konkrit / Leben / Literatur / Musik

2013: Stats, Favs, Thoughts

Records reviewed:

  • 68 (for Ox)
  • 27 (for FUZE)
  • 16 (for GROOVE)
  • 16 (in my konkrit column)
  • 12 (for testcard)
  • 8 (for spex)
  • 7 (on this blog)
  • 5 (in my briefviews column)
  • 4 (for BLN.FM)
  • 1 (for wolf auf tausend plateaus)

148 total. Reviewed some records twice for different magazines. Probably forgot to count some.

Concerts and events reviewed:

  • 7 (for Ox)
  • 3 (for FUZE)
  • 1 (for BLN.FM)
  • 1 (for spex)

12 total.

Concerts and events previewed:

  • 26 (for BLN.FM)

Favourite concerts and events:

  • D’Eon @ HAU2 (CTM Festival) – Played a 20 min. version of Blink 182‘s What’s My Age Again on the piano and a casio keyboard. Bliss.
  • Mark Fell @ Berghain (CTM Festival) – Ketamine-esque experience.
  • Emptyset @ Berghain (CTM Festival) – The roof of my mouth vibrated.
  • Alvaret Ensemble @ Passionskirche (Denovali Swingfest) – I stood on the tip of my toes, gently rocking forth and back while outside the church’s thick walls the world collapsed around us.
  • Container @ Berghain – I felt a lot of love and friendship that night. Also, some girl’s hand in my crotch as she had failed to realise that I was not interested.
  • William Basinski @ Berghain – Drug like experience. The drugs did help. The Haxan Cloak disappointed me.
  • Swans @ Volksbühne – At the beginning, I was leaning against the wall in the back of the room, by the end I stood next to the monitors, glancing intently at the destruction of rock’n’roll.
  • Converge @ Magnet – I felt like a teenager again on the hottest day in the whole year. I seriously considered wearing a dress (would that suit me?).
  • Alex.Do @ Berghain (DJ set) – What a terrible night saved by Alex.Do and Alex.Do alone.
  • Full Of Hell, Circle Takes The Square @ CassiopeiaFull Of Hell lived up to their name. Circle Takes The Square were shamans.
  • Anna von Hausswolff @ Volksbühne – Honestly the first time ever I watched someone perform and felt very attracted to that person. Result of an amazing concert.
  • Fuck Buttons @ Berghain – Such a sad night. Made me appreciate the brilliance of Fuck Buttons new tunes, though. My ears rung for two days straight.
  • Negative Standards @ Cassiopeia – What a brilliantly brutal band.
  • AUN, Witxes @ West Germany – Wasn’t exactly in the mood for a drone/ambient gig. Blew me away nonetheless, which I interpreted as a good sign.

Went to approximately 120 concerts and club nights. It’s been an expensive and unhealthy year.

Books and zines reviewed:

  • 29 (for fixpoetry)
  • 4 (for Ox)
  • 2 (for testcard)
  • 2 (for RISSE)
  • 1 (for FUZE)
  • 1 (for spex)
  • 1 (for jungeWelt)
  • 1 (for wolf auf tausend plateaus)

41 total. Read about twice as many. Plus 4-5 magazines a month, scientific articles and a lot of stuff online. It’s been an educational year.

Favourite books I’ve read this year:

Interviews conducted:

  • 5 (for Ox)
  • 3 (for spex)
  • 2 (for BLN.FM)
  • 1 (for VICE)
  • 1 (for fixpoetry)
  • 1 (for mikrotext)

12 total. 7 of those face to face. One was filmed. One came with a delicious vegan dinner. One took place after a sleepless night. One was later recycled for a digital publication. The most read interview on this blog was the one with Terra Tenebrosa‘s The Cuckoo (more than 500 clicks).

Several other articles and essays on various subjects.

Seen some good and bad movies, seen some good and bad art. A lot of TV shows. The return of Arrested Development was amazing. Liked Breaking Bad. Revisited Monk and got into Full Metal Alchimist.

