Here’s a guest post from Dave the silent ssg. He always puts together a ‘best of’ list at the end of the year, so we thought we might as well share it. Just to be clear, I do not agree / endorse these selections! I’ll be posting my picks soon, just need to find time to finish the post. Now over to Dave:
I feel that 2013 has been a particularly strong year for music, particularly in regards to previously founded sounds being more fleshed out and developed. The noisy post techno movement which started a few years back is now at the later stages of its peak, with artists exploring the last parts of new ground within the scene. Labels like The Trilogy Tapes and Opal Tapes have been particularly prominent in this new wave of post techno. However, this later stage of releases, while very enjoyable, does point towards a dip in fresh output down the track.
I think parallels can be drawn between this kind of techno in 2013 and the digital minimal techno sound in 2008/2009, when it was at the end of its peak. While that era had some quality releases, failure to progress to newer sounds resulted in some rather bleak years. So despite being very happy with this year in music, I’m a little concerned about what is in store for the mid 2010s.
There are some promising developments in the outer fringes which will hopefully bleed through to techno down the track. I’ve always felt that new sounds and ideas develop in the outskirts of scenes which eventually are incorporated by club music which are then eventually adopted by the mainstream. Kanye West’s Yeezus album is a great example of the mainstream being inspired by what has been happening in the underground over the past few years. Oneohtrix Point Never’s new album is another example, with his incorporation of vaporwave, a genre which I originally thought was heading towards a similar fate to other micro-genres such as witch house and chillwave.
I know there have already been far too many think pieces written about vaporwave so I won’t go on a rant about it here. However, I really think it has a lot to offer techno and other electronic music. Keep an eye out for Arca, his mix this year is very impressive and seems to be incorporating vaporwave ideas in interesting ways. I’m sure there will be others to pop up over the year as well.
I’m also looking forward to more development in Melbourne’s scene. It’s quite interesting how both Standish/Carlyon and HTRK have drawn on influences on Melbourne’s early 80s post punk scene to create their own sound. With White Hex and a few other local groups popping up, hopefully this scene will grow and Melbourne will finally have a sound to call its own.
Another pleasing development has been the continued rise of Kye Records. To be honest, many of their releases require more time for me to fully appreciate but others have been more immediate. If the recognition of labels pushing such oddball sounds continues to increase, that can only be a good thing.
Here’s my top albums for 2013:
1. Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus 7
2. Kanye West – Yeezus
3. Standish/Carlyon – Deleted Scenes
4. The Knife – Shaking the Habitual
5. Kyari Pamyu Pamyu – Nanda Collection
6. Clouds – Ghost System Rave
7. Jessy Janza – Pull My Hair Back
8. Minilogue – Blomma
9. Good Area – French Antarctica
10. Naka Naka – Juan Pestanas
11. Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet – Photographs
12. Huerco S – Colonial Patterns
13. Sean Maccann – Music For Private Ensemble
14. Yvette – Process
15. Toshimaru Nakamura – No Input Mixing Board #8
16. Marcos Cabral – False Memories
17. Arca – &&&&
18. Haim – Days Are Gone
19. Nicholas Bullen – Component Fixations
20. Autechre – Exai
21. Helm – Silencer
22. Angel 1 – Angel Activate
23. Basic House – Oats
24. Shadowlust – Trust In Pain
25. Tropic Of Cancer – Restless Idylls
26. Body Boys – Growth Window
27. The Siege Of Troy – S/T
28. Kevin Morby – Harlem River
29. DJ Koze – Amygdala
30. Gunner Haslam – Mimesiak
These are some top tracks that appeared on EPs or compilations:
Ancient Methods – Knights & Bishops
Beau Wanzer – Hoedown
Clouds – Complete Control
Cut Hands – Madwoman
Demdike Stare – Fail
DJ Nori – Happy Sunday (Maurice Fulton remix)
Eomac – Tunnel
FKA Twigs – Water Me
The Knife – A Tooth For An Eye
The KVB – Dayzed (Regis Remix)
Marcos Cabral – North Caroline
Peverelist – Aztec Chant
The Siege Of Troy – A Cluster Of Three Drops
Here’s to a great 2014, hopefully it turns out better than I hope!