Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013 Part 7

So here we are, the grand finale, the last gasp of the hour. After writing all this up and listening to everything repeatedly over the last week, I'm feeling a little better about this year in music than my initial diagnosis suggested. Lots of breakthroughs, the return of some established stars, and a lot to look forward to in the coming year.

Electronic music was the story of the year, no question, with ambient and disco sounds really shining. Not so much hip hop, and both indie and dubstep feel like they're beating a dead horse. Rock didn't necessarily find any new tricks, but maybe some new expressions.

What will 2014 bring? I think dance music will shift again, possibly to something we haven't quite heard yet, and there's still a place for some soul if the right artist can deliver it. Whatever happens, by this time next year some names I've never heard of will have a place among the best of the best.

On a personal level, it's been a frustrating year. After dropping several EPs last year, I didn't really finish any this year. It's not that I haven't been working on anything, far from it, I just didn't feel like anything was ready to be released. Thankfully that will change pretty soon, as I have a couple releases that should be good to go by the end of January.

It wasn't all bad though, I did manage to record some cool new mixes, got to experience silent disco at Folly Fest, and very recently bought a couple new toys to help with the music making process. The next 12 months should be very fruitful and though there's lots of work ahead, I'm very much looking forward to it after several months of inspirational stagnation.

Anyway, let's get on with it. Here are my top releases of 2013.

#3
Daft Punk
Random Access Memories


I was so excited when this album was announced. Then came all the marketing, which one has to admit was frickin ingenious, almost as good as the music itself. When the album finally dropped I was like everyone else - stunned. We all expected a rocking robot dance album, and got something totally different. Thank goodness for that.

Soul, disco, funk, and just about the most incredibly tight production quality I've ever heard on an electronic album, or any album. Almost 75 minutes of awesome. More jams and grooves than you knew what to do with. It has it all, and it only took eight years to happen. Please let the next one come sooner...

Within


Instant Crush


Contact


#2
Disclosure
Settle


Guy Lawrence is 22 years old, and his brother Howard is just 19. Here they are with the electronic world at their feet, and they've barely just begun. This album is essentially a mash up of old school Chicago house with UK garage, and it's the catchiest dang dance record of the year by a country mile.

Numerous collaborators helped out to really give this disc life, including singers Aluna Francis, Sam Smith, and Jessie Ware, among others. Motivational speaker Eric Thomas even lends his distinct voice to once of the year's hottest dance tracks, "When A Fire Starts To Burn". The haters will say this album is repetitive, and it is, but who cares. It sounds fresh and it makes you move. What more do you want?

Latch


F For You


White Noise


#1
Queens Of The Stone Age
...Like Clockwork


The big cheese! After all that bumping and grinding it's time to get serious, and what better way than to crank this 45 minute masterpiece from the best grunge rockers still going strong. Is this a better album than, say, "Rated R"? Not necessarily, but it's certainly worthy of a debate.

Crunchy guitars, creeping bridges, and moaning hooks punctuate the album's best moments, with Josh Homme's semi-casual vocals fitting the script to perfection. It's hard to find any faults at all. Each song leads into the next seamlessly, and the title track closes out the album with such grandeur you have to sit quietly, stunned, in awe, regathering your senses once it ends... and then you press play to start it all over again. 

If I Had A Tail


Smooth Sailing


Keep Your Eyes Peeled


EP #1
Jungle
The Heat


Far and away my favorite abbreviated release of the year is this four-track stunner from UK newcomers Jungle. The thing is, nobody really knows who they are. There's two of them, but we don't know their name, where they come from, or what they've done before. All we know is that they're bringing back the soul, and in a big way. I must have listened to this disc close to 50 times already, it's that good. Just check out the videos below and tell me that it ain't dope. Told ya so.

The Heat


Platoon


Lucky I Got What I Want


That's all she wrote! Thanks for checkin' in! Back Monday! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Best of 2013 Part 6

Into the top 6, the best of the best, my favorite albums of the year!

