2015: Music

This year, 25 albums I liked a lot, or didn’t understand but felt like i was supposed to like to look clever. Then, 25 more I also liked a lot, but either didn’t like quite as much, haven’t yet listened to enough, didn’t connect with as personally, or weren’t intelligent enough to fully appreciate. In both lists, an incidental preference for the first half of the alphabet. Artists beginning with J, 2015 you did it.

Little bit of a boring 25, despite it being a good year for albums. Seems like theres quite a bit of consensus in all of the EoY lists, which is a little depressing. Good number on here that you’ll see on all of the lists, which is fine as I don’t know anything about music and no one is paying me to do this, but from those being paid for their opinionship a little bit more diversity would have been chill. A few less ‘club-deconstructions,’ a little more sad_raves.

Ambling Preface #1 - things that don’t fit into ‘album-format’ but are definitely cool: the reissue of Mariah’s Utakata No Hibi that sold out immediately and I’ve had ordered on Amazon who keep, and will continue to keep, delaying the order each time the supposed restock comes in, Soichi Terada’s Sounds From the Far East compilation, which was easier to get, the Masi Asakawa retrospective thing I haven’t got yet but will have soon, a bunch of the bandcampy stuff that i’m not supposed to like because appropriation but still enjoyed walking around the city to (giant claw, death’s dynamic shroud.wmv, 2 8 1 4, t e l e p a t h etc.) everything Honest Jons puts out, the Omar S cassette mixCall Super for Blowing Up The WorkshopDredd D, Jon E Cash, AJ Tracey JammzKuedo for TruantsNidia Minaj Dazed, this Japanese Boogie mixfinal Plastic People, and especially all the Yamaneko mixes.

Ambling Preface #2 - Live things: Lawrence English, Rafael Anton Irisarri & John Chantler at Cafe Oto for Room40′s 15 year Birthday. Rafael Anton Irisarri’s setup failing mid set and him deciding well thats the end of that then. Lawrence English’s massive, body-drenching, soul-enriching drones. The feeling of skin vibrated fully out, all nerves standing on end. Earthly IV, with the incense, tunes, vibrance and feelings. A mix of really happy people dancing excitedly, and serious bros in hood2air crossed armed swaying in a cold room, smoke blowing through their crisp fades. Then a couple of Jam City shows to follow, of dubious technical quality but high meaningfulness value. Most importantly, Surprise Kanye at KOKO. Akash’s calm call, and my frantic, desperate ticket-booking-on-phone-in-sainsburys after. Queueing ‘til 1am to get in, then the gates getting rushed to the sound of ‘running thru the six with my WOES.’ The event itself, and Akash’s thoughts-breakdown after. All of it. Then, the BRIT AwardsGlastonbury and Armenia. Lastly, more wintry feelings at Grouper at St. Johns church, and Ryoji Ikeda performing his sonic-visual barrage Supercodex at Village Underground.


2015music1.png

Shortlist 25

  • Acronym - June

  • Arca - Mutant

  • CFCF - The Colours Of Life / Reliance & Submission (+ BUTW 48)

  • Dawn Richard - Blackheart

  • Dr. Yen Lo - Days With Dr. Yen Lo

  • Fis - The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now

  • Future - Dirty Sprite 2 (+ Beast Mode & 56 Nights)

  • Grimes - Art Angels

  • Holly Herndon - Platform

  • Hunee - Hunch Music

  • Ian William Craig - Cradle for the Wanting

  • Jlin - Dark Energy

  • Jam City - Dream A Garden

  • Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - A Year With 13 Moons

  • Joanna Newsom - Divers

  • Joanne Robertson - Black Moon Days

  • Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

  • Levantis - Romantic Psychology 1

  • Levon Vincent - Levon Vincent

  • M.E.S.H - Piteous Gate

  • Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete 

  • Prurient - Frozen Niagara Falls

  • Rabit - Communion (+ Rabit & Chino Amobi - The Great Game)

  • Rafael Anton Irisarri - A Fragile Geography

  • Young Thug - Barter 6 (+ Slime Season 1 & 2)

2015music2.png

Longlist 25

  • Alex Cobb - Chantepleure

  • Acre - Better Strangers

  • Beatrice Dillon & Robert Clervaux - Studies I-XVII for Samples and Percussion

  • Bjork - Vulnicura

  • Container - LP

  • DJ Richard - Grind

  • DJ Sotafett - Drippin’ For A Tripp (Tripp-A-Dubb-Mix)

  • Domenique Dumont - Comme Ca

  • Elysia Crampton - American Drift

  • Floating Points - Elaenia 

  • Gaussian Curve - Clouds

  • Hieroglyphic Being - We Are Not The First

  • Helm - Olympic Mess

  • Jeremih - Late Nights: The Album

  • Jim Rourke - Simple Songs

  • John Chantler - Still Light, Outside

  • Julia Holter - Have You In My Wilderness

  • Linkwood - Expressions

  • Majical Cloudz - Are You Alone?

