Saturday, January 15, 2022

Count Robot's Top Three Albums of 2021

Count Robot's Top Three Albums of 2021 Here's Count Robot's three favorite musical releases of 2021. The song, “That's What Love Is” from Wanda Jackson's Encore gets my vote as tear jerker of the year. Best sad song of the year. Thank you Wanda, I sincerely hope you enjoy your retirement. 

3. Expanse meets The JMDE Quartet: Scope Not the mouthwash, the psychedelic music wash of experimentalism that floods your ears. I've only listened to this album in it's entirety a few times but each time its reminded me of all the fun experimental music performances I've seen, encapsulated in one CD. It flows. It is it's own thing. It's one song that stretches out for 1:10:46. Yes, it's a gigantic cosmical jam. It's strange and strangely fun. Trumpets, drums, a basket of rocks, Christmas ornaments, a sax, and a heck of a lot of other sounds sources do their thing all over the place. The performers take care to listen to each other rather than just step all over each. They build together, they rise, fall, float, and create as a functioning ensemble. Bells chimes with echos of Miles Davis getting strange with a Sketches of Spain melting soundscape. Melodies leap about with pulsing percussion assaults. A gem of a jamscape! 

2. Cat Temper: Furbidden Planet A concept Cat Temper album! Cats in space. What is there not to like? There's some cool cat artwork here too! Meowtastic ridiculous pun filled synth pop in lo-fi/hi-fi outer space. How can you not adore an album with the opening song title, “Catstronauts Are Go”? This story album about space bound kitties and their fur raising discovery is an aural treat. Cat Temper slings out lots of albums, this is more than just another album, its a sonic treat. There's some great neo-80's synth sounds floating in every track. In all seriousness, I think fans of late 80's Tangerine Dream will dig this album deeper than a litter box, which by the way, this album should never belong in a litter box. It's a great album! Easily one of the best in the Cat Temper catalog. 

1. Black Sky Giant: Planet Terror Whenever I listen to this album, it feels as though it was made just for me, just like the movie Grindhouse does. Also of note, one of the segments of Grindhouse is of course called Planet Terror. I'll have to ask Black Sky Giant someday if that's where the title came from. Well, none of that describes why I like this album so much, except in an inept way. This album has some of the most exciting sampling I've heard in a long time. It reminds me of Ministry's classic The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste with the creative wall of dialogue sampling. Black Sky Giant increases that here, using stock music samples as building blocks within some of their instrumental songs. The production is really smooth, yet powerful. The title track kicks off the album showcasing you the black light infused instrumental fuzz style that you will be treated to throughout this well sequenced series of tunes. One of many things that endears me to this album, is that it's over so fast, I can never get bored of it. There are just seven songs on this mighty slab of musical muscle. There's a great interplay between then electric guitar and the bass. Ulameth (endbringer) is the centerpiece of the album for me. The deep tones of the guitar and bass really rumble along with spaced out synth pads and ah those wonderful samples! The Phantom Gun closes out the album in a grand style and introduces a raucous wild western motif of sounds and samples. Black Sky Giant, you did a fantastic job!