Wednesday 3 January 2024


Hello. Happy New Year. The year begins with a selection of last year's best music as it appeared to your friend and mine, Gus Bonito (alias: the human, Douglas Augustus Lobban). Gus needs no introduction, but here it is. He comprises one third of the wonderful electronic pop rap trio, Kero Kero Bonito and also creates his own music, mixes and remixes, sometimes as Augustus, other times as Gus Bonito but perhaps most notably under the moniker Kane West, a stalwart of the experimental netlabel PC Music.

Another reason that Gus needs no introduction is because he wrote his own (below). Enjoy.

And so the Earth's 2023rd rotation around the sun following the birth of baby Jesus is complete. My central preoccupation this year has been the next Kero Kero Bonito album, but there was time for some extracurricular activities, like KKB's theme song for the Pokรฉmon World Championships, the Kane West slot on PC Music's 10th anniversary mix, and my and bo en's remix of our old song "Money Won't Pay" for his Pale Machine 2.

In fact, my first major activity of 2024 will be to bring a rare Gus Bonito vs. Kane West live show on tour across the USA with bo en and Kikuo; see you there music lovers.

My personal musical highlight was probably the indescribably mind-melting Yumi Matsutoya concert at Budokan I flew to Tokyo specifically to see (thanks Ken), but it was a solid year for new music too. Here's some 2023 music that reflects my experience of the year in no order.

underscores – Wallsocket

Gus Bonito: Cutting edge digital indie rock that precisely captures small town American paranoia.

Laura Groves – Radio Red

GB: Masterful singer-songwriting for the ages.

Braids – Euphoric Recall

GB: Lush, creative arrangements and joyfully exploratory vocals just sound great.

A. G. Cook – 0000ff

GB: A rarely personal farewell to an era. See also: everything else PC Music released this year, one of their best.

Lil Hero – big ballin

GB: One of the sparkliest hyperspeed TikTok rave pop gems (the parent EP [pawwwfect!] came out this year so it's not cheating). See also: kkbutterfly27xx's suburban BritTok madness and Odetari being embraced by the masses despite zero trad music journalist acknowledgement.

[cf. kkbutterfly27xx - Barbie Lifestyle
Odetari - Good Loyal Thots

Frost Children – Speed Run

GB: Expertly-tooled electro house for the hyperreal generation.

Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want to Turn Into You

GB: There's a reason why this is lots of people's 2023 favourite; a triumph of the virtues of great chords, beautiful melodies and insane vocals.

Tapeworms – IRL

GB: Tapeworms are one of the best future rock bands out there right now.

felicita – Spalarkle

GB: I saw Felicita thrice this year, performing completely different shows each time. I think this might be the best thing they've done yet.

Jessy Lanza – Love Hallucination

GB: The record that means the ever-reliable club-pop deconstructivist Jessy Lanza's discography now comprises four essential albums.

Jockstrap – I<3UQTINVU

GB: 2023 was the year the credited remix was confirmed as the musical equivalent of ignored DVD bonus content (I'm saying this as someone who still does and enjoys remixes). In its place comes the mysterious collaborative-self-remix-album-sequel. See also: bo en's pale machine 2.

Max Tundra – This Woman's Work

GB: Don't call it a comeback! See also: Max Tundra's "Lights 2023".

*not patented

Gus Bonito Internet Presence ☟
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