KEXP’s Year in Review: Riz – Hope, promises and apologies : or 2006 the road back from heck..

Matmos, photo courtesy of lamanyana

The absolute most slamrockin, rumpnockin, supersmilyfaced time i had in 2006 was the morning of november 8th when it felt like the clouds were rolling back and daylight was begining to return in america. i don’t talk politics much cause it bums me out, but that don’t mean it don’t matter to me i’m being totally serious when i say that was the day i realized how badly my heart had been broken in the last six years. i’m a genetically happy man, but that last six years was F*%KIN hard ! Knowhamsayin ? i felt like i died and went to heck ! i know not to expect a whole lot from from this first wave of change but it sho’ is nice to have hope back in my life.

last year about this time we was makin lists but we didn’t have any recourse to explain the process that goes into reflecting and creating a picture of our last year in music. now we got a full real all grown up blog and stuff to flesh out our thinking so shout outs and props given to andrew and jason for getting this part of the show on the road. i’m a basically a horse and buggy guy, so as badly as this list needs em i’m sorry i don’t have mp3 links and youtube videos and allthemother fancy doohickeys that get you that much closer to checkin out my music from my corner of the world. i remain the most technologically challenged dj on the planet, the last of an almost dead breed. i go rekkid shoping pretty much every week – i still buy ones i don’t have a cell phone i just got a ‘zune’, but haven’t the slightest idea how to use it. i can quote you websites for most of the artists listed so y’all can check artists that way. my new years resolution is to get somebody – anybody to brang me up to speed with the technology that the are all the rage among the kids today. next year i’ll have real links. next year i’ll finally publis a playlist. next year i’ll have actually done a podcast even. maybe….

this list represents some of my favorite artists in the last year. not neccesarily the best ones. it’s feel overly presumptious of me to claim that i know the best releases year and to proclaim that there are only ten of them. i listened to hundreds, maybe even thousands, of artists this year.i relaize that that was justa fraction of all the releases out there. and some of the releleses i didn’t hear properly. that’s prolly why joanna newsome didn’t make this list. i KNOW it’s a meaty and luminous release, but it hasn’t yet found it’s niche in my heart. not yet. but i expect it will. and while the justin timberlake is startin to grow on me ( the lasest single ‘my love’ through shear repitition alone..jeez i hope this works), i’m stubbornly resisting calling it substantial, because he just failed to bring sexy back like he claimed. and i was rilly rilly hopin he would.

you will notice that 3 items on the list are doubled up. that’s because in my mind there is a kind of symbiotic relationship between them. they share a thematic similarity or a similarity of intent. and it was way of cheating and fitting more than ten releases on the list.

ANYdangway… in no particular order here is the list…

1. matmosthe rose has teeth in the mouth of the beast – matador
i’ve been an off again on again ( in that order ) fan of theirs mainly because their music has tended to the cold side of things, but this was love at first listen everything on this is a gem. intellectuallyprovocative, sonically sparkling, and beautifully packaged heartfelt and emotional when need be and completely unified.

2. thom yorkethe eraser – xl
way too often artists labor under the impossible weight of expectation. fickle listeners are we, tending to binge and purge artists like fast food burritos.we don’t think that an artists solo work will measure up to the past body of work we’ve grown to love. thom yorke managed to blow that assumption out of the water.

3. burialburial – hyperdub / skreamskream – tempa
these are both full length debuts from artists that i hope to hearing much much more from in the next few years. while they both meld uk garage and dubstep ( novices should definetly follow the links) in genre defining ways they’re different animals at the same party. played loud enough they may either infuriate or charm the neighbors

4. tortoise – box set – thrill jockey / steve reich – phases : a nonesuch retrospectivenonesuch
whew !.. big sigh here. two very different but seminal artists releasing definitive retrospectives that have fans and avid admirers checking their wallets. the tortoise box set includes a two hour dvd of live performances. the steve reich is the less complete of the two if only because reich is substatially older and more prolific

5. tv on the radioreturn to cookie mountain – 4ad
had this been released 3 weeks ago, like the joanna newsome, i wouldn’t have paid it so much mind. it’s infectious charm took a bit to take holdbut when it did i found myself humming melody lines even when i’d forgotten where they came from

6. akron familymeek warrior – young gods
this IS folk music.. umm kinda. cause then there’s this noise that happens sometimes and then it’s goes lyrical, but then it’s goes all impov and it guests hamid drake and broken social scene. it’s confident and playful. and that’s what you need to keep in mind

7. v.a. – idol tryouts vol.2 – ghostly international
a whole nother compilation that is very broadly electronica but slippery when it comes to specifics..which is just the way it . i hate the term electronica ANYways. i think it’s just good music.

8. dj kicks : four tet / henrik schwarz
i’ve been privileged to have been asked to make mix cd’s throughout my years as a dj. i haven’t partially because i’m lazy. but if i did i’d certainly hope they would rise to the levels of these two i would leave the planet a very happy man. my dream radio station would sound like this. except there would be more classical

9. people under the stairsstepfather – basement
weird, nobody seems to remember these guys when a discussion of seminal hip hop is raised but in a year ( another one in fact ) of solid hip hop ,this would be my desert island cd if i could get stuck on on an island for once.

