I’ve even saved a few of these lists as mementos from another obsessive period. My own top 40s back then and certainly now looked quite different from what the radio was spinning. The end of the year meant missing meals and arguing with my parents to let me listen as the radio stations counted down each year with me religiously [compulsively – what’s the difference!] keeping up with the list countdown. This is part of the weird ritual of assessing the year on 31 December. Trying to make sense of it.
My lists have become legendary (if only in my own mind). Before [the 1960s] music came in a few formats: vinyl, tape, radio. Now I receive music in the form of LPs, singles, cassettes [yes, still!], CDs, MP3s, data files, MP3s attached to emails, downloads off internet… The final list order is not tight although the top 5 were pretty much my tops for the year… It’s been a good year for music but we must wonder if music actually has a utilitarian function: does it calm the savage soul? Can music be a tool for some kind of peace, some kind of betterment of society on any level.
———–> 14 January 2008
In Full Bloom > Annea Lockwood 
Virtu > Day Care Centre 
Floating World 1 > Annea Lockwood 
I’m Your Captain > Grand Funk Railroad [f]
Floating World 2 > Annea Lockwood 
+ Rumba Tempo 3 > Rhythm 33 [20-yr-old rhythm maker machine]
+ Engels op Reis [language record]
Grasshopper Rumba > Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra 
Floating World 3 [exc] > Annea Lockwood 
Atno3 > Heller 
Pilgerfahrt > Stimmhorn 
2093hz.1 > Heller 
Propempticon > Jozef van Wissem 
togglorch > Heller 
Low Mass > Jozef van Wissem 
togglorch > Heller 
Grand Central Confessional > Jozef van Wissem 
Deer Stop > Goldfrapp 
Dress Up > Olivia Louvel 
Ritualistic Kick Boxing Music 8 > Various anonymous Mauy Thai musicians 
Aisha > Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring Effects 
Down Old Church Lane > Coachmen vs Septimania 
The Guru Let Me Down > Um 
Multin > Gipsy.cz [k]
Polka Dot Com > Bertin 
Gitane > Dalida 
Eurasian Cynocephalus Birthdayparty > Cuta Kebab & Party 
Runnin’ Away > Sly & The Family Stone 
Ritualistic Kick Boxing Music 1 > Various anonymous Mauy Thai musicians 
The Art of Hearing > Daniel Steven Crafts 
The Simple Way > Solomonoff & Von Hoffmanstahl [h]
———–> 21 January
Vibration Ruling the Nation > Liquid Stranger 
Blood on My Hands > Shackleton vs Ricado Villalobos [a]
Dub Dub Save Me > Lump 
Still Random OR Burial of Music > Rothkamm 
Late Night Call > Emily Hay vs Marcos Fernandes 
From Beyond > Klaus Nomi 
True Romance at The World’s Fair > Algebra Suicide [g]
Return > Klaus Nomi 
Adieu Schiller > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Transition no. 1 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Schiller’s > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Entomodub 1 Remix > Lena 
Mary Long Tongue Version > Barrington Levy [n]
Version > General Echo [n]
Orbital Hora > Our Man from Odessa 
Stepping Dub > The Revolutionaries [n]
Periphery (Take Me There Mix) > Lena vs Black Sifichi 
Welcome > International Observer 
Hidjaz Ask > Up Bustle & Out vs Engin Aslan 
Stilles Wasser > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Z Stukisch > Erika Stucky 
Dog Yodel > Mike Johnson [I]
All I Really Want To Do > Erika Stucky 
They Call It Existential Monday > Mikhail Horowitz vs Gilles Malkine vs Lori Wilner 
Lookin’ Good Polka > Polkaholics 
Punch > Antoine Berthiaume vs MaryClare Brzytwa 
Transition no. 4 > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
Giden Gitti > Up Bustle & Out 
Chanting Version / Chanting > Jim Nastic vs C. Dodd [n]
Hot Tip > Prince Django vs Lee Scratch Perry [n]
Tequila Gang Bang > Our Man from Odessa 
Anda Luz > Up Bustle & Out vs Benjamin Escoriza 
Leviathans Traum > Cyrill Schlaepfer 
———–> Top Albums / full CDs
 • Cyrill Schläpfer: Die Waldstätte (Lake Luzern) [Truetone ] The secret audio lives of steamships and paddle steamers. Gargantuan project reminds me of the audio equivalent of Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo film [4 CDs / 3 DVDs].
