We decided to do something a little different this year for our 'Best of' roundup. Instead of a master list compiled of submissions from our contributors and writers, we wanted to give our writers a chance to pick their own Top 5 list of the best of the year in music. Over the next three weeks we will be unveiling our writers' picks for the best of 2004.

Every day we will be posting a new Top 5 list from one of our writers, selected at random. At the conclusion we will reveal the master list. We also want to let you take part and will be accepting nominations for a readers' choice list.

Mathew Schnake's Top 5 of 2004.

1. Squarepusher - UltraVisitor: If Coletrane or Miles had come along 45 years later, and had computers as part of their arsenals, and they both got wacked up on gas-huffing and robotussin, and were attempting to compose genre-defying music while thwarting each other's attempts at forced sodomy, you'd ALMOST be in the neighborhood of how stubbornly imaginative and completely peerless this man is. Ladies and Gentlemen, Tom Jenkinson at the top of his frenetic, indescribable game. (samples / buy cd)

2. Fantomas - Delirium Cordia: I'm supposed to write a couple of sentences about each of these, but some albums just literally can't be described via the English language, or any other form of communication. If that sounds like a cop-out, listen to it, and then YOU try to review it. I'd love to read it, because all I can come up with are two words: "unnerving" and "startling". (samples / buy cd)

3. Trevor Dunn - Sister Phantom Owl Fish: The greatest living bass player under 40 releases another album of harmonic oddness. If you think musical knowledge and feel can't coexist in one body, Mr. Dunn has never shaken your hand. Whenever I hear some wizened old fart talk about how free jazz is dead, I wish that CD cases were bigger so I could use this one to bludgeon their scrotums. (samples / buy cd)

4. Hives - Tyrannosaurus Hives: Remember about three years ago when there were reports that this new crop of musical revolutionaries were gonna revive garage rock and put an end to all the Creed-wanna-be, flaccid, sterilized crap-rock of the end of the 20th century? Well, someone out of that bunch had to actually stick to their end of the bargain, and having the greatest front-man of the past ten years doesn't hurt, either. Jet, please listen and take notes. (samples / buy cd)

5. Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine: Those time changes, dear GOD. What kind of coffee are these guys drinking, and how can they pick up instruments while they're on it?!?! This is the kind of music that, upon realizing that you actually ENJOY it, you begin to think back and try to pinpoint when you actually became certifiable. Calculus-rock of the highest order from people who need to be taught the word "mercy" sometime. (samples / buy cd | review)

Check back tomorrow when another member of the antiMusic staff checks in with their top 5 list.

Wait! Be sure to submit your nominations for the Readers' Choice list.

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