Out with the old…
As the end of 2014 was rapidly approaching, I realized that I had not kept my collection of that year’s releases organized enough for me to put together and post one or two ‘best of the year’ cloudcasts as I had done for 2013 on NWshoegazing. I figured I’d have to make do with posting lists of my ‘top five’ albums, EPs, and singles. Unfortunately, while I knew that I would have to leave out some good EPs and singles in paring those two lists down to only their top five entries, off the top of my head, I could only come up with three albums: DIV I DED – Born to Sleep, Parasol – I Close My Eyes to See You Again, and Sexores – Historias de Frío. I suspected Lightfoils – Hierarchy might also be on that list, but it had been so long since I had listened to it that I wasn’t sure*.
“So,” I thought, “I’ll just refresh my memory by gathering together all the music I collected in 2014 and seeing what names jump out at me. It sounded good in theory, but in practice, I spent many hours of the last three days in December hunting down music folders and the associated cover art across three computers and twice as many external hard drives. In the end, I only made it halfway through the alphabet, but I can tell you that, from ‘A’ thru ‘M’, I have retrieved 252 release and cover art pairs. Expecting to find a similar number of releases in ‘N’ thru ‘Z’, I abandoned the notion of posting any ‘top five’ lists.
Someone who did have his act together was Renato Malizia over at The Blog That Celebrates Itself. I spent a large part of yesterday morning listening to the three, nicely packaged compilations, cleverly named after the three states of matter: solid, liquid, and gaseous, which he put up on Bandcamp.
I started with Solid and ended with Gaseous, and found that, although the lines between sub-genres is not as clearly established on Liquid and Gaseous as they are on Solid, going through these comps in the order I did was like taking a journey from the fringes of Shoegaze in toward its center. The Post-Punk and ‘gothgaze’ of Solid led into the mostly ‘dreamgaze’ of Liquid and finally into the ‘psychgaze’ of Gaseous. For someone like me, who likes to save the best for last, this was the right order in which to play these compilations.
… in with the new
Hoping I’ve learned a lesson, my New Year’s resolutions for music include:
1. being more selective about what I download,
2. fully processing each release as soon after downloading it as possible, and
3. archiving each ‘keeper’ in an organized and consistent manner.
I wonder how long that will last.
I’m off to a good start. I’ve already made three 2015 purchases, two of which are preorders: Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters (Club AC30) and Echodrone – Five (Saint Marie Records). So far, the only purchase I’ve been able to download and listen to is a two-track single, Magic Love – Night Before, which follows last year’s release, the three-track Dawn EP.
Japanese dreamgazers Hamanaka Shohei (guitar and vocals) and Kondo Kazuaki (drums, recording, mixing, and mastering) were joined by special guests Kokeguchi Seiji (bass) and Yoshiyama Moe (guitar, synth, and vocals) to record these two “Basement Session” tracks, whose original versions are found on Magic Love‘s 2011 release, Bright a Scene.
*Having listened to it again, I can safely say that Lightfoils – Hierarchy would have made my list of top five albums of 2014.