The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson, edited by Mark Fisher (Zero Books)
Actress – RIP (Honest Johns)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Stewart Lee (comedian)
The transit of Venus
Collapse Vol. V: The Copernican Imperative (Urbanomic)
Kassem Mosse (live sets)
The world not ending
In no particular order:
Iueke – Tapes
Phenomenally jacked, throbbing techno from ’91, finally making its way onto vinyl after apparently being lost in the woods for 20 odd years. Not much to say about this one except it’s absolutely crushing, something of a dream come true to be honest. Tunneling, melting, psychotic, cathartic and totally uncompromising.
Farrah Abraham – My Teenage Dream Ended
Album of the year. There’s a lot of talk about how Grimes, Dis Magazine, Tumblr artists and all this crew are post-internet, but who isn’t? If you felt critically underwhelmed by the lack of oomph in your po-mo RSS feed, Farrah has the answer. Structurally uninhabitable trance therapy by/for suicidal teens, this encapsulates all the queasy darkness of reality TV and all the cringing awkwardness of reading somebody’s most private journal entries. Compulsively enjoyable and severely creepy, it might be the only album I repeatedly listened to start to finish in 2012. ‘Makes men go loco’ indeed.
Paranoid London – ‘Paris Dub 1′
Tuff lil’ acidic banger here with undeniably syrupy vox. It’s great.
Heatsick – live
I had heard some Heatsick recordings last year but I dunno, it didn’t really take until I saw him this February. Every once in a while someone rolls thru and tears me a new one, upending some kind of limited thought process I didn’t even know I was trapped in. Seeing him twist a piece-of-shit Casio and a loop pedal into Tony Allen-esque proto house made a heavy impression, to say the least.
Andrew Morgan – live
The man behind the undeniable PPU records demolished BK this January, playing every crazy boogie track I had never heard. A lot of joy poured out on such topics as sleeping with one’s teacher, cybernetic living and general dance/romance. True party music, made strictly for getting loosey goosey.
Slava – Soft Control
Five tender jammers from the Russian ambassador. I think my favorite part is the horn line in ‘I’ve Got Feelings Too,’ it’s a stunner. Oh yea and the new live set is b a n g i n g.
Traxman – The Mind of Traxman
Take the trip. Such solid, singular artistic vision, sweet that the last song is the best. Lifelifelifelifelifelifelifelife…
Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras meet The Congos – Icon Give Thank
Nice work, fellas. Wish I coulda seen the London show. Duppy Gun is awesome, too.
Laurel Halo – live
So yea, Quarantine is easily one of the most important, divisive ‘art’ albums of the year (or whatever), and although I love it, touring with LH for two weeks exposed me to some top serious shit that went way beyond the record. The fall 2012 live set grabs all the best parts of her more driving 2011 techno phase, adds the recent ramped up production and then combines it with some seriously fleet rhythms and a leaner melodic touch. Kinda electro, kinda ambient, very accomplished and very deep, her next record is gonna absolutely slay.
Container – live
Hyper catchy noise punishment for the Pete Swanson/Vatican Shadow set. Reminds me of Allentown circa 2004, screwed Jeff Mills, and Sleep. Nice.
Magic Touch live sets all summer and fall, Blawan ‘His He & She,’ Levon Vincent in Nagoya, new Andres 12″s, Black Box ‘Everybody Everybody (Rockapella)’ (obis not new but it is the song I listened to most this year), Bookworms ‘Love Triangles,’ Emptyset at Unsound, Chris and Cosey live, collabing with Jamal Moss, NZ house party scene, anonymous Dope Jams 12″s, mansion parties in Bushwick, Stellar Om Source, Actress R.I.P. and a bunch of other stuff too that I am surely forgetting.
Love In The Age Of Drill or The Top Ten Rap Love Songs Of 2012
1. Future – ‘Turn On The Lights’
The most classic love song of the group. Future is looking for a lady, and has multiple near hits. Space is a vast lonely place. Pluto gets cold. Future needs someone to keep him warm during those nights that last for six Earth days. You can feel Future’s pain as he searches eternally through the darkness of space, “lookin for her…”
2. Chief Keef – ‘Love Sosa’
There’s no greater love, than the love of self—assuming you’re a raging narcissist. On ‘Love Sosa’, Chief Keef dedicates a love song to Chief Keef. Sure, “these bitches love Sosa” but most of the song is Chief Keef Sosa explaining why Chief Keef Sosa is awesome. Somehow, this autoerotic ouroboros is one of the biggest guilty pleasure songs of the year; once again showing that self-love is widely appreciated yet rarely celebrated.
3. Katie Got Bandz – ‘Lady Hitta’
Katie Got Bandz primarily makes songs about hitting bitches in the face, getting money, and generally being hard. But, what good are all the riches in the world, if you have no one to share them with? Great poets through the ages have wondered the same thing, but few have paired such blunt lyrics and delivery, with such a delicate beat and oddly infectious autotuned hook.
4. Spaceghostpurrp – ‘Lustful’
Remember that orgy from Eyes Wide Shut, where Tom Cruise wanders into a secret illuminati initiation sequence? Naked ladies in flowing velvet robes and Mardi Gras mask. All kinds of debaucherous depravity happening, very soft lighting to accentuate nude bodies. Masonic rituals. Modern Sodom and Gommorah, but in Westchester. Spaceghostpurrp sees that scene every time he loses his eyes. ‘Lustful’ documents the horror.
