Here goes my yearly musical roundup. Slightly earlier than usual, cause I'll be too busy throughout the holidays.
While tying the ends of these 37 tracks I was a bit unsure if I should split this in two or not or if I can get something not-too-schizophrenic out of the short list at all, but I think everything sits quite right. Enjoy that shit!
A good year's drawing to a close and imprinted irreplacable memories of all sorts into my cortex. The good ol' work-no work game never gets boring, there's plenty of homework left, Leipzig still had some things in charge for me and trips to the Elbsandsteingebirge, Praha and the Krkonoše spiced the whole ordeal up a good bit. Relocating to Norway then gave things a quite new perspective and I can sincerely say it feels good just being here. I really do miss my cat at times, though.
Sonically a lot has happened and although I predicted these twelve months to be nowhere near as exciting as 2013 I'm impressed what the ether channeled to my membranes. Please bear with me for I'm just not able to cut this list down to three since all of these managed to set the brine in motion and they all carved their grooves into my heart:
IV. Daedelus - The Light Brigade
Never would I have expected such a unexcited release from this man again. I regard the ingenious Righteous Fists of Harmony as his most consistent effort so far and this one totally lives up to be its successor. Putting this into your cans is like arriving back at the war camp after three days of constant turmoil and shell shocking, looking at the photos of your loved ones and receiving the releasing bowl of warm soup.
III. Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty
I must admit I didn't think the dudes had it in them to deliver a homogenous record that doesn't stray too far off into the vast unexplored wilderness of audible experiments but instead focusing the creative lens onto a fixed spot. It's such a joy to follow the two on their endeavoring advancement ahead of today's music scene whilst always keeping the third eye keen on the glorious days past. The whitty and charming lyrics always get me and intertwine so well with the beats I find myself asking just how in all worlds they could come up with a work process allowing this perfect fusion.
II. Aphex Twin - Syro
There's no point in even trying to express the feelings arising when I turn this up. Yes, this is a prime example of a superb engineering job - every little piece is just so spot-on. And it also didn't disappoint the long wait and uneasy expectations. But these things are of absolutely no significance when it comes to the many wondrous things the music triggers in me. Times spent, people met, movements initiated, places visited, vistas beheld, waves collapsed, scents followed, just about everything seems to be caught up in here and set free all at once.
I. Cloud Nothings - Here And Nowhere Else
I'm nineteen again.
The darker tracks I stuck together for 2013.
The first couple of tracks I stuck together for 2013.
My favourite tracks from 2012
What a year, I encountered so much goodness there's no way '14 could compete: the most awesome girl in the world, Arvo the cat, new very own appartment, work, no work, MPC 1000, Wrocław, Budapest, summer and an endless list of good music. To sum all that up here's my favourite records of 2013:
III. Boards Of Canda - Tomorrow's Harvest
Finally! Looking back to their catalogue I didn't really expect anything surprising and if you break it down to the core there's nothing really new going on here. Slow paced beats and moody synths always sat at the heart of nearly every BoC track. But what makes this album so ingenious to me is the way my second-favourite Scottish band constructed a seemingly effortless journey to the depths of what's possible with modern day equipment. It's not just a bunch of nice tunes you can listen to whenever you feel like daydreaming but rather a solidified arrangement that builds to a perfectly round piece - that sum of all parts-thing I'm looking for in an album.
II. Baths - Obsidian
Whoawow, what a cover! I always liked Baths for his unique way of taking sloppy beats, neatly wrapping them in the awkward samples and sealing it off with his remarkable voice. But what makes Obsidian this good and far better than his debut is this thick atmosphere oozing from its seams. This record isn't just for our entertainment, it has meaning written all over every single sine wave and aims straight for the heart. Big up!
I might walk upright
but then again
I still might try to die
where is God when you hate him most
when the mouths in the earth come to bite at my robes
hell that sits below, of you would do well to bellow
at the cold, the lifeless, the worsening souls
I. Shigeto - No Better Time Than Now
What we've got here is nothing less than the biggest leap from regular beat-smith to master-of-soundforging I witnessed for a long time. After listening to a few of his EPs I didn't expect Shigeto to be able to come up with something this homogenic and deep. No Better Time Than Now forces you into its realm right away, you can't just leave it on its own. While some tracks do remind me of certain fellow producers there's still this feeling running through these 52 minutes like a thread I fell in love with. I can't seem to grow tired of it hitting Play over and over and over again, it's simply nothing short of awesome.
