Monday, December 9, 2013

2013 Endgame


I haven’t written a music review since February of this year.  That’s very much by design, for reasons discussed previously on this blog.  Like Chris Ott instructed, I long ago abandoned the concept of getting paid to make money on writing about music.  As a result of the complications that arise from this kind of self-imposed predicament, I’ve since spent the vast majority of 2013 not only not getting paid to write about music, but not really writing about music at all. 

I began writing professionally in 2004, straight out of college, where I landed a shitty newspaper gig in the heart of nowhere in suburban-cum-rural New York.  My job was as much about generating the news as it was about reporting it.  There were always stories, just not always enough content to fill the space demands generated by the marketing department.  I was the lead reporter for one newspaper and the secondary on a two others at a syndicate of local papers distributed throughout Dutchess County, NY.  It was a role that paid less than $20,000 a year and demanded roughly 50 to 60 hours a week, including face time in an office where I regularly had nothing to do.  I determined at one point that I was actually making less money than during my tenure as Sales Clerk at Blockbuster Video, which directly preceded the newspaper job.  However, like the many exploited laborers of the liberal media, I was reassured that I was only “paying my dues” and the “exposure” would help lead to bigger and better things.

It didn’t. The syndicate of local papers folded a few short years after I was fired as the local print industry plummeted.

By far my favorite part of the newspaper job was contributing to the weekend edition that got published in all local offshoots.  Here, I got to screen films and write advance reviews.  Unlike some of the other local interest puff stories (which I was admittedly a bit cavalier about), I took my role as film critic very seriously and tried to apply the theoretical framework and aesthetic vernacular I’d gleaned from my academic film studies coursework to the more accessible medium of a newspaper review.  I received great feedback from the community on reviews where I’d, say, antagonize the gender politics of “House of Flying Daggers” or wax philosophical on the proto-social media overshare of the trafic experimental DIY autobiography “Tarnation”.  It was a bit thrilling to see my byline and find out that somebody had not only read it, but engaged with it enough to go see a film or to think about a film in a deeper manner.

I’d written music reviews at my college newspaper, but they were written more from a fan’s perspective than a critic’s.  My style at that time was an attempt to ape the early Pitchforkmedia format, a Voltron-esque assemblage of references compiled into a diagnosis, a record nerd’s quantification of the locus of cool via a gordita-style layering of the proper touchpoints.   Then, in my senior year, I chanced upon a bargain hardcopy cover of Generation Ecstasy by Simon Reynolds (known in its British form by the much better title Energy Flash), which subjected electronic music to the same kind of multidisciplinary interrogation that all that literary and film criticism I’d been absorbing at University had been doing, though in a far more thrilling manner and absent the stuffy scientific etiquette of postmodernist/cultural studies semiotic word vomit.  Essentially a collection of scene temperatures and zeitgeist-chasing during one of the most innovative periods in music history, Reynolds’s collection made the context surrounding the records seem as vital as the sounds coming out of the speakers.  Finally, here was writing that was complimentary to the source material, rather than supplemental to it. 

It hadn’t even occurred to me to examine music in this way.  Music seemed a static series of artistic strokes, the only delineating factors were its shapes, timbres, and lyrical content (reinforced by teenage subscriptions to Spin and Rolling Stone).  By focusing on mostly wordless music, Reynolds’s analysis politicized abstraction and set flame to any essentialist notions of what a song or a scene or a sound was about, and furthermore, what it couldn’t be about.

Still, it took a while for Generation Ecstasy to germinate and kick in.   It wasn’t until I was working part-time as a Legal Assistant and seeking out freelance opportunities that I began to discover that the online community was not only regularly producing these frenetic arguments and theses in real-time, but also paving a path for a new kind of study/listenership/critical engagement that wouldn’t have been fit-to-print in the weekly and monthly rags.

 I remember entering on the sidelines when the internet was having its “Stephin Merritt doesn’t care about black people” moment and controversy was brewing over Carl Wilson then-unreleased Let’s Talk About Love.  This lead me to the blogs, where I discovered what I still find to be some of the most dynamic writing I’ve ever read.   Everything I’d read about blogs as a medium insinuated that they were mainly puff, bonus features to the feature presentation of print publications.  I’d even regularly maintained a blog myself, brimming with poorly edited/thought out political rants, personal recollections, and links to any riffraff that caught my interest.  However, the music blogs were producing actual content, sometimes at ridiculous length and being produced with the same speed and temerity of the scenius agents of Reynolds’s tome.

Most of the best ones splintered from the network surrounding Reynolds’s still-running blissblog. Some were only peripherally related to music, but often found it to be a key metric in assessing the late capitalist landscape, throwing in subjects I’d been interested in but only had a peripheral knowledge of.  I went back and read K-Punk’s blog “cover-to-cover” and witnessed the nascent theories of capitalist realism develop and discovered how ideas I’d long held about institutions being their own form of parasitic artificial intelligence were ones also described at length by both Spinoza and Burroughs.  For these writers, music was not remote; it was a fully integrated subset of the most vibrant parts of the active imagination.

I began to write from this vantage and found that I was able to articulate a much more lucid and defined style.  My first music writing stints offered small sums of cash in addition to the free loot, but eventually the money died out (my relationship with one publication died after my repeated attempts to invoice them for services rendered ended in them actively taking me off of their contact lists).   Eventually, it became clear that it was not in my financial interest to do anything other than accept some slag-off full-time job and make music writing my full-time hobby to squeeze in after and inbetween work hours.  This proved difficult since none of the pitiful admin jobs I took allowed me to don headphones or access secluded workspace, but I managed to pull it off from time to time.

The pay deteriorated into just the physical promos and eventually even the material goods were rescinded in favor of downloads.  Writing was now charity.  Concurrently, the online writing community became saturated with both new talent and hacks.  The former had too grown up on the blogs and were too applying their egghead research to their field studies (perhaps too liberally at times).   The latter were an assortment of press release mimes, pageview trolls, fickle contrarians, and superficial taste-chasers.   Music writing was mired by the abundance of petty feuds and logical fallacies, consumer reviews and digressive poses. All of which seemed to gravitate to the top of the click heap, making quality authorship simultaneously dire and futile.    

In addition, the channels for receiving, processing, and communicating about music were being widened.  Music, though not making a dime for musicians or writers alike, was available everywhere all at once.   As a result, it seemed like no one was even having the same conversation anymore.  One couldn’t engage with the latest review or thinkpiece since it’d be months before said album even came up in their heft queue.   By that point, we’d moved on. The refreshingly comprehensive long reads of the blogs and adventurous early online zines like Stylus were replaced by the instant gratification and concision of twitter, where the blogosphere relocated practically en masse.   

In 2013, like in previous years, I listened to a ton of music. This is unlikely to change in any future calendar year.  However, work commitments (which cascaded into lunch hours and even beyond the 9 to 5 on occasion) and family commitments (including the birth of my second child) inhibited my ability and willpower to do the kind of deep listening required to produce the kind of criticism that still flows out effortlessly from many of my peers.  At this stage, I don’t see this downward trend in productivity curtailing anytime soon.  I don’t know that I consider this an ending as much as a whimper, the reduction of a dream into smoke and vapor trails by an entrenched capitalist realism.  In addition, the best laid plans to channel the drive and compulsion to create/dissect/fabricate/distort into “other projects” has yielded very little so far.  I think part of this has to do with me being on an island out in the great American northeast.  I interact daily with people whose interests and values are at the polar extreme end of mine, those who appreciate the center and admire (even idolize) control, who have no value for a kink in the armor, and who wouldn’t know true radicalism if it came up and spit on them at a MOMA punk retrospective.

That’s my sob story, but don’t pity me oh loyal reader.  I’m the white middle class male, the kidney stone of culture.  My main hindrance is that I’m looking out for me and mine.  I represent a generation that has already eagerly enlisted themselves to the dark side.  I’ve got every luxury and every advantage at my fingertips. And now after nearly a year of silence, I’m coming to jam my opinions down your throat:

The 2013 in Review

I don’t fancy myself much of a prognosticator. I have enough trouble tracking the present to have a good grasp of what the future holds.  However, last year, cruising around town blasting Death Grips’s The Money Store non-stop, I was sure that it was going be a kind of hip-hop (Post)punk, and that 2013 would be flooded with a bunch of weirdoes taking hip-hop to even stranger, more avant-garde extremes.  The end of the year saw inklings of this, with the queer rap scene producing minimalist-as-fuck pulses from Zebra Katz, freak flag conceptualist post-industrial from Mykki Blanco, and the indescribably offbeat banjeecore gayngsta rap of Le1f’s Dark York.  Odd Future’s splinter projects finally sounded interesting.  If there was some new wave brewing though, I wasn’t privy to it.

If anything, I was expecting a reinvestment in anger, a reverberation of MC Ride’s shrill shriek of cold brutality and primal ache pitched to gabber-like levels of intensity.   In a year where George Zimmerman walked free though, one that should have elicit black fury perhaps more than any other in recent memory, the closest we got was Yeezus, Kanye West’s unexpected, brilliantly sloppy and somewhat rushed curveball of an album.   Yeezus was often mentioned in the same breath as Death Grips, but I’ve yet to see any direct evidence from interviews or first hand sources that it was an influence (West cites industrial, acid house, and drill as touchpoints).  Still, the aggression and vitriol is present. In fact, it’s inescapable.

Yeezus is a bold and unapologetically ugly album.  After the deterritorializing of the MOMA exhibit hammered the last nail in the coffin of punk, Yeezy did a zombie punk gesture in using his starpower to deliver a giant gadfly middle finger to the propriety of those who reluctantly accepted him in, declaring that he could marry a Kardashian and trounce around Fashion Week, but he’d always be an outsider.  In “New Slaves”, he declared that celebrity can’t erase skin tone and the collective connection one has to others who share it, an important and easily forgotten sentiment in an age when more and more of the right seem to be shedding  any pretense to PC to openly embrace their inner hate.  As the media-crit left continued to nitpick minor structural arguments to boast its intersectional wares, Kanye, as witnessed in an insightful interview on Jimmy Kimmel (branded a rant by those headline-churning forces who give us meaning), was one of the only ones who seemed to grasp that the common denominator bonding the intersectional minority groups and their differing (often competing) demands was classism, something he wasn’t immune to even as the one of the richest rich-bastard moguls alive. 

Production-wise, Yeezus is even more spot-on.  While some of the collaborators and co-writers seemed to be from a recurring ensemble cast (Daft Punk, Lupe Fiasco, Bon Iver), the inclusion of some WTF electronic producers (Gesaffelstein, Arca, Brodinski, Evian Christ) showed that West’s ear was definitely to the ground, perhaps even a few feet under it.  From the opening atonal squelch of “On Sight”, his intentions are clear.  This is confrontational music.  For all the chatter and controversy, I’ve yet to hear any of these songs on the radio yet (the closest is the bizarre application of “Black Skinhead”, a song which features the line “stop all that coon shit/early morning cartoon shit” on an Apple commercial) and there’s a reason for that.  The sheet metal air horn wails on “Send It Up” are raw as fuck, the distorted bass drum and crunchy synth stabs on “I Am God” grate when rubbed up adjacent to any Timberlake joint, the relentless pitch-bent vocals speak more to the fatalistic endgame of depressive hedonism than any of West’s many previous rhymes on the subject.

It’d be easy to pick Yeezus to top one’s year end list on its symbolic value alone, in attempt to hyperbolize its impact upon delivery.  I want pop to be unafraid to do what West did or else I want to boot the current crown royalty and make famous those who are already pushing those kind of boundaries.  I want culture at large to desire this mad abrasion, the angry wails at a fucking awful system.  I want hip-hop producers to look to forward-thinking electronic acts as much as those producers have historically cited and built-upon hip-hop’s future-now aesthetic.  I want to hear 20 acts I’d previously written off come out with better albums than Yeezus next year and have it spur the spirit of competition that arose after Sgt. Pepper, Metal Box, and ’93 Jungle (and which I was sure would happen post-Death Grips).   Many have lamented the album’s pasted-together approach, but I’d far prefer something that’s not a fully-formed thought to the wrapped-in-a-bow pop insularity that soars and drops in 4 minutes of timed-to-a-stopwatch predictability and brand control.

The Year Against the Woman

But of course, there’s the 3 million pound elephant in the room.  For if Yeezus works as music, it fails as politics since its rampant and frankly unforgivable misogyny sabotages its arguments.  An end of year ranking is just a numerical quantification, which deliberately undercuts the critical praxis that may arise around a complex artifact.  Yet, it’s hard to argue that a high ranking for Yeezus would in some ways excuse its worst qualities and denote, to some degree, an endorsement of its shittiest sentiments.  It’s hard at times to tell on Yeezus if Kanye feels more hostile towards the corporate slave state or what he perceives as predatory females.  It’d be hard to believe that Ye was unaware how polarizing a song like “Blood on the Leaves” would be and at least part of him has to understand how conceptually feckless equating sentiments from a song about black lynching to an argument against alimony payments is.   Yet, here it is, rapturously produced, epically bitter, and leaving a rancid taste in the back of one’s throat.

Kanye’s relationship to women folk has always been problematic and well-documented.  From “Gold Digger” to “pussy in a sarcophagus” (and the atrocious accompanying video), Kanye’s best work has always been difficult to defend.  Women are regularly measured mainly for their use value, particularly their sexuality (“pussy and religion are all I need”).  In Yeezus’s only song that is not depressive and not angry, West declares backhandedly that “one good girl is worth a thousand bitches”, while the video features the man’s own wife and mother of his child as little more than eye candy- wordless and naked, merely a passenger to Kanye’s lone ranger.

Pop music generally has more female leads than Hollywood, but when they’re cast in roles by men, they’re frequently tertiary, spoken about rather than speaking for themselves and thus reduced to types or tropes.  Even in songs sung by women, the female singer is often just a character in someone else’s story.  The rise of pop feminism sites like Jezebel, Feministing, and Feminist Frequency has helped to start conversations and evolve attitudes about the debasement of women in music, but in many ways 2013 was a more regressive year than even.  High profile cases against Rick Ross and Robin Thicke for being a little too “rapey” (not my term) were met by evasive maneuvers and insincere apologies.  Elsewhere and out of the spotlight, I must have heard half a dozen or so references to dropping molly or other such substances in a male vocalist’s female partner’s drink.  Even underground faves like Run the Jewels, Ty Dolla Sign, and Danny Brown felt the strange need to celebrate a basic denial of female autonomy.   

One could cite any number of other examples of female disempowerment by chauvinistic d-holes.  Jay-Z’s dredged up moan on a Justin Timberlake tune about how Yoko Ono’s “Chocha ruined pop culture” seems particularly egregious not only because of how it belittles a 70 year old peace activist who has been creating challenging art for longer than Shawn Carter has been alive and reduces her to a single body part, but also by how stale the insinuation is.  Perhaps the next time he’s trolling a Marina Abramovic performance, swooping in with all the guile of an equity firm, he can ask anyone who knows a fucking thing about art if Abramovic would even be there without Ono’s “Cut Piece”.

Hip-hop is easy to single out for criticism because it’s so lyric-heavy, and in general pretty literal. I often think that the bulk of hip-hop’s troubles stem from its persistent need to never shut the fuck up.  However, it’s important to remember that the hip-hop genre does not hold a monopoly on misogyny.   It can turn up unexpectedly, even in places where lyrics don’t factor in so prominently, such as in electronic music.  I’m talking not only about hacky brostep garbage like Borgore, but generally icky-feeling tracks like Disclosure’s “Grab Her”, Salva’s “Drop that B”, or Slava’s “Girl on Dick” (I can’t speak much to indie rock, because who wants to listen to indie rock in 2013?).

As far as I can tell, there’s been very little musical retort to all this noise.  There’s been plenty of rhetoric tossed around about finding feminist challenges within Katy Perry’s selfie(m)powering chants and the like.  I’ve even heard it argued that Angel Haze’s wardrobe choices prove she’s truly a feminist.  But, surely pop music doesn’t think that these kind of gestural moves are even remotely on par with something like “Can’t Hold Us Down” or “Independent Women”, hits from over ten years ago?

The only major notable album that took feminism (and anti-capitalism, income inequality, et al.) as its subject was The Knife’s highly ambitious Shaking the Habitual.  Where Yeezus’s politics were confounding and its messaging direct, The Knife’s politics are clear (spelled out in manifesto form in the liner notes and with open references to Focault, Butler, Atwood) but its communication of them rather abstruse, a cryptographic work of coded lyrical phrases and tactile abstract sonics.  It’s perhaps the first feminist album I know of that’s primarily a percussive (2X)LP and it’s certainly the most celebrated one in recent memory that dissolves into seemingly endless, inert formlessness at the apex of its histrionics.  The instruments on the album sound bruised and mistreated, but not defeated.  In fact, the tribal lurch that sutures the disparate tracks molds them into some kind of frankenforce to be reckoned with.  

The centerpiece of the album is a blistering nomadic 9 minute cut called “Full of Fire”, which is my choice for cut of the year.  It’s driving, pounding, challenging, fearless, confrontational music, which is as unafraid to provoke topically as it is to grate sonically.  It’s full of noisy passages and ventures into dubby asides that make the whirlwind of perusing gender gaps a disorienting and terrifying state.  Karin Dreijer-Andersson’s vocals evoke exactly that sense of women being characters in someone else’s story: “Of all the guys/ And the signori/ Who will write/ My Story?/ Get the picture/ They get glory/ Who looks after/My Story?”.   If they had kept this vibrancy up through both LPs (and it volleys back up there on occasion), this album would be an inescapable tour de force, but as it stands there’s a bit too much glut and shoe-staring to make it the year’s most essential release.

An Annual Glut

Of course, every year it becomes harder to keep up with the enormous outpouring of sounds coming out.  I tend to think that the longer one’s personal year-end list gets, the less reliable it is.  As such, my pending to-listen-to list is far longer than my superlative list and contains material by many I’ve included in several past lists but am awaiting hearing now, such as Grouper, Oneohtrix Point Never, Emptyset, John Foxx and the Belbury Circle,  James Blake, Four Tet, Donato Dozzy, Drake, Dean Blunt, Vatican Shadow and others.  Others like Factory Floor and Darkstar, I listened to once, liked, and didn’t get around to spinning again.

I truly believe Bandcamp to be a hugely positive force for music, but I’ve also found that if I don’t instantly download an album I hear in that forum and throw it on a CD for my car, I’ll soon forget about it.  I’m sure much of the best stuff of the year disappeared down this memory-sized hole.  Still, it’s been fun keeping on top of labels like VCO, Pleasure Boat,  B.Yrself, Prologue, Perc  Trax, Deathbomb Arc, Senseless, Digitalis, Public Information, Astro Nautico, and Exotic Pylon, as well as myriad individual artists.  I mime Adam Harper’s sentiment that checking back regularly on thinks that peak one’s interest gives one a chance to hear an artist develop in real-time.   

