Unbelievable Sounds
1Jan/010

Best record of 2001 – Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun

Riding around the botanical gardens and military bases of Hawaii and listening to the Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun, quite a blast, athough my sunburn hurt like crazy. Man, what a nutty album, and my best of 2001.

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1Jan/000

Best record of 2000 – Raymond Scott Manhattan Research Inc

Manhattan Research Inc - the collection of work Raymond Scott produced with his curiosity cabinet of electronic devices, assisted by the young Bob Moog. Regardless of the obsessive nature, Scott's output is interestingly forward looking, some imitates classical/jazz standards ala Switched-on bach but for the most part he braves a new trail of a different kind of sound. This is more pronounced on the Soothing sounds for baby albums with the long format, but this record cements him as a pioneer. The sample also makes a fine ringtone (for when my wife calls).

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1Jan/990

Best record of 1999 – Sam Prekop

As long as Sam and I have been friends, its been fun listening to records together, and then distilling those sounds into his band. Perhaps someday I will live up to my dream to produce or engineer recordings, but in the short term, when Sea and Cake was off for awhile, Sam and Jim O'Rourke met up along with Chad and Archer to record this solo record. Even though the parts were more than a bit of Brazilian (courtesy Dusty Groove) its more than the sum of its parts, and still holds up beautifully. Keep em coming Sammy.

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1Jan/980

Best records of 1998 Joao Donato Quem Y Quem

The Brazil bug is biting hard this year. I guess that sounds a bit grotesque, but when you find another culture with a rich mine of 70's jazz/funk/bossa nova to plunder, you take the dive. Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben, Gilberto Gil, and Gal Costa could have topped the list but to pick a winner its Joao Donato and the Quem Y Quem record. That mumbly voice and the rock solid gooves, beautiful. And I'm thankful I can't speak Portugese, who knows what he's talking about?

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1Jan/970

Best record of 1997 – Missy Elliott Supa Dupa Fly

Missy takes the prize - mainly for the fact she has never really topped this debut record, and unfortunately that this seemed to mark the end of the rap era for me. I think its just because I don't seem to dance anymore. Also, the lyric thing can get downright mean (although vaguely endearing in Missy's use). Also, this is when Jamaican dancehall beats and the 'exotic' rhythims seem more interesting in their native versions, however, hurrah, nonetheless.

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1Jan/960

Best record of 1996 – Joao Gilberto – Joao Gilberto

I didn't quite know what to make of this when Sam played it for me. I suppose Aphex Twin and some of tht crazy jungle stuff was distracting me at the time. We used to refer to the 'mike licking' production since the sounds can be quite sharp. It was actually produced by Walter/Wendy Carlos (not sure what sex he/she was in 73). If you can get it, its about as good as bossa nova gets (Bonfa is a close 2nd).

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1Jan/950

Best record of 1995 – Oval Diskont 94

Perhaps the heavy reading of Wire magazine had Sam out to buy Oval's first record Systemisch but it was Diskont 94 I picked up in some strange jaunt in Toronto that sealed the deal for me. The whole package, the basically one tune, the rarity, the bleeps (we coined the phrase "glitch"). It all added up to the most memorable record of this year. I was heavily into the Mac and we all scrambled to create some kind of laptop rock in response. Our enthusiasm certainly effected Bettina to sign Marcus to Thrill Jockey. Meeting him during a Chinatown dinner was kind of fanboy awkward, but hell, he looked like he was 16, where does this stuff come from?

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1Jan/940

Best record of 1994 – Stereolab Mars Audiac Quintet

Guided by Voices could have made it here, but in my travels around suburban Cleveland recruiting, it was more often than not Stereolab that got me going. Again, the whole package, arty, poppy, it was seeing them live that made me realize they are a ROCK band, meaning they rock. I suppose the whole alternative thing may have been a mistake in labeling?

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1Jan/930

Best record of 1993 – Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream

It would be hard to be in Chicago in 1993 and not be crushed by the Pumpkins juggernaut. I suppose I'll join the bandwagon to say it still has quite the appeal, expecially that mayonaise bit.. chokes me up.

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1Jan/920

Best record of 1992 – Liz Phair Exile in Guyville

I don;t think I ever met Liz Phair, which is odd, since I certanly hung around Idful and was there when Brad Wood was recording the Shrimp Boat stuff, and of course Elizabeth was doing Around the Coyote in Wicker Park. Oh well, it was definitely the ajax of Chicago on the music/art scene, and I was hoping that Sam would catch on the star. Duende came out, but didn't make it to number anything, a shame, it would be my number 2 for this year.

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