Quimper Sound's Top 10 Staff picks for 2003
Tommy Guerrero: Soul Food Taqueria - This album doesn’t
warrant the top stop by virtue of anything other than its sheer
listenability. Have you ever stared at your CD collection and
just been paralyzed by indecision? If you have this album you
will always have a fallback – it’s always what the doctor
ordered (at least until you can decided which Coltrane/Cheap Trick/Run
DMC record you want to put on). Seriously, this is the best “second
choice” record I’ve ever heard.
Matthew Shipp: Equilibrium - I can’t seem to get enough
of Thirsty Ear’s ‘Blue Series’. Last year two titles made my
top 10 and I’m gonna be doing the same this year. Matthew Shipp
might be getting a little overexposed lately – but I’m not complaining.
This album has the requisite dosage of ecstatic-jazz meets illbient
soundscapes with the added bonus of some truly funky bass playing
by William Parker (believe it).
Dufus: 1:3:1 - As Carla Bley once commented famously
(re the Shaggs) “They bring my mind to a complete halt”. This
record is not like the others. Pigeon-holed as part of
the “anti-folk” movement, Dufus are perhaps the most joyous
“outsider” music to be heard in these jaded times. More Girl
Lifesavas: Spirit In Stone - From Portland! Oregon! Just
the kind of conscious, groovy, relevant, left-coast hip-hop
that I love. I would expect no less from the Quaanum crew.
Portastatic: Summer Of The Shark/Autumn Was A Lark -
For my money, the best combination of songwriting and sophisticated
hooks to be had this year.
David S. Ware: Threads - My second “Blue Series” pick.
This album marks David S. Ware’s breakthrough as a top tier
avant-garde composer. Sometimes firebreathing, sometimes contemplative,
always intense. So good I don’t even mind Matthew Shipps use
of a string synthesizer.
Miles Davis: The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions - Long
overlooked and perpetually underrated, Miles’ ‘Tribute To Jack
Johnson’ has been an underdog waiting for it’s big break for
too long. It’s finally given its due in this beautifully packaged
and finely annotated 5-disc set. Definitely worth the price
if you’re a fan of late 60’s/early 70’s electric-era Miles.
Marc Ribot: Scelsi Morning – Like David S. Ware’s entry
above, this album would seem to be Ribot’s notice that he’s
ready to be taken seriously as a composer. While the mood isn’t
consistent and sometimes the virtuosic playing overshadows the
compositions, this is an impressive record that rewards those
with the patience to give it its due.
Rhys Chatham: An Angel Moves To Fast To See – Long overdue
retrospective of this hugely influential (and largely unknown)
composer. The music is difficult to describe but one might start
with “Classical minimalism meets Punk Rock” (read the bottom
of the box). Once was Glenn Gould’s piano tuner.
Martin/Weston/DJ Logic: For No One In Particular - A
beautiful mess of a live record. Three excellent improvisers
struggling to communicate with each other and the audience,
this performance succeeds where so many other “free” jams fail
because of the supreme musicianship of its participants.
T’s Favorite Music of 2003
Revencha del Tango – Gotan Project, from France, creates
a seamless blend of authentic tango sounds and subtle turntable
– Robert Randolph & the Family Band are a rockin’ rhythm
& blues outfit with wailing pedal steel guitar. They evolved
out of the "sacred steel" tradition of Florida Pentecostal churches
and their spirited soul music has the vibe of a revival meeting.
– Bobi Cespedes combines Afro-Cuban roots (she is a Santeria
priestess) with the street beats of her native Oakland for a
style best described as "funkloric". The songs are warm and
– Prince’s new all-instrumental record is small ensemble
funk with sax and keys. Think Booker T & the MGs for a new millennium.
of Two Lights – Terry Hall & Mushtaq. Two pioneers of multicultural
British pop have collaborated on the world music album of the
year. With contributions from Syrian, Turkish, Egyptian, Hebrew,
Lebanese, Algerian and Eastern European Gypsy musicians, the
mix is sometimes menacing, sometimes breathtakingly beautiful.
Level:Roar - The Youngblood Brass Band is the funkiest street
parade horns you’ve ever heard, with razor-sharp charts and
a hip-hop sensibility.
