Top Six Favorite Records Released In 2012

1. Emptyset – “Medium” Recorded in an abandoned, unfinished 19th century British mansion. Huge, oppresive, and delightful. Brings together my love of history, recording, and abstraction.

2. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Rifts” Five LPs of mind-melting synthesizer experimentation. This cat would have been at home with the Germans making this type of music in 1972. Hypnotic, texturally lush, and possibly self-indulgent (in the best way, of course.)

3. Andy Stott – “Luxury Problems” Mr. Stott keeps making music that sounds quite unlike anything else before it. Imagine if someone produced a Sade record under the influence of Bauhaus architecture and codeine. Unsettling and inviting at the same time. Time stands still when you play it.

4. Death Grips – “The Money Store” Parts of this record still scare the hell out of me. It’s so intense that I can only liken it to standing in front of a blast furnace. NSFW in a number of ways. Sonically and lyrically. These cats would have Lil’ Wayne weeping in the corner.

5. CAN – “Lost Tapes” Where do I turn when I wish to hear a man chant the lyric “Are you waiting for the streetcar” for ten minutes? This amazing set of outtakes and non-album cuts from these German giants of weird rock, of course.

6. Josh Berman and His Gang – “There Now” Mr. Berman helped me with a question about a Gerry Mulligan record at the Jazz Record Mart in 2011. In 2012, he released this thoughtful and exciting record of jazz music. It’s lighthearted at times, freely exploratory at others. Just what I needed, actually.

I even made a YouTube playlist with a track from each record.