Best 20 Songs of 2016

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Sometimes not a perfect album can give us very nice songs. Considering the works i appreciated more in this last year, here they are my favorite songs!

20. M83 – Laser Gun (Album: Junk)

I didn’t really understand if this album is good or not, even listening several times and appreciating their previous works.. one day probably i will.

19. Clark – Diamonds Aren’t Forever (The Last Panthers)

Part of the soundtrack of fictional mini series produced by Warp Records. I couldn’t put this song in the final playlist because there’s not on the tube but i invite you to listen.

18. Autechre – Curvcaten (Elseq 1)

Short in terms of songs (not for their lenght) new work for the experimental electronic british duo. Also in this case i couldn’t find this song in the final playlist (fuckin tube!).

17. Justice – Heavy Metal (Woman)

Not crazy for this last work, too many songs with words. I personally like more their instrumental activity and this song remind me them at their beginnings.

16. Pantha du Prince – Chasing Vapour Trails (The Triad)

I enjoy a lot this German guy. Probably not know like he deserves but very talented. In the playlist you will find the whole album, this song is the third one (around 20th minute).

15. Nicolas Jaar – No (Sirens)

Talking about talented guys i cannot forget Mr Jaar. Unique style made by electronic mixed with live instruments in a perfect way.

14. Trentemøller – Sinus (Fixion)

Published in the last weeks of this year, you can clearly recognize ‘Trente-style’, a bit dark, intense, reminding of Nordic countries (where he comes from).

13. Tortoise – Shake Hands With Danger (The Catastrophist)

Going back to Jaar’s unique style also this Chicago band made their music ‘branded’. A mix of post/indie rock, jazz, indie electronic all mixed together.

12. DJ Shadow – Pitter Patter (The Mountain Will Fall)

After 5 years finally a CD that reminds of his first amazing ones (lately he didn’t impress me much).

11. M.I.A. – A.M.P. – All My People (AIM)

Since i’ve put Borders in the previous article, i have chosen another song for the playlist. Amazing work and, as usual, strong messages.

10. Mr.Oizo – All Wet feat.Siriusmo (All Wet)

Very fun work from the most famous ‘yellow puppet’ (Flat Eric song made for Levi’s ad). Small songs, fast, to listen right away. Amazing collaboration with great Siriusmo.

9. The Orb – Moonbuilding 2703 AD – Teebs Moon Grotto Mix (Moonbulding 2703 AD Remixes)

Thus song is not part of their last album (that i consider among the best of the year) but from this EP remixed.

8. Moderat – Finder (III)

Third album for the consolidated trio Modeselektor- Apparat (it seems a duo but Modelektor are 2 guys). Also in this case my favorite song is not on the tube so i will put another one.

7. Digitalism – Dynamo (Mirage)

Interesting work, not impressive, good listening overall.

6. Cassius – Action (Ibifornia)

Staying in France, very nice/fun song feat Cat Power and Mike D (also music video) from one of the most innovative members of the ‘french touch’.

5. Swans – Frankie M (The Glowing Man)

As i said in the previous post you have to be ‘ready’ to listen to them. 15 minutes of pure craziness.

4. Metallica – Hardwired (Hardwired…To Self Destruct)

Watching them live 2 years ago I was pretty sure they weren’t going to retire, too much energy to share. This song can be part of their first albums.

3.Radiohead – Burn The Witch (A Moon Shaped Pool)

Fantastic music video and great feelings come from this amazing song.

2. Death In Vegas – Consequences of Love (Transmission)

From the best album of the year, insistent rhythm mixed perfectly with vocals.

1. Massive Attack feat. Tricky – Take It There (Ritual Spirit)

Best song of the year couldn’t be something different from an amazing collaboration between Massive Attack and Tricky after 2 decades (22 years before with ‘Karmacoma’).

Here there is the playlist with all the songs i mentioned above (almost all). Enjoy and see you in 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 2016 Albums.

Another year passed by and many interesting works were released. This year, more than others, will be more remembered for very important music artists lost…David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince and yesterday George Michael. Personally i don’t feel very affected because their music don’t represent my style but they made history so respect for them and for what they achieved in their lives. By the way, music industry -as well as life- doesn’t stop and we have to move forward instead of crying about the past.

