Friday, December 23, 2005

Since we're not doing a Best of 05 feature on Burnlab, below is the list I just submitted for Liz Copeland's excellent site Audio Interference. (Burnlab editors and readers are still more than invited to submit your year end list to the Lab Reort.)


M83 - "Teen Angst" - EMI
Best song for impossibly slow goth dancing with grandiose arm gestures since (everything on) The Cocteau Twins' Heaven or Las Vegas LP.

Vitalic - "My Friend Dario" - Different Recordings
Most likely to induce air guitar playing in your underwear. Genius. Who said Electroclash was dead?

800 Beloved (formerly Inlieuof) - "Galaxies" - unreleased
Milford Michigan based songwriter/funeral director/producer extraordinaire Sean Lynch crafts a post-punk/shoegazer classic here that just sends shivers up your spine.

Pas/Cal - "O Honey We're Ridiculous" - Romantic Air/Le Grand Magistery
From their forthcoming (and LONG awaited) debut LP, this quickly became a personal anthem for Ms. Toybreaker and I. Every word totally hits home - and the fact that it's one the best pop songs ever written doesn't hurt either. I put this on the same level as the best from Pulp, Blur and The Cars. Seriously.

Noise Tank (Loves You) - "Rabbit's Dead, Easter Day" - Focus Media
Noise Tank's obsessive production and clever song writing makes them probably the most promising new band from Detroit this year. Blending such odd influences as His Name is Alive, Aphex Twin and Belle and Sebastian, their "spazz-pop" sound, and lyrics ripe with both teen innocence and sophisticated irony are the right thing, in the right place, at the right time.


Vitalic - "OK Cowboy" - Different Recordings
Hands down. Shove your freedom fries you know where. The French rule.

LCD Soundsystem - "LCD Soundsystem" - DFA
Well worth the wait. Dorkwave's NYC brothers and sisters in arms.

The Neon Judgement - "Box" - PIAS
A sort of reissue, yes, but more relevant that most new music this year... and '05 was a really good year. Box provides a comprehensive view of this much overlooked act that influenced everyone from Front 242 and Sisters of Mercy, to Terrence Fixmer and Chicks on Speed.

We Are Wolves - "Non-Stop Je Te Plie En Deux" - The Mintaka Conspiracy
Just as good as the French, and even weirder, French-Canadians rocked my world this year. Huge thanks to Cowboy Mark for turning me on to these guys. "T.R.O.U.B.L.E." was an instant Dorkwave staple in '05, although I don't think anyone besides Mark really understands just how awesome this record is.

Kill Memory Crash - "American Automatic" - Ghostly International
Ellen Allien - "Thrills" - BPitch Control
Adult. - "Gimme Trouble" - Thrill Jockey
It was impossible to decide between these three for the number five spot, and I didn't want to bore you all with a full top 10. All three artists showed us a much expanded creative realm with this year's releases. Three total must-haves that people will be scratching their heads over for a good while, and putting on their Best of the Decade lists five years from now.


Old favorites, often dismissed for their high cheese-factor, that shaped my world this year:

The Human League - "Together in Electric Dreams"
The theme from the wonderful mid-1980's film Electric Dreams, with an equally wonderful keytar solo, this is the ultimate geek love song. Dethany and I ditched an overcrowded party downtown in favor of Albion/Batcave (NYC's most infamous goth night) this summer, and proceeded to create an interpretive waltz to this track - if memory serves correct - screaming the lyrics at the top of our lungs and falling down repeatedly... um, yeah.

Eurythmics - "Love is a Stranger"
So dirty. So good.

Killing Joke - "Love Like Blood"
If you know DethLab, this is obvious. Toybreaker and I dropped this at the exact moment we busted out the blood filled squirt guns and proceeded to soak each other and everyone within range one fateful evening at Foran's Irish Pub. The rest is history. Mr. Sean Lynch commented, "I ran my ass to church after that night."

Peter Murphy - "I'll Fall With Your Knife"
I've personally criticized the Bauhaus front man for slipping into the realms of "adult contemporary" with some of his solo releases, but cheesy as it is, this track is such a finely crafted anthem, you can't help but to love it.

Smashing Pumpkins - "Wound"
From Mr. Corgan and company's not-so-acclaimed final Pumpkins release. Frankly, I think this one of his best efforts, and some of his strongest song writing to date. The lyrics...ehhh, but the arrangements and chord progressions on this album, this song in particular, are sheer genius. I've actually been dissecting Machina note by note because its just so damn good - if you're thinking about writing some really complex and catchy love anthems. I have to close my eyes and tilt my head back to truly revel in this song, which is not always the wisest thing to do when driving 80 mph on Interstate 75.

When Dethlab finally releases an EP of original songs, is it going to be filled with sappy acoustic-electronic power ballads?! Um... we'll see. I have no idea what the cheese-tastic bass lines and rhythms I've been cobbling together will sound like once we run everything through Toybreaker's circuit-bent laboratory, and Lynchy's Fender Baritone. I'm guessing somewhere between My Bloody Valentine, early Skinny Puppy, and Serge Gainsborough, but there's really no telling at this point.

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