Got a smartphone in October. Have since been able to scrobble from the go and my workplace. According to last.fm, in 2013 I’ve been jamming those artists the most:

last.fm

Lots of all time favourites, as expected. Let’s move on.

According to this site, I have listened to about 1700 different artists and 2200 unique albums this year. I haven’t got a favourite record for 2013, though. Only some that came close. In that order, more or less:

  • Anna von Hausswolff: Ceremony – Folk doesn’t suit her. More gloom and organs next time!
  • Locrian: Return To Annihilation – I love Eternal Return so much, it’s asymmetrical.
  • Greg Haines: Where We Were – Needed a little bit more… OOMPH!
  • The Courtneys: The Courtneys – Not every song on this record is 90210.
  • Helm: Silencer – Too short.
  • Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven – Terrible live. Rubbed off a bit.
  • The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die: Whenever, If Ever – A brilliant EP, a lame EP and a mediocre split, then a terrific LP? Too surprising for me.

Other albums worth mentioning, arranged like a mixtape that kicks off with dark Pop tunes, then some Hardcore and Black Metal, then some Techno and UK stuff because I’m eclectic like that:

  • Moin: Moin EP – Minimalism is hard to achieve. Those guys nailed it.
  • Tropic Of Cancer: Restless Idylls – A bit over the top, but I liked it.
  • Chelsea Wolfe: Pain Is Beauty – Yeah, well.
  • Agarttha: A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands – Beautiful, maybe better than Chelsea Wolfe. Check it out!
  • Grouper: The Man Who Died In His Boat – For the subsconcious, by the subconscious.
  • Chicaloyoh: Evaporation Of Widows – Music for haunted gardens.
  • Kaboom Karavan: Hokus Fokus – Before memory, there was this record.
  • Xiu Xiu and Eugene S. Robinson Present: Sal Mineo: Xiu Xiu and Eugene S. Robinson Present: Sal Mineo – Strolling through Istanbul by night, enjoying the breeze on the promenade, getting scared by some random cleaning his fucking rifle. Perfect.
  • Naked Lights: Chime Grove – Whacky, catchy, stoned.
  • R. Stevie Moore: Personal Appeal – If comedians taught music history…
  • Higuchi Keiko: Ephemeral As Petals – Unique record. Her cover of My Funny Valentine is so weird and touching, I almost cried tears of jazz when I first heard it.
  • Douglas Dare: Seven Hours – Anemic white twentysomething playing the piano whilst singing poems. Guess what: It’s beautiful.
  • Julia Holter: Loud City Song – So much beauty.
  • Lucrecia Dalt: Szyzygy – Painful, complex and bittersweet.
  • Jason Grier: Unbekannte – When I interviewed him, we talked about mathematics and post-internet art. This record is kinda like that, except a lot catchier.
  • Katie Gately: Katie Gately EP / Pipes EP – One to watch for 2014 (or 2015, 2016, etc.).
  • Jessy Lanza: Pull My Hair Back – Got me shaking visibly.
  • FKA Twigs: EP2 – Believe the hype.
  • The Knife: Shaking The Habitual – I’m not even kidding.
  • Dean Blunt: The Redeemer – Full time prankster. Haven’t heard his other album, is it any good?
  • Michaela Mélian: Monaco – I still can’t believe it’s not Nico.
  • Volcano Choir: Repave – I miss Collections Of Colonies Of Bees. This here is a decent substitute. Even though Justin Vernon is on it.
  • Son Lux: Lost It To Trying – Good epic.
  • Woodkid: The Golden Age – Cinematic? Gesamtkunstwerk. Muscially a bit thin, though.
  • Waxahatchee: Cerulean Salt – I’d trade her in for a new P. S. Eliot record anytime, but this was still good.
  • Savages: Silence Yourself – That snare sound. Huge.
  • Slow Warm Death: Slow Warm Death – Emo kids are down with grunge now, aren’t they?
  • Title Fight: Spring Songs EP – Yup, they are.
  • Sleep Kit: Sleep Kit EP – Like, totally.
  • RVIVR: The Beauty Between – You gotta stay positive. Cool gig @ ://about:blank earlier this year.
