Another year ends and another year begins. In 2010 we at Noori Records had a lot of effort making 2010 happen, and also preparing and working on what 2011 will become. To review what happened on 2010, we’ve asked several of our artists to make their “Top 10” of music releases. The first one to present us with his list was +ko+ko+. Now, for the second part, Merankorii:
In no particular order:
20th March 2010 (2xCD, Cabinet Pin)
Twelve times an year there are very limited editions being released, all of them priceless. Yet, only one of that collection makes to the “Top 10” list… I am, of course, talking about the “20th challenge“, a great yet crazy initiative by the great and crazy Australian label “Cabinet Pin”. The 20th can be quickly summed up this way: “Every one can participate, and the rules are easy to follow. On the 20th of a month, not one second before or after, you will do one music. No ideas from beforehand; no writing, performing, recording, mixing, mastering of the track before or after that day. When the end ends, you send the track to Cabinet Pin. The label will gather all entries and release a limited edition CD with them”. Simple and fun. The general idea people get when they hear about this (believe me, I thought it myself, and after having talking about it to lot’s of other people, it’s allways the same…) is that the resulting tracks must be… er… bad. Well, they’re not. To prove it, the March edition of the 20th was different. Two CD’s: the first one with “tracks made on the 20th”, the second one with “usual” tracks from the same bands, so you can compare. Also, and this is why this release ends up in this list, most of the tracks are freely available for download, so you can just visit this page and check out the amazing stuff musicians worldwide are composing and recording each 20th!
Sol Invictus – The Bad Luck Bird (7”, Auerbach Tonträger)
I have to admit than, while I am a fan of Sol Invictus (and generally, of Tony Wakeford’s works – I still think “La Croix” is one of the most excelent albums ever!), I am far from being a completionist of his work. But somehow, I got really curious about this “The Bad Luck Bird” single, which seems to work well as a great preview of what the next full-lenght will be. When you start listening to the single, you will have no doubt that this is Sol Invictus – you’ll get the same feeling as ever, and that’s not bad. But you’ll also evidently something else… Sol Invictus is changing, evolving. When you listen to the B-side, you’ll get a quite different track, but also the proof that Sol Invictus is changing – and, in my oppinion, to better. My first public reaction after listening to the single (both sides, three times in a row), was something like “it’s a fact: I allways prefer B-sides”. While “The Bad Luck Bird” is a powerful (maybe a little overcrowded) track, with strong percussion and (surprisingly?) flute and cello as lead instruments, Stella Maris is a track that couldn’t stop me of thinking about The Wicker Man’s soundtrack – which is an awesome reference. You might want to wait a little for “The Cruellest Month” (the upcoming full-length), but I think that if you can’t just wait and end up grabbing this 7”… You won’t regret it. (BTW, I just read from Prophecy that the single is sold out there. The link from above gives you a retailer that still ships it.)
Antimatter – Alternative Matter (3xCD + DVD + Book, Prophecy Productions)
The great band “Antimatter” celebrated their 10 years aniversary in 2010, and they did it with a bang!: a compilation of “rare and alternative works” with the name “Alternative Matter”. Available both in a 2CD deluxe digipack or a “three CDs, one DVD and a high-quality photo book“, this is a great introduction to Antimatter for those that still don’t know it, and an awesome treat for all Antimatter fans. The aditional CD, DVD and book of the special edition is well worth the price difference, the third CD specially if you’re a fan and completionist as myself (it’s specially nice to have Over Your Shoulder’s Reel To Reel Demo), and the DVD is an awesome overview and insight – it is a documentary about the band, not live footage. The pictures book is beautiful, even if it’s one of those things I won’t pick from the shelves and browse too many times… Being a fan of Prophecy Productions and its “retrospective releases”, I’m quite happy that this isn’t a retrospective as they did for Empyrium or Tenhi: while those are great, buying a “whole discography” box when you have it already is a somewhat difficult decision, while in Alternative Matter there’s really not much to think about – just buy it before it sells out!
V/A – Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings (2xLP or 2xCD, Auerbach Tonträger)
I’ve got to confess: this was probably the biggest surprise in the year. While this is a two records compilation featuring 19 different bands, it was the prospect of one track that made me know I had to pre-order it: this is the compilation that also marks the return of the awesome band Empyrium to activity. But first things first: “Whom The Moon A Nightsong Sings” is an Auerbach compilation featuring Auerbach/Prophecy neofolk bands, but a conceptual one – something it is rare to find. Here we have more than one hundred minutes of celebration of Nature, and the relation between human feelings and Nature’s elements. Here you’ll find the romanticism of Vàli (with two surprising tracks), Nest, Les Discrets, Ulver, Tenhi (unfortunately not a new track, and while Kausienranta fits perfectly into the compilation, as a Tenhi’s fan I couldn’t but hope to find here a glimpse of their upcoming album…), Neun Welten (with the exclusive track “Pan”), among others. This is a beautiful album available both as a 2LP, 500 copies limited edition which includes a poster or the 2CD counterpart. Oh, and did I mention that this means that a new Empyrium album must be being prepared? Isn’t it exciting?
DVAR – El Mariil (CD, Shadowplay Release)
DVAR is one not only one of the greatest bands of our times, it is one of the greatest bands of all times. It is rumored that DVAR is composed by two people, but what we can know for sure is that they claim that the music isn’t theirs, but from some otherworldly beings/things called “Dvar”, that appear to them in dreams. From the first time I’ve heard DVAR – in 2000 with the track “Taii Liira” in an horrible 32K RIP that was circulating over the web, I’ve been hooked. From then until now, it’s one of the bands I listen most, and I allways fight to get the (hard to find) physical releases. To understand how innovative this guys are, just notice that they’ve ended up creating an whole musical style (“lightwave”, as opposed to “darkwave”) and managed to capture the interest of the widest range of people and musical styles (not only from classical fans to black metal dungeons, one of their songs even ended up being featured in one Russian bank commercial). With “El Mariil”, DVAR celebrate their 10th anniversary as a band, showing us not only what’s to come, but wrapping up all they were in the different records. Yes, it’s DVAR lighter than ever, but it’s a whole lot more than just that. This is probably the album to give people to know DVAR for the first time. And – boy – if you never heard of them you really, really, really should. You can grab a “promo EP” of this release here (zip file).
- Kokori – init() (EP, A Beard Of Snails Records)
- V/A – Now That’s What I Call Retro-Futurism Vol. 1 (2xFloppy, Diskette Etikette Rekords)
- +ko+ko+ – Ovo (Single, Witte Dood Records)
- +ko+ko+ – Parasite (Single, Witte Dood Records)
- V/A – Maere Compilation