Best Recordings 2013

This is a special list, the most personal and subjective: the recordings that give me the deepest, most immediate, most enduring and most intuitive pleasure this year. Intuitive is the key — my response to them was unthinking and powerful. Consider it the best of the best, and if you trust Dave Mandl’s remark that I have “flawless taste in music,” then [check them out](

* The Knells, *The Knells*

* Vijay Iyer & Mike Ladd, *Holding it Down*
* Omar, *The Man*

* Claire Chase, *Density*
* Mary Halvorson, *Illusionary Sea*
* Boduf Songs, *Burnt Up on Re-Entry*
* Atoms for Peace, *Amok*
* Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, *Push The Sky Away* and *Live from KCRW*

* Painkiller, *Prophecy*
* Ben Monder, *Hydra*
* Black Host, *Life in the Sugar Candle Mines*

* Ensemble Pearl, *Ensemble Pearl*
* Colin Stetson, *New History Warfare Volume 3*
* Dysnomia, *Dawn of MIDI*

* Micheal Gielen, Berlin Philharmonic, *Mahler: Symphony No. 7*
* Anne-Marie McDermott, *Calder String Quartet: Mozart Piano Concertos Nos, 12, 13 & 14*
* Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense: *Moment & the Message*
* Ghost Train Orchestra, *Book of Rhapsodies*


Author: gtra1n

I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.