konkrit / Leben / Literatur / Musik

2014, Part II: Stats, Favs, Thoughts & Overall Conclusion

2014, Part I.

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2013.

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Records reviewed:

65 (for HHV.de Mag)

44 (for GROOVE)

14 (for spex)

2 (for Fixpoetry)

125 total.

216 total in 2014. 148 in 2013. LOL WUT.

(Counting records, not reviews)

One of that reviews was written and sent out to the editor before I was finished listening to the album. After several spins of said record I have to say: I wouldn’t change a word.

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Books reviewed:

20 (for Fixpoetry)

2 (for GROOVE)

1 (for RISSE)

23 total.

41 total in 2014. 41 in 2013. So symmetric.

(Counting books, not reviews)

To be honest, I thought it was more. In my defense: At least three of the books I reviewed in the second half of 2014 were over 300 pages strong.

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Books that made me glad I am alive:

Wolfgang Herrndorf: Bilder deiner großen Liebe

Jean Krier: Eingriff, sternklar

Susan Sontag, Jonathan Cott: The Doors und Dostojewski. Das Rolling Stone-Interview

For various reasons, obviously.

Interestingly, my interest in philosophy, especially cultural theories has immensly increased. I found myself gulping down one Merve book after another Matthes & Seitz volume. That eventually influenced my own thinking and writing immensly. I like that.

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Magazines read on a regular basis, in alphabetical order:

GROOVE

spex

WIRE

Online: FACT, Resident Advisor, HHV.de Mag, Pitchfork

…and that’s pretty much it. With an output like that, you have to make compromises, don’t you?

My WIRE subscription expired in December. The horror, the horror!

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Interviews conducted (male/female):

10 (for HHV.de Mag) 8/2

4 (for spex) 2/2

2 (for ANTIME) 2/0

2 (for GROOVE) 2/0

1 (freelancing promotional work) 1/0/0

17 total. 12 male, 4 female – what a shitty quota. For some reason I thought this was about 50-50, but nope… The music business is still a men’s world and I did very little to change that.

26 total in 2014. 13 in 2013. I kinda dig doing this by now.

One was recycled for zweikommasieben, another one used for both HHV.de Mag and GROOVE. Not many of those were done by actually meeting people, unfortunately. Two additional interviews were agreed upon and/or scheduled, but never happened. One that finally somehow happened after a lot of hassle had me sitting half-drunk on the floor while Svarte Greiner played a wonderful set at this year’s Krake, writing angry mails to the promo agency of a guy which I was supposed to interview elsewhere which didn’t happen because of a lot of people »suffering from severe case of not giving fuck« as I put it. I didn’t make a lot of friends that night, but eventually shook Jóhann Jóhannsson’s hand which was completely random and unrelated to the stress I’d had to put up with – but totally made up for it.

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Other:

Participated in ¿comment! – Lesen ist schreiben ist lesen, which was tons of fun. Even did a small podcast thingy. I miss doing radio. Will someone hire me (aka pay me) for some radio features? I’ve got a fucking smooth voice, all right.

Apart from that, I did the usual proofreading, translating and motivational stuff as well as promotional stuff for Antime and others here and there. I still run three Facebook pages, it’s cool.

I also published some essays and papers, some of them written for uni, some because I was so full of words I just had to get them out.

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Favourite concerts and events:

Abdulla Rashim, Kangding Ray, Regis @ Tresor: I can now finally and honestly say that I’ve had one of my best raves ever at Tresor. It was 40°C+ (not a hyperbole) in that ghastly basement and those three make me fist-pump and grin so hard that, at the end of the evening I was literally (again: nothing hyperbolic about this) soaked in sweat.

Svarte Greiner @ Krake Festival, Suicide Circus: As mentioned before, that was a wonderfully captivating set. Erik is one of the coolest people I know in the whole music business and seeing so many people listening intently to him in what was actually a Electronica/Techno context made me very happy! Also, it was by far the densest set I’ve seen him play and I shook Jóhann Jóhannsson’s hand after it, so yay.

Nervöus, Frittenbude @ ://about:blank: Didn’t see that one coming! Unfortunately, I don’t see the Nervöus people very often, but when I do, it’s always a joy. This gig was the first I witnessed with their new singer (who is quite different from their original frontman and, simply put, slays even harder) and was, well, a joy as always. Seeing Frittenbude live for the first time was kinda weird, to be honest. I liked their first album when it came out… Wait, that’s how many years ago now? But after that, I’ve completely lost touch and, eventually, interest. However, I became friends with Martin Steer and the rest of the band and it was interesting to see them perform and act like completely different people on stage. We had a lot of drinks and exchanged even more words after that. I even played Super Mario on a fucking SNES. Good night.

