Top ten post-ambient shoe-drone-cetera of 2005

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(10) Fursaxa – playing Aegean Lore live in Berkeley this summer!

Fell in love with her whole catalogue this year after her enchanted performance under a tree on a summer’s night. Officially this year she had a new album, Lepidoptera, and a dronier EP, Amulet, and a single called ‘Aegean Lore’ on the By The Fruits You Shall Know the Roots compilation. I didn’t put up Aegean Lore, because it’s 20+ minutes, but I recommend you find it.

(9) 1 Mile North / Colophon / Wind-Up Bird – Convection Conduction Radiation

A three way split of instrumental post-rock and stars-of-the-lid-esque ambience. In fact this should’ve been Brian McBride’s album instead but I’m such a Tarentel fangirl that I chose this. Tarentel’s Jefre Cantu Ledesma is behind Colophon, and addtitionally this year he released an EP titled Love Loops under that moniker, as well as one titled Voice Sutra under “J.C. Ledesma”. Both sound like some of Tarentel’s free-form ambient pieces.

(8) Larsen – Play

Used to be on Young God Records and they sound like that. Dark & cinematic instrumental post rock with lots of repitition and length.

(7) Colleen – The Golden Morning Breaks

Very pretty toy-music-box electronica.

(6) Greg Davis & Sebastien Roux – Paquet Surprise

Greg Davis always does beautiful ambient electroacoustic manipulations.

(5) SunnO))) – Black One

They wouldn’t be on this list if I hadn’t seen them live twice this year and witnessed the awesome stage presence that goes along with this doom metal. There’s a set on flickr that starts to capture it, but you have to have seen them tearing this out of their guitars and arching as if satan had come to rip their spine out for you to fully appreaciate the awesomeness that is SunnO))). Amen.

(4) Growing – His Return

Growing would be higher if I didn’t like their 2004 album “Soul of the Rainbow” better than their 2005. They play really loud, noisy, overamped psychedelic rock, with lots of improvising and drone notes and other references to eastern music.

(3) Mitchell Akiyama – Small Explosions That Are Yours To Keep

A very moody electronica album with much soul. Sounds very warm and alive, because many of the samples used were performed on live instruments. The use of bells and cellos and harmonica and the icy mood reminded me right away of a Danny Elfman soundtrack.

(2) Bird Show – Green Inferno

Town & Country are back, and they have a new name and a new label! This is an extremely unorthodox ensemble with unusual instrumentation and buzzing percussion. They love dissonance and rhythmic, slowly evolving pieces.

(1) Akron/Family – self titled

If I’ve listened to this album more than 100 times I wouldn’t be surprised. I love it more than cake. Thank you, you bearded freaks, for a 2005 find dearest to me!

(0) Boris – playing motherfucking Feedbacker motherfucking live!

Surprise, I cheated! I had a chance to see Boris play live and they blew me away with their 30 minute metal-shoegaze-hybrid epic “Feedbacker”. Winner by a smidge.

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