– Ron Miles on trumpet (with Bill Frisell on guitar) delivers
a mellow set of tunes, ranging from jazz standards to songs
by Bob Dylan and Hank Williams.
Guitars – John Zorn wrote these lovely and evocative pieces
for solo guitar. They are masterfully realized by the likes
of Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot and Tim Sparks.
/ Music from the Nonesuch Explorer Series. The producers
of this compilation have chosen the most striking and haunting
cuts from their thirteen African albums. This is gnarly, honest
folk music with no concession to pop trends.
in the Basement – Joe Bussard’s Treasure Trove of Vintage
78’s. String bands, blues, jazz, country, cajun and gospel music
from Joe’s vast collection. Old timey jams have never sounded
& Wine: Creek Drank The Cradle - More infectious than
the common cold. Great songwriting, beautifully realized with
banjo, acoustic guitar and hushed 2am vocals.
Shootenany – A ballad about a restraining order + a pop
song about Saturday morning = a killer album.
Welch: Soul Journey – Spooky album book-ended by two of
her freshest songs. So simple and understated it hurts.
Three: She Has No Strings Apollo – Guitar, violin & drum
trio adds piano and bass… The perfect soundtrack to a lonely
Ward: Transfiguration Of Vincent - Blend of instrumental
and vocal tracks. Killer David Bowie cover. Portland indie-folk
at its finest.
Power: You Are Free – Queen of freak-out writes and records
her best batch of songs yet!
Parts Seven: Lost Notes From Forgotten Songs – Spacey
disc features contributions from Iron & Wine, Carissa’s Weird,
Black Heart Procession, Pedro the Lion, and Modest Mouse.
Prince Billy: Master & Everyone – Intimate Chamber-folk
from the mind of Will Oldham.
Koala: Some of my best friends are DJ’s – Two turntables
and a wacky record collection equal one damn fine cd.
Superkill: Strange Stories of the Mad and Macabre – The
soul of Circle of Fear sends out a ghost to haunt us all!!!
Ten Favorites of 2003
Immanuel Green a.k.a. D.j. Style “E”
Dorfmeister – presents A Different Drummer Selection
(Different Drummer) Richard Dorfmeister gets to together
with long time British dub label D.D., to compile and continuously
mix a great (best off) timeline of deep, funky dub cuts
from the past decade that were released on the note worthy
Icey- Different Day (Zone/ System Recordings) …for those
of you who wonder why I put away my voice and guitar to
play, or shall I say mix records. Well, this man is the
reason. After hearing is hit “Big Ditch” (from Generate
’96 OOP) the very next day I bought my first dj set-up,
of course all of this irrelevant to this album. Icey easily
maintains his reign as “The King of Funky Breaks” by being
more vocal, darker and electro funkier than ever.
Hail to the Thief (Capitol)…with every new Radiohead
album they take us to explore many different realms and
territories making it hard to place them in a specific genre,
though we all know they are based from “rock”. This time
around with “Thief” they are more electronic and emotionally
space-aged sounding than ever. I was pretty skeptical about
this one at first, but it grew on me with every listen.
- Seven’s Travels (Rhyme Sayers/ Epitaph) …Minnesota’s
own “Slug” and “Ant” have basically been in control of the
Underground Hip-Hop scene for the past two years. Originally
these songs were recorded along with their first two LP’s
the “Lucy Ep” and “God Loves Ugly”. After selling partial
rights of “Rhyme Sayers” to Epitaph they got a debut on
a major label.
– Everlasting Blink (Guidance Recordings)… Guidance
recordings have been rockin’ the clubs for years with deep
groovy house music. What threw me off was a trip-hop duo
on a house label. Simon Mills and Nail Tolliday (Bent) put
together one of the most impressive pieces of the year.
With “Everlasting Blink” we get cross between Mum and Yo
Wyatt – United Dj’s of America Vol. 20, Deep where House
lives... (DMC) The 17 year veteran Marques Wyatt is
basically the reverend of the decks. He is known for his
deep, jazzy soulful house, with layers of tribal drums,
afrobeats and a really soothing gospel-tinged feel. This
compilation was recorded live from one his bi-weekly, Sunday
night residencies at “Deep” in L.A.