Mouse On Mars Festival @ HAU1 & HAU2: Here’s a band which constantly reinvents itself, yet always stays the same in a way. Listening to a new record of theirs is like entering a new room every time you play it. Their weeking of self-celebration was amazing. Especially noteworthy was Oval‘s gig on the second eve – I’m a huge fan of Markus Popp’s work and seeing him live for the first time ever was very special for me.

Martin Steer @ ANTIME label night, Rocket Club: I am obviously biased and also would add that everything on this crazy trip was awesome – which includes the performances by ABIGAIL, Unifono and Kalipo. However, Martin’s set stood out because after I had criticised a lot of his demos in the past few months, I could finally hear what I thought was missing before. So instead of a detailed feedback, all he got was a sweaty alcoholic smooch. Stay tuned for the album, that should be a massive one.

To Rococo Rot @ HAU1: It was my first To Rococo Rot gig and their very last. It was good.

And that was pretty much it. I went to some other concerts and also the occasional club night, but nothing really stood out like those four did – again, for various reasons.

I reviewed two, but previewed none.

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DJ sets:

zweikommasieben magazine release party @ Motto Books Berlin (07/05/2014): This neat Swiss magazine is dedicated to all things transgressive, so trying to mix things up a little seemed just like the right thing to to. Thus I put on my shiniest (read: blackest) Black Metal attire and went to work, mixing Drone, Doom, Black Metal, IDM, Techno, Noise, Post-Punk etc. After my set, both Helena Hauff and S S S S played amazing sets and I went back to work. Just like before, nobody came to visit me in that sweaty whitecube – until I put on some Techno and suddenly, everyone swarmed inside for a 10pm rave. Which was overwhelming but really tricky, because I had only about 4 or 5 proper Techno belters with me. Did anyone notice I basically played the 4 or 5 tracks over and over again? No? Good. Tracklist here.

Kim Bar (08/29/2014): I can barely remember this, which might be a good thing. I guess I drank a fuckload of Gin Tonic and decided that Omar-S is some kind of golden god (which he really is). Tracklist here.

Kim Bar (11/27/2014): I didn’t expect so many of my friends show up and was super grateful and happy to see them. Thank you! Also, thanks to anyone else who made it – the place was packed and people just wouldn’t leave! Played from 9pm sharp until about 2.30am. Such a great memory from otherwise complicated and sad times. Tracklist here.

Antime label night @ Rocket Club Landshut (12/27/2014): I slept 2 1/2 hours tops in three days, gave and received a lot of hugs and had the most amazing time. Played my first proper Techno set and holy fuck, it actually worked and I didn’t mess up too much. Partial tracklist here.

Hey, I’m getting better and better at this, so… Book me, please?

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Videos, movies reviewed:

None. Although I think I’d like to. I’ve watched a fuckload of TV shows. Transparent stuck out. Apart from that, I kinda enjoyed The Good Wife, Orphan Black and Sleepy Hollow. No food for thought, really, but hey. Also, I again took to anime. Bakuman was enjoyable. Revisiting Twin Peaks about three days before the third season was announced was weird. Revisiting Louie was a good idea. Went to the cinema twice – on two successive days, even. Both movies were terrible, but one was scored by Jóhann Jóhannsson whose hand I briefly shook some months prior to that. His fucking hand. With which he did some composing and stuff.

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According to last.fm, in the first half of 2014 I’ve been jamming those artists the most:

2014-2

Fun fact about Aphex Twin: I didn’t listen to Syro once.

And that’s what went down the whole year:

2014-totes

I think I listened to the download version of Oval’s O twice – which pretty much explains this many plays. Funny story about number 1: I shook the guy’s hand. To which his fingers are attached.

According to this site, I have listened to about 1251 different artists and 1526 unique albums in the first half of 2014. 2667 different artists and 3331 unique albums total in 2014. About 1700 different artists and 2200 unique albums in 2013. So yeah, I pretty much 1-upped the fuck out of my listening, er, skills, I guess?

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My favourite album of the past six months:

Grouper: Ruins (kranky) – Admittedly, it was hard to pick one album that really stood out in the second half of 2014 because those six months had a lot to offer. Still, this is an album about which I am positive that when I will put it on again in ten years or so, it will again overwhelm me with its delicacy that I chose it as my favourite.

