lithosphere: a 2013 mix

April 19, 2014

close to 94‘s annual mix for 2013 continues the shade-then-light formula established in previous entries, but with a strength and mass that suggests elemental, tectonic forces at work, broken only the emergence of organic life… Click on the Mixcloud player above to listen.

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0:00:00 / The Empty Set: “Ambika P3” from the EP Material

An earth-shattering field recording of amplified sound taken in the Ambika P3 concrete bunker/art gallery in London.

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0:01:43 / The Haxan Cloak: “Excavation (Part 1)” from the album Excavation

More sinister atmospherics from magister sonus Bobby Krlic.

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0:04:43 / Boards Of Canada: “Come To Dust” from the album Tomorrow’s Harvest

A highlight from the Sandison brothers’ welcome return.

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0:08:21 / Oneohtrix Point Never: “He She” from the album R Plus Seven

A mystical interlude from Daniel Lopatin.

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0:09:46 / Prurient: “You Show Great Spirit” from the album Through The Window

A monumental slab of industrial techno that, as Pitchfork pithily puts it, presents “subtly damaged sheets of sound that are noxious, malignant, and hidden like carbon monoxide”.

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0:18:40 / Daniel Avery: “Free Floating” from the album Drone Logic

A strident combination of rhythm and bass, described by Andrew Weatherall as “gimmick-free machine-funk of the highest order”. Which it is.

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0:24:59 / Fuck Buttons: “Stalker” from the album Slow Focus

A mid-tempo companion to “You Show Great Spirit” (see above) – epic, unrelenting, self-assured, doesn’t give a Button.

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0:34:54 / Grails: “Invitation To Ruin” from the album Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4, 5 & 6

Baroque metal, wrecked poetry, a tragic serenade – a perfect paradox.

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0:37:04 / Senking: “Capsize Recovery” from the album Capsize Recovery

The first of a trio of (inevitable) entries from the Raster-Noton family: Jens Massel delivers another slab of drum and bass, with the emphasis on the latter.

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0:42:48 / Kangding Ray: “Nuis Octury” from the single Tempered Inmid

David Letellier temporarily stepped away from the Raster-Noton label to record another collection of muscular, asymmetrical techno.

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0:47:52 / Diamond Version: “Turn On Tomorrow (Version)” from the single EP3

Raster-Noton label heads Alva Noto and Byetone’s run of high-quality precision electronics continued into 2013. An album is due in 2014.

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0:50:49 / Nils Frahm: “Hammers” from the album Spaces

A dextrous live performance of arpeggiated techno on a grand piano – that sounds good, right? It is.

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0:54:16 / Esmerine: “Lost River Blues I” from the album Dalmak

Montreal-based Esmerine were co-founded by Bruce Cawdron and cellist Rebecca Foon (cf. Saltland, featured in the good in 2013 compilation). Dalmak saw the collective absorb the music of Turkey, creating a mesmerising fusion of east and west.

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1:01:38 / Apparat: “Pv” from the album Krieg Und Frieden

Sascha Ring strikes again (he is also featured, in his collaboration with Modeselektor, on good in 2013), this time with a typically anthemic overture from his music for German theatre director Sebastian Hartmann’s production of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

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1:04:51 / Greg Haines: “Habenero (Version)” from the album Where We Were

With Where We Were, British composer Haines perfected the blend of piano and electronics, as showcased on “Habenero”, both on the album and his performance of it at London’s Scala last April.

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1:11:23 / Lubomyr Melnyk: “A Warmer Place” from the album Corollaries

Melnyk’s trademark continuous flow of notes is moderated a touch on this restful, concluding piece. The soothing arpeggios remain, but are given new poignancy by the simple string accompaniment.

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1:19:22 / ends

 

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good in 2013

April 19, 2014

Remember 2013? It seems such a long time ago now, but even late-April isn’t too late for this blog to update on the previous year’s music. Certainly not. Last year was actually another standout year, including the return of a few of the big beasts in music – David Bowie (featured in this compilation) not least among them.

Click on the Mixcloud player above to listen, and reminisce.

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0:00:00 / Daft Punk: “Get Lucky” from the album Random Access Memories

No comment required – the biggest track of the year by far (here’s the proof).

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0:06:03 / Poliça: “Chain My Name” from the album Shulamith

Joyous, youthful synth-pop from the Minnesotan band.

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0:10:08 / Young Galaxy: “Pretty Boy (Peaking Lights Remix)”, original version from the album Ultramarine

An undulating pop gem from Vancouver (via San Francisco).

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0:16:41 / Nosaj Thing feat. Kazu Makino: “Eclipse/Blue” from the album Home

Dreamy pop, featuring Makino’s (she of Blonde Redhead) ethereal vocal talents.

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0:20:57 / Suuns: “Minor Work” from the album Images Du Futur

Intelligent, modern rock music.

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0:26:49 / Joasihno: “Oh Boy” from the album A Lie

Quirky, carefree and forgivably twee frippery from this Bavarian duo.

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0:30:59 / Foxygen: “No Destruction” from the album We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic

The Californians channel a cheesy Bob Dylan – and get away with it.

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0:35:53 / David Bowie: “Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy” from the album The Next Day Extra

Take Bowie’s triumphant return, add a respectful James Murphy (erstwhile of LCD Soundsystem) at his most inspired. The result is this astonishing track.

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0:46:16 / Banks: “Before I Ever Met You” from the EP Fall Over

Tied (with the preceding track) for best song of 2013, in this blog’s opinion.

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0:50:43 / Saltland: “Treehouse Schemes” from the album I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us

Six minutes of beautiful contemplation from cellist Rebecca Foon (also of Esmerine – see this year’s mix).

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0:56:56 / Serafina Steer: “Night Before Mutiny” from the album The Moths Are Real

Jarvis Cocker (behind the production desk) breathes new life into this otherworldly tale of derring-do, originally recorded in 2010.

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1:01:54 / Agnes Obel: “Fuel To Fire” from the album Aventine

Beautifully simple, simply beautiful songwriting from this Danish chanteuse.

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1:07:21 / Moderat: “This Time” from the album II

Sascha Ring (Apparat) and Gernot Bronsert/Sebastian Szary (Modeselektor) once again find the soul in the machine.

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1:13:04 / Junip: “After All Is Said And Done” from the album Junip

Swedish artesans featuring the talents of José González, whom you may recall seduced listeners with a beautiful Kylie cover back in 2003.

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1:18:46 / ends

 

See also: