|UserReviews 4Approval 94%Soundoffs 53Album Ratings 2119Objectivity 93%Last Active 12-19-19 2:55 pmJoined 09-24-05Forum Posts 22Review Comments 3,523
|10.27.20 ||Just got Nintendo SWITCH||10.07.20 ||tectac's Electric Wizard, Ranked|
|08.26.20 ||tec's Top 100 Albums of All Time ♦||08.21.20 ||FILM: tectac's Kelly Reichardt, Ranked|
|07.07.20 ||Top 25 of 2020: So Far! (Sept.)||06.11.20 ||Favorite Metal of 2020 (So Far)|
|05.27.20 ||FILM: tectac's Hayao Miyazaki, Ranked ♦||05.12.20 ||MUSIC: tectac's Swans, Ranked ♦|
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|01.21.20 ||MUSIC: tec's Top 50 of 2019 ♦||12.18.19 ||FILM: tec's Noah Baumbach, Ranked|
|12.09.19 ||MUSIC: tec's Top 100 Songs of 2019 ♦||11.25.19 ||FILM: tectac's Sergio Leone, Ranked|
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|10.17.19 ||MUSIC: tectac's Top 20 Metal Albums of ||10.15.19 ||FILM: tectac's Gus Van Sant, Ranked|
|Top 25 of 2020: So Far! (Sept.)|
Updated for September 2020.
Just over the halfway point of this unprecedentedly terrible year, why not run over a recap of some of the best releases thus far? Personal top twenty five, feel free to discuss and, more importantly, drop recommendations based on what you think I might like that I've overlooked!
• Boris - "NO"
• Matthew Tavares & Leland Whitty - "Visions"
• Gaerea - "Limbo"
• Run the Jewels - "RTJ4"
• Mamaleek - "Come & See"
• Fontaines D.C. - "A Hero's Death"
• Fluisteraars - "Bloem"
• Thomas Azier - "Love, Disorderly"
• Esoctrilihum - "Eternity of Shaog"
• Paysage d'Hiver - "Im Wald"
3.5 // More upbeat and kinetic and less nocturnal and omniscient than their debut, but mondo grooves abound, and a decadent foray into a more pop-forward approach. I dig it.
3.5 // Full of life, full of energy, bouncing off the walls but so well composed that it's obviously all on purpose. Really great stuff.
Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
3.5 // After a juicy single on '19, the follow up full-length from Perfume Genius takes a more strictly atmospheric and chamber-y approach, but is all the better for it. A grower, not a shower.
3.5 // Never thought I'd return to any indietronica album over and over again, but here we are. Dan's strongest release yet.
3.5 // The second album on this list to surpass two hours; significantly more atmospheric and tranquil than the other one, which occasionally results in tedium -- but there are countless beautiful moments scattered throughout this beast.
I Must Be Living Twice
3.5 // A low-key, synth-pop-slash-coldwave EP full of five covers - not something I'd normally enjoy or endorse, but Stewart's buttery smoothness here is captivating in ways I didn't think the genre was capable of. Really good stuff.
The Common Task
3.5 // Never huge on this heavily instrumental, numerical and time-signature obsessed math rock, but maybe I just haven't heard something this genuinely slick in so long that I forgot what it's like to enjoy the technicalities of music?
3.5 // Eschews typical singer-songwriter monotony with an undercurrent of sophisticated pop, without going full-blown artsy-fartsy (see: .e.g Bjork's UTOPIA).
3.5 // Even those who can't stand Zorn's more spastic tendencies should appreciate this ode to bombast free jazz. The man is an enigma, but he makes some damned interesting music.
|16||Ian William Craig|
Red Sun Through Smoke
3.5 // Rarely does ambient music so effortlessly collide with pseudo-pop sensibilities so casually and gracefully. A lovely little album.
|15||The Smith Street Band|
Don't Waste Your Anger
3.5 // These Aussies can rock. And write a damn catchy hook. Probably the most endearing album on this list, in a weird way.
3.5 // Has grown on me a lot since first spin; wonderful alchemy with all the various metal subgenre blending. You may not love it, but there's never a dull moment.
3.5 // Is it post-punk? Is it post-hardcore? Does it matter? It's good, no matter how you classify it. Edgy and coarse without having to try too hard.
3.5 // Finding that perfect niche compartment at the cross-roads of absorbing slowcore and post-rock atmosphere, I was taken aback at how quickly I fell in love with this.
3.5 // Not even sure how you'd classify this. After being underwhelming by Jaar's release earlier this year, he struck a pretty substantial chord with me, here. Could see this growing as the year marches on. Spacy, evocative, glitchy, and, most of all, constantly engaging.
Welcome to Conceptual Beach
3.5 // Has a Buckley-esque touch to it that's unmistakable - more free-form and sprawling than I anticipated, which caught me off-guard the first time around but has engendered significant death in revisits. Falling in love with this more and more each time I spin it.
4.0 // Death metal has been relatively solid and prevalent this year (makes sense, doesn't it?), but something about this Speciation release has stood above the pack for me. Aggressive, borrowing heavily from their 90s influences but wearing them proudly on its sleeve and hammering away relentlessly at the ride cymbal and bass guitar like there's no tomorrow. Wonderful sound mixing, too.
4.0 // Seems exactly like the kind of album I hate but conversely found something to love in just about every single track here, other than the fact that Torres doesn't know how to craft an ending.
4.0 // As much as I hate using this adjective as a criticism of art, this is significantly more "mature" than Bridgers's previous LP (which I quite liked, too). "Kyoto" in the running for track of the year.
