List season 2018
I stopped writing every week in September. It coincided with the birth of my second child. I had intended to binge on older music that I'd missed for whatever reason, but instead I continued to check out new stuff. I just can't keep away. I've shared a lot of it on Twitter, so hopefully you know what I've been into, if you're interested. When I send the mails I tell you what I like every week so I don't feel the need to rehash any of that. Also, this EOY stuff is a chance to let other people speak so I won't go on any further. I hope you enjoy what's below, it was a lot of fun to get it from the contributors! <3
Ash Lauryn (NTS)
Peeps I’d like to DJ with in 2019
Kyle Hall & Jay Daniel
Byron The Aquarius
Lakuti & Tama Sumo
Nevan Jio (Pear, All City)
Jio’s “Proud of All His Pals So He Decided to Make a List Celebrating Them” List
- Fio Fa because he’s my favorite producer & DJ, but most importantly my dearest friend (and now we’ve got the tattoos to prove it)
- Built by All City extended clan, Disco Deezy, Finn, Jenn, Dip + TMDisco family, Aoife O’Neill, Squig, Hallumigraph, Burner & tons more I’m probably forgetting... Big Bloody Ups!
- Club Comfort proving to be the best party ever. Shouts to Baliboc, Roo Honeychild & Selky
- EMA, Bill Mango & George Earnest doing us (and me) very proud in Berlin.
- Tom, Geni, DC & Olan aka Dyad Agency Crew
- Every kind soul who supported the label, played at our parties, danced with us, listened to mixes & radio shows
Pear 4 Life too, obviously.
Natalia Beylis (Woven Skull etc)
Top eating experiences I had while on tour in 2018 (in no particular order)
1. Zhonghua Traditional Snacks, Cambridge, UK
Oh my lordee the dumplings here are out of this world. My drummer got the noodle soup and it gave him the power of 10 large feral cats after making him weep tears of spicey joy.
2. The Raclettes of Rouen, France
This is kinda a French version of fondue. But it's kinda a grill as well. You get your own little individual mini pan that you pile up with fancy cheeses of your choice and then there's hot potatoes and when the cheese melts you pour it over the hot potatoes. And then you have to drink wine after ever bite to be culturally sensitive and not offend your host. Mmmmm..... Side note: later that evening after the raclette was all eaten, my guitar player had a physical altercation with the raclette. I can't necessarily say who came out the victor but I can say that raclettes are extremely robust appliances!
3. Beni Falafel, Antwerp
We got Beni Falafel delivered which can be very handy when you don't have tons of time between soundcheck and the gig. It's not just that Beni's falafel is fried to perfection, they also serve amazing sauerkraut and pickled things with it.
4. Somine, London
This Turkish food of divine quality is a couple blocks from Cafe Oto. I had the lentil soup and can recommend it highly! They also bring free bread and a plate of pickled nice things to your table which includes lots of pickled hot peppers.
5. My Goodness Food Stalls at all the festivals in Ireland & all around Cork City
Vegan super healthy out of this world nachos and deep fried tacos. Ok so maybe the head honcho is one of my bffs BUT the food really is amazing!
6. The Salad Dressing, Raymond Bar, Clermont-Ferrand
There's a chance that the guy who lives above the Raymond Bar and made the salad dressing for our dinner thought that I was stalking him. But I finally convinced him that it was only the dressing that I fancied and got the recipe.... Cut up a shallot very small. Put it into a dressing receptacle. Add Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, Olive oil and just a little bit of salt & pepper. Mix vigorously.
Top charity shop finds of 2018
1. 'The World of Steam: Steam locamotives heard at work on railways in Britain, Germany, Spain and Turkey.' 1 pound, Cambridge, UK
Amazingly beautiful field recordings of trains with descriptions like:
'The exhaust beats of the two engines merge as they bring the northbound train past, to climb away through the deep rock cutting which leads to Shap Summit while, on the moorland road, some children walk back towards a lonely farmhouse'.
2. Dixie Cups 45. Side A: Chapel of Love. Side B: Iko Iko. 99 pence, Birmingham, UK.
Major major excitement upon finding this cause this version of 'Iko, Iko' is one of my favorite songs.
