TEN YEARS OF NUMBER ONES

Instead of reviewing a single year, I've decided to go over a whole decade. And, what started as a simple listing plus copy-paste has eventually become an extremely revealing experience. It made me realize how my musical world has expanded and evolved, as the community of fans has altered too, due to changes in our virtual playground. We began writing in music forums, and then on Myspace and finally FB, and so, words have gradually diminished.

I found out that 2005-2006 were written in Hebrew and needed translation.  2007 to 2009 were reviewed both in Hebrew (ynet alternative music forum / Indie zine) and in English (Myspace. I could never imagine myself making such an effort today). Also, those three years, I separated my favorite Israeli albums from the bests of the rest of the world, which I didn't feel the need to do later on. And, 2010 and on has been about FB where everything's instant-shallow. 

2005 – It's a Thin Line between Fiction and Real

Nin – With teeth [Nothing / East / Interscope]

"With Teeth" [is my no. 1] because even though I've listened to it forever, I haven't yet managed to grasp it all. Each time I listen summons a new discovery – a new note that hasn't been there before, a deeper understanding of the lyrics, and more importantly, their perfect connection to the music. Trent Reznor seeks identity and meaning while standing on the border line between fiction and reality. It's about an intellectual, uncompromising and painfully sober quest. [Well, there was more, but I guess this would do]

2006 – Going all the way

This year is obviously about girl power as all three No. Ones have a female vocalist at the front – Amber Valentine and Julie Christmas.

Jucifer – If Thine Enemy Hunger [Relapse]

This couple feels like home to me. Gazelle Amber Valentine – guitar, and her husband Edgar Livengood – drums, taking me one step forward in life. They fight for what they believe in, they look around and ignore nothing, and provides me with new meanings for "music", "life", "together"…If Thine Enemy Hunger opens various musical windows to everything that Jucifer means to me. "And razor blades".

Made Out of Babies – Coward [Neurot Recordings]

MOoB is one of Neurot's new babies – Brendan Tobin (guitar), Eric Cooper (bass), Matthew Egan (drums) & the legendary vocalist Julie Christmas. Coward begins with a fierce-piercing roar and remains quite intense till its end. Also, I like the way Out, the brief closing in their debut Trophy, is reprised and developed here to show continuity. "We sing and scream it seems our dreams are spools of string and pigs with wings"

Battle of Mice – A Day of Nights [Neurot]

Battle of Mice =Josh Graham+Julie Chrismas+Joel Hamilton+Tony Maimone +Joe Tomino= a great supergroup who cast a spell called A Day of Nights. It sounds like a long journey taking different turns in different shades, it reveals the truth just like night vision binoculars help you through the night and it takes the time to explain. "Every time I think of pushing you down the stairs, I lick my lips. But don't be upset, it's the only way that I know how to show you that I really care."

Graceful 2007

Overmars – Born Again [Appease Me]

This one track album enables me to feel the sense of elevation while deeply sinking into the depth of my being. I have desperately waited for their new album and although at first, I did not understand their one-track concept, Overmars didn't fail me and demonstrated a classical approach to a doom piece of music. "Until the bell tolls, I am immortal."

2007 – The Israel so few of us know about

bARBARA – Peger [HCB Records]

Peger (= cadaver) is about the unpromised land and about its masters who have become slaves to their own power. It's also about the blindness and indifference of man in general, and his inferiority to animals, even to the loathed creature he has cursed as the very first act of denying self-evil.

"[…] let nature be do not/ conquer follow the serpent / moves adapting to the landscape."

It was very easy for me to recognize the power within the Peger's screaming breaths before he's totally and brutally slaughtered again, but it took me quite a while to realize how deep the cut is, and how intensive the bleeding which waters our fields….

2008 – "Violent sympathy, white rage"…"Oh yes, and women too" 

MOoB – The Ruiner [The End]

From energetic "Cooker" to semi-dark prophetic "How to Get Bigger" there's no sound I can do without. MOoB have come a long way since Trophy, and have changed quite a lot since Coward. Meaning, they're exploring new paths, new fields and new airways. The major change is about the music clearly taking the lead over the incompatible frontwoman's singing (without overshadowing its stunning effect, of course). Also, the musical world of MOoB has summoned new sounds and a new attitude, into which J. Christmas' enchanting lyrics are woven. She said in an interview, that there's no clear meaning to the title. Well it's quite clear to me that the ruiner couldn't be an alien or a pet.

