Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010: my favorite albums!

Ok, so every year when I sit down to make my best-of the year list, I fall into this trap where I start wondering if the albums I'm picking are REALLY the INCONTESTABLE BEST ALBUMS of the year, and it's a pretty bad way to go about making a list.  This year I'm trying to take it a little bit easier- this list is not what I'm saying are the BEST albums that will stand the test of time, just a bunch of albums I liked that happened to come out this year.  In fact, only my top 6 records do I feel belong in any really top ranking- the rest of the list could have fallen in a completely different order, were I to assemble this list last month or next week or even right now.  Anyway, I enjoyed all of these albums in different ways, so let me know what albums were your stand-outs this year!

read the rest!

30. The Alps - Le Voyage
29. Neil Young - Le Noise
28. Sun Araw - On Patrol
27. Danny Paul Grody - Fountain
26. Afrirampo - We Are Uchu No Ko
25. Arp - The Soft Wave
24. Pocahaunted - Make It Real
23. Abe Vigoda - Crush
22. Aboombong - Asynchronic
21. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
20. Avey Tare - Down There
19. Zola Jesus - Stridulum
18. Ariel Pink With Added Pizzazz -Ariel Pink With Added Pizzazz
17. Nite Jewel - Am I Real?
16. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
15. Nice Nice - Extra Wow
14. Julian Lynch - Mare
13. C V L T S - L V S T (review)
12. Salem - King Night
11. Nobunny - First Blood (review)

10. Die Antwoord - $O$
I think this is one of those things that if you are sick of the joke, you HATE IT.  Some people were sick of the joke the second these guys came out.  I still think its funny.  I'm probably going to be embarrassed I picked this next year.

 09. †‡† - CDR
Speaking about making picks that will be embarrassing next year.... witch house!  This has all of the overwrought epicness of Salem without the incredibly shitty constant drum machine hand claps.

 08. Sex Church - Six Songs By Sex Church
Now that I'm actually writing these blurbs, I can't really justify why I felt this album/EP needed to be ranked so high.  I really dig the downer garage shoegaze schtick though.

 07. Wild Nothing - Gemini
True, this album is super derivative, but it does it so well!  I think 2011 might be the year that I decide I have too many shoegaze bands in my life, however.

 06. V/A - Three Years Ahead: The Cloud Rap Tape
Not technically a proper album, but rather a mixtape made by a blog.  But who cares, this would make the top 10 on the strength of the Lil B tracks alone (actually, it pretty much did).

 05. How To Dress Well - Love Remains
I didn't really think I liked this album so much when I started listening to it, but the more I dug in the more I found I really enjoyed it.  So damaged and pretty.

 04. Beach House - Teen Dream
This album leaked last year!  But it actually came out this year.  It was a good way to start 2010.  Such a warm and comfortable sound, for warm and comfortable times.

 03. Moon Duo - Escape
Moon Duo are kind of like a rehash of Wooden Shjips (the band they share members with), except better.  There needs to be more music from this group soon!

 02. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
Amazing to me that Ariel Pink managed to pull this off so successfully- who is so joyfully catchy and head-scratchingly fucked up and weird at the same time?

 01. LA Vampires & Zola Jesus - LA Vampires & Zola Jesus
Is this actually better than any of the other albums that came out this year?  I don't know if I could defend that claim, but its definitely the album I feel the most excited about calling #1.  The best thing either of these artists have produced!  So effortlessly cool.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010: my favorite metal albums!

Here's part one of my best of 2010 lists, and frankly I think that this year was AMAZING for music- there was just so, so much good stuff that came out and it was impossible to stay on top of it all.  This is definitely true for metal, and when reading other people's year end lists, I was overwhelmed by how much I had missed!  So I'm not saying that these are the written-in-stone BEST metal albums of the year, but just the ones I like the most out of what I managed to hear!

read the rest!

ALBUMS I LIKED, but didn't have enough time to review to put on the list, or didn't like strongly enough to put on the list (in no particular order) 2010:

Shining - Blackjazz
Sigh - Scenes from Hell
Ludicra - The Tenant
Agalloch - Marrow of the Spirit
Alcest - Écailles de Lune
The Body - All the Waters of the Earth Shall Turn to Blood
Bongripper - Satan Worshipping Doom
Dark Tranquillity - We Are the Void
Deathspell Omega - Paracletus
Deivos - Gospel of Maggots
Nutr - Unholy Inscriptions on A Tainted Wall
Skagos - Skagos/Panopticon Split
Panopticon - Skagos/Panopticon Split
Decrepit Birth - Polarity
The Secret - Solve Et Coagula
Thou - Summit
Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones
Wrath of the Weak - Solace


High on Fire - Snakes for the Divine
Harvey Milk - A Small Turn of Human Kindness
Daughters - S/T
Kylesa - Spiral Shadow


9. Kvelertak - s/t
This has been making a bunch of journalist's best-of lists, and a lot of bloggers' and fans' worst-of lists.  Sure, Kvelertak's blend of hardcore-influenced rock with black metal flourishes is glossy and hard to take seriously, but if you accept it for what it is then this album is pretty fun.  This is to metal what Taco Bell is to Mexican food, but once in a while I like to get some Taco Bell, you know?

8. Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle pt II
I thought this album was pretty bad the first time I heard it, and I didn't think much better of it the second, or third, or fourth, or fifth time I listened to it.... Even though I think that (kind of like Kvelertak!) Nachtmystium are a little too hard-rock and not sufficiently kvlt, I kept listening to this album over and over again.  I'm still not sure it's a good album but its got some kind of hook in me.

 7. Triptykon - Shatter
It's a little weird that I picked the Triptykon EP instead of the full-length album it accompanies, but to be honest I didn't even realize there was a full-length until a few weeks ago, and I haven't had the mental space to sit down and process it yet.  Actually, when I first heard this EP, I had no idea it was the new project from Celtic Frost's Tom G Warrior, and was impressed at what a fully-formed sound this new band had.  In retrospect its less impressive since this is basically "Tom G Warrior's NEW Celtic Frost", but at least he had the decency to do it under a new name.  There's a lot of silly gothiness going on here, but there is also some really convincingly evil vocals and an amazingly crushing guitar sound.  I dig it.

