The Claude Mono Blog


el ritmo Eastern Block Party 2

Since the end of the Soviet Union a new tradition is that many Russians now celebrate Christmas on 25 December instead of 7 January. A less well-known tradition is that after having spent time with their families Moscow’s young and hip head out Boxing Day evening on buses and trams to late-night parties where they listen to jazz, and funk from the Eastern Block, Western pop, and Melodiya label disco records… later in the evening someone always puts on their favourite Red Army Choir LP for a sing-a-long… this year there is a party at the tiny apartment of Victor and Katerina and you are invited…

Re-stream here

Mixcloud HQ with Bonus Tracks  < coming soon>

PLAYLIST

Sputnik Documentary (excerpt)

Chorus & Disco Company – Alfred Wśród Ptaków

N Sokolov – Safari (KMTR’s extended re-edit)

Gorky Park – Moscow Calling

Alisa – VPut (On the Road)

Julia Alexandrova – I Will Survive

The Red Army Choir – Get Lucky (Daft Punk)

The Red Army Choir – Happy (Pharrell Williams)

Kraftwerk vs. Telex – The Moskow Robots

Nautilus Pomilius – Krilja (Wings)

Kino – Zvezda Po Imeni Solntse (A Star Called Sun)

Litsey – Zvezda (Star)

Valeriy Meladze – Verni Moyu Lyubov (Give Me My Love Back)

Misha Panfilov Sound Combo – In The Woods

Vitali Kleinot and Georgi Garanians Ensemble – White Music

Russya – Don’t Stand by my Window

Forum – Lets Call each Other

Agata Kristie – Fairy Taiga (Fairytale)

Neschastnyy Sluchay – esli b ne bylo tebya (if there was no you)

Velly Joonas ‎- käes on aeg (Feel Like Makin Love)

Vlad Shishkarev – Wicked Game (Chris Isaak)

Valery Meladze – Devushai iz Vishego (Girls from High Society)

Kedr Livanskiy – Love & Cigarettes

More vodka

Check out last year’s Eastern Block Party One

Quality Videos

 

 

 

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Claude Mono Best of 2017…not really

What you haven’t been waiting for… less a best of and more a reflection on some great music that influenced my listening this year. It’s a 2017 list but has tracks from 1974 and even 1981 (and why not) plus this year for the first time so I can enjoy it (and now you can) there is a genre-busting tightrope-walking mixtape you can listen to anywhere…

The mixtape tracklist and link is at the bottom of the post

Mixtape Sleeve Notes

Tennis …infomercial

Tennis – I miss that feeling – We Can Die Happy EP

Tennis – No Exit – We Can Die Happy EP

With my usual thanks to Sean Rowley I have been following Tennis for a year or so now and am dipping into a catalogue that commences back in 2010. Tennis are husband-and-wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore and they have developed and nurtured a unique ‘very Tennis sound’ supported with some ‘very Tennis videos’– a kind of electronic AOR commercial pop aesthetic but with many more time-warped layers. 2017 has been a big year ever as the previously under the radar love-duo went completely independent starting up their own label Mutually Detrimental for the release of their fourth LP Unconditionally Yours which then proceeded to go overground and is a classic. In a moment of surprise and celebration for Patrick and Alaina the vinyl release  charted in the mid-year’s top ten list of best-selling vinyl albums, in-between Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon!!. And in a bonus for fans late in the year the ‘We Can Die Happy’ EP was released and could really be Yours Conditionally Pt. 2 it promises endless enjoyment and is worth repeated listening. Stand out tracks are I miss That Feeling and No Exit.

The XX – I Dare You – I See You

 

From way back at the start of the year the song has stuck with me all year. I think it’s the cinematic video/ Even used it as an anchor track on my Sofia Coppola Mixtape 2

The XX are Romy Madley Croft (guitar, vocals), Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) and Jamie Smith also known as Jamie XX (beats, MPC, record production) known for the dual vocalist setup of both Croft and Sim you may also remember this Jamie XX video 

 

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – Sacred Project – Find Me Finding You

Laetitia Sadier’s fourth post-Stereolab solo offering is (…well) very Stereolab. I really loved one track where Phil MFU’s “inner Jean-Jacques Perrey is allowed off the leash in spacey closing song Sacred Project”.

