Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Listening Habits 09-10.13

After several very promising singles and EPs, the first full-length album by Factory Floor is finally here and delivers on all fronts! The experimental noise of their early releases has subsided in favor of an all enveloping, relentless big beat concocted from all the best ingredients that dance, post-punk and industrial music has to offer. From Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire to P.I.L and New Order, from electro and techno to LCD Soundsystem and everything in-between, every exciting beat of the past is coming alive again in a head-spinning new dance that attacks mind and body. Kraftwerk’s manifesto of man-machine music has a new chapter and, unsurprisingly, it is manufactured on this Factory Floor!

Next to Factory Floor’s self-titled LP, you'll find several more albums in this month's Top 20 that are certain to do very well in our year-end list. First off, there is the amazing "Loud City Song", Julia Holter’s third album and the first one she’s recorded out of her bedroom with the help of a musical group. It is a record that demands several spins and your undivided attention to fully sink in, but its otherworldly beauty guarantees that your commitment to it will be fully rewarded.

"Interiors", the sophomore effort by Cameron Mesirow as Glasser, is every bit as enticing as her 2010 debut. There is plenty of electronic pop around these days, but the quality of Mesirow’s work and her ability to create a multi-textured universe of sound guarantees a unique listening experience.

Listening to "Slow Focus", Fuck Buttons’ third LP, is also a unique experience. Unlike the serene "Interiors", though, "Slow Focus" aims to create chaos and mayhem and, without a doubt, it succeeds magnificently. The electronic duo’s best work to date, for listeners not afraid to come face-to-face with their techno-nightmares.

The guitars, admittedly, have taken a backseat in this month’s selection, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t quite a few excellent rock releases on offer in our September - October selection. The reliably prolific Arctic Monkeys and the reenergized Franz Ferdinand keep the Brit-pop flag flying high, Superchunk and Kathleen Hanna’s The Julie Ruin show their age only in their lyrics as their music remains young at heart and as energetic as ever, Mazzy Star make their comeback and turn the clock not an hour but a couple of decades back, while Speedy Ortiz, one of the best new bands of the year, is at the crest of a burgeoning wave of new artists who are turning their admiration for '90’s indie-rock to thrillingly fresh guitar music.

Check out below our 20 favorite albums and tracks of the last couple of months:

Top 20 Albums

1.   Factory Floor - FACTORY FLOOR
2.   Loud City Song - JULIA HOLTER
3.   Interiors - GLASSER
4.   Slow Focus - FUCK BUTTONS
6.   Major Arcana - SPEEDY ORTIZ
7.   Run Fast - THE JULIE RUIN
8.   I Hate Music - SUPERCHUNK
9.   Seasons Of Your Day - MAZZY STAR
10. Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action - FRANZ FERDINAND
11. Bitter Rivals - SLEIGH BELLS
13. The Argument - GRANT HART
15. The Worst Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You - NEKO CASE
16. Cruise Your Illusion - MILK MUSIC
18. An Object - NO AGE
19. Excavation - THE HAXAN CLOAK
20. Body Music - ALUNAGEORGE

Top 20 Tracks

1.   In The Green Wild - JULIA HOLTER
2.   Design - GLASSER
3.   Turn It Up - FACTORY FLOOR
4.   Brainfreeze - FUCK BUTTONS
5.   Bitter Rivals - SLEIGH BELLS
6.   Oh Come On - THE JULIE RUIN
7.   Tiger Tank - SPEEDY ORTIZ
8.   Arabella - ARCTIC MONKEYS
9.   Treason! Animals. - FRANZ FERDINAND
10. Mystery Disease - MGMT
11. Lay Myself Down - MAZZY STAR
12. Is the Sky The Limit? - GRANT HART
13. Man - NEKO CASE
15. I’ve Got A Wild Feeling - MILK MUSIC
16. Shout It Out - MIKAL CRONIN
17. Slippery Roads - TANGO WITH LIONS
18. C’mon Stimmung - NO AGE
20. You Know You Like It - ALUNAGEORGE

Listen to a playlist with our latest favorites here:

And finally a small tribute to Lou Reed, a musical genius whose influence has shaped the music we love and who undoubtedly will remain an invaluable source of inspiration for the future generation of rock musicians:

Velvet Underground - Venus In Furs

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