But of course we had to wait for the new year to actually begin choosing our favourites of 2015, we’re taking this seriously! So, I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are willing to go through yet another rundown for a year that’s already over. Surprisingly, my top 2 hasn’t change over the course of the year, and while my playlists for favourite tracks is longer than ever, the album list is comparably short this year. But let’s get to it, shall we?
Happy New Year! The old optimist I am, I waited until the very last day to pick my favourites of 2014. Like in the previous year, I mostly listened to new music through Spotify, since it allows me to listen to pretty much everything once it comes out. However, unlike 2013 I found it more difficult to single out the favourite of the year, so I decided not to rank the following selection.
Let’s start with some of the more soulful music of the year:
Taylor McFerrin – Early Riser
When Taylor’s debut album came out on Brainfeeder last June, I was pretty convinced the decision for record of the year has been made. Great production, not a single bad track, soulful music made a big comeback into my life.
…and then the Flying Lotus record came out and changed everything. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, but I wasn’t so sure anymore about my first pick. Predictable choice? I don’t even think so, but it’s an amazing record start to finish! I’m going as far to say that it’s up there with Cosmogramma!
I didn’t see King Britt’s LP anybody else’s list for 2014, but I think this is a record that deserves more spotlight. Try it out for yourself and listen to all of the records mentioned so far in a row, they go really well together. Seamless.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. If you missed new music from Tim Hecker this year, there’s probably no better surrogate than “Wilderness of Mirrors” by Lawrence English. And while this might read like a second choice, it’s definitely not!
There’s no doubt about my favourite compilation of the year, Hyperdub’s vision of RnB from the future won my all over. Killer tracks from Terror Danjah, Morgan Zarate, Jessy Lanza, Ikonika & Dam Funk, Scratcha DVA and more!
Alright, it’s the end of the year and it’s that time when hipster bloggers (and journalists) start mocking the phenomenon of the “end of the year list”–just to come up with their own version of it a second later. Or the musician/DJ who points fingers until he finds himself in a top spot of one of those lists. Let’s not pretend, I’ve been there myself, but this year I’ve decided I’m going to do a list! Screw the hipsters, screw the hypocrisy. If there’s one soul out there who discovers just one track through all this, it’s been worth it.
Oh yeah, before we kick off, let me say this. I’m listening to Spotify on a weekly basis. I know that David Byrne, Thom Yorke or Four Tet think it’s bad and I guess they have a point. For me though, bored to death by perhaps 95% of the promo material I get, and who buys records on a regular basis, Spotify has become the best way to discover new music. My workflow goes a bit like this: I wait for the record shop newsletters to get delivered, queue most of the releases that could remotely interest me and then it’s three or four days of dedicated listening. To me it’s a great improvement over getting music from illegal sources to make a buying decision, not to mention listening to snippets.
Albums of the year
1. Laurel Halo – Chance of Rain
Very diverse electronic album from an artist who I wasn’t really into prior to this record. Reminiscent of early Autechre and everything that the UK responded with to Detroit techno.
Yes, 2013 was a throwback to more experimental music for me, and the Huerco S. record is one of the prime examples. An unsettling techno record with a industrial feel, like in the days when electronic music was inseparable from visions of a dystopian future. Or: Actress album that we all missed in 2013.
What can I say, another Hyperdub release in my top 3 and possibly my most listened to record of the year and as close to pop music as I might get. I think someone called it future RnB, whatever that is. Anyway, can’t go wrong with Hyperdub, can you?