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Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Hi everyone!

Here we are again with our highly contested yet equally enjoyable HAPPY NEW EARS AWARD for the most innovative listening experience of the year. This is how it works. We present you below a longlist of albums that meet the criteria of having offered a new, novel, creative, innovative approach and perspective to music. This is not necessarily the best album of the year, but it should create a feeling with the listener of hearing something surprising, never heard before, discomforting or comforting in a different way, yet with an attractiveness and fascination that makes you want to hear it again and again.

Here is the currently proposed list.
  1. Katherine Young's Pretty Monsters (still to be reviewed)
  2. Mikolaj Trzaska's Ircha - Zikaron Lefanaj (still to be reviewed)
  3. Thomas Heberer's Clarino - Cookbook
  4. Eve Risser - En Corps
  5. Pão 
  6. Foxes Fox - Live At The Vortex
  7. Joe Morris - Graffiti in Two Parts (still to be reviewed)
  8. MMM Quartet (Léandre, Curran, Frith, Leimgruber), Live at the Metz’ Arsenal 
  9. Veryan Weston, Ingrid Laubrock, Hannah Marshall - Haste
  10. RED Trio + Nate Wooley
  11. Muringa - The Unknown Knowns 
  12. Eivind Opsvik - Overseas IV
  13. Skogen - Ist Gefallen In Den Schnee
  14. John Butcher and Toshimaru Nakamura - Dusted Machinery 
  15. Tim Berne - Snake Oil
  16. Levity - Afternoon Delights 
  17. Stian Westerhus - The Matriarch And The Wrong Kind Of Flowers
  18. Evan Parker, Okkyung Lee, Peter Evans – The Bleeding Edge
  19. Nicole Mitchell - Arc of O
  20. Steve Lehman Trio - Dialect Fluorescent
  21. Daniel Erdmann - How to Catch a Cloud
  22. Emile Parisien - Chien Guepe
  23. Aram Shelton Quartet - Everything for Somebody
  24. Matthew Shipp Trio - Elastic Aspects
  25. Max Johnson Quartet
  26. Nate Wooley - The Almond
  27. Joe McPhee/Eli Keszler - Ithaca
  28. Stephen O'Malley & Steve Noble - St. Francis Duo
  29. Fire! feat. Oren Ambarchi - In the Mouth a Hand
  30. Jon Irabagon - I Don't Hear Nothing But The Blues, Volume 2: Appalachian Haze

You can add albums for the longlist between now and the end of the week. We - the review team - will then reduce this list to a manageable shorter list. On this list the votes can be cast and we will have the winner by year-end.

Many thanks in advance for the suggestions.

Joe, Paul, Stef


Richard said...

I'd definitely put

"Bobun - Suite Pour Machines À Mèche"

on this list. I keep picking up more and more subtleties every time I listen. This idea of freely improvised string music strikes me as a great innovation. The album Joe reviewed recently by Barrel would seem to be of the same sort. I'm looking forward to hearing that one.

KennyB said...

Out of the many on that list, I would have to pick ...RED Trio + Nate Wooley - Stem.

Richard said...

Still thinking about this and flipping through
my albums. Another one you folks should consider:

Angharad Davies, Tisha Mukarji, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga – Outwash

Anonymous said...

Stian Westerhus - The Matriarch And The Wrong Kind Of Flowers has it for mine...but don't miss Joy Mega by Jason Ajemian on bass & vocals and mary Halvorson and others....

joesh said...

Hi Richard, if you like string music, and in this case an improvised string trio, don't miss 'Barrel', it was/is excellent.

The 'Bobun' is also really excellent, and far more innovative than 'Barrel'. Bobun is breaking barriers, whereas I suggest that 'Barrel' is skilled improvisers working on a very high level to make fresh sounding music - very tonal music at that.

Best - Joe

zebtron said...

It just came out but I can't say enough good things about Christian Lillinger's new one on Clean Feed-Second Reason

Paul said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for the Joy Mega reminder ... this is indeed a unique one!

Anonymous said...

For a 2012 album that creates a feeling with the listener of hearing something surprising, discomforting or comforting in a different way I would definitely choose: Narada Burton Greene - Live at Kerrytown House

Anonymous said...

Only just reviewed here but a very original listen sounding unlike most other releases this year or any other - Josh Berman & his Gang There Now

Anonymous said...

The Thing with Barry Guy - METAL

Anonymous said...

Trespass Trio - Bruder Beda.It's unbelievable.

FreeJazzJeff said...

How about adding Wooley/Weber/Lytton's 'SIX FEET UNDER' to that longish list?
A relatively consistent but still innovative aesthetic from these dudes.

Anonymous said...

Keiji Haino/Jim O’Rourke/Oren Ambrachi - Imikuzushi (Black Truffle)

Anonymous said...

I recommend: Reinhold Friedl - Mutanza (Bocian/Bołt) (one of the best of this label(s) this year)

Anonymous said...

and also Spill - Fluoresce (Monotype)

Anonymous said...

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra with Lol Coxhill & Evan Parker - Improcerto (for HB) by George Burt (Iorram Records)

Anonymous said...

Phantom Orchard Orchestra - Trouble in Paradise (Tzadik)