Albums and stuff from 2013

December 3, 2013

OK kids here it is, the perennial albums/music/gigs of the year 2013.

I’ve spent most of the year listening to older music, but there’s a few gems that have made the playlist this year.

1 – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Push the Sky Away.

A tremendous album. The best from the band in years. So worthwhile in anybody’s collection. Jubilee Street is probably one of the best songs of this decade.

2 – British Sea Power: Machineries of Joy.

A proper pop-rock LP. So many good songs with a real energy, propulsion and, well, joy.

3 – Savages: Silence Yourself.

Four piece band channeling Souxie and the Banshees & Ian Curtis into a stripped down, angular, danceable post-punk 2013 sound. Brilliant.

4 – Jon Hopkins: Immunity.

Minimal electronica and techno with a lot of feeling and emotion. You can hear the King Creosote influence here in spite of it being a computer thing…

5 – James Blake: Overblown.

Superbly navigates the space between lush analogue and crispy digital. I kept thinking my stylus was fucked until I realised there was deliberate distortion on some of the channels in the mix. Very good songwriting realised to great effect and a proper album with the ebb and flow that rewards repeated listening.

6 – Fat White Family: Champagne Holocaust.

Dirty, scuzzy Happy Monday’s ‘esque avant pop. I’d like to see this band live.

7 – Pissed Jeans: Honeys.

Following the same template. Garage rock at its best. Stooges/Dwarves/Lazy Cowgirls. Get pissed, smoke fags, take class A drugs, take two or three strippers out for the night.

8 – Grumbling Fur: Glynnaestra

As if The Orb, Primal Scream, Psychic TV and Fairport Covention emerged from a mission to Mars induced sleep. This is quality.

9 – Wardruna: Yggdrasil.

Nordic spiritual music played on bones, reindeer gut, ancient wood and chanting by Gaahl of Gorgoroth. What more do you want?

10 – The Asphodells: Ruled by Passion, Destroyed By Lust.

Master shaman Andy Weatherall and friends conjure up a very British gauze covered wound of lush, dub based chugging guitar electronic pop songs.

11 – Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980

Dion Hinchcliffe’s (Tindersticks) soundtrack to the Red Riding episode “1980” – the grimmest one.

Lots of 12”’s and other shapes worth mentioning too.

1 – Theo Parrish/Tony Allen: Day like this.

Fela Kuti’s drummer teams up with TP for a really soulful excursion all recorded live with beautiful vocals from Eska Mtungwazi.

2 – The Asphodells remixes.

3 – Soulwax’s cut of Pulp.

4 – Juan Atkins/Moritz Von Oswald: Borderland series. Techno legend with Basic Channel/Rhythm and Sound legend.

5 – PsychicTV – Silver Sundown Machine. Like it says on the tin.

On the reissue:

#1 has to be Bobby Beasoleil’s “Lucifer Rising” soundtrack box set.
Closely followed by A Tribute to Conny Plank; Kraut producer extraordinaire. Then Dark’s “Dark round the edges” very rare psych-folk-rock album from 1972 with Comus’s “First Utterance” following a similar template. Slayer’s classics remastered and cut to 180g are pretty breathtaking and The Beatles box set (although this was released last year) is fucking amazing.

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