2011 Editor’s Picks: Alexandra

2011 Editor's Picks: Alexandra Another year, another list and a chance to share what we thought were some of the highlights of 2011. Here editor Alexandra Droener picks her favourite moments from a momentous year.

2011 in music. Did this actually happen? This was one of those rather uneventful years that could not be characterized by departures or paradigm shifts but by formulation and refinement. In contrast to global politics where the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement and the eagerly awaited deaths of a handful of tyrants and terrorists made the year an epochal one, musically there was no revolution in sight.

With 2010’s tumultuous discoveries, be it witch house or footwerk, the slowed down antics of house and disco, emo-step with a capital Blake, R&B lurking around every corner or the lo-fi excursions of pretty much any genre, 2011 did nothing but analyze, stabilize and popularize. Leave aside a small, polarizing group of 90s-obsessed youngsters who fell for cheap hair color and cheap irony, there was not much to really get excited about.

But anyway – music is my first love and always will be so this is what I loved most about 2011:

My fave Mixtapes:
Frank Ocean – Nostalgia Ultra
The Weeknd – Trilogy (House of Ballons, Thursday, Echoes of Silence)
A$AP Rocky – LiveLoveA$AP
Danny Brown – XXX
Squadda B – I Smoke Because I Don’t Care About Death
Death Grips – Exmilitary

My fave Old Stuff:
Throbbing Gristle Digital Re-Releases (all)

Cabaret Voltaire – Johnny YesNo Redux

Conrad Schnitzler (all)

Bruce Haack – The Electric Lucifer

39 Clocks (all)

Tuxedomoon – Unearthed

My fave Outernational Beats:
Gianni Giublena Rosacroce – La piramide di sangue
Souad Abdullah (all Chobis basically)

Imanaren – Imanaren

Ayshay – Warn U
DRC Music – Kinshasa One Two (come on, it’s for charity!)

The Top 50 or so names in my 2011 Traktor playlist:
A$AP Rocky, Africa Hitech, Araabmuzik, Babe Rainbow, Becoming Real, Blawan, Brenmar, Cedaa, Clicks&Whistles, Dam Mantle, Dark Sky, Deadboy, Distal, Doshy, Dubbel Dutch, Falty DL, Funkystepz, Gucci Mane, Gunplay, Hackman, Ital Tek, Joy O, Kahn, Killa Kyleon, King Midas Sound, Kingdom, Kuedo, Kuhn, Lazer Sword, Lil B, Lunice, Machinedrum, Main Attrakionz, Matty G, Nguzunguzu, Nicki Minaj, Objekt, Om Unit, Pangaea, Royal T, SBTRKT, Sepalcure, Swindle, Teeth, The Weeknd, Throwing Snow, Waka Flocka Flame, Whistla, xxxy, Zed Bias, Zomby

Africa Hitech – Out in the Streets

Clicks&Whistles – Cranberry Goose

Kuhn – Slime Beach

Objekt – Tinderbox

Royal T – Orangeade

Special Shout Outs go to:
Kurt Vile, John Maus, Clams Casino, Vatican Shadow, Planningtorock
And the homies: Jahcoozi, Modeselektor, Robot Koch, Thunderbird Gerard, Sick Girls

Continue Reading

2011 Editor’s Picks: András

Another year, another list and a chance to share what we thought were some of the highlights of 2011. Here music and culture editor András G. Varga picks some of his moments from a momentous year.

Summarizing a whole year is a big challenge especially in 2011. This year there was so much to be inspired by. So many terabytes of great music I’ve listened to, and lot more which I couldn’t keep up with. And not only music but art, fashion and all sorts of creative areas had so many hidden treasures to discover. Time was my only limit but I enjoyed so many magic moments in…

There were many incredible vibes, moody grooves and fascinating sounds out there, that it wouldn’t fit into this tiny space. I’ve listened to some songs over 50 times like emerging Brighton-trio Regal Safari; seapunk flagship Zombelle; dark future-goth pop duo Creep; and “Sun-kissed Tibetan crunk” My Panda Shall Fly, all are also definitely ones to watch.
Almost all artists on the roster from Tri Angle Records made it through this year, they couldn’t make a mistake and I was blown away of their wide ranging and beautiful output. Furthermore Emika – bass, beats and heartache as we said about her -, Nicolas Jaar, Zomby and Sun Glitters came out with amazing debut albums that I can listen to any time. And there are so many more.

I was digging fashion photography and videos for longer this year. It’s hard to link all fashion photos and videos I loved in 2011. Argentinian Vnfold magazine and French Some/Things are constant inspiration among all of the other magazines, blogs and tumblers. Maybe this music video is one of my favourite fashion videos and it also happens to be directed by a Hungarian guy, Adam Csaszi. It became the official video for Ikonika’s Video Delays from her album ’Contact, Love, Want, Have’ released last year on Hyperdub.

My favourite musical instrument is a Dodecaudion, developed by PanGenerator. This is an audiovisual controller, maybe not optimal for recording but definitely spectular one for live performance. As we saw before you can even have a simple dress as a soundscape generator interface.

I’m into beautiful 3D surfaces as well (see below), but this other one is the ultimate weirdness.

Various kind of dance. This time not in the clubs, but in the theathers. 2011’s best movie is definitely Pina, a documentary by Wim Wenders about the legendary German choreographer, Pina Bausch. It’s weird, deep, timeless, moving. You must see (in 3D) if you’re open to contemporary dance.

Continue Reading