Niels Van Tomme (Update Contributor)

  • Best of 2015

    I rarely go out to see shows these days, which in turn makes my home-bound listening sessions all the more intimate and special. Throughout these sessions, I continue to discover an incredible amount of outstanding music, perhaps in a bit more focused way, without the distraction that is the search for a continuously new live high. While there were too many good releases to adequately compile into two truly substantial 2015 top 15’s, both for new and old stuff, here’s an attempt anyway. I decided to focus on those albums that truly surprised by defying all expectations of how a...

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  • Best of 2014

    By far the most thought-provoking and brutal piece of audio of 2014, Farewell to Language is a hallucinatory meditation on the disentanglement of image and sound. The 84-year-old Swiss filmmaker Jean Luc Godard’s 3D-film deconstructs our (in)ability to communicate anything meaningful through language and of moving images to develop new ways of seeing. Political, humorous, philosophical, at times irritable and scatological, Godard makes the soundtrack of his film (consisting of cut-up dialogue, concrete sound, snippets of music, and occasional harsh noise) revolve dizzyingly within the stereo spectrum, making fully use of the sculptural and vector-like possibilities of sound. The effect...

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  • Best of 2013

    Despite, or perhaps because of, a general malaise in the culture industry, curators Anselm Franke and Diedrich Diedrichsen mounted an exceptionally thought-provoking exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. "The Whole Earth: California and the Disappearance of the Outside" was a critical study of the many ways in which aspects of Californian counterculture have been co-opted by global capitalism. There’s also a book published on the occasion, which, among other things, contains “a playlist with comments,” and which I hugely recommend. 2013 was the year of Terre Thaemlitz, who not only released two conceptually rich records under his...

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