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Get To Know A Top 10: January Thread - Tap

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Poll: Which album is your favorite? Please listen to all ten before voting.
Return Of Fenn O'Berg by Fenn O'Berg
6%
 6%  [1]
Fantasmes Ou L'Histoire De Blanche-Neige by Jacques Lejeune
0%
 0%  [0]
Super æ by Boredoms
0%
 0%  [0]
Tago Mago by Can
37%
 37%  [6]
Aviary by Julia Holter
12%
 12%  [2]
Heave To by Olivia Block
6%
 6%  [1]
Syro by Aphex Twin
0%
 0%  [0]
Sung Tongs by Animal Collective
25%
 25%  [4]
Let My Children Hear Music by Charles Mingus
12%
 12%  [2]
Wild Why by Wobbly
0%
 0%  [0]
Total Votes : 16

Author Message

baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#1 | Posted: 01/02/2019 00:44 | Post subject: Get To Know A Top 10: January Thread - Tap Reply with quote
Happy New Year! By one vote, Tap is the winner of the seventh poll. Here are the ten albums up for discussion during the month of January:

1. Return Of Fenn O'Berg - Fenn O'Berg
2. Fantasmes Ou L'Histoire De Blanche-Neige - Jacques Lejeune
3. Super æ - Boredoms
5. Tago Mago - Can
6. Aviary - Julia Holter
7. Heave To - Olivia Block
8. Syro - Aphex Twin
9. Sung Tongs - Animal Collective
10. Let My Children Hear Music - Charles Mingus
11. Wild Why - Wobbly

[Note: Tap's #4, The Room Extended, has been omitted due to length considerations (246 minutes) and replaced with the #11 album.]

As always, you can listen to as many of these as you have time and energy for - no pressure to get to know all ten well. This discussion also doesn't have to take place in order, because different people will be listening to them at different times.

Drop your musings, analysis, etc. here as the inspiration hits you. And where possible, interact with what other people have been saying for a more interesting discussion.

If you do get a chance to listen to all ten, you can then vote for your favorite in the attached poll.

Last but not least, here are the past threads if you want to go back and listen to / talk about stuff you missed.

April thread (Luigii): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20004
May thread (Tilly): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20126
June thread (Jimmy Dread): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20249
July thread (Hayden): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20364
August thread (RockyRaccoon): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20454
December thread (SquishypuffDave): https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=20890
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#2 | Posted: 01/02/2019 01:06 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I'll write a bit about each of these albums for the first 10 days.

Wobbly - Wild Why (2002)
First Heard: 2002
I was close to two years into my love of IDM, paying attention to the American, sort of punk strand of it, due to the compilation Kid606 & Cex Are Terrible Musicians, which has nothing to do with Kid 606 & Cex but was made by people on the IDM mailing list who did not like these musicians. But it got me to look into them. Tigerbeat6 was the label that Kid606 ran, and they did mailorder on their site, so I'd be buying some releases from them. This album from Wobbly looked cool so I included it in one of my orders.

Listens since 2016: 1/29/2016, 3/3/2017, 3/4/2017, 3/4/2017 (twice in one day!), 8/3/2018, 1/1/2019

So yeah, this isn't an album I listen to all the time anymore. When it came out and thru college I'd be throwing it on a bunch, eager to show it to people and also to just be in its world. I listened to it a bunch when I was writing about it for another thread though https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=15595 and that pretty much covers what I'd have to say about this album. But I guess if I were to be brief, I would say you should check out this song from Girl Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYUIgP_SOqs Girl Talk was someone who got a lot of acclaim on his albums after this when he went for more straightforward mashups, but on the album this is from, Unstoppable, he was really going for some transformative shit. And it's cool, I like it a lot. But it feels like it already makes sense rhythmically, based on the existing music. Even though it's throwing a lot of different samples at you, it doesn't feel like a stretch to say that they're falling in the right place. But with Wobbly - Wild Why, it has to argue its case that it makes sense for the sounds to fall into place like this. And it really did not make sense to me at first. Reading the lyrics helped http://www.detritus.net/wobbly/dnotes/w...yrics.html and eventually I was able to hear how this music makes its own kind of sense. And I think it did help me appreciate the special weirdness that was happening in the music being sampled, breaking me out of my "ew gross, pop music!" mindset. So yeah, this one is really special to me and I keep checking in with it 17 years later, and no matter how much more music I hear this one has stood alone, making its own sort of sense.
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Luigii



Gender: Male
Age: 23
United States

#3 | Posted: 01/02/2019 03:44 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Tap wrote:
I'll write a bit about each of these albums for the first 10 days.

