Caterina Barbieri – Gravity That Binds (Important Records)
The closing track off the Italian composer’s album is majestic, as is the whole album really. Patterns of Consciousness takes a somewhat simple idea of following in repeating a series of motifs over an album as a whole to create a patchwork of patterns that fuse and separate, dousing the listener in a catatonic stupor one moment before being ruptured out of it. My album of the year.
Tzusing – Shame (Bedouin Records)
I’d never heard of Tzusing before this year. I went to a Bedouin Records showcase earlier this year and was completely blown away. Dark and rambunctious one moment, infected with pop the next, Tzusing was like a schizophrenic that grew bored every thirty seconds with his current mood. All this is there in Shame. It’s like running through a labyrinth with the clown from It chasing you with a shotgun.
Naive Ted – Only the Oppressor Knows Peace (ft MuRli). (Unscene Music)
Contemporary Ireland is facing up to one institutional abuse after another. Direct Provision is one that still is too easily ignored. The voices are hidden, their experiences go unnoticed. I’ve no idea if this is what this song is about but anger at general society’s apathy is evident. One of the first songs I’ve heard anyway where the psychological trauma of living in bureaucratic limbo is expertly rendered in MuRli’s lyrics and Naive Ted’s psychotic sounds. Irish song of the year for me.
Actress – Dancing In the Smoke (Ninja Tune)
The bionic hand laying on the flesh of the human hand on the album cover looks kind of soothing right? I haven’t decided yet and listening to this I’m not sure if Actress has either. This is what I imagine we dance to when robotic armageddon breaks out around us but we’re already chipmunks in a cage.
Ariel Pink – Time to Live (Mexican Summer)
Basically sounds like Video out of Video Killed the Radio Star suffering pangs of fear, anxiety, extreme guilt and self loathing at having killed Radio Star before realising actually, it’s Radio Star haunting him and taunting him that actually he has never died, that he can never die in this post modern hellhole.
Gig of the year – Naive Ted at Open Ear
I’m still not sure what it was. Think they should send Naive Ted’s to the Venice Biennale next year to represent Ireland. If not that, over the top wrestling at the Tivoli.