Top Singles of 2014
1. Powell Club Music 12″
2. Morgan Buckley Shout Out To All The Weirdos In Rathmines 12″
3. Sheer Mag Sheer Mag 7″
4. Demdike Stare Testpressing #005 12″
5. Priests Bodies And Control And Money And Power 12″
6. St. Julien St. Julien 12″
7. Portable Surrender 12″
8. Impalers Psychedelic Snutskallar 12″
9. Pang Young Professionals 7″
10. Oren Ambarchi Stacte Karaoke 12″
11. Lil Ugly Mane The Weeping Worm download
12. Frau Punk Is My Boyfriend 7″
13. Lumpy And The Dumpers Gnats In The Pissa 7″
14. Dan Trevitt The Missing 12″
15. Mark Pritchard Untitled 12″
16. Henrik Schwarz Masse Remixes III 12″
17. Vladislav Delay Ripatti 03 12″
18. Galcher Lustwerk Nu Day 12″
19. Karenn Sheworks 006 12″
20. Samuel Kerridge Deficit Of Wonder 12″

Honorable Mention:
Donato Dozzy Terzo Giorno 12″
DJ Richard Nailed To The Floor 12″
Helmer Sated 12″
Modus Adderf Arreug 12″
Gary Wrong Group Floods Of Fire 12″

Top Albums of 2014
1. Vessel Punish, Honey
2. Riff Raff Neon Icon
3. Iceage Plowing Into The Field Of Love
4. Total Control Typical System
5. Watery Love Decorative Feeding
6. Gazelle Twin Unflesh
7. Beau Wanzer Untitled
8. Julian Casablancas & The Voidz Tyranny
9. Steve Gunn Way Out Weather
10. Andy Stott Faith In Strangers
11. Pharmakon Bestial Burden
12. Cold World How The Gods Chill
13. Actress Ghettoville
14. Siobhan Southgate
15. Lee Gamble Koch
16. Objekt Flatland
17. Moodymann Moodymann
18. The Jazz June After The Earthquake
19. Boston Strangler Fire
20. Torn Hawk Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time

Honorable Mention:
Predator The Complete Earth
Lucy Churches Schools And Guns
Ivy Ivy
Golden Pelicans Golden Pelicans
Hank Wook And The Hammerheads Stay Home

Another year down the drain, and while my advanced age surely has something to do with my perception of time, I swear they’re moving faster than ever. Anyway, I figured I’d take a quick moment to acknowledge some other year-end favorites that weren’t music releases, while I’m at it. The best book I read this year was Lindsay Hunter’s “Ugly Girls”, a dark and complex vision of American misery. The best live band I saw this year was Vexx, who came through with such a frenzy of passion and energy that it made me feel silly by comparison (coming to the East Coast in 2015, I can only hope!). And of course, the best live video of 2014 goes to Lumpy And The Dumpers with the poignant and touching clip known as “Boy Hit By Fireworks In NYC”.

Powell Club Music 12″ (Diagonal)
As you probably know, I listen to a ton of underground experimental techno, and while I truly enjoy it, most of the time I’m just waiting around for someone like Powell to show up and twist my head around completely with his left-field, entirely original take on electronic dance music. There’s really no place to file Powell besides “Diagonal Records”, the label he owns and operates, and while it’s great that he has created his own scene entirely, it’s even greater that the music is as zany, uninhibited, banging and severe as Club Music. Synths bubble, samples sword-fight each other, beats drop and never return, and the concept of linear music is diverted, teased and avoided entirely, much to my delight. After retroactively checking out his earlier EPs (they’re all killer too, but not as killer as Club Music), it seems like Powell is poised to take over 2015 if he wants it.

Vessel Punish, Honey (Tri Angle)
Alright, quick caveat: the decision to rank Vessel’s Punish, Honey over Riff Raff’s Neon Icon wasn’t an easy one, as Neon Icon probably provided me more musical entertainment than anything else this year, and I never reviewed it simply because once I start talking about this record, it’s nearly impossible to stop. That said, Vessel has rightly claimed the top spot, as no other album this year was as cohesive, inventive, stark, pounding, twisted and downright astonishing as Punish, Honey. Using a set of homemade electronics to create these varied-yet-consistent tracks, it’s as if Vessel was trying to clone humans and just ended up with mutated human flesh, like a foot with an ear on it scampering across the floor as a hairy belly with a face looks on from the operating table. It’s more epic than metal, more brutal than power-violence, more alien than Shackleton, and you can still shake your ass to it. Just let me hibernate with this record and come knock on my door once it’s warm out again.