 6. Culted - Of Death & Ritual
Like Triptykon, newcomers Culted bridge the gap between doom and black metal, and much like Triptykon, the results are pure, awful evilness.  I found the last track on this four-song EP to be pretty terrible, but other than that, this has a wonderfully vile atmosphere to it and I'm eager to see what this band does next.

5. Trap Them - Filth Rations
Nearly half of the releases on this list are EPs- I guess I had a short attention span this year.  Or maybe, I just appreciate when a band manages to get the point done in an efficient manner.  Trap Them don't waste any time on this EP, delivering vicious metal influenced hardcore in a Converge style.  

 4. Vit - -
This was a latecomer to my best-of list, sneaking in at the very end.  I don't really know anything about this band, but they weave disparate sounds into their epic black metal in a way that I really enjoy.  There's some post-rock going on, some weirdly warm and friendly guitar sounds, some back-porch banjo playing, yet it always somehow works.   "Ascention Ritual" is a strong contender for my favorite metal track of this year.

 3. Krieg - The Isolationist
This album definitely snuck up on me- at first I didn't think much of it, but its just a really solid black metal album.  It doesn't really inspire me to say much about it, but I sure do enjoy listening to it.

 2. Hayaino Daisuki - Invincible Gate Mind of the Infernal Fire Hell- or- Did You Mean Hawaii Daisuki?
No other metal release this year had as much energy as this one did.  This gets my fists pumping and head banging everytime. 

 1. Burzum - Belus
Did anyone think that Burzum would ever be relevant again?  I definitely did not, but this is a testament to the fact that no matter how despicable he may be as a person, Burzum is definitely one of pillars of black metal.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

nobunny - first blood (2010)

RIYL: Jay Reatard, King Kahn & BBQ Show, The Exploding Hearts

When I first saw local act Nobunny a few years back, his bunny-masked garage rock seemed like just a joke, and I didn't feel inclined to keep up with his output.  When I saw he had a new album out this year, I was pretty sure it was going to be another middle-of-the-road garage revival record- but I'm glad to say that I was way wrong about that.  I have a soft spot for catchy, power pop & doo-wop influenced garage rock a la Jay Reatard/King Kahn/Exploding Hearts, and this exactly that, done right.  Nobunny has a knack for catchy melodies, and he switches styles up often, making for a diverse and enjoyable set of songs that pretty much always hit their mark- "Breathe" is a slow-grooving T. Rex vamp, "Never Been Kissed" adds a frantically hammered piano into the mix, and "I Was On (The Bozo Show)" closes out the album with a take on the famous circus song "Entry of the Gladiators".  The lyrics are clever too, frequently funny and surprisingly dirty.  First Blood is so sunny and fun I almost forget that we are in the middle of a cold snap and I can see my breath inside of my house.  The album's 11 songs are over in less than 25 minutes, but there's a lot of memorable hooks packed into that short play time.

BTW- Number of times I resisted making bunny-related puns in writing this review: 5

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

how to dress well - love remains (2010)

RIYL: Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors

Forget how awful this band's name is.... I almost passed this up because the name was so dumb, but I'm glad I didn't because I think this is one of the better pop albums I've heard this year.  Love Remains, How To Dress Well's debut album, is anchored by soft falsetto vocal aerobics akin to bands like fellow NYCers Grizzly Bear/The Dirty Projectors/Antony Hegarty, but hides the vocals behind layers of reverb and distortion, surrounded by lo-fi washes of keyboard and sparse percussion.  In a more glossy presentation, I would probably be put off by the modern r'n'b influenced pop-style singing, but the simplicity of the sound makes it feel much more immediate and personal than it otherwise might.  Most of the album is quietly atmospheric ballads, but there are the occasional uptempo rockers ("Walking This Dumb (Live)") or trip-hop forays ("Endless Rain").  The sequencing of the album is somewhat ramshackle, reflecting that this is a group still finding its sound, but I personally find the messiness appealing.  Hopefully, How To Dress Well's future output will keep that quality intact.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

krieg - the isolationist (2010)

Although Krieg have been around in various forms since 1995, their newest album The Isolationist was my first experience listening to them.  All I knew going in to this record was that I'd heard of the band here and there, knew there was a connection to black metal supergroup Twilight (who I actually haven't listened to yet), but never really felt compelled to seek this band out.  I guess I'd never really seen or heard anyone declaring that Krieg was really good and important and I need to check them out, so I just never did.  Upon listen to this, my first impression was that this was yr standard epic, sorrowful black metal; extremely well produced, and at times very compelling, but nothing that special.  But quickly this album started getting... weirder.  Not really obviously weird, not avant-garde experimental techno black metal with toy pianos or anything, but more like strange winding and dissonant chords, guitarless passages of reversed drums and wordless howls, a voracious static that devours all other sounds, or an unnaturally frantic quickening of the pace at the very end of a song.  This is still pretty traditional black metal, but well-executed, and the occasional strangeness sets it above being just middle-of-the-road.  When things really coalesce for Krieg, and I would say they do more often than not, this rivals the best black metal of the year (BURZUM).  But there are enough moments too where things drag on just a little too long..... and I start zoning out.  I admit that I tend to gravitate towards less orthodox styles of black metal, but although this album doesn't take too many risks, it nevertheless stands out among this years' black metal releases.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ASC - 'Reality Check'

ASC is an artist that's basically associated with the Autonomic label, home to a sort of sparse, industrial, somewhat more drum and bass version of dubstep. The productions are usually really tight and controlled in their rhythms, and pretty minimal when it comes to how thick they lay on the synths. It's a pretty unique style. The artists that run Autonomic are Instra:mental, whose track 'Watching You' was on my list of best tracks for 2009. D-Bridge is also a big name on the label and compliments the overall vibe pretty nicely.

ASC still produces for Autonomic, but started his own label called Auxiliary to host his own works, and so far he's released some pretty brilliant stuff on it. The thing about the track 'Reality Check' for me is that I've been waiting almost exactly ten months to buy it. That's one of the pitfalls of the electronic scene, is that artists will hand their tracks over to someone putting together a mix wayyy in advance of the actual release. Sometimes upwards of a year, and sometimes will simply never release the track at all. It's insanely frustrating, but I guess pretty rewarding still in the end.

