songs; even when at their grandest,
great rewards aren't far from the surface.
[GH]

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE "Here Comes the Indian" (Paw Tracks)

This is some of the most important music being made in New York City right
now in terms of sheer creative production and intent. Sounds crest and
spiral, pastoral plateaus are reached only to give way to a gorgeous melody.
Hushed incantations or seemingly indigenous chants create string figures in
sound. That fact that the Animal Collective can marry this approach to the
occasional pop song is incredible
. [MK]

RAPTURE "Echoes" (Universal/DFA)

Opening with the Cure goes acid house "Olio," the schizophrenic
style-switching, (post-punk, early house, electro and disco) that awaits us
is established by track two, the hard hitting "Heaven," where guitars pound
and drums pummel amidst a squawking sax and a multi-tracked chorus of
voices. The production skills of DFA's Tim Goldsworthy and James Murphy are
most apparent on the synth pulses of "Sister Saviour" and "Killing," believe
me, you'll dance.
[GH]

TV ON THE RADIO "Young Liars" (Touch & Go)

You ever hear a record that blows you away, something you never knew that
reminds of all your favorite things? In 25 minutes, that's what TV On the
Radio did to me. This trio from Brooklyn are a thing of beauty, hard to pin
down but kind of like Eno and his vocalists Byrne, Bowie, and Gabriel.
Vocals, guitars, drum programming, bass, and synth atmosphere create a moody
pop, soul, gospel, hybrid.
[DG]

DEAD MEADOW "Shivering King and Others" (Matador)

One of my absolute favorites of this year, Dead Meadow have made it possible
to relive the days of the mythic "Orange" amps all over the place, boulder
heavy, epic riffs, and a warm wave of sound crashing over you when they lock
in. This is the third proper recording from the DC trio, and it is both a
great introduction to their rich sound and an album within which their
aesthetic is realized. The album is split up between thunderously sludgy
fuzzed out rock ala Sabbath or Blue Cheer, then turns into an ethereal,
psychedelic lullaby. The vocals are more implied, bits of lyrics float into
your consciousness, buoyed among the distortion. A must have for the
purveyor of dreamy, dusty, dirgey, middle earth style sound
. [NL]

POSTAL SERVICE "Give Up" (Sub Pop)

Postal Service is the long awaited project from Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel) and
Death Cab for Cutie's Benjamin Gibbard. The duo gives us a whole album
filled with 10 perfect electronic pop songs. "Give Up" takes elements from
some of the best electronic pop of the '80s, such as the Pet Shop Boys, OMD
and Ultravox, and adds a twist for the new millennium by adding some of the
crunchy bedroom electronics of Morr Music.
[JS]

CALLA "Televise" (Arena Rock)

"Televise" is Calla's best record to date and that is saying a lot
considering how much I love their two previous albums. Here they have
further refined their sound, offering the warm western landscapes entwined
in agonizing late-nite obsessions of heartbreak, with even more structure
and melody than before. Speaking with the same sense of melancholy as last
year's Sigur Ros album but with much more to say.
[AG]

ERASE ERRATA "At Crystal Palace" (Troubleman)

Erase Errata borrows heavily from the post-punk era and on their second LP,
the jerky, danceable rhythms of what's now called disco punk mingle with
distinct, metallic guitar lines and warm, popping bass. That wonderful
trumpet that gave Erase Errata's songs a fleeting free jazz vibe plays less
of a role on this album, though Jenny can be heard belting out the harmonies
more. The trade-off makes for a more diverse sophomore release.
[LG]


GREG WEEKS "Slightly West EP" (Acuarela)

The Rochester songwriter takes another trip back in time to the England of
the late-'60s for a highly-successful exercise in Nick Drake-isms. Greg
Weeks sets himself apart from the pack by layering his sad, pretty acoustic
guitar and vocal tunes behind an intense wall of sound created by his
mellotron, Moog, and harmonium. The five dreamlike songs here are all pretty
spectacular; you'd be extremely hard-pressed to find anyone else making this
kind of music today and doing a better job.
[RH]

SUFJAN STEVENS "Greetings From Michigan" (Asthmatic Kitty)