Prizes should definitely be awarded though for Opal Tapes and Donkey Pitch, two labels that put out nothing but top quality music all year and made their entire catalogue available at Bandcamp (much of it for free, in the case of Donkey Pitch).  The two couldn’t be more different.  Donkey Pitch put out a host of eclectic post-purple, Neon, grimestrumentals and other permutations of UK Bass music that was far more fun and ecstatic than the myriad other labels doing the same this year.  Opal Tapes , by far my top label of the year, hosts a wide range of experimental electronics, rhythmic noise, propulsive drones, and various other scuzzy post-industrial skronks, all packed in a semi-mystical aura of murk bridging the divide between the raw imprecision of early Cabs and the calculated cacophony and hypnogogia of early to mid Aphex.    The best of these is an eerie and impenetrably detailed little horrorshow EP of precarious dread by Sandwell District veteran Yves De Mey called Metrics, but the rest of the catalogue demands attention too.  Without having a specific style, the label definitely still has a “sound” and if I could wrap it all in a single release, it would shoot to #1 on the year-end list in a heartbeat.

So, the album at the top of my list winds up being a bit of a cheat.  It’s technically a compilation of older tracks, but since they’ve never been released before, RP Boo’s Legacy will technically qualify as a new album (have you heard it? It’s nuts!).  Year-to-year, Footwerk continues to retain credibility, but never seems to rise in the way it is hyped to. Given the conservative tastes of our times and how angular and fragmentary the music is, this is somewhat unsurprising.  One has to wonder if part of this is shielding by a reluctant core who knows what happened when American metallurgists chewed up and shit out dubstep a number of years back.  But perhaps this is also partly because its recorded output is still so limited.  Dubplates flood Youtube, but where are the rival compilations to Bang and Works that effortlessly put all the pieces together? For a moment in history when the word “curate” holds more enchanting power than it ought, why is no one but Mike Paradinas rushing to compile footwork in a way that makes sense to all of us dummies out there in listenerland?

For stray observers not inundated in the footwerk scene, it’s hard to know which loose pieces to grip onto.  What rises to the fore are a couple of superstar MCs putting out high profile albums and some other bass/’nuum graduates looking to expand their sound Chi-town style.  The two major superstar producer LPs of 2013 juxtapose rather sharply.  RP Boo’s Legacy, though full of “hits”, is surreal and jagged, pacing with such stroboscopic vigor that it create the audial illusion of being immobile.  Words are both the elastic and the arrow, creating tensions, amplifying them, and then catching the reverberation of its aftershocks.  DJ Rashad’s Double Cup is sensual and vivid, skittery but strangely accessible for a footwork album, a sellout album that proves that the integrity and intensity of a scene can crossover too, not just the marquee name touting a watered down version of the aesthetic that made him.  If 2010’s Bang & Works was ’92 Jungle, then 2013 is 1995 and footwerk is at a crossroads and it’ll be interesting to see what the next (forgive me) steps are.

That’s about all I have to say, so I’ll get to the lists.  All items not mentioned above are briefly described below.  Happy 2014, all.  

Top 20 Albums of 2013 (roughly in order)

