Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kranky Style - 2 playlists to celebrate 20 years of Kranky Records

When people talk about Chicago's history of fiercely independent record labels, they usually bring up Touch and Go, Drag City, and Thrill Jockey. It's too bad that Kranky Records, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2013, doesn't come to mind more often, because it certainly belongs in that company—it's proved just as reliable, creative, and uncompromising as any of those better-known imprints. (from Kranky's 20 Uncompromising Years, Chicago Reader)
I was not a fine connoisseur of Kranky Records music, but when I read articles such the one above, or this one, or this other one, I wanted to know (& listen to) something more about this label. So I entered in a world made with the kosmic kranky sounds of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Deerhunter, Atlas Sound, Tim Hecker, Low, Grouper, Labradford, Out Hud... And I liked it.  

Results: two playlists. The first one is a kind of unofficial and absolutely questionable best of, compiled basically on the preferences of community, revised by some personal aesthetics. The second one is a new evidence of the incurable encyclopedical pathology affecting myself, made possible by Kranky official website: a complete archive of all Kranky albums I found on Spotify (it's a heavy one: 1385 tracks). 

So you have two roads diverging in the dark Kranky wonderwood, you can enjoy the most travelled one or shuffle into the infinite forest. Both, I slowly discovered, may give you great satisfactions. 



* Chronologically following the catalog numbers, from the oldest to the newest. I haven't found just 14 of almost 200 albums: Beat (Bowery Electric, Krank014), Pan American (Pan American, Krank025), 360 Business / 360 Bypass (Pan American, Krank041), F (Fontanelle, Krank048), The River Made No Sound (Pan American, Krank051), Avec Laudenum (Stars of the Lid, Krank059), The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light (Growing, Krank073), Kranky Compilation (Various Artists, Krank077), Cached (Nudge, Krank083), The Pyschic Nature of Being (Linches, Krank086), Precis (Benoit Pioulard, Kranky098), Temper/Precis (Benoit Pioulard, Krank123), Nothing Ever Happened (7") (Deerhunter, Krank126), A Winged Victory for the Sullen (A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Krank157). As usual, their lack may be local, in my own country's Spotify catalog. 

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