This past Thursday, Aether Everywhere had its first year-end extravaganza. We featured cuts from Tanner’s and my favorite psychedelic(ish) albums from 2007--Tanner’s was Burial’s Untrue and mine was (surprise, surprise) Panda Bear’s Person Pitch--and then we rounded it out with other tracks that made our heads go, um, woh-woh-woh-woh-etc. this year. Hope you likey:
1) “Take Pills” – Panda Bear Person Pitch/This song isn’t naughty, you guys! Panda thinks the anti-depressants are a-ok (yes, yes they are), but he just doesn’t want to take them anymore, and this is a plea for his mother to join him after the passing of his father. Song’s quite a bit deeper than the title implies, no?
2) “Bros” – Panda Bear Person Pitch/The one that everyone went bonkers over this year, and with good reason. The way he messes with the vocals really messes with my head.
3) “Good Girl/Carrots” – Panda Bear Person Pitch/Last spring, I spent an entire day skiing the back country with only this song cued up on my iPod. Yay for tablas! Yay for iPods!
4) “Wham City” – Dan Deacon Spiderman of the Rings/Such an incredibly upbeat, Muppets-y song, and yet he manages to infuse a melancholy synth line through the middle third that destroys me every time.
5) “Spring Hall Convert” – Deerhunter Cryptograms/Nice and shoegazey, this one sounds like it’s trying to perpetually launch you into the stratosphere. Let it.
6) “Sundialing” – Caribou Andorra/Comparatively more stripped down than most of the others on Andorra, it sports reverbed flutes and a killer drum break.
7) “Everday” – The Field From Here We Go Sublime/Easily my favorite electronica track from 2007.
8) “Gronlandic Edit” – Of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?/Nervous breakdowns make for great neo-psychedelic madness! The way he harmonizes with himself is, well, downright special.
9) “Archangel” – Burial Untrue/The unanimously cherished track from Burial’s masterpiece, featuring some sultry vocals and lots of vinyl crackle.
10) “Endorphin” – Burial Untrue/Ambient and beatless, but still fits in perfectly with Burial’s singular vision. The title and the hi-NRG synth washes suggest his longing for the halcyon days of the endless rave.
11) “Etched Headplate” – Burial Untrue/Let's play follow the bass line - as it slinks and growls along through the London underground. A great example of how the anonymous figure behind Burial's music has somehow managed to paint strikingly detailed and emotive portraits of modern living, British or otherwise, through the brush strokes consisting of sampled and twisted voice, deep sub-base, lonesome and isolated hi-nrg synths and deadwood 2-step breakbeats.
12) “Familj” – Dungen Tio Bitar/Dungen continues to blow minds with gorgeous harmonies and vintage production. Ignore Pitchfork and check out Ta Det Lugnt’s more-than-worthy successor.
13) “Radio Edit” – Studio Yearbook 1/The Swedish duo lays down a seriously hypnotic groove, and if you can tear your attention away from the lockstep rhythm section, you’ll find wonderfully evolving patterns swirling around it.
14) “Lousin’ Time” – Wooden Shjips Wooden Shjips/Great stoner rock groove that chugs along insistently with echoey vocals. Around the halfway point blistering acid lead takes off and sends this one off into the distant murky sky.
15) “Whoever Brought Me Here…” – Oak EP/Gorgeous ambient drones brought to you by Burlington’s very own nu-new agers. Featuring ex-Nest Materialist Sara-paule and mixed and mastered by tera-drone specialist Greg Davis.
16) “The Pulse” – Holy Fuck LP/With two dudes behind drum kits, this is the type of kraut-infused goodness that plasters you to the back wall. Those of you who saw them at Higher Ground last year, opening for and out-rocking Wolf Parade to the point of embarrassment, know exactly what I’m talking about.
17) “The Changing Wind” – Mammatus The Coast Explodes/Bizarre offering from the proto-psych/metal outfit, signed to Holy Mountain’s roster. A bit more sedate than some of their other stuff, but not without its share of deranged vocal chants, disturbing sound effects, and slightly warped female vocals.
18) “Sailing to Byzantium” – Liars Liars/Ultra trippy, with Angus Andrew in glossy falsetto mode. Tanner shared two noteworthy observations with me the other night: This captures them further honing the production skills they adopted in that crazy compound out in Berlin, and it could pass for a distant cousin of Portishead’s “Glory Box.” Agreed and agreed. Those who stupidly crapped on this album, accusing it of being a failed return-to-form attempt, are sadly missing the point. Don’t listen to ‘em, listen to this.
19) “Gift Wrap Yourself, Slowly” – Porn Sword Tobacco New Exclusive Olympic Heights/It is utterly captivating to hear someone do so much with so little. If you're a fan of PST's first release and longed to hear more inline with his dub influences, give this record a chance.
20) “Shell of Light” – Burial Untrue/A beautiful and fitting way to send you all off into the aether. The turning point of untrue, where he allows shards of light to begin to filter in through his dense london fog - Until next week…