#6
Tim Hecker
Virgins


A brilliant composer of ambient electronic music, Hecker is originally from Vancouver but for the past fifteen or so years has called Montreal home. His work has been lauded by critics and fans alike for some time now, with his previous album, "Ravedeath, 1972", taking home a Juno award in 2011. Most would have picked that album as his best work. Surely now this changes things.

This is a superb effort, a dark essay beyond time and space, delving deep in the mind beyond what almost any other contemporary ambient musician is capable of conjuring. That isn't to say that this is an entirely negative experience, just one that requires a good deal of thought and concentration to fully comprehend and enjoy. It's only this challenge that keeps this album from higher up the list, but in terms of scope and musicality it is second to none.

Black Refraction


Virginal II


Radiance


#5
The Drones
I See Seaweed


This troupe hail from Australia, as clearly evident by the distinct twang in lead singer Gareth Liddiard's voice. Their name is quite apt given their sound - droning garage rock. They've established quite a decent following, especially since their excellent 2005 album "Wait Long By The River...", but inclusion of this album on many of this year's best-of lists should ensure a level of international popularity they've not quite achieved until now.

A good description for this might be garage opera. It's dramatic, slow moving, verbose, and terrifically intense. Shades of Pink Floyd are found in Liddiard's enticing lyrics, and his poetry is a highlight, with the gnashing guitars stepping in to bring the tension to a head. It's dark, gloomy, and absolutely memorable.

I See Seaweed


How To See Through Fog


Nine Eyes


#4
The Knife
Shaking The Habitual


On first listen it was obvious this album would be on the list somewhere come the year's end, the only question was where. There simply isn't anything else that sounds remotely like it. It's an astonishing work of experimental electronic techno rock, clocking in at over 90 minutes on two discs. I won't pretend it's an easy listen, but it's very, very impressive.

The Swedish duo found widespread acclaim with their last album "Silent Shout", seven long years have passed since then and this album is vastly different. Warbling synthesizer notes and complex percussive rhythms keep it pulsing forwards, with crunchy ambient distortion crawling around in the background to fill up the space. Once again this album is intensely dark, and feels both distracted and cohesive all at once, kind of like Bjork on steroids. Highly recommended.

A Tooth For An Eye


Full Of Fire


Stay Out Here


EP #2
Shad & Skratch Bastid
The Spring Up


I really haven't enjoyed most of the hip-hop put out this year, and even Shad's full length album "Flying Colours" was underwhelming. Maybe my taste just isn't evolving with the times, or maybe the advancement of electronic experimentation has just led production in a different direction, but this EP, produced by Halifax DJ supreme Skratch Bastid (with some input from Jazzy Jeff), was undoubtedly my favorite of the genre from the year. The tracks are clean and groovy, and Shad's lyricism feels perfectly framed. My only complaint is that it's not longer.

Homie


Outta My Head


Classic


Six parts down, one to go! Back in a few short hours...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best of 2013 Part 5

Well the fights couldn't possibly have gone any worse, but the consolation is that stepping away will be that little bit easier now. Farewell UFC, I will return when GSP comes back from hiatus. This of course means more time for other things, which will hopefully mean more dolla dolla bills. I've watched nearly every major MMA event in the last twenty years, so this is an emotional exit, but a necessary one. I shall drown my heartache with the majesty of the music ahead. Step forward...

#9
Darkside
Psychic


Nicolas Jaar is a name some of you are probably familiar with, and this is one of his side projects along with one of his regular touring instrumentalists Dave Harrington. The combination creates a brilliant concoction of bluesy electro-groove that sounds something like a mix of Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, and the Black Keys, all mixed up with a taste of Jaar's whispering electronic style. Unlike some of the other atmospheric albums on this list, the songs on this release can be just as appreciated in a singular fashion.

