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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

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Le Fil

Le Fil, the second album for ridiculously gifted Parisienne vocalist Camille Dalmais, is one of the most expressive, experimental albums to go multi-platinum, anywhere, ever. Ridiculously popular in her homeland (400,000 Frenchmen can't be wrong!), Camille's second slab is a cockeyed concept record, in which the 28-year-old's glorious voice is layered on into an army-of-she, caroling, croaking, and clicking her way through a suite-like set of intensely rhythmic tunes strung along a conceptual "thread" (i.e. Le Fil). Strung throughout the gear's 15-track/36-minute main body, then resounding for another half-hour after the songs are done, is a single resonating tone, ringing out, without cease, throughout the entire album. The tone isn't a drone; it's just a simple B, hummed by Camille, then looped into infinitum, with every song "arising" from it. This B is a constant building block, a common key stitching the disc together perfectly. That it's a vocal sound is as key as the key, for this kooky conceptual compact disc is composed almost entirely from mouth sounds: Camille, producer Majiker, and collaborateur Sly (of splintered Français hip-hop collective Saïan Supa Crew) drawing inspiration from Zap Mama, Matmos, and — of course! — Björk as they layer on singing, chanting, and all manner of beat-boxing, cutting and splicing such syllablism into songs whose percussive splutter cracks with that hip-hopper's make-it-spit! desire.

The results are good enough to salivate over; Le Fil raises the stakes from Camille's incredibly beautiful debut, Le Sac des Filles, making a major statement that places Dalmais up alongside such statuesque figures as Kahimi Karie, Haco, and — of course! — Björk. And, well, a chorus'll carol that Björk did beat Camille to this punch, her 2004 outing Medúlla striking a year in advance of Camille's gear (which was issued in France in the ought-five, but has just gotten its rest-of-the-world love). But, as time marches on, the specifics of calendars will matter little, and people will turn to the respective puddings for proof. Medúlla is a fascinating failed experiment on a grand scale that pales when placed next to its predecessor, Björk's magnum opus Vespertine. But, with Le Fil, Camille comes up trumps, essentially out-Björking Björk; her voice-centric work working as both an outing of radical avant-gardism, and as melodic commercial-pop record. Its white-skinned wild-eyed funk, its gorgeous chanson, its obsessive miniatures, and its balletic ballads combe to make for an album that makes a mockery of its radically reduced palette, and makes a great case for being considered one of the very best records of the third millennium.

by Anthony Carew

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