Postcards From La -TOP 8 (10) of 2013
We are going a little off piste this week and diverting from the usual format. 2013 has been a ripe old year for music, with some older household favourites making welcome returns, rubbing shoulder with newer upstarts. With that in mind I’ve scratched my head and muddled through my records to select ten tracks that have become nearest and dearest to me over the past twelve months. But before we get stuck into that…
Who is William Onyeabor?
Little is known about William Onyeabor, a music of musical miff if there every was one. Some say he studied cinematography in Russia, and word has it that he self-released eight (widely bootleged) albums between1977 and 1985 before he packed in music for Christianity.
Those smart folk over at Luaka Bop have been chipping away for a good while now and have put together an album consisting of some Onyeabor’s tracks. ‘Atomic Bomb is a particular gem.
Following ‘Who is William Onyeabor?’ there will be a raft of top line remixes, as teased in rather wonderful promo video, which will sure raise a smile.
Best of the best
So in the year that John Claude Van Damm split it down the middle electronic music was in rude health with a flurry of albums and tracks that ripped up the rule book, giving an up yours to the norm. So here are ten tracks that define my 2013.
Boards of Canada – Nothing is Real
Electronic music fans rejoiced when news came of ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest‘. After a lengthy break Boards of Canada returned with an album that sounded like, well Boards of Canada. Staking their claim once again as one of the most relevent and innovative electronic music production duos. ‘Nothing is Real’ is the track that pulls me in time and time again.
Dopplereffekt – Tetrahymena
When science and music collide. Dopplereffekt are never gonna walk the straight line, and their EP for Leisure System flicked all the right switches. Like the soundtrack to the best horror film you’ve never seen.
James Holden – Blackpool Late Eighties
James Holden’s long awaited second album ‘The Inheritors‘ saw this light of day this year, and boy did it deliver. ‘Blackpool Late Eighties’ is without question one of the most beautiful electronic music tracks I have heard. Taking in select live shows, Holden pushed things that step further.
Andre Britten – Be a Man You Ant
A gentleman who is certainly a bit of a dab hand when it comes to synthesizers, AndreBratten struck gold with his ‘Be a Man You Ant’ album. The title has become a staple in my dj sets this year, and for good reason.
DeFeKT – Delusional
I featured this track in my first ‘Postcards from LA’ column. Absolutely monster! ‘Delusional’ basically has everything I crave for in a dance floor track. Mean gnarly bass, a snare that could rip through a yellow pages, and an acid drenched melody. What more could you ask for?
F*ck Buttons – Stalker
My likening for F*ck Buttons is well documented. From a near deafening experience in Japan, to bringing me to tear at ATP in Minehead, F*ck Buttons are a musical force to be reckoned with. ‘Stalker’ is a powerhouse.
Autechre – Bladelores
A benchmark in electronica Autechre (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autechre) set their imprint on me with ‘Gantz Graf’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev3vENli7wQ) the sear power and energy driven into that monumental effect on the way I think about electronic music. ‘Bladelores’ taken from their ‘Exai’ album once again cemented them as a one off.
Special Request – Cold Blooded
Taken from his album ‘Soul Music’ (http://store.houndstoothlabel.com/soul-music.html) this track for me pools influences from many a genre and in my eyes sums up the 2013 production process of anything and everything goes!
Daniel Avery – New Energy (Live Through It)
His ‘Drone Logic’ album ranks as one of the records of the year. Each track tells a story and the whole album feels like a proper journey. A rare feat. ‘New Energy (Live Through It)’ takes me back those lost moments on the dance floor, and those elusive runarounds searching for the secret party.
Jackson And His Computerband – Arp #1
His album ‘Smash’ (Jackson_and_his_Computer_Band_album) is right up there as one of my favourites of the mid-’00s. When news came of a new album earlier this year I was keen as mustard to hear where Jackson was taking us next. ‘Arp #1’ goes all out, leaving no room for questions. Infectious energy of the highest order!
It would be right to end without a bit of Californian action. This past weekend I had the pleasure of heading down to San Digeo for a dj set at the Herringbone, aside from being able to dig deep into the Balearic section or record collection there was also some damn fine lobster rolls, then this is the a must. San Digeo is quite a city and if like me you a enjoy a good session digging for records then I highly recommend a visit, there are some serious gems to be unearthed if you search out the right hotspots.