Best Albums Discovered in 2008

bran(…)pos – Coin-Op Khepri CD (CIP) 2008

Hands down the best record of the year. This actually came out early in 2008 and I thought it was amazing, but I also thought that the year had just started and there was probably some other things coming down the pike, but now at years end, I can still say that this is the best record of the year. It’s an experimental record for sure, but the usage of sound, stereo image, editing…all in all a great testament to some really fine audio work. At times it reminds me of the Residents but even that is too far away from even describing what this sounds like. I venture to say that this is a masterpiece.

David Lynch – Polish Night Music CD (Absurda) 2007

A close contender for album of the year, except that it came out in 2007. If you liked “Inland Empire” (I loved it) you will like this disc. It is basically Lynch on drone synth with sparse piano by Marek Zebrowski. Extra minimal and haunting. perfect mood setter for my mind.

Hypatia Lake – Angels and Demons, Space and Time CD (Reverb Records) 2008

OK, YES! I recorded this, but I LOVE it. The concepts involved, the big guitar sounds, the heavy riffs, the numerology, the Bowie, the Nick Cave, The Flaming Lips. it just all added up to one massive smile on my part

Leviathan – Massive Conspiracy Against All Life CD (Moribund) 2008

Unfortunately this guys LAST record, but also his best. Total destruction of the mind in a black metal way. You feel devastated after listening. A total assault on the senses.

Yeasayer – All Hour Cymbals CD (We Are Free) 2007

I was turned on to these guys by Cheryl Waters at KEXP. I heard a live recording and thought it was great, then I heard a song on the radio and was intrigued. Then I went to see them live and I was blown away! They have a very unique way of approaching music. It’s got your pop hook and the band is a guitar bass drum keyboard setup but there is nothing standard about this. The vocal harmonies is what floors me. Not only are they great on record but they pull it off live. This is a real band playing as a real band. Everyone does multiple things and it’s just fantastic.

MGMT – Oracular Spectacular CD (Columbia) 2007

This band opened the Yeasayer show I didn’t see them but Cheryl said it was like a Bee Gees, Bowie, Flaming Lips, Beach Boys freak fest. It’s true!! fantabulous record.

Frank Zappa – One Shot Deal CD (Zappa) 2008

I know he’s dead but the records just keep coming. This is another project/object that is made mostly from build reels that Zappa made when he was alive. This means that these a records he was working on or collections that he thought made sense at the time. So this is mostly live material and it just kills!

Burragubba – The Digj in Us  CD 2001

Right at the end of the year we were visited by our former neighbors that moved to Australia. This CD was a Xmas Gift for me from sweet Rowan and on first listen I was floored. I don’t know if this is the best didgeridoo record, but it seems pretty sweet to me. I was amazed at how a single instrument and a stick click could be like a whole hip hop track.

Bonnie Prince Billy – Lie Down in Light LP (Drag City) 2008

OK, yeah, I mastered this record but this is fantastic music. It has a majesty to it that I’ve not heard in many records recently.

Rubber O Cement/ Slicing Grandpa – split 7″

I can say that I love Rubber O live but the records have left me a bit flat, until this one. Fantastic Japanese monster destructo-bot. The bonus is Seattle band Slicing Grandpa and their brand of noise rock that reminds me of the Strangulated Beatoffs.

Pigs in the Ground – The Enticing Sounds of…  8″ EP (Aural Secretions) 2008

This duo blew my mind on tour. I love it when an improv band actually listens to each other. It’s even better when the improv is in soundscapes. It’s even better when it’s dark. This record is must have on a couple levels. It’s documenting the current mind connection of the two members, it’s an 8″ HAND CUT record. It’s limited to 30 copies. You lose.

Tuxedomoon – 12″ EP 1978

I don’t know how this escaped me back in the day but it revealed itself in the used bin of Sonic Boom one day. I just bought it thinking that if it were pre-Ralph it was probably pretty good. I had no idea. It’s fantastic, raw and dark.

Human League – Golden Hour of the Future 12″ teaser EP ((Black Melody) 2002

This is a 2008 repress of this teaser EP. I had to buy this because it contains 4 additional bonus tracks not on the cd. I really love the Human League in pop form or this form. This is the strangest, weird synth pop damage you can imagine. I just don’t know how they went from this to “Fascination” but I love it.

Be-Bop Deluxe – Axe Victim LP (Harvest) 1974

My friend Shit played Be-Bop Deluxe for me in college and I never quite got it. Recently I’ve been filling in holes in my collection and this bands records have made their way into my collection. I still don’t really get it, but then I heard this one. It’s very different then their others but this one is like a classic Bowie Diamond Dogs record and I love every damn song on it.

Tears For Fears – the Hurting LP (Polygram) 1983

This was recommended to me by Yeasayer manger as a reference for a record I was going to do with then. I hadn’t heard it before so I had to hear the reference. I didn’t find it before the gig but found it shortly after. WOW! I know I probably steered way clear of this band in the day but I was young and stupid. Now I’m just stupid. This was a fantastic record. I like the odd, non-hit cuts the best. Really wild drum programming, odd vocal style and…ahem… dark music.

Blues Control = Snowy Day 7″ (Sub Pop) 2008

This was the December Sub Pop 3.0 singles club entry and I’ve gotta say that most of the singles club so far hasn’t been that impressive, but this shitter blew my mind. What the fuck is this? Is it a solo project? How fucked up are all the parts. How weird is the mood. What’s this cover all about. I just loved it.