The Heroine Sheiks – Journey to the End of the Knife [Amphetamine Reptile]

I have a feeling this album did not get the acclaim it deserves. It demands extraordinary talent to be subtle about shoving things bluntly in people's face, and dressing it up into a cheerful outfit. I wouldn't like to meet any of Selsbers' personas, but I enjoy the intrusion to obscure territories and the creepy sense of perspective, sort of "Devil's Rejects". Journey to the End of the knife, I believe, is far too smart for you. What? Don't you like it? "Be a man"!

2008 – The Israeli Connection

"All Roads Lead to Rome", but who knows the way to Jerusalem?

Drone Lebanon/Wertham – Roma-Yerushalyim [Topheth Prophet]

Roma-Yerushalayim is a split concept album which draws a power electronics line between materialism (Rome) and spirituality (Jerusalem), where point "Rome" is represented by Wertham and point "Jerusalem", by Drone Lebanon.

DL's lucid gaze has conjured five short tracks, sampling different aspects of the issue in question – who stands to be the next instant- Messiah? […]

Wertham's confident skillful hand has painted two long beautiful and glorious tracks. The first, "La Distruzione del Tempio", […] and then crudely describe the destruction of the temple and the power behind it. The second, Aelia Capitolina, deals with the essence of that power, […] 

2009 – Starters, Main Course, Desserts, Digestifs – Serve Yourselves.

Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions [Southern Lord]

Monoliths & Dimensions embodies the Sun O))) lore of music & myth. Its grandeur is undeniable and discernable from the moment Attila Csihar begins to slowly lay the words of" Aghartha", one by one, for the listener to walk on, until the last of reverberating sounds stands still, and he finds himself walking on water, wind and silence. Its cyclic sense swirls around the ceremony held in "Big Church", which recommences three times and silenced twice. Its visionary aspect weighs heavily and heralds clearly through "Hunting & Gathering".  Its romantic 'Enlightenment' called "Alice" unfolds a harmonious fan of familiar, yet unexpected sounds concluding in a single horn ray of truth. Its innovative impact derives from futuristic insights revealed through retrospection, which makes Monoliths & Dimensions invincible!

2009 – DESSERTS – Jizz it all over…

Jizzbox – Jizzbox [Alamut]

From the gut to the gutter, jizzbox ejaculates its painful filth. It has no listeners in mind. If you happen to be there, you're hit. Be there.jizzbox had no listeners in mind, yet someone paid close attention to that raw power confession and handled it with super-special-tender care, never damaging the already damaged. And, I was gladly hit, and it has been my faithful companion ever since. I could author my reasons in many a paragraphs, but I'd rather fatefully admit that if you can't love jizzbox, you can't love me.

2010 – It's About Time!

Jucifer – Throned in Blood [Nomadic Fortress]

Total exposure; zero manipulation; Jucifer as is – my album of the year!!

TWOTHOUSANDELEVEN-BESTOF

 Anemone Tube – Death Over China [Topheth Prophet/Silken Tofu]

I cannot argue with such an overwhelming sonic text, so coherently and beautifully authored. I cannot argue with the seriousness and thoroughness it displays. I could quite easily argue with perfectionism; but, not in this case.

2012 – Top of the Pops

Skin Area – Rothko Field [Malignant]

Mature. Confident. No hesitation. No compromise. No mistakes. Its fierce moments will stab you. Its gentle ones will tear you apart.

2013 – "Is it almost time?" 😉

(Los) Melvins –Tres Cabrones [Ipecac]

The "Three Bastards" has got that old spark which lit a big flame in my heart, and it has kept burning ever since. Thus, Tres Cabrones is, no doubt, the legitimate king of 2013.

2014 – You're yesterday!

Last Dominion Lost – Towers of Silence [The Epicurean/Silken Tofu]

Last year, no words accompanied the sounds, and as I'm planning to pay a special (post) attention to 2014 in the future, I'll just say that Towers of Silence cuts so deep into your soul that it leaves you totally out of breath.

2015 – The Sounds of Silence

Lietterschpich – For Fears [Nova Romema]

If you're new to Lietterschipch "For Fears" might not sound very communicative, but to me it sounds their most Romantic album, and besides being the best album of 2015, I'll name it Futuristic Nostalgia

Have a wonderful 2016!

