I made a Winter mix.
Inspired by patience; in the ice and in the snow.
Stream and/or download here: http://www.mixcloud.com/Amphibian06/winter-i/
(Please use good speakers or headphones.)
Happy New Year, everyone.
Here is my favorite music of 2013.
Plus a Spotify playlist that can be found below:
25. Jessy lanza - Pull My hair Back
24. Juana Molina - Wed 21
23. Anna Calvi - One Breath
22. Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
21. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
20. Ejecta - Dominae
19. The Stranger - Watching Dead Empires in Decay
18. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest
17. Savages - Silence Yourself
16. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
15. Forest Swords - Engraving
14. Broadcast - Berberian Sound Studio
13. Tim Hecker - Virgins
12. Slow Walkers - Slow Walkers
11. Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven
10. Anna Von Hausswolff - Ceremony
09. Lucrecia Dalt - Syzygy
08. Blue Hawaii - Untogether
07. Julia Holter - Loud City Song
06. Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe
05. Raum - Event of Your Leaving
04. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
03. Jenny Hval - Innocence is Kinky
“That night I watched people fucking on my computer”, sings Jenny Hval on the opening verse of Innocence is Kinky; her attitude is impenitent and very effortlessly, she sets the tone for a series of provocative tales that focus on physical and sexual exploration. Indeed,Innocence is Kinky feels intensely physical; from the words, to Hval’s commanding voice, everything functions like muscles and organs contracting vigorously from within the body. Hval, a formidable writer, isn’t shy to express her thoughts no matter how vulgar. But she is, first and foremost, an intellectual with interests that involve essay writing, music criticism and sound installations.
Given that Hval approaches songwriting from the perspective of multiple conceptual characters, it is evident that Kate Bush (the topic of her Master Thesis) is amongst the strongest influences on her. For one, Hval, like Bush, uses her voice as an abstract tool to complement sound but also to contradict conventional melodies and defy general musical structure. Likewise, she values theatricality, always blurring the line between herself and her alter-egos, and is more concerned with providing a challenge to the listener, rather than immediate accessibility.
Hval’s lyricism is one of the most phenomenal I have ever come across — imaginative at large, comical at times and often deeply disturbing; it is poetic, but also honest, with profound wisdom and a relatable sense of curiosity. She is an articulate narrator with an extraordinary line-up of stories covering everything from Greek Mythology, to feminism. “Mephisto in the Water”, the album’s most bizarre and sublime moment, is a schizophrenic lullaby about becoming one with the deep sea, while “Amphibious, Androgynous” depicts the dramatic love between the protagonist and an individual made of sticks: “I try not to hurt you, but in my dream the twigs keep breaking/ I touch so gently, but they snap and when you open your mouth to speak, you make no sound, silently coughing up black sap.”
Innocence is Kinky is by no means, an easy listen. Instead, it holds you by the throat, and though it seldom releases to allow soft inhales, it always returns with a tighter grip. This does not steal away from the album’s magnitude, however. If anything, it makes it all the more exciting. Hval once explained in an interview that she is inspired by “the rawness in very direct communication” and that her work is not meant to keep people happy or give them an escape. Her artistic awareness is impressive and perhaps off-putting, but it is, ultimately, academic music that requires an above-average attention span. It is demanding and confrontational, but it rewards the patience of those willing to listen, with absolute bliss.
02. Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat
The music of Liz Harris as Grouper could be perfectly liken to Nature; a mountain range at the highest peak where the temperature drops and the air becomes purer; or perhaps large bodies of water traveling through rocks from great heights, crashing roughly or washing away quietly as they hit different surfaces. Everything Harris has ever recorded feels as though it is conducted by wind or water — her voice often sounds as chants drowning in the distance of a deep ocean, floating upwards to the surface in rare moments to then vanish softly without a sign.
