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.

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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

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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!