Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best Albums of 2009

Welcome to the 3rd (and hopefully not the last) OngakuBaka Top 10 albums of the year list. Before we jump right in to our picks, we’ll explain the guidelines for the selection process.

1. These records are in no particular order.
2. No live records, “Best of” collections, box sets, or re-issues. The albums chosen had to be material released in 2009.
3. This is a collaborative effort between the two of us, and if we didn’t agree that an album deserved to make the cut, it didn’t make the list. Please bear in mind that this has been subpar year for full-lengths. We struggled to find 5 records we loved this year let alone 10 that we were both enthusiastic about, so let it be known that we are not entirely comfortable with our final top 10, and many of our honorable mentions are equally as deserving as a few of the records that did make the cut.
4. Don't badger us because your personal favorite records may not be on the list. There are plenty of albums we never got a chance to listen to, forgot about, or never had time to fully digest.
5. If you missed out on any of these album reviews, check for an original post, or just google it.

With that said, here are our honorable mentions for 2009:

Sore Eros - Second Chants
Woods - Songs of Shame
Atlas Sound - Logos
Fuck Buttons - Tarot Sport
A Place to Bury Strangers - Exploding Head
Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights
Health - Get Color
Monotonix - Where Were You When It Happened
Polvo - In Prism
Pains of Being Pure at Heart - s/t
Zu - Carboniferous
Ganglians - Monster Head Room
Part Chimp - Thriller
The Strange Boys - And Girls Club
RTFO Bandwagon - Dums Will Survive

…and now without further ado, our top 10 records of 2009:

1. Doom - Born Like This

2. Circulatory System - Signal Morning

3. Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another

Download Travels With Myself and Another

4. Amen Dunes - Dia

5. Pissed Jeans - King of Jeans

Download King of Jeans

6. Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue

Download Ambivalence Avenue

7. Thee Oh Sees - Help

8. Blank Dogs - Under and Under

Download Under and Under

9. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion

10. Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love

Friday, December 18, 2009

Doctor Octoroc - 8-Bit Jesus

Each of these chiptune versions of classic Christmas songs uses game-specific sounds from many of your favorite NES titles. Doctor Octoroc exercises his creative juices by limiting himself solely to each games' specific soundtrack, and strays pretty far at times from the classic version of the Christmas songs we hate. "Carol of the Belmonts" is my favorite at the moment, but each of the interpretations are equally enjoyable. The 9 track demo version of this release is all over the internet, but this is the 18 track final version. Two consecutive 8-bit posts? Weird.

- Dan

Download 8-Bit Jesus

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Disasterpeace - Atebite and the Warring Nations


Well-conceived and enjoyable 8-bit soundtrack to a game that doesn't exist.

"In an age that is not our own, a young boy lives a life of peace amongst his brethren in quaint Neutral Town. Little does he know that tragedy has already struck as he sleeps. Many important decisions lie ahead, and a young boy will become a man in the process. Beyond the gates of his humble life exist two mighty civilizations flying under opposing flags. They are dueling for the ultimate power: the means to emplace the order that they so choose. Atebite will have to make a decision. Will he choose Plaid, or Argyle? Which will you choose? Press Start."

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Reigning Sound - If Christmas Can't Bring You Home 7"

Fuck Christmas. Fuck snow, fuck gifts, and fuck all of the stupid fucking inescapable Christmas music from now until December 25th. You know why Thanksgiving is a better holiday? Nobody ever wrote an obnoxious song about eating a shit ton and then falling asleep on the couch while half-watching a football game. With that said, there is some tolerable music to play on our good sweet lord's day of birth. The Reigning Sound has beaten the odds with this 7". Two original tunes, and one cover that barely sounds like the original. This little record is definitely worth a download. If you need more Christmas jams to bump, I'd recommend sifting through the Ongakubaka archives for our Ongakubaka Christmas Extravaganza. I should also mention our best of 2009 list is coming soon. Dan and I are still digging through the audio dung heap to find all of the year's gems, so stay tuned.

- Steve

Download If Christmas Can't Bring You Home 7"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monkey King - La Lune Se Cache Derriere Les Montagnes

"Monkey King is Philippe from Goa on voice/electronics and Will Glass from Dirty Projectors & The Octagons on drums. We have been playing together for ever. This our first release and it's called: La Lune Se Cache Derriere La Montagne. It sounds like Ash Ra Tempel playing an Atari 2600 in an animal spirit possession ceremony."

Much of this sounds like a more comfortable version of Mindflayer, and definitely sounds as if it could have been a product of Fort Thunder in the late 90s. The drums float along, continuously changing pace, keeping you slightly above the surface before occasionally dropping you into a rhythm you can actually nod your head to. The electronics/vocals add some atmosphere to help complete the natural patterns, and the results sound like a field recording from some sort of industrial jungle. If you're into the more free-form Boredoms, Ruins, or Lightning Bolt material, you'll like this. This is highly enjoyable stuff for myself, and a perfect example of the kind of music we had in mind when naming this blog.

- Dan

Download La Lune Se Cache Derriere Les Montagnes