A chart of recent favorite listens:
1. Christopher Bissonnette – “comfortable expectations” (from “periphery”, on the chicago-based Kranky)
Chris Bissonnette is one of my friends in thinkbox. “Periphery” is his first full-length, released on Chicago’s own Kranky. He had a record release party last Saturday at Neptune Records in Royal Oak, and I was inspired to pick this record back up (I got a copy over the summer) and dig back into it. “Comfortable Expectations” hit me as a standout track while I was studying earlier this week.
2. Fennesz – “Venice” (the entire album; on Touch)
This is a nice, natural progression from “endless summer”…the distorted guitar is still present, but maybe isn’t as much of a focus as before. There are a couple surprises (the David Sylvian vocal contribution, the ROCKING LOUD TRACK at the end) but overall, a great continuation of his material.
You can download a non-album mp3 from the Venice sessions here:
3. Eluvium – “Talk amongst the trees” (again, the entire album; on temporary residence)
At the aforementioned Bissonnette release party, I got to talking with Rob Theakston. He mentioned he was collaborating with Eluvium on a track for an upcoming record Rob is working on (his first full-length solo effort), and asked me if I’d heard his latest (“Talk amongst the trees”). When I replied that I hadn’t, he insisted that I buy it. When I demurred, explaining that my record-buying money had been spent, he insisted on buying it for me. That’s a pretty strong testament to a record’s quality, in my opinion.
In terms of sound, it’s somewhere between Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series and fennesz. Beautiful washes of sound.
Eluvium’s site has 2 mp3s of his work available for download:
4. Sufjan Stevens – “Illinois” (the album; on Asthmatic Kitty)
I backed off on my near-obsessive listening to this (at any given day during the summer you could probably find me listening to at least one of the tracks) but it’s still getting some play time. Definitely my top record of 2005.
5. Rebecca Anderson – “live at the thunderbird coffeehouse” (unreleased)
A 30-minute set from Rebecca Anderson the night she opened for me at the Thunderbird Coffeehouse in Jackson, MI (September 23, 2005). Look for big things from Rebecca once she gets more of her solo material recorded.
6. Brooks – “lost in lights” (from his MySpace page)
Also bumped into Brooks Mosher at the aforementioned Chris Bissonnette release party. He’s got a really nice track up at his MySpace site; it’s this sort of pitch-bendy little ambient thing that sits comfortably somewhere between Derrick May and Juan Atkins’ remix of Basic Channel’s “starlight”.
7. re:flex the architect – “here today gone tomorrow” (from his MySpace page)
re:flex is somebody I hooked up with from one of the Christian hip-hop forums I frequent. He’s a Nigerian who was born in Poland and lives in Southampton, Hampshire, United Kingdom. I’m a sucker for the sound of a British accent rapping (see Roots Manuva, check) but ‘flex brings his own style to this thing. “here today gone tomorrow” is from an upcoming mixtape project of his, I believe.
He’s going to be on an upcoming project of mine, too, but I’ll say more of that once it gets closer to release.
OK, chart over.
A couple other things: I’ve recently started using MySpace, as you may have noted from the above mentions in my chart. I don’t really like the site very much (why does every third woman have to be almost nude in their profile photos?) but whatever. I’ve got an unreleased track from “chromedecay tracks pt.2: 2001-2005” up there called “rain at the airport” that you might dig:
Also, I just finished up the final mixes of my 2 contributions for the upcoming release from thinkbox entitled “thinkbox editions 03: structure”. This record, and the fourth in the series (“thinkbox editions 04: field”) will be released in March of 2006. Now that the two thinkbox: structure tracks are done, I’ll be finishing up my contributions for the thinkbox “field” record (another two tracks due next week) and finally getting “chromedecay tracks pt2” finished as well.