2011 Readers Poll - The Results

This is the Brainwashed Readers Poll. Once again the Brainwashed Readers participated in the nominations and the voting rounds, and here we are with what has resulted. The writers don't all necessarily agree with the placement and rankings, but we have our last word in the comments we have provided.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the rounds and we wish everyone the best for 2012.

Album of the Year

  1. Tim Hecker, "Ravedeath, 1972"

    Everything about this album is perfect. From Hecker’s inimitable music down to the startling cover (one that highlights just how shitty a digital release is for such a image, I need to get the vinyl of this ASAP), this is possibly the album of the year for me. - John Kealy

    The only thing that sucks about this record is that I can't play it as loudly as I'd like. Tim Hecker does no wrong. - Lucas Schleicher

    Austere piano noise heaven. - Justin Patrick

    Hecker's work is nothing if not consistent, but Ravedeath felt like one of 2011's undeniably big statements. From the evocative cover art and song titles ("The Piano Drop," "Hatred of Music"), to the album's conception from recordings on a pipe organ in Reykjavik, Iceland, Hecker set the stage for a career high with Ravedeath's backstory before we'd even heard the tunes. Naturally, it delivers—this is Hecker's strongest album, a conceptually unified work with beauty and tension flowing out from all ends. Plenty of musicians are doing ambient these days, but on this evidence, no one's doing it with more emotion and finesse than Tim Hecker. - Stephen Bush

    I agree with the masses—this was a stellar album. Hecker seems to only get better. - Anthony D'Amico

  2. A Winged Victory for the Sullen, "A Winged Victory for the Sullen"

    It sounds like Stars of the Lid, looks like Stars of the Lid, and feels like Stars of the Lid. I like it, but I really just want another proper Stars of the Lid album. - Lucas Schleicher

    Beautiful. - Jon Whitney

    Everyone picking this up due to the Stars of the Lid association (come on—that's 99% of you) would be well-served to check out Dustin O'Halloran's latest solo album, Lumiere, which went completely overlooked this year. Winged Victory is a monumental record—but it's due as much to O'Halloran's work as Adam Wiltzie's. - Stephen Bush

  3. Grouper, "A I A: Alien Observer"

    More pretty, floaty, synthy sounds from Liz Harris. I like the music well enough, but with such a limited quantity of records pressed, how did this end up at number three? Somebody needs to thank Google blog search for the distribution. - Lucas Schleicher

  4. Earth, "Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I"

    Dylan Carlson and Co. left behind the sun-scorched Morricone vibes on The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull, replacing organ and horns with Lori Goldston's cello. The resulting album is slow and patient, a bit darker, and still distinctively Earth. Watch out—Part II drops in February, taken from the same recording sessions as this beauty. - Stephen Bush

    This was a disappointing release for me, Dylan Carlson had created some of his best work over the last five or so years but this album is a fly in the ointment. The tepid live performance promoting this album does not bode well for the second part. - John Kealy

    I remember listening to this album, but not a whole lot of the specific details of it. The addition of cello to the standard Earth arrangements gave it a slightly different flair, but it wasn't as captivating as Hex was all those years ago. - Creaig Dunton

  5. Grouper, "A I A: Dream Loss"
  6. Current 93, "Honeysuckle Aeons"

    David Tibet continues to push Current 93 further and further away from the expected. Very much shaped by the musical contributors, Honeysuckle Aeons puts a Middle Eastern spin on Tibet’s core sound. - John Kealy

    Surprisingly sparse instrumentation, but unsurprisingly great songs. - Anthony D'Amico 

    Another Current 93 album, another Brainwashed year-end favorite. Hard to complain, though—this is Tibet's strongest work since Black Ships Ate the Sky. I didn't care for the tilt toward rock-song structures on the last couple albums; Honeysuckle Aeons is a step in the right direction, back toward the overtly neofolk C93 material that I love. - Stephen Bush

  7. Tim Hecker, "Dropped Pianos"

    Maybe I just love the sound of the piano so much but I enjoy this album much more than Ravedeath. - Jon Whitney

    Best unintended use of this CD so far (coasters are so passé): putting it on when I want my wife to fall asleep a bit faster, so I can play Sunn O))) or Neubauten instead. This is pretty stuff, for sure, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Ravedeath—or most of Hecker's past work. - Stephen Bush

  8. Colin Stetson, "New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges"

    I spent a good bit of 2011 getting into old jazz records, buying at least a hundred albums on Blue Note and Impulse! that showed up in local used bins. Looking at liner notes, many were recorded in live, single-day sessions. So was Judges—except it used a couple dozen microphones instead of a handful of session players, picking up the percussive taps of Stetson's fingers, his drawn breaths, and the squeals, echoes, feedback and ambience from all sides, and inside, of his saxophone. No album floored me on first listen this year like Judges, with its technical mastery, creative studio techniques, and pure emotion channeled through sound. - Stephen Bush

  9. Barn Owl, "Lost in the Glare"

    The album didn't quite live up to the massive, one-two punch of "Pale Star" and "Turiya"—but I'm not sure what else did this year. Everything great about Barn Owl condensed into a couple 4-minute songs. Album's not bad, either, I guess. - Stephen Bush

  10. Six Organs of Admittance, "Asleep on the Floodplain"

    A full suite of gorgeous, home-recorded acoustic tunes, plus a transcendent, 12-minute drone mantra to the heavens, finger-picked ad infinitum on saz, capped with a sun-blindness burst of feedback? I couldn't have arranged this any better if I had commissioned Chasny to record the album with my own checkbook. More of this, please! - Stephen Bush

    Songs like "Hold But Let Go" and "Light of Light" are some of Ben Chasny's finest moments, however, for the most part I don't find this nearly as bold or daring on the whole as The Sun Awakens or Luminous Night. - Jon Whitney

  11. Grails, "Deep Politics"

    Possibly one of the worst album covers of 2011 but musically Deep Politics was bang on. - John Kealy

  12. Deaf Center, "Owl Splinters"

    One of my personal mantras, "Check out everything released on Kranky/Touch/Important/Mego/Type/etc.," served me very well with this release. Deaf Center really outdid themselves—if I crank this album up on a good stereo, it sucks me into its orbit like nothing else in 2011. Absolutely enveloping, beautiful, and a bit ominous-sounding as well. Essential! - Stephen Bush

  13. The Haxan Cloak, "The Haxan Cloak"
  14. Tom Waits, "Bad As Me"

    I found it difficult to listen to this album after seeing Waits' Glitter and Doom tour in 2008. It's an accomplished album, but my memory of Waits' magnetic live presence cast Bad as Me as a slight step downward. Your mileage may vary. - Stephen Bush

