I’ve reviewed a decent amount of metal records, I’ve made four Black (Metal) Mixmas mixes, and last year’s non-genre list had a few metal records in it, but I’ve never done a full metal-only list (except for the little thing in Black (Metal) Mixmas IV), so I hope this doesn’t seem too out of place, but honestly I listen to wayyyyy more metal than I ever write about on AGB, so this sort of makes up for that I guess. I’m not as deep into the metal scene as I am the drone one, so I’m sure there’s way more awesome obscure metal records that would’ve made it onto this list had I heard them, but whatever. If you’ve got any recs, let me know in the comments or email!
And in case you’re not a huge metal fan, know that there’s plenty of stuff on this list that A: is only debatably metal (see: numbers 15, 13, 12, 1) and B: has plenty of AGB friendly elements aka drone, noise, etc (see: numbers 9, 6, 5, 4, 1).
Have fun. Thanks for reading/listening/appreciating.
There was so much amazing fucking music this year, I had to put together not one, not two, but FOUR lists, this is the first of em, and it’s a fuckin doozy, since there were wayyyy too many killer drone records, I split it up and made a more niche list of drone collaborations, and as usual, this isn’t even all of em. My main rule for this list was that the collaborations had to be people working together for the first time, so the new From The Mouth Of The Sun was out. And since I didn’t review any of these originally, I can’t link you to the review which has a streaming song, which is why I decided to include a song for each of these.
Have fun. Thanks for reading/listening/appreciating.
UPDATE: I have no idea how I didn’t realize that EUS, Postdrome, & Saåad broke the only rule I had for this list. I didn’t even realize it when I was linking to my previous Top Drone list from 2012 that had their first record. So, oops. I’m an asshole and I’m sorry.
Yup, it’s really happening. I created another human with Elise. One of the things I swore I’d never do is now being done. So fucking psyched about this!
And in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve only reviewed 2 records in 6 months. I’ve had hard time getting back into the review game after the winter break and I guess I should officially acknowledge that now.
Other than having a baby on the way (never thought I’d be saying that), I’ve also got tons of other huge stuff going on, like I’m also looking for a new job and a new home, so, very tumultuous times (in the best possible way), and I don’t see myself jumping back into record reviews any time soon. I’m still having a blast with Anti-Gravity Bunny Radio on BFF.fm and will definitely keep that up for a while.
So what I’m saying isn’t much of anything. Over the past 7+ years of running AGB, I’ve finally realized I shouldn’t try to make any declarations of what I think it should be or what direction I’ll be going in, because it always just ends up stressing me out. I’ll just be letting it go wherever, doing the radio thing, maybe a review every now and then, who knows. I just wanted to let you know I don’t plan on dropping AGB entirely right now but I’ll definitely be way more busy in the upcoming months.
I just turned 30. I’ll have completed my Master’s Degree in a week. My wife & I have approval from both of our workplaces. We’re going on a month-long cross-country road trip for the whole month of May. Starting in Salem, MA, headed to Texas by way of Nashville and a dude ranch in Arkansas, all along the southwest, up the coast of California, through Yellowstone, the Black Hills, and the Badlands, and back home, visiting friends and crazy places along the way.
I only mention this because we’ll be keeping anyone interested updated over at Snows On The Go (our last name is Snow). Feel free to follow along. I’ll be sharing stuff on the regular Twitter, Instagram, etc, but mostly just this travel blog, and hopefully not like every day or anything, gonna try to enjoy shit sans-technology if that’s even possible nowadays.
Also, more relevant to you, this means that AGB Radio will be re-runs for all of May. I’m sure you have some catching up to do anyway. See you in June.
Super quick poll for you guys so I can get a better handle on where and how my most common readers use AGB, and how you’d like to use AGB. Your responses are anonymous and none of the questions are required. Thanks a million in advance!
Giveaway time! I’ve got one sweet sealed copy of the stellar Silent Period by Gareth Flowers & Josh Mason on vinyl that needs a new home. I reviewed it the other day, and if you don’t remember, it was a bit of a concept album, with an anonymous dude going through these four songs/stages: “The Awareness,” “The Confusion,” “The Fear,” and “The Resignation,” in that order.
