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The year is finally done. The year where hearing the rate of infections and deaths from TV became the new normal, all social life and entertainment halted and people started wearing masks. Not only sick people. Everyone. I saw some fancy ladies wearing black masks with rhinestones glued along the top edge. My teacher friend reported of a student wearing a mask with NEGATIVE written on it. I've never seen so many people wearing a mask wrong tho.
I've ended the year, having listened to:
13 766 tracks
31 904 listens in total. Not sure how many minutes yet.
I joined a unofficial last.fm server on discord back in March as lockdown came in (so did the depression), which greatly affected my musical world as well as stats. I listened to considerably more music than before.
Anyway, below are some highlights. : )
In attempt of making things more compact, I've spoilered playbuttons.
In springtime I decided to get more artists to 100+ scrobbles and as a result I ended up listening to a lot of drum&bass and liquid funk. Halogenix, Icicle and Technical Itch left a great mark on me.
Gaslight EP by Halogenix contains this eponymous gem which is everything I love about this genre. That rumbling bass. That flow. THAT ENERGY!
Icicle has this track called Redemption. Vocals by Robert Owens. The lockdown had just begun...
The tune has faint ambulance sirens in the background and I thought I'll be hearing that a lot as people start dying. Grim. Also my quest for social life and true love got shelved and I died a little inside.
it ended up I didn't hear the sirens much more than usually.
Tech Itch. Lengthy tracks, but they enamored me. Among the lot there were a few that especially stood out for me, particularly the following tune called Code Weave, now one of my alltime faves.
I love the atmosphere in this track to no end. That bass too 😍. The percussion. Ohoho
Amon Tobin revealed his new alias called Figueroa, an electronic folk album unlike anything I had heard before. The guitars were all programmed. What more - he sings in this! I was stunned when I learned about that and was almost too afraid to listen to the album when it came out. 😅
Anyway, long story short, The World As We Know It is quite possibly my album of the year.
The new alias inspired me to listen to a lot of psychedelic folk, drone folk as well as some classic bands such as the Byrds.
Dando Shaft, a short-lived psyche folk band from England, I instantly fell in love with over the track called Rain. I love the vocals and that dancing guitar play! Kind of tempted to learn how to play a guitar just so I could play that melody...
Dave Bixby, on which last.fm has a tag 'loner folk', has this distinct sound of heavy reverb over the somber vocal and the guitar.
Secret Forest has one of the most magical beginnings:
Another one that enamored me was Maitreya Kali with an incredible song called Black Swan:
And of course - Figueroa! Do Right and Back To The Stars had me crying.
Then, out from out where, I had a small bollywood wave, beginning when I listened through the soundtrack for Shalimar, which rocked my world.
Since I had troubles sleeping in that time, I was in bed listening to soundtracks to Barsaat, Kabhi Kabhie, Wardat, Don and anything else I could navigate to.
A track that stuck with me (and which is not from Shalimar) is this disco tune with the most inoffensive 4-on-the-floor beat. Ridiculously uplifting. 😅 I don't even know...
And from Shalimar... well, everything. But if you ask I love Aaina Wohi Rehta Hai so much. It's beautiful af, and I am not sure what witchcraft is in use for those insane violin runs.
One Two Cha Cha Cha is also ridiculously uplifting:
Oh Honey let's do the UPBEAT
swing your firm hips now onto your two feet!
The last.fm community introduced me to a wide variety of music through listening parties and recommendations. Most notably Reid Willis, Violinbwoy and Lil Ugly Mane among many others, but also a dense array of lost and found hits from 60s to 2010s (courtesy of Katy B). So basically I listened to a lot of pop music in August and my Spotify algorithms are still wondering whether to go on recommending pop music or call it a deviation and stick to chill beats. 😅
Reid Willis also rocked my world quite properly. His music is symphony and sound design masterfully woven together and the result is beautiful, intricate and epic!
He has two albums out and I love both.
Violinbwoy has managed to join violin and beats to form quite tasteful tunes
Lil Ugly Mane is an interesting one tho. I was introduced to his album Oblivion Access, and it's really intriguing. The sound design is wild, and so is the variety.
The album, ending in a wall of noise, sits right before Lingua Ignota in my library, which just happened to begin with a similar wall of noise, leading to a considerably outstanding experience... 😄
This is a lovely tune tho:
Also, special thanks to the server for reuniting me with a lot of cool tracks I heard on the radio as a kid, but didn't know the name of. Including this one, which is such a vibe :')
Other wonderful tunes!
Subp Yao released an album, Infra Aqual, and it's full of bangers. Insane energy, sublime beats. This song for example, is having me real good!
and so is Reelwitu, and so is Closed, and Lost, and One More Step. Holy crap that's one hell of an album 😍
i'm crying over the price of the vinyl
Perhaps one of the strangest tunes I came across this year, consisting of recurring shepard rhythm:
A fellow Amon Tobin fan had created an album under the alias Mirages. I like the concept too - the album being performed by nonexistent band members, the mirages. The first track of the album is an incredible, smooth experience.
This track by Sophia Loizou! I am not even sure how to describe this, but closest I can imagine is running naked through a field of common bent as warm rain is pouring down and you feel the soft hay caressing your shins and water drips running along your scalp. And then you reach the shore and lie down into shallow clear water and float in peace.
And last-but-not-least, a rather pleasing dubstep tune by Of The Trees. Lush like a rainforest in an alien world. Adore how clean and spacious it feels. Almost luxurious.
For new year I'm trying to listen to more albums from classic artists as well as try and discover more great music.
Ending this post with a last.fm powered version of Wrapped 2020 (Musicorum app)
Here's to more music!