  • Matana Roberts - COIN COIN Chapter Three, Run River Thee

  • Sarah Davachi - Baron’s Court

  • Sean McCann - A Castle Popping / Ten Impressions For Piano & Strings

  • Steve Hauschildt - Where All Is Fled

  • Suzanne Kraft - Talk From Home

  • Talbot Fade - November Versions

2014: Music

25 albums that stood out above others, in alphabetical order because I haven’t listened to a lot of these enough to assign an arbitrary order / this doesn’t come as easily as it does with films. The best things about these sort of lists is looking back at how much they change. How by the end of 2015 many of these won’t be my favourites anymore. My favourites will be ones I do not yet know, or ones that won’t surrender their treasures without significantly more time invested.

The best thing about compiling these things is the process of compulsive discovery it evokes. I spend ¾ of the year ignoring all but the most loudly talked about releases and then the final few months pouring the deep web in search of those more elusive, more quietly celebrated gems. There are at least four albums that would almost certainly be here if I’d ever managed to find a download link store that stocked them. A pathetic attempt to seem relevant, but in the process exposure to better things. 

it is all learning, it is all time [well] spent. Things are something to devote oneself to. Music is one of those things, and in many ways the most important. It is a thing that gives a lot back - that energises, soothes, appeases, narrates and releases. A thing that does a lot of things and can be a lot of things. A thing that is simultaneously universal and deeply personal. A thing to climb inside and a thing to open up and share. A way to spend time, and another place to invest self in, and get self out of. It is [some]thing I have been very thankful for this year.

10 favourites in bold, because I couldn’t resist some kind of rank system, yet couldn’t commit to a complete one. 

  • A Winged Victory for the Sullen - ATOMOS

  • Actress - Ghettoville

  • Aphex Twin - Syro

  • Arca - Xen

  • Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

  • D'Angelo & The Vanguard - Black Messiah

  • Ben Frost - A U R O R A 

  • Dean Blunt - Black Metal

  • Fennesz - Becs

  • FKA Twigs - LP1

  • Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Pinata

  • Gigi Masin - Talk to the Sea

  • Grouper - Ruins

  • Ian William Craig - A Turn of Breath

  • Kassem Mosse - Workshop 19

  • Kyle Bobby Dunn - Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness

  • Lawrence English - Wilderness of Mirrors

  • Moodymann - Moodymann

  • Objekt - Flatland

  • Perfect Pussy - Say Yes to Love

  • Sharon Von Etten - Are We There

  • Sun Kil Moon - Benji

  • Shinichi Atobe -Butterfly Effect

  • Swans - To Be Kind

  • Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

  • Yamaneko -Pixel Wave Embrace

                             B ~ O ~ N ~ U ~ S              C ~ O ~ N ~ T ~ E ~ N ~ T 

Top 3s of sound-related activities that occurred this year, but don’t fit into that limiting frame of album format. Yes, I didn’t listen to enough mixtapes.

Concerts

  • Tim Hecker + Merzbow, Gustafsson & Panda Trio - Oval Space

  • Ben Frost + Tony Conrad + John Chantler - St Johns Hackney

  • Kelela + Novelist - Corsica Studios

Mixes/Internet things

  • Jam City - Earthly III

  • Theo Parrish’s Black Jazz Signature Mix

  • A. G. Cook, GFOTY, Danny L Harle, Lil Data, Nu New Edition and Kane West - PC Music x DiSown Radio 

EPs/12s/Mixtapes/etc

  • Oneohtrix Point Never - Commissions I

  • Floating Points - Nuits Sonores / Tangerines

  • Rich Gang - Tha Tour Pt.1 

Scrapbook [19/09/14]

syro1.jpg
syro2.jpg

“Whenever one of the most celebrated and influential electronic fartist, Richard D. James can compete with the music flip to influence built. The better part of a decagon, James Polygon Window, Caustic Window, GAK and maintain, including `Aphex Twin has unreleased music under several thousand monikers great pace.

Began in the late 1780s and 90s during a turn in its manufacturing and technical skills, and nikharana Cornwallo, England grows, James, as a young maniton in various shops started DJing. Area of various musical score, James Analogue Booblebath EP was released in 1891, the results of the first series, he decided to record his gown music. Another influential London radio station piss FM’s attention, and then label immediately signed him to their rooster, then post & poplieereRS. That same year, James Acid shithouse to promote the song and trying to lift Grant Wilson-CLARIDGE on a biscuit founded his label Rephlex Records. Selekted Flambient Works moving to London and Release 85-92: After a while, the two main points to be made, round the bend

More immediate and critical success of his debut internationally. Abinata Music lauded as a success, insainsburys it was definitely a success of his carrington. Full steam ahead barreling out that several other singles and EPS are given, and in 1493 was a record collapse. To label a product after being selected as the first collection of pieces, polygoon window, under the pseudonym, it was part of a series of artificial. 2, released in 1994.

