doncbruital on 12/06/2010 at 10:50AM
While Year Two of the New FMA Calendar (which for some reason the whole world has yet to adopt) or "2010," as it's also sometimes called, was so huge for brilliance on the Free Music Archive that it seems patently ridiculous to boil it down to a quick playlist and call it a day, there were, nevertheless, alongside all the semiprecious gems spread throughout this whole glittering data mine, a few really precious ones, ones which gave me that special bit of brain-soul-revitalization in thrilling and unexpected ways. Or, to put it another way, I jammed some tracks harder than others, and these are them.
First of all, WFMU continued to astound in the new decade with a series of synapse-rupturing, reality-bending in-studio performances. Brian Turner's show gave us the Legendary Pink Dots' journey beyond the infinite, Bill Orcutt's obliteration of staid guitar, and Wolf Eyes with Richard Pinhas on a deep id creep; "Talk's Cheap" with Jason Sigal had the sludge throb of Thrones on, and thanks to Wm. Berger's "My Castle of Quiet" we grooved on Hex Breaker Quintet's magick monolithick shuffle and SSPS' party synth mindgrip. And folks, understand this is just a smattering.
The FMA also saw a bevy of fine new work from old favorites--U Can Unlearn Guitar's second album of instant classical readytunes, selections from Fat Worm of Error's panic paen Ambivalence and the Beaker--and lots, lots of stuff from artists new to the archive who joined up with a bang (or a bleep or a clang or a crrsshh or what have you). Female upped the new record Jackoff, your go-to soundtrack for a blurred-out night on the garish and grimy town; Weyes Bluhd and Supernaturelle brought some creeping malevolence via shadowy guitar and murky electronic invocations, respectively; Sam Gas Can gave us a 21-drone salute from his Dog Dance tape as well as lots more home-recording brilliance (give a click folks, for real); and Sun Araw upped tantalizing selections from his justifiably-lauded On Patrol and Off Duty releases, tracks that wash in and out of the conscious mind like a sunrise and a couple or three drinks. Things also got kinda, uh, heavy on the FMA in 2010, with new sludge gods White Suns' extraordinary Cavity tape and seriously damaged beat, well, beatings from the impossibly cathartic Sewn Leather and DJ Dog Dick (who provides our year-end anthem with "Lap Dog"),
And then there's AMANDA, whose genius I won't bother trying to sum up. All in all, it's been some kind of journey, this 2010 thing, and the only thing that tops the heights attained by the FMA this year is the safe knowledge that it's all just the beginning.