3. ilhan Mimaroglu 'Face the Windmills, Turn Left' 1 euro, Boyle, Co. Roscommon.
This record is rare enough. A compilation of ten years of electronic and magnetic tape music. I love trying to imagine the journey this LP undertook on its way to a charity shop in Boyle.
4. 'Dennis McKenzie: Psychic to Womans Own Magazine. Internationally Acclaimed Clairvoyant, Medium & Healer. 07896 474 788. Dennis is available for private appointments, lectures & party bookings.' 90 min Maxell home dubbed cassette tape. 20 pence. Some small town in Wales.
I think the title really says it all.
Top favorite animal sounds I heard in 2018
1. The Operatic Sheep
While listening back to some recordings I'd done on Achill, I came across a very short section of a sheep bleating up and down a run of notes as though it wasn't standing on the side of a windswept mountain out in the Atlantic but rather singing to a full auditorium on some big fancy theatre stage. Yes, it will be sampled.
2. The Lonely Fox
Every night for about a week this summer, I'd get shook from my slumber by bursts of short horrific screams underneath the bedroom window. The sound of this vixen was so chilling that even the dog (who will bark at even the most delicate sound like that of a Robin landing on a branch) was stunned into complete frozen silence.
3. Swarm of bees circling my house
One day in July, a swarm of bees (not our bees. I don't know where at all these bees came from) buzzed across the yard and circled our house for about ten minutes before disappearing into our roof. I haven't heard a peep out of them since they took up residence in the house but the sound of the swarming fairly overwhelmed all of my senses.
DJ FOMO / @olepbr (Subcity Radio)
2018 was/is weird for me, both personally and musically. I left the city I've spent the entirety of my adult life in, leaving my closest friends and my most meaningful relationship to date behind — a choice I presented to myself as a necessity in order to avoid having to make a decision. I listened to fewer new albums than ever — at least that's what it felt like. Instead I found myself latching onto any song featuring a bass that could be seen as a descendant of the sound I've been obsessed with for over a year now, namely that of the Korg M1's Organ 2 preset. In short: anything that sounds like "Show Me Love". Why? To me, the M1 organ is the most platonically perfect sound there is, a reminder that simple pleasures can often be the best; simple pleasures come in handy when facing changes. Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm sure there were plenty of good organs I missed — I hope to come across them eventually. Wishing you all peaceful holidays and a great 2019!
6 songs with organs from 2018 that we can probably thank the Korg M1 for, even if it wasn't used in the making of them
Charli XCX & Troye Sivan - 1999 [Asylum]
Royal-T - 2 People [Self-released]
Bryte - Push It (prod. Max le Daron) [More Time]
Videopath - And So Do Eye [Peach Discs]
Perko - What Otters [Numbers]
4 songs with organs not from 2018 that I kept returning to
J Jay - Its You It's Me (Organ Mix) [Mor-Pheus, 2008]
Becky Rhodes - Secrets (Big Ang Mix) [Krush, 2007]
T-Pain - I'm Sprung (Organ Mix) [Mask, 2006]
These days the BPMs are getting as high as the youths are. Bearing that in mind, when Aidan asked me to put together a 2018 list, I thought: what a good opportunity to put together some rave-ish tracks of arcade yore that I like, or “the most 2018 thing I could think of”. This list focuses on songs made for NAMCO’s C352 sound chip, which celebrated its 25th birthday this year. Across these assembled songs you’ll find gabber delirium, lush breakbeat, glimmers of ambience, gorgeous tack and things an uncle might like (yes, that uncle).
Here it is as a YouTube playlist mix.
And here’s the list of songs themselves:
Nobuyoshi Koshibe, Peter Fernandez & Shinji Hosoe - Name Entry (from Speed Racer)
Nobuyoshi Sano - Game 1 (from Dunk Mania)
Yoshie Arakawa - Valley of Autumn (from Rapid River)
Takayuki Aihara - Future Dancin’ (from Soul Edge)
Koji Nakagawa - Footwork Technique (from Techno Drive)
Keiichi Okabe - Haze In Daylight (from Ace Driver Victory Lap)
Shinji Hosoe - Feeling Over (from Ridge Racer)
Keiichi Okabe - Hwoarang (from Tekken Tag Tournament)
Shinji Hosoe - Rotterdam Nation 94 (from Ridge Racer 2)
Takayuki Ishikawa - Give It Together (from Alpine Racer)
Ayako Saso - Kamikaze (from Rave Racer)
Yoshie Takayanagi - Jerez (from 500GP)
Kazuhiro Nakamura - Serenity (Healing: Theme from Sunrise/Sunset) (from Time Crisis)
Masahiro Fukuzawa - Mr. Acme's Theme ~Planned Double Cross~ (from The Outfoxies)
sold & Hi-Vis (Farplane; Motherbeat, Neon Falls, Beyond / Below)
Healing things from this year
This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything that got us through the year, and what’s not on it is no less important. It is a personal list of things that have healed us — some experiences may apply only to us, but most can hopefully translate to anyone.
Nadia Khan - In Gleam
Ursula K Le Guin
the occasional lox bagel from Jumping Bean in Pilsen
Bill Converse anything
Jake Muir - Lady’s Mantle
Cruel Diagonals - Disambiguation
Tiny Book Club
Jia Foot Spa in Northbrook, Illinois
Kevin Drumm Bandcamp subscription
Diane’s Hunting Club
DJ Olive - Listening to Fir
being together in nature
Laurel Halo - Raw Silk Uncut Wood
De Leon & Topdown Dialectic
Kyle Landstra - Within / Without
Russel E.L. Butler - The Home I’d Build for Myself and All My Friends
the Motherbeat and the people it has brought us to
Bergsonist - “Deadly Police Shooting Sparks Anger in Crown Heights”
Them Are Us Too - “Grey Water”
sharing a home together
and this one left its mark on us this year — thanks Bill
object blue (Tobago Tracks, Let's Go Swimming)
seeing Lensk DJ an ambient set in (Chmury, Warsaw)
I was so deep into it that my friends had to poke me every time they wanted my attention.
releasing Do you plan to end a siege?
people kept saying to me this year, "it must be unreal for you!" but actually most musical steps I take feel completely natural & real. maybe I held back from making music for so long that my heart is totally impatient. a notable exception: seeing the bandcamp page go up for Siege made me cry.
eating an entire black truffle sliced into buttery tagliatelle (an Italian cafe in Montmartre, Paris)
TT showcase with Iceboy Violet, Gribs, LOFT, M.E.S.H (Rye Wax, London)
being on the same lineup as M.E.S.H was something I thought might only come true deep into an abstract future, then it happened. in a showcase with TT, whom I love, whom I owe Siege and much of this year to. also this was how I found out LOFT is the best DJ in the world. the all-star b2b was something I'll never forget.
Malin's set was so ravey and good too.
eating zhajiangmian before DJing (DADA, Beijing)
playing DADA, my beloved club in my beloved hometown, three hours longer than planned cos the crowd wouldn't quit
I was syncing USBs behind the booth. I'm still new to DJing but this definitely upped my confidence.
playing Genome 6.66mbp crew, Tavi saying to me "Genome party: fucking turnt" as the sun was rising (ALL, Shanghai)
playing with Yaeji, befriending her and her managers who are the sweetest (Corsica Studios, London)
walking into the booth while Renick Bell was performing, thinking "don't be weird, just say Hi Renick", then yelling "RENICK BELL!" and clapping when he turned to greet me (San Mei Gallery, London)
thankfully we are friends now.
hanging out with Frankie (Discwoman), HE VALENCIA, Rx at Berlin Atonal
stealing a spoon from Hampstead Heath cafe for memorabilia after my fiancee proposed to me in the woods moments prior
the entire two days I spent at Unsound
I ate gołabki before playing The Kitchen, my favourite venue at Hotel Forum.
Robin Carolan (Tri Angle) telling me he loves my music
seeing M.E.S.H live, seeing Bonaventure live (ICA)
I'd never seen M.E.S.H play live. his setup of 2 CDJs + a sampler inspired me to scrap everything I'd prepared for my performance the day after (FIBER weekend 1, Amsterdam) and use 3 CDJs instead.