Track Of The Year 2013
Flatbush Zombies - Death
Charismatic, high as can get, innovative. The album isn't really awesome, this particular song (and video) is.
Das Racist - speaking in tongues
best damned freestyle and beat
Wow, totally forgot about this. Time to give the musically strong year 2012 a small roundup. Some of my favourite artists released a new album, I discovered a lot of awesome, older music and heaps of completely new sounds. And I also have a nice collabo going on with one of my local heads, Sgt Lazurr :D. We even managed to pull off a little live session with our MIDI axes. Teh awesome!
Here we go, my favourite records of 2012:
III. Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
When I heard that Neurosis were about to release a new album I was fearing it would come out bland after all those years so they got me by surprise. It's comparably easy to digest and revealed its charme even at first listen. They turned quite some steps down, almost to The Eye Of Every Storm levels but went in another direction with the incredibly earthy production. Some of the songs present a kind of lightness and positivity I didn't expect the band to be able to fit into their library and/but it works astonishingly well! At the same time it doesn't lack the barren, gloomy mood that I so love about this band. As an album the seven songs stand united, songwriting- and tensionwise, as one completed piece of music (I'm looking at you, Converge). An outstanding effort!
II. Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes
I've never heard any track I disliked from the guy who singlehandedly blended Hip Hop and Jazz into a completely new genre itself - with a little help of modern electronic equipment, of course. I couldn't even tell you how it sounds like, it's just so diverse. And still all his releases, including several EPs, are quite distinguishable in their sounds. I was very excited about the release and preordered it in a smooth collectors edition. Sadly no poster )': It took me a couple of listens to get through to it but from the first time on I thought that the songs are among FlyLo's most easily accessible. With his processed samples he again managed to weave layers and layers of dense fabric and took it on to construct a bunch of wigwams for his vast number of guests to reside in.
This man delivers, period.
I. Aesop Rock - Skelethon
Never would I have thought that from all the releases, this year was about to deliver, Aes' one would have made such an impact. It's his first piece that I enjoy listening to from start to finish without any tracks I'd skip, but that alone didn't get it to the top spot. It was the sheer kick I got out these tracks when I listened to it over and over again for weeks on end. I took a good moment when I sat down and inhaled the music for the first time, expecting not to pay attention anymore up to half the record but I found myself looking up the lyrics and getting to terms with the music instead. The first five-six-seven tracks are just about as awesome as rap got last year. There's no decline in his unbeatably witty flow and evershifting allegories. The crisp and punchy production is a grace in its own right and hasn't gotten a bit boring since summer.
baseheads locally approach all spark plugs
total disregard for a dying man's shark jump
post-meridiem pretty tungsten attracts any once—pale horse painted gunmetal black
face masking, hard-shelled ebony propeller hat
clubmans, gloved rakes grappling the clutch span
tuck go the steel toe, metal gate spreading
for the dead-alive that rented parking space 37
2000 out the weekly under "Cycles to Gehenna" gets him floating over 20 busses
fireproof and festive
corners like a two-tired tiger so a too-tired rider can accumulate a few excited fibers to assign
knows no zen in the art of maintenance
only as the orchestrated patron saint of changing lanes baby
here is how a great escape goes when you can't take your dead friends names out your phone
Ascend to the throne, young man.
Track Of The Year 2012
Aesop Rock - zero dark thirty
According to my almost seven year long chronic of last.fm I've turned on this song that often that it ranks among the ten most listened to. And that's a fucking lot. The video isn't much good but who cares?
Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
Awesome video for the 2011 album also featuring some unreleased tunes. Produced by the incredibly talented What Matters Most team.
Bleubird - be brave over El-P's "jump fence, run, live". He's actually sitting in the back of a trailer while he's on the road with a couple of homies, so sick. And he cut his beard :S
Grimace Federation - bosico (butchered by Aesop Rock)
Aes setting some standards again or: how stoned can you act in an official video? Great band, great remix, great vid.