With these two super-high-quality releases toward the latter half of the year, and another in the can, 2005 might be the year of Excepter. And what a year it’s been, so far: if you spent most of it drunk and/or high, or just questing after a transcendental state, you could do far worse by spinning these musically fantastic messes. Throne is the more stoned trip of the two, and flows with a lazy grandeur not often heard in today’s music “scene.” Sleepy electronics reminiscent of the RZA’s Ghost Dog score start out the disc on “Jrone (Three),” with a first few whisperings and moans which later grow into heavily echoed lamentations from recently-departed (from the band, I mean) member Caitlin Cook. Stoned soul steam engines take over, the vocals drop out, and soon Excepter spends the rest of Throne charting along some spooky shores in a haunted sailboat, which of course means that you really need to hear it. Self Destruction is in some ways the more straight-forward, yet hella dubbed-out, record out of the pair, though no less essential in its singularly bizarre messiness. Lanky soulja John Fell Ryan – the leader of the group – commences “Shoot Me First” with his deep-throated shamanistic vibes, going even deeper on vocal meditation/collaboration “I Don’t Get Wet in the Rain.” But there’s the dub/house mutated style present too: “Interplay: Lock Room” and “Interplay: Your House” recontextualize cheesy drum machine beats into higher states – though you probably won’t hear this shit at your local shitbag “dance music” nightclub anytime soon. Unlike Throne, Self Destruction is designed more with each track as a stand-alone, individual unit, and thusly gives ya more variety of the endless Excepter sounds to explore. Take the trips.