Bonaventure was so good, so full of life energy, I was dancing in the front row so hard that someone complimented me afterwards. Bonaventure saw from Instagram that I was there and that I should've hit her up -- I didn't even know she knew who I was! I don't usually feel inclined to collaborate with someone but with her, I feel the urge.
closing Strange Riddims (Hidden, Manchester)
I think it's the best DJ set I've ever done. wish it was recorded so I could listen back. BFTT, Iceboy Violet, Clemency and LOFT all came to dance!!
playing at a lesbian bar in Slovenia with Ustanova, amazing artists & promoters (Klub Tiffany, Ljubljana)
getting a 5-year Tier 1 visa for the UK, moving in with my fiancée and friends
Axmed Amiin Maxamed (Dance with Pride)
These are some notes i made and some things are pretty serious lol...it is very personal though
- blood orange and band (s/o mathys)
- Janelle monae
-Seven Ultra Omni on the 1s and 2s with Zelda Fitzgerald and Yung Liberaci on the mics at Red Light Radio during Pride takeover was an absolute highlight
- did my first ever interview which was with SHYBOI (s/o emma for encouraging me to do it and helping me along the way)
- The new edition of Transgender History by Susan Stryker, which i’d recommend everyone to read it. Especially cis folks.
- being very open on twitter about my queer somali identity and because of it i met so many somali queers all over the world which gave me an amazing sense of belonging s/o to the somali queer crew on twitter
- my friend ruined octopus for me by telling me how intelligent and aware they are, which i definitely consider something positive, thanks alice :)
- i don’t hate koriander anymore, in fact i actually started to appreciate it quite a bit, s/o to dauwd and aura for that
- S/o to all my friends in the states for great midterm results and i hope it goes even better in 2020
- I have been focusing more on my mental wellbeing, s/o to my therapist. Please, everyone, especially those in nightlife, think about your mental health, have conversations with your friends and see a therapist if you are able to
- Starting a music project with 3 fellow somalis in the diaspora
- The horrible dutch holiday with the racist caricature zwarte piet just ended, so that is definitely something i am very happy about as i am writing this list. i would urge more white dutchies to stand up and stand with black and poc anti-racist activists, who have been fighting against this racist tradition for so long, so we can hopefully abolish it all together. #zwartepietisracisme #stopblackface #kickoutblackpete
- 2019 ....
- Having an intergenerational converstions with Anne Krul & Ajamu X at Black Queerness & Diasporic Lives, s/o Amal Alhaag
- Research into queer history of Somali, more specifically looking into a local annual queer gathering (which would be called a festival nowadays) that used to take place in Marka, Somalia back in the 70s and 80s
Pic by Dustin Thierry
a medium sized list of my best moments of 2018
holding baby nephew for the first time
new blood orange album
going to india for the first time
perfecting my muttar paneer recipe
seeing ryuichi sakamoto 3 times in 1 week
haroumi hosono & YMO at barbican
new mariah carey album
seeing sorry to bother you
having a great year for guests on my nts show - andy garvey, aurora, my dad, nadia khan, akash & ariel zetina (show aired on the 20th!)
Cruel Diagonals (Drawing Room Records/Many Many Women)
I've already yelled about a lot of these releases and labels on Twitter throughout the year, but here's a tidy gathering of things that I thought were phenomenal:
POD BLOTZ, Light Mass Body (Difficult Interactions)
ASC, Astral Projection (Horo)
Strië, Perpetual Journey (Serein)
Panchasila, s/t (Discrepant)
Nordra, Pylon II (Sige)
Maria w Horn, Kontrapoetik (Portals Editions)
Nervous Operator, Incoherent Reflections (Lapsed Records)
Debit, Animus (N.A.A.F.I.)
Muqata'a, Inkanakuntu (Discrepant)
Hanna Benn, Divide (This is Meru)
Hiro Kone, Pure Expenditure (Dais Records)
V/A, Sound and Stone (Composer Built)
Haram Tapes, Haram (Haram Tapes)
V/A, Under Frustration - Vol. 1 (Shouka)
I also loved these films, which weren't necessarily released in 2018 (but that I watched in 2018), but I wanted to throw them in here anyway:
Les garçons sauvages
5 youtube videos from my 2018 history
Maryanne Amacher speaking at Ars Electronica. Linz, Austria 1989
- There is so much to admire in Maryanne Amacher's work, not least her commitment to investigating what interested her about sound, and not being afraid to go her own way.