The contest is easy. I want you to come up with another phrase that fits in with those four. It could come before The Awareness (ex: The Silence), between The Confusion and The Fear (ex: The Anger), whatever. Go crazy.
Send your entries to enjoythesilence [at] antigravitybunny [dotcom] by Monday, January 19th at midnight. I’ll pick my favorite sometime next week.
If you don’t win, the record officially drops Tuesday the 20th so you should just go grab one for yourself at Sunshine Ltd. Only 250 copies though so don’t slack off.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. I fucking love making my Top Drone Records list. Not only do I get to listen to all of my favorite drone records from the past 12 months basically non-stop for a month, I also get to re-share all these fucking amazing records that you may have overlooked or never even known about.
This year’s list is a bit stricter on what I considered “drone.” Except that was entirely unintentional. It just so happens there weren’t a lot of “sorta kinda mostly drone” records that were as outstanding as these 20. And while this list does cap out at 20, know that every other drone record I reviewed is tied for the 21 spot. I love each and every one of them for their own unique qualities. (Here would be some terrible joke about how all drone records sound the same which I hear all. the fucking. time.)
And for those of you new to my Top Drone list, know this is a list based on emotion and how these records affected me. I don’t try to make any objective statements of “best record” or anything like that, and when I do, it’s purely subjective and hyperbolic. These records are my personal favorites because they resonate with me in ways that are frequently indescribable.
So as not to clog the front page, the 20 jaw dropping drone records are after the jump.
I’m selling some used shirts for $5 a piece over here (link over on the right for future reference). Bands include Dan Deacon, Sigur Ros, Death From Above 1979, Planning For Burial, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Locrian, Melt Banana, Xasthur, and a bunch more. Only one of each exists, so if you want it, ya better not slack around.
California’s KFJC is doing something super special at the end of this month as part of their annual Month Of Mayhem. There’s going to be a live 24 hour long drone set with 40+ artists including Jim Haynes, Wobbly, Antimatter, Julia Mazawa, Gosling, and tons more. They’ll have live audio and video, so prepare to zone out from Friday, May 30th at 10:00 PM until Saturday, May 31 at 12:00 AM PST (or Saturday, May 31 at 1:00 AM until Sunday, June 1 at 3:00 AM EST). This is gonna be the fucking best.
The full schedule is below. More details at the 24 Hour Drone page.
23:00 Tom Heasley
24:00 The Fathers
01:00 Thomas Carnacki
02:00 Amphibious Gestures
04:00 Talk More
05:00 Pink Gaze
06:00 Dominique Leone
07:00 Kristin Miltner & Cliff Caruthers
08:00 The Norman Conquest (electronic set)
09:00 Nux Vomica
10:00 David Lim & Ven Voisey
11:00 Jim Haynes
12:00 Richard Faulhaber
13:00 Ashley Bellouin & Ben Bracken
15:00 Robert Rich
16:00 Michael Gendreau & Seitz
17:00 Thomas Dimuzio
18:00 Phillip Greenlief
19:00 Julia Mazawa
20:00 Matt Davignon & Philip Ringler
22:00 The Norman Conquest (acoustic set)
23:00 Wrap Up
Hell’s epic trilogy has sadly come to an end, but holy motherfuck what an end it is. III is pretty much everything you’d want in a doom record, mournful guitars bookending both side long pieces of pure devastation, a bleak blackened fury, nightmarish and fucking massive.
The record got the usual luxe treatment from Pesanta Urfolk, nice thick black/blood red vinyl with a large fold-out poster and an insert. Only 472 copies made and already sold out from both the band and the label. The whole thing is streaming on Hell’s Bandcamp, so feel free to scope it out before entering the contest.
There’s been quite a few charitable music-related things recently and I thought I’d share two of the more important (to me) ones.
First up, this 3 hour noise comp called When One Has Nothing Left Make Ceremonies Out Of The Air And Breathe Upon Them. It’s $15 and all proceeds go directly to Stephen Petrus, aka Murderous Vision, the Ohio artist whose home & possessions went up in flames earlier this month. The noise community pulled this shit together real quick, like in a matter of days, to help Stephen get back on his feet. The comp is fuckin killer, ranging from doomed industrial and harsh noise to monodrone and rhythmic dark ambient featuring artists like Hoor-Paar-Kraat, Zurvan, Robert Turman, and a collab between Xiphoid Dementia & Theologian. 28 songs, over 3 hours, and the chance to help a dude who’s down & out.
