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FILTER’s Top 10 of 2013: Ben Chasny of New Bums, Six Organs of Admittance

By Staff on December 31, 2013


FILTER’s Top 10 of 2013: Ben Chasny of New Bums, Six Organs of Admittance

When it comes to end-of-year lists, it's definitely not all about us; we love to know what our favorite musicians and artists have been digging the most out of 2013, too, and we're thrilled to share those lists here.


Ben Chasny's...

Top 10 Albums of 2013

Neil Michael Hagerty and the Howling Hex - The Hildreth Tapes 
Live recordings of Neil's band from the absolute apex of his destroying jammer mode. Wah solos that have more in common with John Coltrane's work on Interstellar Space than Hendrix. Two basses. Could go head-to-head against any Nanjo band. 
Michel Henritzi & Fukuoka Rinji - Le Jardin Bizarre 
Amazingly sad violin and guitar improv from a member of Japan's Overhang Party and Michel Henritzi. The two seem to have some serious psionic before-mind capabilities. Melancholic and beautiful. 
Head Of Wantastiquet - Dead Seas 
This is as close as one could get to being a Popul Vuh record without sounding like it was trying to be a Popul Vuh record. It has that misty-mountain-crashing-river-voyage sound that the Vuh captured so well for years but with a heavy dose of American Southwest taking the place of the dark European forests. 

Magik Markers - Surrender To The Fantasy
Markers get all V.U. Loaded and hand over a collection of songs as tough as a motorcycle gang made out of obsidian but with the songwriting prowess of a hobo Tim Harden. Surrender To The Fantasy holds up a mirror to America's mirror and the sun beam intensity that is formed burns through world. 
Alan Licht - Four Years Older
Mr. Minimal transforms into Mr. Maximal. Guitar excess and effects used in the service of the piece, rather than the other way around. This album has so much kinetic energy I worry that the oil industry is going to put a hit out on Mr. Licht for fear of usurping their monopoly. 
Tashi Dorji - S/T cassette
This guy is my favorite acoustic guitar player right now. He doesn't play the same old Takoma re-hash finger picking patterns that are so popular nowadays. Tashi takes a point on the guitar and explores it inside and out, plucking, scraping and sometimes integrating beautiful cascading arpeggios. There's something about his playing that makes me smile every time I hear it. Every once in a while he'll pull a move that makes you realize, "this guy has crazy chops" and then he'll move into pure sound. Wonderful. 
Byron Coley - Dating Tips For The Blind 
An assortment of writer Byron Coley's poems on Side A covers topics ranging from the punk of youth to beautiful elegies for Jack Rose and Beefheart. It's often funny, sometimes outrageous and always entertaining. Side B is an excerpt from a novel Byron has been working on and describes the scenario of two fuck-ups exploring the alchemy of alcohol. I once put this on late at night with a group of folks and everyone went to sleep, hushed to bed-time by Byron's sweet voice. 
Dead C - Armed Courage 
Two sides of New Zealand monster mash. Side A is pretty thrashing and almost psychedelic with a wah tendency. Robbie Yeats does his best Surfaris impersonation for the first 5 minutes, making you think the trio has hitting the beach the last few years, but then it devolves into inspired moonscape exploration. Side B sees them tackling their interpretation of Kind Of Blue
Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt - The Raw and the Cooked 
A handful of cuts from a tour these guys did in 2012. Some have compared these tracks to Harry Pussy just because Orcutt has gone electric but to me they sound much more condensed. Harry Pussy was like standing behind a jet engine. These tracks are more like taking a passenger seat in a series of cars - Formula 1, Shelby GT Mustang and a demolition derby mobile. 
Mick Turner - Don't Tell The Driver
Mick has been one of my favorite guitar players for years. His new record is huge in scope and slippery in meter. One of the most lyrical guitar players around. There's an immediate melancholy that infuses everything Mick touches and this record amplifies that trait manyfold. Sad yet dangerous. 

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