8 Albums I Listened To That I Really Enjoyed And 8 Games I Played In 2015 That I Think Are Alright, I Guess

The first in a heretofore undetermined amount of lists I plan to make regarding the games I played in 2015.

I used to run a blog where I wrote about music but I kinda stopped doing it after a while. I also stopped keeping up with new music shortly afterwards. Somehow, I found that there were several albums that came out this year that I was really into. So here I am writing about them for you to read! I played a lot of video games this year too. So I'll write something about those I suppose.

Putting links up here since you can't actually link to stuff in list entries.

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24].

List items

  • JME - Integrity> (Boy Better Know)

    I almost wanted to dedicate an entire entry on this list to Grime itself since I spent a lot of the year looking into the history of the genre/scene. But that would require a level of work that I'd rather not put into this dumb thing. So instead I decided to choose a single grime album to write about for this and in the end I had to go with Integrity>. JME might just be the most approachable MC in grime right now if you've never heard any of it before. His accent isn't too thick so you have a good chance of actually understand what he's saying and the lyrical content is very (unexpectedly, even) positive. Among the typical boasting you'll hear pretty much anywhere else, a lot of the themes include working hard to get what you want, staying humble and not selling out. There's also a few lines(bars?) on 'Game' where he makes some amusing wordplay with video game genres because and I think that's pretty great. The production side of the album isn't gonna change the game but it's very solid stuff.

    Integrity> is a good place to start if you wanna know what grime is all about and I'd probably expound on it more but I still don't truly understand it. All I do know is that I like listening to it and if you want to do the same you can check out most of the album (officially!) on his YouTube channel[1].

    See Also: More good 2015 grime stuff; Newham Generals - Scars[2], Novelist x Mumdance - Shook[3], Maxsta - 100 Problems EP[4], Wiley & Zomby - Step 2001[5].

    Not a Hero is alright. I don't really like Bunnylord though.

  • DJ Mastercard - Virtual Crime (Activia Benz/Mall Music Inc.)

    DJ Mastercard and the rest of Mall Music Incorporated have had an absolutely killer year with tons of HOT releases. Out of all of them, Mastercard's debut EP Virtual Crime is my favorite of them all. I imagine this could be the the soundtrack to some kind of cyberpunk universe where augmented street gangs reign supreme over a lawless Neo Los Angeles. I wouldn't exactly characterize the EP dark though, bleak maybe but not dark. Especially since the EP peaks with two tracks ('Cryogenics' & 'Savage') that paint a picture of illuminated neon nights rather than that of a grey post-apocalypse.

    Pair all of this with familiar footwork drum patterns and very effective samples and you've got one standout release. You can get it for free courtesy of the people over at Activia Benz[6].

    See also: DJ Mastercard released another EP fairly recently titled Corrupted Memories and a few other members of the Mall Music clique have put out some stuff too. DJ Orange Julius released his debut EP (Some Pulp) and head honcho DJ Paypal came out with new an EP (Buy Now) and a full-length album (Sold Out). You can listen to and purchase all of it over at the Mall Music bandcamp page[7].

    I played Peggle earlier this year and I think it's okay.

  • Rezzett - Goodness (The Trilogy Tapes)

    When I first heard Goodness, I wasn't really into it. Maybe because it sounds a bit more cleaned up compared to Rezzett's earlier stuff. I often think that the sound of their first two EPs sound like what JPEG compression looks like.

    Repeated listens got me to warm up to it as I realized it was just an effed up take on techno. The crushed and distorted sound is still there but it hasn't had quite the impact the third time around. I still enjoy it all the same though!

    See also: Rezzett's first two EPs, along with Goodness, can be listened to or purchased over on their bandcamp page[8]. You can also catch a preorder for their new EP over on The Trilogy Tapes store[9] if you want.

    I played too much TERA this year and I think it's okay. Just okay though.

  • Commodo, Gantz & Kahn - Volume One (Deep Medi Musik)

    Not quite sure who made a deal with the devil to make this collabo a reality but the product is without a doubt some of the gnarliest dubstep I've heard in a long time. I'm not lying when I tell you I turned most of these songs off halfway through them because I thought they were too much. Which is a good thing. Trust me. I also imagine it's hard to put your own personal spin on a track when you're making it with two other like-minded producers but somehow these 3 titans manage to make bits of each track their own. I reckon you can buy this on most digital stores since the physical release is pretty much sold out. The entire album is available to listen to on the label's Soundcloud[10].

    See also: Pretty much any solo work by the 3 artists involved. If you'd like somewhere to start then you can try Dread by Kahn[11], Northern Soul by Commodo[12] and Stayer by Gantz[13].

    Not sure if you've heard, but Duke3D is an alright game. Even in 2015 Duke still manages to be a totally playable video game.

  • Evol - Flapper That (Diagonal)

    Flapper That is what some would definitely consider to be "not music" but I've listened to this so many times I've begun to theorize on what it might actually be. Over time the constant throaty noises started to seem like an abstract take on acid techno without any percussion or real structure. Just a repetitive 'n' rubbery drone that I think is not only musically interesting but very pleasing to listen to as well. It's pretty rough stuff though. I seriously do not recommend listening to this if you aren't into screwy computer sounds but if that's what your thing then you can check it out here[14].

    See also: I was often thought of Lorenzo Senni's albums 'Quantum Jelly'[15] and 'Superimpositions'[16] which are concept albums that are synthesizer-only odes to 90's trance music.

    I probably played (or at the very least, thought about playing) Cool Spot this year and from what I remember it's not as bad as a licensed game featuring a food mascot should be. I also didn't drink any 7-up this year but I think it's an alright soda.

  • Lil Ugly Mane - Third Side of Tape (Self-released)

    As far as I'm concerned Lil Ugly Mane has more or less quit rapping since he put out 'On Doing An Evil Deed Blues'. Since then a final mixtape (Oblivion Access) has been promised and has still yet to be delivered. Luckily, he's released a hefty amount of compilations in it's stead and there's even a condensed preview of about 100 seconds of chopped up bits of the tape to assure people it's still on the way. Third Side of Tape is, as the name suggests, the third edition of the Three Sided Tape series. It's also the final one and it couldn't possibly be a better send off. Unlike the previous two tapes, the third feels a lot more like an audio scrapbook than a compilation of unreleased work. Many songs sound like they were made in an afternoon after fiddling about in FL Studio while some retain the quality of a Shawn Kemp (Ugly Mane's producer alias) track. The range of genres you'll hear on this tape is astounding. Even more surprising once you realize that it was all made by a single person over a 10+ year period. I can guarantee you won't ever listen to an album that contains raps about lost cats, crusty punk rock and almost-Rednex levels of electronic nonsense. It feels very personal and provides a little bit of insight on the man behind the name. I'm still waiting on pins and needles for Oblivion Access but until then I'm glad I've got this to tide me over.

    You can listen to and purchase this, along with the rest of Ugly Mane's discography, over on his bandcamp page[17].

    See also: The first two sides of Tape if you enjoyed the hip-hop instrumental parts of this one. If you're feeling adventurous you can check some other weird stuff he's made under various aliases at The Complaint Register[18].

    This game's alright.

  • Gerry Read - A Fah Dunk Ho Town (Unknown To The Unknown)

    I've always been a fan of Gerry Read's output. Catchy live-recorded drum loops, mostly unintelligible but sometimes lewd vocal samples and funky/screwball melodies are various elements that appear in his tunes that made me such a big fan of his work.

    A Fah Dunk Ho Town isn't a very drastic change from his usual formula though. It's a ruff house joint that's driven by a jaunty beat and a ghetto vocal sample. It's also got, what I can only describe as, a nice layer of dust to it that most of Gerry's tracks seem to have.

    Best of all, it's available for free. Listen and download here[19].

    See also: Any of Gerry Read's releases on Fourth Wave[20] are good places to look if you want something a bit similar.

    I left this open (according to Steam) for about 19 hours. I'm not really into idle/clicker games. I think the art is fine.

  • Sophie - Product (Numbers)

    If Product was a person it'd look like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu if she got into the machine from The Fly with fast food pink slime.

    Sophie's Product is sickeningly sweet pop music with vague meaningless lyrics that's been mashed and merged with various elements of popular dance music (EDM if you wanna call it that). It's aesthetic is very deliberatelly manufactured and it's sound is synthetic in nature.

    Even the noise track on Product sounds like it's been slathered in cotton candy before it got off the assembly line. Every song on this album feels like it was engineered to appeal to a mass audience and then before it got finalized the tracks someone thought "What if we added a bunch of gastric sounds to it?"

    And somehow, the album got better because of it. It's very strange but I loved and continue to love every single minute of it.

    You can stream the entire album from the label's Youtube channel[21].

    See also: QT[22], a duo formed by Sophie and A. G. Cook. Cook's label, PC Music[23], has a similar sound to Sophie but with a harder lean towards the fraudulent pop aspect. Similarly, Joseph Marinetti's PDA EP[24] leans in the other direction (less pop, more dance).

    I don't think this game is good, at all. I do think it's hilarious. So, logically, I think it evens out to being just alright.