Alas! 2016 is dead and things will surely get better in 2017, right? And if the world turns upside down in the next months and we all find ourselves under the martial law of THX 1138 android police officers with orange rather than chrome faces, here are 31 fantastic albums written about for you to sink your teeth into. Additionally, I've decided to use this as a place to make up for my past sins of not writing down my year-end list and try to somehow document all of the albums that have tickled my fancy since 2013, which is kind of my personal year zero. So dig in, critique my writing, and most importantly, allow each of these albums to take you on an algorithmically-enhanced trip through the annals of good music.Read More
Continuing on from our review of Lorenzo Senni's Persona, we go from new guard to old guard in the rave revivalist trope as we take a deep look at Burial's rather slight holiday offering in the form of the surprise single "Young Death" b/w "Nightmarket." Taking this as an opportunity to assess Burial's singular evolution as a producer and composer over the past five years, we travel all the way from "Street Halo" to this most recent release to take stock of where we just might be in terms of getting to that mythical third album.Read More
As I start to get back in the rhythm here again, in looking for some recent singles to review, I couldn't help but turn to two I've recently bought that have both had a large deal of hype around them. Last month saw the release of "pointillist trance" practitioner and all around "rave voyeur" Lorenzo Senni's Persona EP on Warp, placing him in the company of such synth maximalists as OPN and Rustie and he responds in kind, extrapolating on his austere trance reductions to create miniaturized and weightless dance music symphonies. On the other hand, one of the most influential and enigmatic electronic producers of the past decade, Burial, has gone and it again in surprise releasing his third holiday-timed EP. Unlike his past two efforts, this one is likely to leave people disappointed because while it sees the producer continuing to push his sound and compositional style forward, it also sees him failing to take into account the inspired sequencing that helped add a serious heft to his previous two- and three-track releases.
But more importantly, ten years on from Burial's first self-titled album and with the ten-year anniversary of his rave requiem Untrue due up next year, it strikes this writer as more than a little strange that we're having more or less the same discussion about music and memory that we were ten years ago. Thus, rather than do my typical crammed two-reviews-in-one approach, I'm going to post two separate pieces looking at the death and revivification of rave and just what exactly its contribution to contemporary dance music has been.Read More