2017 Music Rewind

2017 was Don­ald Trump’s first year as pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. Per­haps it is “out­rage fatigue” at play, but it seems in ret­ro­spect that the albums that res­onat­ed with me this past year share cer­tain qual­i­ties. Most of my favorites exhib­it patience, stead­fast­ness, focus, and deter­mi­na­tion. I need­ed music that is restora­tive. I need­ed it to pro­vide space for my brain and my soul.

Jared C. Balogh — Between Probabilities (Evgeny Gerasimchuk, Grigory Bazhanov and Jared C. Balogh)

Balogh’s com­po­si­tions are com­plex thorny things some­times. Rhyth­mi­cal­ly dense, melod­i­cal­ly spiky, angu­lar in all the best ways. What a treat to hear this set of com­po­si­tions real­ized with live gui­tar (played by Evge­ny Gerasim­chuk) instead of ren­dered via com­put­er. Avail­able as a free down­load on WFMU’s Free Music Archive. Dis­clo­sure: Jared is my friend and band­mate.


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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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