  15. Peaking Lights, "936"

    I ignore everything on Not Not Fun just because it's on Not Not Fun. That interview in The Wire this year convinced me that even if they release good music, it'd sound and look better on any other label. - Lucas Schleicher

    This was my favorite album of the year. - Anthony D'Amico

  16. The Caretaker, "An Empty Bliss Beyond This World"

    I wanted to like this but it reminded me too much of queueing for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disneyland. - John Kealy

  17. Oneohtrix Point Never, "Replica"

    Lopatin has an ear for detail, and has built Replica's songs around details, not just drones, more so than ever before. Instead of washes of synth/noise, he's produced an album of minutiae—a reverbed piano chord here, a ping-ponged echo there, a disembodied TV sample over there. The results, if not always compelling, are curiously fascinating. It's taken me a few listens to feel like I've barely scratched the surface; this is definitely a grower. - Stephen Bush

    I will never understand why people get so disproportionally excited about everything that Daniel Lopatin does, but there are some great moments here. - Anthony D'Amico

  18. Fovea Hex, "Here is Where We Used To Sing"

    Glorious. Spellbinding. Ecstatic. This was more than worth the wait after years of EPs and singles. One can only hope there is not such a long wait for the next installment. - John Kealy

    It's one of the very few stellar, flawless albums of the year. - Jon Whitney

  19. Chris Watson, "El Tren Fantasma"

    The fact that an album of musique concrète train sounds placed this high on the list gives me hope for humanity. - Anthony D'Amico

    A fine testament to the push-and-pull between natural and mechanical sound. Anyone who has followed Watson's jaw-dropping field recordings over the past decade knows he deserves all the recognition he can get. - Stephen Bush

  20. Kate Bush, "50 Words for Snow"

    Anything that's good enough for Big Boi is good enough for me. (Just kidding!) It's great to hear Bush back in the studio. This is a slight step up from Aerial—more concise and focused, without a lackluster song in the bunch. - Stephen Bush

    Dear Kate: we love you for your voice. I wish I had a version without the male vocals. - Jon Whitney

  21. Alva Noto, "Univrs"

    Another marvellous album from Carsten Nicolai. This put my ears through its paces and I'm still finding so much in it to love. - John Kealy

  22. Mogwai, "Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will"

    Another Mogwai album. Do these guys get votes because they used to release good albums and people can't stop voting for them? - Lucas Schleicher

    Undiscerning Mogwai fandom will never die, but Mogwai will. This album had one great track with a memorable slide guitar part ("Letters to the Metro") and a hell of a bonus disc—making the deluxe CD worth seeking out for fans. Otherwise, dud. - Stephen Bush

    Soft rock will never die but Mogwai will. - Jon Whitney

  23. Cut Hands, "Afro Noise I"

    A terrific, bracing, slap-across-the-face of a record. - Duncan Edwards

    Not nearly as aggressive or brutal as William Bennett's work with Whitehouse, there is a different type of intensity here, propelled by violent, aggressive polyrhythms. None of the exploitative cliches of "world music" here, just a heavy, visceral experience - Creaig Dunton

    I have only heard this a couple of times, but I think most of the love is built on the person making the music, and not the music itself. Take William Bennett out of the equation, and what are you left with? - Lucas Schleicher

    I've never been a massive William Bennett fan, but this album combined two things I love (noise and African percussion) and did it extremely well. - Anthony D'Amico

  24. Æthenor, "En Form For Blå"

    Æthenor's best album, and one hell of a performance from percussionist Steve Noble. Actually, he turned in the best percussive performance of the year. The whole thing is much better than that new Ulver album, too. Daniel O'Sullivan and Kristoffer Rygg should be making more music as Aethenor, especially if they can keep this particular crew going. - Lucas Schleicher

  25. Natural Snow Buildings, "Waves of the Random Sea"

    There's a number of artists who release a high volume of material, however very few of them are consistent with high quality and excel in composition and production talent. Medhi Amizane and Solange Gularte are a duo that excels in every way and this year's collection of material is no exception. - Jon Whitney

    This is easily among my favorite Natural Snow Buildings releases. - Anthony D'Amico

    This went out of print way too fast. - Stephen Bush

  26. Barn Owl and the Infinite Strings Ensemble, "The Headlands"

    A stunning album which has proven to be as addictive as it is beautiful. It is certainly one of 2011’s highlights for me; the blending of the long, glassy tones is just superb. - John Kealy.

    This was an inspired pairing. - Anthony D'Amico

  27. Marissa Nadler, "Marissa Nadler"

    Nadler is proving herself over and over again to be one of the strongest, most talented singer/songwriter/performers of the day, and to wrangle the production of this album autonomously start to finish, and spurn a bonus EP and covers LP in the process, is evidence to her power and ability. - Jon Whitney

    Another haunting release from Ms. Nadler, this beguiling album represented a slight (and welcome) change in direction for her. - John Kealy

    Marissa was made to play the slide guitar. A beautiful record that would have placed higher if I had more say. - Lucas Schleicher

    This was the album that finally made me a Marissa Nadler fan. - Anthony D'Amico

  28. Charalambides, "Exile"

    My #1 album of the year. It's clear from the very first listen how much time, effort, heart, and soul Tom and Christina Carter poured into every note of this unquestionable masterpiece. This is a new career peak for one of the most consistently creative, idiosyncratic, and original bands of the last 20 years. Absolutely required listening. - Stephen Bush

    I have nothing to say about this album other than that it is great. I am rapidly (and belatedly) becoming an obsessive Christina Carter fan. - Anthony D'Amico

    Tom and Christina Carter continue to evolve and perfect their magic. This is easily my favorite album of 2011. - Jon Whitney

  29. Zomby, "Dedication"

    While the masses discover "dubstep" with Skrillex and Deadmau5, and the gene pool becomes diluted with copycats and bandwagon jumpers, the UK dubstep scene is essentially on its deathbed. Dedication may be the last great UK dubstep record—if so, it's a killer epitaph. - Stephen Bush

  30. Wolves in the Throne Room, "Celestial Lineage"
  31. Prurient, "Bermuda Drain"

    Prurient is nothing more than a weak SPK ripoff with album covers tame enough to not offend mom. - Jon Whitney

    I hope the eventual reissue includes a karaoke version of "Palm Tree Corpse." Tree branch rape has never been catchier. - Anthony D'Amico

    A confusing record for sure, but one I have grown to love. Power electronics, John Carpenter soundtracks and a fair helping of late 1980s electro-industrial. - Creaig Dunton

