The Playlist #8

I heard a lot of good instrumental music back in 2009 -mostly post-"something". While many of them are not that good enough to make it into my "Best Music of 2009" list, they're still good enough to merit some attention.

So, in this issue of The Playlist, I'll feature 7 songs from 7 of my favorite instrumental music in 2009.

"Thirty-Six Silos" by If These Trees Could Talk

This post-rock band debut in 2006. But I only became familiar with their work last year, when they released Above the Earth, Below the Sky, which is an amazing album. Although the music is pretty much recycled from post-rock godfathers, the shoegaze of Explosions in the Sky and the gloom of Mogwai. Still, it's a great listen. Songs like "Thirty-Six Silos", which opens up with an atmospheric sad sound and launches into a cacophonous explosion a minute before it ends, will tickle your ears and set your souls in turmoil.

"Strung Up From the Sky" by Pelican

Pelican's 2005 album, The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, started my addiction to post-metal and post-rock. But when they released City of Echoes, two years later, Pelican curbed my appetite for the genre. The album was just atrocious. It's a good thing they have redeemed themselves with their current album, What We All Come To Need. While it's not as good as The Fire...or Australasia, it's definitely way much better -and also heavier- than City of Echoes.

"Prepare Your Coffin" by Tortoise

If not for bands affiliated to them, like The Sea and Cake or Slint, I surely would've missed out on Tortoise and their latest work, Beacons of Ancestorship. It's a hidden gem of an album, a sonic nirvana of music experimentation. But unlike most experimental bands these days, which mostly uses rock or electronica as a basis, Tortoise displays their musicianship through songs laden with jazz chops. "Prepare Your Coffin" is perhaps the best example. While the song is repetitive, you can only drool at the quick fusion jazz solo and the meticulous drumworks.

"The Great Plains" by Scale The Summit

Now here's a progressive metal band who, instead of indulging themselves with the technicalities that comes with the genre: off-beat time signatures and Dream Theater-like guitar and drum solos, opted a post-rock mentality by creating a sweeping atmospheric sound with metal riffs. Their music, like on the song "The Great Plains", which dips in and out of mellow and heavy rhythms, is a very refreshing kind of metal.

"Melee" by Russian Circles

Out of all artists from Chicago's music scene, Russian Circles is probably my favorite. They enthralled me with their first album, Enter, and have continued to do so ever since then. Geneva, their latest album, is no exception. In this album, their music as beautiful and vicious as ever. But, this time, they also made their music more lush by adding a cellist and a violinist into the fray. Now their songs, like "Melee", is even more dense with drama.

"You Can't Shake Hands with a Clenched Fist" by Maybeshewill

Most post-rock bands are bent on making gloomy and atmospheric ambiance inspired by chaos or elemental forces. But Maybeshewill, in their album Sing The Word Hope In Four-Part Harmony, created a different apocalyptic soundscape that is inspired by our current social and political climate -one that is riddled with wars, lies and greed. Their songs, like the explosive opener, "You Can't Shake Hands with a Clenched Fist", are filled with depressing, haunting and angry rhythms, reminding me that our world is going downward spiral.

"Buster Voodoo" by Rodrigo y Gabriela

If there's an album I missed jotting down on my "Best Music of 2009" list, it's 11:11 by Rodrigo y Gabriela. Due to the financial strain inflicted on me by the holidays, I wasn't able to procure this album until earlier this month. But better late than never. Because this album is a gem full of amazing guitar works. Each track offers variety too, often contemporary Latin guitar married with another genre. "Buster Voodoo", for example, a tribute to Jimi Hendrix (Buster, his nickname. Voodoo, for his song Voodoo Chile), clearly sports metal licks hiding behind a Latin guitar.

Well that's it for this week's The Playlist. I hope you guys liked all the instrumental music I've prepared for your listening pleasure.

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Andrei Alba said...

wooh. another round of songs i should download.

lucas said...

post-rock you mean. naadik din ako sa mga instrunmental na yun. ""explosions in the sky"" and '"this will destroy you.""

Skron said...

@lucas: Well, not just post-rock. Because Russian Circles and Pelican are post-metal.

andrei alba said...

yeah. explosions in the sky. so cool.

i don't know with post-metal. post-rock is more of me.

good to hear from you again, skron. been a while. or is it just me.

Skron said...

@andrei: Been a while? To you, maybe. Especially if you count the days through the frequency of your posts -which is 3 post/day, while mine is 3 post/week.