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Utility Fog

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Tuesday, 20th of December, 2005

Best of 2005 (11:01 pm)

OK, so the end of the year brings a special sort of woe to public figures in the creative world: you get asked to give your "top 5" or "top 10" for the year. This is of course painful for someone like me. At the end of 2005 I already had promos of two albums that I knew would be in the top of 2005's releases: Tunng's Mother's Daughter and Other Songs and Hood's Outside Closer. However, as I looked through my collection of releases from this year, 2005 has really been a brilliant year, and it was hugely difficult to give FBi my pick of top 5 releases for the year.
I started off with my top Aussie releases, and much though there's been some really great stuff, it wasn't too hard to come up with 5 releases. This is because it occurred to me that there's been a few stunning things that have been passed on to me by their creators, which were either still demos, or were self-released with no distribution, so I could list them separately. Thus we had:

Utility Fog's Top 5 unreleased/self-released discoveries of 2005, augmented to 8 because I forgot a few

Faux Pas (his nicely packaged EP is self-released and not a demo, but hey...)
Foley (Alon from Gauche, so not an "undiscovered talent" as such, but it's pretty way-out solo stuff)
Little Aida (self-released a mini-album this year, lovely somewhat experimental indie which reminds me a bit of Paradise Motel)
Scissors For Sparrow (the lovely John from ii, doing brilliantly eclectic stuff, which describes ii well too!)
Tanya Horo & Jono Ma (previously "Marvey King")
Three Month Sunset - shoegazey guitars/electronics, should have a release out in early 2006 from the lovely hellosQuare recordings
part timer (John McCaffrey from Clickits, from UK, now living in Melbourne)
QWERTY (top electronic kidz from Marrickville)

I then listed:
Utility Fog's top 5 Australian albums of 2005
(but I won't put segregate them here)

and started thinking about international stuff. I thought I was going fine, and then I realised the dillemma above: two of the undoubtedly most wonderful releases of the year have been around since late 2004, and there's so much else that's rocked my boat! So how about we split the year in two? I sent lists off to the FBi thingummy counters for:

Utility Fog's top 5 o/s albums of the first half of 2005
Utility Fog's top 5 o/s albums of the second half of 2005

But... Oh SHIT, almost immediately after I sent that off, I started noticing gaps. The most embarrassing omission of all was Venetian Snares' masterpiece Rossz Csillag Alatt Született, but then there were a bunch of others. This resulted in:
Utility Fog's OTHER top 5+3 o/s albums (and a couple of EPs make 10) of 2005 that I forgot the first time round because I'm a dickhead, and anyway I hate top 5s, they suck, they really do.

However, I feel that there are many other brilliant releases that didn't fit, or got forgotten, in the lists I've named above, so I'm just going to jam everything into a big bunch below, including various 7"s, 12"s, EPs and the like, which I've enjoyed throughout the year, and which UFog listeners would have been serenaded by at one time or other... Aussie and o/s, genres galore, all in one big lump, like I did for last year over at Stumblings in the dark.

Before I get there though, special mention for:
Utility Fog's best late-coming release for 2005 that should probably go in 2006's best-ofs as it hasn't really been round long enough to get a proper assessment yet

Department of Eagles - The Cold Nose [Melodic]

The List
(Note: I'm sure to add things to this list as I discover more things I've forgotten, so check it over now and then... things added after Sunday the 25th will be marked in red as late additions; these include things I didn't get hold of until later)

