A Future in Noise ♪♫♪ – Favorite Releases of 2014

Hey all! It’s time for my top 15 favorite releases of 2014. You can listen to some key tracks from these entries and more here on Spotify. Let me know what I missed, too!

Natural Snow Buildings
The Night Country

Beautiful and haunting as always. Official digital release of this coming soon on my label!

Azealia Banks
Broke With Expensive Taste

This album is so solid and cool. The tracks are quite varied in their composition, from those with a dance clubby modern vibe to those that recall a kind of 808 States 90s feel to er, the rude jukebox-ey “Nude Beach A-Go-Go”. Considering the current “feud” going on, which should be a non-event as Iggy Azalea is downright terrible and uninteresting, I don’t know how the hell someone could listen to both of their albums and decide that Iggy was the better rapper. HOW? The mind boggles.

Cold Cave
Full Cold Moon

This is technically a compilation but all of my restrictions for what should be included in my top 2014 list has gone out the window as I began compiling this. This is a compilation of Cold Cave singles, many of which are far better than anything album-based he’s released. “People Are Poison” and “Don’t Blow Up the Moon” in particular make me incredibly hopeful for a future album from him. He has grown so much as an artist, well beyond the honestly cheesy Cherish the Light Years.

Peter Christopherson
Time Machines II

I am still in the process of slowly peeling away at Coil and Coil-related musical matters, Though Jhonn and Peter are both gone, there is so much to pick away at, it will be a long time until there is nothing left to hear that is “new” to me. All the better that there is a “new” release proper with Time Machines II. It’s the droney, pulsing sort of thing you’d expect it to be if you’ve heard Time Machines.

Ben Frost
A U R O R A

I listened to this while I was reading Blake Butler’s 300,000,000, which seemed noisy and crisp and weirdly fitting. This music makes me uncomfortable. This is good.

The Horrors
Luminous

Ah, the Horrors. They have never quite lived up to the ridiculous standards I’ve been mentally holding them to since Primary Colours, which is so incredibly perfect and fully realized. The Horrors still are the modern champions of meshing their influences together well to create something new instead of being part of the hopelessly derivative ‘post-punk revival’ pack (oh, they are so much more than that). This album is better than 90% of what’s out there right now but it is, for them, a bit average. These are beautiful songs, don’t get me wrong, but I know the boys are capable of more.

Cut Copy
Oceans Apart

Yeah, my standards are so out of whack these days that I’ll even put a DJ mix on the list. What are you going to do about it? Cut Copy’s growth and transformation as time has gone on has really surprised and pleased me. In Ghost Colours (2008) was so forgettable and unpleasant to me, and then last year’s Free Your Mind happened to become one of the best new albums I’ve heard! What happened? Like all artists who end up being really kick-ass, I think it is, again, a matter of synthesizing diverse interests into something new instead of just copying them. A celebretory DJ mix like Oceans Apart is its own rendition of this, introducing me to a ton of great new dance tracks, primarily experimental and/or instrumental in nature. Very sunny, a little sinister.

HTRK
Psychic 9-5 Club

Speaking of unreasonable expectations again, HTRK is another band I unfairly subject to routine “But this isn’t Marry Me Tonight!” criticism. To evaluate this properly, I have to kind of pretend my fave doesn’t exist. This is a really pretty, shimmery album that stands up fine on its own after all and I like to think that “The Body You Deserve” could be about being trans – at least it is to me.

Liars
Mess

Liars are a really cool band I tend to forget about for awhile somehow and then a track comes up on shuffle or I happen to encounter a reference to them and I listen again. I like their paranoid post-punk feel a lot.

Esprit 空想
virtua.zip

Finally, some more vaporwave that is not a lazy sample / slow-down job but an artfully crafted example of using such techniques as instruments in their own right and putting together something cohesive

Aphex Twin
Syro

It’s an Aphex Twin album.

That’s all I have to say.

Run the Jewels
Run the Jewels 2

I was reluctant to listen to this for a long time since there was so much hype about it, but it really is quite good. It goes hard until it’s over, nice to hear Zack de la Rocha for maybe the first time since anything Rage Against the Machine-related I would’ve enjoyed, too.

Death From Above 1979
The Physical World

I knew in my heart it would not be as perfect as their first and only release about ten years before this but it was not the staggering disappointment I expected either. I think I would enjoy it more if the production was not quite so slick but still, they have got it together.
Click to insert new item here.

Kairon; IRSE!
Ujubasajuba

I’ll admit, I listened to this purely because it kept coming up on Rate Your Music lists / charts. I was very wary of it but it really is shoegaze of the vintage-tinted, dreamy variety. Nothing else to say, I’ll eat up anything like that without reservation.

Le1f
Hey

Ending this with an EP to cement my total lack of care for the type of material I’ve included in this list (compilation, DJ mix, EP – don’t care). Le1f is yet another one on this list that has improved so much over time it just makes me smile to think about and hear. This EP was a frequent bus-riding soundtrack of mine. Even the music video for “Wut” is something I found myself watching more than a few times, seeming kind of iconic in its queerness and pop culture vibes. Can’t wait for a proper album from him.

Source: A Future in Noise ♪♫♪ – Favorite Releases of 2014

Well, that was a pleasant surprise – Status Magazine published the interview they’d done with me in their section involving interviews with up-and-coming music bloggers (you can click the image above for a bigger size)!

