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
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
Another 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
The 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.
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
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
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
Bringing the Appalachian folk sound to vivid life and re-energising it for future generations.
tapes, compilations, reissues, etc.
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.
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
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
BIRD PEOPLE / HERING UND SEINE SIEBEN SACHEN
Feel 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.
CHALAQUE – HELDERBERG HOWL
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.