Adam B & Ultrasound Radio USA present: Our Top 20 albums of 2014 (in 140 characters or less)


rtj

 

by Adam B. & Ultrasound Radio USA 

 

from bottom to top:

20) Godflesh – A World Lit Only by Fire

Forsaking industrial for doom with spectacular results.

19) Various Artists – 8-Bit Operators Enjoy the Science: Tribute to Depeche Mode

And I just can’t get seem to get enough of…

18) Tricky – Adrian Thaws

More than just a brotastic pat on his career’s butt. Beautiful arrangements and great guests (Bella Gotti!).

17) Squarepusher x Z-Machines – Music for Robots

Electro-jazz jams for 78 fingers, 22 arms, 46 chromosomes.

16) Johnny Cash  Out Among the Stars

Even lost recordings too glossy for his taste kick most other music’s ass.

15) The Glitch Mob  Love Death Immortality

Jason Statham’s nextTransporter screenplay run through Ableton and Reason.

14) Pattern is Movement – Pattern is Movement

A swirling cloud of earnest, complex music. Want them to be the next Kurt Vile/War on Drugs.

13) Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Following Laura Jane Grace’s new normal = punk anger skillfully applied to autobiography.

12) clipping. – CLPPNG

Slides neatly into Death Grips’ industrial-rap void. When Sacramento closes a door, LA opens a window.

11) A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Sea When Absent

In the shadow of MBV’s ’13, standing along Slowdive in ’14, holding it down for neo-shoegaze.

10) Sun Kill Moon – Benji

But Mark Kozalek can still suck my cock.

9) Cocksure – TVMALSV

Chris Connelly rips open time and space, delivers us back to the days of RevCo’s Beers Steers & Queers.

8) Eno/Hyde – Someday World

Ambient legend + Underworld leader = artsy Afrobeat? I could get used to this new math…

7) Com Truise – Wave 1 EP

Dude makes 1980s beats/pads ripe like Jersey tomatoes.

6) Neneh Cherry – Blank Project

Dark horse contender for Comeback of the Year. Subtle, smart, jazzy electro-balladry.

5) Lee Bannon – Alternate/Endings

Sacramento fella born at the wrong time, assembling straight-up d’n’b to make the Metalheadz proud.

4) Todd Terje – It’s Album Time

Is it possible to improve on Daft Punk’s space disco formula from last year? All signs point to YES.

3) Run the Jewels – RTJ2

Holding the political, the personal, and the partying, this was the only rap album you needed in 2014.

2) Saintseneca – Dark Arc

Restores the creaky, creepy patina of indie-folk lost amid the pop stomp of the Lumineers and the Mumfords.

1) Aphex Twin – Syro

Having written this up in 84 places beforehand, just know this: It’s funky, it’s fun, and it’s constantly changing.

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“New” Matt’s top albums of 2014

by Matt Scottoline

real

The following are the albums released this year which I spent the most (or at the very least, some) amount of time with. The list is numbered, however, if I’m being honest, after about #4 or #5, they all fall into the category of “albums where I’ve enjoyed songs but don’t really feel an affection for on any deeper level.”

To say I really loved 10 or however many albums this year would be untrue. But I also always find myself going back to albums from any given year and finding that love in places I wouldn’t have expected. I guess what I’m really trying to say is none of these lists matter that much. Or at least mine doesn’t. But you’ve already read this far, so it would be kind of silly to stop now, right?

 

So, here is my list for 2014. Some of these albums I really love (#1 and #2) others I’m very fond of (#3 and #4) and the rest had –at the very least– songs that I enjoyed.

 

1) Real Estate – Atlas

 

2) Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal

 

3) Ex Hex – Rips

 

4) Allo Darlin – We Come From The Same Place

 

5) Spoon - They Want My Soul

 

6) The Vaselines - V For Vaselines

 

7) Jessica Lea Mayfield - Make My Head Sing

 

8) Eno + Hyde - High Life

 

9) Morrissey - World Peace Is None Of Your Business

 

10) Eternal Summers - The Drop Beneath

 

11) Thurston Moore - The Best Day

 

12) Bob Mould - Beauty and Ruin

 

 

The New Matt Show is Tuesdays from 4-6pm.

 

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Badgalkiki’s Top Albums of 2014

by Kirsten Becker
2014 was an incredible year of great rock and roll music. Here are some of my favorite albums, in kind of an order, but not really.*~~

 

1. Aphex Twin- Syro
Kool album following a long period of just about nothing from this guy. Bonus points for being the only Aphex Twin album to not make me have a panic attack.