  32. The Psychic Paramount, "II"
  33. Kreng, "Grimoire "
  34. Thurston Moore, "Demolished Thoughts"

    Demolished production, courtesy of Beck Hansen. Far too saccharine arrangements for what sounds like a decent set of tunes, but I'll take someone's word for it—can't be bothered to dig through the overproduction and find out for myself. - Stephen Bush

    I don't have any strong feelings about the whole album, but "Benediction" is a pretty awesome song. - Anthony D'Amico

  35. Wire, "Red Barked Tree"

    A great return-to-form after the slightly uncharacteristic Object 47. It has the same unpredictability and variation of the best moments of their discography. - Creaig Dunton

    On the strength of this album, as well as their 2011 tour, Wire are still a vital voice in the independent music scene. - Stephen Bush

  36. Belong, "Common Era"

    More of a lovely power-glide than their previous lovely washed-out and decayed sound. - Duncan Edwards

    I get lost in this record and love it there. - Jon Whitney

    I found myself playing this album relentlessly after dark, in the time and spaces usually reserved for the Cure's Faith and other grey-hued, nighttime records. Gorgeously blurry, smeared music with a catchy pop undercurrent—a lot hookier than it initially lets on. - Stephen Bush

  37. Wooden Shijps, "West"
  38. Julia Holter, "Tragedy"

    This was such a weird and uneven album, but in an unexpectedly good way. - Anthony D'Amico

  39. Moon Duo, "Mazes"

    I'm surprised how much I keep coming back to this. It's dangerously catchy, and is fast becoming my favorite Wooden Shjips/Moon Duo record. - Stephen Bush

  40. Zola Jesus, "Conatus"

    Gothtronica? Just kidding. Entrusting the production of your record to someone else for the first time must be like sending your first child to kindergarten. Nika did the right thing and the result is a fantastic success. - Jon Whitney

    There's nothing as utterly huge as "Sea Talk" here, but it's more consistent than the EPs, and an overall step forward for Danilova. - Stephen Bush

  41. Bardo Pond, "Bardo Pond"
  42. Blut Aus Nord, "777 Sect(s)/The Desanctification"
  43. John Maus, "We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves"

    So bad, I couldn't even listen to the whole thing. But, I'd love to have a couple of drinks with this guy and talk philosophy. That would have to be more interesting than the music is. - Lucas Schleicher

    Face, meet palm. - Stephen Bush

  44. Andrew Chalk, "Violin By Night"

    Not only was the packaging for this album probably one of the most incredible LPs in history, but the contents are a testament to Chalk's continually evolving ability of songcraft. Over the last few years Chalk's songs have become shorter, filling the albums with more actual songs, yet he doesn't lose his unparallelled mastery of sound, perfected for years with the sprawling side-long instrumental pieces. An eventual CD of Violin By Night is not to be missed. - Jon Whitney

    Great packaging, great songs. Andrew Chalk continues to be reliably excellent. - Anthony D'Amico

  45. Julianna Barwick, "The Magic Place"

    Totally gorgeous record—light as air, though, and dissipated from my memory just as quickly. If it had more memorable hooks (see "Prizewinning") it'd be a real winner. - Stephen Bush

  46. Kangding Ray, "Or"

    Raster-Noton continue to confirm that electronic music has not peaked. Kangding Ray’s album is one of the examples that I have cited lately to show that good experimental electronic music did not begin and end with Richard James. - John Kealy

  47. Shabazz Palaces, "Black Up"

    Everyone talking about hip-hop having a great year points to Drake and Danny Brown and A$AP Rocky; I'll point to this gem. Far more obtuse and shamanistic than anything on the NYC mixtape circuit, a spiritual successor to Miles Davis and Sun Ra. The music's not on the level of its influences, but it's leagues ahead of anything on the current hip-hop circuit—that's more than enough. - Stephen Bush

  48. Asva, "Presences of Absences"

    My favorite album this year. Everything about it is absolutely perfect, from the ideas, to the songs, to Toby Driver's out-of-this-world vocal performance. I'm still waiting for Important to issue the LP version so that I can hear more from these sessions. Get on it, Important! - Lucas Schleicher

  49. Leyland Kirby, "Eager to Tear Apart the Stars"
  50. Low, "C'mon"

    Since joining Sub Pop, Low can't seem to get the balance right with their fans. It's either too much of a step forward (The Great Destroyer), or too abrasive and polarizing (Drums and Guns), or else it's a falling back on their worn, comfortable sound (C'mon). What stands out to me on C'mon, though, is the strength of the songwriting (for starters, "Especially Me"—one of their all-time best); the added instrumentation and embellishments; perfectly matched guest appearances (Nels Cline!); and a newfound confidence, optimism, and life-affirming demeanor to the lyrics. This is one of their very best records. - Stephen Bush

    That's one incredibly weird fuckin' Low record. Alan's voice sounds shot but there are some absolute gems. "Witches" and "Especially Me" are fantastic. - Matthew Jeanes

    I think I like this but I'm not totally sure. Come back to me in a year. - John Kealy

    I love it, and I loved hearing the songs live even more. - Lucas Schleicher

  51. Skullflower, "Fucked On a Pile of Corpses"

    Super romantic. Save this one for Valentine's Day—it's sure to impress your sweetheart, alongside a dozen roses and a box of chocolates. - Stephen Bush

    I haven't picked this up yet, but if the content is half as great as the album title, I expect to be thoroughly dazzled. - Anthony D'Amico

  52. Gang Gang Dance, "Eye Contact"

    This is a bold piece of maximalist, nothing-off-limits art-pop. Very well sequenced, and nearly as gripping as their last two, God's Money and Saint Dymphna. That's a hat trick, folks! - Stephen Bush

    OMG this is like being inside of a headache. - Jon Whitney

  53. Jesu, "Ascension"

    As a massive Justin Broadrick fan, I must admit I was a bit disappointed in this one. The back to basics guitar/bass/drum sound he used on Opiate Sun and Dethroned was brilliant, but here it just gets stretched too thin, into a misty gray void. Not a bad album, just not a memorable one. - Creaig Dunton

    I quite liked this one, except for that one song in the middle of it. - Matthew Jeanes

  54. Hype Williams, "One Nation"
  55. Amon Tobin, "Isam"
  56. Jacaszek, "Glimmer"

    I didn't realize this was out until December, so I didn't have much time with it, but it sounds phenomenal and even a little aggressive. Anyone who voted for Grouper or A Winged Victory for the Sullen this year needs to give Jacaszek a chance; he definitely made the better record. - Lucas Schleicher