Then there’s Heligator Records, started up by Ryan Hall of Tome To The Weather Machine (a fantastic site if you’re unaware) who recently spent 2 years in Swaziland as a Peace Corps Volunteer who helped create a library and two pre-schools at the Malindza Refugee Camp. The library has over 1,000 books (including resources specifically for the teachers) and a computer, and it serves the refugees who come from all over Africa. Heligator Records is basically a digital singles only thing on Bandcamp. Each song only costs a dollar but they/I would encourage you to donate more because the money goes directly to the library for maintenance & upkeep, as well as some compensation for the two library volunteers. This is a fantastic thing Ryan has set up. Really fucking psyched about it. Oh, and all the music is rad as hell too so there’s that.
TWENTY!! Goddamn right. The Top Drone list could no longer be contained by the traditional 10. I’m not doing 20 because there was just too much awesome drone this year. While that’s true, it’s also true every year. No, I’m doing it because there were so few standout albums. Everything was so fucking awesome it’s like everyone juiced their skills but were all stopped by a glass ceiling or something. I mean my Top 5 are almost interchangeable. Well, not really, but sort of.
So, as usual, this list is about my personal favorite droners. Nothing objective going on. And, like AGB in general, I tend to favor the under-represented. And I don’t usually allow reissues, but I had to bend the rules a bit for no other reason than that one reissue is so, so fucking good and I didn’t know it was a reissue until I started making this list.
And you know I only write about the highest quality shit. So anything that was posted this year and tagged as Drone is basically just as good as everything you’ll see on this list. So browse that genre if you’re still jonesing for some more drone.
Super exciting news you guys. I’m doing a radio show/podcast again! Every Monday night from 7:00-9:00 (EST) on my pal’s internet radio station BFF.fm starting TONIGHT. I’ll be playing the best drone I can get my hands on. Also expect plenty of other killer goodness: massive doom, ancient foreign folk, subtle techno, raw black metal, tender Americana, skull splitting noise, earworm pop, and whatever the fuck else is in rotation at AGB HQ.
I’ll be posting the shows here on the site after they air, so if you miss it on BFF.fm, you can download it here and take it with you everywhere you go.
I’ve been weighed down by some heavy fuckin depression & anxiety issues lately. I feel like I can’t accomplish a single fucking thing, anything that I do is a steaming pile of shit, and it’s making me so tense my body is rebelling against me. Not quite sure how or where that’s going but I know AGB has been stressing me the fuck out. It’s not what I want it to be but I don’t have the time to make it perfect so I spin my wheels and hope it’s enough.
I have so much fucking guilt over it that it affects everything else I do, so I constantly fight myself over whether or not I should shut AGB down. I don’t want to because I love it and I’d hate myself if I did, but then I tell myself maybe it’d be better for my well-being if I pulled the plug. I don’t know if it would or not.
I couldn’t/can’t bring myself to shut it down, but about 2 weeks ago I told myself that I’d put AGB on like a summer hiatus or something. Basically, don’t think about it, don’t do anything with it, just step back, take a deep breath, and wait until something happens. In these past couple of weeks I think I might have felt a little better due in part to trying to keep AGB out of my head, which is why I’m writing this instead of reviewing a new record. I’ve decided the hiatus is real enough to tell you about it and make it a thing.
I’m saying now that I want to come back. My hope is that I’ll figure some shit out or have some realizations or whatever and eventually, at the very least, want to update AGB again because I actually want to and not because I think I need to. I’d still like to do a guide to Hopscotch fest like I did last year because this year’s got some crazy shit in store, but who knows.
When something changes, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, keep well. I’ll see you soon.
For allayall who missed out last year, I’m bringing these back so you can be badass, sexy, and cute all at the same time. Everyone will love you. Pre-orders will be up for about a month, I expect to ship them out early August. Have at it.