 • Lena featuring Black Sifichi: The Uncertain Trail [Sounds Around ] Psycho-active and psycho-geographical electro-dub journeys to the end of this flat earth.
 • Erika Stucky: Suicidal Yodels [Traumton] Yodeling meets the next generation of creative, inventive pop. [see my website for more on her].
 • Up Bustle & Out: Istanbul’s Secrets [Collision] Musicological collisions in a trippy setting.
 • Daniel Steven Crafts: Soap Opera Suite / Snake Oil Symphony [Lutra, 1982] This long lost resource is an inspired LP of artistic sampling as well as one of the essential sampling resource discs for DJs. Great to have it back. Thanks Tony.
 • Olivia Louvel: Lulu in Suspension [Optical Sound ] Little Annie Anxiety fronting Portishead?
 • Mauy Thai: Ritualistic Kick Boxing Music [SP Bangkok] Before a Thai kick-boxing fight, the boxers perform a ritualistic form of prayer. Thanks Nina.
 • International Observer: Heard [Dubmission / firstname.lastname@example.org] Roots Dub jump-started for a spectacular voltage boost.
 • Lump: Dub [Future]. Thanx Kirk. Future MRI MIA style dub.
 • If, Bwana & Al Margolis: An Innocent, Abroad [Pogus]. The enchanting Lorelei go on tour to cause midtown traffic crisis.
 • Jozef van Wissem: Stations of the Cross [ncunabulum / www.jozefvanwissem.com] Plunging into the ancient to emerge in a post-modern antiseptic controlled-environment airport soundscape. Time travel without all the hassle of packing your bags.
 • Liquid Stranger: The Invisible Conquest [Interchill Records] Chillout dub at its best. Thanx Kirk.
 • Antoine Berthiaume & MaryClare Brzytwa: Bebe Donkey [Ambiences Magnetiques] amazingly cool without for a moment acting it or probably having the right haircut.
 • Goldfrapp: Felt Mountain [Mute] From 2000, Tremendously atmospheric record.
 • Mikhail Horowitz & Gilles Malkine: Poor, On Tour & Over 54 [No Help Here / email@example.com] Intellectual punnery and downright bold funnery.
 • Frank Rothkamm: LAX [Flux Records] Sounding like it was the long lost soundtrack to Brazil the movie and as if it has been produced in a dusty particle accelerator filled with Gummi Bears.
 • Aisha Kandisha’s Jarring Effects: El Buya [Barbarity/RecRec] Yes, this is from the mid-1990s but I just found it again after playing it to death on my WFMU show back then. Moroccan industrial dub.
 • Various Artists: Superbad: The Very Best of Blaxploitation [Warner / ] pseudo-hip post-Tarantino youth like to embrace this but despite that, there’s a lot of great stuff on this.
 • OMFO: We Are the Shepherds [Essay] Wacked hipness with faulty vodka.
 • Coachmen vs Septimania: The Coahmen on Holiday in Septimania [Commodify This ] Basement Tapes mangled in a leaky dungeon with the so-called brothers of the Shaggs.
 • Klaus Nomi: Simple Man [RCA] Operatic punk-drag glam at its best. First famous person to die of AIDS.
 • Polkaholics: Polka über Alles [Polkaholics ] The link between polka and punk has never been more obvious – the sound, the clothes, the speed…
 • Sly & the Family Stone: There’s a Riot Goin’ On [Epic Legacy] Difficult, elusive and cool: the confluence of hippie and funk, peace and drugs, danceable beats and …
 • Alan Bishop & Mark Gergis: Radio Thailand: Transmissions from the Tropical Kingdom [SF] Thanks Rene van Peer. Sun City girls go crazy collecting several thousand hours of music and sounds in Thailand.
 • Vladislav Delay: Multila [Efa Imports] Atmospheric glitch with textural extrapolations, venturing into ambient spectral waves of suspicious geographic emotion.
 • Various Artists: Heimatklänge [Traumton ] Read my review of the movie. Online.
 • Heller: .01..05 [Optical Sound] Blip Blip – learn the language people.
 • Annea Lockwood: Thousand Year Dreaming / Floating World [Pogus]. The sound of gravitational pull, of floating objects, of thoughts scraping along unnamed film noir topographies.
 • Dalida: Bambino [Membran & SVM]. Tragic chanteuse flung herself out of a Montmartre apartment window.
