Friday, 7 December 2012

Tracks of the Year 10-1

The Top Ten! Enjoy the usual festive bullshit and over indulgence.

10. Parallel Dance Ensemble-Occupied (Salax Peep Show Remix) (buy)

"Baby got your number". What a tune this is. Real hidden gem. I blogged about a different remix of this tune earlier in the year but soon fell in love with this. Nice slowed down groove, that has gone down well whenever I've played it.

9. Sad Ghost-Sweet Lady Magic (buy)

Glorious balearic soft rock edit from Sad Ghost. Sounds like the music that would be played in my own personal sanctuary. Beautiful. The guitar pattern at the end of the track was worth the money alone.

8.  The Walkmen-Song for Leigh (buy)

Hamilton Leifhauser, despite being all setttled down can still belt out a desperate line. "I sing myself sick, I sing myself sick about you". However he's singing to her for life now. On an album of wonderful songs, this really stands out.

7. Mr Beatnick-Sun Goddess (buy)

My favourite house tune of the year. After hearing it on Gilles Petersen's show, I kept my eye on its release date and quickly snapped it up. The whole EP is ace, but the title track has the swagger that all great house tracks need.

6. Chromatics-Kill For Love (buy)

One of the most anticpated release of the year was certainly full of plently of highlights. Great avant-garde pop music, dark as hell at times to. This track became a favourite for the kids on the school run and was on repeat for weeks. They have great taste already. They're converted.

5. Kindness-House (buy)

Sublime pop music from Kindness. There was obviously something already there before Polydor stepped in with the cash; Phillipe Zdar enhanced it to fantastic heights.

4. Mark Eitzel-I Love You But You're Dead (buy)

Back from a heart attack and the brink, Mart Eiztel delivers his unique individual outlook on life with his new album. His voice just gets better with age. A tour in the new year to cherish.

3. Juju & Jordash-Way of The Road (buy)

From an album with fantastic depth, Juju & Jordash's album closer 'Way of the Road' takes us down a path of "Balearic Krautnock dreaminess". A perfect end to a gripping journey with a positive outlook toward what they may do next.

2. Portico Quarter-Ruins (buy)

Dynamic vibes, experimental arrangement and a lesson in how to use a 'hang' drum (or just telling us what it actually is) helped propel Portico Quartet firmly into my senses. That sax just kills it every time in 'Ruins'.

1. Colorama-Anytime (buy)

As cheesy and simple as this may sound, 'Anytime' for me describes the importance of other people in your life. Without them, you're nothing. Without you, they're nothing. Its helpful that this great premise is the backdrop of an excellent melody and beautiful music. Have a great Christmas.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tracks of Year 30-11

More tunage. Hopefully you'll discover something you like.

30. Moomin-Beautiful as You Are (buy)

Moomin featured in my list for last year and he's rightly earned his place again with some lush house that goes pretty bloody deep.

29. The Invisible-Wings (Floating Points Remix) (buy)

I don't blog about new music usually (except now) but when this came up I couldn't help myself. Electronic music that lasts forever.

28. Ajuaka & Maria Minerva-Ni Hea (buy)

Picked this up from Piccadilly on 10", after a brief in store listen I've have been for ever mesmeried by its steady shuffle, keys and fantastic voice. Eastern European vibin'.

27. Jason Grove-Unknown 1 (buy)

The story is reasonsbly well known in house music circles, that Jason Grove is a madeup monikor and this Detroit house comes from France rather than the motor city. I couldnt care less where it comes from, and from an album packed full of gems; this packs a meaty bunch every time.

26. Vakula-I Wanna Dance With You All My Life (buy)

More eastern European muzik from relentless Vakula. He certainly can mix it up a bit, and this shows his calmer side with 9 minutes of bliss, soaring synths and bassline that takes you places. Played this at closing time in a bar in Penryn, Cornwall. Unfortunately it wasn't '80's enough for them.

25. Daphni-Ahora (buy)

Dan Snaith's dancefloor vehicle full length LP didn't disappoint when it landed later this year. As I had played Ye Ye to death last year, I quickly immersed myself in the rest of the album especially 'Ahora'.

24. Magic Mountain High-A1 (buy)

A personal musical highpoint of the year was watching Magic Mountain High (Move D & Juju & Jordash) stunning live set at Freerotation Festival. I quickly got hold of their release on Workshop and wasn't disappointed. Demanding, relentless and forceful. It's what's live sets should be, looks and more importantly sounds better than a guy hiding behind an apple logo.