Wobbly - Wild Why (2002)
First Heard: 2002
I was close to two years into my love of IDM, paying attention to the American, sort of punk strand of it, due to the compilation Kid606 & Cex Are Terrible Musicians, which has nothing to do with Kid 606 & Cex but was made by people on the IDM mailing list who did not like these musicians. But it got me to look into them. Tigerbeat6 was the label that Kid606 ran, and they did mailorder on their site, so I'd be buying some releases from them. This album from Wobbly looked cool so I included it in one of my orders.

Listens since 2016: 1/29/2016, 3/3/2017, 3/4/2017, 3/4/2017 (twice in one day!), 8/3/2018, 1/1/2019

So yeah, this isn't an album I listen to all the time anymore. When it came out and thru college I'd be throwing it on a bunch, eager to show it to people and also to just be in its world. I listened to it a bunch when I was writing about it for another thread though https://www.besteveralbums.com/phpBB2/v...hp?t=15595 and that pretty much covers what I'd have to say about this album. But I guess if I were to be brief, I would say you should check out this song from Girl Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYUIgP_SOqs Girl Talk was someone who got a lot of acclaim on his albums after this when he went for more straightforward mashups, but on the album this is from, Unstoppable, he was really going for some transformative shit. And it's cool, I like it a lot. But it feels like it already makes sense rhythmically, based on the existing music. Even though it's throwing a lot of different samples at you, it doesn't feel like a stretch to say that they're falling in the right place. But with Wobbly - Wild Why, it has to argue its case that it makes sense for the sounds to fall into place like this. And it really did not make sense to me at first. Reading the lyrics helped http://www.detritus.net/wobbly/dnotes/w...yrics.html and eventually I was able to hear how this music makes its own kind of sense. And I think it did help me appreciate the special weirdness that was happening in the music being sampled, breaking me out of my "ew gross, pop music!" mindset. So yeah, this one is really special to me and I keep checking in with it 17 years later, and no matter how much more music I hear this one has stood alone, making its own sort of sense.


So, I decided to check this album out and thought this was going to be related in the IDM world since it was during Tap's obsession and somewhat my obsession as of now. Gave it a listen and wow. I still have to get my feet wet with 2002 since I have like 11 albums including this one. But even when I listen to more stuff, this is top 5. Hell, probably top 3 of 02. And I said probably top 3 since I have a sinking suspicion that Merzbeat could enter this discussion.

Now back to this record. This is some plunderphonics. But probably at its most insane example. Like even John Oswald, the man who coined the term would listen to this and probably drop his jaw. Its very glitchy. But also awe inspiring. In all honesty, this is one of those albums that I would love to talk about it. From its sound design to how this speaks to me since I remember listening to some of these songs back when I was a kid in the early 2000's. But all I'm gonna say is go listen to it.

Grade:95
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
United States

#4 | Posted: 01/02/2019 16:14 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I have litsened to several of these. A few of them I knew before I saw your chart, and another couple I nicked. I just listened to "Heave To" again last night, and it held up to another listen.

I think I have pretty good ear for sounds, and, in my overall chart right now, their are plenty of albums that use field recording techniques. It's easy to tell what sounds are organic and which sounds are created. However, this album leaves me baffled. It is impeccably put together. The first track sounds like a mic was put up in the ceiling of Dorothy's house in the Wizard of Oz as it was being blown away.

Thanks for this one!

Also,

Should I listen to the 49 minute "EP" she came out with in 2018?
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#5 | Posted: 01/02/2019 20:01 | Post subject: Reply with quote
oh nice I'm glad those albums have clicked with you guys! and oh yeah Olivia Block - 132 Ranks is a good one, maybe more of a minor release like I would say Karren, Dissolution, and the self titled one on Another Timbre (the last of which is a bit different and very piano oriented) are the big ones from this decade so far. But 132 Ranks is really cool, it's focused around an organ and explores it from one extreme to the other.

Tha1ChiefRocka wrote:
The first track sounds like a mic was put up in the ceiling of Dorothy's house in the Wizard of Oz as it was being blown away.


Ha, ah man that is a great way to put it!
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#6 | Posted: 01/03/2019 06:08 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Charles Mingus - Let My Children Hear Music (1972)
First Heard: I am really not sure, maybe like 2006ish, towards the end of college I think. I'd heard Black Saint and the Sinner Lady way back in high school and loved it but focused most of my jazz exploration energies towards Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis. But then eventually I decided to check this one out, and was like "oh well that's different" and set it aside, and then like another 5 or so years later it started to really click for me.

