2013 shortlist

2013 sounded so good that I had no choice but to make an end of year list even though I hate doing these things. At first I resisted doing them at all on here, grumbling that music shouldn’t be about lists and years but about passion and love. Then in 2011 I caved in. It felt rude not to acknowledge the best releases this year, especially when so many of the best stuff still gets overlooked by the mainstream. So, here we go, another list of albums and then a list of tapes, compilations, reissues and soundtracks. Its a very personal list, so only reissues of albums I didn’t already have make the list because it’s all about my year.

NURSE WITH WOUND – CHROMANATRON
chromanatron
Well, its Nurse With Wound working with mystical krautrock band Sand’s entire sound archive. Couldn’t fail with me, really, but the results transcend even the mission brief

 

 

WOODEN WAND – BLOOD OATHES OF THE NEW BLUES / WOODEN WAND & THE WORLD WAR IV
woodenwandsAnother act spoiling us with killer studio albums bookending the year. I dont think there was a better song released in 2013 than Southern Colorado Song on Blood Oathes but World War IV has some serious band jams. Win-win either way.

MV & EE – FUZZWEED / FANTASY SET / SHADE GROWN
mveeThe band so good they entered thrice. Simply impossible to choose between these three gems. All of this is gold, from the two essential studio excursions and the aptly named ‘Fantasy Set’ cdr compiling the best performances of their best songs from their New York residency.

KAWABATA MAKOTO’S MAINLINER – REVELATION SPACE
Revelation Space
The unlikely return of Mainliner proved to be a shocking return to form with this sonic ghost chilli of an album guaranteed to burn minds and ears.

 

CARLTON MELTON – ALWAYS EVEN
Always Even

The masters of blissed out psyche rock did not disappoint with another album of songs to disappear into. Nobody else can be this heavy while being this mellow.

 

 

SUZUKI JUNZO – SINGS II/PORTRAIT OF MADELEINE ELSTR
junzos
Junzo spoiled us with two albums this Autumn. Sings II showcased his psychedelic troubadour side whilst Madeleine was a wordless whirl of sound somewhere between the classic PSF sound and the cosmic blues of Charalambides.

HUMAN GREED / MICHAEL BEGG – OMEGA
omegaost
an absolute WTF of an album that provided the bowel-loosening soundtrack to a disturbing Russian circus at Glastonbury and Edinburgh festival. This one must have destroyed any young conservative on acid who got too close at Pilton

 

MIKE GANGALOF – POPLAR HOLLOW
poplar hollow

Bringing the Appalachian folk sound to vivid life and re-energising it for future generations.

 

 

CHICALOYOH – FOLIE SACRÉE
folie sacree
Like Patti Smith scoring a surreal european horror film. As beautiful as it is haunting. For her debut full-length album, Chicaloyoh has made one heck of an impression.

 

 

MONTIBUS COMMUNITAS – HACIA AQUELLOS BOSQUES DE IMMENSIDAD
Hacia Aquellos Bosques de ImmensidadTrail blazing temple psyche from Chile. A rapturous blend of all great psyche rock history given a local twist. Utterly irresistible.

 

 

STEVE GUNN – TIME OFF
PoB-08-Gunn-front tip-on-FINAL
The year of the Gunn saw him making the definite sound of the summer with this gem of American primitive sunshine.

 

 

BARDO POND – PEACE ON VENUS
peace on venus
Joyously epic hard stoner rock, buzzed out bliss.

 

 

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER – HAW
haw
another essential Spring/Summer album full of joyous songs

 

 

 

tapes, compilations, reissues, etc.

NATURAL SNOW BUILDINGS / ISENGRIND / TWINSISTERMOON – THE SNOWBRINGER CULT
Snowbringer

This is an album that everyone needs to hear. One disc split between their two solo projects and then a majestic duo CD. The title track ranks among one of the most breath-taking pieces of music of all time.

 

A FIELD IN ENGLAND – ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
a field in england

Film of the year was also soundtrack of the year. Ominous period folk meets psychedelic ambience. The vinyl edition is now very expensive but a cassette version just snuck out cheap so don’t sleep.

 

JOHN CARPENTER – ASSAULT ON PRECINT 13
assault precinct 13
Horror and cult movie soundtrack reissues seem to have been very much in vogue in 2013 and why not? This year has seen Death Waltz spoil us with a flood of prime sounds but nothing beats JC and this is just mint

 

THE CHILLS – SOMEWHERE BEAUTIFUL
FIRECD282 Robert Pollard - Jack Sells the Cow DIGIPACKa live album from a new line-up playing all the old songs but somehow still just wonderful

 

 

BIRD PEOPLE / HERING UND SEINE SIEBEN SACHEN
hering bird tapeFeel kinda guilty for putting a tour tape on here but the best is the best however its sold. Two transcendental sides of electronic bliss from Europe’s two prime heads and tape curators.

 

 

GORGES – OUR THROATS, LIKE VALLEYS
our throatsamazing cassette recorded in an underground carpark on the coast of Ireland with sea water seeping in. Harmonium drones and discordant honks

 

 

CHALAQUE – HELDERBERG HOWL
hhowl
The wife was not impressed by this record. Her review was “It just sounds like he’s slapping his penis all over his guitar!”. “Must have a big penis then” I replied. She quietly left the room.

 

WOVEN SKULL & CORE OF THE COALMAN – s/t
woven coalmanStartling tape of noise folk wonderment from the increasingly essential Feathered Coyote .

 

 

DATASHOCK – LIVELOVEDATA$
livelovedataEssential Germanic psyche wig outs

 

 

 

GNOD – CHAUDALANDE
chaudelandeCD compilation of two heavy rock freak out lps. Heads are heavy

 

 

 

CIAN NUGENT & THE COSMOS – HIRE PURCHASE
hire purchaseBeautiful 7″ of wide, rural psychedelic sounds.

 

 

 

JOOKLO & METABOLISMUS – PERCEPTION OF THE ILLUSION OF THE OPPOSITION OF CONTRARIES
jooklo und metabolismusWonderful fusion of free jazz and free rock.

 

 

 

JOHN CARPENTER – THE FOG
the fog
Oh fuck it, why not? More JC. It is such an under-rated film, he is such an under-rated soundtrack composer and this is such a beautiful, deluxe edition from Death Waltz

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