Other Favorite Albums of 2011

December 27, 2011

Other favorite records of 2011!

  1. Braids, Native Speaker
  2. Fucked Up, Queen of Hearts
  3. Jamie Jones, Fabric 59
  4. Real Estate, Days
  5. Bvdub, Resistance is Beautiful
  6. The Men, Leave Home
  7. Robag Wruhme, Wuppdeckmischmampflow
  8. Washed Out, Within and Without
  9. Mark E, Stonebreaker
  10. Mark McGuire, A Young Person’s Guide
  11. Lee Scratch Perry, Rise Again
  12. Zodiak Free Arts Club, Floating World
  13. Tim Hecker, Ravedeath 1972
  14. Weekend, Red
  15. Wye Oak, Civilian
  16. Thee Oh Sees, Castlemania
  17. The Field, Looping State of Mind
  18. Atlas Sound, Parallax
  19. Panda Bear, Tomboy
  20. Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, Summvs
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Atlas Sound – Parallax

November 10, 2011

Bradford Cox’s genius seems to know no bounds.

It’s like he’s internalized the whole history of rock and roll and draws on it at will. Rising to greater and greater heights.

15 more favorites from last year, to go with the 10 local albums listed below.

  1. Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
  2. Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca
  3. Sister Suvi, Now I Am Champion
  4. Shrag, Shrag
  5. Bibio, Ambivalence Avenue
  6. Atlas Sound, Logos
  7. Animal Collective, Fall Be Kind
  8. Maayan Nidam, Nightlong
  9. Abe Vigoda, Reviver
  10. DJ Koze, Reincarnations – The Remix Chapter 2001-2009
  11. God Help the Girl, God Help the Girl
  12. Sonic Youth, The Eternal
  13. Durutti Column, Love in the Time of Recession
  14. The Juan Maclean, The Future Will Come
  15. Mountains, Choral

Atlas Sound – Quick Canal

December 23, 2009

I looked in the dirt/And found wisdom is learnt/Through a costly process/Of success and failure

Atlas Sound – Logos

October 22, 2009

atlas01Bradford Cox is kind of turning into the Picasso of our time: everything the guy does turns out to be a masterpiece. No less than three full-length cds last year: Deerhunter’s “Microcastle” and “Weird Era Cont.” and Atlas Sound’s “Let the Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel.” Then the Deerhunter “Rainwater Cassette Exchange” ep from earlier this year. And now “Logos,” probably the greatest of them all.

One thing I’ve always admired by Cox is how he makes no attempt to hide his love and enthusiasm for the work of other artists; another, related to the first, is how he lets diverse influences creep into his own work. On “Logos,” he takes these admirable tendencies to their logical conclusion through full-fledged collaborations with Noah Lennox of Animal Collective and Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab. But, while “Walkabout” does sound like an Animal Collective song and while “Quick Canal” does sound like something from Stereolab, it’s also true to say that both of those tracks sound even more like they belong here, on an Atlas Sound record, proving that Cox can do what few others can: giving others the space to make their own unique contributions, while somehow incorporating those contributions into something identifiably his own.

In a widely-quoted letter from last July, Cox claimed that “Logos” is “not about me … the lyrics are not autobiographical.” What, then is this all about? Well, if we accept that the album’s title has some special significance, then it somehow pays homage to the presence of order and reason in the universe — and maybe even in human actions as well. An audacious stance to make, at a time when order and reason seem sorely lacking. But Bradford Cox has earned the right, by creating an album this good.