  • Nervöus: Konfetti & mutwillige ZerstörungCoolest people, good cooks and storytellers.
  • Comadre: Comadre – Their last, their best.
  • MNMNTS: The Choir Belongs To You EP – Even better live.
  • Wreck And Reference: No Content EP – Unique and very exciting. Hoping for (a lot) more.
  • Cloud Rat: Moksha – Intense. Their best yet.
  • The Homeless Is Dead: The Fear Of Getting Old EP – Intense emoviolence from Russia with rage.
  • Afterlife Kids: Morgengrauen – Bremen revisited. Dirty.
  • Henry Fonda: Deutschland, du Täter! -Who are Weekend Nachos? Favourite powerviolence band at the moment.
  • Goldust: Thirst – Versatile, pissed off and capable.
  • Rant: Rant EP – Promising neo-crusties in training.
  • Ancst: In Turmoil Compilation – One of my favourite new bands from Berlin.
  • Nails: Abandon All Life – Bring me my whip and collect my teeth.
  • Deathrite: Into Extinction  – Hail seitan.
  • Red Apollo: Transgression Split Series (with Gottesmorder, Sundowning and Withers) – More like progression, amirite.
  • Rorcal: Vilávége – A Celeste rip-off band that sounds almost better.
  • Celeste: Animale(s)Celeste, sounding like a slightly improved Celeste rip-off band.
  • UNRU: Demo EP – Best German Black Metal band at the moment. Forget about Sun Worship, those guys are, like, the real deal.
  • Altar Of Plagues: Teethed Glory And Injury – FREE JAZZING BLACK METAL FUCK YES. Puts their older material to shame. Their last, their best.
  • Terra Tenebrosa: The Purging – Haunting, eerie. Disgusting in the best sense of the word.
  • Wolvserpent: Perigea Antahkarana – Black Metal influences everywhere. Light some candles, sacrifice some blunts.
  • thisquietarmy: Hex Mountains – His best work as of yet. So glad he used live drumming, got a bit tired of the drum computer sounds.
  • Oneirogen: Kiasma – Crushing. Neat gig @ Berghain Kantine earlier this year.
  • ÄÄNIPÄÄ: Through A Pre-MemoryStephen O’Malley and Mika Vainio. Enough said? I’d like to think so.
  • Pharmakon: Abandon – Ugly is beauty.
  • 20.SV: The Great Sonic Wave – Completely ridiculous on the one hand, pretty brilliant on the other.
  • AUN: Turquoise – Tour tape. Musique concrète for machine nerds.
  • Helm: Orange Tape – Tape loops live at Tate. Stunning as usual.
  • Tim Hecker: Virgins – Ravedeath, 1972 was better. Still an interesting progression. Looking forward to more.
  • Witxes: Fabric Of Beliefs – Open-mindedness pays off. Blew me away.
  • Field Rotation: Fatalist: The Repetition Of History – Subtle and sublime
  • Aaron Martin/Christoph Berg: Day Has Ended Split – On repeat on winter nights.
  • Lubomyr Melnyk: Corollaries / Windmills – So glad this guy finally gets the attention he deserves. Both records are beautiful. His performance @ Haus Ungarn earlier this year was breathtaking.
  • Virgil Moorefield: No Business As Usual / Five Ideas About The Relation Of Sight And Sound – Avantgarde ain’t dead yet. It just sounds funny.
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson: Prisoners OST – My love for Jóhannsson is so profound, it’s not even funny anymore.
  • Various Artists: I Am The Center. Private Issue New Age Music In America 1950-1990 – Seriously? Yes, seriously.
  • Arve Henriksen: Places Of Worship – Best when in distress on public transportation.
  • Selaxon Lutberg: Simboli AccidentaliPhilip Jeck, watch out!
  • Hakobune: Nebulous Sequences – Puts out 10 records a year or so. They all sound the same. They’re all beautiful. Rainbow-coloured codeine.
  • Compound Eye: Journey From Anywhere – Psych!
  • Dalglish: Niaiw Ot Vile – Disappointing live, though.
  • Petrels: OnkaloOliver Barrett has been very prolific this year and will release two new albums in 2014. I hope they’re as good as this one.
  • Various Artists: The Outer Church – Hauntology ain’t dead. Or is it?
