Dec 31, 2006


Oh go on then, have a musical review of the year. Rather than drown you with a flood of recommendations from 2006, here is a simple six-fold selection to ensure salivation through sonic satisfaction.

For the first time, I have included 30-second sample mp3s for you to listen to. Just click on the link and your Quicktime player will summon up the fairies that make music happen on your screen. The mp3s will only be up for two weeks, mind.

(Artists that I considered but didn't include in my top six: Isan, Battles, Dabrye, Susumu Yokota, Monolake, Hot Chip, 000, Boxcutter, Wagon Christ, Biosphere and Quinoline Yellow.)

Artist: Squarepusher
Title: Hello Everything (album)
Label: Warp
[site] [mp3 no longer available]
Those who prefer Squarepusher's harder drill 'n' bass fare should stay away. Otherwise, this is a playful pot pourri of some of 'Pusher's biggest weapons: junglism, ambience, jazz, stupid synths and frenetic bass guitar mayhem. And it's ever so melodic, which means this is a good album for those tentative souls yet to foray into the strange world of Tom Jenkinson.

Artist: Luke Abbott
Title: b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b (track)
Label: Output
[site] [mp3 no longer available]
Now come on, this is just silly. The reviews call this an "8bit adventure", which basically means there is zip all quality to this repetitive bit of nonsense. This was also one of the few moments of absolute genius in 2006. Luke manipulates the circuits of electronic toys and produces the kind of results only found between the matrix and the real world. B,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,b,brilliant.

Artist: Nathan Fake
Title:Drowning In A Sea Of Love (album)
Label: Border Community
[site] [mp3 no longer available]
As you would expect with a "sea of love", listening to this album is like being hugged by a hundred marshmallows while having your feet massaged by clouds. Electronica / IDM has not been this warm and inviting since The Orb's last party in hell. Jump in, take your socks off, and absorb yourself in what I hope will be considered an masterpiece by the time I'm selling drugs to my grandchildren.

Artist: FM3
Title: Buddha Machine (album?)
Label: FM3
FM3 are a Chinese experimental music duo who decided to spurn the usual format of CD or mp3 or whatever, and instead released their new album in its own dedicated piece of hardware. The Buddha Machine is a small plastic box with a speaker that emits nine short drones that you toggle between using a switch on the side. And that's it. And it's one of the best things I have ever bought.

Artist: Clark
Title: Boddy Riddle (album)
Label: Warp
[site] [mp3 no longer available]
Clark, who used to be known as Chris Clark but had his Chris stolen by hoodies, is an electronic artist, but his music encompasses post-rock, musique concrete and the dishwasher to boot. I don't know whether to file this under disco, ambient, krautrock or space music. Alls I do knows is this is Clark's most complete album to date and it will happily stick out of your CD racks like a native American on a psychiatric ward.

Artist: Boards Of Canada
Title: Dayvan Cowboy (track)
Label: Warp
Forgive me for including a third Warp artist in my top six, but I can't ignore the monster that is BoC. Dayvan Cowboy spilled forth from their Trans Canada Highway EP and, well, see it for yourself... with THE MAGIC OF VIDEO. With this ends my blogging year. See you on the odd side.

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