 

2. FKA Twigs- LP1
What a year for powerful women makin music. Lots of cool collabs featuring Dev Hynes, Sampha and company.

 

3. Actress- Ghettoville
Favorite album cover this year. Glitchy, minimalist techno vibes. Ninja Tune goodness.

 

4. Die Antwoord- Donker Mag
Wowie, nothing was quite better than catching Die Antwoord playing at 2AM at Bonnaroo this year. I still don’t understand the zef side but I am forever in luv.

 

5. Caribou- Our Love
THIS ALBUM IS SO FREAKIN GOOD. Reflective pop album about loss and love. Guaranteed to get u dancin.

 

6. Quilt- Held in Splendor
Throwback to 60’s psychy-folky stuff.

 

7. Cibo Matto- Hotel Valentine
I never thought I would ever see another album from this crazy Japanese duo. Sp00ky stories about ghosts, trip hop, lo-fi funk.

 

8. Hookworms- The Hum
The first track is such a good intro, haven’t stopped listening to this album just yet. The people describe this as “scuzzy,” I think that’s a good word for it.

 

9. Azealia Banks- Broke With Expensive Taste
FINALLY. I have been holding out for almost 4 years for this album to come out<3

 

10. Temples- Sun Structures
Still a pretty new band, this release follows in Tame Impala’s footsteps in the psych rock revival genre,

 

11. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard- I’m In Your Mind Fuzz
Nothing compares to randomly seeing this band during this year’s CMJ. GREAT ROCK MUSIC.

 

12. London Grammar- If You Wait
Swooning female vocals and reverb-heavy pop stuff.
Honorable Mentions:
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Gardens & Villa – Dunes
The Horrors – Luminous
Spoon - They Want My Soul
Les Sins – Michael
Clipping – CLPPNG
Holy Wave – Relax
Snowmine – Dialects

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6 Shots of Black Friday Angst

By Esmail Hamidi
This mini-playlist comes from a particularly grumpy November afternoon – not necessarily Black Friday, but you get the idea. Songs that go through your head while you’re getting trampled trying to buy something you don’t need. Or something. Consumerism normally inspires positive emotions. In this playlist, this is not true.

1. I’ll Buy Myself – Suicidal Tendencies
Crass commercialism has never been far from music. I see this song as drawing connections between the self-indulgent similarities of music and consumerism, but that’s just me.

2. Every Table Needs a Knife – Vulture Shit
These boys got it covered. Their tunes draw comparisons to DFA1979, but fronted by the most charismatic, demented lead singer you could possibly pull out of a record crate, and sporting riffs that would set your local Guitar Center’s doorbuster effects pedal display on fire.

3 . Human Being – Coloured Balls
Step back. Think about it. You’re running through a crowd, and why is everyone here? To buy stuff. What? To me, the underlying theme of this song is getting wrapped up in thinking too hard about things. “What is a human being?”

This Australian proto-punk foursome laid the roots for AC/DC and tons of other rockers. They also tend to rip.

4. Goes Black – BIG UPS 
This day has gone black. Friday, that is.

5.  T.V. – Blink 182 
Before they were the poster boys of mallcore, Blink 182 kinda ruled. It reminds me of playing dumb PC skateboarding games. RIYL scrappy Ramones-esque harmonies and a straight California vibe.

.

6. $$$ Problems $$$ – Brown Rainbow  

There are just some feelings you can’t put on layaway.

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Funkin’ It Up For A Good Cause

by Wil Schade // @wilschade

brojo

World Café Live will be the place to be tomorrow night when some of the east coast’s funkiest acts come together to put on a Thanksgiving Eve performance for charity. The show will be in support of Will Funk For Food, an organization that works in conjunction with Philabundance to benefit those less fortunate facing hunger especially during this holiday season. Food donations will be accepted at the show, so bring a canned item! The lineup features some great music so here’s some info on the incredible talent that will be present:

Brother Joscephus and The Love Revolution

Based in New York City, Brother Joscephus was formed in 2007 on a cruise ship by David Mendelsohn (aka Brother Joscephus) along with keyboardist and music director, the Right Reverend Dean Dawg.   The band started out playing in NYC and eventually bought a van and made the pilgrimage to New Orleans, where they get much of their influence. They describe themselves as a combination of funk, jazz, and secular gospel.

