From Digitonal to the Dandy Warhols, John Diliberto’s Top Ten CDs for 2008.
While you’re pondering the Echoes 2008 Listener Poll, I’ve already been solicited for a few year-end lists. I usually give a different list to different outlets. My (uncredited) Amazon.com list is pretty strictly New Age and limited to titles that are actually on Amazon.com, although as you’ll see, I stretch the definition of New Age quite a bit. The 25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2008 is limited to what I play on Echoes (Look for that in a week or so). But when WXPN solicited lists for my 10 Top CDs and songs for 2008, there were no limitations. So there are a couple of things here that I wouldn’t be playing on Echoes. This is my personal Top Ten.
A lot of my top ten albums will be appearing right on top of the 25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2008. I’ve written about many of them already. Digitonal’s Save Your Light For Darker Days remains my favorite disc of the year and I say why in my September CD of the Month review. Sumner McKane’s right up there and my paean to his psychamericana on What A Great Place to Be is in my October CD of the Month review. Saul Stokes’ entrancing electronic cycles on Villa Galaxia probably should have been a CD of the Month. I wrote about that in an Echo Location. The Persian fusion group, Niyaz topped their debut with the double CD, Nine Heavens. It could’ve been a CD of the month as well, but it came out in the midst of CDs we’d already selected by Jamshied Sharifi and Biomusique with similar exotic female singers. We try and spread a little variety among CD of the Month Selections. But I am intoxicated by Azam Ali’s voice which taps into something beyond this world, while still living sensually in this world. Alu is a relatively new singer who made me think of early Kate Bush with her electronica cabaret on Lobotomy Sessions. I wrote about her in an Echo Location. Nik Bärtch’s Ronin has been making a cerebral brand of minimalist jazz for years and Holon spins like a melodic meeting of Dave Brubeck and Steve Reich. Lights Out Asia orchestrated a perfect mix of shoegazer rock and ambient electronics but on an epic scale on their enigmatically titled CD, Eyes Like Brontide. You can also read about them and hear their music in an Echo Location. Now we get to the two non-Echoes titles here. Beck‘s Modern Guilt, is another great album of insightfully poetic and ironic lyrics set in new variations of organic quirk, much of it provided by Danger Mouse from Gnarls Barkley who made my Top Ten Songs. Earth to the Dandy Warhols is a brilliant pastiche of styles from jive-talking jump-blues to Can, all distilled through their psychedelic sensibilities. The German group, Qntal rounds out the list with Lucidia, a definitive example of their Medieval Electronica fronted by the haunting, imperious voice of Sigrid Hausen. The Top Ten list is below. I’ll have My Top Ten songs later, or you can just go to WXPN and see it there, sans sage commentary. While you’re in the neighborhood , vote in their year end poll, but while you’re here, vote in ours, The Echoes 2008 Listener Poll. You might even win the Top 25 Echoes CDs for 2008.
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))
John Diliberto’s Top 10