Under the Stairs – …Or Stay Tuned (Om Records)… San
Francisco’s Double K and Thes One (P.U.T.S.) put out not
only their fourth release, but probably the best “hip-hop”
I’ve heard since J5’s “Quality Control” in ’98. Double K
not only displays his Rappin’ skills, but as the Dj (as
well) he produces some amazing jazzy, bluesy beats and rhythms
without any computers, samplers, etc.
& Miguel Migs – In the House pt. 1 (Defected)… Jay Hernandez
(Jay-J) teams up with the ambassador of deep house music,
Miguel Migs to bring us a double album compiled of essential
house cuts. If you are looking for some deep, groovy, vocal
house this is album is the place to start.
– Dehli9 (K7! / G-Stone)… Entering my top 10 a second
time, Richard Dorfmeister teams of with classical pianist
Rupert Huber for a beautiful (2cd/4 lp) piece of work. The
first disc is definitely the Kruder & Dorfmeister sound
of feel-good, chill out, down-tempo. The 2nd disc is based
from Huber’s “12 easy to play piano pieces” that is perfect
for background music.
– Music Fiction (Om Records) …If I had to pick out a
single album this year, this would be it, simply because
it satisfies all my different cravings of music at once.
Rithma has been putting out singles for a number of years
and he is known for his use of deep, driving, jazzy house
beats, multi-layers of keys, and brain teasing melodies.
With this debut Lp we get it all… jazz, blues, funk, trip-hop
and house. Be sure not to miss this one.
O’s Top Ten List 2003
Total Shutdown: The Album
Impaled: Mondo Medicale
Television: Marquee Moon / Adventure
Nile: In Their Darkened Shrines
Ludicra: Hollow Psalms
Lords Of Light: Lords Of Light
The Who: Who’s Next (Deluxe Edition)
The Locust: Plague Soundscapes
Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Altered States Of America
Iron Lung / Lana Dagales: Split CD
Desperately Assembled Top 10 List for 2003
Carney – This Is! Overdubbing himself on saxophone,
clarinet, keyboards, percussion, and more, Ralph Carney
references traditional swing and folk music as well as
avant-garde and sheer whack to produce a rich and humorous
one man carnival ride.
Douglas – Freak In Trumpeter Dave Douglas interjects
fragments of techno, electronica, blues and Eastern tantric
rhythms into the mix for an energetic trip into the cool.
– 1:3:1 Dufus’ punk orchestra displays a clear-eyed
cohesion under the skin of their collective insanity,
providing an unexpected and effective musical depth with
hooks that’ll leave you reeling. I wet myself.
– Pretest Too smart to be labeled metal, too down-to-earth
and edgy for the stodgy world of prog, Dysrhythmia’s energetic
instrumental assault on your senses will keep you guessing
and entertained time and time again.
Frisell – The Intercontinentals Famed jazz guitarist
Bill Frisell teams up with a collection of intercontinental
musicians to produce one of his most beautiful albums
to date; a delightful musical experience seasoned to taste
with Mediterranean, Malian and American flavors.
Israelite – Dance of the Idiots A wide array of musical
genres, -klezmer, surf, free improvisation, death metal-
mixed together with a healthy dose of humor, Dance of
the Idiots provides for a complex and enjoyable musical
ride that grows with each listening.
Crimson – The Power To Believe Hard edged enough to
compete with groups like Tool yet still dazzling listeners
with the genius of their signature harmonic intricacy,
King Crimson cranks out one of their best albums in years.
The instrumental track ‘Level Five’ is worth the price
of admission alone.
Madof – Rashanim Startlingly dynamic, Jon Madof’s
guitar trio produces a lush and complex array of classic
and original Jewish jazz compositions with a degree of
competent ease one does not expect to find on a debut
recording. Not to be missed.
Magic Band – Back To The Front John ‘Drumbo’ French
brings alumni of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band back together
for a stunning album of career wide retakes. You’ll not
believe your ears.
Zorn – Voices in the Wilderness A double disc collection
of John Zorn’s Masada compositions as interpreted by some
of the down-town scene’s most popular and creative artists.
A wide array of sounds from rock to klezmer to jazz; there
is something for everyone on this beautiful and amazing