The New Decay

for those who love myusik

Friday, July 18, 2008

At the Half-Point

For today's program I'm going to be doing my annual halfway eval of the year for music. If I were to put my opinion of the year thus far in rockist terms, I would say that 2008 deserves a good hearty fist pump. It hasn't been quite "rock-lock" yet, though it is most definitely been better than a wag of the finger. Basically 2008 has seen the solid return of the usual suspects (ie. excellent releases from the likes of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Destroyer, Xiu Xiu, Eric Chenaux, Beach House, Lil' Wayne, and Matmos), the emergence of some exciting new voices (ie. High Places, Fleet Foxes, Crystal Castles and to a certain extent Vampire Weekend), and the rediscovery of late 60s early 70s Afro-Beat with the awesome Nigeria Special and Africa Scream Contest releases. The only area that has been a complete disappointment thus far has been Jazz. Nothing really new of note, (besides the new Vijay Iyer, which is just as awesome as it should be) and the tragic demise of E.S.T. has given the genre a fairly rough start to the year. Here's hoping for some new Rat-Drifting stuff shortly!

Anyways if I were to choose five albums that have impacted me more than any others thus far this year they would be as follows:

5.) Vijay Iyer - Tragicomic
Seriously, if Iyer keeps this up we are going to have to come up with a new definition for the music he plays. Far removed from the likes of Diana Krall, The Mareslis', and George Benson, Iyer's style of Jazz penetrates your entire being, even if it's not necessarily that welcome.

4.) Souljazz Presents: An England Story
Kind of lame to put a compilation on this list, but I've probably listened to this more than anything else this year. Tracing the culture of the MC in UK since 1984 this comp helps put into context recent popular forms coming out of England (such as Grime, Dubstep, Bassline etc ...). Even though it does have its low points, when An England Story hits it, it doesn't get any better than that.

3.) Cadence Weapon - Afterparty Babies
Incorporating more house beats, and better use of irony, the sophomore disc from E-ville's Cadence Weapon makes me proud to call Edmonton my hometown. I've probably said enough about this disc in the past, so I'll leave it at that. Easily my favorite Canadian MC.

2.) Hercules and Love Affair - Hercules and Love Affair
Believe the hype people. This album is amazing from start to finish. It's probably the one album from this year that has changed how I listen to music, giving me a new found appreciation for all things Disco, (I caught myself listening to Ashford and Simpson earlier this year on MuchMore Retro and actually enoyed myself). "Blind" is hands down my pick for track of the year thus far.

1.) Veda Hille - This Riot Life
Some might say that choosing this as my favorite disc of the year so far, makes my love of Carl Wilson's writing a bit too obvious, but I just can't help myself. A slightly meaner Christine Fellows, Hille's latest consists of witty and poignant songwriting, astonishing arrangements, and the appropriate amount of Metal references (ie. "I am made of Iron, Iron Maiden bleeder" or "I never cared for metal hair, until the boy you were SLAYER!"etc...). Seriously, if you love music and you haven't heard this disc, you need to rectify that immediately.

So tune in to UMFM 101.5 in Winnipeg today at 2 pm and take a listen.

Until next time ...


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