“Brother Joscephus is a little bit of a music collective,” says Brother Joscephus, “We perform with a lot of different vocal artists from all over the country whenever we travel. We are a ten-piece band, almost like an orchestra. We like to get very over the top with our arrangements.” When asked about their creative process, he replied, “The music is very intricate and highly arranged. It becomes quite a process, but I think the end result is worth it.”

Over the years, their music has evolved to include more epic, nuanced, and grand-scale compositions.   They released their third album “Revolution of Love” last year which highlighted their secular gospel side, which contains messages of acceptance and a broader, more inclusive message of gospel music.

“It’s going to be a really special night of music, all three bands are going to work great together, and it’s for a great cause.”

Swift Technique

Swift Technique is a group of Philly funksters that we’ve recently had here in the WKDU studios for a live session which can be heard here. Formed in 2007, they started out as a live hip-hop group. As they progressed (and the emcee left the band), they began to evolve into a funk powerhouse in the tradition of James Brown. Bassist, Jake Leschinsky, plays in Swift Technique and Brother Joscephus.

“Swift Tech is more of a straight-up funk band, and BroJo is a group that draws more from New Orleans jazz and funk influences, but the two groups together really complement each other well. I wouldn’t call them the same genre, but it’s the same spirit and creative energy that should make for a really compelling evening for people who want to dance and let loose,” says Leschinsky. They are a band that focuses on delivering high-energy live performances to get audiences on their feet.

“Songwriting has always been a pretty organic process. We never really try to force anything.” Leschinksy elaborates, “We really make a point of collaborating in the rehearsal setting on the material. Being a predominantly instrumental group it gives us a bit of a creative license to have some unusual arrangements that are really unique to Swift Technique.”

The group is about to release EP of a mix of various recordings over the past year recorded in Philly, New Hampshire, and live recordings from the Ardmore Music Hall.

Tickets for the show can be purchased here.

NOTE: Non-perishable food items will be collected on behalf of Will Funk For Food and Philabundance the night of the show!

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A Playlist from The Wytches

English three-piece surf-psych band The Wytches dropped the killer Annabel Dream Reader this August on Partisan Records, and stopped by at WKDU on November 21st while on the tail end of their US tour.

Check out their playlist below featuring Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Esperanza Spalding, Converge and more!

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The Life of a Modern Record Dealer: Max from Brewerytown Beats

by Chris Burrell // @crispychrisx

Brewerytown Beats 45s

Max Ochester, owner of Brewerytown Beats, in front of the well stocked 7″ display at his store

Max Ochester, Mt. Airy native and owner of Brewerytown Beats, lived all over before coming back to Philly and setting up shop at 29th and Girard in Brewerytown. This month marks the one-year anniversary of his shop being open, so I sat down with him at Sarah’s Place for a beer to talk about his love of vinyl, selling records to Q-Tip at age 14 and why moving sucks when you’re a vinyl fiend. His one-hour ALL VINYL set from the EMM is rad and gives you a glimpse into some of the electro funky goodness that he carries in his store.

CB: Did you have record stores before?

Max: No, this is the first record store that I’ve done. When I moved back to Philly, I handled art for four years and worked odd jobs. Then, it got to the point where I had enough records and said, “I’m just gonna do it and see what happens.” I started looking on Craigslist. There was one guy in West Philly who worked for a record label for about 15 years and had amassed this huge collection of stuff. He had really good taste and was selling it all because his wife got a job in upstate New York. I went over to his house about four times and eventually, bought everything that he had. He was giving me a great deal and I probably bought 600-1000 records each time. By the end of it, my basement had about 10,000 records and that was enough to fill the crates in the store and open up.

CB: Some people move around with their collections. Any vinyl head knows that moving with records is an absolute pain. Was your collection always in one central location?

Max: No, it definitely wasn’t in just one spot. I brought around 500 records to the Caribbean and left about 100 there. From the Caribbean, I moved to Seattle and started collecting heavily. Then, I moved from Seattle to New Orleans and spent about $500 shipping on media mail to move 12-15 crates down there. When I moved back to Philly, I had about 1000 pieces and drove down in a van and picked them all up. Moving is the biggest pain in the ass when you have records. God forbid you live on the third floor and have a shit ton of records. I’m looking to move to a new place where I can build out a record room and it has to be on the first floor; that’s one of my requirements for a new house.

Max getting his dig on...

Any vinyl fiend will tell you that the rush of flipping through a stack of records is a bona fide addiction!

CB: What were the regional fluctuations in what you were finding?