  57. Alvarius B, "Baroque Primitiva"

    I expected this to do much better in the poll, it's a lovely, warm and charming record. And what a cover photo! - John Kealy

    If we lived in a world without Andrew Chalk, this would easily boast the best album art of the year. Also, I loved the warped and ramshackle Beach Boys cover. - Anthony D'Amico

    I spent more time spinning the Blood Operatives of the Barium Sunset CD reissue. This new one is good, too—perhaps not on the same transcendent level, but that's splitting hairs. - Stephen Bush

  58. Bill Callahan, "Apocalypse"

    Pleasant surprise to see this one in the Brainwashed list. Beautifully written songs and intimate, nuanced production, like Callahan is singing just a few feet away. - Stephen Bush

  59. Locrian, "The Clearing"

    I was starting to worry that I'd get burnt out on these guys, given how prolific they were a few years ago, but they've spent more time ensuring quality, rather than quantity, and The Clearing is no exception. A wonderful and unique mix of drone, noise, metal and melody. - Creaig Dunton

  60. Der Blutharsch And The Church Of Leading Hand/Aluk Todolo, "S/T"

    DB's transition to psycillocibin fueled psych rock has been bumpy at times, but with the kindred spirits of Aluk Todolo, it comes together brilliantly. - Creaig Dunton

  61. Motion Sickness of Time Travel, "Luminaries & Synastry"

    I guess I still liked this, but it didn't seem like much of a progression from Seeping Through The Veil of The Unconscious at all. - Anthony D'Amico

  62. Stephan Mathieu, "A Static Place"

    A beautifully warm, inviting textural masterpiece. - Creaig Dunton

  63. Pete Swanson, "Man with Potential"
  64. Chelsea Wolfe, "Ἀποκάλυψις"
  65. Rene Hell, "The Terminal Symphony"

    In a year far too cluttered with DIY synth/noise/drone records that didn't leave an impression, The Terminal Symphony found a way to break through to me—and a good number of Brainwashed readers, apparently. - Stephen Bush

  66. Byetone, "Symeta"
  67. Cindytalk, "Hold Everything Dear"
  68. Natural Snow Buildings, "Chants of Niflheim"

    This "very limited Record Store Day release" was far easier to track down than the full-length that preceded it. What gives? - Stephen Bush

  69. Implodes, "Black Earth"
  70. Liturgy, "Aesthethica"

    Hunter Hunt-Hendrix should win a prize for the amount of attention his obtuse and babbling interviews generated, because I don't think the music is worth it at all. Some guy applies Reich's phasing techniques to metal, tosses in some pseudo-philosophical posturing, and wins all kinds of accolades in the process. Transcendental bullshit, absolutely. - Lucas Schleicher

    Anyone who reduces Liturgy to "metal + Steve Reich" has spent too much time reading press releases, and far too little time listening to the music. There is so much to love here: the immediacy/urgency of these songs, the quirky interludes, the out-of-this world-drumming, the feeling I get when "Harmonia" sweeps over my ears after an hour of transcendental bullshit. Oh, and they're an amazing live band, too. - Stephen Bush

  71. Lawrence English, "The Peregrine"
  72. Biosphere, "N-Plants"

    Wow, Touch puts out music with beats? I had no idea! - Creaig Dunton

  73. Christina Vantzou, "No. 1"
  74. The Field, "Looping State of Mind"

    Willner is making micro-improvements on his own formula by now, but it's nearly perfect as is. No reason to rock the boat. This is predictably awesome. - Stephen Bush

    The feel-good album of 2011. It reminded me of why I started listening to electronic music in the first place. - Lucas Schleicher

  75. The Men, "Leave Home"
  76. Clams Casino, "Instrumentals"
  77. Bill Orcutt, "How the Thing Sings"

    "Sings" is not really an apt word for what Orcutt makes his guitar do. It coughs, wheezes, squeals, chokes, sputters, stalls, screams, and goes altogether insane—but sings? - Stephen Bush

  78. HTRK, "Work (work, work)"

    A musical act capable of greatness shouldn't be settling for something that's only good, at best. - Jon Whitney

  79. Sonic Youth, "SYR 9: Simon Werner a Disparu"
  80. Matana Roberts, "Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres"

    One of three masterworks on Constellation this year, alongside Colin Stetson (#8—nice job, readers!) and Evangelista (completely overlooked). This album has a huge listening curve, but is well worth the effort. The most essential free-jazz album of the last few years. - Stephen Bush

  81. Sol Invictus, "The Cruellest Month"
  82. Kurt Vile, "Smoke Ring For My Halo"
  83. Seefeel, "Seefeel"

    One of the best bands of the early '90s makes a comeback with Boredoms members in the lineup and I'm super excited and it's... it's... unremarkable? Some luck. - Stephen Bush

  84. Baby Dee, "Regifted Light"
  85. EMA, "Past Life Martyred Saints"

    Overrated hipster dreck. - Stephen Bush

  86. Higuma, "Pacific Fog Dreams"
  87. Iceage, "New Brigade"
  88. The Necks, "Mindset"

    More of the same from The Necks but that's no bad thing. - John Kealy

  89. Fennesz/Sakamoto, "Flumina"
  90. Marc Almond & Michael Cashmore, "Feasting With Panthers"
  91. *AR, "Wolf Notes"

    I'm am glad some other other people liked this too. I feared it would alienate quite a few Richard Skelton fans. - Anthony D'Amico

  92. Glenn Jones, "The Wanting"

    Definitely wanting to hear this. Don't know how it slipped by. - Jon Whitney

  93. Sean McCann, "The Capital"
  94. Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, "Summvs"
  95. Nicholas Szczepanik, "Please Stop Loving Me"

    One sprawling, but achingly beautiful piece of meloncholy drone. Anyone who says abstract or experimental music is inherently soulless should be immediately be handed a copy of this. - Creaig Dunton

    If someone handed me this, I would think experimental music was inherently soulless. I'm joking, of course, but I was actually disappointed by how pastoral this album was. - Anthony D'Amico

  96. Mika Vainio, "Life ( ... It Eats You Up)"

    Heavier than anything else on this list. A monster of an album. - John Kealy

  97. Battles, "Gloss Drop"

    "Ice Cream" is a brilliant reinvention of the Battles sound post-Tyondai Braxton, but I never got around to the rest of the album... more my fault than theirs. - Stephen Bush

  98. Vladislav Delay Quartet, "Debut"

    Almost too homogeneous for its own good. - Stephen Bush

  99. Larsen, "Cool Cruel Mouth"
  100. Hecker, "Speculative Solution"

    Amusing, pretentious, profound, playful, and packaged as an art object; just how I like it. - Duncan Edwards

