🎵 One album a day - 2022 MEGATHREAD🎵

Hi

Not sure how well this will work, but worth a shot. I’m aiming to listen to an album a day every day this year. Had a bit of an off-year with music in 2021 - a combination of COVID related general numbness, life stuff and things… either way I aim to rectify this.

Thread idea:
Anyone who wants to join, listen to your album and then post about it. I’m aiming for the majority (at least 4 per week) to be stuff I haven’t heard before, but will include other stuff. You can rate them, I guess, if you like. This place wouldn’t feel like itself without assigning arbitrary numbers to things.

You can listen to my choices (entirely dictated by my whims and moods) or just pick an album each day and listen to / post about that. Hopefully we will end up with a thread full of interesting writing about music. Or a nice quiet void for me to howl my thought-words into. Either way…

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Day 1 (1st January)

The Knife - Silent Shout
The_Knife_-Silent_Shout(album)

Decided to ease into this whole thing with a classic. During the HGATR thread there was some debate about how well it had aged. I’m definitely on the side of thinking it has a timeless kind of quality to it, but maybe that’s because I missed it when it first came out. Oddly for something so cold and Scandinavian my main memories are using it as a soundtrack for evening runs in Brisbane at 20+degree heat.

If you haven’t heard it before I would highly recommend checking out the title track and We Share Our Mother’s Health (preferably with the amazing video as an accompaniment) - that should tell you how well you’re going to get along with it.

Rating: Easily a 9 or higher, depending on the mood you catch me in.

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Day 1 (1st January): The Knife - Silent Shout
Day 2 (2nd January): DJ Seinfeld - Mirrors

Sorry for the multi-posting. I’ve got a couple of days of catching up to do… will post today’s album this evening… hopefully someone else might have jumped on the train by then…

Lo-Fi house is one of those odd genres. It almost feels like a cheat code; a little bit of static, some lovely warm synths, some decontextualised vocals and shift everything a little off beat and voila, I’m nodding my head and grinning. I do admit that I might struggle to tell it’s practitioners apart on a blind tasting sometimes. If you blindfolded me and told me this was the new record from Ross From Friends, DJ Boring or AAL then I would happily have believed you, but then I like all those records too so maybe it isn’t a bad thing.

Rating: a warm smiley 8

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Aye, why not I’ll give this a go. I listen to my first album of 2022 today but I’ll try and catch up.

Album #1: Anchoring - Mirage

I heard ‘New World’ off this by chance last night when I asked our Google home thingy to pop 6 music on while in the kitchen. I really enjoyed it - nice bit of lightly jazzy electronica with a pleasingly hypnotic beat that was perfect for bobbing about while cooking. Thought I’d give the album a go today and it turns out the rest of it is also lightly jazzy electronica which is good for cooking to, only not quite as good as ‘New World.’ It’s all very Nice, with not much else to say about it. Worth a listen if you’re struggling to decide what to listen to while throwing a wok about though.

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I like the premise, will likely post about an album once in a while. I try to listen to at least one full album per day (shuffle too often due to indecision), but don’t always have the time to write about it. And sometimes there may not be much to say. But looking forward to reading about others’ albums for sure, and hopefully discovering new-to-me things.

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Day 1 (1st January): The Knife - Silent Shout
Day 2 (2nd January): DJ Seinfeld - Mirrors
Day 3 (3rd January): Skee Mask - Pool

…and up to date. I had a big job application to do today so hit up Skee Mask’s 105 minute bandcamp opus. Honestly I kinda bounced off Compro despite the critical acclaim and it being theoretically right up my street and I can’t even say why. After reading that he had pulled everything off Spotify to protest their funding of the Defence industry and Joe Rogan I decided to take another swing.

Very very very glad I did - whatever was missing for me in Compro seems to be here by the ladle-full. Fast and experimental without crossing the line into unlistenable drill-core and self indulgent, big gorgeous ambient washes and deep modulated baselines. It’s actually quite difficult to classify (especially if you hate referring to things as IDM) as it shifts between being a lot of different things without actually settling into any of them. Danceable microtronica…? Genres are hard.

Its vast length will mean that it takes a while to assimilate everything but I can see myself getting a little obsessed with it. May have to give Compro another spin - maybe I was just in the wrong mood that day.

Score: on first impression it might be a 9 - could go up or down after I’ve had more time to saturate in it.

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I’ve been meaning to give this another spin, I meant to when revisiting 2021 albums last month but it slipped by since I was doing all of my listening through Spotify. I seem to remember only playing it once so far, but apparently it’s been 3 times. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: Must have been a couple of inattentive plays.

