Summarizing the year; I listened to some music

This year is about to end so here is one of my year-
end post trying to summarize the year of 2013. I will be posting one each Monday throughout December, each 
taking a look into a certain area of entertainment. 
It shall be as an autopsy, digging through my guts to find what kind of popular culture I'd put into my 
digestive system during the year 2013. Or maybe it's 
more a list for myself to remember what I did spend 
my time on during the year.

1479314_558132124279414_1774862878_n

And a crowd of young boys, they’re fooling around in the corner,
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles.
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band.
It ain’t what they call rock and roll.
And the Sultans,
Yes the Sultans play Creole.

Text from: Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing

The second look-back onto the closing year of 2013, here with the sights on music. It doesn’t feel like I’ve listened to that much new music this year. Of the top of my head I think I can recollect seven new albums which I’ve listened to. The punk-group FIDLAR released their debut self-titled album early this year. It’s fast and sweaty punk-rock with a touch of beach-rock, somehow. The lyrics are themed with consumption of shitty beers (cheap beer), people not being able to surf (max can’t surf) and drug-addiction (no waves). I like it really much and will often go back to the songs if I’m in the mood. FIDLARS often got combined in my play-queue with bands such as The Walkmen and The Black Kids.

Rapper A$AP Rocky whose album also got released quite early in the year. I didn’t listen to it all too much, just a couple of times and got quite bored of it after a while. I probably liked A$AP Rocky’s music more prior to the album. He released a series of mixtapes on the internet the year before his album debut, which I would listen to quite often.

John Grant’s second, more synth-based album Pale Green Ghost’s also very early in the year. He’s one of my favorite people of all time. His first album was a lot more folky than the second album, with a lot of piano and guitar. The comparison of 70’s rock and 80’s synth I think fit well to his two albums. But even though the music differ the brilliant lyrics that John Grant manages to produce is still there, and on Pale Green Ghost the songs are mostly about a failed relationship.

Swedish metal band Ghost’s album Infestissumam. I heard someone mention it as “a metal album for people who doesn’t like metal”, and I can clearly see where that came from.

Ambient music creator Jon Hopkins released a new album, Immunity, this year. I’ve listened to a lot of Jon Hopkins albums this year, mostly his first album, Opalescent, and his latest. The way I found Jon Hopkins was through a collaboration with folk-musician King Creosote. Together they made the brilliant album Diamond Mine, which is one of my favorite albums of all-time.

Daft Punk’s return after so many year without a new studio album, Random Access Memory. A new take for Daft Punk as they threw away their laptops and picked up guitars, can’t help but think of that LCD Soundsystem lyric from I’m Losing my edge as I think about Random Access Memory. I think it worked well enough for Daft Punk, even-though I can’t listen through the whole album I will often pick half the album and put it on a playlist and listen to it that way. You can of-course read my “review” of the album from  here.

And lastly, well-known egoistic rapper, Kanye West’s noisy God-complex album, Yeezus. It’s my favorite album of the year even-though I might not listen to it ever again. It was the same with Kanye West’s last album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy the year when it came out. Yeezus opens with a, some would maybe call it annoying, noisy synth-loop and then the music goes from their. I like the weird sampling and strange structure. The songs often seem to end and then becomes something different, and I would often think it would be a transformation into the next track but then it would often just end abruptly. The themes of egoistic madness that Kanye raps about on the album is almost to grand to be anything other than laughable. There is of course the well-known croissant-line in his song I Am A God “I am a god, So hurry up with my damn message, In a French-ass restaurant, Hurry up with my damn croissants”.

I will be back with another post next week.

See Ya, till then.

-B

Advertisements

z4 On (Mar – May ’13)

z4onspring

Aah, the first post on a newly redesigned site. Feels great, feels like a newly ironed shirt still warm. Well, here’s another post in the Organised Noise-series (now shortened to On) where I give you a text with some opinions on what new music came out this past 2nd quarter of the year (March, April and May). I think this edition is way better in multiple ways, for one I took all those single track spotify (I’m sorry if you don’t use spotify) embed codes and put them into a single z4On-playlist. I also think the writing’s actually read-worthy here as oppose to the previous text.
I hope you’ll like it!

haimOpening up with a catchy feel-good guitar lick Psychemagik quickly transforms the original Rnb sounding some from the vocal heavy sister-group to a summery electro-tune. This version feels a lot more stripped down then Haim’s take, which gives it more of a lo-fi sounding feel. I do prefer Psychemagik remix to Haim’s single because it doesn’t feel as forced. I can’t help but feel that the original release of the song feels a little more constructed than the remix, it has it’s peaks but they don’t feel quite as earned.

