Best of 2008 [so far...]

By Headphone Commute, July 2008

Well, it's officially half way through the year. What better time to take a moment and reflect on all the great music that has been released this year so far... Of course, I can only listen to so much. That being said, my selections are obviously biased. They are based on what I've heard, and there is of course so much more!!! But let's face it - I listen to all the good music [haha!], so the list must have some value. In preparing the following I took a barely scientific approach. First, I sifted through my library looking for 2008 releases, and picked out the gems - those artists and albums have been most likely already covered by my reviews here (which makes sense, since I only write about the music that I like). Second, in order to capture all of the missed releases, I polled my readers for their favorite of 2008 so far. I have received an _overwhelming_ response!!! The discussion thread grew to over 50 individually submitted lists, each being unique in its own way, containing many entries re-affirming my already prepared selections. I have actually discovered some amazing albums just because of that (we should do this more often, noh?). I thank you all for your contributions! I then picked out the most notable selections out of the lists. Finally the entire thread of submissions is still available and active (on my page), which you can browse for individual albums [400+!!!]. So without further ado I present to you the list.

(to avoid any classification, format, numerical ratings, or dating, the below is in alphabetical order)

  icon indicates Headphone Commute Review. Click to read.
  icon indicates Two and a Half Questions with the artist. Click to read.

Abbasi Brothers - Something Like Nostalgia (Dynamophone)      
Autechre - Quaristice (Warp)   
Balmorhea - Rivers Arms (Western Vinyl)      
Barry Lynn - Balancing Lakes (Planet Mu)   
Benga - Diary of an Afro Warrior (Tempa)   
Bitcrush - Epilogue In Waves (n5MD)      
Clark - Turning Dragon (Warp)   
Claro Intelecto - Metanarrative (Modern Love)   
Drift, The - Memory Drawings (Temporary Residence Ltd.)      
Emmanuele Errante - Humus (Somnia)      
Evan Bartholomew - Secret Entries Into Darkness (Somnia)   
Evol Intent - Era of Diversion (Evol Intent)   
Flashbulb, The - Soundtrack To a Vacant Life (Alphabasic)      
Hammock - Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow (Darla)      
Hecq - Night Falls (Hymen)      
Herbaliser, The - Same As It Never Was (Studio !K7)   
Hol Baumann - Human (Ultimae)   
Ital Tek - Cyclical (Planet Mu)      
Jacaszek - Treny (Miasmah)      
Kangding Ray - Automne Fold (Raster-Noton)      
Kettel - Myam James Part 1 (Sending Orbs)      
Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune (Planet Mu)   
lafur Arnalds - Variations of Static (Erased Tapes)      
Peter Broderick - Float (Type)      
Portishead - Third (Island / Mercury)   
Ott - Skylon (Twisted)   
Skyphone - Avellaneda (Rune Grammofon)      
Subheim - Approach (Tympanik Audio)      
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (XL)   
Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist (Planet Mu)   
William Basinski and Richard Chartier - Untitled 1 - 3 (LINE)      

Here are my readers' top selections (most frequent appearances within submitted lists)

2562 - Aerial (Tectonic)
A Silver Mt. Zion - 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons (Constellation)
Aleph-1 - Aleph-1 (iDEAL)
Alva Noto - Unitxt (Raster-Noton)
Atlas Sound - Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel (Kranky)
Black Dog, The - Radio Scarecrow (Soma Quality)
Blackfilm - Blackfilm (Spectraliquid)
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar / 4AD)
Christopher Bissonnette - In Between Words (Kranky)
Deaf Center - Vintage Well (Type)
Ellen Allien - Sool (BPitch Control)
Erik Levander - Kondens (Rumraket)
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles (Warp)
Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing (ATP)
Grouper - Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill (Type)
Have A Nice Life - Deathconsciousness (Enemies List Home)
Hecq - Golden Pines (Binkrcrsh)
Kelpe - Ex-Aquarium (D.C.)
M83 - Saturdays = Youth (EMI / Mute)
Minilogue - Animals (Cocoon)
Mole, The - As High As The Sky (Wagon Repair)
Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista (Fonal)
Philip Jeck - Sand (Touch)
Quiet Village - Silent Movie (Studio !K7)
Sawako - Bitter Sweet (12k)
Scuba - A Mutual Antipathy (Hotflush)
Sigur Rs - Me Su Eyrum Vi Spilum Endalaust (XL / EMI)
Tape - Luminarium (Hpna)
Tomasz Bednarczyk - Summer Feelings (Room40)
Totakeke - Elekatota (Tympanik Audio)
Valet - Naked Acid (Kranky / Marriage)
Why? - Alopecia (Anticon / Tomlab)

The original thread with individual lists can be found here : Who's your favorite of 2008 so far???
In case the above page disappears, I've made text only archives... we knows how intarwebs is... [Part 1] [Part 2]

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