traumatic harmony
the pataphysical study of randomized sound
2005: New Releases

The final edition of Traumatic Harmony's year end wrap-up. These albums represent only a fraction of what I heard and probably like, but they are the ones that have stuck around in my mind the longest (or entered in most recently). They are, once again, in no real order and include commentary for things not talked about in my Dusted year-end piece.

Sleater-Kinney - The Woods

Espers - The Weed Tree
While I'm more excited about their album that's coming out at some point in the next little while on Drag City, this is a fantastic collection of covers and reinterpretations. Read my complete thoughts here.

Black Dice - Broken Ear Record
This album marks a return to form for this Brooklyn via Providence group. Beaches and Canyons is possibly the best full-length to come out on DFA to date, combining the elements of hardcore with experimental ambient electronics. But their sophomore album, Creature Comforts was a flabby, directionless muddle of sound, probably due in large part to the departure of drummer Hisham Bharoocha; his pounding gave Beaches and Canyons it's dramatic arc. And while Broken Ear Record is a good deal noisier and more experimental than Beaches, it is just a compelling and orderly. They've figured out how to organize sound solely through electronic means, giving each song an irresistable logical flow.

Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Alatt Szulettet
See here.

Gang Gang Dance - God’s Money

Boredoms - Seadrum/House of Sun
This may very well have come out in 2004, but it only found its way over here in any serious way in 2005. Yamatsuka Eye knows better than anyone how to make a monstrous groove that goes through many different sections while still keeping you interested. They've long since abandoned the noise of their early days, with this album sounding more like Can than the Butthole Surfers, and I can't help but get totally caught up in the tribal joy of each moment here. And I'm still pissed that I missed seeing them when they toured the States last summer.

Evens - s/t

Lightning Bolt - Hypermagic Mountain
I just read a fantastic article/interview of these guys in the latest issue of Wire magazine. It turns out that their move towards the blistering metal that fills most of this album was completely intentional, an attempt at expanding their sound, filling out the mid-range of the audio spectrum, and generally confusing their listeners. I would expect nothing less from a pair of RISD graduates who are just as interested in quirky, subversive art as music. For my initial reaction to this album, read here.

High on Fire - Blessed Black Wings
Relapse continues to put out great metal for the non-metal set. Last year, it was Mastadon's ode to Herman Melville, this year it's High on Fire's homage to Motorhead and Venom. Steve Albini's crisp, heavy production captures HoF's full fury without ever sounding muddy or out of control.

Akron/Family - s/t

Psychic Paramount - Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural
The other half of Laddio Bolocko continues very much in the vein of the quartet's original mission. The instrumentals here are monstrously heavy and deceptively hypnotic, sounding like Neu!'s amped up grandchild. Not to mention, they have possibly the best use of delay since the A Frame's "Abstract."

Spires That in the Sunset Rise - Found Winds the Walker

Kinski - Alpine Static

A Frames - Black Forest
While not as wonderfully robotic as 2, this fuzzy chugger is still one of the best thing to come out on Sub Pop this year. And they managed to make the switch from S-S without in any way submitting to the tyranny of the Sub Pop "sound." Despite the fact that Sub Pop is probably more popular for the indie pop drek that everyone likes, I would almost consider it my favorite of the big indies on the virtue of its willingness to put out albums like this, Comets on Fire, Wolf Eyes, Kinski, etc.

David S Ware - Live in the World
Three CDs of David S Ware's quartet documenting three concerts with three seperate (but equally awesome) drummers. Probably the best live document of jazz recorded in the past few years.

Konono No. 1 - Congotronics
Ummm, simply put, wow. Hypnosis, meet your maker. Not seeing them when they toured almost hurts more than not seeing the Boredoms.

Keith Fullerton Whitman - Multiples

Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask

Lungfish - Feral Hymns
My friend Art once wrote that listening to Lungfish is like going to church, and for the longest time I didn't quite get it. Then I picked up Love is Love, their 2003 masterpiece. While Feral Hymns pales a bit in comparrison to its amazing predecessor, its still a quality release, capturing a mood better than a lot of albums to come out this year. And its monolithic quality is no weakness; it only furthers the strange vision of main man Daniel Higgs.

The Fall - Fall Heads Roll
If listening to Lungfish is like going to church, listening to the Fall is like going to work every day; occasionally amazing, often kinda average, sometimes pretty shitty. This is one of those amazing days, perhaps even better than The New Real Fall LP. I almost didn't get a chance to listen to this record, but I'm very glad I did. After one listen, I was unconvinced, but at the second, it completely made sense. Not only has Mark E Smith finally gotten rid of a lot of the gnarly electronics that hurt so many of his 90s albums, but his current backing band is probably his most rocking since the early 80s, probably because none of them have really listened to the Fall before, so they're all willing to submit themselves to MES's twisted vision of the world.

The Gris Gris - For the Season
The more I hear from Greg Ashley, the more I like of it. This is even more ramshackle than the last Gris Gris album and even more in debt to the 13th Floor Elevators and Syd Barrett. Look for a review of this from me in Dusted in the near future. 
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Albums/Things of the Moment

Gal Costa - Gal
X - Los Angeles/Wild Gift
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
The Factums - The Sistrum
The Dark Knight
Jay Reatard - Matador 7"s
Sub Pop Singles Club III
Mississippi Records
Byard Lancaster

Radio Waves

lexicon devil
agony shorthand
keeping score at home
something I learned today
deadly tango
her jazz
strange reaction
god and a bottle in me
in case of mishaps
20 jazz funk greats
funky 16 corners
moon sash
mental archipelago
crud crud
just for a day
little hits
everything is fire

Odds and Sods
my old wprb playlists
my reviews on dusted
dusty groove

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all posts before december 2004 are old wprb playlists. I wish I could say I've been blogging that long, but that's simply not the truth.

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