BBBD Best Undiscovered Tracks of 2007 (Part 1 of 5)
I feel as though I sold myself short with my statistical sum-up of the year. It was a little bit too straightforward and was only an indication of what I most frequently listened to over the course of the year rather than what I really liked in the end. There is a difference!
I now present to you the first installation of BBBD's Best Undiscovered Tracks List of 2007. (So now I've done artists and unknown acts, but still no favorite albums or "mainstream" independent favorites -- we shall see what the future holds!)
You can get the ZIP of all 25 of my favorite tunes here or download the MP3s one-by-one over the course of five days.
Breakbot - Summer Party
2007 was the year of Justice -- at least on the electronic/dance end of the spectrum -- a statement most clearly illustrated through the sheer number of Justice imitators! From the rest of the Ed Banger crew to Teenage Bad Girl to Yuksek to Brodinski to oh so many more, this year was clearly influenced in a substantial way by the young Parisian duo. Breakbot represents a faction that splintered away from the Justice bandwagon. He retains the same underlying dance aesthetic and robotic swing, but adds an extra dose of funk to the mix. He represents the true successor.
Cheap Beat - Club Cheap Beat
Just when the Swedish pop scene was starting to get boring or at least monotonous, Cheap Beat waltzes onto the scene with contagious power-pop licks, Robert Smith-esque vocals, punkier roots, and an overall fresh approach to popular music that their fellow Scandinavian musicians failed to pick up on. Ashame, but at least Cheap Beat is here to save the day now!
datA - Aerius Light
While Breakbot represents the suave, classy substitute for Justice (for those of us who have just heard "D.A.N.C.E." one too many times), datA represents everything that's good about the overplayed pair's music. The metal-inspired electronic anthems, tremendous distortions, abrasive sound qualities, and angular, sharp beats can culminate into something worthwhile and fun, and datA proved that aptly this year.
Glass Candy - Beatific
I'm not even sure if Glass Candy really counts as an "undiscovered" band, but they certainly haven't received the attention they deserve, so I'm classifying them as such. Johnny Jewel -- a member of Glass Candy as well as of Chromatics as well as the producer for both entities -- is massively under-appreciated. Mr. Jewel is, in BBBD's eyes, one of the greater producers of the 21st century. His crisp and clean style is reminiscent of post-punk legends (Martin Hannett!), but the extra jolt of Italian disco and space rock is refreshing addition (too many New Wave bands these days). Glass Candy's music is all at once digestible and accessible yet exceptionally foreign and excitingly confounding. It's like valuing modern art and pointing out which painter will be "big" in five, yen years time: it's a gamble, but usually, the folks who are most out there and most bizarre are the one who, in the end, will be most prized and valued. So it is with Glass Candy/Johnny Jewel.
HEALTH - Triceratops
BBBD is based in L.A., so HEALTH, a four-piece based just around the corner from BBBD HQ, gets extra Brownie points by default. That being said, though, the quartet is an exciting new band that's making those of us who've become a little jaded with the "noise" scene find some solace in the decaying genre. HEALTH infuses true talent with their noise jams ... I only hope it heightens all our appreciations for solid music and good craftsmanship. HEALTH has shown us that noise isn't just for people wanting to form a band but not having the skills and wherewithal to do so. The really rock.