The year

Almost done. This is my colorful potpourri of good things from this year. My favorite songs, albums, mixes, movies, print products ang games and one or two additional things.

Music

… and it’s time for List Week 2014.

Anthony Fantano

Musically speaking, the year was a good one. Coming now are the in my opinion best songs, albums and mixes of the year 2014. As opposed to the Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd my list starts at the top.

Songs

1. Metronomy – The Most Immaticulate Haircut

Metronomy make their way into my ears on a regular basis over the last years with their incredibly addicting earworms. Songs like A Thing For Me, The Look or the remix of Gorillaz’ El Mañana usually play a couple of times when I decide to listen to them.

2. BADBADNOTGOOD – Can’t Leave The Night

The first thing I heard from BADBADNOTGOOD was the very good CMYK/DMZ Live in London which was going around the blogs this year. At this time they also released their third album III. By the way, great video by Connor Olthuis.

3. Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

The Gorillaz were the first music group I was quite the fanboy of. Clint Eastwood was on “music television” all the time back then. Damon Albarn’s voice had quite the charm to it in this time already. Now it’s even more compelling. The link above goes to a recording from the Fox Studios in Los Angeles.

4. Hundred Waters – Out Alee

Another new discovery for me. René from Nerdcore had it on his blog and I loved it immediately not only due to the fancy video.

5. Alchem – Ashore

This song just goes out there and floats around. Wonderfully pleasent and quiet. Certain efforts would be necessary to keep any bad mood.

6. St. Vincent – Digital Witness

Ah, another nice video here. Look at the colors! If she can make her lips look even pointier? Anyways, good song. Oh, boy, and the colors!

7. Beshken – Sutro’s Tower

Again, one of these songs that lets your bad mood pass by like a a light breeze in Spring. I discovered this track shortly before Spring this year over at my music blog of trust Musigh. Alas, since end of March there were no new posts. I’m really sad about this. Beni, I hope you’re doing well.

8. Chet Faker – 1998

Has a funny video, but the lengthier version from the album is a good tad better.

9. Tei Shi – Nevermind The End

Also thankfully discovered via Musigh. What will I do without music from Musigh?

10. Tua – Der Bettler und das Meer (Lambert Remix)

This piece I found over at Ronny’s Kraftfuttermischwerk. Opening my feedreader, he is one of my steady ressources of joy and good music.


Albums

1. Danny Baranowsky – Crypt of the NecroDancer OST

Exactly. The soundtrack of Crypt of the NecroDancer. Unbelievably good and it’s not even finished yet. More on that in the gaming section.

2. Ghosts of Paraguay – Ember

I’d liked to have something new of Burial at this place, but apart from this thing it stayed quiet. Matching. However, Ghosts of Paraguay delivered. And how! I’m in a pretty calm mood this year anyway. It may as well rain outside while playing this.

3. Interpol – El Pintor

Let’s have the calm mood be really quiet for a moment. Interpol has a drumming earworm after another. Also, the voice of the singer reminds me of Placebo’s. I like it for that. Although this album is wearing off a bit when listened to too much, but I came back to El Pintor regularly this year.

4. Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like a Bell

Just like number two, The Moon Rang Like a Bell grabbed from where I was settled mood-wise in 2014. The interaction of instruments with electronical influences is harmonizing well. The album perfectly matches the blanket you want to pull over these days.

5. BADBADNOTGOOD – III

Late entry. Just bought and enjoyed. Don’t really no how to describe them right now. There are drums, piano, bass. Great mixture of Jazz and Rock styles if that makes sense. I’m really liking them right now.

6. Jim Guthrie – One Of These Days I’ll Get It Right

Jim Guthrie teams up with Solid Mas and releases this beautiful remix album. It features tunes from Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery LP, Corporeal, Indie Game: The Movie and The Children of the Clone. I generally listened to more Hip Hop kind of music. Just recently Jojo gave me a few The Four Owls albums. Very good.

7. Hans Zimmer – Interstellar OST

When there can be gaming soundtracks, then movies should be possible too, no? Also, more on that in the movie section.

8. Darren Korb – Transistor OST

Oh, Transistor. I’m sorry for not being able to play you. My laptop doesn’t make it. After roughly five minutes the whole thing just goes black. Completely crashing on me. Transistor is killing my processes. Anyways, I preordered the game with the soundtrack which does run on my machine. And it’s great!

9. WMD – Jenny Llewellyn

This guy is 18 and has 17 releases on Bandcamp. He got recommended by someone on Twitter and Jenny Llewellyn was the current piece at this time. He has an interesting approach of making music which I enjoy. Peaceful.

10. Liars – Mess

Bought that one just now as well. Pretty nasty sound. Goes right to the legs. Can’t sit here without wiggling around. The dog is logging flabbergasted and walks out of the room.

