Mahmud’s Top 13 Albums of 2013

There are a bunch of great albums albums I am still digesting (In particular new albums by: Aosoth, Forest Swords, James Blake, Vattnet Viskar, Craven Idol)  but I wanted to get this list out. I reserve the right to change it as I get through the albums I’ve neglected all year.

13) Ponctuation – 27 Club

Spent a lot of time studying for my government french test this year and in my search for good Quebec music, I got into these guys – two person garage rock group from Montreal, solid, catchy songs, a nice variety of tracks. Definitely a band to keep an eye on.

12) Celeste – Animale(s) 

I usually hate double albums, I’m of the opinion that the shorter an album the better. Concept albums are generally terrible and self-indulgent. Animale(s) is a two CD concept album- 70 minutes of blackened french hardcore and a silly sounding concept album to boot “bleak story of a boy and a girl, a kind of love story with a tragic ending”. The fact that I enjoy this album as much as I do is a testament to what a compelling listen it is. It could definitely get cut down a bit and it is a bit of a punishing listen (70 minutes of gorgeous brutality is a long time, even for me), but it sucks you in.

11) Subrosa- More Constant than the Gods

Subrosa’s last album ‘No Help For the Mighty Ones’ is a hard act to follow- it was one of my favourite albums of 2011. This is not as good, but is still excellent. Subrosa is growing into their own niche of a weird hodgepodge of metal styles very well and they play better together than they ever have- the lyrics are my main gripe, but it is constantly interesting and the songs go some pretty interesting places.

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Mahmud’s Top 13 Albums of 2013

Review: Parts I – X| by Ian Doig – Phaneuf

Parts I – X | Ian Doig – Phaneuf.

When I reviewed Ian Doig-Phaneuf’s Memoriae 2001-2005 last year, I complained that it was too long.

Ian’s most recent release takes album length to the opposite extreme. It clocks in at about 11 minutes but every single moment is filled with gorgeous music. Nothing in here is redundant and when you reach the end you are left wanting more.

I’ve always admired how effortless Ian sounds when he is playing guitar and this is him at his best, organic without being meandering. Each track sound like a snippet of a longer jam, centered around a guitar but sometimes with interesting accompaniment (at one point I think he plays a saxophone). The tracks flow together beautifully and capture a soothing melancholic vibe. Totally suitable for Canadian winter.

This is the sort of music that expands in your brain, crowding out all the other thoughts. The first time I put it on I wandered around the grocery store transfixed for the entire duration.

Listen to this album; you’ll probably forget to buy toilet paper, but you’ll be a better person (plus, it is free). 4.5/5

Review: Parts I – X| by Ian Doig – Phaneuf

Mahmud’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

I’ll go through other people’s list and probably find a bunch more stuff I love, but for now- this is what I think is the best of the best.

Should be no surprises here for people who know me- I tend toward melancholic ugly music made by ugly people for ugly people.

Except for me. I am pretty.

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Mahmud’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

On Jazz and the end of term

When watching someone improvise a piece of music, I love moments where the audience and the artist share a terrifying, exhilarating realization that the musician has pushed themselves too far- there isn’t any further they can go with a musical idea and no way to transition to something new without it sounding ugly.

Continue reading “On Jazz and the end of term”

On Jazz and the end of term

Track of the Week: Death- Lack of Comprehension

Death is a band I’ve only recently gotten into, but ‘Human‘ has been high on the rotation this week. This track was one of those that almost ruined the experience of the album- as it ended I wanted more and started over. The killer guitar bits, the tight drumming, death metal vocals done well.

Track of the Week: Death- Lack of Comprehension

Track of the Week: Electric Wizard- Return Trip

At the end of each week I’m going to throw up a quick write up on the track I listened to most of this week, based on iTunes’s ‘most played’. I’m stealing the idea from my friend Timothy Cullen.

This week:

ELECTRIC WIZARD- RETURN TRIP

Electric Wizard are one of the best bands ever and this is them as their cochlea crushing best.

Waves of sound, Sabbath style vocals and absolutely massive riffs. Massive is an understatement, you need to bust out the thesaurus to appropriately describe the magnificence of this track. That solo is just vile, any metalhead who doesn’t have the urge to air guitar along for the entire 10 minute track needs to go back to listening to Wu Lyf or something equally terrible.  There is only one way to listen to this song: very, very loudly. Go ahead, if  you can handle it.

Track of the Week: Electric Wizard- Return Trip