Four Tet’s remixing skills are unparalleled because he is a mastermind of sampling. He transforms any track he remixes by creating an original work of art using loop machines and tape recorders. He’s the kind of producer that in less than ten seconds can chop up a two second sample from a stem, slow it down 100 times, source another worthy sample from his library, swing it, duplicate it and pitch it up an octave and loop it in a captivating, rapid-fire succession. Repeat that process a few dozen more times and tactfully formulates a complete and original piece of art.
Mac Miller – Swimming
Mac Miller was a larger than life musical genius who passed away this year from an apparent drug overdose. His death was a devastating blow to his friends, family, and fans. His latest album, Swimming, is an artistic masterpiece that will transcend viral music culture and stand out as an iconic representation of our generation. His music brings me to tears: it’s so beautiful, yet tragic.
Best New Artist
TT is the solo project of Theresa Wayman of the acclaimed art rock outfit, Warpaint. In 2018, Theresa released her debut album, LoveLaws. The beauty of her music is that it showcases her unique individuality and her musical maturity. Theresa successfully created a one-woman band act by performing bass, guitar, synth, and producing drum beats. LoveLaws was a snapshot of her life as a touring musician. Although her lifestyle appeared to be glamorous on the surface: Theresa sheds light on a lonely and isolated routine, which is universally relatable to the overall human experience.
Track of the Year
Boogarins, “Foi Mal”
“Foi Mal” is a 2018 break out song for the band, Boogarins, a psych-pop outfit hailing from Goiania, Brazil. As a native English speaker, I may not understand their Portuguese lyrics. However, this track possesses all the musical “feels” and is stunning to witness live. The ensemble builds tension through the use of dynamics and by occasionally pausing with anticipation. This suspense makes the music come to life and is an exercise of breathing collectively with their audience. Despite possessing a deliberate lo-fi sound, this song exemplifies DIY recordings executed correctly by not compromising the production quality of the record. Boogarins transcend above the current massive influx of mediocre, indie psych-rock bands.
Artist of the Year
GUM, aka Jay Watson, is the real MVP when it comes to the neo-psychedelia music universe. He is an active member of Tame Impala, Pond, and is the mastermind of his own solo endeavor, GUM. His latest 2018 record, The Underdog, is worth a listen from start to finish.
Favorite Show of the Year
Desert Daze Festival 2018
Desert Daze Music Festival at Moreno Beach, CA was a smorgasbord of psychedelic and indie rock acts from around the world. This growing, yet seemingly under the radar festival, showcases the best of up incoming art, music, and Los Angeles music culture.
April + VISTA
April + Vista, based in the DMV, create jazzy, R&B chill out electronica music via local record label, Otherfeels. Their respective musical talents complement each other: cultivating a yin and yang musical balance.