    Wait—this is the end of the damn list? You guys forgot to vote for Corrupted. I hope you're all ashamed of yourselves. - Anthony D'Amico

Single of the Year

  1. Andy Stott, "Passed Me By"

    Deep, cavernous dance music ideal for zoning out to. Look for the CD release with this and We Stay Together in one package. Incredible stuff. - Stephen Bush

    So thin in places that it actually passed me by completely. - Lucas Schleicher

  2. Barn Owl, "Shadowland"

    I think this might be my single favorite Barn Owl release. All killer, no filler. - Anthony D'Amico

  3. Burial, "Street Halo"
  4. Fennesz, "Seven Stars"

    The best thing he’s done in years. - John Kealy

    It's definitely Fennesz, but it stretches into new and wonderful places. - Creaig Dunton

  5. Andy Stott, "We Stay Together"
  6. James Blackshaw, "Holly"

    The simplest statements can sometimes be the strongest. The Holly EP outshines last year's All Is Falling LP exponentially. - Jon Whitney

  7. Holy Other, "With U"

    Holy Other is one of the few artists that I'd say releases too little. I've loved nearly everything that I have heard so far. - Anthony D'Amico

  8. Mogwai, "Earth Division"
  9. Neurosis, "Sovereign"

    Totally classic Neurosis EP back in print. - Stephen Bush

  10. Laurel Halo, "Hour Logic"
  11. Burial + Four Tet + Thom Yorke, "Ego/Mirror"

    Radiohead finally sneaks into a Brainwashed year-end poll, much to Jon Whitney's chagrin. - Stephen Bush

  12. Ceremony, "Extended Play"
  13. Colin Stetson, "Those Who Didn't Run"
  14. Andrew Liles, "As If Punk Rock Never Happened/Pretty Vague Cunt "
  15. Clams Casino, "Rainforest"
  16. Grinderman, "Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man"
  17. HTRK, "Eat Yr Heart"
  18. Lana Del Rey, "Video Games"
  19. Locrian, "Dort Ist Der Weg"

    Great pairing of a Popol Vuh cover song on one side and raw, noise-laden metal on the other: the combination Locrian does best. - Creaig Dunton

  20. Prurient, "Time's Arrow"

    With a title track that sounds like Skinny Puppy in the mid 1980s, a remix, and the rest being harsh noise, it's like the odd music/noise gray area of Bermuda Drain is taken to its bipolar extremes. - Creaig Dunton

    Much, much better than Bermuda Drain. I thought the new wave/Carpenter synth thing diluted Fernow's sound more than anything, but the Front 242 influence works perfectly. - Lucas Schleicher

  21. Raime, "Hennail"
  22. Regis, "In a Syrian Tongue"
  23. Leyland Kirby, "Intrigue & Stuff Vol. 1"
  24. Miles, "Facets"
  25. Zomby, "Nothing"

    Just as good as the full-length. - Stephen Bush

  26. Aluk Todolo, "Ordre"
  27. Leyland Kirby, "Intrigue & Stuff Vol. 2"
  28. Grinderman, "Evil"
  29. Little Annie & Fabrizio Modones Palumbo, "Blue Xmas"
  30. Arthur Russell, "Let's Go Swimming"

    Classic '80s dance single from this still-too-obscure pop chameleon. - Stephen Bush

  31. Ceremony, "Not Tonight"

    The only people who don't like this band are people who haven't heard them. - Jon Whitney

  32. Soundpool, "Re-Mirrored"
  33. The Sea and Cake, "The Moonlight Butterfly"
  34. Lego Feet, "Ska001CD"
  35. Dirty Beaches, "Lone Runner"

    I haven't heard this yet, but this is the perfect place to voice my utter disbelief that Badlands did not crack the top 100 albums list. It might possibly be the single most derivative album ever, but no one has ever ripped off Suicide so brilliantly. I'm a little bit embarrassed for loving it, but I love it nonetheless. - Anthony D'Amico

  36. Forest Swords, "Fjree Feather"

    Nice to see this get an "official" release—mine is on the CDr that came with initial copies of Dagger Paths. If I recall, all proceeds go to charity... order away. - Stephen Bush

  37. Wire, "Strays"
  38. LA Vampires Goes Ital, "Streetwise"
  39. Alcest, "Le Secret"

    Pretty strange decision to put the originals and the newly recorded versions on the same disc. - Stephen Bush

  40. Leyland Kirby, "Intrigue & Stuff Vol. 3"
  41. Pale Sketcher, "Seventh Heaven"
  42. True Widow, "I.N.O. E.P."
  43. Amon Tobin, "Surge"
  44. Big Business, "Quadruple Single"
  45. Purling Hiss, "Lounge Lizards"
  46. Burial Hex, "In Psychic Defense"
  47. Bonnie "Prince" Billy, "There Is No God"
  48. Emptyset feat. Cornelius Harris, "Altogether Lost"
  49. Pye Corner Audio with The Advisory Circle, "Autumnal Activities"
  50. Senking, "Tweek"


Various Artist Compilation of the Year

  1. I Listen to the Wind That Obliterates My Traces

    I liked the music, but this is far more noteworthy for being an amazing vintage photography collection. - Anthony D'Amico

  2. SMM: Context

    I wish Ghostly would release more music by the people featured on this compilation. There's some top-notch music on here, and I'm glad to see something so excellent place so highly in the polls. - Lucas Schleicher

  3. Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels

    It's an obscure soul/funk reissue by Numero Group. Anything else you need to know? - Stephen Bush

  4. Pakistan: Folk and Pop Instrumentals 1966-1976

    This was a dispiritingly quiet year for Sublime Frequencies, but at least their sole new compilation was an especially fun and likable one. - Anthony D'Amico

  5. Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk 1970-1978
  6. Pop Ambient 2011
  7. Danza de Navidad
  8. Pietre Preziose e Oro Fino: Old Music & Folksongs from South Italia
  9. Cartagena! Curro Fuentes & The Big Band Cumbia And Descarga Sound Of Colombia 1962-72
  10. Street Musicians of Yogyakarta
  11. The Original Sound of Cumbia: The History of Colombian Cumbia & Porro, As Told by the Phonograph 1948-79
  12. Total 12
  13. True Soul Volume 1: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax
  14. True Soul Volume 2: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax

    These two Stones Throw-distributed compilations were pretty much all I played in between spinning old Curtis Mayfield, Al Green and Stevie Wonder records. Start by skipping to Thomas East's "Funky Music," True Soul's best-known release, and go from there. - Stephen Bush

