I am playing catch up here (DTH21 already dropped…) and here is Dragged to Hell 20! This mix features a slew of genres; spanning noise, industrial, pop remixes, hip hop, pop, synthpop, nerdcore, and noise rock. Enjoy!
Andre Martel – Blow-Up Dolls [Prod. By Eyedress]
Ricky Eat Acid – this goes out to…
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Meth Dad remix)
couples counseling – hope u nevr hear this
Weyes Blood – Summer
Niil Dymon – Go Online
Thom Yorke – Truth Ray
Panda Bear – This Side of Paradise
Bleachers – Take Me Away (feat. Grimes)
Dope Body – Repo Man
Godflesh – Carrion
Sylvan Esso – Play It Right
Crosses – Prurient
Yung Lean – Leanworld
Lttle Phnx – Ethiopian Opal
Ultraklystron – Spike Bracelet
YTCracker – Night Terror
Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Schwarz Club remix)
Thurston Moore – Vocabularies
Pharmakon – Body Betrays Itself
(photo by me of “Snowmagedon”)
2014 was a great year for electronic music (or at least for the kind that I like). From noise, to experimental, to pop remixes, to hip hop, to shoegaze, and witch house; there were great examples of all kinds of knob twiddlers this year across a ton of genres. These are the ten “electronic” releases that I enjoyed the most this year. As with my Baltimore list, I included a link to Mixcloud that features a mix that I made highlighting one song per release.
That Was Then This is Now – Fables: This duo (producer BLVCK CEILING and vocalist Moon Mirror) make dark electronic music heavy on the beats and the melodies. They make music that could be described as haunting, and beautiful. This full length by them was in heavy rotation for me this year.
Screen Vinyl Image/Bloody Knives – Split: This was one that could have either gone on this list (it does feature synths) or on my next list, for “rock” releases (it does feature guitar/bass guitar). I am a huge fan of both bands, and am glad they were brought together for this twelve track release by the ever excellent Accidental Guest Records. RIYL Shoegaze.
Thom Yorke – Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes: Two things about this release. 1. It is minimal interesting little electronic ditties by Thom, RIYL Kid A. 2. He had an interesting way of releasing it, focusing on torrents (link is in the title).
clipping – clppng: Clipping might have been the most exciting act that I saw this year, (I am still working on my live list) and also dropped an album that is the perfect mash of noise and rap. The lyrics are tight and delivered with a fast flow, while the beats bang and hiss, just on the edge of being grating (in a good way).
Meth Dad – Remixes: This is the first ever non-Baltimore release that Friends Records has put out. And for good reason, Meth Dad slays the pop world and makes beautiful beats. This features his re-imaginings of such artists as Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry.
the Body – I shall die here: The Haxan Cloak plus the Body? Yes please. This eerie album pairs scary atmospherics with a relentless beat and pounding bass. Wailing is had. This is what pain sounds like.
Pharmakon – Bestial Burden: Pharmakon delivers another monster of an album. Seeing her live is quite the treat, and she is able to somehow capture the intensity of her live shows, in record form. I look forward to seeing her again (saw her at Hopscotch in 2013) next year.
Aphex Twin – Syro: I bought Drukqs while living in South Korea, and was quite disappointed by Aphex Twin’s (one of the first electronic musicians that I got into in high school) last album. That was a long 13 years ago. A lot has changed. Including the fact that their is now a new Aphex Twin album, and it is actually good. The tracks are all solid, beat driven affairs. The formula is followed: glitchy beats, distorted and twisted sound and synths, and weird track names.
††† (Crosses) – Crosses: Chino from Deftones side project that is a mix of shoegaze like guitars, electronic beats, and synth soundscapes. Prurient might be my favorite song of the year. I was really blown away by the tunes, and this one ranks up there for me for amounts of times I listened to it.
Zola Jesus – Taiga: Rounding out the list is Zola Jesus. I have been a fan for a couple years, but this album really caught my attention on first spin. Masterful electronic tracks that recall a handful of subgenres, her music could definitely blow up and become the next big thing. I could see this competing against some of the other heavy hitters making modern pop music.
