Album of the Year

Posted on January 5, 2011


Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (Young God)

When we heard that Swans reunited, we felt like Barack Obama after the Republican’s win in the midterm election. Call him and ask how sick he is. Why did Michael Gira do this? He isn’t a money-grubber, or is he? And can you earn big money on Swans anyway? He was still running The Angels Of Light and made solo-albums that are still very relevant. We Are Him was in our list of albums of 2007. Or did he simply search for cheap sentiments? Gira has a romantic soul, but isn’t sentimental.

“One thing I want to point out right now: THIS IS NOT A REUNION (…) It’s not some dumb-ass nostalgia act. It is not repeating the past. After 5 Angels Of Light albums, I needed a way to move FORWARD, in a new direction, and it just so happens that revivifying the idea of Swans is allowing me to do that”, is what he answered to the question that we and others raised. Although vows are spoken to be broken, we should have been more confident.

The most powerful statement Michael Gira – the incarnation of authenticity and capriciousness – and his peers made on our most beloved album of 2010. My Father…’s sound is grand and layered, and the atmosphere is often sardonic, frequently psychotic. The songs combine aggression and poetry, are copious and blend bizarre colours. We still connect Swans more to Francis Bacon or Peter Greenaway than to this or that rock band.

Maarten’s choice

1. Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (Young God)
2. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Kollaps Tradixionales (Constellation)
3. Jason Kahn & Jon Mueller – Phase (FSS)
4. Scout Niblett – The Calcination of Scout Niblett (Drag City)
5. Grinderman – Grinderman 2 (Mute)
6. Yellow Swans – Going Places (Type)
7. Anbb – Mimicry (Raster-Noton)
8. Cranc – Copper Fields (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
9. Electric Wizard – Black Masses (Rise Above)
10. Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me (Drag City)

Swans – 25.11.2010 – Brussels
Thomas Köner – 19.10.2010 – Ghent
Goatsnake – 25.04.2010 – Tilburg
Morphogenesis – 06.03.2010 – Aalst
Dans Les Arbres – 11.02.2010 – Ghent

Peter’s choice

1. Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (Young God)
2. Darkthrone – Circle The Wagons (Peaceville)
3. Ghost – Opus Eponymous (Rise Above)
4. Bill Orcutt – Way Down South (Palilalia)
5. Sun City Girls – Funeral Mariachi (Abduction)
6. Group Inerane – Guitars From Agadez 3 (Sublime Frequencies)
7. Motorpsycho – Heavy Metal Fruit (Rune Grammofon)
8. The Budos Band – III (Daptone Records)
9. Lloyd Miller and The Heliocentrics – Selftitled (Strut)
10. Mulatu Astatke – Mulatu Steps Ahead (Strut)

Also enjoyed: Autechre, Grinderman, Seijaku, Numero Group’s compilations and Syl Johnson Complete Mythology box, Electric Wizard, Ultralyd, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Joanna Newsom and Sublime Frequencies compilations (Saigon Rock & Soul ao). Most disappointed in the Melvin’s Bride album.

Bill Orcutt – 6.03.2010 – Aalst  (only 15 minutes, but was worth it)
Shellac – 01.10.2010 – Hasselt
Greg Malcolm – 15.10.2010 – Antwerp
Swans – 25.11.2010 – Brussels
Helmet – 14.12.2010 – Ghent
Fun Department (Joy Division cover band) – 18.09.2010 – Kaprijke (political incorrectness to end with)

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