Avant Music News Best of 2013


To the extent that these lists mean much of anything, here are our favorite recordings of 2013.

We usually don’t single out one recording as the “best”, but this year was an exception.  Jack O’ The Clock‘s All My Friends has been on my phone for the better part of 2013, and has been my primary “commuting music” this year.  So, I’ve probably listened to it through a couple of hundred times. Read my review for an idea of what I’m talking about.

But 2013 was an unusually strong year for the kind of music we feature in AMN, and none of the excellent releases on this list should be overlooked.

Finally, let me add the usual disclaimer that this list is incomplete, I have not heard all 2013 releases, and probably missed a few really good ones.  Enjoy.

Album of the Year:
Jack O’ The Clock – All My Friends (AMN Review)

Best of 2013:
Darcy James Argue / Secret Society – Brooklyn Babylon (AMN Review)
Anthony Braxton – Echo Echo Mirror House (AMN Review)
Combat Astronomy – Kundalini Apocalypse (AMN Review)
Mary Halvorson / Septet – Illusionary Sea (AMN Review)
São Paulo Underground – Beija Flors Velho E Sujo (AMN Review)

Runners Up:
Daniel Barbiero – Allusions to Fogs & Liquids
Billband – Towards Daybreak
Black Host – Life in the Sugar Candle Mines
Brice Catherin – Number 3 (AMN Review)
Jeremiah Cymerman – Sky Burial 3
Kris Davis – Capricorn Climber
Djam Karet – The Trip
Mark Dresser / Quintet – Nourishments (AMN Interview with Mark Dresser)
FPR (Frank Gratkowski / P.Greenlief / Jon Raskin) – All at Once (AMN Review)
Ross Hammond – Cathedrals (AMN Review)
Kayo Dot – Hubardo (AMN Review)
Kneebody – The Line
The Knells / Andrew McKenna Lee – The Knells
Rudresh Mahanthappa – Gamak
Rob Mazurek / Octet Skull – Sessions
Merzbow / Mats Gustafsson / Balazs Pandi – Cuts (AMN Review)
Nagual – Nagual
William Parker / ICI Ensemble – Composer in Dialogue: Winter Sun Crying
Abbey Rader – Reach for the Skies (AMN Interview with Abbey Rader)
Frank Rosaly – Cicada Music
Daniel Rosenboom – Book of Omens
Shatner’s Bassoon – Aquatic Ape Privilege
Ches Smith / These Arches – Hammered
Stirrup (Lonberg-Holm / Macri / Rumback) – Sewn
Taphephobia – Escape from the Mundane Self
Triangular Ascension – The Chronos Anomaly
John Zorn – On the Torment of Saints, the Casting of Spells & the Evocation of Spirits

