Rich Allen Poop 2019

Favorite Things ~ 2019

ALBUMS


Buy Dominik Eulberg, Mannigfaltig New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Dominik Eulberg, Mannigfaltig (!K7)
Rarely has an environmental message seemed so colorful, contagious and fun. After eight years away, the artist returns to offer up his heartfelt plea: protect these species. The music sparkles with energy, inviting listeners to rise and dance; the message ignites the soul, encouraging full engagement with climate causes. The “King of Naturalist Techno” has recorded his masterpiece.

Buy PYUR, Oratorio for the Underworld New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
PYUR, Oratorio for the Underworld (Subtext)
Cello! Violin! Industrial beats? It all makes sense as one listens to this immersive gothic gem. PYUR’s shamanistic background is on full display, along with a love for mythology and a fascination with the tension between tradition and technology. The set bursts with original ideas and includes passages unlike any listeners have heard before: a fever dream with a pulse.

Buy The Twilight Sad, It Won't Be Like This All the Time New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
The Twilight Sad, It Won’t Be Like This All the Time (Rock Action Records)
After touring with The Cure, The Twilight Sad caught a case of their timbre. This year, the Scottish band finally surpasses the expectations set over a decade ago with That Summer, At Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy. Wave after wave of angst pours out; could this be the last great goth album?

Buy Black to Comm, Seven Horses for Seven Kings New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Black to Comm, Seven Horses for Seven Kings (Thrill Jockey)
Poems and folktales meet drone on the year’s most apocalyptic album. Seven Horses for Seven Kings stares into the abyss with nary a blink, ready to meet its end. Ironically, it wasn’t the end; a slightly more accessible EP, Before After, became its bittersweet coda.

Buy Blind Cave Salamander, The Svalbard Suite via Hypershape/Bandcamp    Buy via Hypershape/Bandcamp
Blind Cave Salamander, The Svalbard Suite (Hypershape)
The seeds of the world are supposedly safe in Svalbard, but a threat to the local permafrost has cast doubt on the sustainability of the facility intended to save the world. Blind Cave Salamander has prepared a sweet sonic requiem, replete with miners’ choir, narrative dialogue and the sound of the great door closing: part of a larger project that includes film and dance.

Buy Beth Gibbons & The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra & Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Beth Gibbons & The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra & Krzysztof Penderecki, Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 ( Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) (Domino)
This shouldn’t have worked; when the project began, Portishead’s singer didn’t even know Polish. But as more luminaries joined, it soon became clear that no one was going to let it fail. The second adaptation of recent years (following Colin Stetson) continues to add more appreciation to the original while impressing in its own right.

Buy Minor Pieces, The Heavy Steps of Dreaming New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Minor Pieces, The Heavy Steps of Dreaming (FatCat)
Ian William Craig has been thrilling us for years with his multi-octave voice and gorgeous loops. Now he’s found a perfect musical partner. Teamed with Missy Donaldson, he’s brought his music to the next level. The vocals wander off the page like smeared ink. Those tired of traditional carols will cherish the Christmas gem “Bravallagata;” but this music is mesmerizing no matter the time of year.

Buy Matana Roberts, COIN COIN Volume Four: Memphis New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Matana Roberts, COIN COIN Volume Four: Memphis (Constellation)
The COIN COIN project is shaping up to be one of century’s definitive releases, and we’re not even at the halfway point. Roberts changes her musical approach in every chapter while continuing the narrative thread. The newest collage traces her family’s history through slavery to the present day, inciting white privilege while leaning on the everlasting arms. Harrowing, yet essential.

Buy The Caretaker ~ Everywhere at the end of time/everywhere, an empty bliss New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon</font
The Caretaker, Everywhere at the end of time/everywhere, an empty bliss (History Always Favours the Winners)
Everywhere at the end of time is Leyland Kirby’s multi-year project charting a patient from the onset of dementia to its tragic conclusion. everywhere, an empty bliss is comprised of shorter, more accessible tracks from the same period. Together, they represent one of the decade’s definitive works, massive in nature yet succinct in scope. The haunted ballroom genre remains in good hands with The Caretaker, who continues to chart a course uniquely his own.

