Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's Kanye's world, we just live in it.


I usually wait until mid-December before beginning posting poorly constructed opinions and biased reviews of the year's best records, movies, books etc. This allows me sufficient opportunity to arrogate obscure albums, independently released movies and stand-up comedy 'discoveries,' reviewed by other people, as my own.  

Completely my own.  

Absolutely me.

- Here's a record by someone I like -

Following on from the splendidly splendid 2012 release 'Gigantic Vol 1,' Jamil 'Small Professor' Marshall finds himself collaborating with Detroit's Byron 'Guilty' Simpson - Stones Throw Records' alumnus and J Dilla favourite (the reader of this blog will be familiar with how much we love and adore STR and its roster...)  Although not as on fire as the former record it's a sweet release reminiscent of the earlier sonic finery of MF Doom, King Geedorah and Madvillain (war and peace be eternally upon them.)

Kanye West.

DJ Rashad's phenomenally phenomenal 'Double Cup' signals a new high for both the Hyperdub record label and for the still pretty new electronic sub-genre of footwork.  It's an old fashioned record in a way but it has power, precision and a panther-like poise which marks it out as one of the records of the year.  I don't want this whole piece to focus either entirely or exclusively on Electronica or Hip-Hop but, in truth, as in 2012, they have been the dominant, the speediest and the most evocative genres of 2013.

Of course, we don't like genres so fuck that shit.


More past and future noiseniks?, more new/reissued records by these c****: Julia Holter, Tim Hecker, Big Inner, William Onyeabor, Omar Souleyman, Drexciya (again), David Bowie, Josephine Foster, Felix Kubin (and Karl Bartos!) Parquet Courts, King Khan and the Shrines, Daughn Gibson, Elvis Presley, Sonny Smith.  

Grouper 'Living Room'

The Urinals 'I'm a Bug'

Patty Griffin 'Go wherever you want to go'

And The Fall.

'Live at the Witch Trials,' was reissued...(we know...)

Although not covering any new ground Savages' 'Silence Yourself,' was that increasingly rare thing - a bloody good pop record with tunes.  Haim, Bleached and Iceage - remember them from their marvellous 2010 release, 'New Brigade' (copyright 'Down with the kids' kids) delivered an excess of really nice and good but both lacked crucial hormones when it mattered.  Savages, by contrast, had the bat, the ball and the court all to themselves. 

'Disco-vered' by Brain Eno busking in a New York park in 1979, Edward Larry Gordon is still an unknown.  You hear so much of what he was doing in so much of what so many others are striving to do today - the new Boards of Canada/Oneohtrix Point Never albums are basically homages to the L.  The collected 'Celestial Music 1978-2011' is a monumental work full of beautiful, timeless vistas of sound.  It is hugely influential and hugely important - a catalysing force for so much of what we know today as electronica or electronic music.  Available from All Saints Records. Ask Santa for one.

More records: the mighty Dot Wiggin Band, Yo La Tengo, Amor de Dias, Deafheaven, Fat White Family, Glenn Jones, Happy Jawbone Family Band, Locust, reissues from The Mountain Goats, Sid Hemphill, Goodiepal, Karen Dalton, the entire output of the Light in the Attic label, Bear Family's incredible 'Street Corner Symphonies - A History of Doo Wop, Wolf Eyes, Henry Flynt, Jack White's increasingly increasing Revenant label, Warp's BOC vinyl represses....

Laurel Halo 'Chance of Rain'

Palmer Rockey 'Feelings of Love'

William Tyler 'Cadillac Desert'

Speaking of Warp...

And, finally, more speaking, we will always be more speaking, about the maverick, the madness, the fragile and the strong, the sometimes silliness, the never, never, never boring or dull, the one, the only, Kanye West - the overarching genius of our time delivers the album of the year easy-queasy-peasy.  Forget all about Tyler and Lamar and all the best of the rest and the rest.  KW is the realest of deals, super arrogant, super talented, flawed tae fuck and (f)lawless.  He's our flavour of the year.  What beautiful music he mistakes.  

Until when...

For John.