Recommendations From A Long Time Ago (ACA #18)

Quite a bit of music gets recommended to me. Most of it is documented and eventually downloaded or purchased. Only a fraction of these receive immediate listen, and as I peruse our collection, it’s possible that nearly one-third of the albums I have never been listened to at all. Time to rectify this!

Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor was recommended to me over a decade ago, likely due to my love of Bjork and Tori Amos. For whatever reason, I never gave any of her albums a serious listen. Definitely my loss!

Soviet Kitsch (2003)

Soviet Kitsch isn’t Regina Spektor’s earliest work, but it’s definitely of a similar style as her other pre-2005 works. The raw-ness of the album appeals to some Regina Spektor fans, who find more recent works to be overly-produced. Her unique voice and piano playing, which seemingly borrows a bit from Bjork and Tori Amos, and lyrics, which seemingly were mostly written prior to the accompanying instrumentals, are on central display here. A bit of faux juvenile naivete within the lyrics is a detriment at times.

“Carbon Monoxide”, “The Flowers”, “Us”, and “Ghost of Corporate Future” help carry some of the more awkward tracks. Even the worst tracks on this album are at least listenable. Definitely recommended to fans of anti-folk pianists with unique singing voices and style. [4/5] [Listen here!]

Far (2009)

Pitchfork.com and much of the fanbase disagrees with me on this, but I believe “Far” is the best album that fuses aspects of her early work with the higher quality production values of later releases. “Eet” is an example of less-being-more, with relatively simple lyrics and only basic accompanying instruments with the piano; the focus is on Regina Spektor’s unique vocal and piano-playing style. “Laughing With” presents a series of observations about how almost everyone is willing to take God seriously when faced with a life-changing crisis, yet when a crisis is not present, God is treated as a joke, tool, etc. “Two Birds”, “Blue Lips”, and “Man of a Thousand Faces” round out my personal favorites. There’s not a single average or worse track on this album, and it’s an easy listen from start to finish. [5/5][Listen here!]

Zola Jesus

Another decade-old recommendation that for whatever reason, I never took seriously. I assumed it was yet another Industrial band or something. While having a goth and industrial influence, Zola Jesus is hardly a generic representative of the genre.

Conatus (2011)

Pigeon — holding this album (and many other of her albums) to a specific genre is difficult. It has an industrial soundscape with quasi-minimalist instrumentals, the relatively deep vocals coupled with those instrumentals help paint a goth feeling to the music, and quite a bit of influence from new wave and pop music can be heard throughout. Assembled together, it’s a wholly unique listening experience.

After my first listen to this album, I was ready to give it a 3/5 and discuss it’s somewhat awkward construction. Upon second, third, and fourth listens, the album grew on me. The vocals mesh with the strings, drums, and occasional other instrumentals perfect, creating one of the most cohesive albums I’ve heard recently. [5/5] [Listen here!]

Okovi (2017)

Okovi refines Conatus even further and expands upon it, creating a nearly flawless cross-genre minimalist goth-industrial-pop album. Nika’s voice is as haunting yet sweet as ever. Definitely pick this album up! [5/5][Listen here!]

Ratings Simplified

5 — Top Albums of All-Time
4 — Very Good, Recommended Albums
3 — Acceptably average albums. Listenable but flawed.
2 — Not personally recommended albums but have redeeming qualities.
1 — The Worst of the Worst

Ranked 5/5s:

