Gabriel Szatan

Actually really, really nice

Blurbs: Top Tracks of 2008-13


“Arguably the best track from arguably the best label of the period – and with source material so strong Claude VonStroke spun arguably the best remix out of it to boot – “Wut” was/is/forever will be an absolute monster, one that lit the fuse on a tinderbox that blew up both sides of the Atlantic.”

Girl Unit – “Wut”, published 09/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“Any impatient stamping of feet and exasperated checking of watches concerning the ridiculously drawn-out intro to “Glass Jar” quickly subsided into hushed awe at how perfect the tension was realised.”

Gang Gang Dance – “Glass Jar”, published 09/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“The gutter shouldn’t be written out of Williams’ story entirely, given that the bitter ennui and despondency he felt while encircling it inadvertently gifted him a whinnying melody and a mantra to pin his career on.”

Wavves – “No Hope Kids”, published 09/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“It is flat-out fantastic, a malevolent slow jam that has lost none of its sheen; unlike Abel, who ironically appears to have bought into his own myth about being a money-motivated “zombie of the night.” He’s evidently talented enough to redeem himself, but for those of us who wish he’d remained cloaked in 2011′s shroud of mystery forever, there’s always “The Morning.””

The Weeknd – “The Morning”, published 09/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“Every time Women ratchet up the tension, seemingly on the cusp of a fierce breakdown, they pull back into a doo-wop beat slathered in distortion, vocals obscured. The pauses in rhythm dovetail neatly with the lone struggler on the cover, come to think of it.”

Women – “Eyesore”, published 09/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

” It rolls up, hits you like a ton of bricks(quad) and takes off. This is music made for bending corners and putting asses to sleep, a ridiculously quotable banger that stands out at a time when lunkheaded shoutalongs aren’t exactly in short supply.”

Waka Flocka Flame – “Hard In Da Paint”, published 09/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“While “Sea Within A Sea” struck like a jackhammer on first play, it has lost none of its lustre over countless spins in the interim time, bucking the trend of watercooler moments that seem passé in retrospect. Amalgamating the finest elements that left-of-the-dial guitar music has brought us in the past 40-odd years, the eight-minutes are a tour de force, smudging snatches of vicious guitar, pristine basswork, Faris Badwan’s ominous vocals and the Krauty chug into something much greater than the sum of its collective parts.”

The Horrors – “Sea Within A Sea”, published 09/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“There’s so much to be said for Kendrick’s lyrical dexterity which must have been endlessly revised over to ensure every last word was imbued with some greater meaning, as well as his flawless embodiment of multiple personas, from cadence to candour, that makes the entire album as a whole so endlessly fascinating. Add that to the backdrop, which fits Kendrick’s narration like a glove. Elegiac strings hover uneasily above the chorus, further embellishing the funereal tone in the first half, while the choral undertones neatly complement the urgency that comes with the amplified beat in the second. But as good as the production is, this track rests on Kendrick alone.”

Kendrick Lamar – “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst”, published 10/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“Coming off a group perennially on the cusp of breaking up, here we find every shot nerve, spasming muscle and shattered iota of confidence laid bare. Illogical extremes are met – have you seen the track length? Did you hear that bagpipe solo? – while Patrick Stickles’ voice shakes in tandem with his pathetic, debased subjects, barely able to suppress the defeatist streak within.”

Titus Andronicus – “The Battle Of Hampton Roads”, published 10/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“Teen Creeps” is an intense, noise-smeared punk pressure cooker, full of trapped energy with no option except to boil over. Like a shitstorm in a heathaze, the track thrashes around indistinctly against conformity culture, gaining momentum as it goes – even that noodly hook appears turbocharged the second time around”

No Age – “Teen Creeps”, published 10/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

““gays or not is a nice beat bro!!! PORTUGAL””

Frank Ocean – “Thinkin Bout You”, published 10/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“In a similar vein to the walls-melting aesthetic of Merriweather Post Pavillion‘s infamous cover, the track undulates in a hypnotic fashion, giving off the illusion of being half the actual runtime. It has all the signifiers of a class AnCo cut: the kaleidoscopic oscillations, densely layered sound (but not overstuffed in the way that rendered Centipede Hz cumbersome), ear-poppingly deep bass topped off with fluffy melodies, the tangible feel of being on a circus merry-go-round in 7/8.”

Animal Collective – “What Would I Want? Sky”, published 11/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“Whichever way you swing it (lightly syncopated on the drums, hurr hurr hurr), this unquestionably relaid the map for UK electronic music, the edifice upon which a dominant subdivision of ’10s clubland was built. You could use plenty of ways to describe the state of dubstep beforehand, it certainly wasn’t easily boxed-in: the Berlin-leaning, techno inclinations of Appleblim and Shackleton had an absorbing pulse; the zig-zagging G-funk appropriated by the Purple heads was vividly exciting; the crumbly spliff ends pushed out via the DMZ / Tempa set packed the spleen-rupturing, earthen bassweight; but it was never beautiful as such.”

Joy Orbison – “Hyph Mngo”, published 11/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“It has everything you could ask for: eminently danceable, chantable (although perhaps less so than “Sun”), hooks in abundance and a breakdown right out of the top shelf. Already balls-deep into the groove, just when you think the track is operating at maximum capacity, suddenly it goes batshit mental and kicks into another gear. It’s a sheer masterclass, simple as that.”

Caribou – “Odessa”, published 11/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“The flickering guitar, the fluttering synth line, the perfectly weighted toms, the lilting woodblock, the infectious bassline – this has to the closest natural successor to “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)” going, right?”

LCD Soundsystem – “Home”, published 11/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

“We’ve all felt that sense of glee as the intro begins creeping up, the immense release as the drums steamroll into the shuddering breakdown, popping like cans of paint exploding, all (probably) tried at some point to match the wild pitch-shifting in the final run — I know I have at least. And what’s weird is no-one seems to be sick of it yet. One of the strangest songs in recent times to garner near-universal acclaim, shed of context or removed from surroundings it stands up; any environment, any time.”

James Blake – “CMYK”, published 11/10/13 on Beats Per Minute

One comment on “Blurbs: Top Tracks of 2008-13

  1. Pingback: Blurbs: Beats Per Minute’s Best of 2008-13 | Gabriel Szatan

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: