Everett Perdue highlights his favorite reissues of 2003, as well as some personal picks from the year's slightly newer recordings.
The Year In Music (Everett Perdue)
By no means a comprehensive list, but a sampling of some of my fave recordings from 2003; I am sure to find recordings ten years down the road from this past year that will peak my interest and deserve placement upon this list as well. Such is the timeless quality of great music…
Peter Brotzmann- FMP 0130 (Atavistic)
All 10 compositions are tightly wound gems and the interaction between Bennink, Van Hove and Brotzmann is at a creative peak.
Monoton - Monotonprodukt 07 (Oral)
Konrad Becker’s 1980s masterpiece finally gains the attention it so long deserved.
Erkki Kurenniemi - Recordings 1963-1973 (Love Records)
A freewheeling nature and joy of discovery shines through Kurenniemi’s work, sheds the sterility of so many early electronic pioneers to reveal an addictive enthusiasm.
Grachan Moncur III - Mosaic Select 1 (Mosaic)
No one walked the avant jazz tightrope quite like Moncur, this compilation of six 60s Blue Note sessions still sets ones hairs on end.
James Tenney - Selected Works 1961-1969 (New World)
Those searching for the roots of noise/industrial/experimental music need look no further, Tenney has an ear for aural chaos and the heart of a prankster.
Asmus Tietchens - Adventures In Sound + Nachtstucke 2CD (Die Stadt)
Adventures offers a fascinating glimpse into the foundations of Tietchens future experiments, Die Stadt are to be commended for attempting such a lofty reissue campaign and this first installment is a must for fans and neophytes alike.
Birge/Gorge/Shiroc - Defense De CD/DVD (Mio Records)
With six hours of music and a film, this reissue of a rare classic documenting the roots of Un Drame Musical Instantane sets a high standard for what can be done with new technology.
Anandan/Goldstein/Wiens - Speaking In Tongues (Ambiances Magnetiques)
Expanding fourth world aesthetics into the 21st century.
Gustavo Aguilar Get Libre Collective - Destinations (Circumvention)
Proof that great improv is alive and well in the U.S.
Lee Konitz/Kenny Werner - Unleemited (Owl)
Technically a US release of a 1992 French session, Konitz wraps himself around these Guyonnet compositions with an introspective intensity only he can muster.
Avril - French Kiss 12” (F Communications)
You’d think any cover of this house classic would be redundant but Avril succeed with a jazzed up cabaret vibe reeking of post war Paris.
COH - Electric Electric 12” (Mego)
(see Dusted review)
Matthew Dear - EP1 (Spectral)
Spectral slipped out several amazing releases this year, Dear happened to lead the pack with his futurist visions of analog Detroit.
John Duncan - Infrasound-Tidal (Allquestions)
With source material like tidal spectra how could Duncan fail, a true unsung hero of experimental electronics.
Hans Joachim Irmler - Lifelike (Staubgold)
Can’t say I’ve been the biggest fan of recent Faust recordings, but this mix of ambiance, field recordings and drone whets the appetite for more from Irmler.
Jirku/Judge - Plusism (Onitor)
The high point of a great year for Tomas Jirku.
Kontakt Der Junglinge - n (Die Stadt)
The most compelling of the KDJ discs, Tietchens and Koner on a great night.
Kaito - Special Love (Kompakt)
Took me a while to come around to it, but could not resist these reworkings of Gottsching’s E2-E4 formula.
The Martians - Pipe Carrier EP (Red Planet)
Mad Mike & Co. produce one of the most soulful techno platters in UR/Detroit history.
Angel Molina - Pasada Profesional (Red Musical)
Abstract minimalism from the Fragil Discos label in a very atypical DJ set by Molina.
Monolake - Momentum (ml/I)
Henke maintains his impossibly high level of quality with the addition of new twists and turns.
Mu - Afro Finger And Gel (Tigersushi)
Postpunk dancefloor shenanigans with a kinky edge and a roomful of percussionists.
VA - Sonig.ilation (Sonig)
Rarely are label comps this consistently enjoyable, with every artist stretching their boundaries to no end.
VA - Saturday Morning Empires (Intr.version)
If five years ago anyone predicted that Canada would be such a hotbed of electronic activity…., great comp for late night reading sessions besides.
Earth (Dylan Carlson looking very healthy in comparison to a few years back-see Kurt & Courtney doc) and Skullflower (is the return of Ramleh far behind?), two beacons of lava flowing intensity whose drones are needed now more than ever.
For those who claim that there is no good music being made these days, you are not looking hard enough.
Enjoy the coming year, peace and prosperity to one and all.
By Everett Jang Perdue