This particular track was definitely worth the wait. It's easily in my top few favorites of the year. It holds true to overall Autonomic sound. The bass and snares have sort of an industrial pump and push to them, the rhythm production is pretty tightly wound and controlled, and though the synthwork is relatively minimal, it's extremely lush and quite frankly, amazingly gorgeous. There are synth flourishes that completely open up the space of the track, leaving me awestruck. A vocal sample appears throughout to a sweetly mysterious effect, as an utterly beautiful chime-like melody blooms in the background. It's a very nicely layered composition. The rest of the Certainties EP that it comes from is also pretty interesting and certainly worth checking out. har har. but really though, this track is really something special.

ASC - Reality Check by speedglueandmusic_raw3

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shed - Shedding The Past (2008)

Shed seems to be an artist that exists somewhere in the nether-realm between Berlin/minimal techno and London dub sensibilities. Whatever you want to call it (I personally have a strong distaste for labels because I think they sometimes oversimplify the music), it's extremely well delivered. Shed is one of very few artists that I would put near the same category as Richard D. James, and that's really saying a lot if you know how absurdly obsessed with him I've been over the years. The main criteria for that is just originality of sound and delivery mostly and he excels in both those categories. And for the record, I'm also taking into account his newer release, The Traveller, which I'll review in the near future.

The album, Shedding The Past, does to some extent seem to live up to it's name, but in a kind of an ironic way. It gets back to the basics of good minimal techno, with a surface-level inclination towards driving, repetitive beats. But I suppose is 'shedding the past' by reinventing them in a what ends up being a truly current, original way. Nothing too radical, just the obvious subtle difference that comes with perspective on past works, and more advanced production tools at one's disposal. With that seemingly simple format though, he is able to express a great deal within it. To the average listener, some tracks might seem overly repetitive or simplistic. But that's kind of the point of techno anyway: a slow, hypnotic build that draws you in over time.

Either way, Shed demonstrates the awareness of someone that really put serious thought and care into what they were producing, and you can sense it in the results. Much like Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works, the tracks just feel right. And beyond any description of the qualities of a particular album, that feeling towards it is really what distinguishes greatness from something relatively forgettable. This one definitely belongs to the former.

Shed - The Lower Upside Down by speedglueandmusic_raw3

Shed - IHTAW by speedglueandmusic_raw3

Thursday, October 21, 2010

sarcófago - rotting (1989)

RIYL: Obituary, Possessed, Bulldozer

Brazil's Sarcófago are best known for being Brazil's first great metal band, and are frequently given credit for being the originators of the modern style of corpse paint. Their first album, INRI, is a fantastic (if comparatively straight-forward) thrash album, but I prefer their second album, Rotting. On this album, Sarcófago stretch their sound out- remember when I was talking about Bulldozer and metal bands that exist in between thrash, death and black metal? This album is firmly in that camp. What makes this album stand out however is the attention to songwriting beyond just all-out thrashing; Metallica would be a could comparison if Metallica were 1,000 times more pissed off and evil. "Alcoholic Coma" starts off as a raging speed metal song, but halfway through it slows down to sinister death metal riffage, before picking up again. The longer song lengths reflect the fact that Sarcófago are attempting something more progressive than their earlier work, but they still fit in a shorter full-speed thrash track in the form of "Sex, Drinks and Metal", which brings some life to the tail end of the album after some longer cuts. The fact that the album is only six tracks (one of which is the intro) and barely over half an hour long makes this feel like a glorified EP, but the band definitely manage to create something unique on this album.

Friday, October 15, 2010

genghis tron - dead mountain mouth (2006)

RIYL: Drumcorps, Venetian Snares, Agoraphobic Nosebleed

Usually I like to review albums that I have only heard recently, so this album is kind of an exception to that rule.  Dead Mountain Mouth is, to me, a flawless record, and I had some compulsion to listen to it tonight so I figured I'd write something about it.  This is one of those records where I know every song inside and out, and take pleasure from anticipating every twist and turn it takes.  It frankly amazes me that Genghis Tron never got bigger than they did, especially after this record- whereas their first ep Cloak of Love felt fairly tongue-in-cheek and kept the electronic portions mostly separate from the metal parts, Dead Mountain Mouth blends programmed beats and melodic keyboards with raging guitars and grinding drums in a completely seamless and natural way.  The songwriting is without fault too- every song has a place and contributes to the overall shape of the record, and the album is strong from start to finish (although it runs barely over half an hour, so it doesn't even stick around long enough to wear out its welcome).  While the whole album is great, for me the highlight comes early in the form of the titular track.  "Dead Mountain Mouth" is a densely sculpted swarm of surging guitars and keyboards relentlessly charging towards the edge of a cliff, briefly floating mid-air and then horrifically crashing to the ground (the first time I saw them play, I asked the guitar player why they didn't play this song- he said it was "kind of a studio experiment" that they couldn't recreate in a live setting).  Board Up The House, the album that followed this one, failed to match the intensity and focus found here.  I'm still hoping that we are going to get more like this from Genghis Tron, and even if we don't, this stands as the most perfect amalgamation of heavy metal and electronic music created thus far.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

krzysztof penderecki - threnody to the victims of hiroshima (1960)

While Mr. Destroy The Scene came up with some pretty exceptional contenders for "most terrifying song ever" the other day, for my money nothing comes even close to this piece by Hungarian composer Krzysztof Penderecki.  The ungodly wailing and shrieking of strings, the quiet passages of plucked violins that hint at the horror slowly revealing itself.... to me, this is the aural equivalent of losing your mind to complete terror.  The first time I heard this song I thought I might actually have a panic attack.  If it sounds familiar at all to you, it may be because the score for The Shining uses quite a bit of this piece (and the film is undoubtedly better because of it).  If you can, try and listen to all ten minutes of this, and if you like this, many of Penderecki's other works are just as good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Raime - Raime EP (2010)

ah yes, the spirit of hallow'a eve is upon us. and what better way to celebrate than through some dark, semi-ambient electronic music?

the Raime EP is the debut of a group that are pretty new to the scene, but it's already pretty clear where they stand musically. their compositions are generally pretty cavernous in terms of the musical space they provide: vocals appearing and disappearing in and out of the background, drums pattering away in the distance, little lightning strikes of bass, and a consistent sub frequency to add some weight to it throughout it all. 'this foundry' is a slow-burner of a track and definitely possesses the kind of hypnotic quality that comes with repetition and minimalist tendencies. it all comes through to a pretty remarkable effect. definitely one of the top releases of the year thus far.

on Blackest Ever Black.

