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December 21, 2001

++ The Top 50

++ Eric Boehlert wrote a fascinating article for Salon this week, detailing the oft-cited crisis of the recording industry. I say, let it collapse. Musically, 2001 may have been an off year for the mainstream and the major labels, but in the underground, there was plenty of music to stave off the silence. The following list isn't exclusively indie — a few major-label recordings snuck in there (indeed, my Top 10 is surprisingly skewed toward the majors — well, if you can call 30% a skewing) — but the quantity and range of titles should indicate the health of any number of substream scenes. To quote Paul Bowles: "Let it come down."

A Select But Doubtlessly Incomplete List Of 40 Records I Worked To, Woke To, Slept To, Swooned Over, and Gave To My Friends In 2001 — And Gladly Would Buy All Over Again

A.F.R.I. Studios, Goodbye If You Call That Gone (Lucky Kitchen)

Aesop Rock, Labor Days (Def Jux)

Afronaught, Shapin' Fluid (Apollo)

Allenko Brotherhood Ensemble, Allenko Brotherhood Ensemble (Comet)

Alog, Duck-Rabbit (Rune Grammofon)

Basement Jaxx, Rooty (Astralwerks)

Bernhard Günter, Monochrome White (LINE)

Cannibal Ox, Cold Vein (Def Jux)

Dabrye, One/Three (Ghostly International)

Death Cab for Cutie, The Photo Album (Barsuk)

Dntel, Life Is Full of Possibilities (Plug Research)

Ekkehard Ehlers, Plays Albert Ayler (Staubgold)

Electric Birds, Strata Frames (U-Cover)

Fat Jon the Ample Soul Physician, Wave Motion (Mush)

Four Tet, Pause (Domino)

Francisco Lopez, Untitled #104 (Alien8)

Future Beat Alliance, Disconnected (Delsin)

Ghislain Poirier, Il N'y A Pas De Sud... (12k)

Jan Jelinek, Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records (~Scape)

Kid606, P.S. You Love Me (Mille Plateaux)

Kings of Convenience, Quiet Is the New Loud (Astralwerks)

Locsil, Triple Point (Kranky)

Luigi Archetti & Bo Wiget, Low Tide Digitalis (Rune Grammofon)

N*E*R*D, In Search Of... (Virgin)

Rechenzentrum, John Peel Session (Kitty-Yo)

Riton, Beats Du Jour (Grand Central)

Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, A Long Wait Produced Nothing Further (E.R.S.)

Slicker, The Latest (Hefty)

Spacek, Curvatia (Island Blue)

Stars of the Lid, Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid (Kranky)

Stephan Mathieu & Ekkehard Ehlers, Heroin (Brombron/Staalplaat)

Stephan Mathieu, frequencyLib (Ritornell)

Taylor Deupree, Occur (12k)

Timeblind, Rugged Redemption (Orthlorng Musork)

Tony Allen & Doctor L, Psycho on Da Bus (Comet)

Ursula Rucker, Supa Sista (Studio K7)

Various, Alone, Life Wastes Andy Hardy (Apestaartje)

Various, Colapsus (Sound Ink)

Various, invalidObject series (Fllt)

Various, Superlongevity 2 (Perlon)

Plus, Once Again, A Good Approximation Of My Top 10 Of 2001

Herbert, Bodily Functions (Soundslike/!K7)

Radiohead, Amnesiac (Capitol/EMI)

Björk, Vespertine (Elektra)

Matmos, A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure (Matador)

His Name Is Alive, Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth (4AD/Beggars)

Fennesz, Endless Summer (Mego)

Domu, Up+Down (Archive)

Ryan Adams, Gold (Lost Highway)

Chris Lee, Plays & Sings Torch'd Songs, Charivari Hymns & Oriki Blue-Marches (Smells Like)

Techno Animal, Brotherhood of the Bomb (Matador)


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