In this (almost) past year i appreciated many works, but, choosing only 5, my favorite ones are:

5. The Orb – COW/Chill Out World (Electronic, Ambient)

Not an usual work for the english duo, but following the line of previous work Moonbuilding 2703 AD. This work seems a ‘new age’ work, very relaxing and peaceful, perfect as a background while you are doing something else.

4. M.I.A. – AIM (Alternative Dance, Alternative Rap)

I really like this artist, one of the most influent artists nowadays. I love her style of music made of many contaminations (never forgetting her indian origins) plus her way to give ‘take home messages’ to our generation. It’s not casual the award she has got from her video ‘Borders’ dedicated to Syria refugees crisis.

3. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (Alternative/Indie Rock)

Amazing work after 5 years of silence. I wouldn’t say they did something ‘really new’ from their previous works, but always a pleasant work, pure Radiohead style. As usual they also did very nice music videos directed by famous directors and visual artists.

2. Swans – The Glowing Man (Noise Rock, Experimental Rock)

Listening to Swans is always an ‘experience’. They started to play in the early 80’s and they still are amazing on stage. You have to be ready to long songs (some around 10 minutes), deep vocals and a lot of noise (many instruments)! In some songs it seems there are 3 different ones inside, starts in a way and ends in another one. This last work is a masterpiece.

1. Death in Vegas – Transmission (Electronic)

Like Radiohead, we had to wait 5 years to listen another work from them. Fortunately Richard Fearless didn’t leave us alone and we had the chance to listen many dj-sets and remixes. You will probably remember them for their famous Levi’s advertising song called Dirge. Despite their beginning (more guitars but always with an electric touch), over the years they became more and more electronic but -as well- more charming. Few songs were written (obviously by Richard Fearless) with ex pornstar Sasha Grey who also sings in ‘You disco i freak’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-nlvSKFLs8). Highly recommended. I’m gonna share my two favorite songs of this work.

 

 

Festivals you can’t miss #3: Into the Valley

Not many people have heard of this kinda-brand new festival up in the swedish forest…

I have actually run into some pics of this stunning location randomly on fb and i’ve said “What?, Thats insane!”. For those who don’t know the location is in the middle of a swedish forest in a natural cave made by an asteroid falling! Already the description is amazing itself!

It’s a small and new festival (second year) that is placed in Dalhalla, close to Rattvik (300 km north-west of Stockholm). In the same time of the festival there’s also a gathering of old american cars (apparently swedish ppl are really into it) so it seems to go back in the 60’s.

There are 3 stages, the main is down and it s the most spectacular; the other two are nice also but nothing special (one indoor actually). As in all the other music festivals i have been into, people is nice and fun, some very extrovert in their way to dress, some others in their own world, some others real ravers !

It’s a two-days festival (they also made an opening party the day before but i didnt attend) so it’s good for partying hard. First day i’ve got to see: tINI, Sonja Moonear b2b with Raresh (best set of the festival),  Ricardo Villalobos with ZIP. Day 2 i have seen the tricky set of Ellen Allien (she had to change 4-5 CDj over his set), Kerry Chandler, John Talabot, Rodhad, Ben Klock and his majesty Jeff Mills and his perfection.

(Jeff Mills)

(Me and Ellen Allien)

Overall stunning location, great crowd (swedish ppl are nice and friendly), amazing line up and a very pleasant journey. I don’t suggest to camp there because the unstable swedish weather can give u some problem (day 2 rained during the day until early afternoon). But Also real Ravers don’t care about rain at all.

Here there are my videos i have made during the festival.

Best 2015 Albums

records

It’s always difficult to decide which is the best album of the year, considering also different styles of music. Even more difficult because i wasn’t able to follow monthly best releases as i was used to last years.

My choice is, for some of you not italian, unknown but really deserved (and i only them as italian band and italian music, usually too pop for me). 2015 was the year of big returns to the scene, some really  unexpected. Hope you agree with my chart.

15. Mogwai – Central Belter (Post-Rock)

It’s actually  a compilation that summarize their fantastic career, so if you don’t know them, that’s a good start.