Cover image of clipping is by me, taken at Metro Gallery in Baltimore in 2014.
In chronological order, one image for each of my 20 favorite live music sets of 2013. All images are from my Instagram account.
1/29 – Quicksand at Black Cat
2/9 – the Evens at 2640 Space
4/18 – Dead Mellotron at Club K
4/25 – GOAT at Black Cat Backstage
5/22 – Future Islands (mainly unreleased songs 90 minute set) at Metro Gallery
5/29 – Roomrunner (record release show) at Metro Gallery
6/7 – Celebration at Metro Gallery
6/30 – Locrian at Metro Gallery
7/27 – Potty Mouth at La Casa
9/1 – the Art Department (surprise set) at ScapeScape
9/5 – Pharmakon at Hopscotch
9/5 – Merzbow and Wolf Eyes (surprise collab set) at Hopscotch
9/6 – Magik Markers (improv set) Three Lobed Records Day Party at Hopscotch
9/7 – Wing Dam SPAZZSCOTCH Day Party at Hopscotch
9/7 – BAMBARA DAY-DREAM Day Party at Hopscotch
9/7 – Matmos at Hopscotch
10/2 – Dan Deacon (brand new songs set) at the Crown
10/11 – Neutral Milk Hotel at 2640 Space
11/13 – Chelsea Light Moving at the Ottobar
12/1 – Animal Collective at 930 Club
In no particular order, my top 10 favorite dark/electronic releases from 2013. I decided to not label any of these lists “Best of”, as I just want to share a few releases that I enjoyed and am not saying anything is better than anything else. Anyways a list with links and short descriptions; and a Mix featuring a track from each one.
1. THAT WAS THEN THIS IS NOW – THAT WAS THEN THIS IS NOW: This super group features instrumental work by BLVCK CEILING and vocals by Moon Mirror. This should be the soundtrack to a seventies exploitation flick; complete with car chases, shoot outs, and sex scenes.
2. Kiernan Paradise – Loss: A solo project of Pleasure Leftists member Haley Morris, Kiernan Paradise is a minimal synth based project that allows Haley’s vocals to be the focal point.
3. LTTLE PHNX – D’Esprit Luvrs: New Zealand singer/synth player Lucy Beeler released this synthpop/witch house gem back in April. Haunting and beautiful.
4. Moon Mirror – Transference: This Aural Sects release was in constant rotation for my daily commutes. She had some poignant words to say earlier this year, and I completely agree with her views on art. (The gist being “I’m a musician, not a saleswoman.”)
5. CRIM3S – Stay Ugly: This EP reminds me of what I first liked about witch house (the White Ring song Roses, and specifically the distroted bass, hip hop beats and scream/singing) and my only complaint is that it wasn’t a full length!
6. Pharmakon – Abandon: I caught Pharmakon‘s set at Hopscotch this year. It was an intense 20 minutes of electronics, and very confrontational singing (going into the crowd and just screaming). This release does a good job of capturing the sonic side of that experience, though I wouldn’t dare listen to it as loud as I did live.
7. Purple – Salvation: I do not know much about this artist, just that a friend recommended this release to me and it is great. Laid back beats and pitch shifted vocals are highlights of this.
8. Spell Hound – Guerrilla: Another Aural Sects release on my top ten! No surprise there, as they consistently put out interesting music. Spell Hound are a duo who also feature female vocals and witchy beats.
9. ∆AIMON – Aaimon: This is the debut LP of duo ∆AIMON, and a last minute addition to this list with its December 2013 release date. They have been creating some of my favorite dark electronic music for the last few years. This release was an instant favorite, with its dual gender vocals, and nice mix of dark and light atmospherics and textures.
10. Gatekeeper – Young Chronos: One day Gatekeeper posted on Facebook a link to a torrent for their new EP. So I grabbed it. The most Mortal Kombat soundtrack sounding release of this list, and I mean that as a compliment. Extremely danceable and dark.
Image of Pharmakon at Hopscotch Fest 2013 is by me