Skratch Bastid & Cosmo Baker – Songs We Listened To A Lot In 2012
“Music â€˜year endâ€™ lists are great. They give listeners and readers a chance to look at the year as a whole and take in what has happened in the past 12 months in this fast moving, content driven art world we live in. We can reflect on our favorites, discuss with others different aspects of different artists in various genres & scenes, and also pick up on titles we may have skipped over or missed completely. In future years, we can look back and remember that era through those titles and artists.
Music â€˜year endâ€™ lists suck. It often seems like an arms race to see who can be the first person to publish a year-end list, or who can be the first to place a crown on so-an-soâ€™s head just so they can be the first to say that their opinion is the popular opinion. People jump to put songs in genres and boxes, and important qualities such as staying power and age are often overlooked or simply not applicable. It can be very one-dimensional. It can be restricting.
Although using the calendar year is a great tool for cataloging and referencing releases, music moves at itâ€™s own pace, and we have found that songs have a way of finding you when they are supposed to find you. Songs you grow to love are discovered in many ways: through hearing them at a club night, on a DJ mix, in a movie, in a friendâ€™s car, at a restaurant â€“ and those songs arenâ€™t always new songs, or songs that came out the year that you hear them first. But they are songs that are relevant to YOU that year. And in each of our individual music experiences, they play a role in shaping your musical taste.
And so we bring you our version of a â€˜year endâ€™ mix. â€œSongs We Listened To A Lot In 2012â€³. A 3-hour compilation of songs that found their way into our sets, onto our ipods and into our ears this year. You may have heard some of them before, but you surely havenâ€™t heard them all. Some are â€˜newâ€™, some are â€˜oldâ€™. All in all, these songs meant something to us this year, so we hope that this mix will both bring you some of your favorites as well as make some new ones. Enjoy!”
Full description after the jump.
Cosmo Baker sez:
â€œThe first five songs that Iâ€™ve listed range from a bold take of a new yet already timeless classic in Sammy Bananaâ€™s vision of Miguelâ€™s â€œAdornâ€ to the South Central spit of Kendrick Lamarâ€™s â€œBackseat Freestyle.â€ The youth of our 80s was reinvented by Marius VÃ¥reidâ€™s version of Pelifics & Electric Youthâ€™s â€œWish It Could Lastâ€ and it wouldnâ€™t fit a John Hughes film any more perfect. Allah-Las stormed with â€œSandyâ€ and my first trip to South America was punctuated by the rhythms and melodies of â€œCandombleâ€ by Mario Castro Neves & Samba S.A.
2012 saw the passing of our beloved Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys, and for some reason it ended up being â€œLooking Down The Barrel Of A Gunâ€ that was my most-played Beasties song on my iTunes play count. Todd Terje brought us the global smash â€œInspector Norseâ€™ but it was his funky reworking of Lindstromâ€™s â€œEd-Ged-Osisâ€ that I found myself returning to again and again. New rock visionaries Dirty Ghosts dropped their first LP and nailed it, as I could only display with â€œRopes That Way.â€ And even my mother called â€œUrsa Majorâ€ by EchoDroides mesmerizing.
Frank Ocean was the big name, and his coming in to this garden party made waves across the globe. So much of his work struck deep, but â€œForrest Gumpâ€ struck home to me. Obama was reelected and Eli Lake took that week to share with me the inspirational soul song â€œAttitude, Belief & Determinationâ€ by Martin L. Dumas, Jr.
People rediscovered the funk and they rediscovered the beat. None so much as Onra with his â€œL.O.V.E.â€ Rhye made me want to laugh and cry, and then he was turned inside out by the funk and soul of the master Maurice Fulton. I rediscovered the Solar Sound with â€œJust The Way You Like Itâ€ by S.O.S. Band and my old friend Santigold reached the epitome of her sound / vision with â€œDisparate Youth.â€
My love for Neil Young, never faded, came clear into view with his incredible remake of â€œHeart Of Goldâ€ â€“ which I saw performed live in Helsinki in August. I found myself revisiting the original of original of classics â€œAll I Do Is Think About Youâ€ in its original form as sung by Tammi Terrell because, if I have to admit it, all I do is think about you.
Prince is a constant, and his music is always with me, and â€œSheâ€™s Always In My Hairâ€ is from 1985 but it still made the top twenty of 2012. And the ever-outspoken and prolific Kanye West made quite an impact on and off the record this year, but none so much as his Chicago collaboration with R. Kelly on â€œTo The World.â€ I think thatâ€™s going to be my theme song as I travel into whatever 2013 has in store for me.â€
Skratch Bastid sez:
â€œI always think itâ€™s best to let the ears take in a mix before reading too much about it. So if youâ€™ve gotten this far without hitting play, stop now and go start it, at least.
Done? Okay then. Letâ€™s chat about the tunes.
