(Sorry. Too weak to resist the visual pun.)
An overflowing larder of superb sounds was ours for the asking last year. All we had to do was gaze upward, as oft-brilliant tracks were falling all around.
By now, you now the drill. I abhor kudo-looping, so I never include recordings I've had anything to do with, those made by former or current associates, bandmates, ex-lovers, former flatmates, labels for which I've had the (dis)pleasure of toiling, fellow artists with whom I've shared stages, produced or mixed, supplied vocal samples for, toured with, etc.
Not only is it unethical - at best, a queasy sort of practice - but, basically, it's just really fucking gauche. Honor the other.
By necessity, this dogma draws one away from confortable redoubts. The not-known is sexiest, always. Reject the award, abjure the obvious...
My choices reflect those recordings that made me happiest. All imagined implications are go. There were no other considerations.
(I didn't hear everything worth hearing that was released globally last year - who could? - so I apologize for any and all works I've overlooked.)
1) Sog - Abweichung
Profan 032 12"
Perfect EP from this Wolfgang Voigt side-project...
2) Tion - Whistle Stop EP
Tongut TONV50 12"
Unimpeachable three-track earwig that never stops burrowing...
3 tie) A Made Up Sound - Rear Window EP
Delsin 83dsr/ams1 12"
Full fathom pulsing. Crazed version on the flip...
3 tie) Mark Ernestus vs. Konono No. 1 - Masikulu Dub
Congotronics CNG2 12"
Love at first needle drop. My tonearm turned black, but the prosthetic doubles as both outboard motor and knife sharpener...
Out of Competetion (and probably best of all, but I think one of the Jackie-O Motherfucker people is behind it, and they opened for TLASILA once in Portland):
AU - 2 EP
General Elektro GE AU 2-60238 12"
Startlingly fecund worlds are collapsed within. "Trilogy" is the best track I heard all year...
Honorable? Tons. A random handful, in no particular order:
Tessera Remixes EP (Sushitech comp. 12"); Thomas Fehlmann - Gute Luft Remixes EP; Audio Werner - Meanwhile; Kölsch - Speicher 68 EP; Francisco Allendes - Planeta X EP; Jeff Mills - Something in the Sky Pt. 3 EP; Kode9 & Spaceape - You Don't Wash (Remixes) EP; Stefny - Echinodon EP; Azari & III - Reckless with Your Remixes 1 EP; Shackleton - "Man on a String Pt. 1-2" / "Bastard Spirit" 12"; Breton - Counter Balance EP; Pinch - "Croydon House" / "Elements" 12"; Pablo Bolivar - Dynamo EP; Dario Zenker - Insirer EP; Moritz Von Oswald Trio vs. Digital Mystikz - Restructure 2 EP; Lone - "Once in a While" / "Raptured" 12"; John Roberts - Glass Eights; Pearson Sound - "Blanked" / "Blue Eyes" 12"...