2015 Music in Review

A group of music friends and I put out top releases of the year each year-end.  I put up my picks from last year, instead of through email format, here on my blog with media attached (unlike the others, who just had text; one had a podcast)!  This year was a bit different as my favorite finds were not necessarily new releases.  Here are my picks of favorite new music from this last year.

Local Musicians

As always, I start off with local musicians like myself; we all had a great year and more people should be talking about the great scene we have in the Denver/Boulder area!

Acidbat.  The Magician.

There aren’t many artists in the area focusing on acid music, but there is one band I can always count on for straight up acid, and that is Acidbat.  I had the opportunity to play a gig with him this year as well.  This album is on the Cyberdyne label on limited cassette format limited to 15 (there are a few left, grab the media while you can!).  http://acidbat.bandcamp.com.  This album is a wonderful acid excursion through various techno styles.  World-class acid from a local artist!  Awesome!

Acidbat - The Magician

Symbols + Translations

Not quite local, this Austin Texas resident co-manages the Obsolete Future record label which has strong local ties.  This release is their first foray into acid music and it is a great one!  Many moods and melodies tag along with the consistent acid lines weaving throughout the mix.  My personal favorite is “How long is the coast of Britian” which starts off the b-side of this cassette release.  Limited edition to 100 on cassette, still available if you’re fast.

Ambit ^~-

This is a great local band who I hope to see much more out of them in the future!  They did a lathe cut 7″ single and have this album available for free digitally on band camp!  Cheers!  Melodies and vocals are addictive, great tracks!

Non-local musicians

Now onto the other non-local artists and bands that I picked up in 2015!

MAKiNA GiRGiR – Torment

Coming out of France, on La Forme Lente Records out of Belgium, this amazing cold wave album came out in 2013 but I have searched for the limited edition silkscreened cover to no success; so I purchased this digital only (sad, but true) in 2015.  This album is amazing; for any fan of synth-based alternative, cold wave, dark wave, new wave, etc.  Cold, female vocals; stunning lead synth lines, and groovy tracks all the way through!

Solvent – C for Comfort

Solvent goes way back into the last 90s with his label Suction Records.  Jason Amm is a purveyor of synth leads and melodies.  This is his own creation with tribute to the classic composers of the new wave synth gods — Depeche Mode, Human League, Visage, Ultravox, etc.  This 6-track cassette release is rock solid synth instrumentals all the way through.  So happy to see Suction Records back in business, releasing very strong releases!  Released in 2014, I rediscovered this label and placed an order for many awesome releases in early 2015!

Mark Van Hoen – The Worcester Tapes 1983 – 1987

I’m a huge Mark Van Hoen fan, synth/sampler aficionado!  In case you are having problems recognizing the name, think Seefeel, Scala, Locust among other projects.  The Tapeworm presents… put together his original demo tape from early works from the artist. Beautiful piano and reverb dosed synth pads on this cassette-only release of 150.  Appreciate The Tapeworm going out of their way and putting this out there!  Beautiful Eno-esque ambient music!

Mark Van Hoen demo

Mark McGuire – Beyond Belief

Mark McGuire has had a big year; starting a family and continuing to press new age style music.  Definitely different than his prior band Emeralds, this contains beats, guitar and even some vocals.  Still, wonderfully looped melodies as only Mark McGuire can do.  This double orange swirl colored vinyl came with a bonus cassette release of remixes and a poster.  Beautiful release!

New Order – Western Works Demos

Limited edition of 50, this grey swirl vinyl was released containing the Sheffield based Western Works Studio demo masters of New Order’s first tracks after the death of Ian Curtis.  6 tracks on this one, recorded on July 9, 1980.  The demos are what you would think they would sound like–Joy Division still in shock from the loss of their front man…with all the emotion and rawness that would bring to the sessions.   Dreams Never End (Mix #1 and #2), Homage, Ceremony, Truth and Are You Ready?  All very different versions from other recordings.  This is an amazing find!

