WhatTheFunk -
73
ママ、怖いよー。

Holy shit, this record is bloodcurdling from start to finish ! I know this collection of old Japanese temple music is supposed to be "Zen" (it's in the title, by the way)... but I don't know... it sounds like the background of a small, spooky village, in the middle of the night, while yōkai (malevolent Japanese demons, with physical attributes relating to both humans and animals) kidnap and devour children under the ghostly moon... Notorious cultural ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
76
בלתי יאומן

When we talk about "the best jazz bands in the world", we inevitably think of Miles Davis' first and second great quintets. We also think of the John Coltrane Quartet, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Pat Metheny Group (for those who like 80's jazz, deal with it).... And more recently, we can think of Masada. The quartet of John Zorn (alto sax), which blithely blends Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz , Post-Bop and Klezmer music. For this ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
81
Quarantine Hike

Who among you has never strained his ear in the middle of summer to listen carefully to the song of crickets and grasshoppers? Who hasn't listened to the springtime dialogues of the birds? For the urban ear, most of Mother Nature's sounds are all too often just fantasies. To draw attention to the trivial, to make audible what the human eye cannot see thanks to the microphone, this eye eager to see everything, to tell a brief story of the dialogue between the world of the city ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
84
Transcendental

This one comes from the Earth... From its misty forests where dreams come to life, from its gently flowing streams, from its thousand sources that feed them, from its unusual paths that an unholy nature offers to travellers entering its bosom, from its venerable trees that have seen the centuries pass by, from the soil itself, from the roots that cling to it, from the humus, from the bedrock... with this anachronistic medieval village lost at the end of a vaporous marsh. But ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
64
Big year 2020 for Pink Siifu, who in April had already released a little discographic firecracker called "NEGRO"... An incendiary, lapidary, violent record; which mixed politically charged rap, punk rock, power electronics, industrial music, spoken word and rough noise collage. Not necessarily pleasant to listen to, but seminal and traumatic as possible... Here, accompanied by his colleague Fly Anakin, he delivers a much more accessible album, but no less interesting and researched ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
82
The blurred continuity.

The afflicted universe. A wandering guitarist, without money, sad like a stone. He goes from city to city, dressed in grey rags, playing the most desolate music in the whole world. Scattered and dilapidated guitar... a few notes that get lost in the languorous echoes of the dreary, busy streets. No one pays any attention to him. He declaims these few chords in the void, tears in his eyes, his lips cracked with a painful grin... His hands are frozen. The autumn wind is ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
75
Winter & Hate

"Burzum" is the beginning of the mystical (and ultimately tragic) journey of Varg Vikernes through a Black Metal that he was able to adapt to his own imaginary universe inhabited by Nordic deities, pagan legends and especially the magical universe of Tolkien rather than the great reaper or this good old Lucifer. On this debut album, we discover a tortured soul, an atmosphere so dark it is almost indescribable and an extremely basic musical formula but which goes ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
86
RETROSPECTIVE 2020 #7

Once again, Recollection GRM makes possible these incredible discoveries of these forgotten works of electronic and electroacoustic music. I didn't know about the exceptional french composer Bernard Fort. "FRACTALS / Brain Fever" proves to be a sublime and arid example of sophisticated acousmatic music using variations from a single sound source, in the manner of Pierre Henry's precursor "Variations pour une porte et un soupir". Listening to these ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
72
RETROSPECTIVE 2020 #6

The "iki" by FUJI||||||||||TA (aka Fujita Yosuke) has been in gestation for 11 years. 11 years trying to master his mutant organ that he created from scratch. An organ with only 11 pipes. An organ without a keyboard... To generate sounds through his noisy beast, Fujita presses a kind of air pump connected to the machine. And in the underlying soundtrack, as we have our eardrums sprayed with these completely unique and alien sounds, we hear the comforting clatter ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
83
RETROSPECTIVE 2020 #5

Coincidences are sometimes pleasant. In an epic session of compulsive "digging" (or excavation of obscure records) last year, I came across an original copy of "Violostries", published on the excellent Philips sub-label: Prospective 21ème Siècle (A french series dedicated to electroacoustic). As a recent collector of this sub-label with its shimmering silver science fiction covers, I was desperate to find that rare record that had slipped ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
83
The Number of the Beast

The opportunity was too good for this 666th review on AOTY.
Black Sabbath, early 70s. Vinyl and audiocassette era.
Let's take advantage of it. Let's press "rewind".

The rain that falls, the wind that moans, the thunder that rumbles and these austere bells that get closer little by little, as if to warn us of something terrible, something irremediable... And then here it is: the riff that kills, thunders us, crushes us to the ground. The bells were not there ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
70
RETROSPECTIVE 2020 #4

Keiji Haino in "live" is always something extremely powerful. These lives are surely the most physical and spiritual musical performances I have ever experienced in my short life. This new discographic offering from my favourite guitar hero contains nearly 90 minutes of pure sonic madness; 90 minutes through which Haino devoted himself to a kind of ancient black mass dedicated to the birth and the end of time. It is also a magnificent masterwork, which succeeds ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
85
We don't talk enough about Mingus' "The Clown", the second record that the famous double bass player/pianist/composer/conductor (yes, we can call him that way) recorded for the Atlantic label in this formidable series of albums from 1956 to 1961... Certainly less legendary than its big brother "Pithecanthropus Erectus", less popular than the classy "Mingus Ah Um" or less innovative and stunning than the incredible "The Black Saint and The Sinner Lady" ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
74
RETROSPECTIVE 2020 #3

Don Cherry in celestial free-form hippie mode with the Organic Music Society (one of the most beautiful bunch of ecstatic freedom-loving shaman-musicians). Don's pocket trumpet sublimated by the percussive elucubrations of the great Nana Vasconcelos, Moki's dronesque tanpura and Gian Piero Pramaggiore's "campfire jazz" guitar... The ensemble evolves through compositions and improvisations that are sometimes long, sometimes short, and where each voice of the ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
73
RETROSPECTIVE 2020 #2

Once more known for her very visceral and arid cello playing (sometimes even brutal and atonal), Okkyung Lee softens her sound magnificently with this delicate and intimate "Yoe-Neun". She is accompanied by Maeve Gilchrist on harp, Elvind Opsvik on bass and Jacob Sacks on piano. The quartet gives pride of place to Lee's sublime and impressionistic compositions, drawing her inspiration from different musical currents: chamber music, contemporary classical or ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
80
Consciência plena ☘

A sunny afternoon in the Eduardo VII Park in Lisbon. On ketamine. With Keith Fullerton Whitman in your ears. GREEN music. Everything goes GREEN. The grass grows and grows and grows.. at a fast pace, covers the trees, covers the city in the distance, the people, the cars, the buildings, the statues... Then, the Sun itself; which takes on a greenish hue too, sends its electronic rays through the pores of your skin. Your body is now filled with a fertile light. You ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
82
RETROSPECTIVE 2020 #1

Is there anything more beautiful than the sound of the cello? Perhaps, but the fact remains that the cello is a particularly evocative instrument, sometimes solemn, sometimes sensitive, but always touching. Solo cello albums, when it is in good hands, invite us to discover all the depth of this instrument and all the emotional significance it can evoke in us. This statement is all the more accurate with this superb box set by Charles Curtis containing recordings between ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
84
Thanks Brazil ! 🇧🇷

A discography composed of a single true album of barely 29 minutes... "Leave them wanting more" is a quote that really well sums up the solo career of this great unknown gentleman of the Brazilian scene. Composer and arranger for several big names (Elis Regina, Jorge Ben, Marcos Valle and Gal Costa, to name but a few), Verocai is, along with Rogério Duprat, one of the greatest sound architects of the rich music of this beautiful country. Despite the ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
92
"It was first a study. I wrote silences, nights, I noted down the inexpressible. I arrested dizzy falls."