 • Xavier Cugat and his Orchestra: Cugi’s Cocktails [Mercury] With a 60-year difference, he married Charo, the Pamela Anderson of her day…
 • Joanna Newsom: Ys [Drag City] Weird Dylan Thomas meets Yeats Middle Earth hippie stuff and there is her enchanting harp.
 • Air: Moon Safari [Source] Better than hip.
 • Visit Venus: Music for Tourism vol. 1 [Yo Mama’s] This dates from 1995. Thanx Kirk.
 • Various Artists: This is WORM Station [WORM] Rotterdam meets the world inside out.
 • Day Care Centre: A Jumpin’ Jackpot of Melody [Czecher / firstname.lastname@example.org]
 • Emily Hay vs Marcos Fernandes: We Are [Public Eyesore ]
[a] • Shackleton: Blood On My Hands (Ricardo Villalobos Apocalypso Now Mix) [Soundboy Punishments / Skull Disco] amazing piece of hypnotic dark dubstep.
[b] • Matt Rogalsky: Sprawl (Western Magnetics) [Memory Like Water / XI] 24-minute masterpiece.
[c] • Erika Stucky: All I Really Want To Do (Dylan) [Suicidal Yodels / Traumton] great yodeling take on a Dylan song where he actually attempts a cracked yodel himself.
[d] • Gwen Stefani: Wind It Up [The Sweet Escape / Interscope] Much better than people are willing to admit especially the video. And there is great recycled literary-allusional yodeling. Smart.
[e] • Black Sifichi with Scotty Ross & Strings of Consciousness: Midnight Moonbeams [outtake] Prefer this mix to the one on the Strings album.
[f] • Grand Funk Railroad: I’m Your Captain [Capitol / ] The first ambient rock record complete with birds and the feeling of spaciousness induced by correct drug use.
[g] • Algebra Suicide: True Romance at the World’s Fair [Buzzerama ] RIP Lydia, September 2007. Great underground single. Lydia Lunch with a smile.
[h] • Solomonoff & Von Hoffmanstahl: The Simple Way [The Simple Way / email@example.com] Were the only band I ever saw that could outdo the dissonance and errant noise that NY shoves into your soul. Like all good revolutionaries, they cleansed your soul and made sure that people got home on time.
[i] • Dog Yodel: Mike Johnson [Yodeling 40 years / Roughshod] This yodel connects the human spirit to the fauna voice. Great piece of anthropological madness.
[j] • Defrost Oven Lisa Smith Klossner vs Strings of Consciousness [Central Control]
[k] • Gipsy.cz: Multin [Romano Hip Hop / Indies Scope] Wanted to like the entire cd but of 15 trax, 4 were ok, and this one is excellent.
[l]• Sophie Tucker: There’s Something Spanish In My Eyes [taken from Willem Breuker’s homage to Tucker for which I did the transcription of the lyrics]
[m] • Anouk: Hi Hello, Hi Hello [Automatik Kalamity / Virgin France] She is a really good strong Dutch pop singer somewhere between Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Alanis Morrisette.
[n] • Various Reggae singles. Purchased original label singles from 1970s. Treasure chest.
———–> Lifetime Achievement Awards:
• Musicworks [cds 1-99] Canadian dedication to inventive sound.
• DrDr Jazz who has turned the ukulele into a tool of terror. No wonder Michigan unemployment is the highest in the nation and GM has fled overseas.
• Various: Big Mag #1 & 2 [de Player] A magazine with vinyl and an underground strategy for creative survival
La Radio, Ça Detend > Elsa Justel 
Reducido a Hemmoragia de Merkluzas > Anla Courtis 
Arrivals & Departures > Yves Martel [+]
Buy First, Second Free > Andrew Duke 
N/p 4 part 1 > Norscq vs aka Bondage 
Sterile > Black Sifichi vs Brain Damage [i]
N/p 4 part 2 > Norscq vs aka Bondage 
Freyi Walt / Bim Josef > Christine Lauterberg 
Body Enduring Inconsistency > Huang Qing + Aojie A Ge 
Voix de la Ville > Henri Pousseur 
Coke > Mash Up Sound System vs Incredibad 
Presto > Iva Bittova 
Can’t Beat Blim > Ted Milton vs Sam Britton 
Whip My Toudie > Jozef van Wissem 
Walking Man > James Taylor [k]
Parti Longtemps > Michel F. Coté 
20 Rats at Once > Unireverse 
The Big Wig > J. D. King & the Coachmen [$]
Pennies from Heaven > Frank Rosolino [d]
Metroconversation > Suzanne Thoma vs Brain Damage [i]
Usti, Usti Baba > Senor Coconut vs Koçani Orchestar 
Dub Homo > Serge Gainsbourg 
Heeme > Etran Finatawa 
Thunda & Lightning > ERS-One vs Scud 
Chicharras Night > Up, Bustle & Out 
Sara Love > DJ Amsia 
Fenetres > Mohammed el Amraoui vs Brain Damage [i]
Mirrors the Movement > Phil Hargreaves vs Lee Noyes [*]
British Tourist Revisited > John Dowie vs POW Ensemble [iv] [b]
In A Gadda Da Vida > Albert Kuvezin & Yat-Kha [c]
Rise > Noiseshaper 
Inuit Wedding > Sainkho [iii]
Purple Peeps > Sensational vs Kouhei 
Warm Leatherette Erik Friedlander vs Teho Teardo  [e]
Top 2006 [Obviously some of these were released (way) before 2006]
 Henri Pousseur > Acousmatrix – History of Electronic Music IV > BVHaast.
