For our annual Year in Music issue, I asked local musicians, rappers, producers, and music writers to sound off on the year's best songs, album releases, shows – pretty much anything they wanted, music-wise. For the next few days, I'll be posting them up individually on the Noise blog. You can also check the full list here. – Ed. note.
Michael Krimper, Guardian The Endless Desire List
(in no particular order, or, out of order)
1. Les Sins/"Fetch"/12" (Jiaolong) Run, fall, catch your desire. Read more »
Juan Atkins will perform songs from the Cybotron and Model 500 catalogues with a four-piece electronic group, including “Mad” Mike Banks of Underground Resistance, Mark Taylor, and Milton Baldwin, this Friday at No Way Back's three-year anniversary party at Mezzanine.
When I first Googled “Model 500” the search results surprised me. I expected to find a clue as to why Juan Atkins named his mid-1980s solo music project after what sounded like a blueprint for a piece of consumer technology, like some sort of hyper-evolution of the Model T.
But the choices between a rotary telephone from the post-war period and a newly minted Smith & Wesson revolver, both model 500s in their own rights, left me wanting. When I ask Atkins whether there was any story behind the name, he suggests another way of reading it: “It was something I used to repudiate ethnic designation. It wasn’t named after any model or any particular piece of equipment.”
MUSIC Out of nowhere an isolated house groove surfaced from the ether of the Internet and touched an unexpected chord. It was called "Love Me Like This," a throbbing re-edit of the early 1980s track of the same title from R&B group Real to Reel. Its author was an unknown British musician going by the name of Floating Points, a gerund whose aerial element reminded me at the time of another producer closer to home, Flying Lotus.Read more »
MUSIC Apocalypse doesn't exactly identify what Brooklyn-born producer and rapper El-P conjures in his music. Sure, furtive sirens blare out almost immediately in his new record Cancer 4 Cure (Fat Possum). Synthetic melodies disfigure themselves while break beats rumble with the intensity of the Bomb Squad, all drowned out through a wash of distorted noise. The lyrics are just as unsettling too: an overpowering technological violence brought to bear on soft human bodies, whose voices are fractured, rendered nearly schizophrenic.Read more »
MUSIC Even the strangest sounds tend to lose their unfamiliar aura after a few listens. But no matter how many times I spin ESG's "UFO," I find myself utterly incapable of identifying that synthetic warbling that meanders through the minimal groove. Is it water gurgling in old gas pipes, a whirling police siren, the ferocious grumbling of a subway train? Or something more disturbing: Clanging echoes of gunfire, successive bursts of city noise filtered through apartment hallways?Read more »
NOISE POP It's been a few months since I've seen Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, and while many have dedicated countless hours selflessly contributing to the Ryan Gosling meme, which continues to grow and mutate like an uncontained bacterial infection, I'm still utterly and helplessly seduced by the score.Read more »
MUSIC Africa Hitech makes intoxicating music. Programmed polyrhythms snake over punchy bass lines. Synthetic chord progressions crescendo and fall, disrupted by surges of 808 kicks, constellations of snares, outbursts of electric energy.
All the while, an offbeat rhythm assaults the interweaving drum patterns, unsettling any steady flow that might have taken shape. This tension pulls the music forward, destining outwards, while the bass anchors the body, whether on the dance floor or just mesmerized inwardly, a head in the groove.Read more »
MUSIC "The reason why my rhythms are so repetitive and feel almost infinite is that, in a way, I fear closure. In the same way that I can never finish a book, I have trouble ending my songs. I have trouble ending anything. I can't even finish a meal," Luis Vasquez, frontrunner of the Soft Moon, tells me. (The group plays Mon/31 at the Independent.)Read more »
MUSIC I've never defended the idea of a "best of" record. Some anonymous curator is typically given the task of sifting out a musician's hits from the misses, of establishing an artist's definitive compilation once and for all. A fairly daunting project for judging something as fickle and varied as musical taste. So I have to admit I was skeptical when I picked up TheBest of Quantic album put out by the British imprint Tru Thoughts earlier this month.Read more »