2016 Music Rewind

For much of this year I felt as though I was not able to keep abreast of music releas­es well enough to even pick favorites. Then sud­den­ly towards the end of the year I came across sev­er­al real­ly great releas­es and A Tribe Called Quest dropped their first album in years which turned out to be amaz­ing. Who knows, anoth­er great album might get released in the few remain­ing days of 2016…

The Body — No One Deserves Happiness
Start­ing off qui­et and dark like Miran­da Sex Gar­den, this album soon gives way to slow-crush­ing heavy gui­tar glac­i­ers. Almost like Swans in the 90s turn­ing back into Swans in the 80s.

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2015 Music Rewind

Here’s my list of favorite releas­es for this past year, pre­sent­ed in alpha­bet­i­cal order:

Lucre­cia Dalt — Ou
This is filmic, cin­e­mat­ic music. Sounds creep in and out of view with the seam­less rhythm of the best film edi­tors. Tex­ture and grit are key ingre­di­ents but har­monies do some­times emerge to lend a famil­iar emo­tion­al anchor to the abstrac­tion. There’s a radio­phon­ic woozi­ness that bathes the whole affair in nostalgia.


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2014 Music Rewind

There were so many inter­est­ing album releas­es in 2014 I felt I could bare­ly keep up. In fact, I was still adding titles to my Best of 2014 con­tenders list late into Decem­ber. Here are some of my favorites, in alpha­bet­i­cal order:

The Bug — Angels & Devils
Kevin Mar­tin returns to his The Bug alias for a full length LP and sev­er­al EPs worth of mutant bass music in 2014. More than any oth­er elec­tron­ic music pro­duc­er, Kevin under­stands the equal impor­tance of mass/weight and tex­ture. Both aspects are deployed extreme­ly effec­tive­ly whether the track is an atmos­pher­ic snarling dub-wise bass mantra or a neck-snap­ping mutant-dance­hall-cum-grime firestarter.

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2013 Music Rewind

Time, once again, to review some of my favorite music releas­es from the past year (pret­ty much the only reg­u­lar fea­ture of this “blog”). 2013 was a very fruit­ful year for alt-R&B/future-R&B as well as for Chica­go-Lon­don bass hybrids. All the usu­al caveats apply. There is always too much music to hear all the great releas­es in a year but these grabbed me more than the rest. I look for­ward to read­ing all the oth­er lists to catch up on what I missed.

Chants — I Feel Like I Feel It
If mem­o­ry serves, I heard about this release via dj /rupture’s Mudd Up blog. The most obvi­ous sign­posts are Shlohmo or Origa­mi Sound’s post-Bur­ial sound­scapes but Chants man­ages to make an elec­tron­ic music album that sounds extreme­ly per­son­al and expres­sive. There is a strong enough iden­ti­ty to shrug off easy comparisons.

And the pric­ing starts at zero dol­lars: http://hushhushrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-feel-like-i-feel-it
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Arundel (Papa M acoustic cover)

I post­ed this video recent­ly of my acoustic cov­er of “Arun­del” by Papa M.

Some­one asked in the com­ments for tabs, so I went about try­ing to make some. I used Tux­Gui­tar, which was not a bad expe­ri­ence but the pdf export looks real­ly fuzzy. If any­one has any tips for improv­ing the out­put, I’d love to hear them.

Down­load: Papa M — Arun­del tab­la­ture (14KB)
Tun­ing: (low to high) C G C F C E

Hope you enjoy learn­ing this piece, it’s one of my favorite gui­tar solos.

[UPDATE 13 Novem­ber 2017]: Thanks to a com­menter on YouTube I learned the new ver­sion of Tux­Gui­tar has bet­ter PDF out­put. The tab file has been updat­ed and it is much eas­i­er to read (plus small­er file size)!

My Favorite Music of 2012

There are still some great albums and sin­gles being released mid-Decem­ber, includ­ing a new 12-inch from Bur­ial, which could eas­i­ly be includ­ed here if I had had more time with them before com­pil­ing this year’s list. As always, this is my small con­tri­bu­tion to the mass of music nerd list-mak­ing that hap­pens at the end of each cal­en­dar year. I’m sure I’ve missed some of your favorites and I will like­ly read a lot of oth­er lists to sat­is­fy my curios­i­ty over missed items and unjust dis­missals. I hope you find some­thing to enjoy!

Selections in alphabetical order

Burial — Kindred

Hyper­dub have released two 12-inch records from Bur­ial in 2012. If you like Bur­ial you like­ly know what to expect. No sur­pris­es here: crack­ly atmos­phere, meta-rave son­ic vocab­u­lary, skit­tery per­cus­sion… All the things I always love about Bur­ial, no mat­ter how same-y it’s start­ing to get. The only sur­prise, then, could be that I’m still not tired of Bur­ial music.

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Copy calculated bpm data from algoriddim djay to iTunes using Applescript

It’s been a long time since I’ve messed with Applescript.

I mod­i­fied a script I found on the algo­rid­dim forums. This script would run through all tracks that were ana­lyzed in djay and try to write the bpm data to the mp3 tag in iTunes. If your library is large, this could take days.

My mod­i­fied script will take the cur­rent­ly select­ed tracks in iTunes and look for bpm data in the djay meta­da­ta plist file. Poten­tial­ly a much small­er and more focused task.

 

[UPDATED 29 Feb 2012] I have includ­ed sup­port for man­u­al­ly-set bpm val­ues, which are stored by djay in a sep­a­rate plist file.

 

[UPDATED 29 Mar 2012] I have includ­ed sup­port for copy­ing key data to iTunes, with trans­la­tion of djay’s inte­ger val­ue to string representation

 

[UPDATED 23 Dec 2012] Bug­fix: reset bpm vari­ables in script to pre­vent old val­ues from being held in mem­o­ry for the next track. Thanks, Kieron Thor­pe!

 

[UPDATED 22 Jan 2013] Bug­fix: tracks with a key of 8B-C were being skipped. Thanks, recoltonRobert!
Enhance­ment: warn user if no tracks are select­ed in iTunes.

 

Down­load “Get bpm and key from Djay.scpt”