If you’re like me, you’re ready for 2015 to bite the dust, give or take a couple movie premieres. It was a rough year in micro and macro senses, one aptly matched by the 36 picks to click (and click and click and click) below. So pull up a recliner and ride Please Enjoy Responsibly’s year-end wave into a year that will be new for 2-3 months, until you hate it almost as much as you hate the one you’re still trapped within. Also, this seems like as good a time as any to remind everyone that, via Bandcamp, you can gift releases to others or have them gift them to you. Remember: you are the economy.
36. Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet, “Western Nest.” Two of noise rock’s leading lights put their heads — in Ohio and Maine, respectively — together for a wheezing, crank-handled blowout.
35. Hive Mind: “They Made Me The Keeper Of The Vineyards?-A.” That baffling, mind-liquifying siren you hear is moaning and groaning all the way from Los Angeles.
34. Howard Stelzer, “Sun Turned Toward.” Somewhere in Lowell, Massachusetts, a man rewiring an amplifier briefly and accidentally unleashes a supernovae.
33. Flashing Astraptes, “Evór Eta De Amínor.” In Liverpool, on Sunday? One delegation of headless horsemen after another. Here’s their theme song.
32. How I Quit Crack, “Understnad.” The pride of Austin, Texas here demonstrates, definitively, that seance glossolalia and chemistry-lab art skronk aren’t mutually exclusive.
31. Dreamcrusher, “Adore.” No other outfit so successfully fused roughage, pop, and whatever we’re calling techno now this year. Surely, there was a moment in Brooklyn this autumn when “Adore” was emanating from every passing pair of earbuds. Right?
30. JSCA, “No ends.” This is the tonal blur that floods your senses as aliens examine you in their flying saucer or soundtracks a panic attack while you’re living out a personal version of the end of “Goodfellas” — a conduit from nowhere to nowhere.
29. Witchbeam!, “Aiwaz Earwax.” From Cleveland, synthesizers attempt to swallow themselves and hits of acid simultaneously, with fantastically trippy results.
28. Leslie Keffer, “Foraged.” Nashville never trots. Nashville gallops through town on a motherfucking cybernetic stallion.
27. United Slaves, “2 – no tracklist, we tired of being tracked.” Astral jazz is placeless by definition, which is perfect, since this gang hails from all over the place.
26. Alex Cobb, “Disporting with a Shadow.” Warm, shimmering Cincinnati drone, with just a dollop of melodic honey stirred in.
25. Wolf Eyes, “Asbestos Youth.” Michigan’s finest stutter, bleat, and twinkle their way into your waking nightmares.
24. Furchick, “Get a Haircut.” Dry, scraping loops from Australia that evolve from grating to hypnotic.
23. M.NOMIZED, “Parasites N1.” Somewhere in France, mechanized bump and grind approaches perfection.
22. Compactor, “Dispute.” Crispy ignition mischievousness, straight outta NYC.
21. Timeghost, “Dissection Theater.” Who knew it was possible to Taze a demonic Rhode Island fog into submission? Life’s just full of surprises.
20. Uniform, “Learning to Forget.” Here at Please Enjoy Responsibly, we’re suckers for bleak, slashing drone foregrounded by spoken word, especially when said spoken word feels universal in a powerful way.
19. TAHNZZ, “La Placa.” Don’t you wish your AM signals could tear it up like this? Rumor has it, life in New Mexico sounds this gnarly every day.
18. Sightings, “Trials of Peter.” NYC late greats bid us farewell with an especially apoplectic burst of pique.
17. Macchinamorbida, “Lovely Capelloni.” Meanwhile, in Quebec, it’s a spectral ping pong tournament that goes into overtime.
16. Ox Hunger, “Blood in the Red.” If tremulous, shattered drone is the new Seattle sound, sign me up.
15. Kyle Eyre Clyde, “Untitled 1.” New Orleans: where dark, buzzing synthesizers are strapped to the rack and stretched far, far beyond their breaking points.
14. Lightning Bolt, “Runaway Train.” This dynamic Rhode Island duo slams back into action with its heaviest boilermaker in eons.
13. Adeptus Mechanicus, “Lava.” The Netherlands heave, seethe, singe, and roundly incinerate all rational thought.
12. Gagu, “25.” Belgian/Indonesian experimental super group yanks lengthy ripcord, stands revealed as noise underground’s dark spiritual answer to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Whatever musical magic you can summon with your tongue will seem a tad less impressive, by comparison.
11. Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, “Prayer for the People of the Sea.” Hiss, sizzle, and scattering sparks birth a harsh alchemy in Berlin, Germany.
10. DJ Ecto Cooler, “The Goo.” Who says chopped, screwed, and smothered hip-hop doesn’t make for some of the most sublime noise?
9. Methlab Explosion, “Exploding Head Syndrome.” Lima, Ohio-based duo demonstrate that simulating the dismantling of a running automobile via bandsaw and blowtorch can be highly conducive to personal and professional growth.
8. Citizen 213, “Destitute.” An explosion that lasts three-and-a-half tumultuous minutes but feels endless, in the best possible way.
7. JAH Excretion, “Yanganese Feedback.” Restorative, restless ambient noise from Tokyo? YES, PLEASE.
6. Blue Chemise, “Abstract Gaze.” Mystery scientists slide cubes of dry ice into beakers of acid so you don’t have to; neither stirred, nor shaken.
5. Limbs Bin, “Halloween 2014.” Greetings from Ridgewood, New York, where “All Hallows Eve” is shorthand for “World War III.”
4. Delphic Vapours, “Untitled #C625Xb.” A twin-headed wildebeest bucks, lows, then lunges at onlookers in Hampshire. More seriously, this is as impressively fungal and rawk a dual-guitar freakout as any of us could honestly pray for.
3. Pete Kolovos, “No Daze (Seattle).” An L.A. slow jam for ringing in 2016 with that special someone, as long as that special someone is equally enthralled by improvisory entropy.
2. Heinz Hopf, “Olde English.” From Gothenburg, Sweden flows this lilting, unfiltered aria to complete and utter societal collapse. For best results, play on a loop while hastily consuming the titular beverage.
1. Ashtray Navigations, “Fog Bottle Morning.” Leeds leads this year with “Fog Bottle Morning,” an extended rager dripping with bionic effects and guitars that blare like sampled bagpipes. We — you, me, and everyone else — should be all over Ashtray Navigations; we should be learning the catalogue inside and out. A tall order, sure, but hardly impossible, and it’s not like anybody’s New Year’s Resolutions list is ever truly complete anyway.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 30, 2015