Buy Caterina Barbieri, Ecstatic Computation via Emego    Buy New or Used via Amazon
Caterina Barbieri, Ecstatic Computation (Editions Mego)
Ecstatic Computation is an intricate tapestry of interlocking synths, referencing everything from church organs to 80s electronics to melodic industrial music. The illusion of drums is created via machines, a modern miracle from a brilliant creator whose every note screams, let there be light.

Instrumental Tracks                                       Vocal Tracks
Dominik Eulberg, “Siebenschläfer”                             Bishop Briggs, “Champion
David Chalmin, “A L Aube”                                    The Twilight Sad, “VTr
Snow Palms, “Everything Ascending”                           Vineyard Worship, “You’re Carrying Me
Haythem Mahbouli, “Catching the Last Moment”       FKA Twigs, “home with you
Jean-Philippe Gross, “Curling”                                 We Lost the Sea, “Mothers Hymn

Music Videos (in viewing order)
Max Cooper, Circular; Canigou, Tape; Dominic John, Recycled Sound; Gareth Smith, Textless; Lawrence Pike, Drum Chant; The Comet Is Coming, Summon the Fire; Kevin McLoughlin, EPOCH; Weval, Someday; Max Cooper, Perpetual Motion; Max Cooper, Repetition

Books
Leah Price, What We Talk About When We Talk About Books
Charlotte Runcie, Salt on Your Tongue: Women and the Sea
Heiki Faller & Valerio Vidale, Hundred: What You Learn in a Lifetime
John Mauceri, For the Love of Music: A Conductor’s Guide to the Art of Listening
Ted Giola, Music: A Subversive History

Favorite Media of the Decade
Albums: Hillsong Worship, There Is More; Daniel Bjarnason, Processions; Plinth, Collected Machine Music; FareWell Poetry, Hoping for the Invisible to Ignite; Mentallo & the Fixer, Music from the Eather; Anoice, The Black Rain; Jilk, In Need of Tess; World’s End Girlfriend, Last Waltz; Matana Roberts, Coin Coin Chapter Three; Public Service Broadcasting, Inform-Educate-Entertain

Tracks (Vocal): The Liturgists, “Vapor;” Fortune & Spirits, “Feels Like Snow;” Cory Asbury, “Endless Alleluia;” Jonathan David & Melissa Helser, “So Much Grace;” Sam Spiegel & Ape Drums feat. Assassin, “Mutant Brain;” Sarah McMillan, “King of My Heart;” Smile, “Perfect Holiday;” Selah Sue, “Fear Nothing;” The Hunts, “Lifting the Sea;” Bethel Music, “No Longer Slaves

Tracks (Instrumental): Max Richter, “Return;” Nicholas Szepanik, “Dear Dad;” Petrels, “Canute;” Jilk & Haiku Salut, “Periscopes;” Yann Novak, “Blue Hour;” Machinefabriek, “Apollo;” Katie Gately, “Pivot;” Colin Stetson, “Sorrow Pt. I;” Lawrence English, “Antarctica;” Toy Library, “Secret Lives of a Building

Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy; Kubo & the Two Strings; How to Train Your Dragon; Avengers: Infinity War; Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Captain America: Winter Soldier; Thor: Ragnarok; The Greatest Showman; Looper; Gravity
Books (Fiction): A.L. Kennedy, The Little Snake; Mike Carey & Peter Gross, The Highest House; Jackie Morris & Jon Boden, The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow; Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls; Peter Brown, The Wild Robot

Books (Non-Fiction): George Prochnik, In Pursuit of Silence; Erling Kagge, Silence in the Age of Noise; Christian Heck & Remy Cordonnier, The Grand Medieval
Bestiary
; Alain De Botton, The News: A User’s Manual; Hans Rosling, Factfulness;

Bernie Krause, The Great Animal Orchestra; Brian Roettinger, Touchable Sound: A Collection of 7-inch Records from the USA; Mark Vanhoenacker, Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot; Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep; Simon Garfield, Just My Type: A Book About Fonts

Richard Allen
A Closer Listen
www.acloserlisten.com

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