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2008’s Best Albums, According to Readers

The December 7 email newsletter from included a contest, giving away three copies of Kenneth Kirschner‘s new two-CD set, Filaments & Voids (12k), to which I contributed the liner notes. Entry was easy — you just had to share the name of your favorite album of the year. The contest ends January 1, 2009, 11:30am Pacific time, and already a heap of entries have come in. The entries have been so interesting and varied, I’ve opted to list below most of the records named by readers as their favorites.

Some albums were easily recognizable as not having been released in the past year, and they aren’t listed here, though I may have accidentally included unfamiliar records that predate 2008, or misspelled a few. If you see any errors, please let me know. Folks who named records not released in 2008 aren’t disqualified from the contest. Several albums were named by multiple readers, but I don’t list the repeats here.

For more information on how to enter, head to, which hosts the 12k label’s announcement of the contest. To subscribe to the email newsletter, enter your address in the field on the right-hand side of this page. As for my top-of-2008 list, I’ll be posting it shortly.

And here are the readers’s favorites, in very lazy alphabetical order:

Andrey Kiritchenko: Misterrious (Spekk), Anthony Pateras: Chromatophore (Tzadik), APM: Sprint Mill (ICR), Arsenije Jovanovic: Galiola (FO A RM Projects, and/OAR, Alluvial), Autistici: Volume Objects (12K), Beta Two Agonist: Autumn Perdue (Databloem Records), California Guitar Trio: Echoes (Inner Knot), Celer: Tropical (Mystery Sea), Chris Schlarb: Twilight & Ghost Stories (Asthmatic Kitty), CobblestoneJazz: 23 seconds (K7), COH: + COH Plays Cosey (Raster-Noton), Coldplay: Viva La Vida (Capitol), Collections of Colonies of Bees: Birds (Table of the Elements).</p?

Esther Venrooy and Heleen van Haegenborgh: Mock Interiors by (Entr’acte), Expo ’70: Black Ohms (Beta-lactam Ring), Ezekiel Honig: Surfaces of a Broken Marching Band (Anticipate), Fennesz: Black Sea (Touch), Francisco López: Untitled #213, Gang Gang Dance: St. Dymphna (Warp), Gas: Nah und Fern (Kompakt), Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet: The Breadwinner (Erstwhile), Grouper: Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill (Type), Helios: Cesura (Type), HPC: Halfbreed (Hymen), Ian Nagoski: Kerflooey (Ehse), ii: Landlakes (Feral Media), Inverz: Songs (Granny).

Janek Schaefer: Extended Play (Line), Jeremy Bible & Jason Henry (someone listed the duo but didn’t name which album, and they at least a half dozen records out this year), Kangding Ray: Automne Fold (Raster-Noton), Library Tapes: A Summer Beneath the Trees (Make Mine Music), Loren Chasse & Michael Northam: The Otolith (Toben), Mou, Lips!: Untree (mOAR), Murcof: The Versailles Sessions (Leaf), Paavoharju: Laulu Laakson Kukista (Fonal), Peter Broderick: Float (Type), Peter Broderick: Home (Hush), Portishead: Third (Island), Radiohead: In Rainbows (XL).

Rudi Arapahoe: Echoes From One to Another (Symbolic Interaction), Sidsel Endresen / Jon Hassell: Live Remixes Vol. 1 (Punkt/Jazzland), Sleeparchive: Hadron EP (Sleeparchive), Steinbrüchel: Mit Ohne (12K), Stephan Mathieu: Radioland (Die Schachtel), Stereolab: Chemical Chords (4AD), Tape: Luminarium (Häpna), Taylor Deupree: Northern (12k), Taylor Deupree: Sea Last (12k), The Boats: Faulty Toned Radio (Flau), Then Dof: Untitled (Mobeer), Vikki Jackman: Whispering Pages (Faraway Press), William Basinski + Richard Chartier: Untitled 1 – 3 (Line), Yair Etziony: Flawed (Smallfish).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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