2014 Year Enders

TRADITIONAL AOTY LIST 2014

by

BEST ALBUMS OF @)!$

LIST:

D/P/I – MN.ROY & literally everything else he did
Valerio Tricoli – Miseri Lares
Copeland – Because I’m Worth It
Dean Blunt – Black Metal
Holly Herndon – Home
Jam City – Earthly Mixes & “Crisis”
Jason Lescalleet and Aaron Dilloway – Popeth
Maxwell August Croy and Sean McCann – I
Mica Levi – Under the Skin OST
Mohammad – Zo Rèl Do
Peder Mannerfelt – Lines Describing Circles
Madlib and Freddie Gibbs – Piñata
GFOTY – “Secret Mix”
E+E – The Light That You Gave Me To See You
Actress – Ghettoville
Sun Araw – Belomancie
Lair – S/T

PERSONAL STATEMENT:

In 2014, I forgot how to listen to music. None of the old tricks worked. Pursuit of said tricks persisted, but without the lasting satisfaction of before – in my bed, a teenager, flipping some overstuffed indie rock LP over and over and feeling so so good. Now that seems impossible.

Lacking the time to dream about music, or the clear, quiet air needed to “soak it in”, I felt at a loss. I still do. Without being too reductive, this illness most certainly seems like a symptom of screen time, itself indicative of larger tendencies at play.

My experience of music, therefore, has less and less to do with traditional listening. Instead, sounds emanate from my computer, from the speakers in my car, on the way to work, waiting to work again, in between a job and a hard place. One side of me is like, that’s so terrible, I hate it, I want to be back in the teenage dreamland. But the other side…

I don’t know if other listeners are having this crisis or not. But if they are, I highly recommend the work of Alex Gray, DJ Purple Image, signified above as D/P/I. Dude had an unstoppable year, shitting gold every time he sat down. In the overwhelming maelstrom of MN.ROY, his most realized work to date, you could hear a personal, emotional project, something that I could relate too, that encapsulated my pulverized, late capitalist existence far clearer than any other record I heard this year.

The rest of the mentioned albums are further cracks of light, little lines of hope in an increasingly alienated time. Holly Herndon took the NSA to task armed with a laptop and a beautiful voice; E+E chose (and chooses) love; Mohammad brought me to tears more than once. Special extra props to Valerio Tricoli for Miseri Lares, easily the best executed long player I heard in 2014, and the only one that made me believe in another world. Thanks 2 music peace and love 2 thee hassle.

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