Haim is a vocal centered rnb-sounding group from Los Angeles with the three sisters Haim in focus. Este, Danielle and Alana has had the band since 2006 with different people on drums and guitar. They released their first material in 2012, the singles Forever and Don’t Save Me, and their latest single Falling which came out in February. They’ve been working on their debut album and has stated that I’ll come out later this summer.

austra“You know that it hurts me when you don’t come home at night” the opera trained singer sings over some simple yet poignant piano-bashing. Later the track introduces some electro-flavor to accompany the melancholic singing/piano playing. Bringing in some fast tempo drumming and a set of string and flute instruments to back-up the powerful voice of the lead-singer and this track is a great follow-up to the groups hit debut single Lose It.

Austra mixes synth-pop with the great singing voice of Katie Austra Stelmanis. The groups debut album Feel It Break topped a lot of music-fans best lists 2011. Yet if their new single Home, made was available back in March,  is any indication of what the upcoming album will bring it seams to be one to have a close eye on. Compared to Lose It the track Home feels richer in sound and greater in size. That’s Austra’s newest single and the album will get released June 18th, so grab it then.

daft punkPanda Bear’s collaboration track with Daft Punk is basically two different line of lyric. One sung with a fast pase and the other with a slower softer quality. He then takes these two and plays around with it experimenting to see what happens when one plays to the other. Very much of his music be it his solo project (Comfy in Nautica), Animal Collective (Brother Sport) or collaborations with other artists (Things Fall Apart) this element is used in one way or another. His music can be likened to the hunting style of that of an Anglerfish (such a cool name) making you focus on one sample being looped over and over while the real work is done underneath. If you haven’t heard the track or the new Daft Punk album by now, it’s been out a while now, you’re really out of the loop.

I first got introduced to Animal Collective in the later aught’s, probably right after the release of Strawberry Jam (one of my favorite albums) really liking the trippy track Fireworks of that album. Also laying down with a pair of headphones in bed just to listen to Person Pitch, it’s something I seldom do.

He’s been popping up without notice from time to time. With a solo-album, Tomboy, two years ago and Animal Collective’s Centipede Hz last year along with some appearances in other peoples work I hope he’ll keep releasing exiting new material for a while longer.

kurt vileOpening track Wakin on a Pretty Day from Kurt Vile’s album Wakin on a Pretty Daze is a warm sounding soft rock track. It’s got a really nice sound with a rich emphasize on the guitars. The slurring voice of the singer and lead-profile Kurt Vile sounds as if he’s yawning out the lyric-lines. And the way the band accompanies Vile like a pillow, when he stops and let out the last word of the line he then nods off and the pillow catches him and takes over for awhile.

The first I heard of Kurt Vile was Jesus Fever as his fourth solo album Smoke Ring For My Halo got released. There as here we get a sleepy man singing over a rock n roll band, making some early psychedelia era inspired rock-music. Some highly sway worthy tunes, sway and man worthy tunes. And I think… I’m just gonna… that I’m just… gonna… leave it… there… Zzz Zz…

dirty projectorsThis posts second and last remix track is brought to you by Joe Goddard of Hot Chip fame. The Socialites is a track taken from the rhytm-manic indie-rock group Dirty Projectors’ album Swing Lo Magellan. Sung by the lovely vocalist Amber Coffman, who by the way also put some magic on the amazing Major Lazer track Get Free, getting backed up by the dance(-music) master who remakes it into a cool electro tune. Cool like a nice cool glass bottle held against your forehead and neck after a round on the club-floor.

Apart from this and Hot Chip Joe Goddard also makes music in a duo called The 2 Bears who put out the little dance-hit Work last year. He also made the brilliant Gabriel the year before, which definitely was one of my favorite pieces of music of that year, brilliant.

You should also check out Dirty Projectors if you haven’t. Their music is quite interesting with a originality which doesn’t feel overly forced. It was after their break-out album and the song Stillness is the Move that I started listening to them. Gun has no Trigger is also a must listen by my standards, I don’t know why but I really think it would be a great song for a James Bond-movie.

alunageorgeAlunaGeorge was mentioned in my previous on-post, then for their collaboration with Disclosure on the track White Noise. Here we get a much more organic and upbeat track by the London duo. Starting of with some kind of flute playing a simple melody, moving on to a beautifully mixed vocal performance from Francis. It’s an airy soft touch she gives us, and before you know it the track ends again back at the flute (still not sure).