  15. Wallahi le Zein
  16. White Eye of Winter Watching

    A noise compilation, over 200 minutes in length, with the likes of Con-Dom, Genocide Organ, the Incapacitants and Smell & Quim? It's all of the big names in harsh electronics in one place, how can I not love it? - Creaig Dunton

  17. After Twilight
  18. Bambara Mystic Soul: The Raw Sound Of Burkina Faso 1974-1979
  19. Intercontinental Transmissions Vol. 1
  20. Nihon Indigo
  21. The Hidden Tapes
  22. Black Power and Liberation Struggles
  23. Japan 3/11/11: A Benefit Album
  24. Ranters, Reformers And Raconteurs (vol. 2)
  25. Golden Beirut: New Sounds From Lebanon


Vault/Reissue of the Year

  1. Can, "Tago Mago"

    The year's best reissue this side of the Beach Boys' SMiLE Sessions. This is a stone-cold masterpiece. Great live disc, too! - Stephen Bush

  2. Throbbing Gristle, "20 Jazz Funk Greats"

    It's a great record, indeed, and truly their best album, however I can't fully appreciate the reissue effort of this album along with the others due to the flimsy packaging, fuzzy artwork, clumsy bonus disc track assembly, and omission of key pieces. They can, have, and should do much better. - Jon Whitney

  3. Throbbing Gristle, "Heathen Earth"

    This has to be one of the most difficult records I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. It's dark, dreary, draining, and perfectly executed. The improved sound quality does this album a world of good. I no longer think of it as Throbbing Gristle's live album. Now, it's just one of their best albums, period. - Lucas Schleicher

  4. Throbbing Gristle, "The Second Annual Report"
  5. Throbbing Gristle, "D.O.A.: The Third and Final Report"

    It's hard to pick a favorite in the TG discography, but this is probably the one I could give a slight edge to. The careful, but noticeable remastering is greatly appreciated. - Creaig Dunton

  6. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "Murder Ballads"
  7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "Let Love In"
  8. Throbbing Gristle, "Greatest Hits: Entertainment Through Pain"
  9. Sunn O))) meets Nurse With Wound, "The Iron Soul of Nothing"

    Stephen O'Malley and Stephen Stapleton were entirely too quiet for my liking this year. This helped to fill the void a bit. - Anthony D'Amico

    Has any release ever been more tailor-made for the Brainwashed crowd? - Stephen Bush

  10. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "The Boatman's Call"
  11. Nurse With Wound, "Who Can I Turn To Stereo Etc."
  12. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, "No More Shall We Part"

    I'm completely suspect that anyone voting for these Nick Cave reissues actually owns the reissue packages. - Jon Whitney

  13. Alice Coltrane, "Universal Consciousness/Lord of Lords"

    Fantastic to have these back in print. I've spent more time listening to Coltranes (both Alice and John) than anything else this year; Ptah, the El Daoud soundtracked the most meaningful day of the year for me. Can't wait to add this reissue to my shelves. - Stephen Bush

  14. Eleh, "Floating Frequences/Intuitive Synthesis"
  15. Twinsistermoon, "Then Fell the Ashes"
  16. Sunn O))), "ØØ Void"

    While I didn't actually get the reissue, it is great to see this masterpiece in print again. - John Kealy

    Helpful hint: the CD reissue of Sunn O))) and Nurse with Wound's The Iron Soul of Nothing is packaged as a bonus disc with a limited number of the ØØ Void CDs. Two great discs for the price of one! - Stephen Bush

  17. Nurse With Wound, "Salt"
  18. Christina Carter, "Texas Blues Working"

    "Lady Friend" was the most brilliantly deranged thing I heard all year. - Anthony D'Amico

  19. Eliane Radigue, "Transamorem-Transmortem"

    I took me a long time to fully appreciate this album, but it was well worth the effort. There is great beauty in purity and simplicity. - Anthony D'Amico

    Best album of the year on Important Records. - Stephen Bush

  20. Bee Mask, "Elegy for Beach Friday"
  21. Bill Orcutt, "A New Way to Pay Old Debts"

    So, so good. One of those albums that makes you want to make your own music because it sounds so effortless. - John Kealy

  22. Chris & Cosey, "Exotika"
  23. William Basinski, "A Red Score in Tile"
  24. Xela, "The Sublime"

    "Lust & Paradise" is blackened drone perfection. - Anthony D'Amico

  25. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, "Shining Skull Breath"
  26. Eliane Radigue, "Geelriandre/Arthesis"
  27. Sol Invictus, "Trees In Winter"
  28. The Residents, "Meet the Residents"
  29. Bee Mask, "Canzoni Dal Laboratorio Del Silenzio Cosmico"
  30. Skullflower, "Carved Into Roses/Infinityland/Singles"

    Here's where it all started. Nice collection of a billion out-of-print singles, mostly from vinyl. - Stephen Bush

  31. Richard Skelton, "Marking Time"
  32. Bruce Gilbert, "The Shivering Man"

    Wire's secret weapon. Listen and learn. - Stephen Bush

  33. Catherine Christer Hennix, "The Electric Harpsichord"

    Along with Tim Hecker and Fovea Hex, this is the most important release of the year for me. I want it to last forever, it is beyond words to describe how perfect The Electric Harpsichord is. - John Kealy

    Sometimes I think this album is a visionary masterwork, but other times it seems exhausting, bombastic, and one-dimensional. It is certainly unique though- sounds like the sort of thing an evil supervillain would be playing in his or her castle. - Anthony D'amico

    I'm with Kealy; the only thing that could make this record better is if it lasted longer... and if someone could please explain Hennix's essay to me, that would be awesome, too. - Lucas Schleicher

  34. Mark McGuire, "A Young Person's Guide to Mark McGuire"

    A much-needed digest of the man's sprawling catalogue. While I'd much prefer a massive box set of the full recordings, this is more than adequate for now. - John Kealy

    Ashra for the new millennium. Get some! - Stephen Bush

  35. Mercury Rev, "Deserter's Songs"

    This album has some great singles, but frankly, it was the beginning of the end for Mercury Rev, and (along with the Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin) planted seeds for a deluge of overly precious indie-pop. Yerself Is Steam and Boces are truly where it's at. - Stephen Bush

  36. Little Annie, "Soul Possession"

    I did not expect this album to be this intense and unsettling at all. - Anthony D'Amico

  37. Little Annie, "Jackamo"
  38. The Olivia Tremor Control, "Music from the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle"
  39. Disco Inferno, "The 5 EPs"