10. grizzly bearyellow house – warp
another formidable debut this was as much a label surprise for me as anything else. warp records being the back in the day home of plaid , luke vibert, nightmares on wax comes out of leftfield with this folkish/ambient and, come to think of it, totally logical release.

11. andrew hilltimelines – blue note
okay okay i’m like totally cheating here. but this release, this artist totally blew my mind this year i was privileged to hear him at this year’s earshot festival, but what i haven’t divulged to no one until now is that i hadn’t heard him at all until a few days before i witnessed him. a shame that i didn’t know because i should have. and how i missed out on knowing who he was after a lifetime of miles, coltrane, monk, will always baffle me. this is his latest release and as he is struggling with lung cancer.. it may be…. nope don’t want to think about THAT at all. if you know jazz and don’t know him, start here like i did and go backward. just goes to show you can’t ever hear it all..

and if this list isn’t long enough i liked all of these as well.. bt – this binary universe – dts , the trucks – the trucks – clickpop various artists – the new gold standard fort knox recordings,various artists – tropicalia – soul jazz , dj jazzy jeff – hip hop forever – bbe, herbert – scale- k7, bejamin zephaniah – naked – one little indian, outkast – idlewild ( the movie )- directed by bryan barber various artists – jukebox buddah – staubgold, ryuichi sakamoto – bricolages – ka+b, yo la tengo – i am not afraid of you and i will beat your ass – matador, barack obama – u.s.a. singles ac lewis – black sunlight – slope remix – yoruba, kelis – bossy – zomba, lusito quintero – gbagada, gbagada, gbogodo, gbogodo – louie vega mix – vega, three six mafia – poppin my collar – columbia

whew.. more later,

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  1. Nate
    Posted December 14, 2006 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Riz, what don’t you know about the zune? Connect it to your computer, install the CD, and you can sync all your music from your PC. It should be very easy, give it a shot.

  2. Pth
    Posted December 15, 2006 at 11:12 am | Permalink


    I don’t know how you do it, man! I’ve lived in Ireland, England, France, Australia, Boston and SFO, and never have I come across a DJ like you. You’ve renewed my faith in radio. Keep it up.

    And Happy Christmas to you and to hell with PC! ;-)


  3. riz
    Posted December 16, 2006 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    see how folks talk to you. like technology is all simple and logical. like all you gotta do is plug something in and then it works. to start with. its taken me weeks, nay months, to realize that i don’t even have a pc. my boyfriend has to constatly remind me of this when i can’t get isht to work. and then we got this dial up problem which he says we’re gonna switch around after the holidays die down, sometime around next june or so. and then.. and then this prolly means i got to shell out some cash to get some compatible thang to plug the new toy into. and then i don’t like them earphones stickin in my ear. and how do they play rekkids anydangway? i’m gonna do all this mind you and enter into this millenium it bit later than airbody else.
    ..but if you want to show me how to get all this done, i’d be happy to let you help.
    love – or something very much like it,
    ps. what do with these 5,000 rekkids though ?

  4. Nate
    Posted December 18, 2006 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Riz, I didn’t mean to talk rudely. I just want to encourage you to try it. The headphones can always be upgraded. I agree that the in ear things aren’t very comfortable. As for the records, the only thing I can suggest is to try a subscription. They’re still a little light on content, but it’s worth trying for a few months. It’s about the price of 1 CD per month, but you can download all the music they have. Good luck!

  5. riz
    Posted December 20, 2006 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    i was joking on the rude part..kind of in my grandma’s tone when she watches BET and rhetorically wonders aloud ‘ when did a hoochie bending over shaking her ‘junk’ become a good thing? ‘.. ANYdangways…this zune buisness is definetly gonna propel me into the here and now. i’ma music collecting junkie and a week doesn’t go by whithout me bummed that there is a world of mp3’s free and for the sharing. it’s gonna broaden my horizons for sure, even as i doggedly hang on to all the pleasure and glory of collecting vinyl. check back in with me in about 365 days to hear my new updated nusic sharing rant.
    stay well and in touch,

  6. Posted December 21, 2006 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Very cool blog, thanks :)

  7. reny
    Posted December 30, 2006 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    interesting picks. i did a PUTS search to see who else was fond of their LP. i just wanted to shout out a list that pushes me to peep the matmos,modill, idol2, fourtet kicks, and the new a hill (sleeping). stay up

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] Original post by Riz […]

  2. […] Another year has passed, another cycle of seasons, another spin on the turntable of life. It’s with mixed feelings that I present to you my Best of 2006. Mixed feelings, because creating a best of list implies an arrogance of knowing what’s best, a proclamation of what is worthy is the realm of the personal and subjective. But I’m more fun than getting bogged down in that rhetoric and I love reading other’s best of lists, especially my trusted sources—in search of insight and/or something I might have missed (check out Riz or Masa’s blog posts for a good read). Plus, I’m the shit—I’m not afraid of you and I will beat your ass so I’m gonna make a list. […]

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