Appropriately, given their name, the mood is dark and mysterious, though more of an inquisitive darkness than an outright menacing one. Jaar handles the keys and provides the understated vocals himself, while Harrington takes the lead on the guitar, rounding out the sound nicely with muted tones. It took two years to finally release this album, but hopefully they'll enlighten us with something new in the nearer future.

Freak, Go Home


Paper Trails


Golden Arrow


#8
Classixx
Hanging Gardens


Composed of producer duo Michael David and Tyler Blake, this album is pure disco synth-pop magic. Upbeat, catchy, dreamy, it's a throwback to the best synth sounds of the 80s and even includes a couple superbly styled ballads for good measure. The pacing is perfect, and it's no surprise that these two hail from Los Angeles, as so much of this album seems best suited for a drive to the beach.

Of course there are some vocal collaborators on show to keep things interesting, including Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem, Pat Grossi (aka Active Child), and Sarah Chernoff of Superhumanoids. Most of the songs incorporate some kind of sample, in some cases just melting into the background to give a little levity. This is a great summer album, another superb debut LP that sets the bar for future releases pretty darn high.

Holding On


Borderline


A Fax From The Beach


#7
Siriusmo
Enthusiast


Moritz Friedrich is a terribly interesting character. The Berlin-based maestro is an esteemed visual artist as well as one of the best electronic producers on the planet. He's been making quirky beats for over a decade now, though it's mostly in the past five years that he's really expanded his output and become a highly in-demand remixer.

Friedrich sets his stall out early with the opening track "Doctor Beak", which features his signature springy synth attacks supported by a variety of wacky samples and percussive hits that just keep things unusually funky. His laser-beam style might not be for everyone, but those who like it tend to absolutely love it. This is a fantastic collection of thumping masterworks, whimsical and intense all at once, and easily one of the best electronic releases of the year.

Itchy / Cornerboy


Plastic Hips


Liu


EP #3
Phonat
Identity Theft


Michele Balduzzi is a giant on the electronic scene, figuratively and literally. The guy is like 7 feet tall! More impressive than his height is his ability to produce amazing music in just about any genre. Glitchy house-hop, funky disco-tech, he just has amazing control of his bells and whistles. This EP is an experiment in dubby trip-hop, awash with majestic synths and reverberating vocal samples. It's awesome, inspiring, and worth listening to over and over and over again.

Ride The Prejudice


Identity Theft


Morden Life


Getting close to the top now... more tomorrow morning!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best of 2013 Part 4

Tonight is a big night for fight fans, myself being one of them. The Silva-Weidman rematch is a monstrous spectacle, one of the biggest in the history of mixed martial arts, and however it finishes it will be dramatic and exciting. Personally I hope Silva wins and retires immediately after. Since GSP has already virtually done just that, it's just about time for me to take a break from my almost fanatical following. It's time to focus on other endeavors Silva's retirement would make the decision a little less traumatic.

Back to music, the list so far hasn't taken too many unpredictable turns, so hopefully today changes that. There will likely be a couple of these discs that you haven't heard, or even heard of, which is a good thing, though not something done intentionally. I legitimately thought these releases were great, and I hope you find some enjoyment in them as well.

#12
Axel Boman
Family Vacation


From Stockholm comes this terrific house producer, his style mostly entrenched in minimal or ambient noise but with some really interesting use of samples. He uses a lot of repetition and plenty of reverb with some delay effects to give it a jazzy dub kind of feel. Everything is carefully weighted, and the breaks in the programming are subtle and clean.

There are a lot of similarities between the songs but at the same time they vary just enough to keep your interest peaked for the duration of the 86-minute presentation. It's a great album for a late night drive, if that's your thing, or just to groove out to with your headphones on. Super chill, masterfully built, highly recommended.

Fantastic Piano


Hello


Can't Find It


#11
Buke & Gase
General Dome


This pairing of souls from Brooklyn is a little strange. They have similar names (Aron & Arone), play handmade instruments, and make really odd music. I like it. Their EP "Function Falls" didn't quite make my best of last year, but their song "Misshaping Introduction" from that disc was one of my favorite songs of the year. With so much 'alternative indie' being favored by the hipsters of today it's a wonder to me that these guys aren't more popular, because to me they're way more progressive and politely awkward than most of the boring stuff being passed about.