If I had to pick one song that defined the year for me, I would choose Miguelâ€™s â€œAdornâ€. A stone cold CLASSIC in my books. Cosmo took it first in the â€˜draftâ€™, so Iâ€™m not going to say any more about it here, but yeah, it kind of set the bar for me. Jai Paulâ€™s â€œJasmine (demo)â€, in all itâ€™s â€˜unfinishedâ€™ glory, is a song I liked more and more with every listen. I love how loose it is. I hope he never finishes it. R&B had a few bright spots this year; inspired me to go back to some of Raphael Saadiqâ€™s middle-career that I enjoyed so much. Lucy Pearlâ€™s â€œWithout Youâ€ (J Dilla Remix) prevailed play count champion.
TNGHTâ€™s Higher Ground was my favorite song to play in the cluuub and wild out to and probably the song I was most asked â€œWhat is this??â€ while it was playing. Hudson Mohawke had an amazing year (see: â€œTo The Worldâ€), big up! Now send me that â€œR U Readyâ€ jointâ€¦
In other â€œsend me that jointâ€ news, Kon has been (not) putting out some incredible edits lately. Peep his soundcloud. His take on Cerroneâ€™s â€œThinking Of Youâ€ was a staple in my summer sets. Other disco joints I found myself enjoying were classics like Jean Carnâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Let It Go To Your Headâ€ & The Jacksonsâ€™ â€œHeartbreak Hotelâ€, and a more obscure Montreal boogie rarity: Hipnoticâ€™s â€œAre You Lonely?â€, a $500 12â€³ DJ Catalist bagged in my presence at a radio station clearance sale. At least he ripped it for me. What a tune.
RAP RAP RAP. Itâ€™s getting harder and harder to keep track of these days, but thereâ€™s plenty of good stuff to go around. A few new that I enjoyed along with Cosâ€™ selections: Killer Mike & El-P â€œR.E.A.G.A.N.â€, King Tee & Tha Alkaholks & Xzibit â€“ â€œLouis XIIIâ€, Nas & Large Professor â€œLocomotiveâ€, Freeway & Just Blaze â€œEarlyâ€. But the verse of the year was probably Andre 3000 (duh) on Ricky Rozayâ€™s â€œSixteenâ€. And where the hell did Mystikalâ€™s â€œHit Meâ€ come from?! More of that, please. Do Or Die & Twistaâ€™s â€œPoâ€™ Pimpâ€ popped back in rotation. Could have been spurred by a visit to Chicago or the lyric reference featured in this mix. (Find it.)
Action Bronsonâ€™s character has grown nicely out of the Ghostface comparisons, and I have oficially ended up on the â€˜loveâ€™ side of the hate-him-or-love-him RiFF RAFF both featured here on the Harry Fraud (thumbs up) produced â€œBird On A Wireâ€. As for picking sides, I still havenâ€™t converted out of my distaste for Futureâ€™s rhymes, but Iâ€™ll be damned if â€œSame Damn Timeâ€ and â€œTurn On The Lightsâ€ werenâ€™t enjoyable tunes, the latter receiving the Ryan Hemsworth bootleg touch in this mix. Hemsworth is a very talented young producer from up north who also has an ear for making great mixes. Always checking for his output.
Donâ€™t sleep on the north. But you know this already! A Tribe Called Redâ€™s â€œElectric Pow Wowâ€ has an energy about it, man. Itâ€™s coming, itâ€™s comingâ€¦ Straddling the border, The New Royales whipped up a version of Jefferson Airplaneâ€™s â€œTodayâ€ that has the toughest snare drop I can remember. Nice version. And if weâ€™re talking tough, weâ€™re talking about Mono/Poly â€œNeeds Deodorantâ€. Missed that one last year. But see? Here it is in 2012.
The Black Keysâ€™ Dan Auerbach has a good ear and I like that he lent it to a modern Dr. John project. â€œKingdom Of Izznessâ€ is text book funky with some JJP-ish moog squirts around heavy drums. A few Howard Tate records got played around my studio, one of my favorites was â€œHow Come My Bulldog Donâ€™t Bark?â€. Another record that got spins was Wingsâ€™ â€œBand On The Runâ€ LP. How has the intro to â€œJetâ€ never been sampled before?
I think thatâ€™s it. If itâ€™s not, Iâ€™ve spoken too much already. Get out of here. Go listen. Listen to it loud. Listen to it quietly. Listen to it in the background over dinner. Listen to it on a drive. Whatever you do, you should at some point listen to Terry Callierâ€™s â€œAfrican Violetâ€ in private (in the dark if possible) and take in the work of a brilliant, under-appreciated voice that we lost this year. A voice who never really found his place in â€˜currentâ€™ music, but whoâ€™s music has been kept alive many years later by music lovers and fans. Letâ€™s enjoy and share great music when it crosses our ears, regardless of the timestamp on it. The overall listening experience becomes richer that way.â€
Have a great new year and go find some new music already!