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Those came close to being favourites:

Andy StottFaith In Strangers (Modern Love) – That’s Andy Stott, all right. But with a twist, as ever so often. I think I might like this one even better than Luxury Problems or Merciless. There, I said it. Are you (un)happy now? If so, now would be the time to put on Faith In Strangers. Its opener is one of the most sublime pieces of music you could hear all year.

CutheadTotal Sellout (Uncanny Valley) – What a versatile, wonky Jack Of All Trades! If you don’t bop your head to this, it’s probably because your doctor told you not to do that or you might die.

Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Theory Of Everything O.S.T. (Black Lot Music) – Guess who’s been nominated for an Oscar? That’s right, this dude. Rightly so, because this is his best score for a fictional film yet (and also because he shook my fucking hand). Although it’s a rather conventional film score in regards to its instrumentation, you can clearly make out Jóhannsson’s signature. That dude knows how to work a leitmotiv unlike everyone else I know. So fuck you, Hans Zimmer.

John Beltran presents Music For Machines (Delsin) – It’s been an incredible year with Ambient music (see below), but this one pretty much topped all other records. Rarely have a heard such a well-curated compilation. Absolutely blissful and full of opaque gems which you wouldn’t have found any other way. Seriously, where did Beltran find all that stuff?

Dean BluntBlack Metal (Rough Trade) – In one of the most interesting drunken conversations I’ve had this year (or ever, for that matter), Jason Grier compared Dean Blunt to Erik Satie which made a fuckload of sense to me at the time and still does. Both have found the perfect balance between their artistic concept and their music’s emotional content. While Black Metal sadly doesn’t live up to its, it still might be Blunt’s best work yet.

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Other albums and EPs/singles worth mentioning, arranged like a sort of megalomaniac mixtape that’ll take you from downtown to the suburbs, from the countryside to outer space and then back to some sweaty basement under an abandoned warehouse before you’ll enter the matrix for good:

Run The JewelsRun The Jewels 2 (Mass Appeal) – Overproduced Rap music still isn’t my thing, really. Except when it’s so perfectly executed like on this killer album. Damn.
Shabazz PalacesLese Majesty (Sub Pop) – Wonky. Weird. Took me a while to get into it and/or to “get” it, but I eventually did. Highly addictive.
MetalycéeExpat Blues (Interstellar) – Suburban misery apparently is an international phenomena. This album is proof. Outstanding combination of sound art and spoken word.
FujakoSoul Buzz (Ånstström) – This was a perfect companion for the Metalycée record. This one’s for lonely nights in the deserted countryside, though. Keep your eyes open for Fujako’s forthcoming 2×7″ (early Jan), featuring what I think is their best track yet.
Praezisa Rapid 3000Miami / Mumbai (Doumen) – Bassilicious to the core. This is the kind of music that makes you shake your ass while it widens your horizons.
UnifonoReframing (Antime) – Sweet, modest IDM-leaning Electronica. Fluffy but tight. Nice bloke, too!
Ben Khan1992 (Dirty Hit) – Is this still sexy or super sleazy? That’s up to you to decide – me, I’ll just get a bit dreamy (and possibly horny).
Suno DekoThrown Color (Stratosfear) – Why wasn’t this a big, I mean HUGE hit? Bluets is easily one of the best Pop songs of 2014 for the looping at heart.
Jenny Hval & Susanna: Meshes Of Voice (SusannaSonata) – Got into this rather late and only because some trustworthy people were raving about it. Very nice combination of noisy Avantgarde-like sounds and Pop/Folk sentiments.
SavagesFuckers / Dream Baby Dream (Matador / Pop Noir) – OMG that Suicide cover. One of the best drummers around, hands down.
Baton Rouge: Totem (Adagio830 / Purepainsugar / Bakery Outlet) – At this point in my life, I can tell a great French punk after three or four bars. Try me.
Sad HorsePurple On Purple Makes Purple (Field Hymns) – This probably went completely unnoticed, but shouldn’t, really! Snotty Garage-esque Punk, highly anthemic (which is a totally relative term).
Smith Street BandThrow Me In The River (Poison City) – The token Folk Punk album. I occasionally enjoy pirate singing.
GiveElectric Flower Circus (Adagio830 / Moon Flower) – Cheers to Norman Dietze of Bis aufs Messer fame for talking me into buying this. Worth it! The Revolution Summer is just not over yet.
GnarwolvesGnarwolves (Big Scary Monsters / Tangled Talk / Pure Noise) – The token Pop Punk album. I can imagine surfing a crowd of prepubescent boys to that music. (That’s not an innuendo, definitely).
Sport: Bon Voyage (Adagio830 and about 500 others) – Twinkly, noodly Emo Punk in the vein of… Well, pretty much everything that came out of the Philly region ca. 8-5 years back. They do it pretty well.
Full Of Hell & Merzbow: Full Of Hell & Merzbow (Profound Lore)Merzbow’s contribution is barely noticeable, but damn, this band finally lives up to their live performances.
Protestant: In Thy Name (Halo of Flies) – I’ve had my fair share of grimey, crusty metallic Blackened Hardcore, but this one stood out.
Downfall Of GaiaAeon Unveils The Thrones Of Decay (Metal Blade) – Do you remember when this Oldenburg band released their first album and it was kinda okay? I still do. They’ve come a long way, eventually becoming a transnational affair and very, very good. Even more Black Metal elements on this one – digable!
MyrkurMyrkur (Relapse) – Weird person. However, this was a nice blend of ye olde Norwegian second wave Black Metal and the Scandinavian Folk you’ve heard on… Well, a lot of albums from ye olde Norwegian second wave Black Metal. Debut album set for a 2015 release, looking forward to it.
Bastard SaplingInstinct Is Forever (Gilead / Forcefield) – This one’s also pretty traditionalistic, but rather well executed and multifaceted!
AnagnorisisBeyond All Light (Yehonala) – Technically a re-issue, but I don’t care. It’s awesome that Yehonala is at it again after all those years – especially when they put out proggy, technical Black Metal like this (to be honest, the whole Tech Grind thing got very old pretty quickly – didn’t it?).
Cannibal CorpseA Skeletal Domain (Metal Blade) – Well, yeah. Didn’t see that coming either.
Inter ArmaThe Cavern (Relapse) – Inter Arma again prove to be one of the most interesting bands in modern Metal. They are unpredictable, which is a rare feat in this field.
Scott Walker + Sunn O)))Soused (4AD) – Talk about unpredictable! Who has seen that one coming? No-one, really. However, it makes perfect sense and the outcome wasn’t exactly a surprise, but pretty intense nonetheless.
Burial HexThe Hierophant (Handmade Birds) – Didn’t the guy, um, break up, er, I mean, discontinue the project two years ago? Technically, yes. But he still has a lot of material on the shelves, or so it seems. If the rest of that is in anyway as good as this, we’re in for a treat. Might even beat the Scott Walker + Sunn O))) collaboration.
PharmakonBestial Burden (Sacred Bones)- Who would’ve thought Pharmakon’s sound could intensify? That hardly seemed possible, but apparently some terrible medical conditions have that effect on you. I’m not complaining (though I do feel sorry for her).
British Murder BoysLive In Tokyo (D/N) – UNHOLY FUCK. This renders every lame Industrial-influenced Techno record of the past five years irrelevant. Go fuck yourselves, all you Kerridges and Italian darknoiseniks – you’ve met your masters.
Ensemble EconomiqueMelt Into Nothing (Denovali) – His best record yet, if you ask me. His ventures into the realms of Synth Pop sound a lot more uncanny than the Drone/field recording tapestry you can hear on most of his records.
Tujiko NorikoMy Ghost Comes Back (Editions Mego) – I hope so!
bibloAbsence (c.sides) – It’s pretty interesting how biblo uses aesthetics to make political statements. Derrida would’ve been pleased. I’d love to her more of that!
Katie Gately/TlaotonSplit (FatCat) – Obviously, the Katie Gately side did it for me. I think I’m in love. New record forthcoming on Blue Tapes, I’m super stoked about it.
^L_: Love Is Hell (Antime) – Luis Fernando is a very nice dude who can be very random sometimes. So is his music. It’s full of unforeseeable twists and unexpected turns, almost manically ambiguous at times. We’ve got something very neat in the pipeline and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Golden Diskó Ship: Invisible Bonfire (Spezialmaterial) – In our hour-long interview, Theresa Stroetges wasn’t too theoretical about her music. However, you can obviously hear (and see!) how much thought went into this record. And eventually how many complex emotions are channeled through this sometimes astonishingly simple music. A real journey!