4.0 // This one-man show continues to impress with release after release. His most daring and avant-garde project yet, can only be described as coerced chaos.
|5||Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever|
Sideways to New Italy
4.0 // Sometimes simple, flawless jangle pop is all you need. Could listen to this bad boy on repeat.
FREE I.H: This Is Not the One You've Been Waiting
4.0 // I liked the Hotties' previous, debut album, though it was decidedly more strictly twee pop. This bumps up the experimentation a notch, bouncing from the post-punk, riot-girl edge to an occasional lo-fi ballad, all while maintaining the underlying charm. Amazing record.
4.0 // Not enough people are listening to this amazing jazz/space-rock crossover. A lot more developed than Lonker See's previous LP.
4.5 // Dark, jazzy, tribal, soul-sucking, groovy, all of the fucking above. Monolithic and absorbing beyond measure. Easy front-runner for AOTY at the halfway point.
Microphones in 2020
4.5 // Exactly what I needed. In my opinion, the best thing Phil Elverum has done since WIND'S POEM in '09. This is the perfect blend of his "Mount Eerie" intimacy and minimalism mixed with his "Microphones" ear for lo-fi sonic bliss. *Chef's kiss*
|Open to recs, as always. What are your tops of 2020 so far?|
|1 seems intriguing af|
Mine would be Matthew Tavares and Leland Whitty - Visions (it's jazz fusion bullshit)
|Jazz fusion bullshit is precisely my shit, though, so I will promptly add it to the queue :o)|
Definitely check out 1. It is on Spotify (at least in the US), or available via their bandcamp. Well worth whatever the cost of admission might be; one of the most gigantic pieces of music of the last several years.
damn I just saw that Neptunian Maximalism are Brussels homies, I'll promptly jam it!
|Agreed on 1 being AOTY (so far)|
|Wasn't sure if I was overrating it or if it was legitimately great, but after several listens it is shaping up to become one of my favorites of the past five years or so. Seems like it is getting pretty good acclaim here (so far) and RYM, too. |
|Interesting list, will check out the top 10, see what it does for me.|
|Hey thanks for including 25 :-)|
I love 9, 10, 13, 14 and 17. Will definitely be checking 1, and will try 2 again. It didn't meet my expectations because I liked One Eye Sees Red so much, but I think enough time has passed now where I can go back in without that crutch.
|Hey thanks for making good music :)|
(In all honesty, thank Doof - his left-field enthusiasm for it is what drove me to check it out in the first place, before I even knew that it was a sput-user project.)
Keep it up, though - you're making really wonderful stuff.
|ive heard 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, and 24|
Favs would be JFDR, Mamaleek, Paysage, The Necks
Least favs would be Phoebe, Perfume Genius, Dan Deacon
Rec me a few of these that you think I'd dig!
Just don't rec me Gibbs and Alchemist plz
|Potts, I honestly think you'd really dig 9. Normally not "my thing" but something about the way IWC blends ambient tape recordings with an undercurrent of pop is awesome. |
(I've also been rec'ing both 1 and 2 to pretty much everyone; if you dig neo-jazz and psych-influenced stuff, give them both a shot. 1 is more gargantuan and free/avant-garde, while 2 sticks closer to space/psych-rock roots, but both are excellent.)
|But yeah if I had to rec you specifically only one from this list, it'd be 9 for sure.|
There's a chance you'd enjoy 4. There's also a chance you'd think it's utter shit.
|yeah 1 looks amazing, i'll check out all 4 of those tanks|
|Not going to edit the list for posterity’s sake, but Gezan’s KLUE would definitely be on here; just listened to it this weekend. Solid 3.5.|
|Okay, I lied. Edited to reflect my ongoing rank, as of August :o)|
|Thanks for the rec :o)|
|glad you liked! will peep 2, sounds like cool stuff|
|*grumpy face for your 2.5 on Havukruunu* That should be on the list!|
|Oof.... (To be fair, I usually don't love heavy Pagan / Folk elements mixing in with my black metal. Nothing against the musicianship, just a personal distaste I've never really been able to conquer.) |
|interesting list but dang you need to find some more 4s!|
I'll rec Jess Williamson, Caspian, The Flashbulb, Chris Keyes & Quelle Chris, and Ka
|damn, 9 is good and all, but i really liked cenizas. not really sure where the lukewarm reception is coming from|
|I dunno either really...just couldn't get into it. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for it at the time. Listened to 'Telas' one evening on my patio as the sun was going down and it clicked instantly for me. Drags a bit in some spots, and not sure I understand the monstrous structuring (could've been broken down into shorter tracks). But it was awesome.|
@death - thanks for the recs! I'll pop 'em all into the queue (except for the CK/QC, which I heard already and thought was good but not great ~ 3.0; bummer because 'Guns' was one of my favorite hip hop albums last year).
|Ka will probably be the best of that bunch but we’ll see. 2020 leaves a little something to be desired in terms of quality releases|
|Updated for September! Yeeee-haw!|
|did not expect to see Gezan here, nice|
i know too few of these, will have to catch up soon, starting with that Zorn album
+ check the new ZOMBIE-CHANG
|Will do - added to the queue. |
Definitely one of Zorn's more ""traditional"" albums, but exquisitely done.
And yeah, to be honest I wasn't expecting to like that Gezan album very much, but it won me over from nearly the opening track.
|Also @death - Was not big on the Ka album, but enjoyed the Quelle Chris one. Not as good as Guns from last year, tho imo. (I know it's a collab but still.)|