Noctum’s Top Albums of 2013

In todays increasing turn and burn pop market it’s all about the hit singles, the hot remix and which track put you on the top of the chart. However music still comes out today in my favorite form, the album. There is something still to be loved about a collection of ideas pressed into songs and arranged together with thought and purpose. At the end of each year I like to reflect on the ones that managed to make their way into my collection, and put together a list of the top five.

CJ_Fly_Thee_Way_Eye_See_album

5. CJ Fly’s Thee Way Eye See It

I know what your thinking. “But wait this is a mixtape.” Yeah it is, and these days a hip hop mixtape is no longer a street artist trying to make it slinging verses over familiar beats. Mixtapes have grown into hour-long, fully original, single-artist projects often featuring A-list guest verses and top produced beats. Making mixtapes and albums; virtually the same thing. Clocking in at 18 tracks long CJ Fly from ProEra has the beats, guests, (Statik Selektah, Buckshot, Ab-Soul, Phife Dawg, and more) and the chops to make this an instant classic. This is a mixtape that won’t be hot just now, but for years to come.

 

daft-punk-random-access-memories-album

4. Daft PunkRandom Access Memories

Yes, you knew it was coming. These days there are three things you don’t discuss in polite company; i.e., politics, religion, and Daft Punk’s latest album. Unfortunately you are not in polite company and I am not interested in how you loved them from Homework, or how the commercial success of “Get Lucky” has ruined the return of disco for you. This album wasn’t based on their past work or the strength of a single, rather it is at the heart of why I make this yearly top five. It was made to be enjoyed as an album, from start to finish, with friends, on vinyl. So the robots can remind us of the importance of being human.

 

moderat album 3. ModeratII

This was the album that grew on me this year. After first listen I axed all but two tracks from my iPod and moved on. The shuffle feature was not convinced, and played those two songs anytime it could. I found that “Bad Kingdom” and “Damage Done” had left such a taste for the album that a revisit was needed. I’m not sure where my head was the first listen around but more of the album stuck with me this time as “Let In The Light” and “Therapy” became go to songs for my adventures thought the streets of Austin. The deal was sealed when I found myself hitting the replay button after jamming the 10 minute long epic “Milk”.

 

bonobo album 2. BonoboThe North Borders

Bonobo’s prior album, Black Sands, not only was a commercial success, it also played soundtrack to several important events in my life over the past few years. At first news of the new album I pre-ordered the deluxe box set, and I was not disappointed. It felt like a natural evolution from the previous album. I even loved the artwork from Leif Podhajsky. Seeing this performed live was the coup de grâce for any doubts that this album would cement itself as a continuation in the soundtrack to my life. As a compendium I would recommend Bonobo’s Late Night Tales compilation to reveal what music influences him.

 

In A Time Lapse album

1. Ludovico EinaudiIn a Time Lapse

Jan 19th, Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi previewed, live from his home, solo piano arrangements for his new album. Two days later In a Time Lapse was released and remained my go to album for the year. If you don’t listen to classical music I highly recommend you try, and can think of no better album to start with. Einaudi is wonderfully minimalist in his compositions and has extremely satisfying chord progressions. For those who still need more bass and beat, there was a remix album released featuring Phaeleh, Starkey, and others adding electronic interpretations to Einaudi’s work.

Posted By: Joseph Noctum

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