Raime - This Foundry by speedglueandmusic_raw3

Thursday, October 7, 2010

bulldozer - the day of wrath (1985)

RIYL: Venom, Possessed
The Day Of Wrath by Italian band Bulldozer is an album between genres, created at a time when thrash bands were pushing the limits of evil and heaviness, and the genres of death and black metal were only beginning to take shape.  "Whiskey Time", from this album, is featured on Fenriz Presents... The Best of Old School Black Metal, so it's certainly fair game to call this proto-black metal a la Venom.  But that might not really give you an accurate idea of what it sounds like: dark and filthy thrash, with some NWOBHM elements.  What really stands out about this album is the strange guitar playing- although the songs are structured in a fairly conventional way, the guitar frequently sounds weird.  Not so strange that it is the focus of the music, but strange enough that you'll sometimes be struck by how, for example, it sounds like alarm klaxons going off at three minutes into "Welcome Death".  But apart from the sometimes odd guitar sound and the fact that (for 1985) this is a pretty evil sounding record, much of the music isn't very striking.  The album is back-loaded, hitting its stride mid-way through.  There are a few standouts on this album though ("Mad Man", "Whiskey Time" and "Welcome Death" are my favorites), and its peculiarities (not to mention that excellent cover art) are enough to make this of interest to anyone who likes metal from the era that gave birth to black metal.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LA vampires & zola jesus - self-titled (2010)

This brief, one-off album pairing LA Vampires and Zola Jesus is maybe, probably my favorite album of the year thus far (or at least, its the album that's gotten the most repeated listens in the last few months).  LA Vampires is the new solo project of the ex-singer of the unfortunately broken-up group Pocahaunted, Zola Jesus is a rising gothy songstress- and together, their individuals strengths complement each other to amazing effect.  Zola Jesus's dark and sparse style sounds great matched with the lo-fi dubbiness of LA Vampires, and the result is a cavernous, mesmerizing sound.  Although I am a fan of her solo work, I feel like sometimes Zola Jesus borders on being too outright poppy for my tastes- but here, the more sprawling nature of these songs allow her voice to be more of an accompaniment than the focus, more textural than being the central hook.  These songs are not particularly structured or driven, instead allowing plenty of space for the echoing basslines and melodic vocals to stretch, repeat, and slowly morph into different shapes.  It's not a very engaging album, but that's one of its strongest qualities- it has such a great atmosphere and vibe to it, it easily bears repeated listens without getting tiring.  LA Vampires & Zola Jesus is a great post-Pocahaunted debut for LA Vampires, and the best so far of Zola Jesus's many pairings.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

sex church - 6 songs by sex church (2010)

RIYL: Blank Dogs, Vivian Girls, Crocodiles

Want more reverb-soaked dark garage rock in your life?  Of course you do!  With that in mind, consider checking out 6 Songs By Sex Church, by Vancouver band Sex Church (durrrrr).   Half anhedonistic plodders, half cynically upbeat rockers, these 6 songs (durrrrrrrr) mine much of the same turf as other like-minded groups like Blank Dogs and Crocodiles, but without sounding like faceless imitators.  In addition to the expected Joy Division and Jesus and Mary Chain influence, "The Floor" sounds like The Velvet Underground, at least until the song builds into a surging crescendo.  "Not Anymore" sounds partially like evil surf rock and a little like dark shoegaze a la A Place To Bury Strangers.  Another highlight, "Ghost", reminds me of the pop-fury of Jay Reatard, while the brief and shiny guitar coda sounds like Red Rhodes psychedelic slide guitar work or Abe Vigoda's tropical punk.  I love bands that combine catchiness with seething anger, and Sex Church are another great band in that vein.  Short, miserable and to the point.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

various artists - 3 years ahead: the cloud rap tape (2010)

(download the mixtape here)
This free mixtape, produced by the rap blog Space Age Hustle, gathers together what they see as a common trend in recent hip-hop: "not the newest sub-sub-sub-genre of rap music we’re tying to forcefully bring to life" but rather "a lot of new artists singularly focused on stepping outside of rap’s comfort zone and doing what they want with beats and lyrics".  What links these tracks together seems primarily to be beats that largely disregard rhythm in favor of ambiance and melody, and which are frequently based around whispy female vocal samples.  The term "cloud rap" fits well; these songs feel ungrounded, floating free of a low end and without drums or actual beats to anchor them down.  The breathy vocal samples remind me of 90's trance and trip-hop, and the overall vibe seems very similar to those genres- drugged out and spacey, very mellow and directionless.  For the most part, I think this works fantastically.  Lil B is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack (that's a pun you see because he is a member of hyphy rap group The Pack).  His unconventional style of rapping is perfectly suited to this: not only are the beats unconventional, but Lil B has a tendency to defy expectations by NOT rhyming half of his verses.  The end result is a complete sense of unpredictability, and his two tracks that lead off the mixtape are best examples of the potential of the "cloud rap" sensibility, not to mention the best tracks in the mix.  While none of the other tracks succeed in the same way as Lil B does, there are still a few standouts: "Southern Funk" by Inkrowd is lush, and being closer to conventional rap, is catchier than a lot of the songs; the super chilled out "Flinstones" by Lowe & Clova sounds so high it barely manages to maintain consciousness; G-Sides' "Impossible" floats by on a haunting vocal sample.  Unfortunately, the rest of the mixtape doesn't hold up quite as well.  I didn't really care for Main Attrakionz, who sound as bored by their rapping as I am, and they represent 7 of the 15 tracks on the mixtape.  Still, compilations are generally hit-or-miss by nature, and you can't really complain about a free mixtape put together by fans.  Despite some shortcomings, this mix has some truly amazing songs that show that rap is still evolving and exploring new territory.