23. Sandro Perri-The Drums (Slow Hands Remix) (buy)

Summery remix for those days at the beach from Slow Hands from the impressive Sandro Perri. For good times all round.

22. Lauer-Frontex Slowfox (buy)

Philip Lauer makes a second appearance on my list, with a cut off his self-titled album. The album as a whole is full of 80s style synths with lots of nu-disco leanings. This track-though absent on the vinyl version-is full of depth. A stunning album where showcasing just one track doesn't really do it justice.

21. I Like Trains-Reykjavik (buy)

My favourite UK band in the past few years returned in 2012 with their new album 'The Shallows'. This track was probably my favourite from it, but after hearing a stunning live version at the Deaf Insitute probably sealed it. Music for blokes.

20. Delroy Edwards-4 Club Use Only (buy)

New York label, Long Island Electrical Systems (L.I.E.S.) blew up in 2012 and it's easy to see why after listening to this. Omar S type beats and arrangement makes this a very fine house track. Their output is varied though, with most releases (such as this one) disappearing from the shelves rather quickly.

19. Jessica Pratt-Night Faces (buy)

Teary folk of the highest order from San Francisco's Jessica Pratt. It helps that she has a truly amazing voice.

18. Crooked Fingers-Heavy Hours (buy)

This may have officially been released in 2011, but its not officially out in the UK yet so it makes my list. Eric Bachmann once agains delivers with this album highlight, a tale of a sombre note, making it clear to us that he feels regret and longing never really go away.

17. Jens Lekman-Erica America (buy)

Jen's second entry on my list has a shiny balearic-y pop song feel to it.

16. Cale Parks-The Big Bust

The drummer from rock band Yeasayer delivers some ambient electronica and it's beautiful. I'm not sure if this is released (or ever will be) but its lovely, dying to be pressed onto vinyl along with another track on his soundcloud 'N1'.  For some strange reason I used to have a rather tight shirt with this guys face on (think I got it free from the Polyvinyl store) that has dissappeared. Anyway, someone get this released!

15. Damien Jurado-Life Away From the Garden (buy)

Another excellent album from Damien Jurado. As one blogger succintly put, it seems that every time you roll out of bed, it seems Jurado has gone and released another masterpiece. 'Life Away From the Garden' is an up front discussion of religion and spirituality.

14. Huerco S.-No Jack (buy)

Slowed down house with a garage feel to it. US newcomer's exciting releases puts him in the category of ones to keep your eye on.  I played this a hell of a lot this year.

13. Loops of Your Heart-Cries (buy)

More stunning electronica from Loops of Your Heart. This 11 minute epic sounds like it could have been the highlight of Boards of Canada's Geogaddi. An essential LP.

12. Begin-Next Image (buy)

'Next Image' is a dreamy and breezy cut that I couldnt get enough of this year. It was the first I had heard of Begin, but then like alot of artists nowadays, I had heard of him in his other guises. His new track on soundcloud is the shit too.

11. Wild Nothing-Paradise (buy)

The new band dynamic accompanies Jack Tatum's songwriting well. This was well demonstrated on the dreamy track 'Paradise' of their new album.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Tracks of the Year 50-31

Another year, another list. Fired off earlier this year as I soon will be without internet access until January (actually looking forward to it). I thought I'd struggle in putting this together as I've spent a fair amount of time (and money) buying reissues and old records and searching for old obscure shit online. However after thinking about what I've enjoyed this year it soon became easy. As always its a completely personal list, jumping between all sorts. Enjoy.

50. Fritz Kalkbrenner-Ruby Lee (buy)

Ace rework of the Bill Withers track on respected German label, Suol. Like much of their releases it gets people on the floor.

49. Porcelain Raft-Backwords (buy)

All in all, Porcelain Raft's debut album was a pretty good start. 'Backwords' reeks of good old fashioned lo-fi desperation and longing.

48. Tuff City Kids-SFS (buy)

Big booming house with a heavy thud. Bloody relentless shit from Gerd Janson and Phillip Lauer (he will appear on his own later in my top 50). Can always imagine several hundred people going nuts in a sweaty dingy club when it drops.

47.  Rug Dug-Tape 13 (buy)

Late entry into the list is an all North West affair that has only just dropped. Ruf Dug, catalysts behind the ace party that is Wet Play contribute a slice of Chicago tinged deep shit for Deep Space Orchestra's latest Use of Weapons release.

46. Nick Anthony Simoncino-Distant Planet (Larry Heard Remix) (buy)

Simoncino's dedication to analogue synths came in the shape of the cheekily entitled 'The Dream of Amnesia'. It's highlight was a 12 minute killer remix the man behind the original 'Amnesia'; the legend that is Larry Heard.

45. Mount Eerie-Through the Trees pt. 2 (buy)

Phil Elevrum still hasn't come in from the cold. On one of two albums released this year (admittedly I've not heard the second), he continues to showcase music with depth, calm and solitude. On Throught the Trees pt2 he once again speaks of his fondness and his acceptance of his local surroundings, that they are his destiny and the point of which he can view the world from.

44. Seconds-Another Day (Lexx Remix) (buy)

I have featured Lexx here on many occasions for his astute selections, but here he once again demonstrates he is an adept remixer with 'Another Day', a fine cut of Balearic melancholia.

43. Professor Genius-Valley of Paradise (Steve Summers Remix) (buy)

Professor Genius' full length album of label of the moment Long Island Electrical Systems is an ambitious piece of work and not something I've yet put my full attention to. However this remix included in the release is an excellent mid tempo atmospheric jaunt into our senses.

42. Sun Kil Moon-Sunshine in Chicago (buy)

Mark Kozelek takes comfort in the relative discomfort of getting on and points out differences from his audience now to back in the 90s in the delightful 'Sunshine in Chicago'.

41. Jens Lekman-She Doesn't Want To Be With You Anymore (buy)

Jens Lekman once again showcased in 2012 his talent in creating sad tales of people falling in and out of love and getting burnt. Its been told countless times before, but Lekman's songcraft and beautiful voice make them stand out from the rest.

40. Mirrorring-Silent from Above (buy)

An ambient existential ballad from Mirrorring, a combination where a folk musician and a purveyor of drone music collide. Haunting and dark. Perfect for this time of year.

39. Rune Lindbaek-Wonder (buy) 

Ace nordic balearica romantic pop. it was given some proper remix treatment but original wins hands down. This featured promintently on Pavel Plastikk's ' Sea Line' mix. Probably my favourite mix of the year.

38. Colorama-Hapus (buy)

Aficionado Records continue their impressive run with Colorama's Hapus (Happy in Welsh) which reminds me of the best of downtempo 'chillout' music from the late 90s, such as Air, Telepopmusik etc. It pleases me the boys of Afficiondo have finally started a label. I used to go their nights, in all manner of different city centre locations probably near a decade ago. Now growing old gracefully as well as disgracefully.

37. The Walkmen-Heaven (buy)

A stellar return in 2012 with The Walkmen. The title track is a tale of new responsibilities and commitments with a fondness to all that has been before, much like the rest of the album. Positive energy abound. They just get better.

36. Loops of Your Heart-End (buy)

With the internet providing a refuge for the majority and access to the world in the shape of shiny tiny screen, its seems only through music is there the capacity to truly be disconnected from it all, at one with your empty but beautiful surroundings. Like it's the end of everything. This is a mindset I adopt naturally whilst listening to this beautiful piece of music from Loops of Your Heart.

35. Lower Dens-Brains (buy)

Hectic chugging guitar music (with added synths and ambience) that takes the listener all over the shop over its intense 5 minutes or so. The album deserves to be listen to its entirety as it fits neatly together at the same time feeding different emotions throughout, pefectly embodied on 'Brains'.

34. Juju & Jordash-Track David Would Play (buy)

David=David Moufang=Move D. Juju & Jordash's huge 3 LP release has enough variation to satisfy many, but there's certain tracks that get me every time.  'David' builds up with warming synths to create an ambience, a deepness that Move D really captured several years ago. Not sure if it would fit into his recent sets of all sorts (disco, bass, early 90s house.), but he is man a of many talents so I wouldnt bet against it.

33. 1991-Fabric of Space (buy)

One for the nerds as  Swedish mystery man Axel Backman delivers us arresting electronica for a new age. Sounds like what would be in my head during a dream-like apocalyptic state. Experimental excellence, I've been converted; sod house music.

32. Dusky-Henry 85 (buy)

There's plently of young upstarts (or bastards as I like to call them)  about the UK garage/house/bass scene at the moment. Whilst it's not all my taste, I have taken to many of Dusky's tracks, most notably 'Henry 85', probably because it's less about peak time, but more about the build up and viewing it all happening in front of you whilst the kids peak far too bloody soon.

31. Portico Quartet-Steepless (buy)

Album of the year contender. This track tightens around the swirling voice of Swedish vocalist Cornelia before stabbing clicks send its off to sound like a Kieran Hebden vehicle. Which is no bad thing.