two thirds into 2012 and we already have what is shaping up to be album of the year in the form of Frank Ocean’s channel Orange, it’s been a while since we heard such a well rounded record that appeals to all kinds of music lovers. as you might know already, variety is a key element when it comes to music for us at colectivo futuro and that’s why we are presenting you with a broad selection of genres and styles with our favourite records from the past 4 months. this is by no means a “definitive” list, simply put, it’s a glimpse into the music that we appreciate and enjoy at any given time during our daily lives. music that we hope you enjoy as much as we do.
the walkmen – heaven [bella union]
The Walkmen are a five-piece rock band based in New York, who are known for a distinctive analogue sound, happiness-inducing melodies, and a host of well-deserved reviews throughout their releases since their debut in 2002. In 10 years the band has recorded 7 studio albums with each record proving to be better than its predecessor; with their latest, the band was intent on delivering a bigger statement, and with ‘Heaven’ they have certainly done just that . For a band that’s been around for a long time, this album sounds like their career is certainly far from over. During its recording, the band counted with the magic ears of producer Phil Ek of Helplessness Blues fame, while featuring contributions from Robin Pecknold and Morgan Henderson, both members of Fleet Foxes; and Simon Raymonde from Cocteau Twins. ‘Heaven’ is a well balanced, guitar and voice oriented album with very profound lyrics that talk about achievements in life, the luck of love, and fatherhood. Listening to this record will mentally transport you to cruising along the coast with a big smile on your face. All in all, sometimes we just prefer something real, something honest, and simply analogue; ‘Heaven’ by The Walkmen surely delivers all that and more. (by arash fattahi)
poliça – give you the ghost [memphis industries]
I first heard of this Minneapolis based band through Gilles Peterson’s BBC6 radio show back in April when he played the single ‘Happy Be Fine’. Since then, I’ve had their debut album Give You The Ghost on constant repeat. Lead singer’s Channy Leaneagh’s echo-chambered vocals wander alongside Chris Bierden’s often funky basslines and the cleverly arranged drumming of Ben Ivascu and Drew Christophersons. It is to be noted that they have two drummers on the band and yes they drum at the same time, which on the live setting provides a very cool effect. While this album might fail to transcend upon first listen, I truly recommend giving it a go several times. You’ll soon start noticing all of the intricacies laid out by producer Ryan Olson, who perfectly combines a notable pop sensibility with subtle strokes of electronic music. It’s hard to point out just a couple of stand-out tracks as Give You The Ghost is one of those rare occurrences of an album that’s strong from start to finish. But perhaps its strongest point lies in the fact that the music on this album sounds fresh, forward looking, and very well produced during times when so many bands are touting a revivalist and lo-fi sound.(by miguel colmenares)
actress – r.i.p. [honest jon’s]
By now a fairly obvious choice, to be honest I’m not sure if there’s much more to say about an album that had blogs, music magazines, and broadsheets, not only gushing over it, but lining up to interview the man behind it: the elusive Actress. Well, naturally this has also been Colectivo Futuro’s favourite electronic album of late. Influenced by classic UK garage, techno, and house; but rarely sounding like music made for a club, R.I.P. is undoubtedly “head music”, made to be heard at home or on the move, though there is certainly a track or two that we’ve been obliged to occasionally drop on the dancefloor. With R.I.P., Actress has outdone himself in his originality, to create an ethereal and unsettling set; arguably one of the most intricate, surprising, beautiful, and honest electronic albums this year and up there with anything else out in recent memory. And rare for 2012, in the days of spotified wading through thousands of albums, this is a record I’ve enjoyed much more than once. If any jaded electronic music fans ask me to recommend ‘something new’, I just point them to this. (by oli brunetti)
ka – grief pedigree [iron works]
Brooklyn based rapper Ka has been in the game for a long time. He hasn’t always gotten the recognition he deserves, but that’s not something that seems to trouble him. In any case, that lack of recognition seems to have taken a massive u-turn with the release of his second full length Grief Pedigree. Using self-produced murky and sparse beats as the background to his real-life rhymes, Ka is not one to be concerned with the fame and exuberant lifestyle of his more mainstream counterparts; instead he’s more willing to share stories of struggle and everyday life as part of his MO. The album opens up with a quote from what seems to be an old radio or tv programme that mentions how Ka’s neighbourhood, Brownsville, is a tough place to be. This is a theme prevalent throughout the entire album as Ka raps about stories of struggle, hunger, drugs, and other grimey happenings. Yet, the rapper seems unfazed and at times indifferent towards such situations by keeping a steady, laid-back, and often cold delivery. This is an album best enjoyed during headphone listening sessions and during moments of introspection. (by miguel colmenares)
frank ocean – channel orange [def jam]
channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean’s sophomore, yet first “official” effort, is certainly one of the year’s most discussed and debated albums. Not only is the music content absolutely brilliant, this record also carries some rather heavy baggage. The two most talked about events linked to the release of channel ORANGE are Frank’s open letter, posted on his tumblr, which takes a poetic stab at his rather open-ended sexuality; this was quickly followed by a refusal from north-american retail store Target to stock the release on grounds that it had an ITunes exclusive. Speculation aside, this record is a valiant and successful effort by the smart, charming, and witty 24-year-old from New Orleans; Ocean’s channel ORANGE is personal, penned in an admirable language, and eloquently executed. This can be experienced in the LP’s opening track, ‘Thinkin Bout You’, where the words “my eyes don’t shed tears, but boy they pour when I’m thinking bout you” are intriguing and lend acumen to understanding how personal the rest of the material on the album is. Moreover, the album’s elegant ambiguities allow for a sense of inclusiveness. At times we are transported to moments in which we experienced our first feelings of love and the sentimental songs we enjoyed during that time frame. Even though Frank heavily wears his heart on his sleeve throughout this record, channel ORANGE‘s assortment of excellently produced jams will surely have you grooving and enjoying what is sure to be one of the best albums of 2012. (by harold fandino)
Other standouts during the past four months here at colectivo futuro include the dark experiments of WIXIW by Liars, the subtle soundscapes of Inner Hue by LA based Anenon, the drum machine infused workouts of Vedomir by ukranian boss man Vakula, and the weird, collage-like music of LP by d’Eon.