Monday, September 13, 2010

C V L T S - L V S T (2010)

(Entire album is available to download here)
RIYL: Zomes, Ducktails

This excellent debut EP from Lawrence, Kansas group C V L T S showcases a collection of low-key, lo-fi instrumental psychedelic tunes.  Opening track "Laminated Glass" sets the tone: what sounds like processed thumb piano (but is probably keyboard?) rises and falls, multiplying and looping and convalescing into a downpour of fuzzy tones.  The rest of the EP continues to be captivating while still demonstrating restraint; there is an appealing simplicity in the sparseness of these songs.  The New-Age-y "Radd Pitt" (oof) shimmers and drifts like bubbles underwater; closing track "Luck Surf", the longest on the EP, end things on a very melancholic & melodic note, slowly building and surging but never fully boiling over.  L V S T demonstrates that C V L T S have a talent for constructing simple yet moving and engaging songs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

wild nothing - gemini/cloudbusting (2010)

Wild Nothing are a shoegazy dream pop band from Virginia, and the amount of mileage you get from their debut album Gemini will probably depend on your appetite for this sort of music.  The band first came to my attention because I stumbled across their Cloudbusting single- and since I really love that particular Kate Bush song, I figured Wild Nothing's version was at least worth a listen.  It's a pretty good cover- slight and ethereal, pretty, and the singer of Wild Nothing doesn't make the mistake of trying to stretch his voice to match Kate Bush's.  It's a pleasant take on the song, and while it doesn't reach the heights of the original, the emotional pull still reaches through the delicate facade of Wild Nothing's version.  Gemini, Wild Nothing's debut full-length, inspired much of the same reaction in me.  If you really love this kind of soft, shimmery pop, with politely distorted guitars that ring like bells and hushed vocals that seem afraid of accidentally grabbing your attention, then you will probably enjoy this quite a bit.  It's an exceedingly nice album.  Personally I do like this kind of music, and it reminds me of Slowdive's Space Station Souvlaki (one of my all-time favorite records), so listening to this album was a pleasant experience.  And perhaps, with a few more listens through, more of the songs will start to stick to me and take shape.  But I have to say that so far Wild Nothing aren't really doing anything that hasn't been done before, and if you don't have a craving for this genre of music, you might not find this all that appealing.  That being said, if you want some new swirly dream pop, Wild Nothing do it well, and Gemini might be what you are looking for.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

cruiser - sunshine woman tape (2009)

RIYL: Hella, early Deerhoof
It took a long time for me to come to terms with the fact that the Hella I loved (of Hold Your Horse Is, Total Bugs Bunny on Wild Bass, and Bitches Ain't Shit But Good People) ceased to exist years ago, replaced by a festering undead version of Hella whose corpse grows more bloated and unsettling with each subsequent album.  Imagine then the ecstatic sense of relief I felt when I heard this, a two-piece from Portland whose mathy, frenetic and propulsive rock fills the niche that Hella used to inhabit!  And then consider the crushing disappointment when I learned that Cruiser only released a tape and a CD-R, both long out of print, and called it a day.  Sunshine Woman Tape is exhilarating and FUN, unceasingly moving forward in dizzying zig-zags, stopping and starting, throwing everything AND the kitchen sink in, and it's a shame that we'll never get anything more from them.  Although definitely derivative of early Hella (and sure, I guess, other like-minded math rock duos), Cruiser pull it off incredibly well and this will please anyone left high and dry by Hella's recent output.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

hayaino daisuki - invincible gate mind of the infernal fire hell, or, did you mean hawaii daisuki? (2010)

As evidenced by the title of this EP, Hayaino Daisuki have a pretty light-hearted approach to their music.  They celebrate the energy, fun, and above all SPEED of heavy metal.  They are not, as their name might reasonably lead you to conclude, Japanese.  Nor are they (as you might believe after seeing their press photos) a group of tattooed female rockers.  They are, in reality, four dudes from New Jersey, one of whom is the former vocalist for revered grindcore band Discordance Axis.  Although this has the speed and intensity of grindcore, it lacks the aggression and hostility of the genre, instead indulging in melodic and heart-pounding guitar leads.   Every one of the four songs on this EP is a testament to the maximum limits of intensity: the fastest speed, the loudest volume, the hue and saturation turned all the way up.  Every moment is the most epic moment of all time, until the next the next moment, of course.  It's almost too much to take, with no chance to stop or catch your breath- but then that's why Hayaino Daisuki only put out EPs.  A full length album of this would probably give you a heart attack, but this EP is as short as it is explosive.  In my view it's been a fairly disappointing year for heavy metal, but this gets my fists pumping every time I put it on.

Friday, August 13, 2010

sabbath assembly - restored to one (2010)

This is a case of an album being perhaps more interesting conceptually than musically, and for that reason I've sort of been sitting on writing this review for a couple of weeks.  But it is a fairly interesting concept: a culty new-age albums of spooky religious hymns, by a band composed of some reasonably-well know indie musicians.  I only recently heard of The Process Church of the Final Judgement, in this article, which is well worth reading.  For those without the patience to check that out, The Process is a small, alternative religious movement that has historically had connections to Mick Jagger, Genesis P-Orridge, and more recently, Jex Thoth, Robert Lowe (Lichens) and Dave Nuss (No Neck Blues Band).  The later three are featured on this album.  The music is sparse, dark folk music, and depending on how you feel about religion, its an eerie listen- the band alternately appeals to God(s), Jesus Christ and Satan.  I don't really have a deep enough knowledge of acid-folk to describe what groups of that genre this sounds like, but it reminded me of a mellow Black Mountain, and at times of the Velvet Underground.  It's not a particularly dynamic record, and it is more solemn than energized- by the end of the record, I'm definitely impatient to put something else on.  But it is interesting in its own way, and certainly more appealing than most modern religious music I've heard.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jean-Claude Vannier - L'enfant Assassin Des Mouches (1972)

I have a sneaking suspicion that there are other reviewers here better suited to review this album, but I've been listening to it for the last few days and figured I'd give it a shot.  This is the 1972 debut album by Jean-Claude Vannier, a musician and composer responsible for the orchestration on Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson, which had been released the previous year.  On L'enfant Assassin Des Mouches, Vannier crafted a grandiose and sprawling epic, one that begins with engaging and catchy instrumental rock compositions, yet frequently (particularly in the second half) moves in unusual, avante-garde directions.  This lack of cohesion, (I'm assuming) reflective of a desire to showcase his range as a composer, reminds me of Goblin's soundtrack work, albeit with real instruments rather than synthesized ones.  And like Goblin, Jean-Claude Vannier's music walks the line between playfully light, and epically pompous.  For me, the album feels directionless after the first few songs, but that may be simply because the first songs are very gripping, and I hadn't anticipated the somewhat more sombre and experimental tone the rest of the album would take.  I don't really see it as a problem- the less melodic stretches are interesting as well- but it does give the album an odd and disjointed flow, overall.

