?

Log in

No account? Create an account

ario's favorite albums of 2008

« previous entry | next entry »
Dec. 27th, 2008 | 10:37 am
music: Marginalman Aka DJ Tuttle - Arto Tuncboyaciyan & ARA Dinkjian / Balbul | Powered by Last.fm

I find it sad when people say "music just isn't the same any more." While it may be true that the songs they have in mind are no longer in vogue, I sense it's more a problem of unearthing the good stuff from the crap. On that note, here's what moved me the most in '08...



01. caspa & rusko - fabriclive.37

Even in the absence of a new Burial record, dubstep continues to hold my interest and I'm glad to see no signs of the "movement" slowing down. Nothing captured the best of the current dubstep scene for me quite like this mix. It's always weird to consider a mix in a list of albums, but there's enough of their own material here that I think it counts (not to mention that the mixing is nearly flawless, which creates their own unique versions of the songs). Admittedly, I find the middle section of the 29 tracks here a little weak, but damn, the beginning and end hit so hard. Apparently they only had one take to record this (before the sound engineer had to take off), which may be contributing to the sense of tension that holds throughout. The last song, Conquest's "Forever" could very well play on forever as far as I'm concerned.



02. benga - diary of an afro warrior

Another dubstep entry in the top 10 (had a hard time not making it #1). Like any form of electronic music, it's difficult to take a set of disparate tracks and turn them into an actual cohesive album, but that's exactly what we have here. This dude's production is amazing and I can't wait to see what he does next. (Also, along with Skream, he provided one of my show highlights for '08). Big ups to mikebee for introducing me to both this and the Caspa/Rusko mix at his fine bastion of music knowledge.



03. m83 - saturdays = youth

Not a big surprise here... I'm a huge fan of theirs, and while I think their last few releases never really equaled the brilliance of "Dead Cities," they reinvented their sound and became awesome to me again. Not to mention that this was my favorite show of 2008.



04. john maus - love is real

While technically a 2007 release, I don't think it really hit anyone's radar until January of this year (thx Aquarius!). By far the most bizarre and original music I've heard in a long time... this guy has some sort of inner demon that he's trying to exorcise with synthesizers and tortured (albeit catchy) lyrics. On sheer number of repeat listens, this would be #1, but I wound up playing it out and had to put it on ice for a few months. If you're a fan of non-sequiturs and 80s synth-pop, you owe it to yourself to check this out.



05. cut copy - in ghost colours

Along with M83, this is my other trendy pick of the year. "Lights and Music" and "Hearts on Fire" are pop perfection, particularly when that saxophone part kicks in on the latter. Two other things I like about them: they have really great interstitial tracks and they kick total ass live. I'd like to see them expand their sound more in the future.



06. bohren & der club of gore - dolores

A recent discovery courtesy of Aquarius, this is the sad-bastard-music album to end all sad-bastard-music albums. Last.fm describes them as "funeral jazz" which is about as perfect a description as I've ever seen for a musical genre. The pace of their songs make Low feel like happy hardcore and the somberness is unlike anything I've heard. If Ian Curtis had access to "Dolores," it might've taken the place of Iggy Pop's "The Idiot" in his last hours.



07. nine inch nails - ghosts i-iv

Trent, I know you're a narcissist, so heed the Google Alert that brought you here, put down your copy of "Outliers," and listen up :) Stop making "normal" NIN records and keep refining this Ghosts thing. Seriously, "The Slip," while free, didn't break any new ground sonically and doesn't seem congruent with where you are in life any more. Ghosts on the other hand has some truly magnificent moments, and as a concept, is utterly fucking awesome and you are to be commended for pulling it off. Seeing you play live this year, I wanted to jump into a sound proof booth as soon as "Closer" or "Head Like a Hole" came on, but the 3 song Ghosts interlude was total bliss. Maybe it's time to drop the NIN moniker or change things up in a way that will free you up from having to play the hits. I know you gotta eat, but it really is time to put the old songs to bed.



08. perfume - game / dream fighter

I discovered Perfume via MTV Japan only a few weeks ago and was instantly hooked. They're like the Japanese equivalent of Kylie Minogue at her best. The producer is also the brain behind the group Capsule, so Perfume get the best of both worlds with pop success and indie cred. The production is impeccable and the melodies are totally addictive (and c'mon they're adorable).



09. marginalman (aka dj tuttle) - honcho sound vol. 39 あ・き・ら・め・る

Another recent acquisition from Japan, this mix is amazing. Blends bhangra with new jack (even Front 242?)... and it all seems to make sense together. Still getting my head around it.



10. koss - four worlds converge as one

I listen to a disproportionate amount of ambient music, but never have enough room to include these releases in my top 10. This one stood out above the rest for me. It's like a delicate cob web, barely even noticeable, but beautiful upon close inspection.

