December 20 2010

Seaworthy’s Cameron Webb looks back at his year in music.


2010 has been an equally exciting, frustrating, eventful and tragic year. It’s gone by in a blur and I’m heading into 2011 slightly concerned at the rate at which the years seem to be accelerating by. There is so much stuff floating about, each week brings a bunch of extra releases to add to my want list, a list that never ever gets close to being completely ticked off.

These are my fifteen favourite musical things from 2010:

Jana Winderen “Energy Field” (Touch) CD
Probably my favourite release of the year. Sounds resonant and mysterious and deep and textural, all the things I love. Perfect fit for 2010 that will go down as the year I fell in love with my hydrophone. I really hope Jana makes it out to Australia sometime soon.

Chris Watson “A Journal South” lecture
I’ve waited a long time to be able to attend one of Chris’ lectures and I wasn’t disappointed in this at all. Such a great experience sharing in Chris’ sights and sounds from his trip to Antarctica. Whales, creaking glaciers and wind. Fantastic. Fingers crossed I get to attend one of Chris’ workshops one of these days.

Taylor Deupree “Shoals/Shoals (Edition)” (12k) CD/7”
Really amazing, beautiful piece of work. Rare to have such a highly anticipated album such as this actually deliver the goods. Also my favourite sleeve art for the year.

Bonnie Prince Billy & The Cairo Gang “The Wonder Show of the World” (Drag City) CD
While being prolific, Oldham manages to maintain a high level of quality in his releases too. While the last couple of albums have been good, and have contained a couple of great tracks, I think this one is his best since 2005’s Superwolf album.

Talvihorros “Music in Four Movements” (Hibernate) CD
This release didn’t seem to get a lot of coverage this year but it’s pretty good. Reverb drenched guitars and ambient atmospherics and field recordings. Beautiful packaging too. I’m looking forward to what comes next for Talvihorros.

Solo Andata “Ritual” (Desire Path) 12”
Sounds amazing and a stunning point in the Solo Andata creative transect.

Stephen Vitiello “Sounds from the Red Earth” installation/CD
One of my great pleasures this year was to meet Stephen and have an opportunity to visit his installation at the old brickworks in Sydney. One of the first things that struck was how similar the rooms were to those bunkers where I recorded 1897 and it was nice to see how another artist worked with a similar space.

Mountain Man “Made the Harbour” (Partisan Records/Spunk) CD
Really love this. Two elements in music that are always likely to spark my interest, minimalism and melody.

Tallest Man on Earth “The Wild Hunt” (Dead Oceans) CD
Seems not everyone likes this kid’s voice but I think it’s great. Best of all, these songs are actually pretty good, production is interesting and I keep coming back to this album a lot.

Ghost of 29 Megacycles “The Hummingbird Dream” (hellosquare) CD
Absolutely beautiful two track album of melodic ambient drones from the Mayor of Perth.

James Blake “Klavierwerke” (R&S Records) 12”
Really interested EP of material. I really love this. I don’t quite share the love for the CYMK EP but I’ll be interested in hearing his debut album in 2011.

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma “Love is a Stream” (Type) CD
Pretty phenomenal record but I’m easily drawn in by a large dose of distorted reverb soaked drones. I can get easily lost in this album and it has revived me on the commute home from work quite a few times already this year. I think it was the texture of this record that really won me over.

Koen Holtkamp “Gravity/Bees” (Thrill Jockey) 12”
Brilliant couple of tracks of drifting ambience. Reminds me of humid summer afternoons just as the first fat raindrops of a breaking storm start falling on the back veranda. Beautiful release, both the music and wonderful letterpress sleeve.

Grouper “hold/sick” 7” & “split with Roy Montgomery” 12”
Liz can really do no wrong. These two releases are beautiful. I had the chance this year to play a show with Liz again and it was a real highlight to hear those sounds she crafts in a beautiful old church in Melbourne.

Marcus Fisher “Monocoastal” (12k) CD
Absolutely stunning sound work. So intricate and melodic and textural. Perfect.

A few other interesting things from this year.
Sophie Hutchings “Becalmed” CD (Preservation)
Sleep Over “Outer Limits” 7” (Forest Family)
Tim Hecker “Apondalifa” 7” (Room40)
Matt Rösner “Tape Series #1” cassette (Meupe)
Jack Rose “Luck in the Valley” CD (Thrill Jockey).

TAGS:   taylor deupree, marcus fischer, seaworthy, solo andata, matt rösner, matt rosner