2010, musically speaking, it wasn’t a year of crisis, the music industry seems to be trying to cover excessive losses due to piracy by the avalanche of products brought to the market. I do not know how effective this approach is, but I know that in 2010 I wrote about over 300 albums and listened, well, many more. And this trend keeps rising this year.
In April I discovered the album “Blackjazz” by the Norwegian ShiningÂ and till “Ipsissimus” of Zorn/Moonchild in October I was firmly convinced that it is the album ofÂ the year. That does not mean that at the time between were not materials worthÂ to mention. There were plenty. The quantityÂ floods of products to the market fortunately didn’t buried for good the quality products. Yet.
10 titles, however, is frustratingly few to be fair. Some good titles are left out of this so-called classification, sorry guys, I love and respect all of you!Â I put this 10 titles in alphabetical order because all of them deserves maximum attention. Well, I do not make my “critics choice” with one eye on Billboard and the other one on eMpTyV, but what the hell?! I still believe that music is more than an accessory of the business that grew out from it. Music is not only for legs or ears, but for soul.
Brown vs. Brown – Odds and Unevens
This quartet from Amsterdam is composed of people with different tastes and views in music, indeed, sometimes diametrically opposed ones, but that gave birth to a very alive album, colorful branches from Jazz to Metal and Post Rock stuffs. Dirk Bruinsma, Viljam Nybacka, Gerri Jaeger and Jeroen Kimman put together a modern material that seemed to reinvent traditional approaches and looks to the future. It’s a very interesting experiment and a promising path to follow.
Brown Vs. Brown – Official Site
Faust â€“ Faust Is Last
Faust not only survived, but they are very creative and fresh even now . Broken into two distinguished fractions, Faust produce fascinating albums in a cyclic rhythm, and this “Faust Is Last” is a shiny piece of futurist material. The term “krautrock” was originally a humorous one coined by the UK music press, but while bands like Faust are still in creative flow, the British scene suffers of too many “copies of the imitations” of The Beatles or Iron Maiden and everybody on the island want to be at least the next The Clash or The Who. Meantime this German folks are looking further and album after album they still capable of surprises. “Faust Is Last” is a brilliant album from the fraction consisting of Jochen Irmler, Lars Paukstat, Steven W. Lobdell, Michael Stoll and Jan Fride.
Gogol Bordello – Trans-Continental Hustle
Gipsy Punk full of color and energy, funny accent and cynical attitude, in a few words this is all about Gogol Bordello. “We Comin ‘Rougher (Immigraniada)” is a rare and hunge Rock anthem as not too many I had the chance to heard last year and not too many self-claimed Rock bands have the guts to write some. And that song is not the only great moment of the album, Eugene Hutz and his gang of crazy buddy’sÂ can be proud as well of (at least) “My Companjera”,Â “When Universes Collide”, “Raise the Knowledge “, “Menin Uma Uma Cigana ” or ” Last One Goes the Hope “. This mixture of Eastern gypsy music with Punk is not only colorful and fresh, but directly a killer one.
Gogol Bordello – Official Site
Murderdolls â€“ Women and Children Last
In a world obsessed with being “post” any and all costs, don’t matter what, a little twisted Rock ‘N ‘ Roll fits without any doubt. Murderdolls after a gap of eight years, are back in force with a strong and quality material. Well, this is not Slipknot, but it’s ten time heavier than Stone Sour and it hits like a hammer.Â Labeled Horror Punk or even Heavy Metal, Murderdolls kicks like a mule and Joey Jordison are at least same confortable with his guitar as noisy he is behind his drum kit in Slipknot.
Murderdols – Official Site
OK Go â€“ Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
In January I wasn’t “shaked” by this album, but somehow it stuck in my mp3 player and with all my assumed skepticism against all this trendy Indie (Rock) avalanche, OK Go proved them selfs to be extremely “sticky” in the most positive possible sense.Â “Of The Blue Colour…” is a very inspired album. Or rarely inspired album considering the scene fulfilled with too many bands with nothing to say musically and lyrically as well. OK Go made sense, write very good songs and play that music with style and feeling.
OK Go – Official Site
Shining â€“ Blackjazz
Originally thisÂ gang from Norway went on the paths of Jazz, but in 2008 after a creative collision with Enslaved have a radical elbow to the Fusion of Industrial, Extreme (and Black Metal) and Jazz, creating an extremely incisive blend. Formed in 1999 by saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist JÃ¸rgen Munkeby, Shining is looking into the future using all the working elements of modern Jazz, Metal and Industrial, but mixing out of all of this something brand new. “Blackjazz” bites like a furious dog, it have cutting-edges and real weight.
Shining – Official Site
Subsource â€“ Tales From the Doombox
An electrifying mix of sounds with roots both in â€‹â€‹The Prodigy and in Asian Dub Foundation, the debut album by Subsource explode like a thunder and smash off everything in his way. This is a material with an incisive and refreshing groove, they have a Post-Punk, Rock nerve that goes perfectly with the Electro-Dub grooves they mix it.Â It was love at first listening – and moshing – , a band with a promising future and a certain exceptional debut.
Subsource – Official Site
Trophy Scars â€“ Darkness, Oh Hell
Somewhere in the neighborhood, but not the shadow of Helmet and Clutch, Trophy Scars find a fine gap on this Post-Hardcore wave and their blend of Post-Hardcore with Rock, Blues, Jazz and sometimes even Rockabilly tunes, this guys from New Jersey found something dark, but shining, heavy, but vibrating “something”, a magic mixture of traditional sounds with Avant-gard twist and turns. Known for their intimate live shows and independent booking techniques, Trophy Scars evokes a strong DIY regiment. They claiming their roots from The Beatles to Converge and refers to Tom Waits as well. It’s “only” an E.P., but it worth to listening into it.
Throphy Scars â€“ on MySpace
White Walls â€“ Mad Man Circus
I admit, probably at the expense of other great bands and remarkable albums such The Dillinger Escape Plan, East of the Wall, Just Like Vinyl, The Bridegroom, Rolo Tomassi, Tactus A, and another handful of young gangs that combines the ingenious and invigorating Metal with all sorts of colorful shades of jazz psychedelic experimental sounds, I nominate this newcomer band from ConstanÅ£a (Romania), but I chose White Walls not because mindless local patriotism, but because after long years in which the Romanian scene suffers from lack of identity, White Walls surprised with an album very well done and even if there are some undeniable influence – such as Between The Buried And Me – , this boys have managed to shape the music as their own vision. Influences comes from a much larger scale of sounds, it’s refreshing how progressive elements from Rush fits into Jazz and Metal tunes. You can download their album officially and for free, don’t hesitate!
download White Walls â€žMad Man Circusâ€ for free from Asiluum Arts
Zorn/Moonchild â€“ Ipsissimus
This is the real thing. John Zorn and his genius partners: Joey Baron – on drums, Mike Patton – vocals, and Trevor Dunn – bass, just did it again! Oops! This time have done (again) wonders, a flawless album, Free Jazz and improvisational flair with tumultuous outbursts of the futuristic-Avant-garde Metal and Rock tunes come together perfectly, the favorite Klezmer and mystical elements ofÂ Zorn were perfectly matched sequences ofÂ contorted explosions of his collaborators, and thus was born an extremely vivid and fresh material. Zorn is a restless guy and he always came up with something brilliant and with this great artists on his side they have overlapped themselves.
John Zorn – Tzadik