The Pixies – Debaser
It’s important to start the new year with a goal.
Me, I still want to grow up to be a debaser.
Telefon Tel Aviv /// “Your Mouth” /// Immolate Yourself
Could be the ghost in the machine that makes good IDM so sad and haunting, but Immolate Yourself, especially given the strange, untimely and tragic death of Telfon Tel Aviv’s Charles Cooper earlier this year, is in a league of its own in that regard. Its electronic sighs and moans are an aural complement to Gatsby’s untouchable green light, an aborted future itself borne back ceaselessly into the past once we lose all hope of attaining it.
Here here. Definitely one of the greatest debut albums of all time.
Nirvana – School
Sometimes I think that out in the ether somewhere there is this oil well of artistic creativity and greatness, and you’re lucky to get a few drops of it here and there over the years. I also think that, even given all the bullshit that came later, for about 18 months in 1989-1990 Nirvana mainlined directly into the motherlode of this oil well. “Bleach” could be, probably is, the greatest debut record ever. Punkmetal stoner rock to its fullest expression.
I go to sleep to Eluvium almost every night.
Eluvium /// “Everything To Come” /// Talk Amongst The Trees
What You Should Have Heard, 2000-2009, day three: I can think of no genre with a bigger gap between accomplishment and acclaim this decade than ambient music. Without Kranky doggedly releasing the likes of Stars of the Lid, Loscil, Windy & Carl, Tim Hecker et. al., who knows where drone-seeking, overly anxious and orchestrally minded listeners would turn after deciding to give Eno’s Music For Airports a rest. Well, probably to Eluvium (née Matthew Cooper), whose ghostly Talk Amongst The Trees is equal parts golden afterlife and earth-bound sorrow. Opener “New Animals From The Air” is eleven minutes of hypnotic smoke curls. Centerpiece “Taken” climbs an endless, spiraling M.C. Escher staircase for a quarter of an hour. Haters gonna say it’s the same stuff repeated ad nauseam, but they’re paying too much attention. Eluvium’s best work is something to marinate the room in, to play (as Eno would have it) on the very border of your consciousness. Only when you’ve forgotten it’s still on will you be able to enjoy its imperceptible shifts and virtuosic decays. Loops recycle and degrade, coalesce and split, elemental against a backdrop of pure white annihilating fog. In a word: prehistoric.