Els (of breadxbread) brought this excellent Jean-Claude Vannier and Yves Saint-Laurent video to my attention:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

AFX: Newly Released Analords (2010)

It's not entirely clear if these Analord tracks were recorded with the originals or more recently. Probably the former given the fact that they were part of a re-release of all the previous Analord EPs which happened last December, but still surprising given how much some of them stand out in comparison to some of those original tracks.

The Analord series, as far as I can tell, was a way for Aphex Twin to experiment with format. After DrukQs, he had made as intense and furious an electronic piece of work than anybody could make, so it makes sense that he would decide to simplify in a certain way.

As much as some of the Analord tracks seem like merely musical gestures as opposed to complete songs, the word simple or simplify doesn't really do them justice. Part of what makes Aphex Twin such an amazing artist is not just the basic composition of the music, but the texture and personality of the sounds he uses. As far back as anyone can trace his work, his songs have always had a very special emotive quality, and an incredible range within that as well. The Richard D. James album as an example is full of memorable moments. Moments that exude some pretty raw emotions for an electronic album: bliss, sadness, detachment, frenzy, and a hundred other unspeakable qualities. The stuff he creates is like a language unto itself, a form of musical expression that can't be described completely with words. And that is a quality I hold dear in the world of music. It's something that has stayed true throughout his career, including what he's done with the Analord series.

Obviously, not every song he creates is on that incredible level, but his overall body of work is worthy of that. He's broken barriers that allow you to judge his work in a context that you would not allow any other artist; he's truly set himself apart. And that makes it easier to appreciate the 'simpler' tracks as more than just a lazy experiment.

The tracks I chose as examples, these 'Chosen (by RAW 3) Lords' are actually the least simplistic of the bunch. They are the standouts with the most personality, the most highly developed. Anyway, here they are. Buy them here:

These are a really sweet addition to the whole series, they round it out very nicely and give it a little more depth of personality. Now, hopefully my daily prayers will be answered when he actually releases an Aphex Twin album on Warp this year. One can only dream...

AFX - Love 7 by elpretentio2

AFX - In The Maze Park by elpretentio2

AFX - 3 Notes Con by elpretentio2

AFX - Stabbij by elpretentio2

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

daughters - daughters (2010)

When I heard the first Daughters album, "Canada Songs", I was floored.  Released on Robotic Empire in 2003, at the height of popularity for grind and hardcore bands like The Locust and The Blood Brothers, Canada Songs was eleven minutes (!!!) of pure fury and funny song titles ("I Don't Give a Shit About Wood, I'm Not a Chemist").  And yet my shocked reaction to "Canada Songs" paled in comparison to how blown away I was by their 2006 follow up, "Hell Songs".  Over twice as long as "Canada Songs" (twenty-three minutes, this time!), "Hell Songs" featured longer song lengths, added instrumentation (members of progressive metal band Kayo Dot guested), and most notably, a new and demented singing style from Alexis Marshall; no longer screaming incomprehensibly, but rather drunkenly crooning, coming off like a satanic preacher (or "the sound of Elvis Presley being tortured", sez the Wikipedia page).  The woozy, off-balance vocals stumbled and ranted over the top of guitar squiggles and pounding drums, and the result was one of the most hateful and yet enjoyable albums I've ever heard.  A fitting movie (or comic book if yr a geek like me) comparison to "Hell Songs" might be the Joker: unhinged, violent and unpredictable, yet powerful and entirely in control at all times.  Suffice to say, I had high hopes for the new, self-titled Daughters album.  But when I put on "Daughters" for the first time, it became apparent that the stylistic leap that had occurred between "Canada Songs" and "Hell Songs" was not going to occur again.  Largely in the same vein as "Hell Songs", "Daughters" features slightly longer songs and more of the same crazed singing and technical guitar playing.  Yet somehow it wasn't the same as "Hell Songs" to me... it was lesser.  It took me awhile to fully grasp it, but the band significantly dialed back the intensity on "Daughters".  Rather than pummeling, full-throttle drums, the beats on most of the songs hit hard yet rarely let loose.  A thick synthesizer has been brought in, playing melodic lines alongside the guitar.  The songs are more hooky too, a little bit more accessible sounding.  If "Hell Songs" was Heath Leger's Joker, a violent psychopath, "Daughters" is a little bit more like Jack Nicholson's Joker.... similar, yet not nearly as threatening.  Kind of goofy, actually.  What happened?  Sometime between the time that this album was recorded last year, and its release this year, both guitarist Nicholas Sandler and bassist Samual Walker left the group, effectively breaking up Daughters and making this their final release.  This suggests that perhaps the band wasn't really working cohesively and toward a common purpose on this album, but then that's just speculation on my part.  Sandler joined New York super-postive indie-bullshit group Fang Island after leaving Daughters, so maybe he was just sick of being in a good band?  At any rate, while not terrible, this album doesn't succeed in the way that previous Daughters releases did, and marks the end of the band in a somewhat disappointing manner.  At least we'll always have "Hell Songs".

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plastikman - Consumed (1998)

Plastikman - 01 - Contain by elpretentio2

Deep, hypnotic rolling bass. Repetitive, but that's the point: to get lost in a zone of sorts. Definitely dark as a consequence of the low, heavy sound driving it while a sinister, slow build of a synth rides alongside. I'm not sure if it was intended as a concept album, but it certainly works as one. Each track is a relatively minor variation on what i just described.

Plastikman is otherwise known as Richie Hawtin, a minimal techno pioneer and a mainstay of the Detroit techno scene. Being only vaguely familiar with his other work, i can still say that this is one of his weirder, more conceptual projects. It does what most good albums should do: it takes you to a real and substantial place. This one just happens to be an abyss. File under: meditative, impending doom.