11. Oskar Schuster – Sneeuwland

Piano music in the style of Yann Tiersen. Marvellous. One instantly sinks into and sways between clouds. Try it!

12. Auditive Escape – The Conundrum/Holoscape

And again a Bandcamp prodigy with 17 releases with number 18 being queued in for early 2015. Put everything from him into my shopping cart and bought all the pieces for 25 bucks. Musically, you get spherical sound experiences and recreation. Peace on.

13. Stumbleine – Infinite Overcast

Theoretically, you get this for nothing, but a few money units won’t hurt you, I think. The music is happy and fresh. It makes fun.


Mixes

Somehow, I dislike the word Mixes. My respective playlist is called Mixtapes and it grew for some real sweeties this year again. A good amount of the mixes is from the Advent calendar from Ronny: Adventskalender 2014. Without any ranking I leave you this humble unordered list. Here you go!


Movies

1. Christopher Nolan – Interstellar

Holy Mackerel.

Instupituous. Fantabulous. The movie blew me right out of my socks. It was the ham- putting-on-his-high-pitched-voice -mer!

Especially the visuals and the musical execution were well-made. The story was made of pieces I’m open to. Science fiction! I mean, have you seen that black hole? How cool was that presented? Super duper! I had no better cinema experience until now.

We watched Interstellar at Lichthaus in Weimar, an indiependant cinema which shines with its couch lounge slouch atmosphere. Above us, there was a crackling heating monstrosity. It was very warm, but it added interesting layers to the sound experience.


Games

1. Supergiant Games – Transistor

I liked Bastion and I like Transistor just as much. I finally had the chance to play it at my parents house. Now we are here. It was so good that I needed to swap the place with Crypt of the NecroDancer.

And we all are sending … smoke signals. Keep pretending … we're one.

Red

Transistor is so astonishingly beautiful. The art direction and design is great. Its seamlessly perfect execution of mixing Cyber and Steam Punk into the world and also integrating the story with it took my breath away every now and then. Although important pieces of the world and its story are often enough hidden from view, I enjoyed playing through the games New Game Plus mode called Recursion.

I also like to commend the game on making it not super hard and annoying to get the majority of the achievements. The achievements are not Kill 50 Clucker’s while having your mouse unplugged. You barely need to do a whole lot of extra work outside of a playthrough. I like that.

2. Brace Yourself Games – Crypt of the NecroDancer

Must … not … screw … that … beat … oh … shit … I’m … dead.

Still in Early Access (now Beta) but already pretty matured. NecroDancer has with dancing as my parents would understand it nothing in common, however it still has its important role. You move to the beat of the music. You don’t when there is no beat. Simple. Right? No. It’s hard.

The music is great and perfectly suitable for this kind of game. Danny “Bstyle” Baranowsky Bandcamp does this really well. Among others, he did the music for The Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy.

I don’t know how I survived that fall. Something strange must’ve happened. My pulse is beating like a drum, but my blood is running cold.

I’m not sure what’s going on, but I came here with a question. And I’m gonna find the answer if it kills me.

Cadence

Meanwhile, Ryan Clark is developing like there’s no tomorrow—kicking out updates after another. Hopefully my class mates and I (and you) can enter zone 4 (Music Preview)) soon. Have … fun … dying!

3. Rat King – TRI: Of Friendship and Madness

Sadly, TRI is still on my pile of shame (Thanks, Gave). Well, sort of. Another game my machine isn’t adequately prepared for. I have played a couple of minutes until I’m facing my friend, the black screen and it looks really good. Again, the design is nice and the music as well—weird stuff!

4. Powerhoof – Crawl

People, get Crawl! One needs people to play that properly. So come and get it while it’s hot. My laptop will run this. Really.


Print

You are about to ask Print? Really? and I answer Yes, print. Really.. As you may already know, I moved this year. My room has walls. There need to be posters.

Apart from the stuff I brought with, I got some posters earlier this semester at the poster sale at our canteen. I got a Ministry of Silly Walks poster (Amazon), a Surfer Chewbacca poster (Amazon) and a huge Star Wars: A New Hope poster (Amazon).

WASD Magazin

Only because of the nice pictures I got issues 1, 5 and 6 of the WASD magazine (German games bookazine). The reprint of issue one was achieved by crowdfunding—I got this amazing poster for backing.

Klebstoff Sticker Magazine

Since I own the issues of Klebstoff, my laptop doesn’t look boring anymore. It actually looks quite nice now. Also our fridge looks good now. Guess what. Stickers! You can think about where to put all these lovely stickers after ordering.


That’s it

There we are. Got pretty lenghty, the list. As I said, I hoped for a new release from Burial. Maybe next year.

On a worldy view, the last two years were rough. Everyone is excelling the others at the International Surveillance Penis Comparison but everyone is afraid of Islam. I don’t understand this. Pretty broken.

I hope you’re fine. Be good next year as well and I may consider doing another short list.