I basically feel the same as you regarding Compro. Still rated it 7/10 but only played it twice. I’m sure it would grow on me if I played it more.

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I definitely listened to this last year, but I couldn’t tell you anything about it, beyond liking the GAS ripoff artwork. Compro left even less impression a couple of years before. Maybe I’ll give Pool another go.

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Day 1 (1st January): The Knife - Silent Shout
Day 2 (2nd January): DJ Seinfeld - Mirrors
Day 3 (3rd January): Skee Mask - Pool
Day 4 (4th January): Obey Cobra - Oblong

Local drones for local people (as long as you live in Cardiff). I’ve been peripherally aware of Obey Cobra for a while but to my shame never actually taken the time to investigate them. A combination of all things stoner and stoner-adjacent with a few lashings of krautrock and analogue synth thrown in for good measure. I do have a little issue with indistinct vocals - I’m okay with distorted burial-esque glitching, but when they are buried in the mix for effect my brain automatically sort of strains to decipher them and I find it paradoxically distracting from everything else going on. These guys use it well mostly, although there were a few times when I wanted things to stand out more it obviously isn’t what they wanted and it’s a matter of taste rather than competence. Loved the opening track, Sophia Can’t Walk, Dim Beak (the obligatory but wonderful Black Sabbath aping grinder) and the glitchy closing track. Will probably listen again.

Rating - already getting bored of rating stuff. Going to go full Pitchfork and sling it a 7.6

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You should definitely catch them supporting Hey Colossus in June. We’ll be alright to do stuff by June, right?

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Oh yeah, that would be great. I assume you’re going? Is it Ifor Bach?

The Moon, it’s one of them Cosmic Carnage gigs. I will most certainly be there.

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Colour me IN

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Nice idea for a thread, lets give it a go.

Tuesday 4th January: Testicle Hazard - Kiki & Kastor

Jumped around in my listening a bit today as I was trying to do some writing, one album that I listened to ‘properly’ though was this Testicle Hazard album released on Helicopter last year. I know Lasse Marhaug’s work well, the other guy in the duo (Tommi Keränen) not so much. Enjoyed this as a fairly-straightforward harsh noise ripper: sounds like a single session of two people wrestling with tables of electronics. Full-on and exciting, with a lot of textural fun going on, with production clear enough that you can hone in on all the little strands. Got nicely immersed in the flow of things. And refreshingly free of any edgelord crap too: just a nice picture of two cats, presumably named Kiki & Kastor.

Don’t really do numeric scores me, but definitely worthy of a :+1:

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There is not much music I can’t get my head around, but I do find this end of the noise spectrum fairly impenetrable. I have tried with Merzbow and the harsher end of Prurient, but I can’t find anything to latch on to. I always kind of think of music as being a combination of, sound, structure and intent and extreme noise like this only seems to tick sound and intent (although as I approach the 10 minute mark there is something that sounds like a rhythm emerging - then disappears back into a maelstrom). I’m not trying to be snarky and am actually sort of curious as to how it clicked for you - where’s the entrance point?

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Day 1 (1st January): The Knife - Silent Shout
Day 2 (2nd January): DJ Seinfeld - Mirrors
Day 3 (3rd January): Skee Mask - Pool
Day 4 (4th January): Obey Cobra - Oblong
Day 5 (you can count dates): Low - HEY WHAT

I mentioned upthread that for a lot of last year new stuff just bounced off me - I’m sure a psychologist might talk about taking shelter in the comfort of the familiar during times of upheaval or that sort of jazz. Anyway, a good few of these albums will probably fall into the category of “things I listened to once and knew I would usually connect with but didn’t”.

Which brings me to Low - HEY WHAT. I think this was defeated by the aforementioned numbness and trying to listen in the car whilst commuting. As the proud owner of a C4 Grand Brick, the engine noise does not give itself over to enjoying sonic subtleties.

A repeat listen in more favourable circumstances today was actually pretty wonderful. Loved the big distorted riffs, loved the soupy reverb interstices and felt that each enhanced the potency of the other. It really feels like one long piece rather than individual songs, although I would say that All Night kinda stuck out for me - not in a good way. Not sure what it is, but that combination of melody and words seemed to rub me up entirely the wrong way. Maybe as a 90 second interlude I could have put up with it, but 5 minutes was a long time to wait for things to enjoy again.

