Thoughts on 2008: Exclaim! Assistant Editor David Dacks

Thoughts on 2008: Exclaim! Assistant Editor David Dacks
To tide us over while we indulge in the holiday spirit gorging on stuffing and egg nog, we asked a bunch of our contributors to tell us their thoughts on 2008, as well as their favourite records that helped make it a memorable year. David Dacks gave us his personal top ten:

Because I edit two sections at Exclaim!, when exercises like this force me to mash up my preferences from the two seemingly incompatible sections of Groove and Destination Out with a dollop of "other stuff," I'm always surprised to end up with a relatively coherent list.

My values in music remain pretty consistent from year to year. Every one of these records contains masterful polyrhythms or percussive non-linear textures. Most have a forward-thinking approach to electronics or a curious approach to traditional sounds. All will provoke a strong physical reaction.

This can't possibly represent "the year in music" in any kind of objective sense but it's an indication of why Exclaim! matters. Being a national magazine, I'm always proud to see records like La India Canela's escape from a very narrow niche into 2,600-plus Exclaim!-distributing outlets across Canada. Exclaim! has always made it a priority to showcase great music of all genres in more than just a token fashion. Whereas most media across Canada have one or two writers who cover music other than rock, country/folk, hip-hop and electronics, Exclaim has 14.

These records may not have much to do with whatever the rest of the mass media and the blogosphere may regurgitate this time of year but let it be known that Exclaim! takes a wider view of "the year in music," creating awareness on a national level for a range of genre, and writing about them with a diversity of informed opinions. These may just be my picks but they are a reflection of what many people have championed at the magazine this year.

1. 2562 Aerial (Tectonics)

2. Kasai Allstars In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic (Crammed)

3. Dubmatix Renegade Rocker (7 Arts)

4. La India Canela Merengue Tipico From The Dominican Republic (Smithsonian Folkways)

5. Lal Deportation (PTR)

6. Ocote Soul Sounds featuring Adrian Quesada The Alchemist Manifesto (ESL)

7. Bulbs Light Ships (Freedom To Spend)

8. Bio Ritmo Bionico (Locutor)

9. Marilyn Crispell/Louis Moholo-Moholo Sibanye (We Are One) (Intakt)

10. Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures Dream Garden (Justin Time)