For a full list of favorite Wrongstring tracks, check the Spotify playlist at the end.
That D’Angelo album is incredible. Get the Vinyl. Expand your sonic landscape. So funky.
Memoryhouse by Max Ricther is probably my favorite record of the year. It was a surprise in that it’s classical, not my usual choice. Something about the way I heard it and when I guess. Being that we’re all fans of music, that little bit of magic is what makes it all worth it, keeps us looking for those diamonds in the rough.
Another surprise for me was Run the Jewels 2 (download). Hearing it, as I did, in context with the Michael Brown grand jury verdict amplified the frustration and anger for a situation in American history that makes me want to scream. Especially the track “Close Your Eyes (and count to Fuck).” Its the riot soundtrack in my mind each time I think about Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and the kids in Ayotzinapa.
Viet Cong “Cassette” EP is incredible. The production. Guitar work. Songs. The aesthetic of the band and sonic richness of the record is inspiring. Just like the Women “Public Strain” album, this one is a new classic (if you haven’t heard Women yet, check them out, for fans of Joy Division, Velvet Underground and Television).
A new “Old” discovery was Tim Maia’s Luaka Bop compilation, Nobody Can Live Forever. Funky and soulful. It was released in 2012.
“Que Beleza” is a standout.
One of the strongest contenders for bleakest and catchiest albums of the year came from Detroit in the form of Protomartyr Under Color of Official Right. That’s right, bleak as a smog filled skyline in a city on the eternal decline. Abandoned music.
The funk apocalypse will be scored by the genius soul purveyors of The Budos Band. Their Burnt Offering transmuted power and groove.
The Twilight Sad Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave is a career best for the Scottish post punk band. There’s significantly more guitar on this album. It is bigger sounding.
Below is a spotify playlist to some of my favorite tracks of the year.
There are so many great fucking records coming out this year it’s hard to believe we’re already seeing new tracks from albums in the future. The sentiment that the music industry is choking through the last breath as the life drains out seems paradoxical. Despite the evisceration of the “middle class” from music (and main street Amerikkka) new artists are making bold statements.
Hanni El Khatib’s album Moonlight isn’t due out till January 2015 but he’s just released the single and its great and the video is haunting and strangely provocative.
After the tragic and untimely death of Christopher Reimer (isn’t death always untimely?), ex-Women members, bassist/vocalist Matt Flegel drummer Mike Wallace formed Vietcong in 2012 with guitarists Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen. Is it difficult to outrun the shadow of your former selves? Maybe the best solution is merely to stand a few feet ahead of the shadow, one eye on the future/present and a toe in the past. On Cassette, Vietcong manage to escape the velocity of their previous band, Women while remaining in geosynchronous orbit of their criminally overlooked underappreciated former band.
Cassette maintains a meticulous attention to dissonance, noise and abrasiveness coupled with a healthy respect for post-punk standard bearers like Chairs Missing-era Wire and the more experimental songs of Joy Division; “Atrocity Exhibition” and “Decades” pop up on the simil-o-meter. Rather than derivation, the band comfortably iterates on previously chartered themes.
On “Oxygen Feed” traces of Velvet Underground DNA weave throughout the song’s chorus.
The final track, “Select Your Drone” is a trip into a Wendy Carlos-inspired ocean of synth. A staccato heartbeat drives the song forward in half-time, accompanied by biting angular guitar stabs (fuck that description in it’s music journalist butthole). This is one of the more interesting tracks on the record as it recalls at times the more somber work of long time David Lynch collaborator, Angelo Badalamenti
If you think a Vantablack pair of 511’s would fit well in your wardrobe and may or may not have at one time owned a vintage type writer you used to punch out DMT-fueled prose, then this album would be a nice compliment to your expanding collection of sonic ephemera. If you like Velvet Underground, Joy Division and the occasional dalliance with Burroughs’ epic Western Lands trilogy, pick up a copy to soundtrack your silent existential crisis at your local record store.
Here’s some trippy psych-swede shit for the Ayhuasca/DMT set. Makes Tame Impala’s brand of anthropology psych rock look even tamer by sonic comparison. I think I may have to dust off the old cassette player in the garage just so I can properly soundtrack my journey to the astral plane. This is a band clearly raised on an effective government health care system and repeated viewings of Alejandro Jodorowsky’sHoly Mountain.
Their new record “World Music” will be released via the pineal gland of Rocket Recordings in August 2012.