Albums Of The Year: Winter-Spring 2009

Things slowed down just a little as we all moved into spring, but while the quantity may have dropped the quality remained the same 🙂

Gatecrasher’s Trance Anthems 1993-2009
Video thanks to RhinoUK

I first heard a Gatecrasher album eight years ago, when I was growing up in Twizel. It was Global Sound System and I loved it to bits. Since then, the majority of the Gatecrasher discography has come and gone, but this year thay have released two retrospective albums covering their massive legacy. I guess if there’s going to be any music that makes me feel nostalgic about my childhood, this would be it. I’ve grown up loving techno of all sorts, and I’m not bothered to say so. The first picture in my ‘proof that I still pay for music’ post should be evidence nough. The one caveat I have with Gatecrasher at the moment is that they seem to be concentrating their efforts on releasing retrospective compilations when I’m sure there is plenty of room left for making releases that are as up-to-the-minute as their old releases were (to me at least).

Mew – No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry, They Washed Away. No More Stories, The World Is Grey. I’m Tired, Let’s Wash Away
Video thanks to MJaayPeer

When I first heard Mew’s world infamous …And The Glass-Handed Kites I left school immediately afterwards and bought the CD. After the fallout from that epic had settled I waited for news of a new Mew album, and I heard it would be here in September 2008. I waited, with baited breath. September 2008 came…and went. I had the feeling that they had their reasons. Then in June this year I got wind of new material, and by August I had the No More Stories…EP as a precursor to the epic album I was sure they were going to bring out next…September 2009 came around and…fooled again!

If you were expecting another Glass-Handed Kites you might be disapointed, but you really shouldn’t be, because that Mew have done here is a different type of amazing. This album lends itself much more to concert venues, with it’s long refrains and expansive instrumentals. It may not gel together into one huge rock-opera esque piece, but it is still epic in it’s own right. I’d have to say the whole thing left me happy, and finally relieved that the album had come out. I was temped to ask ‘what took so long?’ but upon listening to the whole album, I can tell there has been four years of hard work put into it, and (not unlike a certain computer operating system) if they had released it any earlier due to public demand, I fear it would have fallen on it’s face. Good on you, Mew. I will never hassle you to release music according to schedule again

Lusine – A Certain Distance
Video thanks to ghostlyintl

I have written a more in-depth review about this album here: http://lifebackwards.posterous.com/lusines-new-album-a-certain-distance-apart-fr  but two months on, and this is one of the year’s releases that I have come back to listening to time and time again. The eleven track album is full of the sound that made me love Lusine’s music in the first place, blended with sounds that take Lusine in a slightly different direction. The release of A Certain Distance also coinciding with the release of the Ghostly Discovery iThing app, which I have also reviewed.

This is the figurehead of a discography that is going to make for one happy summer for me

Scooter – Under The Radar, Over The Top
Video tanks to kontor

A lot of people have gone off Scooter over the years. Their ability to re-invent themselves has meant that their fanbase, by and large, has changed every time, apart from the core few who have stuck with them the throughout their fifteen year career (incidentally, they are one year younger than Gatecrasher). Their shift to hardstyle seems to have been their most polarizing move yet, and a lot of fans have despised the change. I beg to differ. I think this is the sound that Scooter have been waiting for their whole carreer for. The exuberant, over-the-top (see what I did there) sound suits the Scooter character prefectly, and this latest album is more bomastic than ever. They still have the thoughtful moments that have enabled them to branch out before, which have been compiled as a second CD in the deluxe version of this album. They serve as a fond retrospective on one of the few techno outfits that has stood the test of time.

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