Listens since 2016: 4/1/2016, 7/29/2016, 2/10/2017, 4/6/2017

One of the interesting things I've found about logging my album listening is how often I am wrong about when I last listened to something. Because before I looked, I would have told you with absolute confidence, I surely listened to it in 2018. I did not. Hell, it's like 20 months now. But it's still so fresh in my mind, I was sure I'd heard it more recently. I've heard some people make the distinction about "music you still listen to", and maybe this wouldn't count. But it has remained on my mind. I will listen to it again soon though, I'm due for another go round.

Did you know this is the only album Mingus won a Grammy for? But only for the essay he put in the liner notes. You should absolutely read this essay though http://mingusmingusmingus.com/mingus/wh...z-composer

And then here's a fun quote from Sy Johnson, the arranger on the album, from the book Myself When I Am Real:

Quote:
Sy Johnson: Men were there with sound effects records and overdubbing solos and muddying the whole context up, deliberately. When I complained to Charles, what he said was very revealing: "Nobody should be seeing the bones of this music." I think in effect he was saying that he was disguising what he felt were his influences—and in some cases downright steals. He was voracious. He'd steal from himself and from anything he thought was interesting. It would always come out Mingus, but he didn't want anyone to be able to tell. So I did that on "The I of Hurricane Sue"—the storm and thunder stuff.


I agree with the acclaim for Black Saint, it is an incredible synthesis of composition and performance, and listening to it evokes very powerful feelings for me. But it all feels like it's happening in the same room, or like an exploration of the internal world. I put this album up here because I think it is incredibly successful in delivering on its ambitions of something epic in scope. I don't think he was only disguising his influences, this is music that needed to be assembled outside of the moment, because it's too large a creature to be alive entirely at the same time in one room. And yeah, Mingus is a bit down on the violently free sort of jazz in his liner notes essay, which I don't really agree with, I think that stuff is great. But something like this needed to come from this more deliberate and considered perspective, and so I'm grateful that he has this position that I disagree with, because it is truly something special.

It is a bit weird though because it's my highest rated jazz album, and in a way it is antithetical to the spontaneity that goes into a lot of the jazz that I love. But here's another quote from Myself When I Am Real, talking about an interview Mingus gave to Nat Hentoff for the New York Times, in their January 3rd 1972 issue.

Quote:
Mingus complained about critics not understanding his compulsion toward stylistic restlessness. "I don't want to be caught in any one groove," he told Hentoff. "Everything I do is Mingus. That's why I don't like to use the word 'jazz' for my work. I write what I think is classical music too. Of course, there always has to be improvisation in it."


So yeah, maybe this isn't really jazz music. But I think it is the most Mingus music of all Mingus. And there is improvisation in it, it's just the music is very much assembled as a recording. And that's a big thing for me, because I think I'm really into what happened to music when it became a recorded, fixed object. When this music was being made, there were still a good amount of people alive who could remember before recorded music existed. And as we've gotten to this point where basically all of those people are dead now, the changes that have happened have really developed and have given me a lot of music that I am into. But there is still something special about the music that came about when recorded music was still a vast open frontier to explore, and I think this album made a significant impression on me for what that world can be.

The big technological advance that's happened after I was born was digital music, and I think that's another thing that is pushing music into another change. One day when I'm old it'll probably start going to places I'm really unhappy about, and I'll be mad about it like old people were mad about the last advancements. And then later on me and everyone else who could remember a time before digital music will be dead, and then things will get really weird. That's so cool.
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#7 | Posted: 01/03/2019 10:26 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Animal Collective - Sung Tongs (2004)
First Heard: 2004
I'd heard about Animal Collective on the year end list of a website I liked back then, The Milk Factory, they listed Here Comes The Indian and I was like "whoa that sounds cool" and never listened to it. Then the Who Can Win A Rabbit video was blowing up on Pitchfork and my roommate was like dude you gotta see this and then I was hooked.

Listens since 2016: 2/18/2016, 2/25/2016, 6/19/2016

OK what the fuck. I genuinely cannot believe this. Part of it is because I saw them perform this album live in full in 2018 so I kind of did listen to the album in full. But wow I am surprised because I really thought I had listened to this a bunch in the past few years. Like I was thinking "oh man I am about to paste a bunch of dates in here". This has genuinely shocked me.

But yeah this band is very significant for me. They were a big part of my college years and connecting with other fans has led me to meeting many great friends and even my future wife, which is really cool. So I'll readily admit that I am biased towards this band, and actually completely sympathize with people who don't like the band and are frustrated by all the zealots. I am not a zealot though, and I think it's totally fair for anyone to hate their music or feel absolutely nothing from it. I am a fanatic though, like I'd argue that Painting With is actually their best version of the indie pop band they became starting with Feels. Sung Tongs was their last weird album, and it is my favorite. But yeah, if you already know that you don't care about Animal Collective I think that is an entirely reasonable conclusion you have come to and I don't want to try to persuade you to feel differently. Especially with this album, which if you wanted to be uncharitable you could compare to this song from The Godz where they impersonate cats in heat over acoustic guitars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Tm1xt0t7o but you would be wrong to put a negative light on that, because that song is amazing.