  • Pye Corner Audio: The Ever-Present Hum – It isn’t.
  • Forest Swords: Engravings – Mad dubs. Not as good as his first EP, but a lot different than it might sound like at first.
  • Clams Casino: Instrumental Mixtape 3 – King of hypangogic hip hop beats.
  • Evian Christ: Druga EP – Straight outta k-hole…mton.
  • Exchampion: Attaboy Ben! Trilogy Tape – Goofy, spacey, dubby, obsessed.
  • Nmesh: Nu.wav Hallucinations – Proof that the internet lives. Fuck James Ferraro, this is better.
  • Wanda Group: Masculinity Is A Wonderful Thing – Or this. Slimey.
  • John Cohen: Deaf Arena – Woah.
  • The Haxan Cloak: Excavation – Does this record play at 33 or 45? I don’t even want to know.
  • Fuck Buttons: Slow Focus – I had to see them live to realise that this is actually a great record.
  • Emptyset: Recur – They had me at BWWWOOOAAAAAAAHHHHHHRRRRCHCHCHCHCHCHCH.
  • IVVVO: Future EPShades Of White was better and the following EP after this one is proof that IVVVO is running out of ideas, but this was still relevant.
  • Rabih Beaini: Albidaya – Kosmic. Drugks?
  • Morphosis: Dismantle / Music For Vampyr – Outspacer House.
  • Heatsick: Re-Engineering – Well, yeah. Yeah, well. Yeah. It’s good.
  • Stellar OM Source: Joy One Mile – As ghostwritten by Underground Resistance.
  • Marcel Dettmann: II – Because I had to include at least one toolish techno album.
  • Kobosil: – —– EP – Catchy titles for catchy tunes.
  • Dopplereffekt: Tetrahymena – They’re back and there’s this one track…
  • Stingray313: NKKtwo_2 EP – Maybe even better than Dopplereffekt.
  • Helena Hauff: Actio Reactio EP – When you listen to the title track when stoned it’s like everything happens at once. It does.
  • Black Sites: Prototype EP – Love it for its rawness. Would like to drunkenly dance to those tunes at Golden Pudel at some point.
  • Container: Treatment EP – Holy fuck! Best thing he’s put out so far. Rusty punches.
  • Leibniz: What Matters / Bring It Don’t Sing It EP – Scattered.
  • Demdike Stare: Testpressing EP Series – I’ve never really liked them, so I was even more excited about this. Amen breaks scattering on the streets.
  • Jon Hopkins: Immunity – Brainy.
  • Vessel: Misery Is A Communicable Disease EP – Designs sounds and depressions.
  • Frank Bretschneider: Supercollider – Twisted, precise machine funk by the man himself.
  • Violetshaped: Violetshaped – A wall. Majestic @ Kraftwerk (Atonal) this year.
  • These Hidden Hands: These Hidden Hands – Too bad I missed their set at Berghain. This record was fucking dark.
  • Fis: Preparations EP / Resident Advisor Mix – Wonky, whacky, swampy.
  • Basic House: Caim In Bird Form – Totally missed out on his other record, Oats. Should grab that one asap.
  • Terrence Dixon / Iron Curtis: Split – Killer: Meet killer.
  • Floorplan: Paradise – Flawless from front to back. Killer house tunes, each one an instant classic.
  • Lawrence: Films & Windows – His Eno record?
  • Max Cooper feat. Kathrin deBoer: Adrift EP – Album is already in the works. Should be killer.
  • Hubie Davison: I Won’t Be There EP – Slow jams for better times.
  • Synkro: Lost Here EP – Smooth tunes for cuddly times.
  • Burial: Rival Dealers EP – Had to ask myself: Am I only excited about this because it’s Burbro? Then found out: I genuinely enjoy this. Bonus points for the naive-yet-honest concept.
  • Various Artists: Grime 2.0 – Will Grime 2.0 get me into Grime 1.0? I hope so.
  • Om Unit: Threads – More a collection of sweet tunes than an actual album album, but good nonetheless.
  • Zomby: With Love – He acts like a fucking pirate radio DJ. Think about it. Do it.
  • Indigo: Storm EP – Break amen!
  • RP Boo: Legacy – Didn’t listen to this more than two or three times. Which, in this case, is a good sign.
  • DJ Rashad: Double Cup – Street smart meets cool knowledge and general dopeness. Killer.

