Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Albums of 2012

Welcome to the 6th (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 2012. 

 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. 

 4. There are plenty of full-lengths we never got a chance to listen to, forgot about, or never had time to fully digest, so don't freak out if you don't see your personal favorite in our list. 

 With that said, here are our honorable mentions for 2012:

The Mallard - Yes on Blood
Thee Oh Sees - Putrifiers II
Mind Spiders - Meltdown
Broken Water - Tempest
Strange Hands - Dead Flowers
Matthew E. White - Big Inner
Tame Impala - Lonerism
Goat - World Music

And now, without further ado, our top 10 records of 2012:

1. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold

2. Moon Duo - Circles

3. Dreamtime - SUN

4. Ty Segall & White Fence/Ty Segall Band/Ty Segall - Hair/Slaughterhouse/Twins

5. Christian Bland & the Revelators - Pig Boat Blues

6. The Sufis - s/t

7. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

8. The Men - Open Your Heart

9. Death Grips - The Money Store

10. Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Pows - Once With Snot & Blood

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a collection of short and snotty punk rock rock jams from Missouri. Released by Permanent Records (My favorite Chicago record store/label hybrid) Once With Snot & Blood is a career spanning retrospective of the now defunct band. While the songs are unquestionably simple they have a unique, intangible charm that elevates them above other similar bands. This release was limited to a pressing of 100 hand numbered copies, so if you can track this LP down make sure you snag a copy. If you dig Ongakubaka, I promise you'll dig this album. Cross your fingers for a repressing.

- Steve

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dusty Mush - Demos

Dusty Mush have a split tape with The Future Primitives coming on January 21, 2013 on the newly formed cassette label, Cheap Miami. Keep an eye out for that one. For now, check out this demo from earlier this year. Excellent French garage fuzz. Check out the presumably Thee Oh Sees-inspired video for "Brad Cruise" below.

- Dan

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Different Skeletons - Without Country

Pleased to find this cassette in the mail today. The Toronto garage/surf/punk threesome is back with a follow-up to 2011's Secret Jeers. Without Country is similar to their debut in many ways, with polished song structures and vocal hooks aplenty, but the increase in reverb, decrease in pace, and country leanings give this one an entirely different feel.  

- Dan

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Celestial Shore/Shopping Spree - Celestial Shore and Shopping Spree

Split cassette out on Prison Art. Both Brooklyn bands take a more dissonant approach to beach pop. Celestial Shore's transitions can be pretty jarring at times, but it make those straightforward head-nod-able sections all that more satisfying. Solid vocals. Definitely a band I'll be keeping an eye on. Shopping Spree sounds like a weirdo avant-garde contemporary version of something that could of been birthed from the E6 Collective. Bubbly electronics with varied, tumbling rhythms. $5 for a cassette and/or name your price download. 

- Dan

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oil of Angels - s/t

This one came as a recommendation from a longtime reader and fellow psych-scavenger. Even though this EP is nearly 2 years old now, it's brand new to me, but by the looks of it, they're no longer active. Textbook psych out of Spokane, Washington. Download it for free @ bandcamp.

- Dan

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hotline Miami - OST

LINK FIXED 1/21/2013

The sign of a great video game is the ability to seamlessly fuse visuals, gameplay, and sound into one unified, fun experience. Most games hit two out of three but fail to present a soundtrack that not only elevates the experience, but also can stand on it's own as a legitimately entertaining collection of music. Hotline Miami doesn't fall under the "most games" category, and thanks in large part to its soundtrack, proves to be something very special. Bizarre psychedelic ambiance juxtaposed with ass grinding 80's inspired electro, creates a unique collection of tunes that complements the visceral violence and wacked out storyline perfectly. Hotline Miami is a neon strobe light illuminating a drug fueled William S. Burroughs wet dream, and these songs are the glue that holds it all together. Bump these jams for an instant dance party and then head over to the official website to pick up a copy of the game for the full experience. 

- Steve

VIDEO: Dead Skeletons - Kundalini Eyes (Dirty Artist Version)

Dead Skeleton's "Buddha Christ" is out today on Fuzz Club Records. It's a gorgeous 2 track 12" featuring a silkscreened B-side and gatefold cover. Limited to 300 copies and guaranteed to go fast. GET IT.

- Dan

Sunday, December 9, 2012


A pretty wild full-length video for "ESP EXP", the newest cassette from sound collage artist, Boyd Pro. Out on Symbol Heavy

- Dan