New Order - Western Works Demos

Various – Something Cold

With my discovery of Suction Records releasing material again, I also discovered they are also distributing likeminded music.  This album is one I purchased in my order with Suction in 2015.  This is great coldwave tunes; every track is awesome!  Several dance floor tracks too…well worth a listen!  Vinyl is sold out, but I suspect you can find copies around…

Miss Kittin & The Hacker – Lost Tracks Vol. 1

Dark Entries Records out of San Francisco is on fire; releasing great gems old and new.  This is true to the coldwave/demos I have spoken about in the last few highlighted releases, the original demo from 97-99 from this dynamic duo!  Leather Forever is a club classic!  Electro and cold wave!  Think Drexciya or Dopplereffekt style electro!

http://www.darkentriesrecords.com/store/dark-entries/miss-kittin-the-hacker-lost-tracks-vol-1-ep/#

Luke Vibert – Halloween Part 1

Looking to get part 2, this is a classic acid record like only Luke Vibert can put together.  Halloween is a spooky acid anthem that would rock any dance floor.  Jack U Whole is classic Chicago style acid house.

Acid Pauli & Nancy – iBang

Had this as a favorite like on Soundcloud for a while, but Katermukke decided to produce 4x 12″ singles with their favorite tracks, one of which is my favorite track from the label. I also like Animal Trainer and the other Acid Pauli tracks too.  This is a fun dance floor remake using the classic Nancy Sinatra vocals.

Acid Pauli iBang

AtomTM – Riding The Void EP

These took a while to get; I’m assuming due to excessively long pressing times for vinyl, but it was worth the wait.  Atom TM remixes of Riding the Void from the HD album.  I still haven’t gotten the HD video, I can’t seem to make myself purchase a low-fi DVD on an album called HD.  Bluray only Uwe, that is the only acceptable format other than perhaps 16mm.  These are wonderfully produced dance tunes.

Mato – All About That Bass

Believe it or not this was the first version of this track that I heard.  I bought it on a whim because of the title; but this is a wonderful 7″ Reggae plate remaking of the classic pop song. All the right junk in all the right places…

Leon Switch featuring Alys Be – Make Your Move

Been listening to a lot of bass music from the UK, sub genres of dub step called Dungeon / 140.  Slow, heavy bass dub.  This track I heard on a London radio show by a guest mix from Leon Switch, who plays dub plates of his own works.  Love the pop vocals on this cool dub / bass track.  Finally released in December with a bunch of remixes by another artist Markee Ledge, but the original Leon Switch mix is the best.  Digging other similar modern “pop” tracks in this style.

Flexi Picture Records

Hasenbart Zeotrope Flexi-disc

As many of you know, I’m a huge flexi record collector.  This I found by Hasenbart Records out of Germany, simply a beautiful Christmas picture record that is lathe cut.  Get one while you can, good luck!

Hasenbart Zoetrope Flexi

Hasenbart Flexi Record

Acidbat – Autumn Mourning

Extremely limited edition of hand made double-sided flexis from a 1940s lathe.  Wonderful acid tracks by Denver’s premiere acid scout!  Available for free in digital download, check out Autumn Mourning now!

The Beatles – All You Need Is Love

This is a Polish bootleg flexi-record postcard from the 70’s.  The premise is they would take postcards and press music on them and distribute them throughout Poland where there wasn’t proper music distribution.  I have six different, equally cool (by the same artist) postcards with this same song.

 

Beatles - All you need is love

 

2015 Perseids Meteorite Shower

Excited for the 2015 Perseids meteorite shower.  This one is special because of the new moon.  Expecting to see some fantastic shooting stars!

It has been pretty rainy with the monsoonal flow in full effect lately, and my worry is about clouds.  Two nights before the peak it was cloudy all night and I was not able to witness anything.  One night before peak it was partially cloudy with a little haze, but I was able to see several shooters.  3 Perseid fireballs (2 were slow without much of a tail, one with a tail), 6 nice shooters and the remainder were small or really fast ones without tails.  I saw 15 from 1:30am to 2:30am.  I woke up a couple more times but there were a lot of clouds so I didn’t stay out that long, caught a couple small ones during this time.

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

2015 Perseids shooter

There are many reasons I head out the day before/after the peak.  One is the peak could be off, but the other is clouds.  The peak morning was cloudy and there was very limited visibility to the sky (maybe 10-15% viewable for 20-30 minutes at a time).  I was able to watch for about 60 minutes where there was viewable area, and I saw 55 shooters.  That is awesome, too bad I couldn’t watch more of the show.  We’ll see what tomorrow morning has in store…

Perseids Peak with clouds Perseids Peak with clouds Perseids Peak with clouds Perseids Peak with clouds

2015 Perseids is Coming

Are you ready for the Perseids? They peak on Thursday AM but the show can be at its best within a couple days of the peak. Several years ago two mornings before was the best…it all just depends on when we pass through the cosmic comet debris from Swift-Tuttle. This year will be extra special because of the new moon, making watching extra bright!

Here are some of the shooters I caught from years past! Can’t wait to hear your experience with the cosmic light show!

FYI, best time is after midnight to dawn; if you’ve never witnessed a show; get a nice lounge chair and just look up, and let your eyes scan into infinity…when one shoots, your eyes will automatically focus on it. If you are a counter like me (it keeps me awake), use your fingers or you’ll likely lose count; or there are cell phone apps for that!

If you are going to take pictures, get a tripod and a shutter remote, switch over to manual exposure mode, set to lowest f-stop/aperture setting, iso needs to be fairly low or it will get noisy, exposure for up to 8 seconds (if you go over 8 the stars will be blurry, my rule of thumb). Zoom out as far as you can go, turn off auto-focus and image stabilization (it moves the mirror and eats battery), and lock on the shutter remote! Oh, and focus, that is the hard part, you can try auto-focus but you should turn it off after you get a good focus, which will likely require some experimentation. Have fun! :star2:

2012 Perseids Shooter

2012 Perseids Shooter

2013 Perseids

2013 Perseids Shooter

2012 Perseids Shooter

2012 Perseids Shooter

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Monsoon Lightning Begins

The monsoon is picking up, several weeks later than normal, but it is here. Woke up to some thunder so I checked out the radar and sky and decided to take a small drive. Ended up a few blocks away from the house and was able to capture some nice lightning. The storm down SE of us was going bonkers with lightning, strobe light style, so I ended up driving south a ways to an overlook and watched. There were no bolts visible from my vantage point (the storm was 40 miles away) so I just sat in awe for a while and then headed home. Tomorrow night should be another good night, and we have the Perseids upcoming too, so probably will be lacking a bit on sleep this week!

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Red Feather Lakes Fireworks

We visited my folks on the tail end of our family road trip this year.  We happened to be there over the 4th of July weekend.  Red Feather Lakes had a spectacular display on Friday night.  I have never seen so many people there before, but obviously the reputation of the small community’s fireworks show had spread over the years.

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Booked to DJ the 2015 Full Moon Festival

 

Been pulling records for this year’s Mother Earth Sound System Full Moon Festival, a 48-hours 2-stage music festival.  It looks like I’ll have an extended set DJ/performing as Multicast (up to 6 hours!!) on the Earth stage Saturday afternoon/evening.  The line-up looks incredible, and the venue is a rural outdoor ranch in the mountains near Silverthorne.  I will bring many styles and change the music up playing dub, reggae, electro, acid, ambient and some 140-dubstep; mainly a more chill out stage providing balance to the main pounding techno Moon stage.

I will also bring some gear and add in some original stuff here and there.  I’m opening up for the Normal Ones so very excited about that; and perhaps we’ll do some experimentation for a while between sets!

Don’t miss it!

Mess Full Moon lineup

Amazing international lineup!