Arthur Rimbaud (A Season in Hell, 1873)

Talk Talk's latest album is a mystery. I hesitated for a long time before I started to write this clumsy review... After all, if there is ONE record whose music is self-sufficient... if there is one album that can work without words about it, it is "Laughing Stock". In front of this aerial and vaporous monument, we can logically ... read more
WhatTheFunk -
86
(murmures)

"Spirit of Eden" is above all an improbable record. Who would have thought that one of the most commercial New Wave bands of the 80's would have changed their sound in such a radical way? I would have liked to see the disturbed faces of the EMI representatives listening to this discographic UFO. I imagine them sitting in their ivory towers, dismayed, drops of sweat beading on their bald foreheads and saying to each other "Where are the hits??? Where is the sequel to ... read more
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Recent Review Comments
On Michael Pisaro - Fields Have Ears (6)
"Thank you very much for always supporting me with your kind words, @Allofasudden ! I love to write this kind of review and share it, and I'm very happy that you like it :)"
On Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
"Thanks a lot @TreyLikesBands, it makes me very happy, especially coming from you :)"
On Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
"Merci beaucoup @DoubleZ, ça me va droit au coeur! En fait, les 3 premiers albums de Black Sabbath sont des vrais tueries et font partie des albums de rock que j'ai le plus écouté. "Paranoid" est assurément plus "parfait", plus maîtrisé et plus poussé mais l'incroyable track "Black Sabbath" me fait préférer ce premier album. "
On Charles Mingus - The Clown
"Merci infiniment pour ton retour @DoubleZ, j'avoue que j'ai envie d'écrire sur "The Black Saint" depuis que je suis arrivé sur AOTY mais je n'arrive pas à trouver les bons mots... En tout cas je suis en pleine forme est résolu à continuer ma série retrospective sur les petites perles oubliées de 2020 :) "
On DoubleZ's review of Alain Bashung - Fantaisie militaire
"Baguette et béret et dorénavant ma série préférée ! Bashung étais vraiment l'un des GOATs de la nouvelle chanson française, "La Nuit Je Ment" est juste une chanson fabuleuse COCORICO ! 🇫🇷 J'espère que tu écriras une review sur Jacques Brel et Léo Ferré durant cette série même si il ne sont pas vraiment français... "
On DoubleZ's review of Evgeni Koroliov - Partitas Part 1: BWV 825, 826, 830
"Wow ! J'avais pas vu passer cette review ! Je suis tellement heureux que tu parles d'album comme celui-ci :) "
On DoubleZ's review of Playboi Carti - Whole Lotta Red
"Je suis entièrement d'accord avec ta review, WLR est l'un des albums de hip hop le plus surprenant de 2020. Même si il est très polarisant, il ne cesse de "grow on me" à chaque fois que je le réécoute. ;-)"
On DoubleZ's review of Ichiko Aoba - アダンの風 (Windswept Adan)
"@DoubleZ Tout à fait d'accord avec toi un clip de 50 minutes qui couvrirait tout l'album serait - si il est bien realisé - absolument parfait. Je me rappelle d'ailleur qu'elle avait sortit un court métrage de 9 minutes pour son album "Mahoroboshiya" realisé par Hanayo: https://vimeo.com/187420826 (je sais pas si le lien marche, mais c'est le seul que j'ai trouvé)"
On DoubleZ's review of Ichiko Aoba - アダンの風 (Windswept Adan)
"Merci beaucoup mon ami pour cette critique trés interessantes aux élans presque oniriques qui fait vraiment honneur à la pureté indépassable de la musique d'Ichiko. Je suis vraiment heureux que tu t'intéresses à des artistes comme elle et que sa fanbase s'aggrandisse de plus en plus notamment sur AOTY. Cet album, c'est le réconfort doux-amer d'une tendresse qui s'échappe aussitôt qu'on fait mine d'en saisir l'essence, un bref voyage temporel intérieur, nous emmenant redécouvrir avec un émerveillement vaporeux des souvenirs qui ne s'y trouvaient pas avant. :)"
On DoubleZ's review of John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
"Le reviewer suprême a encore frappé! Excellente critique détaillée et imagée de ce qui est probablement pour moi aussi le meilleur album de jazz de tous les temps (et oui, j'ai changé d'avis, ce n'est plus The Black Saint) Ce disque est beauté suspendue en apesanteur, une beauté féroce que seul Coltrane savait atteindre. Et comme tu le dit si bien dans ta review "on peut l'écouter mille fois, sans jamais nécessairement comprendre la même chose", il suffit juste de fermer les yeux et de se laisser porter là où John est en train de se porter lui-même, je vais d'ailleurs de ce pas me réécouter ce chef d'oeuvre..."
On DoubleZ's review of Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch!