 Up, Bustle & Out > City Breakers 18 Frames per Second > Collision.
 Michel F. Coté > Flat Fourgonnette: Mescal Free Style > Dame.
 Serge Gainsbourg > Mauvaises Nouvelles des Etoiles > Philips/Mercury/Universal.
 Various Poets > Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work, 1888–2006 > Shout Factory <shoutfactory.com>.
 Etran Finatawa > Introducing > World Music network .
 Ted Milton > Odes > TM.
 Shukar Collective > Urban Gypsy > Riverboat .
 Norscq > 5 Streams > Optical Sound
 Andrew Duke > Consumer vs. User > Cognition Audioworks.
 Jozef van Wissem > A Rose by Any Other Name: Anonymous Lute Solos of the Golden Age > BVHaast.
 Christine Lauterberg > Alles Bleibt Anders > Dewil Music <www.dewilmusic.ch>.
 Various WORM Artists > Dig / Feed / Shit > WORM .
 Beans > Shock City Maverick > Warp.
 Polkabilly: How the Goose Island Ramblers Redefined American Folk Music > Oxford University Press.
 Noiseshaper > Real to Reel > Echo Beach.
 Unireverse > Plays the Music > No Type
 Sensational > Sensational Meets Kouhei > WordSound.
 American Polka: Old Tunes & New Sounds > Trikont.
 Various Artists > Electric Gypsyland > Crammed / 6 Degrees .
 Erik Friedlander & Teaho Teardo > Giorni Rubati > Bip-Hop.
 ERS-One Rude, Rugged and Rough Raggabot .
 The Cats & the Fiddle > Start Jive Talkin’ > Dee-Jay
 Up, Bustle & Out > Mexican Sessions > Collision.
 Earl Okin > Music Genius & Sex Symbol > Columbia
 Various Artists > My Radio > LMC .
 RothKamm > FB02; Astronaut of Inner Space > Flux
 Rocket/Freudental > Wir Leben Wie Gespenster > Trikont .
 Anla Courtis > Tape Works > Pogus
 The Grief > The Grief – Greatest Hits on Optical Sound.
 Iva Bittova & Others > Elida on Indies Records
 Various Artists > Worm April 2006 CDR.
Not Eligible But Still Good [I had a hand in these]
[i] Various Artists > Spoken Dub Manifesto > Jarring Effects.
[ii] Dub Syndicate > The Rasta Far I > Collision .
[iii] Rough Guide to Yodel > World Music Network
[iv] POW Ensemble > Birdsong from Inside the Egg > X-Or
Incomprehensible (not necessarily bad, in fact, mostly good) Honor Roll
[$] J. D. King & the Coachmen > American Mercury > Ecstatic Peace <ecstaticpeace.com>.
[%] ArkLIGHT > Gochu > Rank Cologne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[#] Dr.Dr. Jazz > Erik Satie: Vexations > Party Beach <email@example.com>
[*] Phil Hargreaves & Les Noyes > A Present from the Pickpocket
[+] Engagement & Confrontation > Yves Martel > Ambiences Magnetiques
Singles / individual trax
[a] Sex Machine [Brown] > Serge Gainsbourg vs La Horde
[b] British Tourist Revisited John Dowie vs POW Ensemble
[c] In A Gadda Da Vida > Albert Kuvezin & Yat-Kha
[d] Pennies from Heaven > Frank Rosolino [jazz yodeling!]
