End of 2013: Best Albums (part 4 of 4)
This is the main post then, my top 30 albums across all genres of music – presented in one big list! I was originally going to do a top 40 because there are many glaring omissions from this year’s list, some really massive records: Mountains – Centralia, Ruhe – Easing, Esmerine – Dalmak…many many more. I decided in the end to just do my top thirty because I am running out of time to make the end of year podcast/mix/show and an extra ten tracks in the mix would just be too much. Plus, I dare say if I scoured this year’s collection for long enough I’d even be able to comfortably make a top 50 – in the end I decided to place a strict cap at thirty places this year.
So, first and foremost, as with last year – there’s an accompanying mix hosted on Mixcloud which includes a track from each of the releases charted below. There is no emphasis on seamless mix transitions or a carefully pre-programmed set; this is all about the music. I chose my favourite track from each release in the top-thirty which makes for an absolutely wonderful 2 hours listening. What’s more, this year I decided to do away with my badly recorded spoken interludes/track introduction…so I can absolutely guarantee a quality listening experience
Traditionally at this time of the year, I attempt to put into words what each album means to me. I have come to terms with the fact that I am no reviewer and at the risk of repeating the same old positive adjectives about good music, I have decided to avoid this altogether this year. The intention of my end of year list is to introduce you to the music that really captivated me in 2013 and the best thing you could do is hit play above and hear for yourself, or better still – dig through the list below and see what grabs you too.
Only a brief word on the selections then – at number one, and utterly undisputed is the monolithic ‘Light Folds’ by Bill Seaman and Craig Tattershall. It came out in late summer on Facture and I’m afraid it’s long since sold out. For anyone who had the pleasure of grabbing one of these, you’ll know that you’re sitting on something truly outstanding, with a lasting impact; a true landmark collection of recordings. In second place, I went for Adrian Corker’s ‘Raise’, an album from an artist I am unfamiliar with. It has such a great variety to it with so many interesting sounds – I just couldn’t put it down and it’s very much become the soundtrack to my year. Then third, I had to go for DWIG’s ‘Forget The Pink Elephant’. Anyone that pays attention to my Facebook posts, mixes or other online activity will have heard me harping on about this one – and with good reason too. House and beat based music played a big part this year for me and it’s encapsulated in this beautiful record by DWIG.
Elsewhere, there has been real quality this year – making for one of the meanest ‘year end’ headaches yet. There was a truly brilliant standard of output from Hibernate Recordings this year, serving three entries to this list, as well as some other truly outstanding records that were unfortunately whittled out of the top thirty. If there were a label of the year post this year, it would certainly go to Hibernate.
The cover artwork for this mix was taken at a local Christmas tree farm, which seemed to be apt for this time of year… enjoy!
01: The Seaman and The Tattered Sail – Light Folds [Facture]
02: Adrian Corker – Raise [Village Green]
03: DWIG – Forget The Pink Elephant [Giegling]
04 F.S Blumm and Nils Frahm – Music For Wobbling / Music Versus Gravity [Sonic Pieces]
05: Medlar – Sleep [Wolf Music]
06: Colorlist – Sky Song [Serein]
07 Ithaca Trio – Music For Piano and Patience [Home Normal]
08 Gareth Dickson – Collected Recordings [12k]
09 Antonymes – There Can Be No True Beauty Without Decay [Hibernate]
10: Douglas Dare – Seven Hours [Erased Tapes]
11: Cass. – Loops and Farewell Sketches [Self Released]
12: Arve Henriksen – Places Of Worship [Rune Grammofon]
13: Takeshi Nishimoto – Lavandula [Sonic Pieces]
14: Benoit Pioulard – Hymnal [Kranky]
15: Rio Padice – Tropical Interlune [Early Works]
16: Jared Smith – Fjall [Own]
17: Ian Hawgood – Wolven [Hibernate/Komu]
18: Date Palms – The Dusted Sessions [Thrill Jockey]
19: Maps and Diagrams – In Circles [Time Released Sound]
20: Josh Mason – Dark Thread and Other Colors [SEM]
21: Colleen – The Weighing Of The Human Heart [Second Language]
22: Cross Record – Be Good [Ba Da Bing!]
23: Slim The Chemist – Lost In Loops [Indelible Niche Collective]
24: Leif – Dinas Oleu [Fear Of Flying]
25: Simon Bainton – Visiting Tides [Hibernate]
26: Woodworkings – Day Breaks The Morning Shapes We Speak [Own]
27: Rauelsson – Vora [Sonic Pieces]
28: Faint Wild Light – Faint Wild Light [Digitalis]
29: Darwin Raymond – Somewhere The Sun Shines Brightly [Analogpath]
30: Flying Ibex – Habits [Bomb Shop]