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Best of Boston 2009
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Various artists | Open Strings: 1920s Middle Eastern Recordings

Honest Jon's (2009)
Over the past year, Honest Jon's has released three compilations culled from more than 150,000 78s of early music from the EMI Hayes Archive: music from 1930s Baghdad, early West African music recorded in Britain, and a more general compilation that moved across country lines and the first half of the 20th century.
By: DEVIN KING  |  May 06, 2009


Papercuts | You Can Have What You Want

Gnomonsong (2009)
Hidden under reverb and aggressive analog production, the first sung lyrics on You Can Have What You Want belie what seems to be a cheery record title: "Once we walked in the sunlight three years ago this July."
By: DEVIN KING  |  April 14, 2009


Wavves | Wavves

Fat Possum  (2009)
Fat Possum  (2009)
By: DEVIN KING  |  March 17, 2009


Tim Hecker | An Imaginary Country

Kranky (2009)
With his sixth album, Tim Hecker continues his computer-enabled investigations into the ambient music of nebulous distortion.
By: DEVIN KING  |  March 10, 2009


Gui Boratto | Take My Breath Away

Kompakt (2009)
Gui Boratto's 2007 debut, Chromophobia , was a pop crossover because of its string of 2 am dance anthems.
By: DEVIN KING  |  March 03, 2009


Loren Connors | The Curse of Midnight Mary

Family Vineyard (2009)
Recorded in 1981, The Curse of Midnight Mary illustrates one genesis story for Loren Connors's affected and distended interpretation of solo blues guitar. Like Robert Johnson.
By: DEVIN KING  |  February 24, 2009


Sincerely yours,

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's new homonymous album is filled with well-worn lyrics.
There is a surge in polyglot music, but despite its force, a strain of conservatism (one that has always run through indie rock) is keeping pace.
By: DEVIN KING  |  March 12, 2009


Various Artists | Money Will Ruin Everything

Rune Grammofon (2009)
Asked to describe his label Rune Grammofon's output, Rune Kristoffersen uncomfortably offers, "It's typically somewhere between improvised, electronic, contemporary . . . ," before fading off.
By: DEVIN KING  |  February 03, 2009


Review: Humcrush | Rest at World's End

Rune Grammofon (2009)
Replete with bands who weave jazz, modern composition, and electronic music, the Rune Grammofon label captures a thriving scene of Norwegian improvisers and composers.
By: DEVIN KING  |  January 13, 2009


Review: Various Artists | Instro Hipsters A Go-Go!

Throwback Throwdown
Psychic Circle (2008)
By: DEVIN KING  |  December 15, 2008


Jacob Kirkegaard | Labryinthitis

Touch (2008)
Labyrinthitis deals with the material science of sound — in particular the Tartini tone.
By: DEVIN KING  |  December 02, 2008


Susanna | Flowers of Evil

Rune Grammofon (2008)
Flowers of Evil — a covers record, though it includes two originals — lacks power.
By: DEVIN KING  |  November 24, 2008


Max Tundra | Parallax Error Beheads You

Domino (2008)
It begins with a MIDI organ and Tundra singing like Little Orphan Annie: “I landed in somebody’s lap, between the iPod and yellow trucker cap.”
By: DEVIN KING  |  November 11, 2008


Luomo | Convivial

Huume (2008)      
Known also for his more ambient work as Vladislav Delay, Luomo is the house-music moniker of Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti.
By: DEVIN KING  |  November 11, 2008


Wilderness | (k)no(w)here

Jagjaguwar (2008)
This could prove strenuous, but the album is more contemplative than didactic — a (k)no(w)here that’s difficult to study but easy to inhabit.  
By: DEVIN KING  |  October 28, 2008


School of Seven Bells | Alpinisms

Ghostly International (2008)
School of Seven Bells piece together two points of reference: the electronic music made popular by the Postal Service, Volvo ads, etc.; and the tightly controlled feedback of shoegaze.  
By: DEVIN KING  |  October 27, 2008


Pedal | Pedal

Staubgold (2008)
Any undergrad who has a few Satie discs in his or her collection — for studying and making out! — would find the same passive ambiance on this album.  
By: DEVIN KING  |  October 15, 2008


Growing | All the Way

Social Registry
You get the sense that Growing have been looking more and more toward the other side of the drone spectrum — that of the tiny computer.
By: DEVIN KING  |  September 10, 2008


Brian Wilson

That Lucky Old Sun | Capitol/EMI
Brian Wilson and his karaoke-smooth backing band the Wondermints have instead given us something on par with 1970s Beach Boys.
By: DEVIN KING  |  September 02, 2008



Eli Reed says he’s better than Otis
Eli “Paperboy” Reed seems dubious about my following him for a few hours before and after his five o’clock Lollapalooza show in Chicago’s Grant Park last Sunday.
By: DEVIN KING  |  August 05, 2008
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