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.
2. Huerco S. – Colonial Patterns
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.
3. Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
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?
runners-up in no particular order:
Onepointoh Trix Never – R Plus Seven
Hav Lyfe – Hav Lyfe
Julia Holter – Loud City Song
Dean Blunt – The Redeemer
Special Request – Soul Music
DJ Rashad – Double Cup
Thundercat – Apocalypse
Logos – Cold Mission
Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind
Walton – Beyond
Compilations of the year
I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music In America
Reissues of the year
1. William Onyeabor – Who Is William Onyeabor?
2. (any of those Popol Vuh reissues on Wah Wah)
3. Laraaji – Celestial Music 1978-2011
Marcos Valle – Vento Sul
Vangelis – Blade Runner
Cybotron – Enter
Cliff Martinez – Solaris
J Dilla – Donuts (45 Box Set)
(feel free to post your favourite reissues in the comments below, always interested in that!)
Video of the year:
And lastly, here is what our readers found most interesting on our little website here:
1. Dis|cover 2012… with Optigram
2. Volume 17 – mixed by Ahu
3. Joy Orbison – Donell
4. Astronautica – Replay Last Night
5. Los Angeles: The Artwork
Alright, I guess that’s it for this year. On behalf of the entire staff, I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year!