The highs are sky scraping though and there are a lot of them; White Horses, Hey, More and This Price You Pay are all wonderful in their own ways. It deserves all the acclaim it received.

Score: 9 (this is going to get pointless… I’m not going to listen to anything I don’t think I’m going to enjoy)

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I’m going to try and do this - not sure about writing it up because I’m rubbish about articulating myself about music. I also didn’t listen to anything on January 1st and 2nd but I think I’ve caught up!

January 3rd: Brijean - Feelings (2021)

There’s going to be a theme with a lot of these earlier ones in catching up with last year’s releases for my playlists. This album is a classic example of one song overshadowing the rest. I love the opening track ‘Daydreaming’ but nothing after that comes close in terms of its catchiness, groove or momentum. It’s still a beautifully laid-back summery album, but the promise of that opener leaves me wanting more.

January 4th: Slowthai - TYRON (2021)

I’ve always thought this double-album somewhat of a successor to Old by Danny Brown - bangers on one side, more introspective tracks on the other. Its early release in the year probably hurt it a bit but I love how little fat there is on this album.

January 5th

Outfit - Slowness (2015)

OK I can go on about this album. One of the best albums of the 2010s and, if it weren’t for Kendrick, it would’ve been my favourite album of 2015. I think its draws from Talk Talk and The Blue Nile but its indie-pop/rock sensibilites are slightly more refined so I can’t truly compare to the likes of Dutch Uncles or Everything Everything. Fuck I just love this record - it’s just so tight and catchy and well-performed.

HARD FEELINGS self-titled (2021)

I was drawn to this having heard Dangerous from the 6 Music Playlist on Craig Charles’ show this afternoon and thinking “this sounds right up my street.” Amy Douglas did a great mix for The Blessed Madonna’s show on the station recently and I’m a big fan of her stuff with Luke Solomon and Horse Meat Disco, and Joe Goddard rarely goes wrong with Hot Chip and his various other projects. I was going to recommend this to mates if they liked Roisin Murphy’s last album - turns out Douglas wrote ‘Something More’ from that record. Sad house disco bangers - count me IN.

White Flowers - Day By Day (2021)

One of those records which just totally nails the atmosphere it’s trying to achieve - I love the moody air around this album. I’m still surprised that Jez Williams from Doves produced something like this. One of those records that I could stick on and would be totally content with just letting it wash all over me.

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Not at all, no snark perceived! It’s a fair point, and fwiw I don’t think this album has hidden elements as such, it is ‘just noise’. If you enjoy those textures, you let it wash over you like a fun blast of energy, or you can listen super-closely and try to follow all the hundreds of micro-events that make up the mass of the sound.

If you don’t enjoy those textures though, there isn’t really anything else to grab onto on a release like this: as you say there is no structure, it isn’t ‘about’ anything etc. When the only thing is sound, you need to be on board with that sound!

That said, I more often listen to noise stuff that does involve other elements as well. Like John Wiese (lots of rapid cut-up samples), Aaron Dilloway (overdriven tape loops), Jason Lescalleet (a sense of narrative, references to other music), Kevin Drumm (mix of noise and drone). Maybe those artists make better entrance points than ‘straight’ harsh noise like Testicle Hazard or a lot of the ‘classic’ Japanese artists? Idk

Happy to make more specific recommendations if you like but also don’t want to flood the thread with noise!

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I’m going to need more than one album a day - a lot of this sounds right up my street

Day 1: The Knife - Silent Shout
Day 2: DJ Seinfeld - Mirrors
Day 3: Skee Mask - Pool
Day 4: Obey Cobra - Oblong
Day 5: Low - HEY WHAT
Day 6: JPEGMAFIA - LP!

Didn’t know much about JPEGMAFIA going into this except that he released a track called “I Cannot Fucking Wait Until Morrisey Dies” and I fancied some hip-hop.

It’s a ride. Noisetronica beats, half verses and scattershot delivery abound along with a particularly unexpected chorus on THOT’S PRAYER! (you will know it when you hear it). Although the sound is completely different the impressionistic approach sort-of put me in mind of some of Dean Blunt’s work… but processed via some fucking intense production and a lot of rage.

When it clicks properly into gear there are a couple of genuine head-nodding bangers on here, although I would struggle to tell you which track as they flow pretty seamlessly. I quite like the “occasional direction emerging from chaos” approach to album structure, but it does make things hard to grasp hold of tightly on a first listen. Glad I gave it a spin though and will be hunting out those highlights again.

Intriguing/10

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