Biosphere – “N-Plants” – Norwegian ambient legend Geir Jenssen releases his first studio album in 5 years, based around
field recordings of Japanese nuclear plants. Incidentally, these were composed before the events of February of this year,
and during the production Jenssen mused openly about the vulnerability of these plants to earthquakes and tsunamis… I
drove to Seattle last fall and saw him perform in a cathedral at sunset, with birds singing in the garden outside while the
dimming light played through the stained glass windows. One of my most cherished live music experiences…
Frank Bretschneider – “Komet” – Ultra-minimal bone-dry techno from one of the three founders of one of my favorite labels,
Stephan Mathieu – “A Static Place” – A beautiful release, in which Mathieu uses old 78rpm gramophone records of Baroque and
Renaissance music as source material, extensively edited and processed into a very textural and accessible ambient work…
Ricardo Villalobos / Max Loderbauer – “Re: ECM” – Villalobos, the king of minimal techno, and Loderbauer, who I’m not
familiar with, assemble snippets and samples from ECM’s back catalog into a reverent tribute. A no-brainer for me, since
I’m a huge fan of both Villalobos and ECM…
Daniel Menche – “Feral” – The latest slab of resonant noise compositions from Portland’s Menche. To my ears, seems to be
sourced from field recordings taken during Menche’s frequent hikes in the Pacific Northwest. His blog and Facebook page
reveal that he is a grade-school librarian and former local juggling celebrity who dotes on his besweatered Chihuahua named
Arrow. So much for the idea of noise guys feeling the need to be intense and intimidating!
James Fella / Les Beyond – split cassette – Local music advocate, member of Soft Shoulder, Mangled Men, and Tent City, and
all-around good guy James Fella issues a side of noise/drone based on prepared piano, bowed cymbals, and guitar feedback
that I’ve listened to more than anything else this year…
Sungssang – “Anak Tanpa Bangsa” – A Tempe-based collective playing original pieces strongly influenced by Javanese gamelan
with elements of electronics and noise.
Bruno Pronsato – “Lovers Do” – A great album of warm minimal techno from this former hardcore drummer turned techno
producer and DJ.
Kenneth Kirschner – “Twenty Ten” – A triple-CD set of processed piano and electronic compositions running the gamut from
microtonal and glitch to ambient/drone.
Christina Kubisch – “Magnetic Flights” – German sound artist Kubisch has been active since the 1970s working with found
sound and doing installation works. In these pieces she uses specially-built equipment designed to convert inaudible
electromagnetic signals recorded during intercontinental plane flights to audio whines, drones, and clicks. The results are
of interest to anyone interested in field recordings and found sounds, glitch aesthetics, or aerospace engineering…