Backtracking the music I discovered this year was a bit harder than last year since I stopped using last.fm. Jotting down all the artists I liked I discovered common themes in my discoveries. From mashup DJs to dreamy indie music, here we go. image credits: Neil Wilder for Bat for Lashes
Somehow I discovered electronic music can be good too. I've never listened to a lot of electronic music before—somehow always skipping people's recommendations—which I blame on too much exposure to crappy electronic music. You know, like what you get to hear when you enter most clubs.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun discovering this new genre to me. After a long weekend trying to be a DJ by toying around in Ableton Live, I ended up with a newfound respect for electronic music makers.
I'm noticing two themes in my electronic music discovery: either the DJ/band is world famous and I never took the time to listen to them (The Knife, Daft Punk, Justice) or the discovery was fuelled by listening to Girl Talk and exploring the mashup genre.
Highlights: Justice and their A Cross the Universe documentary. DJ Shadow, Dntel, The Knife, Daft Punk (Alive 2007), Girl Talk (and the documentary Good Copy, Bad Copy), and the wonderful Jay-Z vs. The Beatles mashup album by Gnarls Barkleys' Danger Mouse: The Grey Album.
|Artist||Track name||Play link|
|Justice||DVNO||Play on YouTube|
|Danger Mouse||Encore||Play on YouTube|
|Dntel||This Is The Dream of Evan and Chan||Play on YouTube|
|The Knife||We share our mother's health||Play on YouTube|
|Daft Punk||Touch it/Technologic||Play on YouTube|
|DJ Shadow||Hindsight||Play on YouTube|
2009 introduced us to two “superbands”: The Dead Weather and Them Crooked Vultures. The latter did not appeal to me, but the first one. Oh boy. “Horehound” must be the record I listened to the most this year. I believe one month it was on repeat continuously. The Dead Weather consists of Jack White from The White Stripes, VV from The Kills, Jack Lawrence (the Raconteurs), and Dean Fertita (QOTSA). Their live performance in San Francisco blew me away. Best album of 2009.
Loving the Dead Weather led me to revisit old albums by the White Stripes and The Kills and they're more than worth listening to, especially White Blood Cells by the White Stripes and Keep on your mean side by The Kills.
For those who like their music a bit more quiet and dreamy here's two awesome bands I discovered this year: Bat for Lashes and School of Seven Bells.
In the category albums I somehow missed but love now: This is it by The Strokes (rated #7 best album of the decade by Pitchfork). In the category not very known but pretty good: Colour it in by The Maccabees and Sun Gangs by The Veils.
|Artist||Track name||Play link|
|The Dead Weather||Treat me like your mother||Play on YouTube|
|The Kills||Kissy kissy||Play on YouTube|
|School of 7 bells||Half Asleep||Play on YouTube|
|Bat for Lashes||Daniel||Play on YouTube|
|The Maccabees||First love||Play on YouTube|
|The Strokes||Last nite||Play on YouTube|
|The Veils||Sit down by the fire||Play on YouTube|
|The White Stripes||We're going to be friends||Play on YouTube|
One day I went to a friend's place. He had bought a record player I thought it was cool. So I bought one too. I stole my fathers' old vinyls gathering dust in a closet, including Pink Floyds' Dark Side of the Moon, a few Beatles records, and a Leonard Cohen Greatest Hits album.
I don't know why I never bothered looking up The Beatles' music. It's awesome. All the people saying that all the music coming out now is somehow based on what those guys did, well, I believe them now. I absolutely adore While my guitar gently weeps, Ob-la-di, ob-la-da and Here Comes the Sun.
Another claim I never believed but believe now is that the sound quality of vinyl is so much better than CD/MP3. I did the test with the brand new de portables CD and it's vinyl equivalent and I have to say I was very impressed.
Besides the sound quality, there's a certain charm to reading a book in your cosy chair while some music is spinning next to you. The way a record player works, the mechanics behind it. It's very physical. Hitting play in iTunes is just not the same. That said, a digital collection is a thousand times more practical.