Listened to about 14.000 different tracks this year according to last.fm. I do have a number one for 2013, though:

…and I don’t even really like rap music that much.

Other great tunes, in no particular order:

Instant happy.

It’s if New Order was a third wave Black Metal band.

Yo, that rhythm.

Because fuck Daft Punk.

Because discoid house music = love. Sometimes.

For special nights.

For special nights in the French countryside.

For nights that are even more special and slightly disturbing.

Feel the cheese, love the cheese.

Energy, positivity. Plus, harmonics.

So brootal. So amaze. Such bass.

Best Four Tet tune since Locked.

Newcomers and discoveries in no particular order: Ancst, Unru, IVVVO, Anna von Hausswolff, East India Youth, Helena Hauff, Rant, Sleep Kit, Fis, Wanda Group, Nervöus, Rorcal

Oldcomers and (re-)discoveries in no particular order: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Darkthrone, Underground Resistance, Breach, Kate Bush, MF Doom, DJ Sprinkles, Regis, Omar-S

Noteworthy re-issues, discographies in alphabetical order:

  • Breach: Kollapse – Beautifully packed, first time on vinyl. Second press is currently up for pre-order, don’t sleep on it.
  • Drexciya: Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller III + IV – First installment of the series will always be my favourite, but those are just as essential.
  • Grouper: Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill –  I like her folkey tunes. Glad this was re-released.
  • Horseback: A Plague Of Knowing – Amazing introduction to this band. Three CDs collecting only B-Sides from the past five years. Insane.
  • Iannis Xenakis: GRM Works 1957-1962 – The Derrida of music. Concret PH and Bohor are the most stunning musique concrète pieces I’ve ever heard.
  • Japanische Kampfhörspiele: Hardcore aus der ersten Welt – Finally on vinyl. One of my favourite albums ever.
  • Oval: 94diskont / Systemisch – I bought Systemisch last year when I was in Japan, didn’t have 94diskont though. Best Record Store Day release this year.

Pretty sure I forgot a lot.

Anything else?

  • Planned to leave the country twice, managed to do so only once. Istanbul is beautiful.
  • Went vegan after 10 years on a vegetarian diet.
  • My English improved considerably. I think.
  • Made a lot of friends, lost some due to being an overall terrible person.
  • I still have no fucking clue who I am.

Agenda for 2014: “Don’t cry. Work.” (Just kidding.) I hope Black Sea Metal will be a thing next year.

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9 thoughts on “2013: Stats, Favs, Thoughts

    • I’d listened to the record before, which certainly influenced me – his live performance Urban Spree seemed rather unfocused and wandering to me. To be fair: I wasn’t exactly in the mood for some droney-noisey sounds that eve, that also had an impact on my perception, I guess. Others enjoyed it.

    • It’s a pretty blunt statement, but was definitely not meant to be a generalisation. I wasn’t talking about his (your?) whole oeuvre/career and I hope that should be clear enough. After all, I’ve listed the new record as one of my favourite releases in 2013.

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