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: détournement

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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Hip Hop is Read presents The Beat Tape, Volume #1

The Beat Tape, Volume #1 I am hap­py to announce that two of my beats have been select­ed for inclu­sion on The Beat Tape, Vol­ume #1.

Big thanks to Ivan for putting the effort into solic­it­ing and com­pil­ing the mate­r­i­al from his read­er­ship. And thanks, espe­cial­ly, for pick­ing my stuff for vol­ume one. Con­grat­u­la­tion to all the oth­er pro­duc­ers, too.

More info and down­load:‑1.html

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

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:
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