Plastikman will be at Coachella the Sunday of that weekend.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

burzum - belus (2010)

Let's just get the inconvenient fact that Varg Vikernes is not just a convicted murderer and arsonist, but perhaps as bad (or worse), an open and unrepentant racist, out of the way.  Yes these things are true, and yes if you need to like or agree with the musicians you listen to you may want to avoid this.  I've spent a lot of time trying to decide whether its "morally ok" to listen to this and other even more vehemently racist music without coming to a conclusion about how I feel about it.  But as fellow SP&M writer RAWIII remarked to me after I spent hours discussing the moral conflict of listening to NSBM on a car trip from LA to SF, "Eh.... I'm tired of talking about Nazis."  So ignoring all of the baggage that comes with this, how is the album?  Actually... it's way, way better than I was expecting it to be.  In fact it's easily one of the best black metal albums I've heard in awhile.  While it lacks the atmospheric and haunting keyboard melodies that made Burzum one of the all-time greats in the genre, the guitar work is incredible and aggressive and creates an entirely different vibe from older Burzum work- unlike the meandering dirges of Filosofem, the songs on Belus sound focused and driven.  It's still unmistakeably the product of the same artist, but going in a new direction.  I hadn't heard anything good about the work Varg had produced since going to jail, and since this is his first album in eleven years, I wasn't expecting much- my expectations were definitely exceeded and then some.

Friday, March 12, 2010

one year birthday

Our first review was written one year ago today!  Mind-boggling! A few site redesigns, two new writers (R. A. Williams and MRT!), and a moderately popular facebook page later, and we're still going as half-assedly as ever!  Thanks for reading, we're always working on making the site better, so stick around.  Maybe this year we'll even get a review from the mysterious third original site co-founder!  WHO KNOWS

Thursday, March 11, 2010

James Blake

02. James Blake - Sparing The Horse by elpretentio2
02 James Blake - Buzzard & Kestrel by elpretentio2

Once again, I basically don't know exactly what to call this. I'm just going to preface every post with that from now on. I just like to appreciate the "is"-ness of music rather than categorize it, for the most part. But somehow I still manage to contribute this blog of excellence.

This is... something-step. Definitely has some 'step' in it. Maybe... inverted-step? I dunno. Either way, it should be known that I think it's great. Next(Current now, digital age, sorry)-level greatness. Crazy good new style. This is basically what I live for in music.

James Blake is new to the scene. So far has released a few singles that can be found here:

news: metal bootleg vids from switzerland

My internet connection slowed to a painful crawl this week, and this website was the reason why.  Although the webmaster seemingly only posted for one month and then quit, all of the videos here are worth checking out.  Wanna see St. Vitus in '89?  Slayer in '88?  Live sets by Morbid Angel, Napalm Death, and Gore?  Yes of course you do.  So go download these now!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

track review: neon indian - sleep paralysist

This new Neon Indian track was released today via "Green Label Sound", some kind Mountain Dew cross-marketing bullshit music label.  In addition to being released in conjunction with the marketing arm of a soft drink corporation, the song is conspicuously hi-fidelity.  One of the things that always struck me about the rush of music websites to christen the terms "glo-fi" or "chillwave" or what-have-you is that there was never anything (geography, touring, labels) that connected the various groups that got saddled with these labels; rather it was just an attempt to lump somewhat-similar-sounding yet otherwise unrelated acts together.  The problem I had with that is that there really wasn't any indication that the second albums from these bands would be in the same vein, making the creation of these new genre labels kind of premature.  And sure enough, why call this new Neon Indian track "glo-fi" when it actually has high production values?  Personally the lo-fi nature of Psychic Chasms played a large part in what I liked about it, but I came away from seeing Neon Indian at the Echoplex with the impression that they really were ambitious and interested in bigger and better things.  So, I'm not surprised that Sleep Paralysist is slick and soda-affiliated: its basically what I expected from this guy.  However, that doesn't mean that I'm not still kind of disappointed.  Apart from the Terry Riley-esque keyboard squiggles that open and close the song, there's nothing about this that is particularly interesting to me.  I think free of the haze and murk that the lo-fi production of Psychic Chasms provided, the heavy-synth pop sound is too garish and clubby.  It wouldn't matter that much if the song was good, but again there's not much memorable about it.  One of the guys from Grizzly Bear co-wrote this, but you'd never know just from listening.  It's not a terrible misstep by any sense, but it doesn't really raise my expections for Neon Indian's next album, either.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Preview: Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma

Just intercepted a few Cosmogramma promo tracks that have been floating around the internet (the Cosmogramma group on, specifically) for about a month now. And I gotta admit, they sound pretty promising. Album's due out on May 4th, but if you live in the bay area I highly recommend that you catch both Mr. Lotus and ultra-UK-electronic pioneer Kode9 at the Mezzanine on March 27th. I saw that same combo last year (along with The Bug) and it was mind-blowingly good. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Le tracks:

Flying Lotus - Dance Of The Pseudo Nymph by elpretentio2

Flying Lotus - Satelllliiiiiteee by elpretentio2

Flying Lotus - Computer Face//Pure Being by elpretentio2

Autechre - Oversteps

Autechre - Oversteps 03 known(1) by elpretentio2

Autechre - Oversteps 06 see on see by elpretentio2

Autechre - Oversteps 09 O=0 by elpretentio2

Goddamn, what a difficult album to review. This a major departure for them. But then again, it's not.

The main reason that this is such a hard album to review is because with Autechre, basically nothing (or everything, depending on how you look at it) is a departure for them. They've been pushing the boundaries of their sound with basically every new release since the outset of their musical careers.

One common factor seems to be the punchy, jabby staccato rhythms. It almost seems like the songs are boxing with you in an odd abstract sense; the way they burst and buzz around your head alternately in engaging, lush melodies and random spurts of chaos that border on jazz for lack of a better word (or maybe something called post-IDM? I dunno). It's very instrumental. You won't find too much of the pounding, crunched up, claustrophobic beats you'd have found on Untilted or certain segments of Quaristice. But that's not to say that certain parts of Oversteps aren't challenging in a similar way. I'd say that overall it's divided half and half by tracks that can be followed easily and are immediately engaging, and tracks that have that traditional Autechre learning curve. The latter of course being equally as rewarding for those with the patience or inclination for such a sound.

The most notable aspect though might be just how much this sounds like a complete work, a complete album. Call me old school, but I still firmly believe in the importance of the album as an art form. And this completely succeeds on that level. It's cohesive and varied to just the right degree. The pieces fit. And that might be what truly puts this over the edge.

Depending on where you stand in your previous opinion of this wicked alien group, this is will either be a near-masterpiece or at the very least, a solid piece of work with some really outstanding tracks. It feels complete.