5. Riff Raff – ‘Jody Highroller’
Riff Raff channels the emotional highs of everyone hooking up on the dance floor at midnight New Years Eve for ‘Jody Highroller’. This song has all the build ups and drops of primetime EDM; and all the excitement of spontaneous romance. The song should probably come with some confetti, a laser show, and a sticky feeling underfoot from spilled champagne.
6. Lil B – ‘Ima Eat Her Ass’
When you make that commitment, that dedication, certain doors open up to you as a reward. Some doors, even when they’re unlocked, require a lil finessing—careful, loving, prodding before they open. Lil B, the BasedGod is ready and prepared to work the locks.
7. Key – ‘Guess Who’
The question proposed by Key: “Who’s fucking your bitch?” It can be taken as a simple boast of Key’s ability to pull attached ladies. It can also can be an existential warning against becoming too comfortable in a relationship, as the figurative Key is always around the corner, ready to fuck your bitch. This song, an imperative to love the one your with and to remember the value of the familiar.
8. Meyhem Lauren – ‘Kelly Kapowski’
Continuing the long tradition of rappers making love songs to drugs, disguised as love songs to women, Meyhem Lauren drops ‘Kelly Kapowski’. A song about his favorite white girl. While the love is evident in every line, you have to appreciate dude going with a classical love from his youth—Kelly from Saved By The Bell—as opposed to the modern day equivalent, Hannah Montana. Loyalty is a tough thing to come by in love and coke fetishism.
9. Grande Marshall – ‘V-Nasty’
A pretty standard love song where a dude lays out the picture of his dream girl. Songs like ‘V-Nasty’have existed since the days of medieval balladeers. What’s not so standard is Grande’s desire for a “bad bitch, like ‘V-Nasty’—Kreayshawn’s overly tough, thuggish, and abrasive sidekick. Grande, like the great explorers of old, seeks the hardest prize of all—taming the fiercest game; warming the coldest heart.
10. Sasha Go Hard – ‘Welcome To The Real World’
Sasha Go Hard lays out a tale addressing her boyfriend’s mistress. In classical rap songs, this would be Sasha’s opportunity to simply tell the other woman how stupid she is, and how Sasha is the only possible candidate for long term affection. This happens, but Sasha also admits to having, what amounts to, a Big Love-esque polyamorous, hierarchical relationship with her dude. Sasha is the boss bitch, all others come second. Never forget this. Very alternative lifestyle choice for a drill song.
Kingdom & Asma of Nguzunguzu (a.k.a. 710)
Top Products of 2012
Brandy – Two Eleven
Rihanna hanging out with Kevin JZ Prodigy
Anything feat. Future
MikeQ hanging out with Missy Elliott
R&B Divas (TV Show)
Ikonika – ‘I Make Lists’
Pearson Sound – ‘Clutch’ / ‘Underdog’ / ‘Piston’
Total Freedom’s Blasting Voice performance series
Jersey Club Music
Wu Tsang’s WILDNESS movie
Qween Beat Productions owns everything
Jeremih – Late Nights
In no particular order, these are all tracks that have come out in some way or another this year. They were all on constant repeat in my headphones or while DJing at one point or another whenever I went anywhere. I limited myself to 10, but the list could go on and on…
Henry Wu – ‘Midtour’ (Gorillatech)
Used this as a start to a lot of my sets during this year. Has a great bounce to it and the transition from the first half to the second half is divine… a head nodder for sure. I know Henry personally and he’s a very, very talented musician.
FaltyDL – Mean Streets Part 2 (SWAMP81)
The Mean Streets releases that Drew does for Swamp have always interested me… in my opinion, some of the most thought provoking music to have come out on the imprint. Essential tunes.
Odd Future – ‘Oldie’ (Odd Future)
I know all the words. The accompanying video tops it all off… wolf gang.
NefeTT – ‘Pyramel’ (Hotflush)
This whole EP is fantastic. After hearing it I went straight out for the 12″. Definitely my favourite from the Hotflush camp this year.
Paleman – ‘All Good’ (Fulcrum)
Fondest memories would have to be every time I played it and people yelled “it’s all good” at me. I most likely was yelling it back too.
Boddika & Joy Orbison – Mercy (Sunklo)
The dynamic duo. Definitely have a feeling this will be one of those tunes that in 10 years you can listen to it and it’ll still sound fresh if not fresher than it still is.
Thefft – ‘Jungle Out There’ (Fulcrum)
Put this in here basically because I’m proud of it. Plus, a review described it as “that po-eyed drunk in the back of the ale house who just grumbles menacingly whenever someone dares meet his gaze.”
Zed Bias – ‘Subway Baby’
He gave this away this year, but to be honest I could have picked nearly anything he’s done this year. The man works very hard… and has worked hard for over a decade. So much respect.
Lapalux – ‘Gutter Glitter’
This dude… can’t say enough about his production. Blows my mind. Brainfeeder is a perfect choice as well.
Archie Pelago – ‘Brown Oxford’ (Mister Saturday Night)
Archie is made up of Hirshi, Kroba, and Cosmo D, and they are nearly too talented. Been supporting these boys since they first sent me any music. If you are reading this and you haven’t heard of these guys, start with this. Keep YouTube digging, their live sets are great.