It appears on-line in…:

Status Magazine – Issue 9 (Page 71)

They also included a separate, later post with my top 10 albums of 2009:

http://statusmagonline.com/news/marilyn-roxie-music-blogger-favorite-albums-2009/

A Future in Noise: Interview with Richard Lloyd

Richard Lloyd known primarily for his solo work, as a member of Rocket from the Tombs and former member of Television, and collaboration with Matthew Sweet – kindly participated in an A Future in Noise Q&A session, following up on last year’s Artist Feature on his music.

A Future in NoiseAre you working on any upcoming musical projects / future tours?
Richard Lloyd: I have a new record out  called Lodestones – Nuggets from the Vault, which at the moment is digital download only through almost all of the major download sites like Amazon.com oriTunes or Rhapsody etc. I’ve had enough demand for physical copy to begin offering the CDs by mail order, in different colors and covers and pictures and also autographed, for $50, through the store we are building on my website www.RichardLloyd.com. I also have some shows coming up in New York as well as a tour of Spain and some other parts of Europe in late May. We have also recorded a new Rocket from the Tombs records which will be out this year, but I don’t know quite when.

Read more

A Future in Noise: Interview with Richard Lloyd

A Future in Noise: Starter Guide: The Fall

Originally posted on A Future in Noise

Photo Credit: © Kevin Cummins http://www.kevincummins.co.uk/

The Fall are a band that inexplicably escaped my attention for far too long. I only became aware after someone posted an mp3 of “Dead Beat Descendant” at the Killlers Network in spring of ‘05. I liked the song, it quickly became a mix CD staple, and I recalled that I had read somewhere about LCD Soundsystem having been influenced by them, but it wasn’t until a year later that I went any further, when I somehow happened upon the YouTube videos for “Telephone Thing” and “Cruiser’s Creek”… and was completely hooked in. The acerbic wit! Stream-of-consciousness-style, poetic lyrics! The oddly charming “-uh” suffix attached to certain words! The…oh dear, how am I supposed to decide what album to listen to, the discography is immense!

Where to begin…?

With the only constant member being frontman Mark E. Smith through the group’s 27 studio albums, the first being Live at the Witch Trials (1979) and the latest Imperial Wax Solvent (one of my top album picks for 2008), and numerous changes in band members and style of music, delving into the world of the Fall could be quite a task without 50,000 Fall Fans Can’t Be Wrong: 39 Golden Greats, my first Fall-related purchase, and stand-by recommendation for anyone’s introduction to the Fall.

50,000… is a compilation documenting the group’s stylistic transitions, with the first disc representing the jangle-punk of late 70’s tracks like “Repetition” and “Industrial Estate” to the deepening of the unique Fall sound through the 80’s with the classic “Totally Wired” and “Hip Priest”, and onto the introduction of Mark E. Smith’s then-wife Brix Smith as guitarist for 1983 album Perverted By Language through ’85 single “Cruiser’s Creek”, the catchiest and most borderline-commercial single the Fall had released up to that point. Disc 2 explores the late 80’s and 90’s Fall singles, including some curious, re-inventive covers: “Mr. Pharmacist” (originally by the Other Half), “There’s a Ghost in My House” (R. Dean Taylor), and “Victoria” (the Kinks), up to “Green-Eyed Loco Man” from 2003 release The Real New Fall LP.

Key Albums:
Live at the Witch Trials (1979) Despite the title, this is a studio album, though the freewheeling delivery of Mark E. Smith and relentless pace of the band throughout gives the impression of a live set.
Hex Enduction Hour (1982) Hailed as a classic amongst a great many Fall fans, Hex is perhaps the Fall’s most difficult album, leaning towards their complex, art rock side, and containing one of the longest tracks in the whole discography, “And This Day”, clocking in at 10:22.
This Nation’s Saving Grace (1985) My personal favourite and the first Fall LP I had heard in full, this album is one of their most simultaneously cohesive and varied, reeling from the spooky (opener “Mansion” and “I Am Damo Suzuki”, tribute to the Can vocalist; it’s worth noting that John Lydon, frequent point of comparison to Mark E. Smith is also a Can fan) to the simply cool (“Bombast” and “L. A.”).
The Infotainment Scan (1993) The Fall’s biggest foray into the electronic in their catalog, and even offering up a Sister Sledge cover (“Lost in Music”), every track is glorious, with Mark E. Smith’s tone and lyrics sharper then ever, particularly on “Glam Racket” and “It’s a Curse”.
The Real New Fall LP (2003) Aside from the recent release Imperial Wax Solvent being such an achievement (and, indeed, one of the darkest, and strangest in the Fall’s long span of output), this was the Fall’s return to form in the 2000’s, including the infectious stomper “Theme From Sparta F. C.” and electro-drifter “Recovery Kit”.

The Legacy:
Long championed by influential British DJ John Peel (who described them as “the band against which all others in our house are judged”), with the Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004 compiles all of the Fall’s 24 such sessions over six CDs, with many of the tracks rivaling their studio album versions.

A wide range of musicians have been influenced by the Fall, among them Sonic Youth (who covered four Fall songs in a 1988 Peel session), Radiohead, Elastica, Pavement, Franz Ferdinand, and Bloc Party, though the music still remains relatively unknown outside of critics and musicians (at least in America). Take this chance to dive in- your ears will be richly rewarded.

Further Reading:
The Fall Online – The most comprehensive source of Fall information on-line; the Lyrics Parade is of particular note!
The Story of The Fall – Track by track reviews and analysis from 1977’s “Dresden Dolls” to 2008’s “Exploding Chimney”.
The Fall – Mick Middles, Mark E. Smith – In-depth journey through the Fall’s inception and later years, with dialogue from Mark E. Smith throughout and thorough insights and discography.