Richard Dawson: Nothing Important (Weird World) – It’s like Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy morphed into Bill Orcutt record. Which sounds terrible but actually sounds very, very good.
To Rococo RotInstrument (City Slang) – That’s it. To Rococo Rot is no more. Which is weird not only because they somehow have always been there, but also because this was is a project about continuity. Long live To Rococo Rot To Rococo Rot To Rococo Rot To
LocustAfter The Rain (Editions Mego) – Sweet baby Neoromantic Krautwave!
SóleyKrómantík (Morr) – Field recordings from the most beautiful amusement park in that ghost town on that abandoned island in the Bermuda triangle.
Sawakonu.it (Baskaru) – It’s a curious thing with a lot of those Japanese Electronica/Ambient acts: You can never really tell if this is conceptual or intuitive music. I dig not knowing that when I listen to records like this one.
Erik K. SkodvinFlame / Flare (Sonic Pieces) – Half re-issue, half new record, full on awesome. From the beautiful handmade packaging to the last fragile note, this is a brilliant musical diptych for pessimistic dreamers.
Deaf CenterRecount (Sonic Pieces) – Erik was obviously on a roll this year and it was very nice to hear him playing again with his old partner in drone Otto A Totland for this nice and quiet piece of improvised-ish music. Let’s hope it’s a sign that Deaf Center are working on a new full-length.
Arve HenriksenThe Nature Of Connections (Rune Grammofon) – No trumpet player ever sounded like him, no other human voice ever reached such peaks and nobody quite knows how to make the earth sing like Henriksen. Last year’s Places Of Worship was a lot denser and just… better, if you ask me – but this one was also very, very nice.
Pan & MeOcean Noise (Denovali) – Considering that this is a side-project of Dale Cooper & The Dictaphones, you’ll be surprised what you hear on this record or on 2011’s Paal. While the latter had its weaknesses, Ocean Noise shows us Pan & Me as a fully developed musical vision. Simply beautiful.
Gabriel SalomanMovement Building Vol. 1 (Shelter Press) – Pretty weird to think that this guy used to be in Yellow Swans. But whatever, this is great and I can’t wait to listen to Vol. 2!
Andrea BelfiNatura Morta (Miasmah) – For some reason, this took several spins to fully unfold. Worth it! It’s really impressive how diverse Belfi’s work has become over the years. This one sure is a favourite!
Marsen JulesBeautyfear / At GRM (Oktaf) – Marsen Jules was also on a roll this year! I didn’t like Sinfonietta that much (unlike the rest of all Ambient/Drone lovers out there, I suppose?). Instead, those two really did it for me. Excellent! He’s getting better and bigger by the record. Can’t wait for more, this one’s gonna be big.
Thomas KönerTientos de las Nieves (Denovali) – Only Köner could pull of something like this and get away with it. Had a beautiful 80+ minutes with this and a good book in Volkspark Friedrichshain on a windy day in autumn. Perfect.
Kyle Bobby DunnKyle Bobby Dunn & The Infinite Sadness (Students Of Decay) – How can someone from the Ambient community be even more humorous than Stars Of The Lid? I’ve got no idea, but Dunn is one of the most hilarious people you can follow on Facebook, for sure. This is also his best work as of yet, hands down. Seriously, such a great year for Ambient music!
NeelPhobos (Spectrum Spools) – Dubby, dreamy, ultradeep.
Sad CityIntroduction To Lisboa / Sloe (Phonica) – Almost weightless. That texturality is second to none.
SynkroTransient (Apollo) – #sadstep
Mr Raoul KStill Living In Slavery (Baobab) – Radical in every sense of the word. Highly recommended if you like thinking outside of your (possibly) white middle-class “yeah I sorta like, um, House music bc it gives me nice feelings” box.
Clap! Clap!Tayi Bebba (Black Acre) – This guy, however, has not even the slightest idea about cultural appropriationTayi Bebba is a great album which actually sounds like ab update of Jon Hassell’s fourth world approach, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll come up empty. Very sad.
BaazRed Souvenirs (Office) – Yummy. Everything about this feels just right.
Leon VynehallMusic For The Uninvited / Butterflies (3024) – Took me a while to hop onto the train, but Sascha Uhlig was persistent enough to make me give this guy another chance. Glad that I did!
The Black MadonnaStay / Venus Requiem (The Nite Owl Diner) – Hey, wow. Under the skin and into my veins.
Panthera KrauseRules (Lobster Theremin) – Cunning. Versatile. Smooth. Fuck. Awesome.
Chicago Jim: Chicago Jim (Lobster Theremin) – He was probably conceived in the Music Box during a 4 hour set by Ron Hardy.
TerekkeTerekke (L.I.E.S.) – Everyone went crazy about this. I dig it, too.
Omar-SAnnoying Mumbling Alkaholik (FXHE) – Wasn’t so sure about this at first but then found myself coming up on Acid.
Credit 00Basement Toolz Vol. 1  (Rat Life) – Talking about Acid… Two fucking belters. Super excited for Vol. 2!
FloorplanNever Grow Old / Phobia (Re-Plants) / M-Print: 20 Years Of M-Plant Music (M-Plant) – No words.
Population OneTheatre Of A Confused Mind (Rush Hour) – Terrence Dixon is chronically underrated and it really is a shame. One of the finest and most daring Techno producers out there. This album is proof.
Donato DozzyTerzo Giorno (Stroboscopic Artefacts) – Eerie. Liked this a lot better than his other EP releases.
SHXCXCHCXSHLinear S Decoded (Avian) – So, so nice to see them change their signature sound. This is much better and a lot more sustainable than their toolish four-to-the-floor Techno (which is alright, don’t get me wrong).
AAAAShiva Watts (Maligna) – What a talent! Acidic excursions into a sort of trance-inducing outer space. I wonder if that’s ever gonna be released on vinyl?
ObjektFlatland (PAN) – Hyperreal? Speculative? Supereclectric? Whatever. Lived up to any expectation.
S S S S: Administration Of Fear (Haunter) – Incredibly advanced for a debut EP. The guy’s on top of my watch list right now!
Lee GambleKOCH (PAN) – Not as blissful as the stuff that sucked me into his cosmos, but ace nonetheless.
Alessandro CortiniSonno (Hospital) – Thanks to Martin Steer this has been rotating a lot on my, er, smartphone. Analogue bubble bath in true Conrad Schnitzler (early 70es) style. Awesome.

