Rich Allen Poop 2015

Favorite Things ~ 2015 ALBUMS

Buy Matana Roberts ~ Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee New or Used via AmazonBuy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Matana Roberts ~ Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee (Constellation Records)
While earlier albums suggested quilts, river run thee is a pure sound collage, comprised of field recordings, dialogue snippets, sax and drone. New melodies are interwoven with old hymns. New words are stitched to old diaries. Matana Roberts is telling a story – a long story – and while much of it is still unwritten, we suspect that the overall narrative is lodged in her head. There’s no other album like this, and nine more installments are still to come.

Buy Hillsong Worship ~ Open Heaven/River Wild New or Used via AmazonBuy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
Hillsong Worship ~ Open Heaven/River Wild (Hillsong Music)
The year’s finest Christian album is also the worship band’s most fully-realized collection to date: a series of live recordings that challenges and uplifts in equal measure. With “Oceans” still riding the chart (three years at #1!), this new set is evidence that the group continues to be divinely inspired.

BuyPat Collins & Tadhg O'Sullivan ~ Silence/Sound from Farpoint RecordsBuy Limited Editin CD from Farpoint Records
Pat Collins & Tadhg O’Sullivan ~ Silence/Sound (Farpoint Recordings)
The aural reflection of Collins’ 2012 film Silence, Sound/Silence succeeds on multiple levels: as an engaging composition, a philosophical treatise, and an exercise in spiritual centering. The film follows a field recordist returning to his Irish home, plunging into the most barren of lands in search of something even he cannot fully name. This soundscape offers a different take on the subject: melancholy and meditative, it revels in natural sound while restoring faith in the human voice.

Buy Holly Herndon ~ Platform New or Used via AmazonBuy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
Holly Herndon ~ Platform (4AD/RVNG)
Herndon’s sonic suitcase is stuffed: layers of meaning shrouded in mysterious vocal snippets, glued to shards of electronic beats and notes. The smooth surfaces and gleaming edges of Platform lend it a futuristic sheen akin to the android in “Ex Machina”; as the Tyrell Corporation once said, “more human than human.”

Buy V/A ~ One Minute Older New or Used via AmazonBuy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
V/A ~ One Minute Older (Virgin Babylon)
Got a minute? Virgin Babylon’s 5th anniversary compilation contains 50 tracks, each approximately one minute in length. The album creates an impression of Japan as an aural explosion of color and sound, as it tumbles from orchestral suites to video game bleeps to heavy metal blasts. Playing the disc is like listening to the best radio station imaginable, anticipating a surprise around every corner.

Buy Disasterpeace ~ It Follows OST  New or Used via AmazonBuy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
Disasterpeace ~ It Follows OST (Milan Records)
It doesn’t think. It doesn’t feel. It doesn’t give up. It follows. The simple taglines reflect a streamlined concept. The score is similarly methodical, lingering in the mind even after it has ended. An homage to John Carpenter’s Halloween score, It Follows is fresh and retro, the old in the guise of the new.

Buy Michael Price ~ Entanglement New or Used via AmazonBuy New or Used via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
Michael Price ~ Entanglement (Erased Tapes)
Michael Price has been working hard since the release of his EP a couple years back, honing his sound and preparing to launch a major work into the world. Entanglement is just that: a beautiful, contemplative work that stands tall among its peers. As it was released during the Easter season, and features a track by that name, it’s a perfect soundtrack for the holy days. (Richard Allen)

Rent Ian William Craig ~ Cradle for the Wanting via AmazonRent from Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
Ian William Craig ~ Cradle for the Wanting (Recital)
Ian William Craig‘s second album is gossamer and glass, as gentle as music can be. Vocal loops swirl like snowflakes and smoke, exposing every angle before falling or rising. From time to time, a word or phrase is captured like an elusive memory, but the emphasis is on harmonic convergence. Each clutch of interlocked notes is a tiny miracle, the spiritual plane reflected in the voice of the created.

Buy The Frozen Vaults ~ 1816 via BandcampBuy via Bandcamp
The Frozen Vaults ~ 1816 (Voxxov)
1816 is a winter music classic, inspired by “the year with no summer.” The strings sound exquisite, but the field recordings lend the album its distinctive nature: whipping wind, frozen precipitation, boots on snow. The music conjures images of a frigid north, white-out conditions, a shivering populace. Finally “The Great Thaw” arrives, dripping, melting, flowing, as water deserts the white.

Buy Olga Wojciechowska ~ Maps and Mazes New or Used via AmazonRent via Amazon     Rent via iTunes [?]
Olga Wojciechowska ~ Maps and Mazes (Time Released Sound)
Maps and Mazes suggests both mystery and discovery: deep secrets and an invitation. Follow the map, and one may emerge intact. Visit the minotaur, but bring a ball of string. The composer has been building an impressive body of work over the past few years, and this is her coming out party: after years of pseudonyms, it’s the first album recorded under her own name.

Instrumental Tracks     Vocal Songs
Max Richter, “Return”     The Hunts, “Lifting the Sea”
Lawrence English, “Antarctica”     Bethel Music, “No Longer Slaves”
Jilk & Haiku Salut, “Periscopes”     The Gray Havens, “Far Kingdom”
Olga Wojciechowska, “I’m Never Not Thinking About You”     Lapsley, “Painter”
Disasterpeace, “Doppel”     Sarah McMillan, “King of My Heart”

Treha Sektori & Muhd ~ The Sense of Dust and Sheer (Cyclic Law)
Merzbow ~ Konchuuki (Essence Music)
*AR ~ Memorious Earth (Corbel Stone Music)
V/A ~ Merry May (Folklore Tapes)
Kate Carr ~ I had myself a nuclear spring (Flaming Pines)

Music Videos (in alphabetical order)
ABADDON (Directed by Rogerio Silva, Music by Alaskan Tapes)
Alfonso Muskedunder (Directed by Bendik Kaltenborn and Espen Friberg, Music by Todd Terje)
Covers (Directed by Henning M. Lederer, Music by Jörg Stierle)
Fear Nothing (Directed by Isaac Ravishankara, Music by Selah Sue)
Lilium (Directed by kynd, Music by Yaporigami)
Megalizer II (Directed by 16 artists, Music by edIT)
Periscopes (Directed by James Sampson, Music by Jilk and Haiku Salut)
Quack Fat (Directed by Dropbear, Music by Opiuo)
Slowly Rising (Directed by Hideki Inaba, Music by Beetsofreen)
solo scum (Directed by Mukai Jumpei, Music by Yuki Matsumura)

Art Books Fiction
Hans Strand, Iceland Above and Below Steven Millhauser, Voices in the Night
Páll Stefánsson, Iceland Exposed
Michael Martin, Extreme Earth
Martin Salisbury, 100 Great Children’s Picture Books
Workman Publishing, 100 Illustrated Bible Verses
Non-Fiction Children’s Illustration
Mark Vanhoenacker, Skyfaring Kayo Maclear & Katty Maurey, The Specific Ocean
Robert MacFarlane, Landmarks Carin Berger, Finding Spring
Alexandra Harris, Weatherland Pamela Zagarenski, The Whisper
Cynthia Barnett, Rain Jihleon Lee, Pool
Peter Davidson, The Last of the Light Melanie Watt, Bug in a Vacuum

Favorite Films of 2015
Spring; It Follows; Furious 7; Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Ex Machina

Richard Allen
A Closer Listen

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