The duo meet in London a few years back though they started getting some recognition after the release of the track Your Drums, Your Love. The debut album is still due and is set for release on July 8th. If you can’t wait why not give the new Disclosure album a try, Settle was released yesterday after all. The second track When a Fire Starts to Burn is great and was considered a spot in this edition of z4 On. It’s a sample centered track with a repeated speech given by what I imagine is a preacher of some church located in USA’s southern states.

vampire weekendAlways evolving music-group Vampire Weekend has a new album out, Modern Vampires of the City, which features the single Diane Young. It’s an up-beat fast, some-what chaotic indie-pop song with semi-automatic snare-drum banging and low-pitched vocals. It’s a rich song with many different sections.

Vampire Weekend had a huge hit with their debut single A-Punk from the fantastic self-titled album. I said always evolving because they’ve always managed to have a new direction in their music for every album they’ve put out. To say give their latest a listen isn’t fair because I think all three of their albums are equally worthy of your time.

ghostIdolatrine is a song of the Swedish metal-band Ghost’s newest album Infestissumam. It’s an happy sounding song which sounds more like something from an early era of metal music than any of the modern metal-music (I’m certainly no expert so don’t take my word of it).

This isn’t your regular screamo-core, off-rhytm, 8-string, down-tuned to B metal-band at all. This is a nice album which will reference satan with a wink of the eye. It’s done not because of any religious belief but rather because of an musical loyalty and an understanding of the campy aspects of the genre, or that’s what I like to believe any way. The Swedish group always appear in costume, and here’s a video from a live apperance where we can see frontman Papa Emeritus II and the five nameless ghouls perform the single Secular Haze.

Janelle Monaé has a new album on the way and Queen is the first single from that new album. It’s a funky party-track with some hip-hop flavor, a bass-line which will melt the coldest of hearts. All that an organ, backing choir blasting through your speakers and I dare you to listen to this without getting a desire to dance. I double dare you.

Janelle Monáe’s latest album was 2010’s The ArchAndroid with the great neo-soul song Cold War, which at the time won me over for it’s similarities with the neo-soul duo Gnarls Barkley. The upcoming album is named The Electric Lady, continuing her human-machine naming conventions and hopefully bringing with it some great music. Right now it’s scheduled for a release later this fall.

Here’s a new song, named New Slaves, from the well known super-ego rapper Kanye West. It’s an minimalistic cold industrial-influenced rap song with an raged induced rant on commercialism and racism shouted out at high speed by the super star.

The track was first announced to the public through multiple videos being projected onto buildings in 66 different countries around the globe. The video is a close-up on Kanye’s face all the way through out the entire song, it’s been filmed and made available by fans who went and watched the visual promotion spectacle.

It’s the first release for his upcoming sixth album ‘Yeezus’ which is set to release on June 18th. It’s the follow up to the highly praised My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, an album I though was great back in 2010 but one that I haven’t been going back to that much. I can still get chills just by thinking about Nicki Minaj’s contribution to Monster, though. But wait there’s more, besides the new direction musically, and the promotional stunt there’s also been a ban out on any pre-orders of the upcoming album.

Here’s an video from his live appearance on the american comedy show Saturday Night Live:

There we have it.
Too few of you has utilized the comment section below. If you have any (ANY) thoughts or want to share a track which means a great deal to you, just say so. Share your thoughts so I’ll know if anyone’s actually reading this. Also if you liked the playlist you may subscribe to it as well as the old one.

-Bobo
PS: Ha en bra dag!

Bobo’s thoughts on Random Access Memories

Daft Punk’s newest album Random Access Memories might have been the biggest most anticipated album of this year. To most extent due to their absent from the music market. Human After All being their latest studio album (not counting the duos soundtrack for Tron: Legacy or the 2007 live album) in eight years. But also to the effective marketing behind the album. At first teasing the audience with a small teaser from the albums single Get Lucky. And releasing a set of interviews with people who collaborated on the album. I fell victim to the wide spread hype for this album and was highly exited for it’s release.Random_Access_Memories

I’d been dancing (alone and unseen) to the infinite loop of the fifteen second snippet from the track. It’s warmth and lively disco rhythm felt like nice summer-nights breeze during the later portions of the dark, cold and depressive Scandinavian winter. The interview with singer Pherrell expressing his thought behind the fun, party-loving lyric just further enhanced my longing for warmer brighter days ahead making me look out the window with distaste for Sweden’s dominating freezing-season.

