Albums Of The Year: Autumn-Winter 2009

As if The first three months of the year didn’t provide me with enough listening pleasure, Winter 2009 turned out some very interesting surprises…

Fever Ray: Self-titled
(video thanks to Trancewour)

After hearing for a second time the vocal presence of Karin Dreijer Andersson on the latest Röyksopp album (covered in this post: http://lifebackwards.posterous.com/my-albums-of-the-year-summer-autumn-2009 )I decided to dig into her other works, wherein I discovered this new release. The music is very meloncholic electronica. Imagine if Bjork had gone without anti-depressants for a month and this is what you get, which was an interesting parallel to my anxiety disorder. The video I linked to above as a fan-made mashup accompanying the song Concrete Walls, the track I liked the most on the album. Incidentally this is the moodiest track of all of them, and the vocals (throuch clever use of a Boss effects pedal, I’m told) don’t even sound human, let alone those of a woman. I guess this goes to show that Moby’s music really isn’t all that depressing in comparison.

Moby: Wait For Me
(video thanks to MobyStuff)

On the subject of the most bullied bald man in the world, he caught me very much off-guard releasing his new album Wait For Me. I thought that for sure We’d have to wait another three years after he released Last Night was released, as we had to after Hotel came out, but no, I picked up the two-disc version of this album on a trip to Melboure in the inter-semester break. This album felt like an almalgamation of every Moby album before Last Night. There was a lot of that classic Moby string sound, as well as samples from gospel records. A sprinkling of acoustic and electric guitars, and lo-fi druming as well as Moby himself singing in his…Mobyesque voice. The second disc came with several remixes of the single Pale Horses, which contained a remix by Apparat. Good to see that name getting a bit more traction on this side of the globe . Long story short, if Last Night left you unsatisfied, pick up this album. I did and I don’t regret it in the least!

Minuit: FindMeBeforeIDieALonelyDeath.com
(video thanks to SuperProletar)

Another of the ‘I’ve been waiting bloody ages for this…’ releases this year came from another local band. Minuit have been around since the late 1990s, but gained a lot of traction in 2003-4 with th release of 88, which I still listen to regularly. Ruth Carr’s vocals still have that kind-of femme fatale ‘I might sound sexy, but I’d shoot you in the head if I felt like it’ tone of voice, and the presenge of that broken-sounding squaretooth wave synth sound is still there, but the Minuit sound as a whole feels like it’s been updated to 2009, and not for the worse either. I don’t know what it says about me that my favourite tracks on the album are actually the two shortest (Maserati, and I’m Still Dancing), but nevertheless they were my two faves. The rest of the album is just as infectious though, Run Run has become a favourite of my Fiance.

This was a top notch release that I very much enjoyed for hearing the Minuit sound rock my headphones and my car once again. I’m looking forward to the release of their next singe, as there’s a picture of Me in it

When I was searching for the 25 Bucks vid I found this wee gem (thanks to tothelights)

Various Artists: Sick Music
(video thanks to VibrationMusicality)

Another album much hyped by Hospital Records’ London Elektricity was the compilation Sick Music. The music was, indeed sick (in the skateboarding sense) The track above was one of my favourites, and I’m definitely going to use some variation of London Elek’s Just One Second at my wedding next year. There are enough songs on this album that I like to offset the one or two I didn’t.  There isn’t much you can say about a compilation compared to a release by just one artist, which is a pity because this compilation is definitely worth getting 🙂

Bop: Clear Your Mind
(video thanks to MedSchoolMusic)

Another of the highly anticipated debeut releases from Hospital (or morespecifically their sister label MedSchool) this year was all the way from St. Petersburg, Russia. Bop found fame when he sent this song into the Hospital Demo inbox last year. It was a hit with everyone I know who’s heard it, and I was stoked to get a full-length album! Musically It’s not too dissimilar from Lusine’s brand of IDM, but with more traditional jungle tempos. It’s very laid back, introspective music. The kind you listen to at te end of a big night out, or when you’re home by yourself. I also found most of the songs very wintery, except for Enjoy The Moment, and Nothing Makes Any Sense. Sonically this album has some serious serious low end. It’s all sine waves, but it’ll rattle your foundations. The pops and clicks at the opposite end of the frequency spectrum make for intriguing listening, and are what makes Bop’s sound more IDM-ish. I think this album has the potnetial to be the drum & bass equivalent of Röyksopp’s debeut Melody A.M. A striking difference in a well-established genre, but also possibly a benckmark that future releases will have to live up to. Even if Bop never releases any more music, though, I’m glad to have heard this much. Alexander, if you ever read this, Thank you.

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