People say that Spirit They've Gone, Spirit They've Vanished is the first Animal Collective album, but that's wrong because it's an album that was written by Avey Tare that Panda Bear came in and drummed on after the fact, so well that he deserved top billing. And he did. But the core of those songs was created by Avey alone. And this distinction is important because Animal Collective starts on Hollindagain, at their most abstract, with all of them figuring out what the music is together. The story of Animal Collective is a group of boys jumping into the deep end and finding their way back into songs, going through a lot of uncomfortable periods along the way. Here is an anecdote that Avey posted on the messageboard back in the day about the Here Comes The Indian days

Quote:
That was a really weird time for noah. He insisted on us always calling him edgar and so we had to introduce him to all the promoters that way. I remember once he took morphine that i gave him and he was all drugged up when we were out with the promoters and it was really funny cause he could barely stay awake and we were all like "awwww come on edgar..stick with us keep going". Kind of like what i sing in infant dressing table.


They crawled their way back through the drugged up detritus, making it matter for the music along the way, but also finding more and more clear song forms as they made more albums but were on a direction for being in a bad place. By Sung Tongs, it had taken a toll, and only Avey Tare and Panda Bear remained in the band. They had stripped their music down and were performing music that did not seem like it would have much commercial appeal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqQ7tU26Q6E

But then so many things went right. They hooked up with Rusty Santos, probably the biggest thing, without him in the equation I'm not sure if we'd see the same future for the band. He produced the album and was likely a significant factor in making sure everything was recorded remarkably cleanly, and existed in a well defined stereo space. But Avey Tare and Panda Bear were ready to rise to the challenge of making a great album, Avey had been doing a bunch of field recording which was used to fill in the spaces between some songs and add a very particular character to the music in how they get manipulated. The songs themselves did have interesting structures which were difficult to convey live, and the production approach allowed the delineations between parts to become crystal clear. And there's a sense that everyone involved was genuinely having fun making this, giving their all to the performances (even Geologist, who sneaks back in for some harmonizing on College).

This album made Animal Collective a healthy place again and set them up to make popular songs, and before 2004 was over they were already performing Feels with everyone back in the band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7h0S2sgvZk and even though it led to them making music that I think is less of an accomplishment in the wide world of music that I love, I'm still so happy they did what they did. I would rather they be happily making pop music than killing themselves in the experimental underground. But I have no problem with celebrating this album as their most special one, the place where they crossed the finish line and found their way into making crystal clear tongue songs and be happy while still being weird to their core. Like this album goes from a song that has legitimately been used in a crayola commercial and felt perfect, into a 12 and a half minute process piece about solidification. So yeah I think this is one of the best albums. But also the first track ends in them repeating "meow, kitties" in a cute voice so I'm not gonna be upset if you hate it.
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#8 | Posted: 01/03/2019 10:50 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I might slow down with the next 7 a little but I'm having a lot of fun writing these. Next one might have to be a little long. But yeah also I am making some claims here and not supporting them with specific examples in the music but I am super interested into getting into that through conversations here so if there's anything that sticks out here as a "wait what are you talking about" moment or if you agree but want more elaboration feel free to ask me about it. And I will also try to respond to any and all thoughts on these albums because I love them.

like what Luigii said here

Quote:
how this speaks to me since I remember listening to some of these songs back when I was a kid in the early 2000's


I feel like that is incredibly crucial to how I understand the album and I have no idea how it would be understood by someone who has no context for all the songs being sampled. Like I feel like that could either be a significantly different kind of amazing from the one I experience, or it could make for a terrible listening experience. So I'm sorry if anyone checks this out and ends up in the latter boat but honestly I think your sacrifice is necessary in making this an Important Album so that the people who get something out of it can hear it.
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
United States

#9 | Posted: 01/03/2019 17:31 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Hell, it's like 20 months now. But it's still so fresh in my mind, I was sure I'd heard it more recently. I've heard some people make the distinction about "music you still listen to", and maybe this wouldn't count. But it has remained on my mind. I will listen to it again soon though, I'm due for another go round.


It had probably been about a year since I had listened to 'Odelay' by Beck fully, but, yesterday I listened to it, and I still know almost all of the lyrics of every song. Good music will stick in your brain forever.
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Hayden




Location: CDMX
Canada

#10 | Posted: 01/03/2019 17:37 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Heave To's going in the queue, and I'll be back.
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