Honorable Mentions:
Agarttha – A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands
Barry Altschul – The 3dom Factor
Aun – Alpha Heaven
Beyond Sensory Experience – Faint
Jim Black / AlasNoAxis – Antiheroes
Cristiano Bocci – Instruments
Braveheart – Motions
Taylor Ho Bynum – Navigation
Taylor Ho Bynum / John Hebert / Gerald Cleaver – Continuum
Brendan Byrnes – Micropangaea
Catodo Duo – Al Tiro
Rhys Chatham – Harmonie du Soir
Chicago Modern Orchestra Project – Nappy Hair’s Best Friend
Nicolás Chientaroli / Trio – ViajeraMente
Mary Ellen Childs – Wreck
Chinese Cookie Poets – Danza Cava
Chrome Hoof – Chrome Black Gold
The Claudia Quintet – September
Colla Parte – A Cast of Shadows
Confusion Bleue – East Side Banquet
Confusion Bleue – Roulette Concert
Tomasz Dabrowski / Tyshawn Sorey – Steps
Dan-Leo – Sometimes Is Like That
John Davis – Ask the Dust
Arnold Dreyblatt / Megafaun – Appalachian Excitation
Harris Eisenstadt / September Trio – The Destructive Element
Eitarnora – Tall Grasses and Black Ash
Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith – Background Information
F-M CDOT G VA 32 – s-t
Farthest South – Omens & Talismans
Alvin Fielder / David Dove / J.Jackson / D.Smith – From-To-From
Filthy Habits Ensemble – Plays Stravinsky – Live at Jamboree
Satoko Fujii / ma-do Time – Stands Still
Satoko Fujii / New Trio – Spring Storm
Tania Giannouli / Paulo Chagas – Forest Stories
Ben Goldberg – Unfold Ordinary Mind
Gunnelpumpers – Montana Fix
Rich Halley / 4 – Crossing the Passes
Havan – Yajna
Tim Hecker – Virgins
Patrick Higgins / Mivos Quartet – String Quartet No.2 + Glacia
Steve Hilmy / Daniel Barbiero – Take a Sound. Do Something to It. Do Something Else to It.
William Hooker – Heart of the Sun
François Houle / Håvard Wilk – Aves
Hungry Cowboy – Dance
Lee Hyla – My Life on the Plains
Insect Ark – Long Arms
Jon Irabagon / Hernani Faustino / G.Ferrandini – Absolut Zero
Kaze – Tornado
Desmond Knight – Sentimental Parlour Music
Koboku Senju – Joining the Queue to Become One of Those Ordinary Ghosts
Kwaidan – Make All the Hell of Dark Metal Bright
Lamia Vox – Sigillum Diaboli
Joëlle Léandre / Jérôme Bourdellon – Evidence
Little Worlds – Book Two
The Living Earth Show – High Art
Machinefabriek – Stroomtoon II
Jorge Marredo – Uéyiga
Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Electro Acoustic Ensemble – The Space Between
McGuffin Electric Brightelephant Ita 2013
Pat Metheny – John Zorn’s Book of Angels, Vol. 20
Scott Miller / Lee Camfield / Merzbow – No Closure
Miriodor – Cobra Fakir
Matt Mitchell – Fiction
Nicole Mitchell / Ice Crystal Aquarius
Roscoe Mitchell – Duets with Tyshawn Sorey and Special Guest Hugh Ragin
Roscoe Mitchell – Not Yet
Eric Moe – Meanwhile Back at the Ranch
Jonathan Moritz / Secret Tempo – Secret Tempo
Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Slippery Rock
Mummu – Mitt Ferieparadis
Mystical Weapons (Lennon / Saunier / Ismaily) – Crotesque
Near Grey – The Herschel Central Peak
Alon Nechushtan – Tribal Fire
Nonsemble – Practical Mechanics
Northumbria – All Days Begin as Night
Nymph – New Millenium Prayer
Oko – 5730±40
Pan Gu – Primeval Man Born of the Cosmic Egg
Parhelion / Zac Keller – Farthest North
Mario Pavone – Arc Trio
Will Plowman – Ahamay Grove
Radere – Dreamless
Eric Revis – City of Asylum
RFCL (Radio Free Clear Light) – Joyful Noise Vol. 2: Nomina Nuda Tenemus
Matana Roberts Coin Coin – Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile
Rent Romus / Life Blood – Truth Teller
Daniel Rosenboom – Unsayable Absence: Live at the Blue Whale
Secret Keeper (Stephan Crump / Mary Halvorson) – Super 8
Secret Pyramid – Movements of Night
Brian Settles / Trio – Folk
Meerenai Shim – The Art of Noise
Sifter (Mary Halvorson / Kirk Knuffke / Matt Wilson) – Sifter
Wadada Leo Smith / TUMO – Occupy the World
Sonic Liberation Front – Jetpack 1
Sonic Liberation Front – Jetpack 2
Bram Stadhouders – Henosis
Tatvamasi – Parts of the Entirety
Third Coast Percussion – Resounding Earth
Fred Van Hove / Damon Smith / Peter Jacquemyn – Burns Longer
Vespero – Droga
Volcano Radar – Refutation of Time
Vortex – Kali Yuga
Weasel Walter / Damon Smith / Charity Chan – Improvised Music and Tentacles
Wicked King Wicker – Evolving
Withering of Light – Procession Towards Oblivion
Withering of Light – Through the Nightlands Unto the Gates of Dawn
Wolf Eyes – No Answer / Lower Floors
Nate Wooley / Sextet – (Sit In) The Throne of Friendship
The Wrong Object – After the Exhibition 3
C. Spencer Yeh / Okkyung Lee / Lasse Marhaug – Wake Up Awesome
Zevious – Passing Through the Wall

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