A retrospective look at some of the good things I’ve listened to during 2014, in no order.
Powell – Club Music (Diagonal Records)
A belter this one. Includes a collaborative track with Russell Haswell, who also released Foxy / One Take No Dub Edit on Powell’s Diagonal label.
TCF – 415C47197F78E811FEEB7862288306EC4137FD4EC3DED8B (Liberation Technologies)
Brilliant album from TCF, which contains a hidden spectrogram image encoded in the last track (see this post for images).
Lorenzo Senni – Superimpositions (Boomkat Editions)
EVOL – Wormhole Shubz (Entr’acte)
Comes with a booklet on the ‘What the…?’ preset (more commonly known as the ‘Hoover’ sound) for Roland synths developed by Eric Persing. Also makes for nice spectrogram images – see here.
Paul Jebanasam – Rites (Subtext Recordings) / Live at St John Sessions 220514
FIS – Speech Spirits (Loopy)
Odd, sparse deconstructed dance music, kind of like Lee Gamble, who also had some good stuff out this year. Oren Ambarchi remix, “The Nagger”, is great – muted guitar plucks (‘Edge of Seventeen’ / ‘Eye of the Tiger’ style) with off-kilter timing. Quixotism by Oren Ambarchi is another good 2014 album, a bit like Music for 18 Musicians.
Marc Weidenbaum – Selected Ambient Works Volume II ( 33 1/3) /
Aphex Twin – Syro (Warp) /
Dave Noyze – Syrobonkers! interview with Richard D. James
Turned out to be a bumper year for Aphex Twin stuff. First Marc Weidenbaum’s excellent 33 1/3 book about SAW II, then Syro, then a two-part rambling interview by Dave Noyze with an accompanying set of 30 or so previously unheard tracks, both of which were soon taken down. Syro is a grower. Its complex arrangement of constantly morphing patterns and multiple layers of evolving sounds means that there’s no obvious catchy hooks, but is also what makes it good for repeated listens.
Ø – Konstellaatio (Sahko Recordings)
Sculpture – Plastic Infinite (Tapebox)
Goto8o – Custom8 (self-released)
A custom-order album in the style of your choice. I asked for an album based on complexity, where the tracks go from the simplest to the most complex. Apparently that was the most difficult order to fulfil.
Karl Fousek – Relative Position of Figures (Phinery)
An album that I discovered from other people’s best-of-2014 lists is Andøya by Eric Holm (Subtext Recordings). Made from contact mic recordings of a telegraph pole in the Arctic, like Aino Tytti’s field recording of a radio mast (Touch radio 96), but these haunting sounds are processed and arranged into musical compositions similar to Chris Watson’s later work such as El Tren Fanstasma: The Signalman’s Mix.
Finally, I’m very pleased that my 2014 releases have been included in other people’s end-of-year lists: