A trembling, tumbling, tribal drum murmur announces the arrival of February 2014! While this noise could very well be the blood throbbing from our brains to our temples - the sheer weight of anticipation for a new month should serve as some kind of signifier of how diverse and instrumental January was.

We love to stubbornly barnacle to the past and all the things that have happened. Heck, one better we love to reminisce don't we? Little musical-druggies and our constant searching for more and anything new, whilst simultaneously keeping one toe firmly fondling the past. Despite the month ending in mild acrimony after some shitty award shows, eye-gauging reviews and ill behaviour - like a drug, there's always a new fix poking it's little head around the corner beckoning for our attention.

Which brings us to this new sneaky monthly roundup recap. Can we getta' little handclap, crouch down, chin up excitement then? What the blind eagles happened here at The 405 last month? Looking back - it was rather impressive.

We're kind of a big deal.



Top Features

If we've learnt anything from our main January features, it was how music will always be a constant conversation, an invitation to explore new ideals, thoughts and feelings. As Max Richter told us before his special one-off show at the Barbican Centre with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, "making music is like thinking aloud." True to form we admire artists who let their music speak louder than any image they project or allow the public to perceive. For us, an artist's appeal doesn't rest solely within a realm of commercial viability/mainstream success alone.

Max continues; "Music is this gigantic universe - subcultures just bubbling across one another." It's musicians like Max and Bibio too, who navigate outside of this norm. Musicians who see contrasts between songs like complementary colours. Musicians who feel that reading someone's response to their music is like finding out your message in a bottle was not only found, but by the 'right' person. This musical interconnectivity is what we crave. Connecting to the familiar and replacing fear of the unknown with undoubted curiosity. Like when we interviewed Niia she spoke about her gratitude toward Wyclef and her fascination with newer bands but admitted that her roots will always lay firmly in jazz and remain crucial to her musical growth.

Some artists divulged how important the live experience would always be for this 'connectivity'. When we chatted with Run The Jewels it became clear to us that whilst the pair having fun outside the boundaries of solo careers, their sense of enjoyment is what they want their fans to feast on. Although they question the 'system' still in saying that; "some people will never let go of the old structure because they know it's a legitimate way to make money, but for me I've fantasized for years about the music industry cracking, not because it would be good all around but because I knew it had to happen eventually."

So we're all slightly voyeuristic (not sexually we wouldn't know your standpoints sexually would we, yet) - in the sense that we find behind the scenes continuously enthralling beyond measure. Our safe little peephole is as intriguing for a listener as tabloid media is to forcing unfettered fan-lunacy. A highlight for us was when we tapped into this notion and filmed the Icelandic native Ásgeir in his hometown during our coverage of Iceland Airwaves.

On the strength of his story alone, our team managed to capture the absolute essence of an artist, with one song, in one setting.

Along a similar vein, our photographers snapped brutally beautiful pictures of the set up and of the artist Ryan Lott aka Son Lux's show at the Lexington too. The sound-soothsayer and transmitter of intelligently complex electronic music blew the socks off of the naysayers and melted the hearts of the die-hards.

We were reminded in yet another brilliant feature, about how certain artists linger around somber realistic archetypes, instead of hurtling down a candy-floss pop-rainbow. East India Youth likes albums that feel like the person is having a breakdown. The piece poignantly pointed toward that exact moment after the upset, and manoeuvred it as a solid building block to search our souls and begin anew. We're sickly sweet sometimes.

Choosing artists and songs that take us somewhere in our minds brought about a new feature here called 'No Right Answers'. A shitfest of staff choices branded with a different theme. From creating a playlist for Hangovers to covers to ripping the guts out of worst album artworks we found out that perhaps we were indirectly bowing down to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's trio as they were featured twice. Between the sharp-toothed strawberries to babies without nipples - we only have your best interest at heart, 60% of the time, all the time.



Top Reviews

Sure we got some slack for giving our cantankerous 3/10 rating for The Pixies EP but shy, for we are not! To quote ourselves, "to all the lovers of Pixies I say this: I hope that you are not so blinded by your nostalgia for this band that you cannot see that this is a piece of shit." Do we lie to you baby? Do we lie to you? Oh no. A concisely honest and justified argument prevailed.

We slapped a big 9/10 thanks to East India Youth's album "Total Strife Forever" another for our girl Beyoncé, Mokadem's EP and Lolawolf's debut with the ever-resplendent Warpaint just missing the .5 scaling.



Top Videos

Whilst we stroke our belly's full of musical satisfaction - the visual treats this month were a right bunch of fucking nutters:



Top Tracks

Whilst you realise that your wallet is still like an onion in that every time you open it, you cry - here are our favourite tracks of the month to make the pain temporarily go away. We're not social workers, please.



Conclusion/Competition:

Lest we forget why we are here in the first place, January has been a welcome protagonist to an ever-changing music scene and we've got some gifts to throw at you too, readers of the earth. James Vincent McMorrow, Damien Jurado, Warpaint, I Break Horses and East India Youth albums coming your way.

For your chance to win all of those albums, just send us an email to hello@thefourohfive.com with a link to the best song you heard in January. There's no right answers here.

Here's looking at you, February,

The 405 Team.