Never have I heard such a great homage to a state than "Greetings From
Michigan." Sufjan Stevens wrote, produced, and played almost all of the
instruments on this record -- from spare, acoustic ballads using just
trumpet and piano, to layer upon layer of xylophone, flute, oboe, electric
organ, and banjo to name a few. Within the folds of this map, he offers his
memories allowing us to believe that we are the sum of our circumstances in
the most earnest way.
[LM]

THE STILLS "Logic Will Break Your Heart" (Vice)

Like Interpol, descriptions like dark romantic pop, chimey guitars as well
as some similar late-'70s and 'early-'80s influences ala the Chameleons,
Bunnymen and the Smiths could all easily be applied; but stop there. On
their first full-length, the Stills add a lot more variety to the mix.
Starting with a healthy dose of dream pop guitar styling (Ride,
Swervedriver, and even Doves), the Montreal quintet simply craft songs
filled with great pop hooks and melodies.
[GH]

***SINGLE OF THE YEAR***

!!! "Me and Giuliani Down by the School Yard" (Touch & Go)

It's been almost three years since !!!'s stupefyingly great debut album came
out on GSL, and they're finally back with an amazing new single that calls
to mind the best stuff by the Cure, Gang Of Four, the Contortions, PIL, and
all the rest of your favorite funky post-punk and new wave legends. A couple
of the folks in the band are also in Out Hud, and the dubby production
sounds from last year's "S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D." are used on this recording to
great effect. I seriously doubt you'll hear a better single in the year
2003.
[RH]


***POST-PUNK REISSUES***

[V.A.] "New York Noise" (Soul Jazz)

Subtitled "Dance Music from the New York Underground 1978-1982", "New York
Noise" celebrates the more percussive, sometimes spastic, and often funky
sounds which once emanated from NYC's Lower East Side. A detailed booklet
offers short biographies on all the featured artists that include Material,
Mars, ESG, Dinosaur L and Arthur Russell, Glenn Branca and Theoretical
Girls, Rahmelzee Vs K. Rob (produced by Jean-Michel Basquiat), Konk,
Defunkt, the Dance, and the Bloods. Recommended!
[GH]

THE SOUND "Jeopardy" (Renascent)

Remember when you were in high school and your older friends turned you on
to the Gang of Four, Wire, The Only Ones, Pere Ubu, and all that other
awesome post-punk from the late-'70s when you'd just been listening to the
Red Hot Chili Peppers? Well, why didn't they mention The Sound?!?
This record will certainly fulfill your post-punk jones. The Sound's 1980
debut was a stunning album of propulsive rhythms, jagged guitars, catchy as
hell hooks, and frighteningly emotional. It just doesn't quit. As good as it
gets!
[MK] (TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE)

[V.A.] "Cool As Ice: The Be Music Productions" (LTM)

Between 1982 and 1985, the individual members of New Order produced and
re-mixed a slew of bands and artists, always using the production tag Be
Music. The 12 tracks on "Cool As Ice" are focused on Be Music's dance
productions and include club classics like Section 25's electro pulse driven
"Looking From a Hilltop," Quando Quango's funky "Love Tempo," and 52nd
Street's "Cool As Ice." A necessary compilation for those wishing to explore
Manchester's very important contribution to dance music
. [GH]

MEDIUM MEDIUM "Hungry, So Angry" (Cherry Red)

Everyone keeps saying that Medium Medium sound like Gang of Four, but they
don't have the political anger or metallic punch. They do have the elastic
funk of Blurt, the endless groove and chant of Liquid Liquid, a drop of the
primal abandon of Malcolm Mooney-fronted Can coupled with soaring moments
that touch on the beauty of the Cure. Medium Medium formed in '78 recording
the main body of this LP in '81.
[SM]

JAMES CHANCE "Irresistible Impulse" (Tiger Style) CD Box

A fantastic four-CD retrospective from James Chance, one of the key figures
in New York's late-'70s no wave movement. "Irresistible Impulse" includes
his three classic albums on Ze plus 1982's "Sax Maniac" originally released
on Chris Stein's Animal imprint. This is a great collection for completists
as well as those unfamiliar with Chance's cool abrasive style mixing free
jazz influences like Ornette Coleman with the flash and funk of James Brown,
and the aesthetics of the city's avant-garde and punk circles.
[GH]