    Shimmering existential wonders that transcend the technology of their (original) time. - Duncan Edwards

    It's inspiring to see this officially released. I still treasure my original CDr ripped by Disco Inferno superfan (and longtime AllMusic.com critic) Ned Raggett, who distributed countless copies free of charge for the last decade or so. - Stephen Bush

  40. Grace Jones, "Hurricane/Dub"
  41. Neurosis, "Souls at Zero"

    This is ground zero for Neurosis' turn from a hardcore, punk-inspired band to the sludge-metal behemoth we know and love today. If not for this record, and Neurosis' subsequent career, the last decade's rich variety of doom, stoner and sludge metal would sound very different—or not exist in its current form, period. - Stephen Bush

  42. Sol Invictus, "Thrones"
  43. The Art of Noise, "Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise"

    I've played the hell out of this reissue lately. Just the original album and a couple BBC sessions, no frills—wouldn't have it any other way. - Stephen Bush

  44. The Olivia Tremor Control, "Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol. 1"
  45. Twinsistermoon, "When Stars Glide Through Solid"
  46. Gnod/White Hills, "Gnod Drops Out With White Hills II"
  47. Ladytron, "Best Of 00-10"

    Anyone who's not paid attention to Ladytron for the last decade: here's your chance to catch up on exactly what you've been missing. - Stephen Bush

  48. Little Annie, "Short and Sweet"
  49. COUM Transmissions, "Sugarmorphoses"

    A nice piece of archival material let down by being a bit shit. - John Kealy

  50. The Raincoats, "Odyshape"

    Far too low, but at least it snuck in at #50. - Stephen Bush

Boxed Set of the Year

  1. Demdike Stare, "Tryptych"

    Three perfect albums... one perfect boxed set. - Stephen Bush

  2. Autechre, "EPs 1991-2002"

    It's easy to hate on Autechre, but there are some undeniably brilliant moments here. - Creaig Dunton

    I've always argued that Autechre were best represented by their EPs and Warp has gone and proven my point with this box. - John Kealy

    Wait, why is it easy to hate on Autechre? This is some of the best music I've ever heard! - Lucas Schleicher

  3. Psychic TV, "Themes"
  4. Cabaret Voltaire, "Johnny Yesno Redux"
  5. This Mortal Coil, "This Mortal Coil"

    A completely breathtaking set that was worth every penny. - Jon Whitney

    The music is incredible, but you can get the three full-length albums for $10-15 at any used CD shop in the nation. This screams 4AD collector's artifact (and cash grab) to me. - Stephen Bush

  6. John Fahey, "Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You: The Fonotone Years (1958-1965)"

    There's a wealth of incredible music here. Not for beginners, but anyone who's already knee-deep into Fahey will understand the appeal. (I'm neck-deep myself.) - Stephen Bush

    It's funny hearing Fahey's first steps, and this isn't necessarily a great collection for people just finding their way to John's music. But, for anyone already familiar with his music, this is an absolutely phenomenal collection with superb liner notes and a great presentation. - Lucas Schleicher

  7. Psychic TV, "Psychic TV And White Stains At Stockholm 1990/Jarman Themes/Live Danceteria, New York City Nov. 17, 1983/Unreleased Rarities"
  8. Daphne Oram, "Oram Tapes Vol. I"
  9. Dome, "1-4+5"

    A lavish presentation of some of the best Wire side-project material ever. Now, a whole new format to wear out Dome 1 and 2 on. - Creaig Dunton

  10. [V/A], Not The Spaces You Know but Between Them
  11. Nicholas Szczepanik, "Ante Algo Azul"

    Nicely balances out the single, massive track on Please Stop Loving Me: this series of 15-20 minute pieces, lovingly hand packaged and designed, brings a level of intimacy that similar releases are sorely lacking. - Creaig Dunton

  12. Ghedalia Tazartes, "Works 1977-79"
  13. Tor Lundvall, "The Seasons Unfold"
  14. Andrew Liles, "The Flesh Creeping Gonzoid & Other Imaginary Creatures - Vol 1-6 "
  15. Brainticket, "The Vintage Anthology 1971-1980"
  16. Laibach, "Gesamtkunstwerk - Dokument 81-85"
  17. Plastikman, "Arkives 1993-2010"

  18. Mickey Newbury, "An American Prayer"
  19. [V/A], "Opika Pende: Africa at 78RPM"
  20. [V/A], "This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel on 45RPM"

    Essential listening for anyone who's worn through their two volumes of American Primitive. - Stephen Bush

Artist of the Year

  1. Tim Hecker

    Scoring two albums in the top 10 will earn you this title. Well done. - Jon Whitney

    You sure? Liz Harris wants a recount! - Stephen Bush

    #3 ain't the end of the world. - Jon Whitney

  2. Barn Owl
  3. Grouper
  4. Nurse With Wound
  5. Leyland Kirby/The Caretaker
  6. Andy Stott
  7. Sunn O)))
  8. Colin Stetson
  9. A Winged Victory for the Sullen
  10. Fennesz

Label of the Year

  1. Kranky

    Quality always wins over quantity. - Jon Whitney

    If Kranky can place first with Brainwashed readers overlooking one of its best 2011 albums—Steve Hauschildt's Tragedy and Geometry—then it's obviously been a good year. (Full review for Hauschildt's album coming soon.) - Stephen Bush

  2. Mute
  3. Industrial
  4. Thrill Jockey

    Thrill Jockey is fast reinventing itself, and becoming a go-to label for forward-thinking rock (and psych/drone) music. Liturgy, Barn Owl, Wooden Shjips, White Hills, Eternal Tapestry, Mountains, Alexander Tucker, and a Sun Araw/Eternal Tapestry live album—now that's a good year. - Stephen Bush

  5. Important
  6. Editions Mego

    Giving John Elliott and Stephen O'Malley their own imprints was a great idea. Mego was already a pretty wonderful label, but putting out bizarre obscurities like Phurpa makes them even better. - Anthony D'Amico

  7. Drag City

    It's great to see Drag City paying attention to reissues and unreleased older material. This year brought two O'Rourke/Heemann records, a Gary Higgins archival release, and a reissue of These Trails' self-titled '70s album—all essential. - Stephen Bush

  8. Modern Love
  9. Touch
  10. Type

Lifetime Achievement Recognition


David Tibet

Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of covering much of Current 93's music for Brainwashed and I cannot deny that every time a new release comes through my letterbox, I get that quiver of excitement I used to get so regularly as a teenager whenever my favorite band announced that they were releasing a new album/playing a show here/going to the supermarket/etc. David Tibet has created a musical oeuvre that out-strips most artists at any stage of their career; from the early noise and tape collage works (granted my least favorite of all Current 93's phases) through the golden, folky middle period to the hard rocking and transcendental big band of recent years, there is so much to take in and so much to love.