Max: Down in New Orleans, you’ll see Meters records that aren’t as scarce as they are up here – supply and demand, basically. I witnessed Questlove in a crazy bargaining process at a record show I put on in Philly that was like that. The record was a really funky Herbie Hancock offshoot and Questlove was trying to talk the guy down from like $400 to $200. He finally got him down to $250 and bought it. Six months later, I visited my friend in Seattle and saw the same exact record on the wall in a store for $20. It was just more popular out there and I guess there were more copies of it. So yeah, there are definitely regional differences in what you see.

CB: I was talking with one of the guys we had on the marathon who’s an old house head and bought at Funk-o-Mart, 611, etc. What have you seen over the years in Philly as stores have come and gone?

Max: All those were thriving at one point. It was Armand’s611, Funk-o-Mart and Sound of Market (they just closed I believe). Those were big time spots for DJs to go. Since I left, it seems like everybody’s kinda gone down the tubes. My personal opinion is that people don’t know how to do stuff online. That’s the only way I’m making it now. I’ve got Discogs and eBay accounts (both named “BrewerytownBeats”). There’s a whole philosophy to them both. On eBay you put out your premium shit, start out at low prices and wherever it goes, it goes. You kinda just gotta give up on caring if you make so much money. Discogs is a whole different game. You put out cheap stuff, you put out good quality stuff and people will buy it. I got guys down in Brazil right now that are buying 30 records at a time, but it’s like $2-5 records. Just today, I got Peanut Butter Wolf buying something and a couple weeks ago I sold to Onra from France. I looked on Wolf’s want list and he has like 30 to 40 things, all amazing shit. It’s cool to recognize that those people are looking at your stuff.

Old WKDU "Scrapple" comp

Max has got records for DAYS – including this old WKDU “SCRAPPLE!” comp circa who knows when.

CB: What were your music tastes growing up?

At first, I listened to more of the hair metal stuff: Def Leppard, Poison and all that bullshit. I remember in 8th grade, everybody in my school was like, “What the fuck are you listening to that for?” Eventually, I got into De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and all that. At that same time, I had a neighbor growing up who was a record dealer and sold to the hip hop guys in New York. When I was 14, he asked me to come and help him move records. I walked into a show in New York and literally every hip hop idol that I ever looked up to was buying records from him. I was selling records to Q-Tip, Kid Capri, Diamond D and Pete Rock. The guy that I worked for, David Ozenbaugh AKA Ozy, knew that these guys were serious because they’d spend a lot of money, but he had no idea who they were. I started hipping him to the fact that, “Hey, this is Q-Tip,” and he got really into it and knew all the samples he sold. Ozy knows what other people don’t know – I’ve watched him pick up a dollar record from somebody’s crate then walk four tables down and sell it for $300. That’s when I started listening to the samples in music I liked.

CB: Do you ever see demand spike for a sample after a track blows up?

Max: The “Bound” sample – I had two copies of the 45. I put one online for $12 and it was bought immediately and I was like, why? Then I heard the Kanye song and I put the next one up for $40. I appreciate the knowledge of knowing where people get their samples from. I also enjoy the hunt of finding the sample because some things you’ll find very easily and some things will take you forever to find or hit you hard in the wallet. You’ll see it pop up on eBay and you’re like, “Ugh I could spend $60 or I could take my girl to dinner.” Most record dudes will spend $60 on it.

CB: What’s the most special record you have in your collection?

That would have to be the Windows album by Jack Wilkins. Jack Wilkins was a jazz guitarist who had a couple albums, but this one album was his super funky soulful jazz album. In the early 90s, I watched Q-Tip buy the album from Ozy, later sampling it for “Sucka N—-”  off Midnight Marauders. I looked for the album forever. Everywhere I went, I would always make a point of asking for that album, but they never had it. About 3 years ago, my whole family got together for Christmas and did our presents. Then, my aunt came up to me at the end of it and handed me a box and is like, Here, this is for you.” She and my girlfriend had gotten together and bought it for me – fifteen years later, I finally had it. I didn’t even listen to it when I got home. I left it on the shelf and didn’t touch it until I got interviewed by some other guys. I told them it was my favorite album and put it on to listen, not even knowing if it skipped, but it played perfect.

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If you’re a record collector you MUST make a trip out to Brewerytown Beats at 1207 N. 29th St.

Brewerytown Beats was one of the many local businesses that supported the 2014 Electronic Music Marathon.

You can support WKDU, Musicopia and The Village of Arts & Humanities by heading over to wkdu.org/emm and buying station merch or making a donation.

All the sets from the EMM are being posted over at our Soundcloud – thanks for your support!

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