2013 Recap


The holidays are the one time of year when I appreciate the fact that my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with promotional posts. That’s because the holidays are the time for giving, specifically the time when producers dump all of their bootlegs/edits/unfinished tracks on the unsuspecting masses. The quality is generally a mixed bag, but we’ve received a deluge of heat in the past few days that deserves its fair due. On the raps front, Lil B, King Louie, Fredo SantanaLil Silk and Fabolous have let loose new tapes over the past week or so. All deserve your attention, although save Lil B’s 05 Fuck Em and maybe spend a little more time with Silk and Louie.

The good folks at Mixpak were also kind enough to hand out a bundle of free tracks from their roster and beyond. The Holiday Bundle evokes the grime, dancehall and soca-based riddim culture that Dre Skull has so carefully curated over the past few years. Sudanim, Murlo and Koyote all bring their best to the table.

You’ve likely seen these already as well, but big hitters Flying Lotus, Zed Bias, Ryan Hemsworth Clams Casino all gave bundles of tracks away in the past few days. Casino’s third Instrumental Mixtape is probably the most cohesive attempt of the bunch, but FlyLo’s assorted beats, remixes and bootlegs offer some intriguing insight into the producer and his cohort’s recording processes. The Hemsworth collection is largely edits he’s designed for live play and the “Post-Rock Tears” version of Future’s “Honest” is a real beauty. Two step legend Zed Bias handed over 200 MB of live recording, remixes and production work under both his ZB sobriquet and his Maddslinky nom de plume.

Hit the jump for a jambalaya of free tracks…

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Head here for #50-26…

The following 25 songs are a combination of the most played songs in our iTunes and the songs we most like to play out in the club (ok, living room). It’s also an attempt to condense the dozens of wildly variegated styles we covered this year into something resembling cohesion. Shlohmo & Jeremih come in at number one, but that slot could have easily gone to any other song that precedes it. That being said, there wasn’t a song that we listened to, chanted along with and occasionally cried to more than the inimitable “Bo Peep (Do U Right)”. Without further ado, 25 songs that a few people really enjoyed…

25.) Hysterics – Code Switch (Club Mix) [Night Slugs]

24.) Thundercat – Heartbreaks + Setbacks [Brainfeeder]

23.) Kevin Gates – 4:30 AM [Mixtape]

Hit the jump to continue reading our favorite twenty five songs…

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2013 was a year. A year that saw quite a few of our favorite artists release the best work of their careers. As a blog that (purports) to cover the hip hop and electronic music worlds, we here at The Astral Plane faced a deluge of quality releases on a nearly weekly basis and while we disappeared for long stretches of time, we still attempted to keep up with the boundary pushing best we’ve come to revere and expect. The following songs and releases will hopefully act as a time capsule for what was covered in 2013 and for the direction that some of our favorite artists/genres/ambiguous sounds are trending in. In our estimation, music got weirder and more angular in 2013, as club music became more sparse and percussive and hip hop flows took on an alien, supernatural quality. A good amount of the following songs/releases made it on here because they sounded right as we drove around in the sun on Los Angeles’ web of freeways. Others made it because we couldn’t stop chanting their chorus’. Others transported us to protean, subterranean universes we’ll likely never see in reality. All in all, 2013 was an impossibly fun year, one that reiterated the lack of limits and talent out there and repositioned the roll that popular music plays in our daily lives.

50.) Zora Jones – Money Cat [Pelican Fly]

49.) Dark Sky – Voices [Mister Saturday Night]

48.) Nils Frahm – For (Max Cooper Remix) [Self-Released]

47.) P-Lo – Going To Work [Mixtape]

Hit the jump to continue reading our arbitrary as ever fifty favorite songs of 2013…

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