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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Tim Catlin and Jon Mueller
Plates and Wires

Rating: 6.9/10 ?

July 16, 2007
If the quality of its artwork and packaging determined the quality of a music release, Plates and Wires might be one of the most intriguing albums ever. Handsomely clad, the record doesn't really bounce off like a brilliantly cut diamond though; based on its sounds, it is something much more complex, and less obvious in its impressiveness. Nonetheless, Tim Catlin and Jon Mueller's Plates and Wires is a fine collection of sounds and further proof that the Crouton imprint, run by Mueller, is generally overlooked.

Through both its visual and aural elements Plates and Wires is centered around a theme of organics and a sonic grittiness. The packaging design is unique: a matted, painted print of grayish/blue and yellow wood. The back of the black matte cardboard is a white, note-type list (instrument attribution, album information, plus a ___ /300 series mark) that handles like a 10-inch record, but when I first got my hands on it I couldn't find a side that would open to reveal any vinyl. After removing the liner sheet, an artistic and ingenious plastic jacket can be found holding the compact disc.

As much of a departure from the norm as the outside is, there really is no conventional "music" to talk about inside Plates and Wires either. Those who are encouraged by the description of Tim Catlin as an Australian guitarist and Jon Mueller as a percussionist and former member of Pele, who would pre-compose an idea predicated solely on those basic chunks of information, will soon be thrown from the unbridled pony of their expectations. Through five tracks - all of which are over six minutes long - experimentation and sound texture are the focal points here, more akin to Mueller's other work in Collections of Colonies of Bees or one of his many solo projects than to Pele. One could also consider it similar to the clanging, abrasive noises on Don Caballero's II, when Damon Che saws a cymbal in half during the course of the song, many compositions of Plates and Wires are hinged on the sounds of metallic materials, singing in resonance and vibrating off of each other. Some tracks are unbearable in that dog-whistle pitch respect, others are interesting experiments between man and material.

At worst this is a multi-faceted project that gets filed deep under art that doesn't meet your taste palette. At best, Plates and Wires challenges more than just a sense of hearing, filed under art that is all the more interesting. Either way you take it, it is pretty fucking cool.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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