Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wrapping Up 2013

It feels like ages ago that I did my Favorite Albums of 2012 (and I guess it was a couple years ago.) I'm now a year behind, so to get caught up I made a quick little video of me babbling on for way too long, discussing my favorite albums of 2013.

Why a video? I guess because it allowed me to insert some sound snippets, so you could actually hear the music instead of just reading about it.  Sort of like my original concept for Chrontendo as a video series.  The thing goes on way too long, since unlike Chrontendo, I simply let the camera roll and started blathering with pretty much zero planning ahead  of time. Also, the sound is kinda bad, partially due to the echo, and some heavy handed use of noise removal. The camera picked up quite a few background hums from the fridge and so on. Since the Video Nasty series also involved filmed opening sequences, I'll get a clip mic at some point.

For those who don't want to watch the video but are curious, here's the list:

Deafheaven, Sunbather
Mebbe my favorite record of the year? Dunno. It's kind of hard to pin down what genre of of music this is. Black metal bent dragged kicking and screaming into shoegaze?

Run the Jewels, s/t
Two of my favorite records of 2012 were those from Killer Mike and El-P. Now they made a record together?

Anjo Gabriel, Lucifer Rising

Super-obscure stuff here. Sort of alternate soundtrack to the Kenneth Anger film, done in a giddily psychedelic style.

Gorguts, Colored Sands
Surprisingly great reunion album from the famous Canadian 'technical' metal band.

Chelsea Wolfe, Pain is Beauty
Local girl makes good with a couple great gothy singer-songwriter LPs, then splits town and releases more high-profile stuff like this.

Russian Circles, Memorial
Wolfe also turns up on the new album from these latter day post-metal  bigshots.

Botanist, IV: Mandragora
This one-man weirdo-metal project from the Bay Area percussionist Otrebor is finally starting to get some aboveground acclaim.

Earl Sweatshirt, Doris
Earl's earlier mixtape was probably the most interesting release from the whole Odd Future Wolf Gang crew. He disappeared for a year or two before suddenly re-emerging with Doris, his official debut.

Kavinsky, Outrun
Highly entertaining and beautifully packaged disc of 80s infused synth music from this French electronic musician and associate of Daft Punk. One song ended up in the movie Drive.

The Lion's Daughter and Indian Blanket, Black Sea
Sort of an underground collaboration between a metal band and a folk band, both from Missouri. More people oughta hear this record.

Julia Holter, Loud City Song
A great collection of artsy tunes from this Los Angeles singer-songwriter.

Fuck Buttons, Slow Focus
First record in four years from this noisy British electronic duo. Somehow a couple of their songs were used in the 2012 Olympic ceremony.

Atlantean Kodex, The White Goddess
Fantastic piece of epic-sounding fantasy metal from this German band. I hope these guys aren't neo-nazis or anything, because this record seems to be a concept album with a pan-European, pagan theme.

Oranssi Pazuzu, Valonielu
Great piece of Finnish psychedelic black metal (as Encyclopaedia Metallum categorizes them). I could use more psychedelic black metal in my life.

Rob, Maniac (Original Soundtrack)
No one liked the remake of Joe Spinelli's grimy slasher movie, but damn, the soundtrack was sweet. Robert Coudert is yet another French musician with ties to Daft Punk.

Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady
Not quite a ear-opening as Monae's previous record, The ArchAndroid, but her mix of soul, hip-hop, rock and electronica remains just as spectacular as ever.

Earthless, From the Ages
The newest LP from the reigning kings of California stoner rock.

John Wizards, s/t
First LP from this South African band. People have said they sound a bit like Vampire Weekend, only good.

Chvrches, The Bones of What You Beleive
Ultra slick debut album from this Scottish popsters. The Scottish have always been good at making cheery pop music.

Oneohtrix Point Never, R Plus Seven
Another good record from this prolific electronic musician.

I also pointed out a few select reissues, including the ultra-rare psyche classic, Dark's Round the Edges; the latest in the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series; and Light in the Attic's 3 LP set of private press new age music, called I am the Center.

There you have it folks. Please feel free to tell me how tragically mistaken my choices are. Hopefully sometime after Chronsega 8, I'll do something similar for my favorite records for 2014.


fuxter said...

finally! thank you -_-

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to discredit Deafheaven, but I'm still surprised they're considered as innovative as they are. Like, shoegaze as a 'genre' is basically an effects set up that can be grafted onto anything. Not to mention, "post-metal" had already tooled around with the metal/gaze idea several years ago.

Tron said...

Discovered Kavinsky this summer which then lead me to Com Truise. Outrun is a great album.

Anonymous said...

Happy to see Janelle MonĂ¡e and Chvrches on there. I have a few new things to check out, tooo.

Doctor Sparkle said...

Anon - I was pretty skeptical about the Deafheaven record at first, but was surprised at how much I liked it once I actually listened to it. It was definitely one of the "freshest" sounding albums I've heard recently. True, other bands have inserted shoegaze elements into heavy music. But, hell shoegaze had been a thing for years when Loveless came out, and that album managed to blow everyone's minds.

Raj Express said...

nice blog

Skymaster T said...

I really like how you're mixing things up on the blog lately. Kudos, sir.

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