The Clientele – Everything You See Tonight Is Different From Itself –  Music for the Age of Miracles

 

In 2017 a beautiful new Clientele Album….

The Stargazer Lilies – Fukitol – Lost

What a band and only three LPs deep – I loved 2016’s Door To The Sun and its tracks like Golden Key and 2013’s ‘We Are The Dreamers’. 2017’s LP ‘Lost’ is a crowd funded album of lost tracks that never made it to physical format. Some of the bands most popular tracks as well as never before released songs. Kim Field, John Cep, and Sam Art or Tammy Hirata are The Stargazer Lilies Always amazing dream pop/shoegaze/psychedelic videos and equally dreamy artwork

Devilish Dear – I Wanna Do It

Devilish Dear – These Sunny Days

Being one who truly believes its never too late to get into a genre, this year I got even more into shoegaze and dreampop than last year. Devilish Dear from Sao Paulo, Brazil were a lucky accidental discovery. The track ‘I Wanna Do It’ is amazing. Brazilian shoegaze that incorporates synths and veers into dark electronica. The group has never played a show – and doesn’t plan to – and the album is free to download from Bandcamp.  A review in February in the very returnable series  Overblown’s “new band of the day”   was all I needed “It’s kind of like if a Madchester band had been led by Kevin Shields. Dancey, grooving rhythms are laid down behind the swirling, reverb drenched guitars, and ghostly vocals”.

The James L’Estrange Orchestra – Closer – Eventual Reality

Soulful and jazzy ‘Closer’ is a stand out spiritually uplifting track with a beautifully matched engaging video. In 2014 seasoned producer and musician Ricky Reid and his partner retreated from the city of Edinburgh to embark upon a new life in a secluded cabin in the Scottish Highlands, in his own words “away from the constant, incoherent noise of the world” Ricky utilised an array of numerous musician friends and their visits to his new wilderness home and late night jamming and recording sessions, to lay down the sound bed that became Eventual Reality leaving behind hidden treasures to be discovered and lovingly pieced together by Ricky over the following months. As label BBE describe it “With nostalgia so much a part of the album’s creation, The James L’Estraunge Orchestra can’t help but appear somewhat spectral; after all they are truly the band that never was”.

Floating Points – Reflections – Mojave Desert – Film/Album

Full film link here

2017 saw the release of Reflections – Mojave Desert. In late August 2016, Samuel T Shepherd (Floating Points) and his band travelled to the Mojave Desert to write and rehearse before the start of their US tour.Whilst visiting Joshua Tree National Park, they were struck not only by its physical beauty, but also by the sonic reflections from the rock formations; A unique combination of reverb, echo and phase shifting modulating the surrounding sounds of the landscape. The desert environment and musical performances were documented in a 27 minute film directed by Anna Diaz Ortuno. Musically sprawling with comparisons to Pink Floyd’s own iconic concert film, 1972’s Live at Pompei. Andy Beta in the Pitchfork review  “The intensity that Floating Points attains at the peak of “Kelso Dunes” is exhilarating: You almost hear the small group achieving lift-off and floating a few feet off the desert ground”. Instrumentally intense and anchored by Susumu Mukai on Bass, Leo Taylor on Drums and Alex Reeve on guitar while Matthew Kirkis plays Guitar, Synthesizer [ARP Odyssey], and Sam Shepard plays Synthesizer [Buchla 200e], Synthesizer [EMS Synthi], Synthesizer [Rhodes Chroma], Synthesizer [Oberheim OB-8], Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Electric Organ [Hammond Organ], Recorder [Telinga Parabolic Microphone]

 

