Of Perfect Solutions, Demons and Addiction

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10 Ene 2010, 11:18

Another one of these almost inevitable yearly best of journal entries. However, I think that 2009 had a lot of very good releases so I thought I'd mention some of these here. So, here we go, the 10 albums I liked the most in 2009.

10. Mesh - A Perfect Solution
The long awaited return of the British synthpop band - and this album also marks the return of Germany's label dependent records. This album is a worthy comeback album for this label and it might as well be Mesh's strongest release so far.
Recommendations: Is It So Hard?, Who Says?, The Bitter End

9. Diary of Dreams - (if)
The trend towards more catchy melodies that DoD master mind Adrian Hates follows since a while now continues with this latest release. However, this does not necessarily mean that the lyrics become simpler and more poppy. If at all this trend serves to attract even more people to their contemplative songs. A solid work.
Recommendations: The Colors Of Grey, Choir Hotel, King Of Nowhere and from the second disc of the limited edition called g(if)t: Never Tell The Widow

8. VNV Nation - Of Faith, Power And Glory
This album followed shortly after their long awaited Reformation 01 EP. With the EP containing live recordings, special unreleased tracks and remixes and a DVD as well, especially the three until then unreleased tracks served to water the fan's mouth for the full album. However, I have to admit that OFPAG left a bit to be desired. It definitely is a solid VNV album but I didn't have an instant favourite. Although, given the fact that Verum Æternus needed almost 5 months to grow on me maybe this album will do as well if I give it a bit more time.
Recommendations: Sentinel, Ghost, Verum Æternus

7. Kilowatts & Vanek - Focus and Flow
One of the big surprises of 2009 and maybe the most important release on dependent so far. Belgian singer and songwriter Peter van Ewijk and US IDM/glitchpop musician Peter Watts show how well these seemingly contradicting genres work together. This album features some great lyrics to make you think and some very nice music to make you relax and get away from your daily routine.
Recommendations: Morningstar, Solar Flare, Sudden Flow

6. Comaduster - Slip Through
One of my "accidental" finds of 2009. Independent IDM producer Real Cardinal presents a breathtaking journey through a very own world of sound with this album. Combining industrial and dark ambient sounds with melodies that stay stuck in your head this album also catched the interest of dependent records' Stefan Herwig. So we might see this awesome work released on CD as well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Until then you can get it on http://www.comaduster.com/ - please consider giving a small donation to the artist.
Recommendations: Giving in to the Violence, Foam Abattoir feat. Cecil Frena, Intercosm

5. Steinkind - Galle, Gift & Größenwahn
After their already very strong debut Vom Hier Im Jetzt Steinkind returned with a more polished and well-produced sound on their second album. With this one they manage to sound harder and yet softer at the same time. Their lyrics are even more socio-critical thus justifying the "Galle und Gift" part of the album title. ("Gift und Galle spucken" roughly translates as "breathe fire and brimstone" into English.) However, I don't think that there's anything megalomaniac about this record. ("Größenwahn" = "Megalomania")
Recommendations: Arsch Rein, Wort, Weit, Weit Weg

4. Combichrist - Today We Are All Demons
This album caught me a bit off-guard. I wasn't really sure if I should really buy it in the first place because Andy LaPlegua's latest project seemed to be a bit in a stalemate. However, after having seen the enthusiastic reactions by a friend to this one I decided to give it a try. Turns out that LaPlegua took a bit of Icon of Coil into Combichrist when it comes to lyrics and melodies while still keeping it unique enough.
Recommendations: All Pain Is Gone, New Form of Silence, At the End of It All and from the second disc of the limited edition: Avenge, Gore Baby, Gore

3. [:SITD:] - Rot
I only really started to notice [:SITD:] in 2009 and had bought their Bestie:Mensch shortly before Rot was released. While Bestie:Mensch had a rather calm feel to it Rot was a bit more of a fusion of hard electro and futurepop. But they managed to transport the atmosphere of Bestie:Mensch combined with a harder sound really well.
Recommendations: Zodiac, MK Ultra, Destination and from the second disc of the limited edition: Rot V2.0 (Extended), Heldenhaft (Vox) (Feat. Othura)

2. IAMX - Kingdom of Welcome Addiction
Until the beginning of December I would've called this the best album of 2009 for me. The reason why it's not is coming up below. ;) Normally I don't really rely on reviews in magazines when I decide what albums to buy. This one was an exception - IAMX were to play at Blackfield Festival 2009 and as I didn't know Chris Corner's solo project until then I wanted to give it a try before the festival. Too bad, that I didn't have enough time - I really regret that I haven't seen the show of IAMX just because I was hungry... I certainly would have stayed near the stage had I given this album a closer listen before the festival. To wrap it up: Kingdom Of Welcome Addiction is a small master piece I'd say.
Recommendations: Kingdom of Welcome Addiction, Tear Garden, I Am Terrified, Running

1. Abrasions - Memorial
I am so glad that I found this one. This is easily the most emotional album I've listened to ever. For more thoughts on this see my separate journal entry. I simply love this album. Period.
Recommendations: It would mean to rip out the heart and soul of this record to only recommend three tracks. Dreamer captures the overall feel of the album very well, though. But please listen to the full album.

To wrap things up some "honourable mentions" who didn't make it into the top 10 but were close: Valium Era - Mutation, Subway To Sally - Kreuzfeuer, Frozen Plasma - Monumentum

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