This album is their actually their second LP, though I haven't heard the first, and it's really, really good. It was one of those that I mulled over placing higher on the list, and very well could enjoy a greater long-term appeal than some others. There's just something about it, the dissonant harmonies, the wacky time signatures, and the little intermittent passages of genius. More of this please.

Houdini Crush


General Dome


Hiccup


#10
Kixnare
Red


Of all my selections, this is probably the one most likely to get a 'wtf?' reaction. I haven't seen it on anyone else's list, nor did I expect to, and it's quite likely you've never heard of this guy. His name is Łukasz Maszczyński and he hails from Kraków, Poland. To be honest I'd never heard of him either before randomly coming across this disc, but I'm so glad I found it. It's a massive find.

The album is mostly downtempo bass beats, with really minimalist drum machine samples, basic patterns, and waves of dreamy synths and loopy vocal samples over top. It simple, uncluttered, and effective. The second track, "Gucci Dough", is probably my favorite electronic production of the year. I absolutely love this album and can't wait to hear more.

Gucci Dough


No More


Eraser


EP #4
Koreless
Yūgen


Another likely new to you, thank me later. On first listen I didn't know what to make of it, but it caught my attention enough for me to listen to it again. And again. And again. No kick, no snare, the only sign of any percussive elements are some tonal synthetic toms, but even they are more counterpoint than rhythmic. The main themes are repetitive and progression is achieved through overlapping loops and a liberal application of various distortion effects. It's pulsating and mechanical, and a great introduction to Glasgow's Lewis Roberts, one of the new stars on the experimental scene.

Sun


Never


Last Remnants


Tomorrow we head inside the top 10!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Best of 2013 Part 3

I went and saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug last night. The theatre was still jammed, which is likely as much indicative of the time of year as it is the popularity of the movie. As a Tolkien fan I emerged from the film with mixed emotions. It was a great ride, more exciting than An Unexpected Journey, but it diverged so much from the original source material that it was a bit sad at parts, and I can't help but feel that the editing in the final cut could have been better. Anyway go see it and enjoy it for what it is, and let's get back to talking music shall we?

#15
Jon Hopkins
Immunity


Jon Hopkins is an interesting fellow. A truly unique character from London, his music combines so many different influences and sounds that it’s really impossible to define in terms of genre, and that only adds to the appeal. While the notes themselves aren’t particularly complicated or difficult, the obvious attention to detail in almost every second is impressive.

Much of this album seems to be purposely made to accompany visuals, it’s an intensely visceral exposition. Sweeping ambient harmonies are juxtaposed against heavy techno-style drum tracks that produce a kind of sonic inevitability. This isn’t so surprising given that he has, in the past, scored for film, and done so to high acclaim. Since there doesn’t seem to be a DVD release as of yet, maybe just closing your eyes and imagining while listening will do the trick.

Open Eye Signal


Breathe This Air / We Disappear


Collider


#14
David Bowie
The Next Day


I can’t imagine there are too many 65 year olds sitting around thinking “I haven’t rocked an album in a decade, I should really get on that.” Then again this is David Bowie we’re talking about, and he has never been anything even approaching ordinary. It should thus come as no surprise that this isn’t just an album for activity’s sake, it’s a really good one by any definition.

The styles and tempo accordingly vary from song to song, though there remain only hints of the heavy electronic feel of previous works on “Heathen” and especially “Earthling”. Each track can be taken as equally its own entity and yet undeniably part of an overarching theme of introspection. Bowie’s voice and song writing are as strong as ever, and though it appears he isn’t likely to be doing any live performances any time soon, we can certainly look forward to his next effort.

