As the Internet allows for the fragmentation of tastes and musical scenes to increase with each passing year, critical attempts to address an overarching annual narrative seem as if they’re becoming a thing of the past. Instead we get something closer to an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” with several intricate sub-plots coexisting and influencing each other to enjoyable, unpredictable ends. 2009 found house developing still deeper on one hand and running at surface level on the other, some of its adherents picked away by a Latin strain which grew rather unwieldy. UK bass music of all sorts reached further afield for its influences, adding boogie, house and freestyle into its repertoire while dubstep proper refined its sound as the wobble variety began to grate. Techno grew harder, weirder, and more fiercely independent than most had seen in years, and many of its talents continued their courtship with stepping musics. And by the end of the year, there was more than enough excellent tracks to declare 2009’s yield both fruitful and memorable. After looking back, we’ve chosen these 25 tracks as the best this year had to offer.
Pépé Bradock’s catalog falls into a few different modes. There’s elegant deep house (the famous “Deep Burnt,” the achingly beautiful “6 Million Pintades” EP, most recently “Mandragore”), hip-hop and electro-inflected grooves (several tracks from his early “Un Pepe En Or” EPs), and eccentric experiments (the fucked up “Rhapsody in Pain”). Though Bradock seems to have left overt hip-hop behind while maintaining the influence in subtler ways, deep house and experimental electronica are in full effect on his excellent new 12″, “Swimsuit Issue 1789.”
[Atavisme] Underlying Pépé Bradock’s production genius is a vein of weirdness which has grown wider and more prominent at surface level with each passing year. Its influence in the direction and aesthetic of Bradock’s work was apparent even in his relatively straightforward French deep-house tracks from the 90’s, with a willingness to disengage from four-to-the-floor […]