2014: my favorites

By _duif _duif
updated 2 months ago

This is in the first place a way for me to keep track of things. As is par for the course with lists like these, the order could be significantly altered at any time, especially after the first 20 or so entries. Don't feel bad if you only appear somewhere in the lower regions. I listen to and love a lot of music, to be included in this list at all should feel like a dizzying, life-affirming triumph.

  1. Michael Pisaro - Continuum Unbound

    4 For Sale from $48.50

    I'm only slowly starting to wrap my head around this 3-disc treasure chest, but it should obviously be granted the laurel wreath.

  2. Yob - Clearing The Path To Ascend

    Glorious, uplifting metal. There was no other album I played more often this year. 'Marrow' is my number 1 track of 2014.

  3. Clipping. - CLPPNG

    Another rush of blood to the head. Noise/electronics and hip-hop in a very natural but very potent mix.

  4. Richard Dawson - Nothing Important

    17 For Sale from $19.40

    If you're going to pick up a guitar and sing, you'd better do it like your very life depends on it. If you can't manage that, stop wasting my time.

  5. Swallowed - Lunarterial

    19 For Sale from $9.70

    So dark and evil. Too dark for you I think. You probably shouldn't check this out.

  6. Castanets - Decimation Blues

    Raymond Raposa's band had a dip around 2008, then pulled themselves together for 2009's fantastic 'Texas Rose, the Thaw, and the Beasts', and then vanished off the face of the planet for 5 years. A triumphant return!

  7. Reverorum Ib Malacht - De Mysteriis Dom Christi

    2 For Sale from $42.79

    More utter darkness. I can't even begin to describe this. Maybe something like 'imagine if in the mid-1990s, Cold Meat Industry started releasing black metal albums'. No, that sucks, forget it. Released on vinyl, tape and CD, each containing entirely different music. At the moment I like the LP best I think.

  8. Nick Hennies - Work

    3 For Sale from $8.00

    I loved 'Cast and Work' on last year's 'Duets for Solo Snare Drum', and I love 'Expenditures' here. Hypnotizing hyper-minimalism slowly blossoming into something rich and gorgeous.

  9. Toshiya Tsunoda / Manfred Werder - Detour

    4 For Sale from $12.99

    Field-recording based drone music: been there, done that, right? Nope.

  10. Stilla (2) - Ensamhetens Andar

    3 For Sale from $9.78

    Mesmerizing Swedish black metal that sounds like a forgotten jewel from around 1994-1995. Hints of early Ulver, Kvist, Old Man's Child, even Dimmu Borgir when they hadn't yet turned into a circus act.

  11. Skogen - Despairs Had Governed Me Too Long

    As good as 'Ist gefallen in den Schnee', which scored very high in my 2012 list. This time based on Dowland rather than Schubert.

  12. Horrendous - Ecdysis

    A young American band releasing an album that makes you feel like you're back in 1993, hearing At The Gates for the first time. Remember At The Gates? I wonder what they're up to these days.

  13. Vanessa Rossetto - Whole Stories

    8 For Sale from $10.00

    Everyday sounds woven into extraordinary soundscapes.

  14. Jason Lescalleet - This Is What I Do - Volume Two

    And Volume Three and Four. For the purposes of this list I choose this one (but with a shout-out to the amazing, tremendously moving last track of Three). A new volume each month next year, looking forward to that!

  15. Kevin Drumm / Jason Lescalleet - The Abyss

    8 For Sale from $16.00

    A sprawling work, all over the place and hard to get a grip on, but it contains some stunning moments. My favorite tracks are the two long ones (adding up to 83 minutes out of 121 in total!).

  16. Morbus Chron - Sweven

    It's no longer death metal, they say. Who cares when it sounds like this?

  17. Ju Sei, Utah Kawasaki - U As In Utah

    Completely unique, weird and Japanese. Sorry to confirm stereotypes.

  18. Darkspace - Dark Space III I

    4 For Sale from $80.69

    The vast emptiness of space translated into symphonic metal.

  19. Marc Baron - Hidden Tapes

    5 For Sale from $6.99

    Rummaged in a box of old videotapes, came up with one of the most entrancing pieces of sound art in recent memory.

  20. Thomas Ankersmit - Figueroa Terrace

    11 For Sale from $8.00

    Austere and harsh. Also transfixing.

  21. Jürg Frey / Radu Malfatti - II

    3 For Sale from $22.01

    Disc 1 is my favorite. Very nice too wake up to, very gently.

  22. Funereal Presence - The Archer Takes Aim

    Negative Plane drummer goes solo. Anything connected to Negative Plane is awesome (see also Occultation, below).

  23. Mohammad - Zo Rèl Do - 34ºN-42ºN/19ºE-29ºE Study Vol.1

    Those strings will cut through flesh and bone. Watch out.

  24. Autopsy (2) - Tourniquets, Hacksaws And Graves

    Death metal grandpas. All the fun and variation and sense of dynamics you don't find in most other death metal albums. And man, that throat!

  25. Silvia Tarozzi - Virgin Violin

    2 For Sale from $14.55

    You know you have a winner when the Eliane Radigue piece isn't even the best thing on the album.