The Next Day


Valentine's Day


The Stars (Are Out Tonight)


#13
Melt Yourself Down
Melt Yourself Down


This is a short album, only eight tracks long and only 35 minutes, but it’s a heck of a ride any way you look at it. Interestingly they are also from London, making it a cool three out of three for today’s LP stars. Come to think of it, today’s EP selection also originates from there... is this some kind of English conspiracy? This can’t be coincidence!

Back to the matter at hand – horns, blips, bloops, zaps, drums, cowbells, and static are all omnipresent throughout this electro-funk jazzamatazz of a record, the first studio album from a band that only formed barely more than a year ago. Judging on the energy bursting through the seams in this collection as well as the wild videos of their live efforts, I can only assume they are a hell of a great time to see in person. Ignore the utterly perplexing review that a website that shall be unnamed posted, this is a great album and one you should dance around in your underpants to post-haste.

Release!


Camel


Fix My Life


EP #5
Lapalux
Composure


Lapalux, aka Stuart Howard, released two notable EPs last annum and this one builds on his glitchy trip-hop style, with the title track being one of the coolest tracks out all year. This was released prior to the full album Nostalchic, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me because all three appeared on that release as well. To be honest the LP left a lot to be desired, mostly feeling like filler to flesh out the obvious quality of these tracks. This guy has a ton of potential so it will be interesting to see what he comes up with next.

Without You


Guuurl


Swallowing Smoke


Part 4 featuring non-Londoners tomorrow!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best of 2013 Part 2

On to part 2, you know how we do.

#18
Boards Of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest


Easily one of the most anticipated albums of the year, at least from fans of ambient and experimental psychedelia, the acclaimed Scottish duo returned with their first studio LP since 2005. For most if not all, it was worth the wait. This is a fantastic album, indeed arguably their best, and moving forwards it will be among the select few of this calendar year that will stand out as one of true exception. Frankly, looking at it now, I’ve probably placed it a little too low, but tough decisions had to be made so here it is.

Melancholy is probably the most appropriate descriptive term for this album as a whole, reflective another. These guys are renowned for the depth of their composition, and once again the sheer spectrum of sound that they work with is impressive. As usual it’s difficult to pinpoint individual tracks as this is best listened to in its entirety, but take a gander at the selections below anyway and it will give you a rough idea of where this album is going.

Reach For The Dead


White Cyclosa


Sick Times


#17
Kvelertak
Meir


I have to give credit to Anthony Fantano (of Needle Drop fame) for this one. I hadn’t heard of these guys before but I saw his review and thought I should give them a listen, and I’m glad I did. Their sound is... well... picture a group of Vikings, striding across the hills of Norway, guitars in hand and spitting fervent fury from their fingers with an axe in their teeth. Yup, that’s pretty much it.

If there is a detraction for me, it’s the characteristic screamo vocals that dominate the verses. The choruses are actually quite melodic, and I just wish they’d add a little more variety to the rest, but then it’s done in a tasteful way, and not just random indecipherable screeching that tends to ruin so many other black metal acts. The instrumentals are what make this sound, though, and they are awesome. With another singing style you could easily picture this record exploding in popularity, but maybe we should just enjoy this for what it is – Viking metal!

Kvelertak


Månelyst


Evig Vandrar


#16
Ian Pooley
What I Do


His name doesn’t sound German, but this genius producer is from Frankfurt, one of the world’s most influential cities in the evolution of modern electronic music. Essentially a tech house specialist, Pooley continues largely in that vein but does find room to branch out a little with some funky synth-pop beats that just melt beautifully into the script.

Vocals are scattered sparsely but effectively, with only a couple tracks truly driven by the words. The mood is mostly playful, funky and soulful, with Pooley’s signature percussion rhythms smoothing out the edges. This is the best pure house album of the year, and in a year dominated by pulsing electronic experimentalism, this one proves that the basics can still get the job done when they’re done right.