[V.A.] "Wild Dub/Dread Meets Punk Rocker" (Select Cuts)

Twenty years after the fact, finding a compilation of post-punk songs is
nothing new, yet showcasing the cross-cultural marriage of reggae and punk,
under the influence of dub is an area yet to be tapped. This excellent
collection from Select Cuts, subtitled "Dread Meets Punk Rocker," focuses on
the dubby side of the era. Tracks include dubs from the Slits, Grace Jones,
the Clash, Generation X, and Vivien Goldman, as well as vocals from the Pop
Group, the Ruts, Killing Joke, Stiff Little Fingers, and PIL. Insightful
liner notes by Vivien Goldman.
[DG]

ESSENTIAL LOGIC "Fanfare in the Garden" (Kill Rock Stars)

An absolute must for anyone re-visiting Rough Trade's golden era. After
leaving X-Ray Spex, Lora Logic formed Essential Logic in 1978, a peculiar
ensemble in the punk circle who embraced art rock tendencies amidst
off-kilter arrangements, dance beats, and her banshee-warble vocals and
honking sax. This 2-CD set culls a majority of the tracks from "Beat Rhythm
News" as well as 1981 solo recordings made with a line-up that included
This Heat's Charles Hayward, a 1982 track she recorded with Red Crayola,
plus demos and unreleased tracks.
[GH]

FRA LIPPO LIPPI "Early Years" (Rune Grammafon)

An early-'80s art pop band in the vein of the Wake, Felt and Durutti Column,
Fra Lippo Lippi were remarkable for their almost insanely melodramatic
sounding lead singer who was offset so beautifully by their ever-present,
slightly reverb-tinged, winding piano melodies. Undoubtedly holding a debt
to post-punk forerunners like Joy Division, and later the Cure, Fra Lippo
Lippi have that quality that makes them unique despite their influences --
as if the ideas within their influences mutated and became something else
somewhere in the distance between Manchester and Norway
. [SM]
http://www.othermusic.com/perl-bin/OM/CD_Add_To_Cart.cgi?sku=703366200101&refer_url=email

Hip-Hop

BEANS "Tomorrow Right Now" (Warp)

As a member of the defunct hip-hop powerhouse Antipop Consortium, Beans
never failed to first disorient, then stun and kill all listeners with
relentless and brilliant flurries of words and ideas. "Tomorrow Right Now,"
his solo album debut, succeeds on its own terms, crafted from vintage
hip-hop, electro, skewed electronica and blasts of psychedelia. With dense,
complex rhymes that can be both intensely personal and broadly metaphysical,
Beans' words are the heart and soul of the record.
[JM]

DUDLEY PERKINS "A Lil Light" (Stones Throw)

Does the name Declaime mean anything? Dudley Perkins and Declaime are two
sides of the same coin, one side a rapper, the other a singer. With his
debut as Dudley Perkins, we get a true stoned soul picnic. Atop Madlib's
hip-hop collaged tracks, some of his best, Dudley croons like a 40 oz filled
blues or whisky drenched jazz singer. Think somewhere between Ol' Dirty B,
Eugene McDaniels, Snoop Dogg, Gary Wilson and Cody Chesnutt (without the
pretension), but better. Sho 'nuff recommended!!
[DG]


DIVERSE "One A.M." (Chocolate Industries)

Interweaving weighty guitar-rock licks, smooth downtempo experimental beats,
and true school "get live" b-boy jams and presenting a stimulating mix of
guest artists repping the East to the West, "One A.M." contends for hip hop
album of the year. Listening to this LP immediately conjured the
beat-palettes of Pete Rock, and who other than RJD2 to furnish us the ideal
congruence with funk/soul infused joints. Diverse drops true, ruling the
rhymes without the bling and with sound delivery. And if this party wasn't
already bangin', also on the vocal tip are Jean Grae, Vast Aire of Cann Ox,
and Lyrics Born.
[MT]

KING GEEDORAH "Take Me To Your Leader" (Big Dada)

RealAudio: http://64.27.65.90:8080/ramgen/othermusic/fazers.rm
Released on Big Dada, this is classic MF Doom. No matter which mask he puts
on, which name he chooses, it's always cinematic, space age, underground and
smoked out. Looped sections of everything from soul, disco, jazz, soft and
hard rock, b-movies, film noir, and blaxploitation are his palette, and form
the grounding for many of his rhymes. Production-wise Doom is in the league
of RZA, El-P, DJ Shadow, and Madlib.
[DG]