All this hype for a song which I’ve only heard fifteen seconds from wouldn’t last. When the track released all that optimism washed away. In the interview with guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers he talked at length about how he would have all these dynamic little riffs underneath the main sounds of the song to give it extra depth and life. That’s not what I heard when I listened to Get Lucky. All I heard was the same thirteen seconds of rhythm guitar, drums and bass now with some lackluster singing over it. Singing that wants to be catchy, but it doesn’t give me anything. Theirs no depth, life nor love to be found.

Now after this roller-coaster ride going from high hype to disappointing singles the album’s been released. It’s been out a week (as I’m writing this) and I’ve been listening to it over and over and I do like it even though there are some lesser tracks included in the mix. I usually found myself starting the album from track number three and listening from there on out skipping Get Lucky. The third track starts of with an biographical introduction of Giorgio Moroder and the start of electronic music. And as he introduces the use of a click the track goes into an seven minute long exploration which plays and builds until the voice cuts in and explains “there was no preconception of what to do”, after which the track slows down in to an string-heavy portion just to build back up and eventually explode.

Judging from my previous expectations of the album it falls somewhere in-between. I like the album enough, but love just feels like a to strong of an emotion for me to give this collection of songs.

daft-punkI like the weird science-fiction feeling of Paul Williams song Touch where he talks as if a human evolved away from emotion realizing that somethings been lost along the way. And maybe that’s what the Frenchmen wearing the robot helmets feel as well as they try to get back to the old days of electronic music using physical instruments and opening the album with a track named Give Life Back To Music.

When listening to Instant Crush it feels like what Julian Casablanca’s been aiming for ever since the Strokes left the New York punk-rock music behind. A track which feels so 80’s synth-pop/soft-rock featuring the moody singer wrapped in a robot-like form. And the twelfth, second to last track of Random Access Memories shows Panda Bear being true-to-form giving us a dance-able song with few though highly repeated samples.

It might not be the best album of the year, or an innovation in the house-music scene but it’s definitively the best Daft Punk album since Discovery and a enjoyable listen or two. At-least listen to the eight minute third track Giorgio by Moroder.

-B

PS: Ha en bra dag!

Daft Punk or: How I Grew Up And Embraced All Kinds Of Music

I am sitting and listening to Daft Punks liverecording Alive 1997, an 45 minute long recording from an live-set in Birmingham 1997. The Swedish writer Kristofer Andersson wrote an blog entry about the Android-duo for the site Throw Me Away.

Mr. Andersson, you listened to Alive 1997 and I Alive 2007 (because this is the way the begins the text, a fake conversation with Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter)

I thought it would be a clever way to begin this post.

The second half of 2007 was my second year of high-school. My musical interests goes through some changes during this time, I go from mainly listening to Metal and classical Rock to a more wide taste in music.

I went from carrying around a portable CD-player containing Helloween’s Keeper of the Seven Keys, Judas Priest’s British Steel, Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love or any other record from my large CD-collection on which I spent all my money. To having a Mp3-player in my pocket with some Punk-classics like The Clash, Heavy Metal-legends like Iron Maiden and the animated alternative hip-hop group Gorillaz or the radio hit Crazy by Gnarls Barkley.daftpunk2

What I also like about the transition from CD’s (I might have held on to these for longer than what was necessary) to Mp3 is the fact that the last package of records I bought through the internet (I didn’t even buy my music through a record-store, the one thing physical music media had over digital) had both the Strokes and the Killers debut albums. The Strokes with its nude womanly hips on the cover was something I had dismissed until now, I had seen there music video for Heart in a Cage and wrote the off as the kind of music I wasn’t into. And that’s the reason why I dissed them at the Hultsfred’s music-festival ’06.

I would like to say that it was through Queens of the Stone Age that I found a lot of new music to take in. Of course it wasn’t just through QOTSA that I started listening to other music, but they are a good band for a person who likes heavy-metal to transfer to other genres as they do have a mixture of metal, rock and pop in there music. And of course the great, and greatly over-played hit Crazy by Gnarls Barkley which showed me that songs that get air-time on the radio can be pretty great. Must also mention that it actually was through a mistaken google-search of Danger Mouse that I found out about the amazing band Modest Mouse. And it’s also right around this time that I saw the movie Big Nothing for the first time and fully embraced the Eels.