The Man Who Died in His Boat is a series of songs that was born around the same time Harris produced work for her much celebrated album, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. Nevertheless, The Man Who Died in His Boat is not at all a casual attempt to revive a familiar concept. The songs here breathe an air of their own and though they share similar patterns, they’re adorned with different instrumentation and sound warmer and quietly optimistic. The heavenly “Vital” feels like those moments of tranquility that set when faith is regained after we experience an event of absolute hopelessness. Likewise, “Living Room”, a rare track where Harris allows her voice to be at its barest, is a devastating, yet remarkably pleasant moment of stillness; a formidable example that demonstrates Grouper’s ability to bring forth our most honest emotions with unmatchable simplicity.
01. Chelsea Wolfe - Pain is Beauty
Leaving behind the skeletal moments that gently glimmered through last year’s Unknown Rooms, Chelsea Wolfe stampedes her way back on her fourth and most epic memoir thus far: Pain is Beauty. Wolfe,an artist who has established a distinct ominous presence, not only in her music, but also in her overall aesthetic, defies all the genre pinpoints and comparisons, critics have frequently associated with her, while gracefully pulling in from diverse elements of folk, doom metal and nocturnal ballads. This is Wolfe at her most romantic: rising tall as a warrior — fearless, but aware of her vulnerabilities.
In 2011, Wolfe released Apokalypsis — a menacing record that showcased her inclination to orchestrate nightmares in an atmosphere so stark, it felt heavily disorienting — and while that album seemingly existed in the dark side of an eclipse, the collection of acoustic songs that followed mirrored as a lighter, yet very pale, opposite side. Pain is Beauty, in return,encompasses a full planet of its own with parallel moments of complete darkness, eruptions and fragile serenity that shape up the record and give it its monumental lifeblood. The songs on Pain is Beauty feel spiritual and haunted; transcendental, even. They are emotionally charged, engaging the listener to experience her yearning but also to achieve a sense of peaceful completion with its journey. Wolfe’s characteristic adoration for the occult is, as always, the torch that lights up her path. But her voice is without a doubt her most precious gift — like a volcano that flows in stages, it ruptures violently as it arrives at the colossal climax of “The Waves Have Come”, only to allow a dim moment of solitude to breeze softly on the gorgeous, Sibylle Baier-esque, “Lone.” By this point, everything has settled like cold cinders turning dark grey on the ground. Wolfe howls and mourns a utopian death of Earth and quietly vanishes into the darkness from whence she came.
My favorite song of 2013 goes to Jenny Hval's schizophrenic fairytale about becoming one with the deep sea; a true gem from this underrated Norwegian mastermind and certainly one of the strangest, yet most blissful tracks I have ever heard.
Pale Desert, 2013. ©
Stream and download via SoundCloud:
Alternatively, download via Sendspace: http://www.sendspace.com/file/big3rf
01. Sugarbread - Soap&Skin - 00:00
02. Sea Within a Sea - The Horrors - 3:33
03. Baby Tonight (Snowy Red Cover) - Mushy - 11:09
04. † ˚ - ___________ - 15:00
05. ∆ † - ___________ - 18:47
06. Chimacum Rain - Linda Perhacs - 19:17
07. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme - Anne Briggs - 22:36
08. ††† - __________ - 24:17
09. Virginal II (Excerpt) - Tim Hecker - 25:11
10. This Is a Thirst - Jenny Hval - 27:17
11. Procession - Slow Walkers - 34:37
12. All the Pretty Little Horses - Current 93 - 40:53
13. Blackmail - Swans - 43:24
14. Sun Rise - Anna Von Hausswolff - 46:54
15. Whiten - Hildur Guðnadóttir - 51:36
16. They’ll Clap When You’re Gone - Chelsea Wolfe - 56:16
17. Color Loss - From the Mouth of the Sun - 1:02:07
" I’ll be your body, when your body is broken."
This girl knows exactly what she’s doing.
This is just divine. A glorious interpretation of Summer as a season.