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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Best of 2011 by Joey Casio

The musics of 2011. In this post bloghouse infosphere its hard to pick out what's great from the landscape-our ears are so full of songs they turn into sandgrains and the whole place is an even wash. So you go with what you know and what you've seen:

-TRACEY TRANCE provided the soundtrack to many a late night, in person and on the stereo all over the west coast. Heap some hot oil onto a tape of a rollerink organ player, leave it in the sun next to a dirty magnet, and over dub a fading radio from an indeterminate island in south asia at quarter-volume through a mesh of cardboard, and you'd be halfway there. Transcendent sub-dumpster psychedelia at its finest. Me n' Tyler T.T. made some sounds for the sunrise at thee Mojave Rave' this year. Hands down a high point of the last 365.

-RENE' HELL: I saw Terry Riley play at the art museum on his 90th birthday. It was pretty great, but he has clearly been eclipsed by a generation or three of up and coming composers like Rene' Hell's Jeff Witcher. In his work, interlocking patterns of hypnotically shifting timbres combine to create truly moving instrumental music. Imagine an android letting out a slow, sad sigh as it becomes self aware. Rene Hell is kind of like that. Contemporary as fuck.

-RIND is a new sound echoing from a circuit-laden cathedral where the bomb-holes let you see the stars to gain hope. Lee Relvas layers her voice into in an ominous chorus, and combines it with a backing track that would even the scales on the Melvins or Earth...but this is music from a different century. RIND is utterly transfixing live, as you know if you were lucky enough to catch her on during her epic solo greyhound bus tour.

-HYSTERICS- Sometimes, if a politically-oriented band is truly great, they pull the curtain to the side, and call bullshit on the whole world. Hysterics do this; Not just with their lyrics, which are brilliant, but with the energy they carry in their collective cacophony. It is a thrilling, terrifying and inspiring thing to see and hear. Hysterics are the best hardcore band to emerge in years.

-SEWN LEATHER-Griffin Pyn's SEWN LEATHER is underground dancehall for postmodern times. SEWN LEATHER is an industrial performance art troupe consisting of an unwitting audience and a tape player.
What Technotronic is to hip-house, SEWN LEATHER is to harsh noise. A cult leader without a cult, hopping into the backseat of your van, SEWN LEATHER made the best record of 2011-Sikknastafari Slash Crasstafari.

-Primary Colors- Full disclosure-primary colors are my friends, roomates, colloborators and comrades.
Its a great expirience to see artists you know truly succeed at sharing their aesthetic and idealogical vision with the world. Primary colors unleash a set of totally new tones jumping from tape to synthesiszer and back again, aranged in heavy handed rythms, and then and then and then lock them in with the most manic of percussion,(all metal/ no skin) distorted beyond recognition. Near perfect music. We played togerther on cement strewn trash heap of a beach this year in the shadow of twin smokestacks. Its hard to imagine a more appropriately dystopian setting for this duo.

If I had to choose one “best song” of 2011 it would be this: Lonely Sea (ecstasy mix) by Alexis Blair Penney. Alexis is a singer/artist/performer/dj who blurs a lot of lines when it comes to art, gender and pop music. In this perfomance, Alexis is backed by members of avant-garde house ensemeble MIRACLES CLUB, one of the years best groups in their own right. Sad dance music is a difficult thing to create, but when it is done well, allows us to share in the most intimate and human of experiences.

Alexis Blair Penney - Lonely Sea (Ecstasy Mix Live) from Experimental ½ Hour on Vimeo.

1 comment:

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