Best of 2011

I spent most of 2011 catching up on releases that came out in 2010 so the best record I listened to all of last year was Black Mountain Transmitter’s Black Goat of the Woods. Yet when I actually compiled a list of the records I tracked  down in 2011 I was surprised by the sheer number of them. The other thing I’ve noticed is that I have barely written about any of them. This year’s releases (at least the ones I enjoyed) were a challenging bunch of records and it has taken me more listens in order to come to terms with many of these records than in past years. So here is my best of list, other records I enjoyed and some lists from some readers. Thanks again for all of your support and conversations this year. Here is to an even better 2012.

Records of 2011 (and I am ranking them for the first time.)

20. Skullflower – Fucked On a Pile of Corpses

19. Mamuthones – Mamuthones

18. Merzbow – Yaho-Niwa

17. Machinefabriek – Veldverk

16. Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides – Poisson

15. Zomby – Dedication

14. Peaking Lights – 936

13. Demdike Stare – Tryptych

12. Rustie – Glass Swords

11. The Thing with Jim O’Rourke – Shinjuku Growl

10. Pete Swanson – I Don’t Rock At All

9. Ectoplasm Girls – TxN

8. Tim Hecker – Ravedeath 1972

7. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica

6. New Blockaders/Merzbow/Anomali – Kali-Yuga Karma

5. Cut Hands – Afro Noise 1

4. Werewolf Jerusalem – Confessions of a Sex Maniac

3. Merzbow – Dead Zone

2. Daniel Menche and Anla Courtis – Yagua Ovy

1. Daniel Menche – Feral


Record I still don’t know if I like

Prurient – Bermuda Drain


Record’s I’ve listened to a lot

Kevin Drumm – Second

Merzbow & Jamie Saft – Merzdub

Black to Comm – 1968

Mouthus – No Canal

Richard Skelton – Landings


Ben’s List

Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972

Julianna Barkwick – The Magic Place

Toby Goodshank – Truth, Jump, Fall

Merzbow – Dead Zone

Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol 2

Daniel Menche – Feral

Lindsey Buckingham – Seeds We Sow

Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica

Prurient – Bermuda Drain

Richard Buckner – Our Blood

Honorable Mention:
Merzbow – Lop Lop

10 non-2011 CDs that blew me away:
Nurse with Wound – Huffin Rag Blues

Koji Asano – Galaxies

Yellow Swans – Deterioration

Lasse Marhaug/John Wiese – Country & Western

Ulver – Nattens Madrigal

Tim Hecker – Harmony In Ultraviolet

Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children

Keith Fullerton Whitman – Libson

Keith Fullerton Whitman – Playtroughs

Keith Fullerton Whitman – Multiples

Can – Tago Mago

Stephen’s List
Drone, noise, ambient
Asva – Presences of Absences
Barn Owl – Lost in the Glare
Deaf Center – Owl Splinter
Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
Rene Hell – The Terminal Symphony
Natural Snow Buildings – Chants of Niflheim
Natural Snow Buildings – Waves of the Random Sea
Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica
Prurient – Bermuda Drain
Skullflower – Fucked on a Pile of Corpses
Metal, doom, stoner
Black Cobra – Invernal
Boris – New Album
Jesu – Ascension
Krallice – Diotima
Liturgy – Aesthethica
Subrosa – No Help for the Mighty Ones
Tombs – Path of Totality
Weedeater – Jason… the Dragon
Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage
YOB – Atma
Psych, folk, new age
Charalambides – Exile
Steve Hauschildt – Tragedy and Geometry
Mark McGuire – Get Lost
Mark McGuire – A Young Person’s Guide to Mark McGuire
Six Organs of Admittance – Asleep on the Floodplain
Sun Araw – Ancient Romans
Woods – Sun and Shade
Rock, non-metal
Belong – Common Era
Cave – Neverendless
Earth – Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light
Grails – Deep Politics
White Hills – H-p1
Esoteric, experimental, other
Bohren & der Club of Gore – Beileid
Demdike Stare – Tryptych
Bill Orcutt – How the Thing Sings

2 Responses to “Best of 2011”

  1. I really like your list!
    That Oneohtrix album still blows me away, and Demdike Stare just kept growing on me more and more all year.
    I need to check out that Daniel Menche album, and so far I’ve been hearing really good things about his new 2012 release Guts.

  2. Hey, quite a lot of stuff to check out! I’ve just found the barn owl’s and deaf center’s releases… but ‘Shinjuku Growl’ by The Thing is very hard to come by…
    Great suggestions, thanks a lot again!

    PS: would you let me do a little advertising here? I’ve just released a noise work of my own, it’s named “Reversed Etching” under the moniker ‘Hvitskinni’ and it is currently being reviewed by webzine. You can download it for free at:
    Feedback would be very appreciated. Thanks.

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