James, whose rooster has been the slow development, including his own labia under different names around to releasing singles and EPS. Her next full-length record together since 1995 … I think it she will be issued. Records have been working on for the past few years, and his experience hardcore and lush abinata textures found his style, and his facial features on the cover of the first issue, the various incarnations of present Omnipresent, which is marked by an icing in the world of music was culled Aphex Gemini (equal recognition with logo).

1896 under the name Aphex Twin record his fourth eponymous EP Girl / boy. This collection of 90s ‘nTV era is the result of the video, in which he praised the music video director Crease Cunningham saw: Teaming in a way that my Daddy (1997) and Windowlickie (1999), EPS, was followed.

Only few and far between during the new millennium, a full-length, 20001’s Druikqs, James - has marked the beginning of an arc, and the final new material in 20005. A lot of the music in any way is often a lack of communication and leadership to be fallacious rumors of new material for his fannies and his enthusiasm has not diminished hope. However ambitious this year, 9014, they uncovered new mats in almost a decade distribution crowdfund rallied together his army of fans: A precious gift that can not be the same as the new Phex Twinnipicks material is still unquenched thirst.”


lawrence english.jpg

“In the summer of 2010 I had the chance to visit Antarctica under the invitation of the Argentine Antarctic Division. It was nothing short of breath taking as I am sure anyone would suspect.

Upon departing from Buenos Aires, the Hercules transport, under direction of the Argentine Military made a routine stop at the airbase outside Rio Gallegos. What was meant to be a few hours layover turned into several days, as winds there exceeded expectations and before long it was clear the transport could not take off. Adverse weather conditions along the Antarctic Peninsula also didn’t help the departure. Whilst the scientists bunkered down in their quarters, I headed outside with my recorder. The wind in Patagonia is, well breathtaking. Literally, there were moments where it was strong breezy it seemed difficult to catch breath. Across three days I recorded abandoned buildings, lone trees bent over in fields of tundra-like grasses, quivering road signs, wailing fences and other objects brought into relief with the wind. It wasn’t comfortable, but the sounds, I hope, speak for themselves.

The Antarctic recordings were made during two blizzards at Marambio and Esperanza bases. During the blizzard in Marambio, the temperature dropped to -40degrees centigrade (with windchill) which made recording particularly challenging. The wind battered the bases structures and telecommunications equipment, making a range of unusual tonal phase drones, which you can hear in these recordings. The blizzard at Esperanza was mild by comparison, but still string enough to coat penguins in layer of snow as they huddled together during the worst of the wind storm.

Listening back to these recordings I am struck by the sheer physicality of the wind. It’s rare that you feel physically reduced by the motion of air, but in both Patagonia and Antarctica that is just how I felt. A small speck of organic dust in a howling storm.” - Lawrence English, Viento

+ A Beginner’s Guide to Field Recording +


soundart1.jpg
soundart2.jpg

“Of course, Ad Hocc detaches itself from anything culminative or singular by emphasizing modularity within the very construction of an album experience. The USB drive that contains the music features six versions of the “album” with the intentionally vague statement that “these versions are included to enjoy separately or played out of multiple speakers.” The six pieces themselves are divided into three “fundamental” versions (including a “dry” rendition of the album) and three “supplementary versions,” which are “process” layers that are, well, supplementary. The format itself fulfills any “Lego-building” or IKEA fantasy one might want to have applied to D/P/I’s music (a personal fantasy, to be sure). 

But moreover, it serves to blatantly emphasize Gray’s commitment to an ethos of constructing intuitive, enjoyable forms out of the multiple — to find something “fundamental” out of his atemporal language, one that’s only located in the act of “working” and “speaking.” The procedural nature of his music is clear given how prolific Gray’s musical output has been over the past few years; dude is constantly in motion. The sheer amount of ideas that fly by in any given one of his compositions demonstrates a working mind “loosened” from oppressive musical structures that seek to define time separate from this act of “speaking.” In this sense, Gray has managed to disentangle himself, as if he’s found some kind of secret map that contains clues to the improvisatory nature of an entirely grander framework; and, he sees to it that the map’s “code” is recombined enough times such that the “destination” is inward, the map just demands that you get to work.”

>>>> D/P/I Boiler Room

syro2.jpg