Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The LPC Staff's Top Ten of 2010: arMa

Eighth list of our (approximately) thirty-list series. This one goes to arMa who wrote what I still consider one of the best posts on the site a few weeks ago.

I'm out of good leads, so here's his top ten albums of 2010:

10. Boy Is Fiction: Broadcasts In Colour

Overlooked and underappreciated idm/ambient -- a smoother Stendeck, or more ambient infused Sincere Trade. Less focused on heavy synths/breaks, more infused with a melancholic distance, a glacial lullaby.

9. Agalloch: The Marrow Spirit

Maybe I was anticipating an undeliverable masterwork. Great album, but unfortunately NOT their magnum opus. The riffs are amazing, the atmospheric overtones and writing-this-in-the-forest feel of the album is as brisk as the cool night, but its consistency is desultory and a bit chunky. Ambitious, and on the whole a successful album, just not AOTY material.

8. Hammock: Chasing After Shadows...Living With the Ghosts

Beautiful twinkly stuff. If you're familiar with Hammock, expect more of the same softness you've come to know and love. If you've never heard of Hammock, imagine a hammock aside a mountain ledge, between two distant pillars. Imagine your significant other in another room. You're now in love.

7. Les Discrets: Septembre et ses dernieres Pensees

This essentially boils down to folk-inspired Alcest, more specifically something Neige would do with Alcest if he wasn't so bent on making warmer music. It's a darker Alcest, I suppose, what with its brooding sense of celestial mysticism and heavier, densely-woven riffing. Great stuff, great cover.

6. The Third Eye Foundation: The Dark

Ten years is how long it took him to release this. Astounding ambient drum and bass - even more astounding than I could have possibly imagined. It's more of a mixture of the best atmospheric DnB segments of Ghost ( What To Do But Cry?, for example ) with the atmospheric thumping of his mid-era output. Awesome shit.

5. Sleeping Peonies: Rose Curl, Sea Swirl

Yeaaaaaaaaaah, more awesome shoegaze/BM. For a genre so infantile, 2010 has been extremely weak on the smoother side of black metal, but this and the following album represent the genre quite well. Whilst I still don't feel the scene has reached its apex, these are fairly adequate representations of an emerging style in an otherwise flat-lining genre.

4. Alcest: Ecailles de Lune

I wasn't sure where I wanted to put this, but this feels like the right spot. I love it, but don't particularly feel its rounded as a composite piece. First two tracks feature some astounding riffing, though.

3. Heaven In Her Arms: Paraselene

A mishmash of eclecticism; mountains of static, plodding ambiance with heavy riffing and fantastic vocals. Light years above and beyond anything Envy has done.

2. The Sight Below: It Falls Apart

Fumbling, dissonant, hyperminimal ambient techno in the vein of Gas. Breathtaking in its minimalism, hypnotic in its versatility of rhythms and melodies.

1. Yellow Swans: Going Places

Quite literally one of the best drone/ambient albums I've heard in a very long time. It's reminiscent of Earth and The Angelic Process on a purely revelatory level; vast, encumbering soundscapes that completely overwhelm with dense, delicious reverb, but perpetuate a very soft, lulling melody that escapes the entangling mess. There aren't any dreamy vocals a la The Angelic Process, but the sounds they're creating are tailored much differently. Incredibly dense, incredibly layered and moving and completely transcendent. A monolithic experience.

Well done as always, arMa. As the other admin of the site along with The_Red_Agent, I'll be posting my list tomorrow and I'll turn these lists over to him for a few days.

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