Aarktica/Aaron Spectre - Ocean EP 12" [Moonbunny]
Akron/Family - s/t [Young God/Spunk]
Alarm Will Sound - Acoustica [Cantaloupe Music] {contemporary classical Aphex Twin covers - I didn't mean to miss this one when I posted this!}
Amina - Animamina [Speak n Spell]
Animal Collective - Feels [Fat Cat]
Apparat - Silizium EP [Shitkatapult]
Aronas - Aronas [Strange Records/Vitamin]
Autechre - Untilted [Warp]
Avia Gardner - More Than Tongue Can Tell [intr_version]
Bar Kokhba Sextet - John Zorn 50th birthday sets [Tzadik]
Belladonnakillz - Perverted and Proud [dross:tik]
Bitstream - One Third Standard Lux [Modern Love] {brilliant 2004 release that I only heard about in earlyish 2005}
Bitstream - Streamlining EP [Touchin' Base] {new! But I had to mention the brilliant anthology of older 12" tracks above}
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm [Wichita]
Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase [Warp]
The Boats - we made it for you [Moteer]
The Books - Lost and Safe [Tomlab]
Brahm - Built to be Brought Down [Lujo]
Vashti Bunyan - Lookaftering [Fat Cat]
Mara Carlyle - I Blame Dido single [Accidental]
Mara Carlyle - Baby Bloodheart single [Accidental]
Castings - 'allo hickory [Spanish Magic]
City City City - The Perimeter Motor Show [Holding Pattern/Remote Control]
Clickits - express gifts [Moteer]
The Girls From The Clouds - lalalala [Candle]
The Crakow Klezmer Band/John Zorn - Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass [Tzadik]
Julian Curwin - Tango Saloon [I'm shocked that I missed this wonderful self-released album from Gauche guitarist Julian Curwin, ex-Monsieur Camembert, also Darth Vegas member...]
Cyne - Running Water 12" (for the Four Tet remix) [City Centre Offices]
Daedelus - Exquisite Corpse [Ninja Tune]
Deadbeat - New World Observer [~scape]
Decoder Ring - Fractions [NO, distrib. Inertia]
désormais - dead letters to lost friends [intr_version]
DJ /Rupture - Redux [Brøklyn Beats]
Downpour - 4 More Insignificances CDR-EP, briefly available at Hood gigs]
Eddie Marcon - Shining on Graveposts [Preservation]
Matt Elliott - Drinking Songs [Ici D'Ailleurs]
Enduser - Calling The Vultures [Sublight]
Enduser - Comparing Paths [Very Friendly]
Epic 45 - England Fallen Over EP [Make Mine Music]
Exile - Pro Agonist [Planet µ]
Final Fantasy - Has A Good Home [Tomlab]
Flanger - Spirituals [Nonplace]
The Flashbulb - Kirlian Selections [Sublight]
Fog - 10th Avenue Freakout [Lex Records]
Jason Forrest - Shamelessly Exciting [Sonig]
Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic [Domino] {despite being a disappointment all in all, it had a few good tracks on it}
Four Tet - Everything Ecstatic (the DVD + extra CD version) [Domino] {"this is six minutes" is six minutes of Four Tet bliss}
Sage Francis - A Healthy Distrust [Epitaph]
Sage Francis with Will Oldham, Alias & Saul Williams - Sea Lion 12" [Epitaph]
Frog Pocket - Gonglot [Planet µ]
Funckarma - Refurbished One [n5md] {not technically music from 2005 - all remixes by Funckarma from the last 5 or so years, collected together in a brilliant compilation}
Funckarma - Elaztiq Bourbon 5 [Sending Orbs] {also not new stuff - tracks from 3 12''s from 2002 & 2003, but lovely to have on CD!}
Gang Gang Dance - God's Money [The Social Registry]
Gauche - Paints Lane [Invada]
Gauche - repainted [Invada]
Giardini di Mirò - North Atlantic Treaty of Love Part One [2.nd rec]
Giardini di Mirò - Boys Scarves Are A Guide To Rebellion 7" [Earsugar] {I deplore the absence of an apostrophe after "Boys" but they're Italian so I forgive them!}
Githead - Profile [Swim ~]
Gonzales - Solo Piano [No Format] {A 2004 release that I only got hold of in early 2005...}
Grizzly Bear - Horn of Plenty (esp the remixes disc) [Kanine Records]
Matthew Herbert - Plat Du Jour [Accidental Records]
Hood - Outside Closer [Domino]
Hood - The Hood Tapes [CDR avilable only at gigs and briefly through Norman Records]
howard - electronic music of a programmatic nature [self-released]
Hrvatski - Une Drôle de Journée [Ache Records] {his side of the Divorce Series split 7"}
Hrvatski - Irrevocably Overdriven Break Freakout Megamix [Entschuldigen]
Icarus - Carnivalesque [Not Applicable]
Isis - Oceanic Remixes/Reinterpretations double CD [Hydra Head Industries]
Jack Ladder - Not Worth Waiting For [Spunk]
Jackson & His Computer Band - Smash [Warp]
The Kallikak Family - may 23rd 2007 [tell-all records]
Kettel - Through friendly waters [Sending Orbs]
Larsen - Play [Important Records]
Marsen Jules - Herbstlaub [City Centre Offices]
Kattoo - Megrim [Hymen]
Madvillain - Four Tet remixes 12" [Stones Throw]
Melodium - la tête qui flotte [Autres Directions in Music]
Mice Parade - Night's Wave EP [Bubblecore/Fat Cat]
Mice Parade - Bem-Vinda Vontade [Bubblecore/Fat Cat]
Minotaur Shock - Muesli 12" [4ad]
Murcof - Remembranza [Leaf]
µ-Ziq - Ease Up 12" [Planet µ]
The Necks - Mosquito [Fish of Milk]
Ni-Hao! - RED BLUE GREEN [Ten-Zen-Men]
Night is Invisible - s/t [Lujo Records]
Nine Horses - Snow Borne Sorrow [Samadhi Sound]
Nobody - and everything else... [Plug Research]
Tujiko Noriko (with Lawrence English) - Blurred in My Mirror [Room40]
Odd Nosdam - Burner [Anticon]
Pasobionic - Empty Beats For Lonely Rappers [Elefant Traks]
Pedro - Early Pedro [Melodic, mainly for the wonderful collaborations with Kathryn Williams originally released on Moshi Moshi]
Pivot - Make Me Love You [Sensory Projects]
Plankton - Insomnia [Feral Media]
Populous - Queue For Love [Morr Music]
Pulseprogramming - Tulsa For One Second Remix Project [Aesthetics]
randomNumber - ep charge [Vacuous Pop]
randomNumber - golden acre sleeps [Highpoint Lowlife]
Rashamon - Frightened By The Familiar [Passive-Aggressive]
Steve Reich - You Are (Variations) [Nonesuch]
The Remote Viewer - Let Your Heart Draw A Line [City Centre Offices]
Shadow Huntaz - Valley of the Shadow [Skam]
Sixtoo & Norsola - Homages (double 7") [Bully]
65daysofstatic - one time for all time [Monotreme]
Sole - Live From Rome [Anticon]
Sole - new single [Anticon]
Songs of Green Pheasant - s/t [Fat Cat]
Sufjan Stevens - Come On, Feel The Illinoise! [Asthmatic Kitty/Spunk]
Subtle - The Long Vein of the Law 12" [Lex Records]
David Sylvian - The Good Son Vs. The Only Daughter (Blemish remixes) [Samadhi Sound]
AOKI takamasa + Tujiko Noriko - 28 [Fat Cat]
13 & God - s/t [Alien Transistor/Anticon]
13 & God - Soft Atlas/Men of Station 12" [Alien Transistor/Anticon]
Amon Tobin - Chaos Theory soundtrack [Ninja Tune]
Emiliana Torrini - Sunnyroad single [RoughTrade] {officially released 2004 but really only available 2005 and the Atom™ remix got played oh-so-much}
Emiliana Torrini - Heartstopper single [RoughTrade] {it was the Múm remix here}
Tunng - Mother's Daughter and Other Songs [Static Caravan]
Tunng - Magpie Bites 7" [Nowhere Fast Records]
Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Alatt Született [Planet µ]
Venetian Snares - Meathole [Planet µ]
Vorpal - An Incomplete Guide to VORPAL Music [Cockrockdisco]
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Multiples [Kranky]
Keith Fullerton Whitman and Greg Davis - three shows triple CD [Entschuldigen]
Why? - Elephant Eyelash [Anticon]
Why? - Sanddollars, The EP [Anticon]
Wisp - nrthndr [Sublight]
World's End Girlfriend - The Lie Lay Land [MIDI Creative co.]
Xiu Xiu - La Forêt [Kill Rock Stars via popfrenzy]

