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731 in 731


Two years ago today, I made my very first 8tracks mix. 731 mixes and days later, I'm very much still going, not only making these things, but also being left speechless time and again from the other talented and inspiring DJs of 8tracks.

2012 was one of the best years of new music for me, so I decided to compile 25 of my favorite tunes from the past 365 days. Thank you for every single follow, heart, and play.


22 tracks
3 comments on 731 in 731

thanks! and, yeah, 2012 definitely was one of my favorite years for music -- just SO many bands releasing SO much new material -- yours was just as eye-opening too!

Top 20 Albums of 2012 (#1)

20. Tame Impala - Lonerism
19. Magic Wands - Aloha Moon
18. Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes
17. Work Drugs - Absolute Bearing
16. Aesop Rock - Skelethon
15. Com Truise - In Decay
14. Wild Nothing - Nocturne
13. Spirit Spine - Atlantic Downs
12. Les Loups - Club Coeur
11. La Sera - Sees The Light
10. Oddissee - People Hear What They See

09. DIIV - Oshin

In a year where everybody and their mom played synthesizers, DIIV produced one of the best guitar-based albums of the past 12 months as the post-punk outfit, featuring members of Beach Fossils and Smith Westerns, seared through dense chasms of pure sound, cutting through the spectral looking-glass and erupting as elegant salvos of sonic beauty that scorch through vast, hazy, alien soundscapes that are fleetingly gorgeous and urgently feral.

08. Beach House - Bloom

While the revival and ongoing surge of dream pop/chillwave/nu gaze/etc can be cynically categorized as just another flavor-of-the-day attempt to be indie for the sake of being indie, a criticism I find myself fighting to stifle, I can't deny the sprawling, spacious, and dreamy aural realms decorating Bloom and I can't, in good conscious, deny good music, either made for the sake of making good music or made for for the sake of jumping on board on yet another disposable trend. Purely taken at face value, though Beach House and the music it represents are often reduced to hipster fodder, this particular album is equal parts well conceived, performed, and executed, allowing it to stand out, not only above the wannabe releases inundating the scene, but amongst its well deserving peers on its own merits.

07. Cat Power - Sun

Definitely the twist I wasn't expecting, Sun is a major deviation from the resigned melancholia and defeatism that have otherwise been staple hallmarks of the Cat Power canon over the last 17 years. Despite an elevated shift in mood and atmosphere, Chan Marshall's latest effort is just as sharply written and emotionally charged as any of her other releases. There is, however, a greater, brighter sense of empowerment permeating throughout the Sun, almost as if there is a new-found, extra bounce in Marshall's step while she simultaneously strikes home with the same raw edge consistently exhibited over her career. After years of personal struggles -- mental health issues, alcoholism, coping with the deaths of loved ones -- Sun is Cat Power's most wide-eyed (yet still grounded), and penetratingly lucid work to date.

06. Lower Dens - Nootropics

From hovering deep in the periphery, lazy and ethereal, to menacingly brooding and cerebral, Nootropics is both a haunting and primal exercise in moody experimentation. Blunted, transient intricacies coalesce into a spectral vacuum, fusing with Jana Hunter's detached, androgynous vocal persona as the two elements together morph into a feral, celestial presence exuding uneasy elegance. Venomous and stalking, Lower Dens's Nootropics preys in the dark, encircling and constricting the void with every pulse of the heart.

05. Kris Menace - Electric Horizon

Holy hypnotic hell. Electric Horizon, recorded by German electro/trance legend Kris Menace, sears through sparse, yet gorgeous and ghostly alien terrain. Magnetic and alluring, vast, dark grooves, incalculable in sheer magnitude, prowl inwards and outwards, beckoning through the electronic haze while elegantly forlorn, melodic impulses radiate through the infinite, piercing through time and space and giving Electric Horizon a mesmerizing finality often reserved only for the brightest of supernovas.

