Another year, another list.

December 31, 2006

So 2006 comes to an end. Its been a funny old year. On a physical level I’ve not had a good year at all. My job has reduced me to an exhausted wreck most of the time, as everyone that knows me is sick of hearing about. 2006 has seen me unwell at regular intervals, an experience I have never had in my life. So from that point of view, good riddance to the last twelve months, though unfortunately 2007 doesn’t look that much rosier from a work point of view.

However, the last twelve months have also been a real rollercoaster for me when it comes to music. Alastair and I began audition on ResonanceFM nearly a year ago now, and some 35 shows later it remains a really enjoyable, positive thing to do. Working on this with ol’ fuzzface has been nothing short of a joy, and despite his occasionally dreadful taste in music Al has been a great guy to know, so cheers mate.

I began Cathnor halfway through the year, and whilst there have been several important lessons learnt in a short period of time, the experience of running a label, however small it may be has been very rewarding. I hope to get Cath003-007 out before 2007 is done with, and there are some more vague ideas for projects in the pipeline too.

I have been lucky enough to witness music in five different countries, and have attended festivals in New York, Dublin, Norway, Stirling and Melbourne (OK, well not that Melbourne as such, Melbourne in Derbyshire, England, but it sounds good) and overall saw around seventy live sets of music. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend quality time in the company of some great musicians who have become friends, and have had the chance to meet up with online friends in person, which has always been a very strange, but enjoyable experience.

And so to the annual torturous ritual of list-making… Once again, there’s been some fantastic music released this year. Despite the early doom and gloom predictions that the well had run dry I have really really struggled to whittle down the 350 or so CDs I have acquired this year to a Top 20. Call me Mr Over-tolerant if you like, but I have had a lot of fun enjoying no end of great music this year, and I could easily have made a list of 50 CDs from 2006 that I would heartily endorse, so no apologies for my enthusiasm for the twelve months just gone and my optimism for 2007.

So here then, after literally several weeks of deliberation is the Top20… take it with a pinch of salt, I’ll probably change my mind next week, and apologies if your CD didn’t make the cut. Cathnor releases are obviously excluded, or at least one of them would have ranked very highly…

1. Keith Rowe / Toshimaru Nakamura – between (Erstwhile)
2. Taku Sugimoto / Taku Unami -Tengu et Kitsune (Slub)
3. Klaus Filip / Toshimaru Nakamura  -Aluk (IMJ)
4. [N:Q]  -November Quebec (Esquilo)
5. Mark Wastell – Amoungst English Men (Absinth)
6. Jakob Ullmann  -A Catalogue of Sounds (Edition RZ)
7. Nmperign / Jason Lescalleet – Love me two times (Intransitive)
8. Mattin / Radu Malfatti -Going Fragile (Formed)
9. David Lacey / Paul Vogel / Mark Wastell -Live Dublin (Confront)
10. Manfred Werder -20061 (Skiti)
11. Keith Rowe, Tomas Korber, Gunter Müller -Fibre (For 4 Ears)
12. Will Guthrie / Ferran Fages -Cinabri (Absurd)
13. Anthony Burr, Charles Curtis -Alvin Lucier (Antiopic/Sigma)
14. Burkhard Stangl / Taku Unami – i was (Hibari)
15. Arek Gulbenkoglu -Untitled (Document)
16. Tim Parkinson -Cello Piece (Wandelweiser)
17. Jason Lescalleet -The Pilgrim (Glistening Examples)
18. Kai Fagaschinski / Christof Kurzmann -First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Quincunx)
19. Christof Kurzmann / Ami Yoshida -a s o (Erstwhile)
20. Taku Sugimoto – Live in Kansai (Slub)

It originally crossed my mind to write a paragraph on each release, but if you are here reading this then the chances are you know what there is to know about most of the above. If there’s anything you’d like to pick at my thoughts on then let me know.
So thats the list done, 2006 over with and here’s to 2007.
Happy New Year.

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