Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Top 5 Personal Best Albums of Breakbit 2012


There was a lot of great music that came out of Breakbit this year. From the newcomers to the old timers, everyone managed to do a fantastic job with their work. I've decided to look over all of the work and have picked the top 5 to talk about. It was a difficult task as I had to cut Metrosound's magnificently mysterious albums, Poopooface's wacky tunes among many more. This may sound like I'm being nothing more than an ass-kisser here, but a lot of you at Breakbit make wonderful stuff, and I suggest you keep it up. With that out of the way, lets get to my top 5 picks.

5. Progressive Acid Jazz by RookieTheCook

Breakbit has a large assortment of overlooked artists that range from pumping albums like mad or throwing one album into the ring to await response and then venture away, hardly to be heard from again. RookieTheCook manages to be the latter and it is understandable to see why his work has been looked away from. The sound that usually derives from Breakbit isn't particularly associated with a jazzy groove. It's more on the experimental, trip-hop and dance rave side of music. It's a shame that because of its direction it's not looked upon more, because this album is beyond sublime. Every song from "All The Good Things" to "NZT-48" utilizes the bizarre background noise, noticeable rhythm track and smooth melody template wonderfully. The songs end up settling into the mellow infrastructure of jazz but also envelop themselves in the manipulation of the samples that allow for the music to feel more free and loose. Some songs even have a very distinct tint to them, such as the vinyl record effect of "Azure" and the waiting room-like style of "Mindstate". Ignoring the 3 skits that Rookie throws into the mix, this concept of progressive acid jazz must be looked upon further. If Rookie will release more to Breakbit, he should make a considerable effort to develop further on this style.

4. Greengums by Vaervaf

While RookieTheCook's style doesn't fall through to the frame that Breakbit has set up, Vaervaf helps to construct the frame even further with his unique sound. He has always had a gleam of experimentation in his eye and Greengums captures that surrealistic element of his work quite well. Each song is filled with emotion that has been mangled to such lengths that it's incomprehensible. Most of the songs have a great melody and beat to them, and some of the more grating sections in a song end up fitting well to the tune itself. The song titles and lyrics are nothing more than cryptic Mad Libs, all that is left from listening to this album is a sensation of uncertainty. There's so many different techniques implemented into the songs that it's hard to classify the album other than saying that it's experimental. That tone is what makes the album so great because it leaves it up to the interpretation of the listener. One could find "moxlienve" to be a lingering emptiness or a pseudo-ambient piece or "brik" to be looking into the mind of a shy person ridden with ADHD or a maddening variation of a quasi-folk song. Really, it depends on whether Vaervaf is trying to convey a simply message through abstract means or taking genres and altering them beyond recognition. Since that's what the album bases itself upon, it leaves for a lot of replayability and enables the listener to continue listening.

3. Disruptor by mrSimon

Never before has a musical tribute to a children's cartoon been crafted with such a level of complexity that could easily be found in a more independent album. Not only does each song create a tone that can easily be associated with by the style that it follows but it also follows to a "three act" structure that moves the song along phases that play off just the right amount of intensity needed. The samples resemble a Pogo-esque approach which helps to not only properly shine light to the source but also weaves itself well into the progression of the song. Tracks like "Constant" and "Fine Day For Science" take it to a degree where the samples build up to later ooze out all the passion in such an angelic way. Other tracks like "Drop That Monkey" and "Past The Bolter Door" serve well as dance/rave tunes with it's faster pace and higher emphasis with the rhythm. It does help that guest artists Dainumo, Jeesh, glue70 and T-Sex either create their own tracks to play into the nostalgic connection or remix previous tracks mrSimon made to get people who have no relation whatsoever to Dexter's Lab enjoying the album just as much.

2. Autism And Recipes by DR777

It's hard to put into words how magnificent and intriguing Autism And Recipes is. This is mainly due to how all over the place it is. As it is well known, DR777 doesn't adhere to any rules when it comes to creating content. He just selects a wide array of different samples and collides them all into one product. It somehow manages to work in such a way that said product ends up becoming a very interesting work of art. Most of the songs follows a somewhat funky feel to them, but none of the songs seem to be the same in their progression. While this shows the level of skill and depth that goes into the work of DR777, it becomes difficult to explain the strengths of the album without going through a detailed explanation of each song. The best way to put it is that no matter how chaotic or how relaxed the music is, all of the songs feel like a collage put together in a way that everything belongs there and it's placed in the right spot and in the right way. If that doesn't suffice to explain how well-done Autism and Recipes is, then the next-best course of action is to purchase it. The album's a mere 5 dollars, so that's the least one can do to support an ever-growing artist.

1. Worldwide Digitizing by glue70

Glue70 had two fantastic albums released this year, so it was a difficult choice on which one should end up here. While both are absolutely delightful, Worldwide Digitizing brought out another side of glue70. Rather than basing tracks around samples and adding a few rhythm tracks below it, this album delved more into having glue70 make his own sound and then injecting samples into it so that it enhances the final product. It also manages to appeal to a larger base of listeners since the sound is less stylized and more simplistic. That's not to say that the music doesn't have an aura to it that can't be associated with glue70 and that his other works are far too complicated for the average listener, it's just filtered better for a "mainstream" crowd. The true beauty of the album is how most (if not all) of the songs can easily be transmitted to an [adult swim] bump such as "Sines Point To Yes", "Destiny Avenue" and "Peniclean". It just has such a cool vibe to it that could hook anyone in just a mere snap of the fingers. Simply put, this album has a great selection of well-made and rich-sounding tunes and it shows a more creative and precise personality of an already creative and precise artist.

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