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Overall top 10 for 2014, albums:

1 Sun Kil Moon: Benji (Caldo Verde)
2 Fontarrian: vlv (Antime)
3 Grouper: Ruins (kranky)
4 Have A Nice Life: The Unnatural World (The Flenser)
5 Andy Stott: Faith In Strangers (Modern Love)
6 Kassem Mosse: Workshop 19 (Workshop)
7 Building Instrument: Building Instrument (Hubro)
8 Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Theory Of Everything O.S.T. (Back Lot Music)
9 Cuthead: Total Sellout (Uncanny Valley)
10 John Beltran presents Music for Machines (Delsin)

Mildly maniac. Read some words on some of those over at HHV.de Mag.

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Overall top 10 for 2014, EPs/singles:

1 Vow: Cypress / The Light (Our Voltage)
2 Suno Deko: Thrown Color (Stratosfear)
3 Campbell Irvine: Removal Of The Six-Armed Goddess (Infrastructure)
4 British Murder Boys: Live in Tokyo (D/N)
5 Ben Khan: 1992 (Dirty Hit)
6 Pisse: Praktikum in der Karibik (Mamma Leone)
7 Ben Jacov: Transalp (Doumen)
8 AtomTM: Ich bin meine Maschine Remixes (raster-noton)
9 Panthera Krause: Rules (Lobster Theremin)
10 S S S SAdministration of Fear (Haunter)

That’s pretty schizophrenic if you think about it.

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Mixes:

I somehow failed to even check out all that FACT mixes, Resident Advisor podcasts and Boiler Room sets I downloaded or everyone else went nuts about. Sorry?

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Listened to about 18593 different tracks this year according to last.fm. I do have a number one for the second half of 2014 (in which I listened to 8421 unique tracks):

Golden Diskó Ship: These Thoughts Will Never Take Shape (Invisible Bonfire, Spezialmaterial) – I was so incredibly happy when I found out that this track was also included in Antime‘s V03 compilation. It’s a mesmerising voyage, really.

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Other favourite tunes in no particular order:

Airhead: Believe (Believe1-800 Dinosaur)
Suno Deko: Bluets (Thrown ColorStratosfear)
Unifono: CFX (ReframingAntime)
Panthera Krause: Them Flutes (RulesLobster Theremin)
roger23: Future State (Future StateBaud)
Andy Stott: Time Away (Faith In StrangersModern Love)
QT: Hey QT (Hey QTXL)
Black Madonna: Venus Requiem (Stay / Venus RequiemThe Nite Owl Diner)
Katie Gately: Pivot (Katie Gately / Tlaoton Split, FatCat)
Objekt: Strays (Flatland, PAN)
Schnipo Schranke: Pisse (Untitled CD-R, self-released)
Gunnar HaslamOvercomplete (Gunnar Haslam / Acid Jesus Split, Naïf)
Winter Flags: Waterfall Winds (John Beltran presents Music For MachinesDelsin)
Snow Bone: Mystic Vision (Mystic VisionLobster Theremin)