Honeysuckle Aeons from earlier this year (and its companion piece Drank Honeysuckle Aeons) brings a new light to Tibet's lyrics, the Coptic influences being born out more in the music.
As this album demonstrates, Tibet's influence goes far further than the music he has created. His scholarship (though largely in a field extremely remote from my own) is admirable and his work as an archivist and activist for unsung musical and literary figures knows few equals. Through his collaborations in Current 93 and his Durtro label I have discovered a whole world of musical loves and through his Durtro Press I have explored the works of authors that would otherwise have probably not popped up on my radar.

After traveling to London in 2010 to see Current 93 at their 25th anniversary shows, I can only hope that Tibet continues to have as much energy and enthusiasm for what he does. With his new project Myrninerest on the horizon, it looks like 2012 will fulfill that wish at the very least. I look forward to the new album and anticipate that the teenaged quiver of excitement will come over me again.

- John Kealy

I feel like it is a bit premature to give David Tibet a lifetime achievement award, but I cannot possibly think of a more deserving person. For one, he's responsible for two of my favorite albums of all time (All The Pretty Horses and Thunder Perfect Mind) and has made a career out of constantly challenging and reinventing himself without ever losing any intensity, depth, or intelligence. On a deeper level though, he's simply a fascinating and inspiring person; the very antithesis of the mundane. He has always seemed to pursue a singular, uncompromising, and constantly evolving vision without much concern for what is currently unfolding in the cultural landscape. More uniquely, he has the conviction and gravitas to deliver lyrics that would bury anyone else in an avalanche of ridicule and make them meaningful and profound ("somewhere over the rainbow, on the Good Ship Lollipop," for example).

The icing on the cake is that he also has great taste and has worked very hard to disseminate many wonderful things that few others have noticed (or have forgotten about). I probably never would've given Shirley Collins or Simon Finn a chance without him, nor would I probably have ever even heard of Count Stenbock or Louis Wain. He's also made antiquarianism, dead languages, and gnostic studies seem extremely cool. Not many people can boast that. It is truly rare to find someone in the modern world with such a combination of artistic honesty, intellectual curiosity, and altruistic enthusiasm.

- Anthony D'Amico

Sure, David Tibet is a long-time friend of Brainwashed and myself and there's a lot of Brainwashed readers who came to us because of their love of Current 93, but his contributions to music are much more vast than C93. David has performed the role of a professional music critic; ran a short lived fanzine; played in Psychic TV, 23 Skidoo, Nurse With Wound, and numerous other musical acts; has hosted guests like Nick Cave, Bjork, Sasha Grey, Marc Almond, Bonie Prince Billy, Christoph Heemann, Tiny Tim, Andrew WK, Ben Chasny, Clodagh Simonds, and countless more on his records and in his ensembles; publishes books; writes poetry; and has introduced the world to people like Antony and the Johnsons, Baby Dee, and others through his record labels. His love and support for music and literature is undying, bound to no single genre. He continues to be a force in the underground through his own music, which is continually evolving and transforming, and his generous support of the rare, noteworthy underdogs.

- Jon Whitney

David Tibet expanded not only my musical universe but my literary life as well. When I started delving into the albums of Current 93, I looked up as many the references as I could find and read the books that he loved, from Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker (a big influence on one of my favorite Current 93 albums, Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Star) to Lautreamont's Maldoror and the dark joys of Thomas Ligotti. The same is true for his musical tastes. I can't hardly imagine what my own musical life as a listener would be like if I hadn't been turned on by Tibet to the wonders of Shirley and Dolly Collins, to Comus, the Incredible String Band, and so many others. Tibet simply has excellent taste.

Tibet has always pursued a very personal vision. In the course of sharing that vision though he has championed the work of so many other musicians and artists I can't count them on my fingers and toes. In doing so he has alleviated much of the worlds audio poverty.

I also continue to be excited about his work. I'm very much looking forward to reading the collected works of Eric Count Stenbock which Tibet has poured so much energy into collecting and editing. I am also always eager to learn more about his Coptic studies and his contributions in that field. David's hypnagogic visual art, all the tiny scribblings of many moons and thieves ascending from crosses, is also stunning. It is obvious that he works hard with no signs of slowing down.

- Justin Patrick


Worst Album of the Year

  1. Bon Iver, "Bon Iver"

    What a load of uninspired, derivative, unchallenging horseshit. - Jon Whitney

    Make it stop. Please. - Duncan Edwards

    The bad news? Our collective failure to include more NPR-approved garbage in the poll means Bon Iver takes the crown. The good news? This album is deserving. I'd rather stab out my ears with a rusty fork than hear "Holocene" or "Beth/Rest" or "Perth" ever again. - Stephen Bush

  2. Justice, "Audio, Video, Disco"
  3. Das Racist, "Relax"
  4. Ford and Lopatin, "Channel Pressure"

    Between Oneohtrix Point Never's Replica and this album, Lopatin showed more range in a year than many musicians do in their careers. Sure, Channel Pressure is the lesser of the two works (by far), but hardly the year's second-worst album. Besides, Ford & Lopatin are a better live act—try dancing to OPN and you'll understand. Like Replica is ideal for headphone listening, Channel Pressure is built for the stage. - Stephen Bush

    The worst in hipster garbage comes to pass. This is the trough ladies and gentlemen which means a peak must be due soon. - John Kealy

    I thought Vanity is Forever was a hundred times worse, but that doesn't make this album any better. Definitely bottom of the barrel gruel. - Lucas Schleicher

  5. Joker, "The Vision"

    There's a good EP in here somewhere. At album length, though, The Vision was overstuffed with sub-Timbaland R&B tropes, uninspired guest vocalists, and bland, homogenous takes on the UK dubstep sound that Joker already conquered years ago with "Digidesign." - Stephen Bush

  6. tUnE-yArDs, "W H O K I L L"

    I swear this sounds like a goddamned Sublime tribute band. - Jon Whitney

    OvEr-RaTeD and sometimes gRaTiNgLy AnNoYiNg, but not without its merits. - Anthony D'Amico

    Who? - Lucas Schleicher

    KILL! - Stephen Bush

  7. Modeselektor, "Monkeytown"
  8. The Rapture, "In the Grace of Your Love"
  9. Thundercat, "The Golden Age of Apocalypse"
  10. Siskiyou, "Keep Away the Dead"