"Géniale critique 👌 Un des plus grands manifestes d'inventivité et de virtuosité de l'histoire du jazz!"
On DoubleZ's review of John Fahey - Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes
"C'est vraiment sympa que tu ais intégré mon travail à ta review de Sandy Bull. Pour la version de 1967, voilà la page discog si tu veux plus d'infos: https://www.discogs.com/fr/John-Fahey-Volume-2-Death-Chants-Breakdowns-Military-Waltzes/release/1093477"
On DoubleZ's review of John Fahey - Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes
"Merci pour cette très belle critique sur le John, DoubleZ ! As-tu écouté le réenregistrement de cet album fait en 1967, moins lofi mais plus maîtrisé instrulentalement. Qu'en penses-tu?"
On Emptiness - Nothing But the Whole
"@Inglume Thank you very much for all your compliments. I don't know if you'll fully enjoy this album if you give it a try, but maybe you can get the appeal of this Industrial post-metal, since you like bands like Altar of Plagues or Oranssi Pazuzu."
On John Fahey - Vol 3: Dance of Death & Other Plantation Favorites
"@Inglume I really advise you to dive into his whole discog, John. "Volume 6" is one of my favorites of Fahey, especially because it succeeds perfectly in everything that Volume 5, "The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party", attempted, thanks to its mature psychedelia, its intelligent experimentations and its masterful coherence in spite of the variety of what the tracklist offers. Indeed, this record contains the best of both Faheyan worlds; accessible and meditative experimental and timeless and moving melodies. Otherwise, the 2 other Fahey's albums that I really advise you are "The Yellow Princess" and "America" which are two incredible manifestos of the solo guitarist's eclecticism and overflowing imagination."
On John Fahey - Vol 3: Dance of Death & Other Plantation Favorites
"@thejacktackshac Thank you very much Jacques. And it's not over yet because now my main goal is actually to review all his discography as I did in the past for Nick Cave or Tom Waits. 😉"
On DoubleZ's review of Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
"excellente review, très detaillée et fournie en informations, pour un indéniable chef d'oeuvre du 20eme siècle. 👏 le seul petit bémol est que ce ne soit pas un 100 ;-)"
On Melvins - Gluey Porch Treatments
"@Inglume Thanks a lot ;-) I haven't listened to all of their (too) prolific discography but I would say that their 80's period is their best period, when their rock'n'roll live recording was still relevant and their hardcore punk side was really felt. That's why I advise you their second record "Ozma" and their EP "6 Songs" as well as its extension "10 Songs" which are really my favorite releases of the band. I'm a bit mixed on their post-90's albums, except for a few exceptions (like Lysol), the Melvins tend to pretext avant-gardism to do anything on a sound support, sometimes leading to really disastrous results like "Prick" that I strongly advise you against."
On Jamobo's review of Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
"you're one of the best man, keep it up!"
On Jamobo's review of Mastodon - Leviathan
"welcome to the club my boy, top tier review btw."
On DoubleZ's review of Françoise Hardy - Tous les garçons et les filles
"Wow j'avais raté cette review! C'est super que tu parles d'artistes français dans tes reviews, ça fait vraiment plaisir, surtout quand c'est Françoise :) Ta review lui fait vraiment honneur."
On Françoise Hardy - Tous les garçons et les filles
"Thank you very much for that comment @Inglume, it was a real pleasure, especially since youre a big fan of this album and of francoise hardy in general. When I said that she hadn't yet reached her full potential on this one, I was obviously referring to "La Question", "Comment te dire adieu" and to a lesser extent "Ma jeunesse fout le camp". However, I think my mother's personal favourite is "Message Personnel" (maybe it's her all-time favourite album btw). I really advise you to listen to this record, it's one of her last jewels of her discography which is totally up your alley if you're a fan of "La Question". "
On John Coltrane - Interstellar Space
"Merci beaucoup @DoubleZ! Je suis absolument d'accord avec toi, Coltrane était un dieux vivant, il était arrivé à un niveau tellement élevé qu'il a était obligé de partir de la terre pour aller faire danser les étoiles avec son saxophone endiablé. RIP John."
On EarCandy's review of Toshiya Tsunoda / Taku Unami - Wovenland 2
"Top tier review here 👌"
On Giusto Pio - Motore immobile
"@Inglume I think it's totally up your alley, the violin parts should really interest you ;-) hope you'll enjoy this album as i did..."
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