Here at pRIMORDIAL sOUNDS, we've debated whether we should make one of these year end lists, when so much of the music we've come to love and enjoy recently was not even released or re-issued in 2011. However, there are a few records that have stayed with us this year, and they are certainly worth mentioning here. If you guys have any releases you were particularly psyched on, it would be awesome if you shared them in the comments section. So lets get started, in no particular order...
JIM SULLIVAN ~ UFO (Light In The Attic Records) *2010*
I know I know. This record was technically re-issued in November 2010. However, it was subjected to so many repeat listens throughout 2011 that I had to mention it here. Sullivan's UFO was one of the greatest "lost" albums of the 70s, with an excellent story that could hold up against any other piece of classic rock lore. Originally released in 1975, the wonderful folks over at Light In The Attic did a beautiful re-issue that I would recommend to almost anyone.
JÜRGEN MÜLLER ~ SCIENCE OF THE SEA (Digitalis)
Jürgen Müller's 1982 record Science Of The Sea was recorded (I believe) in Müller's house boat studio while studying oceanography in the late 70s / early 80s. It is easily one my favorite ambient records of all time. In fact, I would probably classify this record as "the ultimate head-phone listen" of 2011.
SARALEE ~ DEMO (Self released)
And so we come to our first local pick of 2011. SARALEE has a tighter grip on the lo-fi pop sound than any other local group I can think of, but don't let that fool you-their tunes are ten times more infectious and catchy than any of their contemporaries. There's a simple, honest approach to their music that is becoming increasingly rare in a scene where any hip band can throw a ton of reverb on their 4-track record and make it an indie hit. While SARALEE's DEMO clearly fits into the popular aesthetic of 2011, their tunes shine through as the fantastic pop nuggets that they are.
THE SEA-DERS ~ THE SEA-DERS (Groovie)
The Sea-Ders were one of my favorite discoveries of 2011. I liken them to the Lebanese Beatles, even if that risks coming off a little trite. The folks at Groovie did an excellent job with this reissue. If you're into 60s pop with an Eastern influence, I'd say this is essential.
V/A ~ OWL HALLOWS c120 (Holy Warbles)
If you're not familiar with Holy Warbles, you should be. Not only are they one of the best blogs around, but they also make some of the best mix tapes you'll ever hear, complete with artwork and labels. My personal favorite this year has been Owl Hallows, an excellent fall / Halloween mix that you can download here. Check it out!
V/A ~ THOSE SHOCKING SHAKING DAYS (Now Again)
Now Again Record's Those Shocking Shaking Days is probably one of the most popular comps released in 2011. I'm sure its on numerous top 10 lists...and for good reason. If you haven't checked out these fuzzy funky psychedelic sounds from Indonesia, you should probably get on that. Now.
QUILT - QUILT (Mexican Summer)
Quilt's self titled debut for Mexican Summer is not just one of the best local records of the year...it's one of the best records of year...period. Few bands occupy such a comfortable space, filled to brim with beautiful harmonies and laid back rhythms that are, simply put, a pleasure to listen to. We bet 2012 will be an exciting year for Quilt!
SPECTRE FOLK ~ THE BLACKEST MEDICINE VOL. 2 (Woodsist)
Spectre Folk's The Blackest Medicine Vol.2 is just one of those records that hit me in the right place at the right time. It's a fantastic collection of psych folk jammers that, for me at least, will continue to linger on into 2012.
SKIMASK ~ SKIMASK / GEFFIKA 12" SPLIT (Sophomore Lounge)
SKIMASK's split 12" with Chicago's GEFFIKA would be physically impossible for me not to mention here. Its doesn't take more than a few seconds "Get U Back" to realize that this is easily the heaviest, baddest shit going on right now...certainly in Boston, if not the country at large. Bold words for bold times...
WHITE FENCE ~ IS GROWING FAITH (Woodsist)
For some reason I was hesitant to include this on our end of year list. Its not that Is Growing Faith wasn't a large part of my 2011 rotation; it was. And it's not that I don't think its a great album; it most definitely is. When I thought about it more, I realized that I'm kinda worn out on it--worn out because when I first got my hands on it, I listened to it more times than anyone probably should. I guess that in itself is good enough reason to mention it here.
THE PREFAB MESSIAHS ~ PEACE, LOVE & ALIENATION (Fixed Identity)
I've gotta mention The Prefab Messiah's Peace Love & Alienation, an excellent collection of weirdo punk jams from 82 & 83 that sound just as vital and relevant today as they did back then. The fact that these tunes were birthed in our own backyard is particularly inspiring. Required listening!
Honorable mention: MMOSS ~ HANDS (DEMO)
Before we wrap things up here, I just had to say a little something about MMOSS. They're great and everyone should listen to them. Is that enough? There's been few acts this year that have blown my mind so completely from my skull. While the demo for "Hands" is probably MMOSS at their most tame, its still an excellent tune that I think shows a lot of promise for whats to come in 2012.
Well...that's about all we can muster now. They're would be even more records we would have liked to included here...but we're busy dudes.
Happy New Year Everyone!