...and compilations:
Check The Water - Selections From The Leaf Label's First Ten Years [Leaf]
Symbiotic II - everything takes forever [Sensory Projects]
tea for two [meupe]
now 01 [Underscan]
3 years of AK Duck - Past Present Future [AK Duck]

...and while we're at it, reissues of the year:
AFX - Hangable Auto Bulb [Warp] {finally on CD}
Can - remasters (I'm just getting through them - obviously Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi rule my world; they were released in 2004. The remastered Future Days came out this year, and I'll be getting to others soon I hope!) [Spoon/Mute]
Enduser - Bollywood Breaks EP [Ad Noiseam] {finally on CD}
Global Communication - 76 14 [I have the Summershine 2CD version, local Aussie licence from Dedicated back in the day. It was reissued this year and is a hugely important entry into the ambient canon...]
This Heat - This Heat [ReR Megacorp] {remastered, finally on CD}

Finally, top DJ mixes of the year:
DJ /Rupture - Low Income Tomorrowland [Tax Records - CD comes with high-quality mp3s of the following too:]
DJ /Rupture - "BTTB" mix [download here]
Kid Kameleon - Absolutely Shocking [download here]
Kid Kameleon - Even More Shocking [download here]
Kid Kameleon - Mashers Without Borders [download here - and lots more at the Mashit! site]
Kid Kameleon - Raggablogga Mix [download here, and what a fucking awesome rant he has about the brilliant new ragga jungle scene too!]
Kid Kameleon - If Only I Could Dream (a tribute to Pieter K) [download here]

You can see the FBi lists here - they bypassed my stressouts and I chose to list an album each from five "different" genres... I guess it'll do *sigh*

One Response to “Best of 2005”

  1. Jeroen Says:

    Oh! The list of great 'Fog stuff to buy is getting longer with every playlist/blog entry!

    Thanks Peter for a great year (yes, I know it's not over yet, but I'm likely to forget about all sorts of things during the next fortnight...) of sundays.

    Also: Thank you & FBI for sending the Sigur Rós CD, very nice!

    Have lots of fun,


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