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”

Best Music of 2011

2011 has been a remarkable year. It has seen volcanic eruptions disrupt global travel, political uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, an official end to the US occupation of Iraq, the emergence of a genuine political protest movement in Occupy Wall Street, incredible flooding in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the end of the second Steve Jobs era at Apple, the return of The Muppets and a continuing effort in the US to dismantle due process and replace the “will of the people” with the profit motives of corporations.

It has also been full of interesting musical activity — intriguing new releases practically every week of the year. So much music that it would be impossible to spend the time to give each a fair shake. So here I have gathered my favorite releases of 2011 which had attracted my continued or repeated attention. There are many omissions, to be sure, but that is why I read others’ lists.

Selections in alphabetical order (mostly)

Burial – Street Halo

Burial returned this year with a stellar 12-inch and several choice collaborations. Expanding on his strengths as a producer of atmospheric and emotional sound design, Burial also played with some different tempos on Street Halo.

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New Release: d├ętournement

Just posted a collection of old material on bandcamp. Sample-based productions that have been hanging around on my computers for the last 10 years or so. Please enjoy and share.

Favorite Music from 2010

Another list. I look forward to skimming through others’ lists to see what I missed or dismissed too easily in 2010 or what never made it to my ears.

My picks, in alphabetical order:

Akira Rabelais – Caduceus
The latest from Akira Rabelais delves further into his finely textured soundworld. Having built a delicate and detailed sonic vocabulary since the 1990s, this composer continues to impress me with his skilled digital manipulations. Finely tuned grit.

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Still living with this one… I immediately liked about half of the album while the rest took time to grow on me.
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Music faves from 2009

It seems that 2009 is the year when I shifted my attention back to rock and pop music. Dubstep still holds my attention but not to the extent that it did back in 2006 when it took over my brain. Here are the things I enjoyed most in 2009, in no particular order.

Best Albums

XXThe XX – XX
Thanks to my friend, Tony, who first mentioned this band to me. The XX are a young bunch who make lean pop music consisting of boy/girl vocals, hand-played drum machines and perfectly placed guitar lines. This album quickly became a habit.

The XX – Islands:

The XX – Night Time:
The XX – VCR:
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