CompuRhythm


1983


Swing Mode


EP #6
Louis La Roche
Composure


UK based Brett Ewels is a French house master, and his bouncy style continues on this groovy five-track release, but this time with a bit more 80s disco feel to it, not unlike the sounds of Grum or Mylo. He plays around with tempo a bit, opting for a slightly slower, groovier sound, and even throws in a dubstep-type track for good measure. This isn’t an earth shaker, or one that critics will be fawning over, it’s just a nice 20 minute escape to fantasy funk, and that’s good enough for me.

Dance With Me Tonight


Let Go


Looking Up


Part 3 cominatcha tomorroooow!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Best of 2013 Part 1

Holy cheese and rice it's almost 2014. I'm not sure how time has moved so quickly but I suspect I'll be saying the same thing a decade from now. What a wild year it was, ups and downs, ins and outs, too much cheese and not enough bacon. Mmm... bacon...

In terms of music, it hasn't really been that exciting. There have been some standout tracks and a couple new emerging artists on the scene, but as a whole it there weren't a lot of true contenders for greatness. Of course if you're an indie addict or trashy hip-hop fan you might have had a great time, but then you probably aren't reading this right now either.

Before we get into it, the usual disclaimer: this is entirely subjective and it's simply a list of the best albums that I felt deserved recognition, nothing more. Here you will find no country music, no cookie-cutter pop music, and certainly no fricking Kanye West.

Get it? Got it? Good. Now let's proceed.

If you need a recap of the past, here are the Best of 20102011, and 2012.

#21
Nine Inch Nails
Hesitation Marks


I'm a huge and unabashed fan of Trent Reznor, so it's a delight that his first and greatest project returns to full power after a five year hiatus. On first listen it seemed a bit average, but on closer inspection it's a quality release. While it certainly doesn't reach the incredibly lofty heights set by "The Fragile", it easily holds up against more recent efforts like "With Teeth" and "The Slip". 

The album starts with a bang and chugs along but the pacing seems a little off at times, floating up and down at points with some songs sticking out a little too much. Perhaps the track order could have been a little better? In any event, there are some truly memorable tracks, and Reznor has raised the bar once again with his otherworldly live presentation. To top things off, there are a couple awesome remixes on the bonus disc if you happened to pick up that version. If you haven't, I suggest you do.

Disappointed


Find My Way


Copy Of A


#20
Lorde
Pure Heroine


Certainly if you were going to pick one artist who shot up through the music-sphere to stardom in 2013, it would be this precocious talent from Auckland. Sure, it might on the face look like pop, and her marketing team has kicked into high gear in recent months, but you can't deny talent when it's there. There aren't too many 17 year olds that sound like this, look like this, or act like this. She's an impressively mature head on young shoulders.

Of course the biggest track on the album, and thankfully the only one carried over from "The Love Club" EP (which was also very good) is the biggest song of the year and the one you'll see first below. It was covered by numerous wannabes (and one superbly grandiose clown) and really picked up traction in the latter months of the year despite being released more than a year ago. There are lots of great moments beside that one, however, and it's well worth spending 37 minutes of your time to ingest.

Royals


Buzzcut Season


Team


#19
Clutch
Earth Rocker


I've been following these guys for some time but for whatever reason they've never quite broken through the "above-average" barrier, until now. This is their second album released on their own Weathermaker label, and the word is they spent a lot more time in pre-production getting the songs just right. The result is a torrential downpour of hard rocking awesome. In short, it kicks ass.

This improved direction has helped to really tighten the sound of the band, and the production throughout is super clean and crisp making this sound great on your headphones or your floor speakers. While these guys might be on the wrong side of 40 now, there's no reason to think they can't get even better, especially given the age of some other star performers on this list. If there's any criticism to be had it's that they're not necessarily the most exciting live act in terms of stage presence, but they still sound great so it's a small complaint and not one worth missing out over.

Earth Rocker


Crucial Velocity


The Face


EP #7
Glass Animals
Psylla


Admittedly I know very little of this group, except that they are a quartet from Oxford and have been signed by Paul Epworth, a producer of extremely high regard in the industry. The sound is an interesting one, there are influences of all kinds such as Radiohead, Alt-J, and even a little Massive Attack. If this four-track EP is anything to go by, they have a very promising future, and I may well look back and wonder why I didn't rate this higher. It continues to grow on me as I type this.

