2012 – Albums, (re)mixes and the internet

The continuous stream of new music means there’s always a cumulative growth of musical genius out there to be had.  For me last year saw a step change – largely down to access –  with a combination of Boiler Room, SoundCloud and YouTube (or maybe I’m just spending more time online…?).  Boiler Room shared the finest electronic producers and DJs with the world every other night from various locations around the world – and many of the sets were then hosted on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/platform/dixon-me-4-hours-boiler-room-x ) or YouTube.  These sites have been around for a while but as far as I’m aware it was only last year that they starting hosting full albums and sets from all eras – from the genius Nicolas Jaar at Sonar 2012 https://soundcloud.com/everybodywantstobethedj/nicolas-jaar-live-at-sonar-lab (is there a better live act on the planet right now!?) to Dave Clarke’s finest moment in Fuse 1997 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXYvZaWlu7A (strap yourself in for that one :)).

Anyway, despite all this I have still managed to keep the album collection moving along.  There are still a load of albums I haven’t heard yet but my top albums from the year were as follows:

  1. How To Dress Well – Total Loss (Full album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOj82MshzYs).  The Guardian hosted this album for streaming for a while – I don’t think I was blown away at first but I soon found myself hooked.  Possibly not everyone’s cup of tea but shut off everything else and dive in I say – there’s so much happening in this album that it deserves your full attention.  If you get hooked it will be worth it.
  2. Grimes – Visions. Just check any top 2012 album list for all the superlatives going for this (all well earned in my book). I loved her support while she toured as well: https://soundcloud.com/majical-cloudz/turns-turns-turns
  3. Holy Other – Held (Full album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx6Ot0PXsNY).  Better than either Burial album I reckon – no idea why this guy isn’t getting equivalent recognition.  And when you combine Holy Other with How To Dress Well it isn’t a surprise that things remain perfect: https://soundcloud.com/holyother
  4. John Talabot – Fin (Last track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuJg4WcIO7Q ).
  5. Yppah – Eighty One (First track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86PuAPKgpc0 )
  6. Robert Hood – Motor Nighttime World 3 (Perfect techno: https://soundcloud.com/musicmanrecords/sets/robert-hood-motor-nighttime)
  7. Blondes – Blondes (full album and more on their soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/blondes )
  8. Beach House – Bloom (The first track of the album – Myth – has been my alarm clock all year and yet I still love it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuvWc3ToDHg )
  9. 2 Bears – Be Strong (Warm & Easy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b4yerCFFQE ). Reminds me of Groove Armada – Vertigo and I think it will have the same longevity. Pure good vibes.
  10. Marconi Union – Different Colours.  (http://www.marconiunion.com/catalog.asp?ID=50 ) Just amazing ambient sounds

The album that would be top for stand-out tracks is Daphni – Jiaolong: ‘Yes, I Know’, ‘Ye Ye’ and ‘Ahora’ are all mind blowing but I’ve not got so absorbed into the rest of it (yet).

Not in my top 10 but Action Bronson deserves a special mention for the first hip-hop albums that have grabbed my attention for years.  Seriously, where’s the hip-hop at???

Other notable mentions go to Sebastien Tellier (just don’t go and see him live thinking you’re going to a music gig!), Django Django (go and see them live!), Simian Mobile Disco, The Egg, Jessie Ware, The XX, Matthew Dear, School of Seven Bells and Petar Dundov.

Despite all the mixes online I have still been buying mix albums – if I were to pick one out from 2012 then it’d have to be Andrew Weatherall’s Masterpiece.  Genius.  (Gilles Peterson’s is worth checking out from 2011 as well).

Finally the top 3 remixes of the year for me:

  1. Matthew Herbert – It’s Only (DJ Koze Remix): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOp7gaZe0yc (rerelease of Herbert’s finest album coming soon with a bonus CD)
  2. Stimming – November Morning (BrandenburgischesStaatsorchesterVersion) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R-dVs-DPGs (another class case of an electronic track reworked by an orchestra)
  3. Roisin Murphy – Simulation (Mano Le Tough Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BkuNt5j0N0 (a stand-out track from a couple of the Boiler Room mixes)

My final request is that you give me your recommendations from 2012 and links where applicable.  Spread the love.

About stuartmdarling

I live in Motherwell & work in Edinburgh in the Oil & Gas sector, which has been taking me around the world for 15 years now. My passion for politics and music go with me every step of the journey...
This entry was posted in Music. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 2012 – Albums, (re)mixes and the internet

  1. Mr Almost Decided says:

    Music first:

    As usual, not too many studio albums for me this year. I still much prefer finding little gems from compilations, of which the aforementioned Masterpiece along with Funk D’Void’s Balance and Future Disco Vol 5 have been the best of 2012.

    The majority of listening has been via Soundcloud. Dixon vs Ame has been mentioned already, so I’ll pick my top 3 outside of that:

    First up couldn’t really be anyone else apart from messrs Weatherall and Johnson. There are a few ALFOS mixes around but as a whole, this one is by far the best and gets better with every listen https://soundcloud.com/leegwatson/alfos-weatherall-johnston-at

    Next comes my boy The Revenge. He’s posted a few crackers this year, but the Throwing Shapes mix is probably my favourite https://soundcloud.com/the-revenge/the-revenge-throwing-shapes

    Last is Gerd’s set from Panorama Bar from September last year (the less said about the place, the better) https://soundcloud.com/gerd/gerd-dj-set-panorama-bar

    (I have to cheekily throw in Joris Voorn’s 15 years of Rejected mix. It’s from 2011 but deserves an airing in case it’s been missed https://soundcloud.com/joris-voorn/joris-voorn-15-years-rejected)

    My top 3 remixes of the year:

    1. DJ T’s remix of “Lovework” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfe0DkKCcRk

    2. A wee bit of cheating as this was out in 2011 but only heard it this year. It’s DJ T again, with Maceo Plex on the remix duties http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMmZEsHD-sA

    3. Have to go for Waze & Odyssey’s remix of TEED (as heard at Neil and Si’s Illegal Rave 01/12/12) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEWd4ZMj73w

    I have loads more, but with a mix in the offing, I don’t want to reveal too many little gems.

  2. Nice one. I’ve got some travel coming up so will download those sets for the journey. Would be good to have your set of gems for then as well. If adding more compilations to the mix I’d definitely include Maya Jane Coles and Photek’s DJ Kicks in my top picks, love them both.

    There’s a flood of albums I need to check out yet but one thing that has instantly jumped out is Tycho – more lovely chilled out electronic vibes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6ih1aKeETk

    Also, not sure how I missed the fact that Thom Yorke had another project on the go. Just a couple of singles last year – sound class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxWBd840E9g – and I’m looking forward to the album which is out next month!

  3. Pingback: Albums of 2014 (27 – 11) | Darling Blogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s