Feature / Music / Year End 2019
2019: A Year In Review

January 7, 2020

2019: A Year In Review
2019: A Year In Review

The Strangest Albums I Heard in 2019

While most of the submissions and promotional emails sent in to Scene Point Blank fall into certain identifiable categories, there are always a few releases that pique my interest simply for the fact that they make me go, "huh." Here are five releases I discovered in the past year that are a little different.

1

OBANIKESHI

by Koeosaeme

Incredibly glitchy and nearly impossible to classify or describe, this experimental album (released on the outstanding Orange Milk label) seems to take the whole of music, maybe even sound as a whole, mix it in a blender, and come up with something rather remarkable. Fascinating in terms of its overall sound design.

2

Platonic Solids

by Matt Barbier

The concept behind this work is intriguing: trying to replicate the geometry found in the abrasive holograms of Tristan Duke with sound. It’s also fascinating from a purely sonic standpoint due to the tones, interactions between different tones, and varying textures that gradually, and I mean very gradually, present themselves. Still, 100 minutes of string tones that may sound to most people like a creaking door hinge is kind of weird.

3

Symphonic Plunderphonic

by various artists

sound collage-type album made from editing bits and pieces of classical music together. This is an interesting concept and overall album to listen to, particularly when you try to recognize and determine where the various clips come from. I can swear I hear music cues from the Jaws soundtrack – and not the one you’re thinking of – in here at times.

4

Magnetic Voices From The Unseen

by Renaud Bajeux

Created through the use of electromagnetic coils to record the magnetic fields of computers, phones, monitors, and other devices, this spacey ambient/noise album becomes more than just a collage of humming, hissing, and buzzing sounds. Though sometimes dissonant and jarring, the album is also strangely warm in a way – perhaps a reflection of the fact that most of us are surrounded by, and perhaps too comfortable with, technology.

5

Open Your Eyes

by David Hasselhoff

This album may as well have been titled Karaoke Favorites with David and Friends, but apparently there’s some kind of market for it: it hit #24 on the Austrian music charts.  Honestly, it's not terrible as an album of cover songs, but when the Knight Rider’s dancy rendition of Neil Diamond's (frustratingly overplayed) “Sweet Caroline” popped up, a version featuring Ministry as guest artists, it became apparent to me that, unlike the other items on this list, the question here is not what, but why.

- Andy

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— the SPB team • January 7, 2020

Main calendar photo by Hana Loftus.

2019: A Year In Review
2019: A Year In Review

Pages in this feature

  1. Opening page
  2. Five Excellent Metal Releases from the United Kingdom in 2019
  3. Our Favorite Album Covers of 2019
  4. The best EP's and splits of 2019 according to Dennis
  5. The best non-punk or metal of 2019 according to Dennis
  6. The Strangest Albums I Heard in 2019

Series: Year End 2019

Our wrap-up of the best music and more from 2019

More from this series

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