EXPRESS RISING "Express Rising" (Memphix)

While this is his first full-length, Dante Carfagna has been a
behind-the-scenes force at the margins of hip-hop for some time -- hanging
around Luther Campbell's studio, turning up on obscure Miami Bass 12"s and
receiving writing credits on Professor Griff albums while still a teenager.
Carfagna knows how to coax beautiful melodies out of his record collection.
A palpable sense of romanticism should certainly appeal to fans of Boards of
Canada, and the invention is on par, if not exceeds, that of the recent work
of RJD2 and Boom Bip
. [MK]

DIZZEE RASCAL "Boy In Da Corner" (XL)

The summer of '03 brought us Dizzee Rascal's "Boy in Da Corner," the latest
to emerge from the UK two-step/ultra digital hip-hop scene. Arcade
game/digital sounds swirl, bounce, snap, and stretch around the background,
while Mr. Rascal, rides the rhythm like he's doing gymnastics -- think
Southern Crunk with a heavy British accent. The UK garage/two-step/hip-hop
fusion scene is HUGE is England, but outside of Europe it's hard for groups
to break through. Rascal has the speed, attitude, humor, and skills to keep
the UK in the game, and possibly get them over
[DG]

DM & JEMINI "Ghetto Pop Life" (Lex)

"Ghetto Pop Life" is the joint effort of producer DM (formally Danger Mouse)
and Jemini (the gifted one), with contributors including J-Zone, The
Pharcyde, Tha Liks, and Prince Po from Organized Konfusion. Slick production
shines like the gold paint used in the artwork with big beats, string
swells, guns firing, and crowd hyping choruses.
[DG]

***SOUL, FUNK & ASSORTED GROOVES***

STARK REALITY "Now" (Stones Throw)

Stark Reality was a late-'60s ensemble led by vibe player Monty Stark, a
musical contributor at a Boston PBS television affiliate. There he met
Hoagy Bix Carmichael, (son of famed composer Hoagy Carmichael) who
approached Stark with the idea of remaking his father's children's songs for
a music program. The results were mind-blowing. Imagine Soft Machine meets
Funkadelic as funk and free jazz rhythms are mixed with an almost Canterbury
feel. Stark Reality's songs have since been sampled by the likes of Pete
Rock, J-Live and Madlib and the original LP can fetch hundreds of dollars on
e-Bay. An essential reissue!
[GH/DH]


***ESSENTIAL MIXES***

RICARDO VILLALOBOS "Taka Taka In the Mix" (Cocoon)

Ricardo Villalobos teams with Frankfurter label Cocoon to showcase his
renown DJ skills that South America and Germany have been treated to in
previous years; I haven't heard a house mix of this quality in a long time.
It begins with Akufen/Herbert-like IDM, shifts into tech-house and descends
with smooth, melodic 4/4 funk. The best part about "Taka Taka" is that it is
compiled of many artists you've probably never heard of lending a helping
hand to those DJs seeking the hottest new ish. Check this one out.
[JD]


TOBIAS THOMAS "Smallville" (Kompakt)

Tobias Thomas, ultra-suave producer and a member of Cologne super-group
Forever Sweet, displays his penchant for building it up nice and slow. Most
of the tracks are presented "connoisseur style," allowing the song to play
almost completely through, and when the mix comes on, the blend is ridden
for as long as possible letting the flavors roll around on your tongue like
a warm sip of red wine. From the smooth modern house of Sten and Jan
Jelinek, to the sophisti-kicked funk of Feadz and Forever Sweet, this mix is
just the beginning of a long night.
[SM]


MARSHALL JEFFERSON "Move Your Body" (Unisex)

House music godfather and innovator Marshall Jefferson guides on an
educational journey picking 29 influential tracks for this fantastic
collection celebrating the musical influences to and evolution of the
Chicago house scene. The two CD set includes classic grooves from Mr
Fingers, Ce Ce Rogers, Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Frankie Knuckles, Sleezy D,
Phuture, and ESG.
[GH]

