Daniel Givens (Other Music Staff)

  • Best of 2014

    Over the last few years it seems like there is more music being made, available, reissued and compiled than I can remember. I was drawn to the new rebranding of grime into a weightless fusion of synths and sonics. New age music came back with some stellar soundscapes. R&B continued to morph with indie rock and electronica and vice versa. Detroit’s influence in techno and house deepened. African music continued to be mined, unearthing some mind-blowing jams. And everyday there was something new and interesting to check out and investigate. So yes, as usual this time of year I’m overwhelmed by the amount of sounds that have tickled my fancy and excited my soul. However, do to recent events in the States, I choose to focus, though not exclusively, on the urban, minority, and specifically black men who continue to inspire, strive, create and survive. Yet the list is all inclusive. RIP: DJ Rashad, Frankie Knuckles, Mark Bell, Jimmy Ruffin, Paco de Lucia, Isaiah “Ikey” Owens, Bobby Womack, DJ E-Z Rock, Big Bank Hank, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, the Spaceape, and the ones we’ll never read about…cheers? 

    Live long and matter!

    How do you say…2014 in no particular order?

    THEO PARRISH "American Intelligence" (Sound Signature) CD version
    D'ANGELO "Black Messiah" (RCA)
    MOODYMANN "Moodyman" (KDJ) CD version
    MR. MITCH "Parallel Memories" & "Don’t Leave" 12” (Planet Mu)
    AZEALIA BANKS "Broke with Expensive Taste" (Prospect Park)
    KASSEM MOSSE "Workshop 19" (Workshop)
    JOEY ANDERSON "After Forever" (Dekmantel)
    MOIRE "Shelter" (Werk Disc)
    SHABAZZ PALACES "Lese Majesty" (Sub Pop)
    MONO/POLY "Golden Skies" (Brainfeeder)
    ACTRESS "Ghettoville" Box Set & "Xoul" 12” (Werk Discs)
    POPCAAN "Where We Come From" (Mixpak)
    ANDY STOTT "Faith in Strangers" (Modern Love)
    FKA TWIGS "LP1" & "FKA x inc." 7” (Young Turks)
    INGA COPELAND "Because I’m Worth It" (No Label)
    FATIMA "Yellow Memories" (Eglo)
    YAMENEKO "Pixel Wave Embrace" (Local Action)
    ARCA "Xen" (Mute)
    VESSEL"Punish, Honey" (Tri Angle)
    WEN "Signals" (Keysound Recordings)

    SUN RA "Marshall Allen Presents: In the Orbit of Ra" (Strut)
    FRANCIS BEBEY "Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984" (Born Bad) 
    DJ SPRINKLES "Midtown 120 Blues" CD (Comatonse)
    AUGUSTUS PABLO "Born to Dub You" LP (VP)
    SCIENTIST "The Dub Album They Didn’t Want You to Hear" LP (Jah Life)
    HAILU MERGIA "Tche Belew" (Awesome Tapes from Africa)
    VARIOUS ARTISTS "Studio One Dancehall" (Soul Jazz)
    GRACE JONES "Nightclubbing - Deluxe Edition" CD (Island)
    BUNNY LEE "Full Up: Early Reggae Productions 1968-72" (Pressure Sounds)
    LAST JAPAN "Ride with Us" DL
    VARIOUS ARTISTS "Next Life" CD (Hyperdub)
    CHARLES COHEN "A Retrospective" CD (Morphine)
    ARIEL KALMA "An Evolutionary Music - (Original Recordings 1972-1979 (RVNG Intl.)
    JOSHUA ABRAMS "Natural Information & Represencing" CD (Eremite)
    MACHINEDRUM "Vapor City Archives" (Ninja Tune)
    DONATO DOZZY "K" (Further)
    LEWIS "L’Armour" (Light in the Attic)
    VARIOUS ARTISTS "Hyperdub 10.1-10.4" (Hyperdub)
    GIGI MASIN "Talk the Sea" (Music from Memory)
    HIEROGLYPHIC BEING "Seer of Cosmic Visions" (Planet Mu)

    KODE 9 & THE SPACEAPE "Killing Season" 12” (Hyperdub)
    LEE BANNON "Main/Flex" CD (Babygrande)
    DAT OVEN "Icy Lake" 12” (Night Slugs/Fade to Mind)
    SEVEN DAVIS JR. "P.A.R.T.Y."  12” (Apron)
    KA "1200 B.C." 7” (Mon Dieu Music)
    FOREVER FOREVER/PRAYER "The Two Halves / Play Fights Remixes" CD (Cult Music)
    PANDA BEAR "Mr. Noah" DL (Domino) 
    REGINALD OMAS MAMODE IV "As We Move" DL (Five Easy Pieces)
    SHLOHMO & JEREMIH "No More" 12” (Wedidit Collective)
    KILLING SOUND "Killing Sound" & "$ixxx Harmonie$ Version" 12” (Blackest Ever Black)
    SIGHA "The Purification Loops" 12” (Avian)
    STRICT FACE "Marble Isles" DL (Tuff Wax)
    MOLESKIN "Moleskin" 12” (Goon Club Allstars)
    SULLY "Blue" 12” (Keysound Recordings)
    FLOWDAN "Serious Business" 12” (Hyperdub)
    BOK BOK "Your Charismatic Self" 12” (Night Slugs)
    LUKID "Crawlers" 12” (Liberation Technologies)
    BARNT"His Name" 12” (Hinge Finger)
    EVIAN CHRIST "Waterfall" 12” (Tri Angle)
    LEON VYNEHALL "Music for the Uninvited" 12”(3024)
    JAMES BLAKE "200 Press" (1-800-Dinosaur)
    DEJ LOAF "Try Me" (Self-Released) DL (Self Released)
    YO GOTTI "Errybody (Instrumental)" DL (Epic)

    Not new but new to me in 2014. 
    DESTO "Emptier Streets" (Rwina) from 2013

    Performing in Efterklang’s “Last Concert”- Sonderjyllands Denmark http://youtu.be/d8eVBS7c_hU
    Matana Roberts live tour/blessing of the unfinished new Whitney Museum
    Lonnie Holley @ Other Music Record Store Day
    Experiencing MOMA PS1’s HalloQueens with Jamil Labeija
    FKA Twigs @ Webster Hall
    Kendrick Lamar, Slowdive & DJ Spinn/Teklife @ Pitchfork Chicago
    DJ Sprinkles @ Cameo Gallery
    JR Artist collaboration with NYC Ballet @ Lincoln Center
    Flying Lotus & Thundercat @ Terminal 5
    Dean Blunt @ The Studio @ Webster Hall
    Inga Copeland @ Cameo Gallery
    Hieroglyphic Being @ Output-Panther Room
    Watching Shabazz Palaces from the balcony of Hammerstein Ballroom.
    Kara Walker’s A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby @ Domino Sugar Factory
    Theo Parrish & Francois K @ Ceilo

    The Single Minded…
    2-hour-14 minute playlist of not-so-guilty, mostly vocal pleasures culled from various releases and finds I’ve also enjoyed in some part. The only section of my year end that’s in a particular order.

    SAMPHA "Too Much" (Young Turks)
    SADE "Never Thought I'd See the Day" (L-Vis 1990 Sunrise Edit)
    MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO "Forget My Name" (Naive)
    THOM YORKE "Truth Ray" (Self-Released)
    DRIPPIN "Waterfall" (Lit City Trax)
    LOOPS HAUNT "Hex" (Black Acre)
    MARIAH CAREY "Faded" (Def Jam)
    COOLY G "1st Time" (Hyperdub)
    LITTLE DRAGON "Pretty Girls" (Because Music)
    HOLLIE COOK "99" (Mr. Bongo)
    PAUL WHITE "All I Know" (R&S)
    KINDNESS "I’ll Be Back" (Female Energy)
    DARK SKY "Rainkist (Featuring dBridge)" (Imagin)
    JOSE JAMES "U R the 1" (Blue Note)
    PRINCE "U Know" (Warner Brothers)
    FLYING LOTUS "Coronus, the Terminator" (Warp)
    KELELA "The High" (Self Released)
    KELIS "Rumble (Actress Sixinium Bootleg Mix)" (Ninja Tune)
    ROMARE "Pusherman" (Ninja Tune)
    LUNICE "Can't Wait To" (LuckyMe)
    RUSTIE "Attak (Featuring Danny Brown)" (Warp)
    DJ RASHAD "Somethin 'Bout the Things You Do (feat. Gant-Man)" (Southern Belle)
    DRAKE "From Time (DJ Paypal Edit)"
    JEROME LOL "Deleted (feat. Sara Z)" (Friends Of Friends)
    SLACKK "Litherland" (Local Action)
    FATIMA AL QADIRI "Forbidden City" (Hyperdub)
    MADLIB "Bomb (Instrumental)" (Madlib Invazion)
    PUSHA T "Lunch Money"
    THE BUG FEAT: MISS RED "Mi Lost" (Ninja Tune)
    DEAN BLUNT "Mersh (Instrumental Mix)" (Rough Trade)
    SZARE "Leather Bags Full of Dollars Were Transported Overnight" (Frozen Borders)
    AFRICAN SCIENCES "Swash" (Pan)
    YOUNG FATHERS "I’ve Arrived" (Big Dada)
    WILLIS EARL BEAL "Now Is Gone" (Self-Released)



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