Daniel Givens (Other Music Staff)

  • Best of 2015

    This year, I'll let the store’s Best of 2015 speak for itself, meaning I'll try not duplicate releases that made it onto that list. As a contributor to the weekly newsletter, I often try to write about things I'm into, feeling, excited about, or find interesting on some level. That said, I felt it would be a waste to simply list those same releases again, since I listened to and enjoyed much more than just what I reviewed for our Update. So, though Arca, Fingers Inc., King Midas Sound/Fennesz, Patrick Cowley, Jamie xx, Hieroglyphic Being, Knxwledge, Tomeka Reid, and others are still close to my ears, in the current music landscape there are so many other interesting releases from all over the world that may fall through the cracks. I’ve picked releases that spoke to me throughout the year. Releases we stocked yet either didn’t make it to store's final list, or were not available in physical form, never played in Other Music, or just didn’t make into the shop for one reason or another. This year also found me re-embracing my forgotten love for the cassette; last January I dusted off my trusty dual tape deck and dug into the new underground that utilizes the format to great use. Oddly this also led to reconnecting with the idea and aesthetic of 'do it yourself' which manifest in various facets and opportunities throughout the year. Never one to be a stickler about format, I like music in general, yet artwork is almost as important as format for me these days. So here it goes... as always, no numerical order, nor am I concerned with terms like "best". These releases spoke to me and helped inform my own art and adventures in NYC.  

    Artist who embodied the spirit, energy, and mood of 2015 in the America/most listened to this year.…a tie

    MATANA ROBERTS "Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee" (Constellation) & KENDRICK LAMAR "To Pimp a Butterfly" (Top Dawg Ent)


    25 FULL-LENGTHS (Physical and/or Digital)

    ARCHY MARSHALL "A New Place 2 Drown" (True Panther)
    EL MAHDY JR. "Ghost Tapes" (Discrepant)
    SYNKRO "Changes" (Apollo)
    RABIT "Communion & Baptizm" (Tri Angle)
    PUSHA T "King Push" (G.O.O.D. Music)
    FAZE MIYAKE "S/T" (Rinse)
    LETTA "Testimoty" (Coyote)
    DEAN BLUNT "UK2UK" (No Label)
    ABBA GARGANDO "S/T" (Sahel Sounds)
    O$VMV$M "S/T" (Idle Hands)
    DEANTONI PARKS "Technoself" (Leaving)
    THE INTERNET "Ego Death" (Columbia)
    JEREMIH "Late Night" (Def Jam)
    LITTLE SIMZ "A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons" (Age 101)
    LEVANTIS "Romantic Psychology pt 1" (Technicolour)
    JAMES FERRARO "Skid Row" (Break World)
    SAM BINGA "Wasted Days" (Critical Music)
    MISS RED "Murder" (Red Label)
    VISIONIST "Safe" (Pan)
    ASC "Fervent Dream" (Silent Season)
    HAMA "Torodi" (Sahel Sounds)
    GODS OF THE HOLOGRAM "Journey to the Dark Matter" (Sessions at the P.M.)
    DR. YEN LO "Days with Dr. Yen Lo" (Pavlov Institute)
    MUTAMASSIK "Symbols Follow" (Discrepant)
    FLAKO "Natureboy" (Five Easy Pieces)

    20 EPS (Primarily vinyl)

    SPECIAL REQUEST "Modern Warfare Parts 1-3" (XL)
    FKA TWIGS "M3LL155X" (Young Turks)
    ISHAN SOUND "S/T" (Peng Sound)
    ZOMBY "Let’s Jam Parts 1 & 2" (XL)
    KUEDO "Assertion of a Surrounding Presence" (Knives)
    LOTIC "Heterocetera" (Tri Angle)
    KAMIXLO "Demonico" (Codes)
    PRAYER "Beneath" (Grade 10)
    DJ SOTOFETT "Drippin’ for a Tripp (Tripp-A-Dubb-Mix)" (Honest Jon’s)
    TA-KU "Music to Make Up To" (Future Classic/Fool’s Gold)
    MIX MUP "Skip Intro" (The Trilogy Tapes)
    WILEY X ACTRESS "From the Outside" + WILEY X ZOMBY "Step 2001" (Big Dada)
    BJORK "Vulnicura" Remix Series (One Little Indian)
    HIGH WOLF "Growing Wild" (Leaving)
    JG BIBERKOPF "Ecologies" (Knives)
    THUNDERCAT "The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam" (Brainfeeder)
    JAM CITY "Earthly Versions" (Night Slugs)
    KELELA "Hallucinogen" (Warp)
    TWINS "Nothing Left" (Clear USA)

    15 REISSUES/COMPS/COLLECTIONS (Vinyl, CD, and/or Cassette)

    ROBERT MILLIS "Indian Talking Machine" (Sublime Frequencies)
    SUN RA-"Space Is the Place" Book/CD/DVD (Harte) + "Omniverse" Book (Art Yard)
    AHNNU "World Music/Perception" (Leaving)
    SINGERS & PLAYERS "War of Words" & "Revenge of the Underdog" (On-U Sound)
    SECTION 25 "Always Now" (Factory Benelux)
    MR. SPAULDING-"Twelve Tribes of Israel" (Hot Milk)
    MUMDANCE "Fabriclive 80" (Fabriclive)
    KUTMAH "Closure" & "2015 Mix" (Hit & Run)
    DUB PHIZIX "Fabriclive 84" (Fabriclive)
    LINVAL THOMPSON "Strong Like Sampson" (Hot Milk)
    LOGAN SAMA "Fabriclive 83" (Fabriclive)
    SUICIDEYEAR "Dream 727" (Software)
    JUNGLE BROTHERS "Straight Out the Jungle" (Idlers)
    LARAAJI "All in One Peace" (Leaving)
    TAPPER ZUKIE "Man Ah Warrior" (Kingston Sounds)


    TEHBIS "Tales of Tehbis" (Hit & Run)
    SSALIVA "Sextape Hiss" (Bepotel)
    TRUST IMAGE "Rory’s World" (1080p)
    KASSEM MOSSE "Live at Bookbinders" (Meandyou)
    STRETCH & BOBBITO "Radio That Changed Lives" (Fat Beats)
    DUBKASM VS GORGON SOUND "Live at the Trinity" (Peng Sound)
    O$VMV$M "Memoryz Ov U" (No Corner)
    SMURPHY "A Shapeless Pool of Lovely Pale Colours Suspended in the Darkness "(Leaving)
    CFCF "The Colour of Life" (1080p)
    PHASED ECHO/ECHO WANDERER "Phased Entity Meets Echo Wanderer" (PDXINDUBTING!)
    SIGMUND WASHINGTON "All My Mistakes Recorded" (Paxico)
    VARIOUS ARTISTS "Space Bus Vol 1" (Fly High Society)
    VARIOUS ARTISTS "Now That's What I Call Grade 10" (Grade 10)
    10FOOT & TAPES "Grafiti Tapes #5" (Grafiti Tapes)
    MATTHEWDAVID "Ashram" (Leaving)


    THE CRAMPS "Bad Music for Bad People" (I.R.S.) 1984 
    SANTIGOLD "Music of My Make Believe" (Atlantic) 2012


    2 hour 15 min Spotify playlist
    A cornucopia of guilty pleasures, gym jams, honorable mentions, and politically informed music…

    username: 1stdark   title: year end 2015

    Psychoegyptian"Don’t I look"
    M.I.A. "Borders"
    Young Fathers "Sirens"
    Vince Staples "Jump Off the Roof"
    White Boiz "Hear Say"
    Adrian Younge/Laetitia Sadler "Memories of War"
    Algiers "Blood"
    Nick Cannon "Pray 4 My City"
    Le1f "Taxi"
    Dr. Yen Lo "Day 811"
    Submerse "Gloom"
    Erykah Badu "Phone Down"
    Seven Davis Jr. "Afterlife"
    DJ Roc "The Worst"
    Lunice "Burnt"
    Wiley "25 MCs"
    Jlin "Mansa Musa"
    Zap Francis "Igma"
    Beat Spacek "I Wanna Know"
    Jessy Lanza/Dj Spinn/Taso "You Never Show Your Life" (Teklife remix)
    Co La "Crank"
    Kelela "Fade to Mind Interlude"
    Gaika "Blasphemer"
    James Pants "Artificial Lover"
    Ssaliva "Moth to the Flame"
    Bilal "Sirens II"
    Dam Funk "Just Ease Your Mind from All Negativity"
    A-Track/Jamie Lidell "We All Fall Down" (Jarreau Vandal remix)
    Mo Kolours "Texture Like Sun" (Golden Brown)
    J Dilla "Dillatronic #2"
    SiR "Falling"
    Jamie Woon "Sharpness"
    Hudson Mohawke "Lil Djembe"
    Glacier Lustwerk "I Neva Seen"
    IBM "Ministry"
    Physical Therapy "Hit the Breaks"
    The Weeknd "Tell Your Friends"
    GNESIS "Pear"
    SK Kakraba "Sokpa"

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