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2009 in Review by Decibel Festival Director Sean Horton

Posted in Lists, Music News, Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by worldromper

Sean AKA Nordic Soul is the Decibel Festival Curator and Director, he is my good friend and one of the greatest contributors to Seattle’s thriving underground music community. This is a very insightful summary of electronic music in 2009 with his Top 15 list at the bottom as well:

From Sean:

Every year it’s part of my job at PlayNetwork to come up with a list of top albums and overall assessment of music trends for the year. Below is my brief review of what I felt was a pretty landmark year for electronic music in the US and in general. Barring any incredible releases over the next month, these are my picks for the year. Keep in mind this list is strictly made up of albums; not EPs, 12’s or remixes (i.e 95% of the electronic music I purchased this year).

2009 in Review : Binary Pop, Warp’s Legacy, Dub Mutations and the Return of Sexy Dance Music

2009 has been an incredibly innovative year in relation to music production. Artists like Animal Collective, Fever Ray, Royksopp and Moderat have proven once and for all that digital beats and electronic sound design can appeal to a pop audience that otherwise wouldn’t find themselves listening to “electronic music”.

This year also marks the 20 year anniversary of the greatest electronic music label (arguably greatest label) of all time, Warp Records, which has had an exceptional year across the board with strong indie releases from Grizzly Bear and Maximo Park as well as strong releases from their more obscure electronic artists like Tim Exile and Clark. Warp’s 20th anniversary box set is not only one of the best reviewed collections of they year, it’s also a brilliant testament to the label’s vast catalog of ground breaking artists (i.e. Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Jamie Lidell, Nightmares on Wax, Prefuse 73, Autechre, Broadcast, Plaid, Battles, Squarepusher, etc).

In addition, 2009 witnessed the rise of Dubstep as a respected genre in the US through acclaimed UK labels like Hyperdub (Burial, Kode9, Joker, Zomby, Flying Lotus) and Tectonic (2562, Martyn, DJ Pinch, Benga) both of whom continue to blur the boundaries between Grime, Dub, West Coast Hip Hop and Detroit Techno. With the avid support of tastemakers like BBC Radio 1’s Mary Anne Hobbs and Low End Theory’s Daddy Kev (Alpha Pup Records) UK Dubstep and West Coast Glitch Hop / Hip Hop have both become quintessential styles on the electronic music frontline in the US. From Burning Man to this year’s Movement festival in Detroit, Dubstep and Glitch Hop have fully emerged in 2009 as a staple sound in North America.

Another emerging trend has been the Deep House and Tech House revival, which has been experiencing a resurgence the past few years as club-goers have tired of the heady, sterility of Minimal Techno and the frenetic, over the top sound of Electro House. Artists like Gui Boratto, Voodeux, Pezzner, Milton Jackson, Stimming, Mode D, Catz n Dogz, DJ T and Dixon have all helped in keeping underground dance music both sexy and musical.

Overall 2009 has been a phenomenal year for technologically driven music, proving that creativity is truly catching up with the tools used for musical expression in the digital age.

Here are my Top 15 albums of the year:

1. Animal Collective “Merriweather Post Pavilion” Domino Records

2. Various “Warp 20” (Box Set) Warp Records

3. Moderat (aka Apparat & Modeselektor) “Moderat” Bpitch Control Records

4. Fever Ray “Fever Ray” Rabid Records

5. Phil Kieran “Shh” Cocoon Recordings

6. Nosaj Thing “Drift” Alpha Pup Records

7. Jon Hopkins “Insides” Domino Records

8. Various “5 : Five Years of Hyperdub” Hyperdub Records

9. Lusine “A Certain Distance” Ghostly International

10. Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest” Warp Records

11. Gui Boratto “Take My Breath Away” Kompakt Records

12. 2562 “Unbalance” Tectonic Records

13. Modeselektor “Body Language Vol. 8” Get Physical Music

14. Tim Hecker “An Imaginary Country” Kranky Records

15. Voodeux “The Paranormal” Mothership Records

Mary Anne Hobbs Back on the West Coast; SMOG on BBC Radio 1

Posted in Events, LISTEN TO THIS, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2009 by worldromper

This week the Ambassadress of Dubstep Mary Anne Hobbs graces the West Coast with her lovely presence once again at the Scion House Party along with Plastician, SCUBA and 12th Planet. The show is at the Roxy on Wednesday, November 18 and is free with RSVP here.