Sometime in December ’07 I woke up and from my bed watched Fredrik Strage’s (a Swedish music-journalist) appearance on Tv. His Tv-presence back then always felt like it came when I needed, I didn’t know he was going to be there but when he was he would share some much needed knowledge with me. Kind of in the same way High Fidelity felt like it would be on just for me and my teenage love problems sake. This time he would share the coming live-album from the french house group Daft Punk and show a video of a big party, with an enormous light show and two robots standing on top of a giant pyramid, performing in front of thousands of people who were dancing, rubbing their sweaty bodies together and just had a good time.

Daft-Punk

It was never like I was going to transform into some other person now, not like I was going to throw away my black leather long-coat and my steel cap boots (over it) to dress more mainstream but rather to just widen my input of music. Some things stick like Daft Punk, Jimi Hendrix or Slayer while other things get uninteresting after awhile and topple off to get forgotten. Sure we all have our personal taste but that shouldn’t keep us from appreciating things outside of our safety sphere. “I want it all and I want it now”.

Daft-Punk-Helmets-Columbia-Album-artworkSo anyway Daft Punk has a new album on the way, an album fans have been waiting for eight years to listen to. And I must admit that I feel an enormous hype for its release, maybe not as huge of an hype like the one I feel for Shane Carruths first film in nine years, but almost. The house-duo has dropped some second-long teasers from the album and now they are releasing a video-series. A bunch of moving pictures where the artist who are involved with the album gets interviewed about their relationship to the androids. Two has been released so far, the first one with an older Italian dance-music producer, Giorgio Moroder, and another with Todd Edwards, a younger American Garage and house-producer.

/Bobo
Ha en bra dag!

It’s just a bunch of organised noise! (Dec ’12 – Feb ’13)

ON-1

Let’s get it on!

This is a little something special, now that March (first month of spring) has begun. And as we feel the cold dead claws of winter melt away to give room for happier times, why don’t we take some time to reflect. Reflect on what I’ve been listening to these past three months. Some of these tracks got released pre-December and I included them anyway.

MY music, MY RULES!

Caravan Palace is a electro-swing group from France. According to wikipedia they got started back in 2005 after three of the members got offered to make soundtracks for silent pornographic movies. I wonder how big this silent porno-scene is, one should research.

This track is from their latest album, Panic, which got released a year ago.

Foxygen is a experimental indie-rock band from the states. This track is from their second album, ‘We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic’, (catchy titles right?) which got released back in January.

I like how this track transforms between different styles. Beginning in one place to transform into something else just to quickly change again.

FIDLAR is a punk-rock band that seems to come from some surf/skate-culture scene in the sunny Los Angeles. This is a fast song with the simple chorus “I drink cheap bear, so what, fuck you”, a chorus which always manages to get me to sing along to it.

Disclosure is a UK electronic duo. This track being a colaboration with another UK electronic duo, AlunaGeorge. Both groups have albums set for release this year.

James Blake released his self-titled debut album 2011 and got a lot of attention for it. I had a short intense James Blake-period beginning with the first time I heard ‘Limit To Your Love‘.

Now this is his new single giving you even more of that electro-soul.

A$AP Rocky is one of the rappers from New York based hip-hop collective A$AP Mob. He put out a critically-acclaimed mixtape back in 2011 and in January got his debut album released. This is Hell a song from that album witch also features singer Santigold(you might have heard Disparate Youth). His album got some mixed reviews, but I’ve listened to this track and F**kin’ Problems, mostly as I’m working out.

John Grant is great! I really enjoyed his solo debut album Queen of Denmark and here is the title-track from his upcoming second album Pale Green Ghosts. He has left the folk-rock sound of the first album behind to here make a more synth-pop sounding record. The album comes out this Monday (11/3).

Phosphorescent is a american singer-songwriter. I haven’t listened all that much to his music but I LOVE this track. It’s a beautiful soft-rock sounding song about heartbreak. It’s without a doubt the track that I’ve listened most to out of this list, just behind John Grant’s Pale Green Ghosts.

The Strokes is probably the band on this list who doesn’t need any introduction. They got their success back in the early aughts with tracks like Someday and Last Nite. Here we hear a up-beat fast-paced synth-heavy track. They also release a more traditional Strokes song called All the Time, but out of the two I like One Way Trigger more.

Yeah and then I just want to shove this in here as well:

Yeah it’s a little peak into Daft Punk’s current project. I’ve had the looped version running all morning: http://www.infinitedaftloop.com/

So there you go, 9 tracks and a fifteen seconds teaser.

Have a nice spring now!
/Bobo