PRINT December 2002

Music: Best of 2002

Steve Lafreniere


1. Paperecordings, Splinter 05 The best compilation yet from Manchester’s bewitching left-field deep-house label usefully narrows the distance between sex and thinking.

2. Linda Thompson, Fashionably Late After seventeen years, Linda Thompson appears from out of the mist to plunge in a few more daggers. One of the most beautiful voices on earth.

3. Royksopp, Melody A.M. Norway’s darlings cross Arling & Cameron with Sparks, but their lyrical heart belongs to Rod McKuen.

4. Would-be-goods, The Camera Loves Me A rerelease of the strangest art-rock album of the ’80s. Protégés of ultradandy producer Mike Alway, the preposterous WBGs sang about sex, languor, Cecil Beaton, and tequila over ocharinas and a Gary Glitter beat. A must-own.

5. Loraxx, Western Wear A real punisher from Chicago’s most disciplinary power trio. It absolutely kick-starts the opening scene of Rick Powell’s forthcoming Open Mikes, itself a film about how unforgiving music can be.

6. Wire, Read & Burn 01 and 02 The perfect storm.

7. k-rakos, storynaught More albums of gleaming sonic puzzles that resolve themselves in quavering emotional hues, please.

8. Various artists, Disco Not Disco Vol. 2 Knit-brow classics from the first era of postpunk disco. I somehow forgot that we all danced to Can and Material in the early ’80s and that every Arthur Russell twelve-inch was a revolution.

9. Six Organs of Admittance, Dark Noontide Lo-fi acoustic psychedelic folk with moaning, for those who started missing John Fahey in about 1971.

10. Gus Gus, Attention These people could probably belch a good groove.

Steve Lafreniere, a writer and independent curator based in New York, is editor at large at Index magazine. He cocurated an exhibition of work by ’80s video artist Nelson Sullivan at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, in 2001, and regularly spins records at Brown’s Fifteenth Street bar, Passerby.