[e] Warm Leatherette Erik Friedlander vs Teho Teardo
[f] Dreams > the Cranberries [post-new wave yodeling]
[g] Arriba Monte > Brigada Victor Jara
[h] Ageing Young Rebel > DJ Food vs Ken Nordine
[k] Walking Man > James Taylor
[l] Blue Xmas > Miles Davis & Bob Dorough
[m] Song for my Choir > Trout Pomeroy
[n] Benny & the Jets > Elton John & the Muppets
• With every year end tabulation I am brought to many junctures mentally and mnemonically. Upon moving to the US when I was six I remember ‘learning’ America through my transistor radio, something I took with me everywhere growing up in New Jersey. I remember taking it to bed, tuning it on my pillow, drawing in distant stations that fluttered and flourished somewhere in the Midwest. I remember the angst and sadness as the battery wore out and the stations began to fade until all you could get was the most powerful station in the area, like WOR. I remember testing the transistor batteries by putting your tongue on the 2 poles and getting this kind of titillating bitter shock on your tongue. I remember riding on my bike, radio to ear, I remember devising a holder for it so I could ride with 2 hands, radio positioned on a little wooden platform strapped to my handlebars. I remember that the jolts were not good for this radio. I remember the internal antenna coming loose and the radio beginning to short out and me having to open the back to wiggle the internal parts to get it to cough up a few more hours of radio.
I remember going shopping in some department store for a new [red] transistor radio. I remember being alone a lot except for my radio and that a working radio was important to accompany me on my long dreamy meanderings through fields and strange towns. I remember my father buying a great old heavy Norelco reel-to-reel tape recorder and I remember him recording things off his shortwave radio and off TV like Ed Sullivan. I remember my father being big enough to share his toy with me and helping me set up the mike in front of the radio to especially record the top 100 countdown for the end of the year which usually happened during the Xmas season ending at New Year. There I would be diligently writing down the list from 100 to number 1 and trying to anticipate turning on the recorder to record numbers I liked since I only had one reel of tape. I remember this is where my fascination came from, trying to learn America and growing up and long hair and charisma and music and girls through the radio and pop and rock music.
The amazing thing back then was that the best music was pop music and that experimentation and adventure and mingled genres could all happen in the 1960s – black, white, rock, pop, jazz, even blues and Caribbean, Latin hits got through to the top 40s. I romanticize a bit no doubt but I liken then to a community neighborhood sandbox where all the kids played in the same box with the same sand. While today ‘everyone’ is ‘wealthy’ enough to live far away from any downtown and every house and family has its own playground and sandbox.
Today music that is interesting gets no airplay – that is why John Peel was such a big deal and his range wasn’t even that broad. But at least he was personally INTO what he played, which is more than you can say for the hacks manning the studios across the commercial radio world. The good thing about the Internet is that you can again hear strange things via Webradio or Podcasts. The downside is downloading [not necessarily for free and THAT I am not so sure about either – good or bad that you can ‘steal’ music.]. Downloading bypasses the third parties which include the labels, the graphic designers, the liner notes writers and the critics. You just download what you like and know and what others from your similar circles suggests you listen to. The jury is still out on whether these developments are imploding or exploding tastes, broadening or narrowing horizons and ear palettes.
I know I am on the brink of changing the way I do radio and post my playlists [continue on Patapoe – OK. As long as we get back and stay online] and am getting advice from some of my more technically inclined friends who might come up with something yet. The problem with technological shifts [that happen with increasing frequency] is that if you keep up with your relation to the technology you lose your relation with content. The medium is NOT the message to me. The medium is a spoon, a tool. Just like a writer doesn’t write about a pencil or his keyboard, he automatically just USES the tool. That is how I want it to be with radio, broadcasting but alas I am always too tired after working to spend more hours figuring out how to launch myself in a new direction… anyway, I am looking to purchase some domain name, some virtual land and there build something to my liking…
The best here comes from over 150 records I was sent or given or that I bought or was sent as mp3s… I want to thank all of the labels and musicians who keep sending music. Furthermore, I want to again insist that I plan to catch up on delinquent playlists VERY soon.
TOP 20 of 2001
[**] I now realize that before I became a DJ in 1986 and even after, how I used to record WFMU radio shows and realize how much of the Bean’s shows survive. He also used to do a great show with sidekick and erstwhile near-pop-star, R. Stevie Moore, who with his Brian Wilson meets Captain Beefheart meets XTC pop songs was way ahead of most listener’s time and is unjustly not appreciated [although he did have some popular releases in France].
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