Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Leif Elggren's body of work fills me with awe and excitement, from the photography to the manifestos, the fiction to the records. 2010's The King's Curve is a sublime tape, a desperately and hilariously black soliloquy, ring-modulated and phased so the spoken words take on a hypnotic effect. Buy everything. Similarly sparse and odd, but equally as impressive were Starving Weirdos with their piano-sample based B/P/M Series 1.

Grouped by both etymology and impact are two cygnicic acts which hit me for six in 2010. Swans' My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky was a belated introduction to the work of Michael Gira. I crawled out from my particular rock to find subdued threats, huge percussion and lines of melody in my head every morning. Needless to say, I'm working my way through the back catalogue; heavy guitar songs have been born again.

Yellow Swans are a different proposition - guitars, distortion, vocals but set from a different mould. Good noise music should be as good quiet as it is loud. The finest acts deal in texture and structure from the inside out, meaning pure volume is no infallibile yardstick of quality. Yellow Swans are easily more melodic than most, but the posthumous Going Places is the finest work from their vast back catalogue and one of the finest of the year undoubtably.

Still yet more to follow...

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