14. The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn (Alternative/Indie Rock)

After 5 years of their previous work, another reunion for this ‘super band’ leaded by Jack White, including members from The Kills, Queens of the Stone Age and The Raconteurs. If you like Jack White you like whatever he does, style doesn’t change much from their previous works, but power of voices and instruments make this LP very pleasant.

13. Roisin Murphy – Hairless Toys (Indie Electronic)

Ex Moloko’s leader, she comes back on the scene after a looong silence. And she does in her style, soft but scratching. Overall not a ‘Wow’ LP but it’s a pleasure to listen her voice again.

12. !!! – As If (Dance-Punk)

Very good work for !!! (called Chk Chk Chk), they published a record closer to their first albums. Last two were nice but not excellent.

11. Blur – The Magic Whip (Britpop, Alternative/Indie Rock)

I was very curious about their return, especially because Damon Albarn in the last years – but also in the last Blur works- turned their style from pure britpop to electronic sounds. Actually it didn’t evolve in a clear electronic direction (like Radiohead for example) but came back in a pop style, still nice because they are Blur, but probably not what i was expecting!

10. Squarepusher – Damogen Furies (Drum’n’Bass, Experimental Electronic)

If you followed me a little you know i love this artist. I had the pleasure to see his fantastic show at Coachella last year. Sometimes he goes too extreme as sounds but his talent is clear and  finally recognized.

9. AFX – Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 (Experimental Electronic, Experimental Techno, Acid Techno)

Father of experimental electronic music, AFX aka Aphex Twin aka Richard James, made this collection of songs never published or reedited. Last year his last official album won the award ( a Grammy if i remember well) for best electronic album. Not many words to add.

8. Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down (Alternative/Indie Rock)

They sadly became famous for the recent tragedy at their concert in Paris, but EODM is one of the best bands in their genre. The fact that Josh Homme (leader of Queens of the Stone Age) is in the project is not casual.

7. Bjork – Vulnicura (Electronic, Pop Rock)

What to say about one of the most influent artists in the last 20 years? nothing new. This album is not great if you listen once, you have to go carefully and slowly into it and it will hug you.

6. Hot Chip – Why Make Sense? (Indie Rock, Indie Electronic)

Talking about amazing return on the scene, Hot Chip album was surely one of the most exciting ones. A -usual- mix of different styles, acceleration and slowing down, everything dressed with different instruments and sounds.

5. Battles – La Di Da Di (Experimental Rock, Indie Rock)

One of the most creative new bands coming out in the recent past. They confirm their creativity in this last work (not easy after the fabulous Gloss Drop) and also in the graphic -food related- part.

4. Metz – II (Indie Rock, Punk Revival)

Fantastic job for this Canadian trio published by historical record label SubPop! When you first listen to it you think, it’s done already? let ‘s listen again! no sophistications, just pure rock!

3. Tame Impala – Currents (Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock)

How to make a fantastic album after 2 amazing ones? If you are Tame Impala you easily can. It also seems that they are getting better and better and it’s really though considering the masterpiece ‘lonerism’. Better for us! I also recommend to go see them live, they are amazing.

2. Muse – Drones (Indie Rock, Neo-Progressive Rock)

Their perfection in whatever they do (album, concert) is worldwide recognized. Every work is perfect, Bellamy’s voice is amazingly mixed with instruments and rhythms. I never have a disappointment when i listen to them, almost frustrating! I also appreciate their dedication to some causes inside their songs (like Massive Attack), it’s not only music but also a message to open our minds.

1. Verdena – Endkadenz vol.1-2 (Alternative/Indie Rock)

As i said before, their are the only italian musicians i can listen to. They remind me of Nirvana and probably this is the main reason why i like them. The amazing voice of Alberto Ferrari (leader, singer, author and guitarist) and sounds that extend from pure rock to ballads with piano make this band unique in italian scenario. Probably some of you never heard about them but i suggest to do it (and then let me know what do you think).

If you wanna listen what i wrote about, i created a playlist. Hope you will enjoy! Till the next time!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLaz_km7cZTWdZNx1SP3U_9OURldbPhZkb&hl=en_US

 

Summer-Autumn concerts!

Long time not ‘hearing’ from me but doctor’s life sometimes doesn’t let me to have all free time that i want.

Anyway i just wanted to share with you all the interesting concerts i have seen recently.

Rome is very good for  concerts in the summer especially, during the year not much happens (at least for the music i like).

Main festival is called Rock in Rome, not only rock music as you can get from the name, but different styles and artists performing. Over the years i have got the chance to see many fantastic musicians, from Radiohead to Arctic Monkeys passing through Deadmau5, Metallica and many others.

Other than that festival, Auditorium ‘Luglio suona bene’ review (translation is July sounds good) also is interesting and the location is great (open air amphitheatre in the big music complex built by the famous architect Renzo Piano) and Villa Ada Festival (music in a park) are also interesting events over the summer going from classic til very alternative music.

Last summer i have got to see Verdena (Rock in Roma Festival), the only italian music i’m able to listen. They reminds me of Nirvana, for the style and for the singer’s scratching voice. I do enjoy their way to play live and -in general- their way to play instruments together, in particular i like the piano. Here they are the 3 videos i have made.

2015-07-14 22.22.20

In the same festival, after few days, i have seen Muse concert. Not many words can describe their perfection in the show, visually and musically speaking. I have to admit that their concert here 2 years ago in the olimpic stadium was magnificent, like 2 hours and a half literally flown away. But it was recorded to make a DVD so it was a different thing than a normal concert. By the way they are always fantastic, is a pleasure to see them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll2gdYwam9M&list=PLaz_km7cZTWciZ6kzdVv_EAGDPRghLQ-K  (3 videos)

2015-07-18 22.41.47

I moved then to Villa Ada to see The Swans and the talent of the frontman Michael Gira. I’ve seen them also at Coachella last April when they were able to play in the last hour of Day2 (very good hour though). They are the kings of noise so if you go to see them you have to be prepared to listen very long song, repetitive riffs and few words. They played over 2 hours, very intense as they are used to do.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWdmAwUGwQkrdNwB5yFpTPrR (4 videos)2015-07-15 22.51.20

I moved to Auditorium to see the Princess Bjork. Second time i see her live (in the same location) and always positive vibes. Concert is usually short (1 hour 15 min) but the quality makes the difference. Very good visual effects, sophisticated dress and voice that is like a caress to your soul. 360 degrees artist, always quality time.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWdB6hb-w2FF-IC37RzSN5sL (3 videos)

2015-07-29 21.08.34

Going back to Rock in Rome, i was able to see -also second time after Coachella- Tame Impala. Despite the not very smart date (mid-end August when mostly romans are on vacation) it was one of the greatest concerts i have seen! Simple but very involving, they are great live (they also made a good job with a bigger crowd at Coachella). They made us move our bodies all the time. They will become bigger and bigger i’m sure.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWecjyiopEI7Pji4qY0FnehA (3 videos)

2015-08-26 22.19.47

In the autumn i managed to see Apparat (still at Auditorium but not open air anymore) and his orchestra. Very interesting his evolution from being a pure DJ to an electronic performer + orchestra (not a REAL orchestra but many different instruments). I always like when artists evolve in different projects whatever if i like or not (i like his evolution by the way). Highly recommended.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWcta9JA-oZAzZmdcPYH5ebI (2 videos)2015-10-02 22.36.50

Last act was Robot Festival in Bologna. This Festival is probably the best for electronic music in the italian scenario. It’s divided in different locations (including a castle) and it runs over a weekend. I was able to go only to the last act of this festival but i really enjoyed seeing the performances of James Holden, Siriusmodeselektor, Trentemoller, Clark, Tiga and The Martinez Brothers.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWe2lRB77sOShCFknu8YkrTi (6 videos)


  
 See You Next time guys. Hope i can write more often.

Festivals you can’t miss #2: Coachella


This year i managed to realize one of my dreams called Coachella.

I booked the tickets one year ago at the end of the previous edition (offical selling was sold out in 41 minutes, new record for an international festival selling!) when i didn’t know which band was performing, but, you know, Coachella is Coachella, it can’t be bad!

