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 Wallace Wylie

Wallace Wylie’s Best of 2011

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Austra

By Wallace Wylie

2011 was a great year for music. I say this as somebody who is prone to moodiness and cynicism about the quality of music in more recent years, and not as someone who insists upon looking on the bright side. Pre-2011 I had settled into a holding pattern of hoping for, at best, four or five albums that I could enjoy from each year. When I began writing for Collapse Board I realised that enjoying four or five albums a year was not going to cut it. Obviously, I could always get by on angry denouncements, but I recoiled in horror at the idea of being one of those grumpy old men of music criticism, cynically taking pot shots at every new trend. I decided not only to engage more, but also to rely less on my ‘angry’ persona (this part may have been less successful). What do you know, I ended up enjoying a whole lot more music as a result. Yes, consider this my little piece of self-help advice. On a side note, wherever you go there you are. Anyway, here is my top 10 albums of the year:

Austra – Feel It Break
Austra manage to meld doom laden synth darkness with Hélène Cixous’s The Book Of Promethea, exploring stark sexual frankness and the depths of romantic obsession.

Destroyer – Kaputt
Another album rooted in 80s sounds, it gave Dan Bejar another little moment in the sun. I expect everybody to hate his next release. You’ll love the album he puts out in 2015.

James Blake – James Blake
Bleak, disorienting, brilliant. Blake also released some great EP’s this year as well. Busy man.

Barbara Panther – Barbara Panther
I really thought this would take off more. Still sounds amazing regardless.

Richard Youngs – Amplifying Host
Autumnal, meditative sadness. You can’t own it on CD. Bastard.

(continues overleaf)

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