Black Mambo


Exxus


Psylla


Back tomorrow with part 2...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Obadiah Parker - Hey Ya

...and speaking of covers, remember this one? Ya, you do, cause it's awesome, almost better than the original. They also did a great cover of Radiohead's "Idioteque" that's well worth checking out. Let's just enjoy this one again, just because. To be honest I'm not sure if these guys even make music anymore. I hope they do.

See you tomorrow, with part one of the Best of 2013. 


Celia Pavey - Feel Good Inc.

This is a fabulous cover of that killer Gorillaz track. A cover worth covering? I think so.


Billy Corgan - One Diamond, One Heart

Right, one more day to the big show. Lots of work ahead! Let's cool off before the storm with some acoustic jams to chill to. I enjoyed the last Pumpkins album, it wasn't quite vintage but it was a welcome return to form after some decidedly ordinary years. This is a nice little performance from Billy, so it's a good place to start methinks.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Laura Marling - When Brave Bird Saved

Creds to Amy for this one. I really know nothing about Ms. Marling, but this is a collection of four of her songs from her new album put together into a short film. Absorb and enjoy!


The Cinematic Orchestra - Regen

The last album by this group was a collection of soundtracks to short films. They're all pretty good, but didn't really hit it out of the park with the critics. Whatever, I like it, and you'll like it, and that's all that matters. 

This particular Dutch film was released in 1929 by Joris Ivens, and was later scored by Grey Reverend, and then performed by the group you hear below. Again, not a quick absorption, but full of hearty warmth.


Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Mladic

Almost there! In a couple days we begin our 4th annual best-of series featuring 21 select albums and EPs, running from Christmas day until the new year. This track is actually from an album that wouldn't have looked out of place on last year's list, but ultimately didn't quite make it for me. It's a great album nevertheless, and in a few years might well leave a longer-lasting impression than several that I ranked above it at the time. 

Obviously this is not pop music, so for many people this is just noise. Maybe think of this kind of stuff as a fine wine or a delicious scotch, might not taste so good to begin with, but stick with it for a while and eventually you'll begin to love it's subtle majesty.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sarah Slean - Parasol

Holy shit I made it. I'll never do that again. I've said it before, but enough is enough. The jig is up. The chickens have come home to roost. See you tomorrow. For reals.

Laura Mvula - She

This is fantastic. Just listen.

Katzenjammer - Fairytale Of New York

Well, might as well keep this live music thing going. Here's a festive number featuring everyone's favorite bearded Haligonian, monsieur le Ben Caplan.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory

You won't find many by this lady on here, but credit where credit is due. She's got talent when she performs like this. Couldn't really care less about her pop videos.

Metallica - Enter Sandman

Another awesome remake by Andy Rehfeldt. So, so good.

Radiohead - Reckoner

Let's do some weird versions of great tracks. If you haven't heard this one yet, you are in for a treat. This is a fantastic remix done by Adam Cathart (where did he go?) a few years back. There were a couple other standout mixes, but this one was particularly memorable.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nine Inch Nails - Cars

Featuring the man himself, Gary Numan. Say no more!

Nine Inch Nails - Echoplex

Like seriously, the guy's live shows are re-frickin-diculous.

Nine Inch Nails - Somewhat Damaged

I know, let's have an impromptu Trent Reznor Day. This song is awesome for lifting heavy ass weights. One of my early favorites from NIN.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Parallels - Ultralight

This sounds like new wave retro. We should do some new wave retro.

Hollerado - Pick Me Up

I think I saw these guys live once. I think.

Clubfeet - Heartbreak

Here's a lovely little summer song, to celebrate the winter...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dubmatix - Pull Up Selector

Solid dub album comin' atcha from the T-dot as well. A great find if you can get it.