2. Arthur Russell, World of Echo CD (Upside/Audika)
Like something from another planet this reissue of "mutant disco" forefather, Arthur Russell, is less disco than bizarre beauty. Using only cello, voice, and his hands through various reverb, distortion, and delay effects boards, Russell redoes his broad array of musical interests. World of Echo was originally released in 1986 but has tracks from as early as 1980 on it and presents a different side of Russell. Away from his drum machine, synth loops, and disco yelping, though some of those tracks like "Let's Go Swimming" and "Tree House," to name a few, get done beautifully. If one is so inclined, Soul Jazz Records has a great set of discs titled The World of Arthur Russell that has a good mix of material from various points in his creative life. But World of Echo is a combination of intelligent and intuitive music making that is incredibly compelling. There is so much resonance and beauty in tracks like "See Through" as his voice reverberates over a tripped out cello. "See Through" is a track that kind of negates the included essay by Russell where he alludes to the importance of human vocal sound over the words being sung because the transparency is so incredibly tactile not only to this song but to the whole album.