  1. Tom Waits — “Mule Variations” (1999)
  2. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “No More Shall We Part” (2001)
  3. Smashing Pumpkins — “Siamese Dream” (1993)
  4. Aphex Twin — ”Richard D James Album” (1995)
  5. Tori Amos — “Little Earthquakes” (1992)
  6. Tom Waits — “Real Gone”(2004)
  7. Venetian Snares — “Rossz Csillag Allat Született” (2005)
  8. Zola Jesus — “Okovi” (2017)
  9. Negativland — “True False” (2019)
  10. Portishead — ”Dummy” (1994)
  11. Boards of Canada — “Music Has the Right to Children” (1998)
  12. Neko Case — “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You” (2013)
  13. Sufjan Stevens — “Illinois” (2005)
  14. Tricky — Maxinquaye (1995)
  15. Frank Zappa — “Hot Rats” (1969)
  16. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Murder Ballads” (1996)
  17. Neko Case — “Middle Cyclone” (2009)
  18. The Postal Service — “Give Up” (2003)
  19. The Polyphonic Spree — “Live from Austin TX” (2004)
  20. Rush — “A Farewell to Kings” (1977)
  21. Ani Difranco — “Little Plastic Castle” (1998)
  22. Regina Spektor — “Far” (2009)
  23. The New Pornographers — “In the Morse Code of Brake Lights” (2019)
  24. Bjork — “Post” (1995)
  25. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Tender Prey” (1988)
  26. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band — “Trout Mask Replica” (1969)
  27. Aesop Rock — “Labor Days” (2001)
  28. Zola Jesus — “Conatus” (2011)
  29. Neko Case — “Fox Confessor Brings The Flood” (2006)
  30. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds — “Ghosteen” (2019)
  31. Macroblank — ” 行方不明” (2021)
  32. Amon Tobin — “Bricolage” (1997)
  33. Neko Case — ”Middle Cyclone” (2009)
  34. Neutral Milk Hotel — In The Aeroplane Over The Sea (1998)
  35. Chlopcy Kontra Basia — “Oj Tak!” (2013)
  36. GZA — “Liquid Swords” (1995)
  37. Prefuse 73 — The Failing Institute of Drums & Other Percussion (2021)
  38. Leonard Cohen — “You Want it Darker” (2016)
  39. Kahil El’Zabar & David Murray — “Spirit Groove” (2020)
  40. Elliot Smith — “Figure 8” (2000)
  41. Warren Zevon — “Excitable Boy” (1978)
  42. Tatvamasi — “Parts of the Eternity” (2013)

4/5

44 Leningrad — Klub Livestream 2022–01–22 (2022)
44 Leningrad — “St. Ihlow” (1998)
Alina Bzhezhinska — “Inspiration” (2018)
Architecture in Helsinki — “Fingers Crossed” (2004)
Asheron’s Call 2: Legions Preorder Promo CD (2005)
Atari Teenage Riot — “Burn, Berlin, Burn” (1997)
Busdriver — “Fear of a Black Tangent” (2005)
Death Cab for Cutie — “Thank You for Today” (2018)
Dr. Dog — “Shame, Shame” (2001)
Dr. Octagon — ” Dr. Octagonecologyst” (1996)
Fiona Apple — ”Tidal” (1996)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor — “G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!” (2021)
Incubus — S.C.I.E.N.C.E. (1997)
Jamiroquai — “Travelling Without Moving” (1996)
KMFDM — ”Nihil” (1995)
LCD Soundsystem — “Sound of Silver” (2007)
Lucia Cifarelli — “I Am Eye” (2021)
Macroblank — “ラストチャンス” (2022)
Martina Topley Bird — “Forever I Wait” (2021)
MF Doom — “MM..Food” (2004)
Mogwai — “As The Love Continues” (2021)
Neko Case — “Hell On” (2018)
The New Pornographers — ”Mass Romantic” (1998)
Nurse With Wound — ”Opium Cabaret” (2021)
Ol’ Dirty Bastard — “Return to the 36 Chambers” (1995)
Pearl Jam — “Vitalogy” (1994)
Regina Spektor — “Soviet Kitsch” (2003)
Rizomagic — “Voltaje Raizal” (2021)
Stereolab — “Emperor Tomato Ketchup” (1996)
Subtle — A New White (2004)
Sunny Day Real Estate-”How It Feels to Be Something On” (1998)
Tsaraas — Шепот зарытых сердец (2008)
Tyler the Creator — “Bastard” (2014)
Yann Tiersen — “Kerber” (2021)
YĪN YĪN — “The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers” (2019)
zoviet france — loh land (1987)
Цукор Біла Смерть — “Село” (1993)

3/5

AIDS Wolf — “Loversss EP”
Apes & Horses — “Echo EP” (2016)
Birds Of Passage — Without The World (2010)
Birds Ov Paradise — Konstrukt 010 (2019)
Butt Trumpet — “Primitive Enema” (1994)
Death Cab for Cutie — “Kintsugi” (2015)
Death Cab for Cutie — “Narrow Stairs” (2008)
Jenny Lewis — “On the Line” (2019)
Jenny Lewis — “The Voyager” (2014)
My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult — ”Confessions of a Knife” (1990)
Nancy Griffith — “Storms” (1989)
Nullsleep — “Click Beep Click” (2000)
Violet Indiana — “Roulette” (2001)

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We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

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Aun Collective

Aun Collective

We are a game preservationist, archivist, design and writing collective, focusing on multiplayer and massively multiplayer games. Also music preservation!

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