Tis the season to cover yer keisters, meesters, & judgin' by my compatriots' sleighfuls of slayers, I'm hangin' at least half a rump. So here's one I know I gotta sneak in before the year's over, plus the rest of my favorites from 2012. I'll see y'all in tax season!
Letha Rodman Melchior/Tretetam
Moon Mountain cassette
ed. of 75
The most artistically productive household in the country (there should be a golden statue for that) has produced another lil marvel. When one also ponders alla that productivity comin' out of some seriously rough times, well, it's all the more impressive. Letha's past output under her Tretetam bonnet has made the Finns happy (though I've yet to set ossicles on any of 'em), & who can argue with a country that produced Circle of Ouroborus, Kemialliset Ystävät, & a folk record of people impersonating bears? This is a good deal more contemplative than that-there list, though. Much like Letha's paper collages (one of which is the cover to this tape; others have appeared on Dan Melchior's releases), there is a play with nature at work here; a repurposing of familiar aural elements (room tone, distant TV dialogue, birds, rambling nature) with clarinet & keys that makes everybody feel like a kissin' cousin. To further confound & impress, Letha gathers wool from Satie, Appalachia and Yiddish folk songs (and not just cuz there's a clarinet; I ain't so lazy)! I also detect a dialogue with the tape format, as much of this seems to shiver out of the speakers like breath breaking in winter air, which suits the hum and hiss of my tape deck just fine. It's warm & brisk; tentative but not anxious; sprawling & focused. & it's gettin' more use in this house than my pocket knife. Sold! Bring it home, nuzzle it between Idea Fire Company's Island of Taste & the second half of Caethua's The Long Afternoon of Earth, & watch that sucker grow.
Might still be a few left, but this started out as half-a-handful, so you best beat cheeks.
While yer at it, donate to the fund here! It should always be the season.
Lower Plenty - Hard Rubbish (Special Award/Easter Bilby)
Dan Melchior - Excerpts & Halfspeeds (Kye)
Helm - Impossible Symmetry (Pan)
Fabulous Diamonds - Commercial Music (Chapter Music)
Mordecai - Waste 7" (Wäntage)
Call Back the Giants - Incidents of Travel 12" (White Denim)
Trash Company - Having Fun 12" (Peoples Potential Unlimited)
Circle of Ouroborus - Mullan Tuoksu/Pehmeät Kasvot/Sisään Katsovat Seppelesilmät cassette trilogy (Kuunpalvelus)
X-Wave - Cities on Flame LP (Little Big Chief)
Kenneth Higney - Attic Demonstration LP (One Kind Gift)
Personal Space: Electronic Soul 1974-1984 2xLP (Numero/Chocolate Ind.)
Coitus Int. - Dead Excitement 7" (Bunkerpop)
Shadow Ring - Remains Unchanged 2xLP (Kye)
Woo - It's Cosy Inside LP (Yoga/Drag City)
Tav Falco & The Panther Burns - She's the One to Blame 7" (Mighty Mouth Music)
Drywater - Backbone of the Nation LP/7" (Time-Lag)