Beatport Editorial Director Jack Tregoning reports on the songs that rocked the first day of the 2015 iteration of Detroits legendary Movement festival. There are some gems in there!
Tidel does a lot with their playlists that are annoying. Theyre frequently too long, awkwardly titled and unattributed. But they do have interesting themes, and this is a good example. Even their descriptions are too long. This looks back at the past five years of post-punk and has some real jewels by The Soft Moon, Parquet Courts, Viet Cong and others. I only included the first 20 of these 50 songs (there are only so many hours in the day)
Source: John Dale, FACT Magazine21 Essential Records From Cologne’s 90s Renaissance ; Listen for free at bop.fmFACTs John Dale talks with Mouse On Mars mastermind Jan St. Werner for an excellent overview of the Cologne electronic music scene in the early to mid 90s. Music from the scene represented a confluence of kraut-rock, ambient and music concrete influences, and while their palate was eclectic, nearly every artist found freedom in the open spaces of minimalist techno. The scene would soon spawn the legendary Kompakt records. Money quote from Werner:
Its about halftime for 2015, and the guys over at Stereogum have picked out their favorite 50 albums of the year so far. Its a decent list, and theres not too much to report trend-wise, though there are an inordinate amount of waifish female indie singers and not a lot of hip-hop or electronic. But its a fun list. As a note, these are in reverse order, and I generally picked out the singles from the album in the playlist.
Footwork is a little maddening, but its also brilliant. Its deeply experimental. The percussive elements are very tightly clipped and the songs are repetitious to the point of being disorienting-- its one of the musics key characteristics, and gives the music a polyrhythmic sway. And the songs mutate; they were created to be mixed and distorted by DJs, which means that they were more or less created to be defaced. Its also littered with random and current pop cultural references, making it a sort of barometer for social relevancy - a role that hip-hop used to fill. Its also deeply funky. There are a lot of great playlist out there that over this, and Teklife recently announced that they were going to become a record label. Wills Glasspiegel does a nice job here at introducing the genre.
Its an old story, but its still amazing both how persistent and subjective the "album" experience is at this point. Young Thug Leaks and Loosies 2015 is effectively a fan-curated playlist culled from Young Thug mixtape cuts, b-sides and singles that is published on a free, user-generated playlist site that is owned by a major urban media company (Complex). Still, it has nearly 140K plays, which is more than most albums these days, and definitely more than almost any playlist on a major streaming site. I was discussing this with a friend the other day, but the album is an artificial construct, and the common, underlying logic behind either a playlist such this one, or a proper album like The Barter 6*, is that its an extended collection of songs. By this logic, albums are merely officially curated collections of artist tracks. Still, theres a (false?) expectation of coherence when it comes to an album, an expectation for the artist to make a statement, whether that be aesthetically, politically or *The caveat is that The Barter 6 isnt itself a proper album, according to Thugger himself, but a teaser for his proper album,
Source: ComplexFor those of you not attuned to the fast-moving tastes of rap blogs, most of these names will ring unfamiliar to you. And to be frank, theres nothing wrong with that, since these up-and-comers are in their woodshedding phase. Boogies The Reach has drawn critical acclaim and a deal with Republic/Interscope, while fellow UMG signee Post Malone seems like the proverbial industry plant. Nef the Pharoahs "Big Tymin" has dominated the San Francisco Bay Area all summer; and D.R.A.M.s "Cha Cha" has inspired countless Vine memes and a thinly-veiled Drake homage. Good hunting.
• The first song you danced to.I can’t remember but it was probably a song by Juan Luis Guerra - Dominican music• A song you wished youd written.Human Nature - Michael Jackson• Your favorite Tom Petty song.Breakdown and American Girl• A song everyone should hear.Welcome to heartbreak - Kanye West• A song for a late-night drive.Tyrant Destroyed - Twin Shadow• The song that reminds you of Brooklyn.Time to pretend - MGMT• A song you want to keep for yourself.Ship building - Robert Wyatt• A song that inspires you to create.The robots - Kraftwerk• A song that inspires you to destroy.The model - Kraftwerk• Song for a loved one.Vincent - Don Mclean (for my dad)• A song for your mother.By your side - Sade
Shibuya-Kei is a subgenre of Japanese pop that originated in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. If you were a music nerd in the ‘90s, you probably remember Cibo Matto, Cornelius or Buffalo Daughter. The base of the music was 80s synthpop, but there was also a coat of shimmering guitars stubbled with quirky electronic flourishes and occasional forays into jazz or lounge. It was self-consciously cheeky music that occasionally teetered towards kitsch, and was viewed, by Western hipsters, with a tinge of exoticism. Birgitta has some wonderful playlist on her Spotify channel, and this one does a great job at capturing the genre’s oddness, thought it’s curious that she didn’t include Pizzicato Five.
The ’90s have never sounded better than they do right now—especially for modern-day indie rockers. There’s no shortage of bands banging around these days whose sound suggests formative phases spent soaking up vintage ’90s indie rock. Not that the neo-’90s sound is itself a new thing. As soon as the era was far enough away in the rearview mirror to allow for nostalgia to set in (i.e., the second half of the 2000s), there were already some young artists out there onboarding ’90s alt-rock influences. But more recently, there’s been a bumper crop of bands that betray a soft spot for a time when MTV still played music videos and streaming was just something that happened in a restroom. In this context, the literate, lo-fi approach of Pavement has emerged as a particularly strong strand of the ’90s indie tapestry, and it isn’t hard to hear echoes of their sound in the work of more recent arrivals like Kiwi jr. or Teenage Cool Kids. Cherry Glazerr frontwoman Clementine Creevy seems to have a feeling for the kind of big, dirty guitar riffs that made Pacific Northwestern bands the kings of the alt-rock heap once upon a time. The world-weary, wise-guy angularity of Car Seat Headrest can bring to mind the lurching, loose-limbed attack of Railroad Jerk. And laconic, storytelling types like Nap Eyes stand to prove that there’s still a bright future ahead for those who mourn the passing of Silver Jews main man David Berman. But perhaps the best thing about a face-off between the modern indie bands evoking ’90s forebears and the old-school artists themselves is the fact that in this kind of competition, everybody wins.
It may be that 2019 was the best year for ’90s metal since, well, 1999. Bands from the decade of Judgment Night re-emerged with new creative twists and tweaks: Tool stretched out into polyrhythmic madness, Korn bludgeoned with more extreme and raw despair, Slipknot added a new drummer (Max Weinberg’s kid!) who gave them a new groove, and Rammstein wrote an anti-fascism anthem that caused controversy in Germany (and hit No. 1 there too). Elsewhere, icons of the era returned in unique ways: Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor scored a superhero TV series, Primus’ Les Claypool teamed up with Sean Lennon for some quirky psych rock, and Faith No More’s Mike Patton made an avant-decadent LP with ’70s soundtrack king Jean-Claude Vannier. Finally, the soaring voice of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington returned for a moment thanks to Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton, who released a song they recorded together in 2017.
Taking a look at the playlists for my show on Boston’s WZBC might give the more seasoned college-radio listener a bit of déjà vu: They’re filled with bands like Versus, Team Dresch, and Sleater-Kinney, who were at the top of the CMJ charts back in the ’90s. But the records they released in 2019 turned out to be some of the year’s best rock. Versus, whose Ex Nihilo EP and Ex Voto full-length were part of a creative run for leader Richard Baluyut that also included a tour by his pre-Versus outfit Flower and his 2000s band +/-, put out a lot of beautifully thrashy rock; Team Dresch returned with all cylinders blazing and singers Jody Bleyle and Kaia Wilson wailing their hearts out on “Your Hands My Pockets”; and Sleater-Kinney confronted middle age head-on with their examination of finding one’s footing, The Center Won’t Hold.Italian guitar heroes Uzeda—who have been putting out proggy, riff-heavy music for three-plus decades—released their first record in 13 years, the blistering Quocumque jerceris stabit; Imperial Teen, led by Faith No More multi-instrumentalist Roddy Bottum, kept the weird hooks coming with Now We Are Timeless; and high-concept Californians That Dog capped off a year of reissues with Old LP, their first album since 1997. Juliana Hatfield continued the creative tear she’s been on this decade with two albums: Weird, a collection of hooky, twisty songs that tackle alienation with searing wit, and Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police, her tribute record to the dubby New Wave chart heroes (in the spirit of the salute to Olivia Newton-John she released in 2018). And our playlist finishes with Mary Timony, formerly of the gnarled rockers Helium and currently part of the power trio Ex Hex, paying tribute to her former Autoclave bandmate Christina Billotte via an Ex Hex take on “What Kind of Monster Are You?,” one of the signature songs by Billotte’s ’90s triple threat Slant 6.