CHICKEN LIPS "DJ Kicks" (!K7)

Chicken Lips' entry in the DJ Kicks spans genres jumping from electro
breaks, disco, and house, to dub and rock. It features tracks from Rhythm &
Sound, Gwen Guthrie, Colourbox, Nina Hagen, Sharon Redd, Tik n Tok, Big Two
Hundred (one of their aliases), Chicken Lips themselves and many, many more.
The trio has produced a mix that is up there with likeminded artists such as
Trevor Jackson (a/k/a Playgroup) and 2 Many DJs
. [JS]
(TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE)

K.I.M. "Miyage" (Tiger Sushi)

A concept mix CD from the K.I.M. duo/collective, sources as varied as the
French world music label Ocora, to street-dwelling jazz musician Moondog, to
Psychic TV, to the Gun Club, to K.I.M.'s very own organically twisted
productions are all seamlessly mixed into an eclectic and psychedelically
satisfying "Back-to-Mine" session. Though there are some beats here and
there, many tracks are used only for a minute or so to segue to the next
track. The focus is more along the lines of a themed "voyage in sound"
experience.
[SM]

[V.A.] "Serie Noire 2" (Eskimo)

The Glimmer Twins offer us another excellent mix of dark, dancefloor gems.
"Serie Noire 2" features influential tracks to the late-'80s Belgian new
beat scene that emerged from clubs like Ghent's Boccaccio, and continues to
influence DJs and producers of today's electro and house music. Mo and
Benoelie handpicked a diverse range of classics from artists like
Blancmange, Boytronic, P.I.L., Die Warzau, Delta V and Liaisons Dangereuses.

[GH]


DJ MUTAMASSIK "Bidoun" (MIS)

Highly respected NYC DJ and Burnt Sugar member who recorded this disc in
support of a tour in Dubai. Thirty-five minutes of dancehall, hip hop,
distorted breaks and Middle Eastern and North African rhythms mixed
seamlessly to devastating effect. An Other Music exclusive!
[GA]

***NOTABLE EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC***

SUPERSILENT "6" (Rune Grammofon)

Founded in Norway in 1997 by electronic music producer Helge Sten (a/k/a
Deathprod), trumpeter Arve Henriksen, drummer Jarle Vespestad and keyboard
player Stale Storlokken, Supersilent has created some of the most
challenging and rewarding improvised music to come out in recent years. "6"
moves effortlessly between moments of almost ferocious noise and moments of
austere beauty often combining the two to create a subtle yet forward wall
of sound out of which the slightest details are slowly coaxed. An
uncompromising recording full of passion and guts
. [KH]

[V.A.] "Wooden Guitar" (Locust)

"Wooden Guitar" brings together four great guitar players from around the
world: Tetuzi Akiyama from Japan, Steffen Basho-Junghans from Germany, Sir
Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) and Jack Rose from the United States. Each
player is featured in his own extended and tastefully virtuosic acoustic
guitar piece. The compositions on this album are mostly dark, minimal, and
meditative. Highly recommended for fans of the late John Fahey, this is one
of the best solo guitar collections in recent memory.
[RH]
(TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE)

BASIL KIRCHIN "Quantum: A Journey Through Sound" (Trunk)

After over three decades of obscurity, Trunk records has released "Quantum:
A Journey Through Sound In Two Parts," a recent reworking of material from
the early '70s. Kirchen's blend of field recordings of birds and mammals,
free improvisation, the voice of his wife Esther (which fluctuates between
whisper and scream) and other concrete and synthesized sounds is more
mysterious than the lack of specific information concerning his work. What I
imagine is the low growl of some sort of feline (a tiger perhaps?) sits
perfectly alongside a fractured guitar improvisation while Evan Parker's
circular breathing is nicely complimented by the fluttering of tropical
birds.
[KH]

GLEN VELEZ "Internal Combustion" (Schematic)

A surprising release, Schematic has brought back into print the second solo
LP by virtuoso frame drummer Glen Velez. Hailed by the likes of Aphex Twin
and Squarepusher, the percussive rhythms created with frame drums, adorned
with small to large cymbals, or with varied diameters, can create a
hypnotizing staccato, polyrhythmic trance, and with the addition of dual
voice and percussion, an organic flange can form waves of overtones and
unimaginable bass.
[DG/MK]

