Top 10s for 2006: It's a trap!
Official top 10 releases for 2006, in alphabetical order:
There was a glut of good music in 2006, but only a few truly great albums. I found myself enjoying a very high percentage of the music that came my way, but very little remained in regular rotation for any length of time. Too much of a good thing? Perhaps. Regardless, I had some trouble compiling my list since I wanted to ensure that my selections were fit for posterity. That means albums like The Knife's "Silent shout" and Motorpsycho's "Black hole/black canvas" were out, despite being admirable pieces of work. They deserve high praise, but I simply didn't listen to them that much. Similarly, I'm From Barcelona and Peter Bjorn and John were off the list because their 2006 releases pale in comparison to what came before (both the original "Sing!!" demo EP from IFB and PB&J's "Falling out" are 100% unfuckwithable). What's left? Well, lots actually. The difficulty is separating all the 8s from the 9s and 10s. Let's get going then:
01. Aerial - Black rain from the bombing (Nomethod)
It came out in January and stuck with me throughout the entire year. That alone says something. As for the music, it's an amazing display of epic bombast and twisting riffs. Why can't more post-rock be noisy like this?
MP3: Time is on fire
02. The Book of Daniel - Songs for the Locust King (Black Star Foundation)
A late in the year release so I was reluctant to list it, but there's no denying the quality. Full of wisdom and poetry.
MP3: The camels parade
03. C.Aarmé - Vita (Carcrash/Burning Heart)
The brightest stars always burn out the fastest. RIP.
MP3: We are the world
04. Closer - Tokpela EP (Closersounds)
One of those bands I fell in love with the moment I first heard it. Heavy rock doesn't get better than this.
MP3: Open casket
05. Johndoe - Dødvinkel (JHND)
This one snuck up on me and is probably the one record on this list I've listened to the most.
06. Montys Loco - Man overboard (NONS)
God, I hate the genre label 'folktronic', but I really can't think of a better way to describe this. Quirky instrumentation and arrangements aside, the music is simply brilliant and would work in any context.
07. Namur - Songs from the Valley of Baca (Thehourislate)
It's probably for the best that David Åhlén retired this stage moniker because this will be hard to top. Nothing wrong with quitting while you're ahead.
08. Raison d'Être - Metamorphyses (Cold Meat Industry)
I honestly don't believe I've heard another dark-ambient album this good. Ever.
MP3: Metamorphyses phase I
09. Oskar Schönning - Happy jazz, please (Amigo)
Another one of those records that found its way into steady rotation without much thought. Echoes of that other famous bassist/bandleader Charles Mingus along with fellow Swede Jan Johansson, but with an ear to the future.
MP3: Happy jazz, please
10. Sonores - Elefanten (Structures Sonores)
These guys asked me if I wanted to co-release this with them and I said no because I thought I was too busy. I blew it.
Best two demos I heard all year: Circle Six and Iisole
Four favorite non-Scandinavian releases:
Converge - No heroes (Epitaph)
Kayo Dot - Dowsing anenome with copper tongue (Robotic Empire)
Jesu - Silver (Hydra Head)
Rome - Berlin (Cold Meat Industry)
Two old metal warhorses who prove that age doesn't mean a thing: Iron Maiden & Slayer
What to expect for 2007? Well, my predicted goth revival for 2006 didn't live up to expectations even though it seemed to spawn quite a few excellent releases (The Kid and 1999, for example). Regardless, I'm not going to let that stop me from making more asinine predictions. My pick for the new trend of 2007: industrial/EBM. I swear, it's gonna happen. It's time.
Asha Ali - s/t (NONS)
Detektivbyrån - Hemvägen (Danarkia)
The Fine Arts Showcase - Radiola (Adrian Recordings)
Kazakstan - s/t (Katalyst)
Knife and Ape - Hex! (Deleted Art)
Lampshade - Let's away (Glitterhouse)
Lemonator - At the presence of great beauty (Odor)
Once We Were - Contra (Tenderversion)
Britta Persson - Top quality bones... (Amigo)
Plain Fade - Aure (Punos Sound)
Promoe - White man's burden (Burning Heart)
Tsukimono - Neé (Kalligrammofon)