Bonus! (Click Me)

Autechre's marathon 12-hour set for your listening pleasure. A fucking genius mix of old-school hip-hop, techno, and other randomness. starts getting pretty fucking epic at around 12:30. first couple hours are incredible for those (everyone obviously, including me) not willing to listen to the whole thing right away.

oh and uh, here's this:

Monday, March 8, 2010

ancient chinese secret - caveat empire

This 1999 album is the only release by Ancient Chinese Secret, a group featuring Chris Dodge and his wife Lydia.  I guess Chris Dodge is the dude from a band called Spazz, a powerviolence band from Menlo Park...?  I admit that I know nothing about powerviolence, basically.  If you are in the same boat, perhaps you would like to read this here little definition:
"Powerviolence (sometimes written as power violence), is a raw, dissonant subgenre of hardcore punk. The style is closely related to thrashcore and grindcore. Musically, powerviolence bands focus on speed, brevity, bizarre timing breakdowns, and constant tempo changes. Powerviolence songs are often very short; it is not uncommon for some to last less than 30 seconds. Some groups, particularly Man Is the Bastard, took influence from sludge metal and noise music. Lyrically and conceptually, powerviolence groups were very raw and underproduced, both sonically and in their packaging. Some groups (Man Is the Bastard and Dropdead) took influence from anarcho-punk and crust punk, emphasizing animal rights and anti-militarism. Groups such as Spazz or Charles Bronson, on the other hand, wrote lyrics mocking points of interest for hardcore and metal fans, or even used inside jokes for lyrics, referencing specific people many of their listeners would not know." -
Got that?  So basically it's like hardcore punk mixed with math rock and noise.  I usually call this "noise rock" but hey why not go with "powerviolence"?  Anyway I'm pretty sure the name is applied more to a particular scene and time period, rather than a broad genre of music.  I'm getting sidetracked.  The point of all of this is, after Chris Dodge was in a very important and influential powerviolence band (or so I'm told), he recorded this album with his wife.  Although the stripped down bass-and-drum sound and pounding style of drumming live up to Dodge's musical roots, the songs on this album are longer and more "melodic" than you might expect.  I say "melodic" because the melodic element is Lydia Dodge's mostly atonal talk-singing, but the slight nod to melody is still significant.  Rounding out the group's sound are some occasional electronic additions, used sparingly but effectively.  While I think "Caveat Empire" could benefit from a stronger vocal performance, its pretty good noise rock and fans of the genre should dig it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

documentary: synth britannia

via boing boing

As I mentioned in my last post about Giorgio Moroder, boing boing has been featuring a lot of good music related posts lately. Here's a synth-pop documentary they wrote about a few weeks ago that I just now got around to watching. Pretty interesting stuff.

watch the rest

NOTE: The 9th part of the documentary was removed on some bullshit copyright claim, so here's the end (featuring spanish subtitles!). Start the next video at 2:50 to sync up to where the last one left off.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Giorgio Moroder in the studio

via boing boing

Excellent footage of Moroder in the studio- boing boing has been featuring a lot of interesting music-related clips lately, in addition to their usual art/technology/weirdness coverage.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Live Set: Untold at the Unsound Festival in Krakow, Poland. October 2009.

UP#07 Untold at Unsound 2009 by unsound

While I am rather sad that I could not actually be in Krakow, Poland for this delightful Unsound Festival, I am also rather lucky that the set from UK electronic producer Untold was recorded through a live feed and then distributed to the masses on It's got all the goods and is a good representation of the continuing flurry of creative forces in the UK and elsewhere in dubstep, techno, and everything in between. He keeps it fresh and interesting, wobble free, and forward thinking.

It starts out with a ton of energy, horns blazing, party anthems flying, and then around the 15 minute mark pivots to a long stretch of dark and moody stuff. the transition point is a remix of lil wayne's 'a milli'. i know what you might be thinking, and i agree. 'a milli' is a tired, tired song that needs to be put to rest. but i'm not lying when i say that this particular remix is totally worth listening to, largely due to the fact that the repeating "a milli" hook isn't used anywhere within it. the beginning of the set is completely off the hook, and then goes off the deep end after this remix.

Untold's tracks make appearances throughout and his tracks have a super funky style that the rest of the mix reflects well. it's funky in a weird way. weird yet solid banging rhythms, start and stop melodies, all kinds of craziness. to sum it up: it's pretty heavy, but still fun. overall it's a pretty special style and there are some truly stand-out tracks consistently throughout. this is the cutting edge of uk electronic music.

***super-dope highlights: 19:00, 26:30, 30:00, 34:00!!, 41:45-43:50, 57:15


the tracklist was compiled pretty well by a few dedicated peeps that are tuned into the scene, but unfortunately still has a few missing pieces. i'll try to find a complete list soon.

01)Untold - ?
02)Untold - Stop What You're Doing
03)dj c? - 'jump up and bounce' (3:35)
04)RedLight - Wind Up Your Body Gal(5:20)
05)? - ? (7:05)
06)Shortstuff & Hyetal - Don't Sleep
07)Redlight - Pick Up The Phone
08)Untold - Anaconda (13:55)
09)Lil' Wayne - A millie (Harmonimix remix) (16:00)
10)Untold - You Didn't Win the Holiday (18:00)
11)TRG - Strobe Lick (20:35)
12)Joy Orbison - J. Doe (22:35)
13)Pangaea - Router (25:45)
14)Untold & D Franklin - Beacon (28:15)
15)Blawan - Fram (30:13)
16)The xx - Islands (Untold remix) (31:30)
17)bad memory (34:00)
18)Untold - Gonna Work Out Fine (37:00)
19)Untold - Bad Girls (39:15)
20)L-Vis 1990 - Hide (40:30)
21)? - ? (42:30)
22)bad memory (44:15)
23)Untold - Never Went Away (45:45)
24)TRG - Siberian Poker (47:50)
25)Mount Kimbie - Sketch on Glass (49:00)
26)Ramadanman - Bleeper (51:15)
27)Untold - Don't Know. Don't Care. (54:00)
28)Brackles - Rawkus (57:10)
29)James Blake - Air & Lack Thereof (58:45)
30)Untold - Stop What You're Doing (James Blake remix) (60:55)