CHRISTOPHER TREE "At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine" (Quakebasket)

Originally planned as a release for the now legendary Aspen magazine these
six meditations in "spontaneous sound" have finally made their way into mass
consciousness. Recorded live at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1970
using a truly vast array of gongs, cymbals, chimes, timpani, bass drums,
woodwinds, as well as some instruments specifically designed for him by
somnambulist instrument builder and musical maverick Harry Bertoia. From a
faint whisper to a giant roar, these recordings drift through space
effortlessly creating a feeling of calm that becomes even more engrossing
with each new listen. [
KH]


VICTOR GAMA "Pangeia Instrumentos" (Rephlex)

"Pangeia Instrumentos" is a beguiling collection of compositions
specifically written for Victor Gama's handcrafted instruments. He draws
inspiration from his own native Angolan folk music traditions, as well as
those from throughout the African diaspora and his performers are virtuosos
on these outstanding compositions. This is mainly pattern music in its most
beautiful, lulling sense, with only the occasional violin to provide
dramatic counterpoint.
[MK]

TAPE "Opera" (Hapna)

Tape, an electro-acoustic trio hailing from Stockholm, have created one of
the most rewarding experimental folk albums that I've been lucky enough to
come across in some time. Combining conventional song-making tools such as
melody and harmony with extremely tactile textures, warm modulating drones
and processed field recordings, "Opera" is a beautifully restrained album
that gets better with each listen. Reminiscent of Minamo or even Gastr Del
Sol but with a warmer more song oriented focus.
[KH]

LA MONTE YOUNG / MARIAN ZAZEELA "Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath" (Just Dreams)

A lucky occasion in any year to have a La Monte Young sanctioned release.
"The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath" is a duo performance that is exactly in
line with Young and Zazeela's life long devotion to exquisitely long drones
and chiming tones that transform the experience of listening. Packaged with
a magazine sized pamphlet containing reams of information about Pandit Pran
Nath's instruments, music, and influence.
[MK]

AMI YOSHIDA "Tiger Thrush" (Improvised Music From Japan)

Ami Yoshida has created an otherworldly collection of untreated
vocalizations that are sonically closer to contemporary electronic music
then anything that would generally emanate from human vocal chords. "Tiger
Thrush" is a beautifully packaged document of Yoshida's current vocal
capabilities -- one of the most exciting of a new generation of improvisers.

[KH]

***JAZZ GREATS***

BYARD LANCASTER "It's Not Up to Us" (Water)

Philadelphia based, Byard Lancaster had spent time in ensembles with Sunny
Murray, Bill Dixon and Sun Ra, and the music he created for the Atlantic
Records subsidiary Vortex proved to be extremely accessible avant-garde
jazz. This may seem surprising seeing that his main collaborator for this
date was none other than guitarist Sonny Sharrock. Originally released in
1966, "It's Not Up to Us" is a beautifully spiritual jazz record that shares
affinities with the best works of Alice and John Coltrane, Marion Brown, and
Sun Ra.
[MK]

EDDIE GALE "Ghetto Music" (Water)

Eddie Gale earned his merits playing trumpet on Cecil Taylor's "Unit
Structures", and various recordings with Sun Ra, and Ra's influence sparked
Gale to create a group/collective of his own design. "Ghetto Music" is a
concept album that included costumes, dancers, actors, etc. to reflect life
in the ghetto, circa 1969. Featuring an 11-piece choir, the Noble Gale
Singers, two drummers, including Elvin Jones on B.R.H., two basses, sax,
flute, thumb piano, steel drum, African drums, and bird whistle, they create
a beautiful, darkly uplifting journey through the streets of the down
trodden yet hopeful
. [DG]

FRANCOIS RABBATH "New Sound of Jazz" (Spalax)

Reissue of Syrian born virtuoso double bass player's first two solo LPs on
one disc. Often called the Paganini of the bass, these albums completely
refigured peoples ideas of what the double bass was capable of creating. The
compositions are essentially jazzy, but also combine beautiful passages
inspired by both classical and folk music.
[MK]

DOROTHY ASHBY "Afro Harping" (Cadet)

