Your neighborhood weirdo is here with his list of favorite “you call that music?” that came out this year. Most of this stuff people will hate, but hopefully it’ll entice some to explore the world of noise music. This year was probably my least varied year as far as genres explored; I definitely spent most of my time and money on the experimental side of things.
Alice Kemp – Fill My Body with Flowers and Rice (Fragment Factory)
This album is filled with wet, slimy, crunchy and beautifully grotesque compositions. Fill My Body with Flowers and Rice was my first purchase of the year and it remained in constant rotation. This might be the most challenging album on my list, so you’ll either hate it or love it. Good speakers are a must.
Dave Phillips – Rise (Self Released)
Rise is one of the most violent pieces of music I’ve ever heard. Dave hardly gives you any breathing room throughout this listening experience, but somehow keeps dynamics super high. I had the pleasure of listening to this on a 3.1 system and it was incredible. If you have a 5.1 system, I envy you. Your head will swirl with chaos.
Planning For Burial – Beneath the House (The Flenser)
What else can I say about this album that hasn’t been said already? Incredible album, get it.
Nakatani/Nanna/Schoofs/Woods – Self-Titled (Full Spectrum Records)
I really dropped the ball this year when it came to free jazz. This is the closest thing to free jazz that I’ve gotten. Metallic, noisy and controlled, these 4 musicians really tapped into something special with this one, especially given the time they had to record.
Francisco Meirino & Miguel A. García – Nonmenabsorbium (Idiosyncratics)
This album should come with a pair of earplugs. Francisco Meirino has always challenged the listener with exposure to high frequencies, but this album found me having to turn the volume down multiple times, never seeming able to escape the ear needles. I loved it.
Throane – Plus Une Main A Mordre (Debemur Morti Productions)
Ahh, one of the few metal albums I bought this year. Thunderous, discordant and distant, the French know how it’s done. I’d also like to nominate this album for having one of my favorite album covers. Simple, yet very striking.
Shredded Nerve – Bleeding From the Head (Monorail Trespassing)
I tend to like my noise a bit on the cleaner side, but there are some artists out there that do the grimy thing really well, and Shredded Nerve is one of those guys. Shredded Nerve is prolific and you can’t go wrong with any of his selected works.
Torba – Laavg Drjòt (Monorail Trespassing)
Torba. Torba, Torba, Torba… I don’t know anything about this artist; they just kind of popped up on my radar this year and I have been a fan since. Torba brings an inspiring mixture of harsh noise, field recordings and instrumentation to the table, highly recommended.
Oxbow – Thin Black Duke (Hydra Head Records)
The long-awaited album by this raucous quartet does not disappoint. I’m not sure what you’re waiting for if you didn’t buy this already.
White Suns – Psychic Drift (The Flenser)
Psychic Drift is a searing hot noise rock album that somehow makes you feel like you’re also in a cold, abandoned abattoir.
Aaron Dilloway – The Gag File (Dais Records)
A madman’s grungy, crumbling tape loops. Aaron Dilloway is another example of a noise artist who does the grimy sound well. If you ever get a chance to see him perform live, I highly recommend you leave your house for it.
Heinali & Matt Finney – How We Lived (The Flenser)
Heinali & Matt Finney were both new names to me and I’m so happy I learned about them this year. Textured ambient pads and well written spoken word always make for a good combination in my book. I look forward to following these two artists and their various projects. Also, can we mention now how The Flenser was on fire this year?
Jeff Carey – Single Units (Self Released)
Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked at Me (P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd.)
Nine Inch Nails – Add Violence (The Null Corporation)
Exist – So True, So Bound (Prosthetic Records)
Boris – Dear (Sargent House)
Tired All the Time – Please Stop (Self Released)
Crank Sturgeon – Forging Hay (Orb Tapes)
Facialmess / Boar – Split (Breaching Static)
Albums I Heard and Liked, But Didn’t Spend Enough Time With To Justify Putting Them On This List
Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meæ (Debemur Morti Productions)
Big|Brave – Ardor (Southern Lord)
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun (Sargent House)
The Body & Full of Hell – Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light (Thrill Jockey)