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*