One of the most successful of all the "East meets West" dates in mid-'60s
jazz, Dorothy Ashby's "Afro-Harping" (her main instrument is the harp) could
be a more accessible and swinging counterpart to Alice Coltrane's better
known forays into eastern mysticism and sound.
[MK]
(TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE)

BURNT SUGAR "Black Sex Y'all Liberation / Bloody Random Violets" (Trugoid)

The fourth proper album from the prolific New York ensemble known as Burnt
Sugar. A rich tapestry of instrument and voice comes together and flows from
free jazz to rock, spoken word to electronica and soul, and ends up sounding
like no other. Includes a searing Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln cover.
[GA]

GRACHAN MONCUR III "New Africa / One Morning..." (Charly)

Two of my favorite BYG/Actuel records on one CD by the single most
underrated player and composer of the '60s New Thing. Like most of the late-
'60s avant-garde, Grachan Moncur III, set off for Paris. The epic suite "New
Africa" features a brilliant ensemble: Roscoe Mitchell, Archie Shepp, Alan
Silva, Dave Burrell, and Andrew Cyrille. Similar to Coltrane's "A Love
Supreme," Moncur's arrangement is both dirge-like and airy. For "Aco Dei
De Madrugada", Moncur assembled a band of French players. All four
tunes have a distinct Latin vibe, and manage to be swinging, engaged,
free, and listenable.
[MK]


***OUTSTANDING PSYCHEDELIA***

TETUZI AKIYAMA "Don't Forget To Boogie" (Idea)

Tetuzi Akiyama's homage to the electric guitar takes a simple, ultra-minimal
concept and executes it with inimitable perfection. There's nothing but fast
and dirty blues riffs, heavily distorted and repeated over and over again in
a show of guitar stamina that even Angus Young would have trouble matching.
If you took a bunch of five-second samples of guitar parts from the first
few ZZ Top records and looped them, you'd get something akin to the sounds
on this LP. One customer commented that John Lee Hooker must be rolling in
his grave, but I have a feeling he'd appreciate this incredible recording
more than any of us.
[RH] (TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE)

SUNROOF "Cloudz" (VHF)

I personally didn't think Matthew Bower could possibly top his latest
Skullflower record or last year's collaboration with Richard Youngs, but I
was dead wrong. There's a strong but off-kilter Krautrock influence this
time around, at times Bower sounds like Manuel Gottsching recorded in a
basement with sound effects sampled from 8-bit NES games, or Neu! if their
albums had been produced by Kevin Shields. Matthew Bower has become a genre
unto himself
[RH]

# posted by DJ Martian 8:19 PM
 

Paris Transatlantic

Avant Garde music website Paris Transatlantic [Including Modern Composition / Contemporary Classical, Improv, Jazz and Experimental Electronics]

Including links portal: Paris Transatlantic Magazine - The Portal

# posted by DJ Martian 5:28 PM
 

Pitchfork presents: Pitchfork Top 50 Singles of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 3:23 PM
 

For fans of avant jazz: Indiejazz.com

IndieJazz.com is an online music store that specializes in independent jazz that is creative and evolutionary. You won�t find any smooth jazz, acid jazz, or the jazz your parents listened to. You will find an informed selection of independent jazz at affordable prices, from a left coast, left-of-center perspective.

Mapped out: Guide To Indie Jazz

# posted by DJ Martian 1:08 PM
 

They Made Individual Kerrang Staff's Top 10's But Not The Overall Top 20

Whilst the Kerrang Top 20 was not too hot, these were voted by individual Kerrang-ers:

Anathema - Natural Disaster
Angels of Light - Everything is Good Here/ Please Come Home
Arch Enemy - Anthems of Rebellion
Axis of Perdition - The Ichneumon Method
Beecher - Breaking the Fourth Wall
The Bug - Pressure
Burnt By the Sun - The Perfect is the Enemy of Good
Burst - Prey on Life
Cult of Luna - The Beyond
Darkest Hour - Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation
Deerhoof - Apple O
Diamanda Galas - Defixiones: Will and Testament
Envy - A dead Sinking Ship
Ephel Duath - The Painters Palette
The Fire Theft - The Fire Theft
Jane's Addiction - Strays
Katatonia - Viva Emptiness
Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow
Longwave - The strangest Things
Minus - Halldor Laxness
Mogwai - Happy Songs for Happt People
Mono - One Stop More and you Die
Oceansize - Effloresce
Opeth - Damanation
Rachels - Systems/ Layers
The Rapture - Echoes
Shadows Fall - The Art of Balance
Tomahawk - Mit Gas
Type O Negative - Life is Killing Me
Unsanctum - Ignite the Skies

