Aaron Rutledge

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I'm a seasoned digital product designer, developer, team leader, and entrepreneur. Some of my expertise: clarity in user experience, creative team leadership, scalable platform architectures, and product lifecycle planning.

I also have deep interests in the visual arts, music, digital signal processing for synthesis, and travel.

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Mega-Dorky 2013 Music List Extravaganza

Time one again for my end-of-year music retrospective. This time I’ve picked out some winners and given them categories that help get down to the ‘why’ faster. Fun times! Previous years here: 2012, 2011, 2010

Most 1983 Texture In A 2013 Album
Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven
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Favorite R&B/Chillout Splice
Toro Y Moi - Anything In Return
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Best Non-Ironic Cyberpunk Album
Xander Harris - The New Dark Age of Love
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Solid Prince Channelling By Williamsburger
Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety
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I Still Miss Late 90’s Raves, Fine, Shut Up.
Zomby - With Love
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Best Maturation In A Sophomore Release
Mount Kimbie - Cold Spring Fault Less Youth
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Tastiest Album That Makes You Feel Horrible After Consuming
Major Lazer - Free The Universe
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Reminder: Why You Love 80’s Action Movies & Retro Games
Kavinsky - OutRun
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Best Straight Up Electronic Album
Jon Hopkins - Immunity
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Best Bjork Album Not By Bjork
Glasser - Interiors
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Here’s a quick analysis of the album structure for Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. After discussing it at length with a few friends, I wanted to find the real details as to why the album structure was so great.

Here’s what I’ve found:

- They have paced the album to have a mirror structure tonally. The “1st Half” and “2nd Half” of the album are almost the exact same length, and the entire album uses Touch as a central balance point.

- Given Touch’s melodramatic tone, they’ve placed both of the tracks with the strongest groove (both happen to be Pharrell’s guest tracks) right before and after Touch.

- The two slowest tracks are each 1 place from the beginning and end, to keep the overall balance of the album in equilibrium.

- There’s amazing attention to detail in the key changes from track to track. Most easily noticeable in the Chilly Gonzales piano segue from track 3 to 4.

TLDR; Daft Punk have focused on creating something that is intended to be listened to from front-to-back, without any real focus on getting the “singles” in front of you as early as possible. This is something not seen too often in popular music since most things have moved to digital track sales.

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