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Overall top 10 for 2014, tracks:

1 Sun Kil Moon: I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same (BenjiCaldo Verde)
Sun Kil Moon: Carissa (BenjiCaldo Verde)
Golden Diskó ShipThese Thoughts Will Never Take Shape (Invisible BonfireSpezialmaterial)
4 Suno DekoBluets (Thrown ColorsStratosfear)
AtomTMIch bin meine Maschine (Boyz Noize Remix) (Ich bin meine Maschine Remixesraster-noton)
PisseIch fühle nichts (Praktikum in der KaribikMamma Leone)
Dead HeatThe Dam (BoscoLife And Death)
AirheadBelieve (Believe1-800 Dinosaur)
9 VowCypress (Cypress / The LightOur Voltage)
10 roger23: Future State (Future StateBaud)
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Newcomers and discoveries in no particular order:

Ben Khan
Suno Deko
^L_
S S S S
Terekke
The Black Madonna
Junktion
QT
Schnipo Schranke
Pisse
Does Palms Trax still count?
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Oldcomers and (re-)discoveries in no particular order:

Wolf Down really are a tight Hardcore band to mosh out to. Mr Fingers, Marshall Jefferson, Frankie Knuckles, early Chicago House music in general. I even sort of came to terms with Acid and thus Phuture. Nas, A Tribe Called Quest (thanks, Mona!). Rap in general, mostly 90es stuff though. Especially NasLife’s a B, hell, Illmatic as a whole. Frank Ocean, too. Have A Nice Life are still going strong, obviously. Changed my mind about Panda Bear’s music. Nice bloke, too. ミドリ (Midori), Japanese underground/deviant music in general. See my Cherry Picking Japan column for more. Kate Bush still fills my grey heart with joy. Had a magic moment with The Cure’s Disintegration at the Volkspark Friedrichshain in mid-September. Obviously, Joy Divison were always present – but when aren’t they? Revisited Carl Craig’s More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art over and over. Came to terms with Maurizio et al, finally. J Dilla’s Stop from Donuts might be single most addictive tune in the history of tunes. DJ Sprinkles often invited me over for some deep listening (pun intended) sessions. Grimes is still magical and I spent about 30 very hazy minutes watching her awesome live performance at KXEP from 2012. Had an enjoyful tram ride with Fugazi’s first demo pondering on the impact of Mackaye / Picchiotto had on my life. Randomly decided that The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die’s debut LP from last year is my favourite album from 2013. Jammed The Beach Boys and Talk Talk a lot when life didn’t seem to go too well. Sometimes End Of A Year, too. Talked a lot about Iannis Xenakis. Revisited Fennesz’ Venice and decided that it might be my favourite Fennesz record. Although, wait, there’s also Black Sea… Had a beautiful moment on a Christmas fair with a friend which I hadn’t seen in two years, drinking apple punch and listening to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Third of which we share the unpopular opinion that it is actually his best work. And fuck, Regis… And Surgeon! Does Palms Trax already count?ALSO, DID I MENTION THAT I SHOOK JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON’S HAND???
.

Noteworthy re-issues, discographies, single artist compilations in no particular order:

MogwaiCome On Die Young (Chemikal Underground) – Sometimes it’s really nice to revel in your teenage depressions over and over again. Maybe not my personal favourite, this is still their best work when it comes to songwriting and production.
Donato Dozzy: K (Further) – If anyone’s been on a fucking roll these past two years, it’s this dude. Such an immaculate record.
DrexciyaNeptune’s Lair / Hydro Doorways / Harnessed The Storm (Tresor) – Needs no words. Any chance to dive just a little bit further in the aquafuturisti realms of Drexciya is highly appreciated.
SND: Tplay / Newtables / Tavelog (Snd) – Thus sing the algorithms. Got them all on coloured vinyl, yay me.
Num SkullRitually Abused (Relapse) – Brutal, rough and potentially lethal.
Have A Nice LifeDeathconsciousness (The Flenser) – Oh my. I’ve really obsessed about this band in 2014. I’ve caught on to them rather lately, which really is a shame as there is so much to discover in their music. I was so super excited when the pre-order for this record started, I sat in front of my computer hysterically hitting F5 over and over… Got my copy on green vinyl, felt very lucky!
LiturgyRenihilation (Thrill Jockey) – Am I the only one here who thinks this might be even better than Aesthethica?
EarthThe Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull (Southern Lord) – Phew, that wasn’t exactly a cheapo – but I had to have it. I prefer the reunified, Western-style Earth with a lot of twang over the gloomy noise/drone/doomniks they used to be in the 90es. This, in my eyes at least, is their true opus magnum.
PisseKassette (Phantom / Gafas Del Rigor) – I’m so glad I’ve discovered this band thanks through Maik, who miss a beat and put out this beautiful(ly disgusting) tape. I was lucky enough to snag one before they sold out. One of the best German bands out there, period.
Street Smart CyclistDiscography (Topshelf) – OH SNAP. I thought I’d never get my hands on anything (read: their debut 7″) this band has ever put out, but luckily Topshelf quietly re-issued everything (read: all eight songs) they have ever recorded. I felt like kissing Kitty – on the lips, even!
MineralThe Power Of Failing / Endserenading (Arena Rock / Xtra Mile) – To be perfectly honest, I haven’t even bought those. Which is weird considering that I’ve spent a lot of time during my teenage years trying to seek them out on eBay to no avail. Looking back, Mineral was never really my favourite mid/late 90es band, but hey, they’ve written Parking Lot, which gets my vote for the most heartbreaking songs in the whole genre.
Carl Craig: More Songs About Food And Revolutionary Art (Planet E) – Shamefully, I’ve only really discovered this masterpiece this year. I jammed it a lot to make up for that.
FugaziFirst Demo (Dischord) – Ah, the energy! There isn’t much I could say about this except that it is absolutely essential. Think Fugazi, but rougher.
Fennesz: Venice (Touch) – I usually have a hard time deciding which one is my favourite Fennesz record – Venice or Black Sea. Yes, you’ve read that correctly: I prefer both over Endless Summer. The ten-year anniversary of Venice made me dig a lot deeper into the record, which was truly worth it. I still can’t tell if I like this one better than Black Sea, but it did trigger one hell of an essay!
Everything re-released on Trax or M-Plant. This is true basically every year. Never stop reissuing all those tunes, please! Thank you.
BreachVenom (Apocaplexy) – I like Kollapse a lot more, but whatever: Keep ’em coming, please
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Anthing else?

  • I learned to be grateful for what I have and had.
  • Still vegan. I don’t miss a thing. It’s exceptionally easy, especially in a place like this.
  • I have the best friends ever. Yeah, I really got lucky. (Kudos to anyone who gets the reference.)
  • Joining Antime was a great decision. Not only do I really, truly love working with those guys, it is also nice to contribute something to the musical discourse I’ve been previously only following so closely. Stay tuned for 2015!
  • This whole year was dedicated to introspection. Upon realising that I’m a pretty shallow person, I decided to explore what’s out there. First flight is already booked, more to come.
  • I don’t know how that happened, but something clicked, apparently. My thoughts, otherwise a never-evening stream of flickering lights, seem to have fallen into place. I think straighter than ever, and my writing has successively become better. I hope.
  • Just like every year, I felt terribly ashamed for being German on a daily basis. Even more so in 2014. Fuck this country, fuck its dim-witted inhabitants, fuck their racism, their xenophobia and narrow-mindedness.
  • English has progressively started to feel like a second home. Maybe I should emigrate to the UK. Thoughts?
  • It can only get worse if I start to directly inject pizza into my veins. Cig Köfte were also a commodity in my life in 2014. On top of that, I’ve successfully 1-upped my lasagna game.
  • So much House and Hip Hop music! I’ve gone almost completely electronic in 2014. Don’t get me wrong, that’s tons and fuckloads of fun, but still…
  • Topics I thought about in 2014 were capitalism, time, the alleged reality/virtuality dualism, and death. Not so much stuff like “how do taxes work” or “won’t someone be pissed when I do that”?
  • I have accomplished a lot of my goals. I have accomplished some things which I didn’t think I would like to accomplish. Which is good. Life is good. I guess?
  • I now own over 1,000 records. Rating average according to Discogs: 3.33. I still don’t have overhead lighting in my flat in which I’ve been living for the last three and a half years.
  • I wish you all the best, wherever you go and whatever you do.
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One thought on “2014, Part II: Stats, Favs, Thoughts & Overall Conclusion

  1. Pingback: 2015, Part I: Stats, Favs, Thoughts | konkrit

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