Panthersan’s Best Albums of 2014 – Number 1

Henry Plotnik – Blue Fourteen


Thirteen is a funny age. For me it was a kind of limbo. The childhood indulgences that had pre-occupied me all the way back when I was 12, such as whose scientific calculator was the most scientific or whose waterproof watch was the most waterproof were long gone and the heady days of smoking fags, listening to music and hanging out with girls that came when I was 14 still seemed a world away. I’m not sure what I was doing when I was 13, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t crafting exquisitely textured experimental minimalist soundscapes and releasing them on cool, underground DIY cassette labels. Henry Plotnick is only 13, but is already on his second album and his music is just amazing. As far as I know, he just uses a keyboard with a loop pedal, but the result is a whole album of beautiful, dense, textured minimalist genius that unfolds in waves of perfectly composed sound.

Now for a small confession: I only heard this album for the first time yesterday (hence the joint number 2s)! I may well regret making it my Album of the Year in a few weeks time, but right at this very second it sounds to me like the most amazing record I’ve heard all year and isn’t that what being a music (or football, or whatever) fan is all about? Just being so bowled over by something that it distorts your judgement and causes well-educated, grown adults to make wild unsubstantiated proclamations about things at a drop of a hat?

Merry Christmas Spillers – I’m off to drink some hot sake and listen to Blue Fourteen for the fifth time in almost as many hours!

8 thoughts on “Panthersan’s Best Albums of 2014 – Number 1

  1. Quite amazing stuff for 13, it sounds as though he’s very familiar with Terry Riley and Steve Reich, if not he should contact SR about an apprenticeship. The access to good gear and like minded spirits would work wonders; he needs polish. Keep us informed.

    • Cheers for listening GF, I did wonder if it might be your cup of tea as I know you like a bit minimalist composition. Yes, I thought of Terry Riley too. If he’s this good at 13, he should have a pretty bright future!

    • I’ve got something by Steve Reich that sounds similar to that.
      I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted this before, it’s an amazing piece, needs headphones and close attention, particularly near the end. I”s a fragment of a TV interview by a kid who was beaten by the police, it’s from mid 60’s, Steve Reich.

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