Techstuff - Pansonic
- I love everything about this: the narration, the interview, the font, the SOUNDS. Gold from start to finish.
Roland MC 303 Promo Video (1998)
- They don't make them like this anymore, sadly.
8 Hz THE HEALING SOUND OF DOLPHINS.
- Listen to this frequency and improve the quality of your life immediately.
WARNING! The Real Brown Note (Brown Frequency) 2017
- Sorry to lower the tone, but it's worth checking this out if just for the comments.
Tony Poland (Boiler Room)
Tony Poland’s Definitely Forgotten About 95% Of What I Enjoyed in 2018 List
Favourite musical memory of 2018
Taking an extended solitary saunter around a sunny Tempelhof in May whilst both Sarah Davachi’s Let Night Come On Bells End The Day (Recital) and Dustin Wong + Takako Minekawa + Good Willsmith’s Exit Future Heart(Umor Rex) sank through my senses.
A close second was seeing my ‘80s funk and synth pop-obsessed friend Farivar go mental when Call Super dropping Yazoo’s “Situation” at Heideglühen during the same Berlin trip.
Track of 2018
Dawit - “New Life” (1432-r)
Some unscrupulous cretin deleted my comment on the Discogs listing for Dawit’s Corona 12” affirming “New Life” was the track of the year. So I need this statement to have some permanent presence (bandcloud hosting notwithstanding) on the internet. There’s been about 8 million tracks that sample ESG’s “Dance” but none of them are as loose, insouciant and fine as Dawit’s effort (pretty sure this samples that track). Shouts to 1432-r crew in DC - a mad label more people should be checking!
Favourite B-Side of 2018
Hodge & Laurel Halo - “The Light Within You” (Livity Sound)
Was not expecting a Hodge & Halo record on LS. But really it made total sense Was not expecting it close out with this mental ‘Michele Mercure does 23rd Century Techno’ mindbender.
Favourite album of 2018 that I find hardest to articulate the reasons why:
Teresa Winter - What The Night Is For (The Death of Rave)
Two years in a row Teresa Winter has done this. What The Night Is For sounds like nothing she’s done before yet is unmistakably the work of Teresa Winter. Absolutely mad stuff. I really hope she continues to put out albums every year that leave my brain upside down but my heart full of joy.
Favourite album of 2018 that I had forgotten came out this year
Will DiMaggio - At Ease (Future Times)
Did a real double-take when I saw this had come out in May! A refined expansion on Willy D’s one-sided FT debut, drenched in vibes from every angle and full of neat little samples that have you beaming. One of those albums full of cuts you can play around with.
Favourite Reissue of 2018
Pablo’s Eye - Bardo for Pablo (Stroom)
I find it quite hard to immediately engage with a lot of music I listen to these days. In part due to my job where I don’t get the chance to listen to music as much as I’d like to whilst I work. But also cause my attention span is shot to shit. This Pablo’s Eye Stroomer though, I had it on hard repeat for most of the year, crazy rhythmic voodoo from 1980s Belgium.
Favourite Record Shop of 2018
Low Company. For a few reasons. London doesn’t have another shop like it in terms of what they stock. Their newsletters are written with a wit and knowledge I wish I had, and is largely absent from the music scene we inhabit. Their recently commenced — and I hope long-running — Dugs of Low Company series on Instagram. Amazing seating . Shouts to Kiran S and the crew! Support your local record shop.
Best OoO responders of 2018
RVNG Intl. Mad year for them in terms of releases as well WOW.
Best revived sub-label of 2018
Not a mad fan of Warp (sorry) but they’ve done big things with Arcola. Really excited by what they’ve got planned for next year too.
Collaboration I heard about in 2018 I am looking fwd to in 2019
RAMZi and DJ Python innit.
Favourite album of 2018 that’s actually coming out in 2019
Ossia - Devil’s Dance (Blackest Ever Black)
Ossia’s long-mooted debut LP for BEB. Defying my status as promo wanker supreme, I put down money for one of a few test-pressings of this from the good folk at Low Company. Crushing dub-weight business from the Young Echo man, with some startling extended productions that go all over the place.