The 15 Best Dark and Weird Records of 2011

Water Borders — Harbored Mantras

The fondness for industrial sounds, for rave, for world music: Water Borders’ Harbored Mantras made it all make sense. Grinding and slashing gears rip apart wet bogs of sub-bass as Amitai Heller’s arcane chanting, like Dead Can Dance’s Brendan Perry begging for his life, ties it all together. Harbored Mantras is not an easily accessible album, but one listen on a good pair of headphones and the layers of murky dispair unwind brilliantly. Tri Angle records is a label we enjoy lavishing praise on here, and this is by far the most important record they’ve ever released.