04. Twin Shadow - Confess

Initially, apart from the lead single "Five Seconds" - which blew my socks off on first listen and still manages to give me goosebumps - Twin Shadow's sophomore album didn't match my expectations right off the bat. Maybe it was because I thought the rest of the album would meet the energy and the urgency of the lead single (think TV On The Radio fucking Billy Idol's brains out) or maybe I thought the overall instrumentation would be more prominent ("Five Seconds" is MASSIVE in sound). However, like many of my favorite albums, this one grew on me by leaps and bounds after each repeated spin. The romantic confessions dueling competing, jaded vulnerabilities and the conflicting emotional purges that all stem from the tortured, bad-boy psyche of George Lewis Jr (I've heard him referred to as the "Black Morrissey" -- I'll let you guys make that call for yourselves), as always, remain front and center on the aptly titled Confess. While Lewis Jr's persona takes center stage, the sound of Confess is rooted deep in the 80s, as it channels the spirit of Purple Rain (Prince), Meat Is Murder (The Smiths), and The Unforgettable Fire (U2). Again, though, despite scoring points for the sleek, retro production, it's Lewis Jr's unfiltered desperation and sense of urgency, as he perpetually seeks to reconcile that bridge between diabolical bad-guy and misunderstood anti-hero, that elevates Confess close to the top of this year's list. Whether or not he's truly the hero of the story (and/or the Black Morrissey) has yet to be determined.

03. Guillemots - Hello Land!

Though their last album Walk The River was gloomy and elemental, Fyfe Dangerfield and company have returned to their whimsical, carefree, and, above all, their euphorically orchestrated roots, tapping into the same buoyant majesty sprouting from every conceivable direction found on previous albums such as From the Cliffs and Red. Unmistakably guiding the way at helm, Dangerfield has already developed into one of the most charismatic, larger-than-life front-men around today (even if most of the world doesn't know it). However, rather than hijacking and usurping the talent around him (my main complaint with Through the Windowpane), he gives Hello Land! enough room breathe and he maximizes the equally larger-than-life and infinitely creative personalities by his side (along with a little help from the Norwegian Flute Ensemble), resulting in a spectacular and unforgettable odyssey through fantastical realms overrun by lush, otherworldly beauty, all materializing via the exact stuff dreams are made of. Peering into the looking glass, the daydream continues, spiraling head on and heart first into the majestic fray.

02. Grimes - Visions

For those of you who have had any sort of musical discussion/interaction with me over the past year, you know how hard I fell for Grimes (aka Claire Boucher). I mean, I basically paraded her music video for "Oblivion' at every opportunity I could on facebook alone, racking up an obscene amount of posts in all probability, so this should not come as a surprise to anyone really. However, for those of you who don't know, in pure musical terms, I fell for the girl. Hard. There's something about that lisp, that baby-esque coo of hers mish-mashed with booming synths and stilted rhythms that I gravitate towards, and, apparently, I'm not alone as her popularity has been skyrocketing ever since the release of Visions, her 3rd LP and first since 2010. In addition to just her presence, there's something to be said for the balance between the bizarrely experimental and the ear-worm pop that always manages to burrow a way into your head, often un-apologetically uniting both elements together -- no small feat by any means. The beauty of Visions is that Boucher takes those looking for a strange time and those looking for a good time and gives them a haunting, gorgeous, fun, eccentric, off-kilter, catchy, poppy playground to dance on. Or to really to do whatever on, whatever that whatever may be.

01. Chromatics - Kill For Love

Stalking and pulsating in uneasy, yet breathtaking strokes, Kill For Love, the 90 minute opus from the synthpop/italo disco quartet The Chromatics, is a hazy, menacing descent into a decaying metropolis haunted by crumbling alleyways and forlorn street corners bathing under the dim hum of flickering neon lights. Cast under shadowy textures and smeared, technicolored atmospherics, Johnny Jewel and company prowel their urban wasteland, subdued and yearning for that elusive paradise, an escape from the forsaken, barren shell housing their mournful existences. Kill For Love is a stunning, chilling, and enchanting epic, smokey and sultry as it sinks gracefully into a beautiful black-hole in which great, overstaturated swirls of colorful lurk deep within the shadows and vice versa.