This year’s records – my top 28 for 2006

collage of album covers

I’ve been so busy exploring a variety of musics with which I was previously relatively unfamiliar, that it’s really tough sorting out what actually came out this year. Here’s what I managed to locate (all albums unless otherwise indicated). Do I need to say it’s in no particular order? I think not.

  • Ø – Tulkinta, Ø – Kantamoinen, Philus – Tetra
    (not sure when these came out this year, but all are bewitching)
  • Jan Jelinek / Tierbeobachtungen Jelinek
    (wanders further from the glitch garden path)
  • Junior Boys / So This Is Goodbye
    (brilliant pop music, just manages to avoid archness)
  • Hot Chip / The Warning
    (brilliant pop music, danceable too!)
  • Ricardo Villalobos / Fizheuer Zieheuer
    (sheer madness, I might hate this in a couple of minutes time)
  • Substance and Vainqueur / Surface 12″
    (more than welcome return under the Chain Reaction wing)
  • Rhythm & Sound / See Mi Yah Remixes
    (hated, no, abhorred it when I first heard some of the tracks, now it’s growing on me)
  • Wibutee / Sweet Mental
    (where to go after electronic jazz? Wibutee sign the way)
  • Various Production / The World Is Gone
    (more brilliant pop music, unfairly slammed in The Wire)
  • Derek Bailey / To Play Sessions
    (very beautiful, I miss the old bastard)
  • Tortoise / A Lazarus Taxon
    (now my favourite Tortoise album, just pips TNT)
  • Scott Walker / The Drift
    (madness times two thousand)
  • Paul Simon / Surprise
    (I grew to like this a lot, took some time to click)
  • Mat Maneri / Pentagon
    (queazy, fascinating, left-field funky, challenging electric jazz)
  • Kode 9 & The Spaceape / Memories Of The Future
    (brilliant pop music masquerading as Dubstep, or the other way round)
  • John Foxx / Tiny Colour Movies
    (gorgeous set of miniatures, return to form imo)
  • Sleeparchive / Hospital Tracks, Radio Transmission EPs
    (mysterious, minimal German techno, lovely)
  • Joanna Newsom / Ys
    (too many others have written about this for it to be worth my doing so)
  • Håkon Kornstad & Håvard Wiik / The Bad And The Beautiful
    (delightful album of covers, small-scale, charming, captivating)
  • Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto / Revep EP
    (welcome third installment from unlikely duo)
  • Sinistri / Timing the 183k Pulse – Eleven Intuitive Acts on a Defined Vamp
    (brilliantly stripped-down blues/rock/jazz/improv)
  • T++ / Aquatic, Storm 12″
    (lovely, crunchy, deep minimal techno)
  • Ornette Coleman / Sound Grammar
    (I’ve yet to warm to this CD and suspect like my good friend Doug that this is overrated, but it’s here because it’s good to hear from Ornette after a decade [!!] of silence)
  • Fonotone Records
    (cigar box full of bluegrass goodies from the last label to sell 78s)

Did I miss anything out??

Looking down this list, it’s certainly been a bumper year. Thank you 2006. Thank you all you wonderful music makers.


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