The Very Very Very Best Music of 2013 // The Year of Location and Contentment

By: aspyhole

Dec 30 2013

Category: Lists, Marx, Music, Reviews

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I had wondered whether a relocation 5,700 miles across the world from London to Shanghai would affect my listening patterns. Although this year has definitely been a unique one in terms of temporal, sensory and existential exploration, even a surplus of auditory crowding from Chinese urban sonic emissions hasn’t drastically affected the way I have been listening to music. The propensity has been, unfortunately, to listen on earphones, while in motion. I say “unfortunately” out of an instinctive dislike of earphones, but in fact a lethargy related to mp3-to-device-upload meant that I spent much of the year with the same few albums, many of which happened to gain top marks.

Trouble Will Find Me is another masterpiece from The National that stuck with me and was relevant in all sorts of situations. It was certainly the standout album for me and should be on all belated seasonal giftlists. Few other albums had such an impact, but talent was definitely abundant and for that I am thankful and say ‘gracias’ (translate at your will).

Time is on our side, but only if we let it be so. Temporal exponentiation is simple and can be effected by a simple sharing of time. Share your time and its effects are multiplied severalfold. I feel the same effect can be applied to music, though this is not something that I have partaken in much this year (although perhaps this list can act as a substitute / restitution).


1. The National – Trouble Will Find Me
2. James Blake – Overgrown
3. µ-Ziq – Somerset Avenue Tracks (1992-1995)
4. Moin – Moin EP
5. The Nag’s Head – Live From Concrete Island
6. DJ Rashad – Rollin’ EP
7. Dean Blunt – Stone Island
8. These New Puritans – Field of Reeds
9. Savages – Silence Yourself
10. Quasimoto – Yessir Whatever
11. eMMplekz – Your Crate Has Changed
12. The Knife – Shaking The Habitual
13. DJ Sprinkles – Queerifications & Ruins

My other favourite albums of the year

(alphabetical order derived from the Northwest Semitic “Abgad” order):ÄÄNIPÄÄ – Through a Pre-Memory
Acid Sessions – Test_1
Alex Bill – Unwanted EP
Alexis Taylor – Nayim From the Halfway Line
Ancient Methods – Seventh Seal
Antidrom – Antidrom
Aoki Takamasa – RV8
Atom™ – HD
Atoms for Peace – AMOK
BANKS – London EP
Board of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
Boom Bip & Charlie White – Music for Sleeping Children
Born Ruffians – Birthmarks
Burial – Rival Dealer EP
Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
Copeland & Gast – UK Merge / Scrit
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Dean Blunt – The Redeemer
DJ Rashad – Double Cup
DJ Spider & Marshallito – Deadly Structures
Drake – Nothing Was The Same
Drexciya – Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller IV
Ducktails – The Flower Lane
Emptyset – Recur
Forest Swords – Engravings
Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind
Frank Bretschneider – super.trigger
Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus
Heterotic – Love & Devotion
Inga Copeland – Don’t Look Back, That’s Not Where You’re Going
Jay-Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail
Jeremia Jae – Bad Jokes
Jesu – Every Day I Get Closer to the Light From Which I Came
JK Flesh / Prurient – Worship is the Cleansing of the Imagination
Jonwayne – Rap Album One
Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald – Borderland
M.I.A. – Matangi
Midlake – Antiphon
Miles – Unsecured
Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth [Winner of the Most Slow-Burning Album of the Year Award]
Neon Neon – Praxis Makes Perfect
Oh No – Disrupted Ads
Om Unit – Sleepwalkers EPPixel – Mantle
Pixies – EP1
Prins Obi – Love Songs for Instant Success EP
Regis – Turin Versions
Ryoji Ikeda – Supercodex
Samaritan – Heaven
Space Dimension Controller – Welcome to Microsector 50
Traxman – Teklife Vol. 3: The Architek
Tropic of Cancer – Restless Idylls
Uther Moads – Spirit Physics
Wraetlic – Wraetlic

As ever, I invite comments from all hemispheres, and hope that they might further our collective listening pleasure. For pleasure is all there is.


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