Music I Bought In The 4th Quarter Of 2012
Tonight We’ll Rewind the Tape With Pencil – Olivaw
Gesture Is – Gangi
Cobra Juicy – Black Moth Super Rainbow
S – Chaos Chaos
Sleepwalk – In Dreams
Hotline Miami – Jasper Byrne
The Light Before The Day – A Blurred City Sight
Route 375 – Cosmic Sand
194 – Ogre
The World Circuit
Identity Sequence – Zircon
Slowdrifter – Datahowler
Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! – Godspeed You! Black Emperor
The Hawk Is Howling – Mogwai
Brand New Eyes – Paramore
Story of the Running Wolf – Story of the Running Wolf
The 80’s Dream Compilation Tape – Various
The big news this time around is Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s first release in a decade, the only album this year that I deliberately sought out in physical form1. I was a little concerned that after all this time it would prove disappointing, but I needn’t have worried; it’s not their absolute best work but easily on a par with the rest. They’ve obviously come back because they have something to say, there’s no sign that it’s motivated by commerce or publicity or any of that. Keeping in the post-rock vein I finally got round to buying some Mogwai after meaning to do so for years. Plenty of Kickstarter2 related stuff again this time – the highlight is Cobra Juicy, which is absolutely fantastic. I can’t really describe what it sounds like exactly, psychadelic electronic? Listening to it is like melting. Sci-fi influenced Slowdrifter is also a touch on the weird electronic side though in this case it sounds sharp and staticy rather than amorphous and alive. Gesture Is is sample/found sounds dreamlike weirdness3, heavy on the echo and rather good it is too. The Light Before The Day is alright, it’s decent enough but I keep getting the feeling that it’s just slightly too slow. A couple of older releases from Zircon as well as his latest; Impulse Prime sounds rather like early Crystal Method, it’s good but gets a bit samey towards the end, World Circuit features some interesting stuff taken from a wide variety of world music, and Identity Sequence, the new one, is excellent. Obviously highly influenced by the Ghost in the Shell soundtracks, both Kenji Kawaii’s film work and Yoko Kanno’s TV music, all sweeping synths and soaring vocals, cyberpunk music in my favourite way. 194 is similarly influenced by classic cyberpunk, in this case by Vangelis’ epic Blade Runner soundtrack. Ogre’s work is darker in tone, conjuring up a brutalist-future world of concrete, neon, and rain. Keeping with the soundtrack theme, Jasper Byrne’s tracks from woozy 8-bit ultraviolence simulator Hotline Miami are excellent and really capture the weird, hypnotic feeling of playing the game. More retro ’80s vibes from Story of the Running Wolf, a duo with some wonderful electro/glam sounds; I was constantly playing the song Punk Rock Died for at least a week after I got it. And to close out the year, The 80’s Dream Compilation Tape which is pretty representative of 2012 for me and features some great tracks, particularly the ones from Arcade High and Let ‘Em Riot.
1 In the sense that I actively though ‘I want to get that album as a CD’, rather than something I happened to see in a shop.
2 I can stop whenever I want.
3 Spotted the emerging theme yet?