And line up was great! On the top of my preferences: Jack White (i’ve seen him when he was part of White Stripes), Gesaffelstein (seen him twice already), Interpol (once), Squarepusher (twice).

But i was also very curious about bands i have never seen before like Tame Impala, Florence + The Machine, Caribou, Flying Lotus, SBTRKT, Kasabian and legendary Swans (i missed them for a friend wedding few months ago)!

Talking about the festival, it was organized amazingly just like americans can do for such big events! We were staying in Palm Springs and shuttle bus connections were working perfectly to many different locations.
No lines for food (great variety) and drinks, a lot of space and never a feeling to be packed, even for main names and stages. Great special effects surrounded by palms, grass and a pleasant wind.


I just didnt’ like the first stage at the entrance, made like a disco, because it was a pity being ‘covered’ with that amazing weather outside. Talking about the weather, we were used to go late afternoon, before it was soooo hot that i dont know how’s possible to stay there too early.


I was really impressed by the performances of Tame Impala (perfect sound to be played in California in that location, in my opinion), Caribou, Flying Lotus (best special effects) and SBTRKT! Swans were amazing also (they pulled down the backstage so there were palms behind them) but in my opinion, they played too late and not for enough time (considering their long songs).


[tame impala]

[flying lotus]

[squarepusher]

[swans]

Squarepusher played really hard (also fantastic special effects), Interpol were elegant as usual and Jack White made a mix of old songs and some country music i didn’t know, i love his charisma btw, very involving.


[gesaffelstein]

Kasabian also made a good act, as well Gesaffelstein (but i like him more doing dj-set). I ‘m not a big fan of AC-DC and Florence+The Machine so i listened a couple of songs (Florence and Alt-J a bit “slow” for the event in my opinion).

Considering DJs i enjoyed Erol Alkan, Loco Dice and Ben Klock most, Axwell & Ingrosso made usual “bubblegum dance music” but in a very cool stage!


[guy gerber]

Overall i think it’s a festival you have to enjoy once in your life, more if you’re lucky and you live closer!


[our crew]

Here they are videos i have made, enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWfvN4gHp6l5eto50NDhIJPQ

And the winner for the best 2014 album goes to….

2014 is gone and it’s time to decide which is the best album of the year. Difficult to choose obviously but this is the chart of my favourite 18 LPs i have made…

18. Deadmau5 – While 1<2

Different from his previous works, his maturity album i think, faster and slower when it needs to be.

17. Mono – Rays of Darkness

Double LP, mellow and intense, instrumental always.

16. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!

As usual an amazing mix of sounds and styles, this time a bit more jazzy in my opinion.

15. Clark – Clark

Not a very original name i admit, but a very pleasant work; it reminds me the first Squarepusher.

14. Mogwai – Rave Tapes

Probably not their best album, but in every work they create a couple of fantastic singles that you can listen over and over again.

13. Spoon – They Want My Soul

They make one of the most original style, including the amazing slightly scratching singer voice.

12. Interpol – El Pintor

Pure Interpol style, on the false line of the previous one.

11. Ok Go – Hungry Ghosts

More famous for their fantastic videos, they make good music also!

10. Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World

Short and intense LP after several years from their first and last work.

9. Thurston Moore – The Best Day

I cannot exclude one of my favourite artists ever, from Sonic Youth til today! He only know how to treat a guitar.

8. Kelis – Food

Unusual style for this chart but great work for this eclectic artist.

7. Kaiser Chiefs – Education, Education, Education & War

After their previuos worst album in their discography, a very good job!

6. Xiu Xiu – Angel Guts: Red Classroom

Talking about ecletic artists, here’s another one, dont take into accounts much song texts, they can be debatable.

5. Swans – To Be Kind

History of experimental rock, class 1982 (their first album), pure class!

4. Temples – Sun Structures

Fantastic work, MGMT style.

3. Plastikman – Ex

Side work for Richie Hawtin, after many years of silence, minimal and magnificent.

2. Aphex Twin – Syro

King of experimental electronic is back with his unique talent.

1. Liars – Mess

One of the most creative and talented bands in the past years. This LP is a bit more electronic of the previous ones but fantastic in the same way! To know more about them look for my post dedicated to them “In our lives we all are Liars”.