RP Boo- Legacy
Various- Donkey Pitch: We Didn't Think We'd Make It This Far
Forest Swords- Engravings
                Less Morricone jangle, more spatial dub innovation and moving setpieces.  Still 16mm not hi-def. 
Dj Rashad- Double Cup
Boards of Canada- Tomorrow's Harvest
Along with MBV, one of my favorite bands of all time.  Yet, I entered both comeback albums skeptical.  My initital reaction to both was that they were enjoyable yet underwhelming, but allowing them to “open up” after several listens revealed them to be on par with both groups’s best work.
Run the Jewels- Run the Jewels
An intensity machine and sublimating force, far better than anything I’ve previously heard from either El-P or Killer Mike, each well into their careers at this point.
Fuck Buttons- Slow Focus
                 It’s kind of Tarot Sport part 2, but Tarot Sport was my top album of 2009 (proof)
My Bloody Valentine- M B V
Violetshaped- Violetshaped
Mnml deep industrial that’s greater than the sum those parts seem to indicate.Welcome to the terrordrome
The Knife- Shaking the Habitual
Kanye West- Yeezus
Soft Metals- Lenses
                Icy timeless coldwave
Hacker Farm- UHF
Kek-W’s group makes music so physical, they have a previous release that came out on floppy disk. More revolutionary short-wave signal scrabbling about oppressive architecture and poisoned food
Death Grips- Government Plates
“I’d really like to whittle my fanbase down to about 12- you can call them disciples if you like” – Daniel Kitson
Various- This is How We Roll
Hard for me to sign off on Blackdown’s Keysound label being the sound of now, but there’s certainly no one else now rounding up the same roster of talent. A bit more expressionist shadows on loan from early dubstep than the Night Slugs/ Numbers/ Donkey Pitch crowd
Slava- Raw Solutions
                Highly emotive epileptic attacks
Misty Conditions- D'ZZZZ
                Lo-fi scuzzy post-UK Bass
Rejections- Resin in the Filter
                Opal Tapes’ foray into epic squallid noisescapes
Day-glo luminescence into screwed dementia without sounding like being jolted between heaven and hell
Abul Mogard- Drifted Heaven
Deep, immersive drones are perhaps the thing I’m least interested in hearing more of at this stage in my listening habits, but this really is a stunner.

I also enjoyed these releases this year: DJ Clap- Best Night Ever, Le1f- Fly Zone/Tree House, John Wizards- John Wizards, James Ferraro- NYC Hell 3AM, Ñaka Ñaka - Juan Pestañas, Julia Holter- Loud City Song, Kurt Vile- Walkin on a Pretty Daze, OOBE- SFTCR, Steve Moore- Positronic Neural Pathways, Locust- You’ll Be Safe Forever

Top 10 EPs of 2013
Yves De Mey- Metrics
FKA Twigs- EP2
With Kanye too,  but perhaps even more with FKA Twigs, Arca proves himself particularly adept at producing what futuristic pop in 2013 should sound like.  No less impressive or challenging are the utterly gorgeous vocals, which keep pace with Arca’s curveballs.
DJ Rashad- I Don't Give a Fuck/Rollin'
Modkopf- The Nicest Way
                No Dragons with no Imagination, this is it, the apocalypse
Sage the Gemini- Gas Pedal
Stoopid pop minimalism that achieves far more with less and schools the soars and roars on the dial. Wiggle like you’re trying to make your ass fall off. 
Karen Gwyer- Kiki the Wormhole
Mutant motorik, jaundiced atmospherics, others things that rubbed off on the way into the wormhole.
Trade- Sheworks 005
Exactly what you’d expect from the union of Surgeon and Blawan, but given the company that’s saying quite a bit.
Lockah- Only Built 4 Neon Lights EP
                Super Cheese. Everyone needs a theme tune, but some also need rims.
Lee Bannon- Never/Mind/the/darkness/of/it
                Pro Era crew member proves to be the biggest advocate for the undeath of witch house

Top 20 Singles not from any of the Lists Above
Sophie- Bipp
Rustie- Slasherr
Fatima Al-Qadiri- Post War Dub
Dent May- Born Too Late
Justin Timberlake- Blue Ocean Floor
Lorde- Royals
Chance the Rapper- Cocoa Butter Kisses
Mykki Blanco- Initiation
Zebra Katz- Y I Do
Azealia Banks- Yung Rapuxnel
Sky Ferreira- You’re Not the One
Danny Brown- ODB
Kittie- Barbie Jeep
L-Vis 1990 & Sinjin Hawke- Flash Alert
D-Bridge & Skeptical- Move Way
Tricky- Valentine (Andy Stott Mix)
Dornik- Something About You
Earl Sweatshirt ft Tyler the Creator- Whoa
Deafheaven- Dream House
Nine Inch Nails- Find My Way (Oneohtrix Point Never mix)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. I didn't like Donky Pitch but I have been exploring the Opal Tapes and am very impressed.
    Some of the more approachable stuff like Naka Naka and some of the experimental stuff like Entire Matchbook a Night.


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