Earlier that day catch the SMOG showcase on Mary Anne Hobb’s Experimental show on the BBC Radio 1 from 6-8PM Pacific Time as she features some of the filthiest bass talent from madhouse Los Angeles including DLX, 12th Planet, EMU, Pawn and Evol.

SO SCREW IT: I’m (Dub)stepping Out

Posted in Note to Readers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2009 by worldromper

Yes that is the title given to my piece on UK dubstep for the “British Sessions Part I” issue of Covers Magazine. I am not 100% happy with the edits made (a lot of coke in the Thames WTF?), but it is meant to be an intro piece for people who have never heard of dubstep before.

Read it here.

Decibel Festival Showcase Spotlight: BASS LOVERS UNITE

Posted in Events, Festivals, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by worldromper
Nosaj Thing

Nosaj Thing

Around the globe a distinct new sound is seeping from fissures in traditional music production, and the bass bubbling up from the bins is catching the brains of audiences from London to Los Angeles. This music with no name heralds a fresh and formative age in abstract beat culture and its influential adherents champion the experimental, the instrumental, the street bass, the chopped-up and the future-funk. With beats that defy gravity as well as locality, this “bass music” is quickly infecting listeners with its swung-out, jazzy interpretation of electronic hip hop. Step into the warm circle of tomorrow-music (don’t trip on the bassline) and dunk your head in the refreshing waters of exploratory sounds, all connected by a love of innovation and by the heavy-thick lines of thundering bass.

Mary Anne Hobbs

Mary Anne Hobbs

Bass Lovers Unite brings together some of the most significant producers and DJs of this new sound from a few of the world’s strongholds: Los Angeles, Montréal, and the UK. The music heard at this showcase will affect what mainstream pop fans will be listening to in five years; these artists are shaping the future of sound with every button they press, every show they play, and every new earhole they penetrate.

Daedelus

Daedelus

Out of LA’s fertile beat scene comes one of the city’s finest producers, Nosaj Thing. This young noise conductor has received global acclaim for his recent release Drift on Alpha Pup Records, and opens the night with his disjointed funk beats and seamless sound mastery. From BBC Radio 1’s Experimental show comes Mary Anne Hobbs; this DJ, music journalist and evangelist for the underground brings dark and radical flavors together and then shoves out the next-generation animal onto airwaves around the world. Daedelus delivers an eclectic electronic interpretation using the futuristic monome device; he creates tactile performance experiences and music that everyone from indie rock devotees to instrumental hip hop fans can get sweaty to. Representing the twisted

Mala

Mala

turbo crunk sound of Montréal is Megasoid, whose live sets of dirty club bangers and remixes of top-rated productions have no compunction about killing dance floors and have made Montréal into a legit scene for street bass music. Finally it is back to the UK and to the frontier of dubstep with Mala of Digital Mystikz. One of the genre’s most famous producers, Mala is a central figure of dubstep’s evolution and an early champion of its rougher, clubbier side.

Bass Lovers Unite promises to connect a fresh Seattle audience with artists from around the world who are pushing forward the slicing-edge of electronic music as the pioneers of Generation Bass. Hop in and put your seatbelt on: it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Bass Lovers Unite takes place Saturday, September 26 at Neumos. Click here to buy tickets and for more information about the 2009 Decibel Festival.

Psyphy Machine: The World’s Best Radio Station

Posted in LISTEN TO THIS with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2009 by worldromper

Better than BBC Radio 1, even better than c89.5 The Vortex is Psyphy Machine, found on your iTunes radio under the electronic genre, duh.

No iTunes? Listen here.

Psyphy Machine is “Your #1 Source for Strip-Hop, Psyphy, Crunkstep and Muffincore” and dishes out the best in bass music from its HQ in San Fran.

I have been listening to this station for a while now and the sweet thing about iTunes radio is that it tells you who is playing; on mixes this doesn’t help too much but in general I get a lot of artists names to check out. So check it out!

Boreta & Eprom on BBC Radio 1: Listen Here

Posted in LISTEN TO THIS with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by worldromper

FYI: Mary Anne Hobbs’ Pacific Coast Special on BBC Radio 1 Experimental yesterday featured tracks from killers Boreta and Eprom along with Dorian Concept.

If you missed the show you can download it here!

boretaistheshit

Boreta is the shit, just in case you didn’t know!

Missed the X-Chromosome Show on BBC Radio 1?

Posted in Females in the Arts, LISTEN TO THIS, Note to Readers with tags , , , on April 21, 2009 by worldromper

Did you miss the X-Chromosome Special on BBC Radio 1 with Mary Anne Hobbs?

Listen here where the show is available for the next week, oh yeah!