Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 10 Drone Albums Of 2009

I wasn't going to do a Top 10 list this year. I figured my Top 1 list was sufficient because that was so clearly the one thing that made such a life changing impact on me. But then the fine folks of Weirdo Records asked me to make a Top 10 for them. I couldn't turn them down, obviously, and it was an excuse to do something that I really wanted to do all along. I love making lists. And people love reading them. I don't know why I withheld from something that everyone so clearly wanted.

Once I made my list for Weirdo, though, I realized that about 75% of it was comprised of drone records. So to make things more interesting, I decided to make a Top 10 list of just drone records.

Links go to original reviews. Please check out the other lists at Weirdo because that's where this originally came from. Now, onto the heckling!

10. Gregg Kowalsky's Tape Chants (Kranky)
Minimal long form tape drone meant for deeeep sleep and/or meditation and/or my favorite kind of parties.

9. Nicholas Szczepanik's The Chiasmus (Sentient Recognition Archive / Basses Frequences)
Enormous drone, fills your house/head with wonderful smooth tones, mostly of the euphoric variety.

8. Ophibre's Approaching The Ionized Piezo Kiosk (Earjerk)
Simultaneously melancholic and blissful drone tearing you in two for a half hour. Literally stunning.

7. Keith Fullerton Whitman's Dream House Variations (Arbor)
4 tapes of differing length meant for simultaneous play and manual fucking around (fast forwarding, speed manipulation, etc) is encouraged. This is just fucking brilliant. Oh, and the music's great too.

6. Acre's Isolationist (Isounderscore)
Even though two of the three tracks on this were previously released (though unheard by me and therefor irrelevant), the brand new track is awesome enough to warrant being in everyone's top 10 list. It's the densest, warmest, drone ever and came right in time for winter.

5. Usputuspud's Live In The Shit (The Nafs)
Murky drone disco. That's why.

4. The Golden Sores' A Peaceable Kingdom (BloodLust!)
This is where drone is going. The is the new drone of the future. Everything about this record is utterly fantastic. Chill ambient style, guitar psych feedbackage, and everything else. This is how it's done.

3. Mountains' Choral (Thrill Jockey) (motherfuckers deleted my fucking review)
Unbelievably amazing ambient naturey organic drone. So life affirming. Put this record on and your stress is instantly zapped. Motherfuckers deleted my fucking review, so here's the same label approved mp3 I put up the first time.
Mountains - Choral

2. Jason Crumer's Walk With Me (Misanthropic Agenda)
This is the noisiest drone record I've heard all year. Sometimes it gets almost unbearably rowdy but it's the kind that gives you chills. The final two songs are probably the best sequenced tracks of the year.

1. Eluvium's Life Through Bombardment (Temporary Residence Limited)
This takes the number one spot with ease. Every Eluvium album on vinyl for the first time. It's like hearing each record anew and in the proper way. Plus, have you seen the packaging on this beast? It's gorgeous and epic. It's a fuckin BOOK. And it's personalized. TRL really went for broke on this and it's absolutely worth every penny.


Meatbreak said...

What an awesome list of records. I haven't heard all these, looks like I ave a few recommendations to check out. Interesting that the Mountains album keeps turning up all over the web - seems like it's THE drone album tobe listening to this ear. it is deep, heavy and overwhelming.

Justin Snow said...

Thanks! When I first heard Choral, my first thought was that there couldn't be a better drone album this year. I was wrong, but still, it's fucking ASTOUNDING.

frankbmullaney said...


st xlterio said...

didn't like the new sunn? the chiasmus is damn great, though.

Justin Snow said...

Never got around to hearing Monoliths. I enjoy Sunn but I don't think anything I've ever heard by them has really taken my breath away. I'm sure the new one is great and I'll enjoy it when I hear it (maybe even good enough to have made it onto this list) but it wasn't something that I went out of my way to get ahold of.