Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Things We Like #4: The Best of 2013

So many possibilities!
It does feel a little weird writing up a list of 2013's "Best" or "Most Notable" releases because, if a three-month silence at the Ni Kantu offices means anything, it's that this has been an incredibly busy year in life outside of this music. Hopefully next year will see more balance in terms of listening, attending concerts, and writing, but even if posting is sparse here and elsewhere, I am confident that that means my professional life and personal life are becoming more informed as a result. Maybe I haven't heard enough this year to do a justifiable year-end list, especially as it pertains to releases in the last six months – in fact, there are 2013 releases I have certainly missed. But that being said, the time I am able to devote has resulted in a smattering of discs and LPs that are definitely worth mentioning and I think they'll be albums that I return to in the years/decades to come. At least I hope so. And as always, they're listed in alphabetical order because hierarchy just doesn't work for me.

New Releases
Tim Berne's Snakeoil – Shadow Man (ECM)
Ted Brown & Kirk Knuffke – Pound Cake (Steeplechase)
Cellular Chaos – Cellular Chaos (ugEXPLODE)
Circuit Des Yeux – Overdue (self-released)
Steve Gunn – Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors)
Express Rising – Express Rising (self-released)
Chris Forsyth – Solar Motel (Paradise of Bachelors)
konstruKt – Turkish Free Music (Sagittarius A-Star)
Lydia Lunch – Retrovirus (ugEXPLODE)
Meridian – Hoquet (Accidie)
Roscoe Mitchell/ Tony Marsh/John Edwards – Improvisations (Oto Roku)
Alexander von Schlippenbach – Schlippenbach Plays Monk (Intakt)
Matthew Shipp – Piano Sutras (Thirsty Ear)
Twins of El Dorado – Portend the End (Prom Night)
Various Artists (curated by Peter Brötzmann) – Long Story Short: Wels 2011 (Trost)

Reissues and Unearthed Gems
Neil Ardley – A Symphony of Amaranths (Dusk Fire)
Dark – Round the Edges (Machu Picchu)
Marco Eneidi/Glenn Spearman/Lisle Ellis/Donald Robinson – For Our Children (Botticelli)
The Group – Live (NoBusiness)
Joe McPhee – Nation Time: The Complete Recordings (Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Médico Doktor Vibes – Liter Thru Dorker Vibes (Companion Records)
Roscoe Mitchell Quartet – Live at "A" Space 1975 (Sackville/Delmark)
New York Art Quartet – call it art (Triple Point)
Unwound – Kid is Gone (Numero)
Robert Wyatt – Robert Wyatt 1968 (Cuneiform)