# posted by DJ Martian 12:50 PM
 

Playlouder present The Shitlist 2003 [many of the ghastly bands the NME have supported in 2003 ! - get a mention. I prefer to keep things positive but when bad music gets in the way on radio - these aural abominations need to be flagged up for ridicule]

The 20 Worst Albums and Singles of 2003, as voted for by the PlayLouder staff and freelancers. Compiled by Adam Alphabet

On Monday December 22nd, PlayLouder unveils its records of the year - the 50 best singles and albums to have been released in the past 12 months, as voted for by us. But until then, let this ugly collection of evil bullshit be a warning to you - very bad records are being made, all the time, and worse - twisted swine and foolish fools are filling your brain with lies in the hope that you'll waste your cash on these abominations,

# posted by DJ Martian 12:48 PM
 

I don't know what to make of this, it is probably fandom musical democracy in action: rate your music - Top rated albums of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 12:19 PM
 

Dance Front Door relay the news that techno producer: Aril Brikha to release new Album next May.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:21 AM
 

The Wire

So far music magazine end of year issues have been very poor ...can The Wire save us: 2003 Rewind Issue - is due on sale: later today in the UK.

The Wire's crack writing squad select the year's best records; plus critics', singers' and players' pros and cons

# posted by DJ Martian 12:08 AM

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

 

London music radio station - Xfm ask their staff for Nominations for Best Album 2003

Also see main section for Xfm Best of 2003

# posted by DJ Martian 11:34 PM
 

Popmatters presents BEST MUSIC OF 2003 including TOP 50 ALBUMS

[Unfortunately, they have not supplied a convenient summary list ! ...Bad information design !]

# posted by DJ Martian 5:58 PM
 

No surprises at The Onion A.V Club - Best Albums of 2003 [with few exceptions most of these choices are typical for a certain type of American critic - i.e a combination of music recommended by subscriptions to Magnet and Spin magazines]

# posted by DJ Martian 4:11 PM
 

At long last: IASPM have updated their website, with a brand new design and fresh content.

IASPM = International Association for the Study of Popular Music, an international academic association for promoting the inquiry, scholarship and analysis of Popular Music.

# posted by DJ Martian 11:34 AM
 

Kerrang staff have their say on rock music in 2003: Kerrang Albums of the Year only two outstanding entries in the top 20:

2) The Mars Volta - De-loused In the Comatorium
14) KILLING JOKE - KILLING JOKE

Also of interest:

3) Cave-In - Antenna
9) Akercocke - Choronzon
17) Deftones - Deftones

# posted by DJ Martian 10:42 AM
 

Norway calling: from a Norwegian Newspaper: Aftenposten Best of 2003 best international and best Norwegian lists.

# posted by DJ Martian 12:11 AM
 

Rocklist have republished: NME Top 50 Albums of 2003 only 16 out of the 50 are on my extensive 2003 tracklisting. There are some right turkeys on the NME list, but lets keep things positive for now:

Selected highlights:

2. The Rapture � Echoes
4. Elbow � Cast of Thousands
9. Radiohead � Hail To The Thief
24. Four Tet � Rounds
28. The Mars Volta � De-Loused In The Comatorium
39. Patrick Wolf � Lycanthropy
44. Basement Jaxx � Kish Kash
48. Jane�s Addiction � Strays

a few others, but nowhere near the finest of 2003:

16. Dizzee Rascal � Boy In Da Corner
35. Nick Cave � Nocturama
36. British Sea Power � The Decline Of British Sea Power
29. Peaches � Fatherfucker
33. Mogwai � Happy Songs For Happy People
40. Devendra Banheart � Oh Me Oh My..The Way The Day Goes By The Sun Is Setting�.
42. Stellastarr* - Stellerstar*
46. The Ravonettes � Chain Gang Of Love

There is a discussion on this NME 2003 list over @ ILM

# posted by DJ Martian 12:02 AM

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