2013. A new year like previous years, but for me it feels different. When it comes to music, looking back at specific anniversaries allows me to look back at my life, what I’ve achieved (and haven’t achieved) since I first heard something. Even if it’s music I did not listen to upon its initial release, I can look back and see how that music affected me.
2013 marks 25 years that I ended my time in high school, and I look at that ending of one chapter of my life with the beginning of another with the release of an album by Public Enemy. In five years, I had felt that hip-hop was going through a few changes, some good, some not so good. Then a certain album was released in November 1993 which lead me to say “everything I ever wanted in hip-hop, I found in the Wu”. Public Enemy allowed me to look forward, while the Wu-Tang Clan allowed me to look back with its barrage of pop culture references and kung fu metaphors.
2013 will mark the 30 year anniversary of a collection of sounds from England that would move me to want to become a music producer. Initially I had viewed these sounds as the creation of one spectacled man, but in truth it was his production team, or “theam”, that would help create a dominant style of production for the remainder of the 1980’s. While my production work has not been as prosperous or as influential, I found that what he and his production team were doing is what I wanted to hear in this music that would be called hip-hop, but also opened my interests in electronic and synthesized music.
2013 marks the 40th anniversary of two albums that were and are not only hugely influential in electronic and synthesized music, but on pop music in its entirety. One begins and ends with a heartbeat, while the other could morph itself into a chameleon.
2013 also marks a significant time in my life. On the positive side, some of my earliest memories happened 40 years ago. Ten years later, my father died. My parents’ love of music are essential to me, as my curiosity of their sounds lead to my interests in music, which was the seeds of a much greater curiosity which continues today. On my dad’s musical tastes, I’m left with a few voids but I realize he passed along some information in the time I got to know him.
In 2013, I will honor many of the albums that made me the music numb nut I am today, and I hope you will come with me for the ride, as I feel it is an important part of my life’s journey so far.