Tami

litterschpich nov 25 pikit fund raise for boom

 

מודעות פרסומת

2009 – Digestifs

New on the menu – vos digestifs – a special collection of sounds to remember.

Theme – Valentine (Lost) Forever [HCB 2009] – fourth track: Time Always Wins

Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions [Southern Lord] – first track: Aghartha

 

Gnaw – This Face [Conspiracy Records] – second track: Vacant

 

GREYMACHINE – Disconnected [Hydra Head Records] – Seventh track: Sweatshop

 

Laudanum – The Coronation [20 Buck Spin] – second track: Invoke

 

jizzbox – jizzbox [Alamut] – fifth track: Pigeon Walk

jizzbox – jizzbox [Alamut] – third track: Sandy Liver

 

Melvins – Pick Your Battles [Bifocal Media] – fifteenth track: Boris

Melvins – Melvins – Chicken Switch [Ipecac] – fifteenth track: Speedranch – Hard Revenge Milly Bloody Battle VS. The Melvins Ozmatized Gore Police (Feat. Cardopusher)

 

Have a Wonderful 2014

Tami

 

 

2009 – MAIN COURSE – Follow the Sunn O)))

2009

Carefully selected, your main course includes a choice of only those with meaningful taste.

Sunn O))) – Monoliths & Dimensions – Southern Lord

Monoliths & Dimensions embodies the Sun O))) lore of music & myth. Its grandeur is undeniable and discernable from the moment Attila Csihar begins to slowly lay the words of" Aghartha", one by one, for the listener to walk on, until the last of reverberating sounds stands still, and he finds himself walking on water, wind and silence. Its cyclic sense swirls around the ceremony held in "Big Church", which recommences three times and silenced twice. Its visionary aspect weighs heavily and heralds clearly through "Hunting & Gathering".  Its romantic 'Enlightenment' called "Alice" unfolds a harmonious fan of familiar, yet unexpected sounds concluding in a single horn ray of truth. Its innovative impact derives from futuristic insights revealed through retrospection, which makes Monoliths & Dimensions invincible!

this face - gnaw - this faceGnaw – This Face – Conspiracy Records

Running far and touching deep, soooooooo deep, my love is uncompromising. Absolute! Total! This Face will chase me anywhere, with its fierce texts and screamings, with its filthy sounds and tempting whisperings, its threatening devotion will subdue me. The face of experience, of talent, This Face is the ripest fruit on the tree of the Garden – Gnaw This Face – then, you'll know: "This was me…/My shame", My True Love.

disconnected -  greymachineGREYMACHINE – Disconnected – Hydra Head Records

The industrial metallic sound is, at the same time, the protagonist and the smoggy set in this drama named Disconnected. Other important characters are repeating appearances of screeching noise and other effects, firm dimmed pounding and fog-spreading vocals. Wandering in a giant polished factory of the most intriguing sounds produced this year, is the script. My perfect lullaby, my peaceful sleep; I'm so grateful.

no volunteer 4 this society - mourmansk150Mourmansk150 – NO VOLUNTEER 4 THIS SOCIETYTopheth Prophet

The more you listen to it, the more its penetrating effect makes you think and spit tar, blood & sulfur. "In their new album, Mourmansk150 operate on society to locate different approaches towards terror-plus minus-ISM, mass murderers etc. and…no and. Don't wait for the surgeons to make your stitches, nor to give you a helpful prescription." Read some more: here.

a storm of light&nadja - primitive northA Storm Of Light & Nadja – Primitive North – Robotic Empire

Primitive North feels like standing on top of the world and watching the glorious view. Glorious is definitely the key word. Human & Nature merged into one magnificent picture. The titles, the lyrics, the way Nadja covers A Storm of Light's "Brother" and they, in revenge, cover the Canadian duo's "I Make from Your Eyes the Sun", all contribute to this harmonious perfection. It should be mentioned that each of them has released their own albums, but I believe that this mutual effort overtakes the rest.

no past no present no future - last lightsLast Lights – No Past No Present No Future – Think Fast! Records

First comes the immediate feeling that there's more to the picture than meets the eye. Second, the warm sensation of sweet genuine revolt. Then, the urge to demolish the past and fully live the present. Finally, the full impact of intellectual-poetic Hardcore/Punk. No future! The great spirit leading Last Lights is gone.  

valentine (lost) forever - themeTHEMEValentine (Lost) ForeverHeart&Crossbone

"Valentine lost forever" are the first words in an album which calmly faces the absence of any reason for being cheerful or hopeful. It displays a unique verbal & musical syntax where both elements equally and gently press comforting fingers onto your temples. Then, once you're helplessly relaxed, they will convince you to doubt "there's a meaning to everything you do" or say (Time Always Wins), that "whatever was said was meant…at least at the time" (An Answer to All Life) and that "there's less and less to believe" (Burn the Truth). Valentine (lost) Forever is, thus, a poetic farewell to innocence.

the coronation - laudanumLaudanum – The Coronation – 20 Buck Spin

The stunning beauty of The Coronation and its endless grace are achieved by non-banal simplicity and reassuring pace. Hand in hand: bass & guitar, instruments & electronic effects, textual & instrumental, depths and heights, and above all, the gentle care with which they're all spread beneath the feet of Grwoling & Screaming – the great conjurors of heaven in hell.

finsternis - aluk todoloAluk Todolo – Finsternis – Utech Records

If you feel lost, Finsternis will guide you. If you feel you're not following the path you intended to follow, don't try to resist, it's useless. Finsternis' steady beat will guide you as if you were guided by the pillar of fire in "Exodus". It starts at the very beginning of the album and crosses all five tracks (the best cross is the first one) till you reach the end. All other sonic occurrences in the album will add to the unique experience but won't divert you from your imposed destination.

chicken switch -melvinsMelvins – Chicken Switch –remix – Ipecac

You pigs had it for starters.

usssy - usssyuSSSy / uSSSy r.a.i.g

uSSSy's self titled was a love at first sight with a creature whose head seems to be cutting-edge whilst his feet dance a primitive dance. It sounds like an effortless-total-joy avant-garde evidence of creativity. The Russian trio (minus drummer who's left in the meantime), whose members are involved in other projects as well, had been unknown to me until the release of this album. Very pleased to meet you guys 🙂

a woman a man walked by - pj harvey & john parishPJ Harvey & John Parish – A Woman A Man Walked By – Island Records

He said music, She said lyrics. They said profound ways. I say A Woman A Man Walked By did not embrace me all at once. Rather, it offered me some candies, and when I tried to reach out for some more, it threw them on the sand. I, then, retrieved them one by one and washed them in the salty water. Eventually, they all tasted of intimacy, whether brutally exposed or delicately ajar, they tasted of intimacy shared between two people.

omen mas - hex machineHex Machine – Omen Mas – Minimum Underdrive

It seems like this full length debut met me at the crossroad of heaviness, groove, classic rock and something new I cannot define. It makes me feel really good and I like the vocals. Don't let it trick you as it did to me, Omen Mas sounds commonplace at first, but further listening will expose its full scope.

carboniferous - zuZu – Carboniferous – Ipecac

Saxophone, bass and drums (++); what else can one ask for? A brilliant trio makes a brilliant album. It's energetic, "free-genred" yet, highly consistent. (I'd rather have it all instrumental).

omega massif mount logan spltOmega Massif / Mount Logan – Split – Vendetta

This split summons a wonderful contrast between slightly heavy silent mountainous scenery and sharp-wild- urbanic sounds. Omega Massif vs Mount Logan. Relaxing, disturbing and most importantly – excellent!

???????????????Nanda Devi – Fifth Season – Cavity Records

Fifth Season was my first purchase of 2009, and it's still one of my favorites namely due to Nanda Devi's great respect for drums, although the soothing vocals leave their imprints too. I would also like to recommend their wonderful split with Skin Horse (who seems to get slightly heavier than it did in last year debut).

???????????????????????????The Spits – IV aka Schools Out – Recess Records

From the up-lifting department I've chosen The Spits for the cloud-of-dust sound they leave while passing by and burning their teacher's car – Schools Out.

static tension - kylesaKylesa – Static Tensions – Prosthetic Records

No one can ignore this volcanic energy, or its perfection. "I put my hand to your heart/ And let the bullet burn your blood/ You seem to me death incarnate/ Raper of life, killer of love." Shall we dance?

cold river songs - bodychoke (reissue)Bodychoke – Cold Reiver Songs (reissue) – Relapse

Thank you Relapse for reissuing this horrific marvel leading a journey into a distorted mind. "Without your fear/ I am nothing / Without your pain/ I am nothing/ Without your love/ I am nothing/ Without power/ I am nothing/ I am nothing."

 Just don't leave before your special desserts…

*************

Originally published in March 2010.

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