Contenders for #11:

portishead - third, gas - nah und fern, the bug - london zoo, flying lotus - los angeles, agraph - a day phases, depreciation guild - in her gentle jaws, philip jeck - sand, zomby - where were you in '92?, luciano - fabric 41

Honorable mention mix:

This Resident Advisor mix by Aeroplane was another highlight, but more of a straight forward mix of danceable jams than the mixes that made it into my top 10.

Other notable top 10s which will no doubt yield many good finds:

-- Basic Sounds
-- Zojirushi
-- Asphalteden
-- Pitchfork

For a trip down memory lane, here's my top ten from 2007.

So, what did I miss?

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Comments {18}

....

(no subject)

from: djophelia
date: Dec. 27th, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
Link

awesome! thank you for the list! A lot of those look really cool. I was blown away by M83. It's such a great album.

Reply | Thread

(no subject)

from: 8bitpixelrobot
date: Dec. 27th, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
Link

wow, I had no idea you'd be into perfume and capsule!!

saw capsule play last night in Osaka!! :)

Reply | Thread

ario

(no subject)

from: interimlover
date: Dec. 28th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
Link

whoa, nice! how was it?

Reply | Parent | Thread

(no subject)

from: 8bitpixelrobot
date: Dec. 29th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC)
Link

good, loud, wholesome fun, albeit completely lipsynced..

Reply | Parent | Thread

:;

(no subject)

from: zojirushi
date: Dec. 27th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
Link

you missed a whole lot of awesome 12" releases. shall be rectified in the new year, no doubt.

Reply | Thread

on a technicality, rationality resists

(no subject)

from: calliste
date: Dec. 27th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
Link

Great, now I have a list of records that I can check out! =)

I liked the previous Bohren albums more by the way, with the exception of Geisterfaust maybe.

And I really like Hercules & Love Affair, Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes and Santogold, but oh that is such a Pitchfork pre-selection. ^^

I can't really remember much else since my real computer with all of my music is 500km away from me, and my brain seems to be on its harddrive as well.

Reply | Thread

Missing enough to feel alright

(no subject)

from: bdu
date: Dec. 28th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Link

"music just isn't the same any more."

If it was, we'd be complaining about how musicians were just rehashing the same old ground. You can't win.

Reply | Thread

the original artform

(no subject)

from: finkeljautobahn
date: Dec. 28th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
Link

hercules & love affair was my favorite album of the year, with some arthur russell stuff and fleet foxes bringing up the rear. saw h&la live over the summer and they brought the house down. so much energy!

Reply | Thread

when I'm alone I'm too extroverted

(no subject)

from: neuma
date: Dec. 28th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
Link

way too differente from mine

http://neuma.livejournal.com/77404.html

Reply | Thread

basic

(no subject)

from: basic_sounds
date: Dec. 28th, 2008 06:55 pm (UTC)
Link

thanks for the props!!! happy new year!

Reply | Thread

sneJ

(no subject)

from: snej
date: Dec. 29th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
Link

Everyone's lists are so different this year … there hardly seems to be any overlap between Top-N lists.

Me, I've only even heard of three of your top 10, and have heard none of them. (Not even the M83 ... their previous album really turned me off of them, and the retro-80s theme of the new one scared me away from listening to it. I could be wrong, though!)

I haven't worked out my own list; my #1 is probably Gregor Samsa, with Halou, Meat Beat Manifesto, Daturah and Cloudland Canyon in some order below that.

Reply | Thread

(no subject)

from: gleemie
date: Dec. 29th, 2008 07:26 am (UTC)
Link

dude, the caspin and rusko made me dance and wave my hands in bed. I hope I get to shake non-virtual bootie to them someday.

Reply | Thread

(no subject)

from: gleemie
date: Dec. 29th, 2008 07:27 am (UTC)
Link

oh, and zojirushi also = brand of rice cooker with cute elephant on it

when do you come back?

Reply | Thread

ario

(no subject)

from: interimlover
date: Dec. 29th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
Link

yay! did you download it? try that aeroplane mix out too.

Reply | Parent | Thread

ario

(no subject)

from: interimlover
date: Dec. 29th, 2008 07:30 am (UTC)
Link

back in SF on tuesday!

Reply | Parent | Thread

...bye bye my crisis...

(no subject)

from: xenophobe
date: Jan. 3rd, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Link

If you're into Perfume, I'd recommend checking out MEG, who is also produced by Nakata (dude behind Capsule). Her new album STEP is good, but her album BEAM is really great.

also, while not Nakata related, SAWA's new mini album Time&Space is very good, and at least the single STARS is very similar (she is produced by RAM RIDER).

Also, while I haven't heard Cut Copy yet (I plan to), you may also want to check out the new stuff from Minitel Rose and Van She. I don't know how similar they are, but they travel in similar circles, and have remixed each other (or at least one has the other).

Reply | Thread

ario

(no subject)

from: interimlover
date: Jan. 9th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
Link

thanks for these recommendations!

Reply | Parent | Thread