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The Monthly List: Jan + Feb’s Top 26 Albums

haptic_bandBetter late than never: here we go with a combined monthly list for the first part of the year. The last two months have been filled with tons of great new music, some of which I’ve had the chance to review, some of which I’m in the middle of writing about now. There’s lots more due out in the next few months too, which means I need to pick up the pace.

That said, here’s a list of what’s been in my CD player and on my turntable in the last couple of months. Links to my favorite sites for reviews and information are found at the bottom of the page. You can always find good info at Brainwashed.com, DustedJust Outside, and All Music Guide, and samples are available virtually everywhere. Forced Exposure and Boomkat are good places to go if you’re looking for the more obscure stuff.

As always, formats posted are the ones I own. You can find numerous retailers carrying these titles at the bottom of this page.

  • Tarab, Strata on UNFATHOMLESS (CD)
  • Haptic, Abeyance on ENTR’ACTE (CD)
  • Morton Feldman, For Philip Guston on DOG W/A BONE (4CD)
  • Morton Feldman, Piano and String Quartet on BRIDGE (CD)
  • Philip Corner, Italian Air: Wind, Water & Metal on RICERCA SONOROA (LP)
  • The Shadow Ring, Remains Unchanged on KYE (2LP)
  • Jacques Lejeune, Parages and Other Electroacoustic Works 1971 – 1985 on ROBOT (3CD)
  • Max Neuhaus, The New York School on ALGA MARGHEN (CD)
  • Michael Byron, Awakening at the Inn of the Birds on COLD BLUE MUSIC (CD)
  • Michael Byron, Music of Nights Without Moon or Pearl on COLD BLUE MUSIC (CD)
  • Anne Guthrie, Codiaeum Variegatum on STUDENTS OF DECAY (DIGITAL)
  • Machinefabriek, Attention, the Doors are Closing! on SELF-RELEASED (DIGITAL)
  • Joseph Clayton Mills, The Patient on ENTR’ACTE (CD/BOOK)
  • Michael Pisaro/Greg Stuart, Closed Categories in Cartesian Worlds on GRAVITY WAVE (CD)
  • Joe Panzner/Greg Stuart, Dystonia Duos on ERST AEU (CD)
  • Jim O’Rourke & Christopher Heemann, Plastic Palace People Vol. 1 on STREAMLINE (CD)
  • Claypipe, A Daylight Blessing on MIE (DIGITAL)
  • Robbie Basho, Visions of the Country on GNOME LIFE (LP)
  • Rodd Keith, My Pipe Yellow Dream on ROARATORIO (LP)
  • Autechre, Amber on WARP/WAX TRAX!/TVT (CD)
  • Poemss, Poemss on PLANET MU (DIGITAL)
  • Venetian Snares, Doll Doll Doll on HYMEN (CD)
  • Venetian Snares, Winter in the Belly of a Snake on PLANET MU (CD)
  • The Orb, U.F.Orb on ISLAND RED LABEL (CD)
  • No Right Turn, No Right Turn on EM RECORDS (CD)
  • Ida, Will You Find Me on TIGER STYLE RECORDS (CD)
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Review: Poemss, “Poemss” (Planet Mu)

It has been 16 years since Aaron Funk first appeared as Venetian Snares on a split cassette he released with DJ Fishead titled Eat Shit and Die. Whether by accident or by design, that title turned out to be an almost perfect slogan for Funk’s music over the next decade and a half. His absolute dedication to intensity, choice of subject matter, and juvenile sense of humor have always added up to unnerving, hilarious and sometimes just plain disturbing records, filled with warp speed tempos, oddball samples, and a smorgasbord of unlikely references, from serial killers and sexual violence to Star Trek and Dadaism. Whether he’s serious about it all or hiding a smirk behind the world’s staunchest poker face isn’t clear, but he’s never broken character.

Instead, Funk has consistently raised the ante in one way or another: by tossing Trevor Brown’s beaten and molested dolls onto numerous album covers, or by making music from noises captured while having sex with his then-girlfriend Rachael Kozak, or in the case of Filth, by poking fun at his own perverse predilections with song titles like “Crashing the Yogurt Truck” and “Chainsaw Fellatio.” It’s all been unapologetically idiotic and exciting.

And, at times, despondent and beautiful too, as with Rossz Csillag Alatt Született andMy Downfall (Original Soundtrack). But even Funk’s more muted, less obscenely hostile material shivers with an irascible energy, as if everything he does could erupt at any minute into a storm of nuclear snare rolls and leaden bass kicks, or at least into a cloud of gnarly dissonance. That is what makes Poemss, the first fruits of his collaboration with fellow Canadian Joanne Pollock, such a shocker. Funk hasn’t exactly gone soft, but his always dependable aggression has been put away in favor of something altogether stranger: a collection of delicate instrumentals and catchy pop songs with lyrics about ancient pony hair follicles, glass organs and tenderness.

Read more… (at Dusted Magazine)