Gilroy Mere – The Green Line – The Green Line

Listen here

A ‘folk-rock Lou Reed’… Gilroy Mere is Oliver Cherer who is Dollboy.The Green Line LP came out in 2017 on Frances Castle’s wonderful label Clay Pipe Records. The L’Histoire de Dollboy…(from Delusions of Adequacy) goes like ”A prodigious musical polymath whose varied musical guises include his multi-faceted alter-ego of Dollboy, the electro-stylings of The Assistant, the motodisco of Rhododendron and Australian Testing Labs Inc., and the freshly-minted ambient Gilroy Mere, Oliver Cherer returns to his folk heart-land with The Myth Of Violet Meek, his first orthonym release since 2014’s critically acclaimed Sir Ollife Leigh & Other Ghosts. A formidable, multi-layered and psychologically nuanced work, Violet Meek draws, musically, on the classic English folk-rock of Fairport and Fotheringay and the wilder imaginative shores of Robert Wyatt and Roy Harper with an abundance of pure, original, idiosyncratic Cherer talent. Morally akin to a Ben Wheatley film rendered into music, Meek takes us on an historically-flavoured yet timeless journey through hard lives, harsh judgements, misogyny and sexual transgression in a musical/lyrical melange best described as ‘folk-rock Lou Reed’.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Bosses Hang (Pt. I, II & III) – Luciferian Towers

 

You’ll get it… “The track ‘Bosses Hang‘ starts out with a spacious three-chord progression underneath washes of strings before the guitars introduce the song’s central motif, bringing with it the record’s first star-gazing moment. Even though we’re nearly ten minutes into Luciferian Towers by this point, it feels like the true beginning of the record – everything up to now has just been scene-setting. After giving that melody the crescendo it deserves, the band bring things back down several notches for one of their trademark patient builds, working various interlocking parts together throughout the second and third acts of the suite before, in the final moments returning to that initial melody and chord progression with crushing power”.

Vic Mars – Roced – The Consumer Programme

Vic Mars – The Road Through The Village – The Land and the Garden

This year’s album from Vic Mars ‘The Consumer Programme’ did not come out on Clay Pipe Music coming out instead on Polytechnic Youth. But that’s really just an excuse to include the video of the absolute timeless classic ‘The Road Through The Village’ from 2015’s The Land And The Garden LP which I shamefully neglected to discover until this year. Delusions of Adequacy said of The Consumer Programme “whilst the nostalgic pastoralism of The Land And The Garden sat well in the pyschogeographical-centric Clay Pipe catalogue, the analogue-electronica miniatures of The Consumer Programme are a near-perfect transfer dealmaking currency for joining the Polytechnic Youth team…we’re treated to a broad selection of wordless synth and drum machine driven compositions that cover a lot of well-plotted terrain.  For starters, this includes joining the dots between the glistening pulsing pleasures of Listening Center’s Cycles/Other Phenomena and charmingly idealistic late-‘70s/early-‘80s British TV science programme soundtracks (“The Leisure Centre”, “The Consumer Programme” and “Soced”).  Whilst in other places the pioneers of classic kosmische are given generous tributes (for the mysterious Tangerine Dream-like “Lloeren”, the whirring Cluster-channelling blissfulness of “The Intermission” and the lush but loose Ralf Und Florian-era Kraftwerk serenity of “A Hillman To Berlin”).

John Foxx – Empty Avenues and Dark Corners (Pye Corner Audio Mix) – Empty Avenues

With the ascendency in 2017 of the 80s aesthetic Ghost Box Records delivers its answer to ‘Stranger Things’ in the form of a meeting of The Belbury Circle and 80s electronic music icon John Foxx and his appearance on two amazing albums Empty Avenues and Outward Journeys. The latter the first full length LP for th Ghost Box collaborative project between Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) and Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly). As you have come to trust from Ghost Box impeccable artwork and music come together yet again to create yet another ‘new-Hauntology’.

Dust-  Dark Pleasures

 

Dust – Past Future

This year was also the year I discovered Minimal Wave thanks to watching and listening to pretty much everything by the Minimal Wave Label head honcho Veronica Vasicka starting with her amazing Boiler Room mix. Her occasional DJ mixes bring together classic electronic artists like Cabaret Voltaire, Kraftwerk and DAF but place them directly in the context of her new productions creating amazing 30 year journeys. Dusk is one of her projects. I like their videos and I think I’d call them Disco-wave. By the way this year I have spent way too much time watching videos of French 80s synthwave.

Witnessing – Gary Shearston – Follow the Sun

The amazing compilations keep coming. Last year’s Sky Girl  was top of the game with its “intimacy of a handmade mixtape, so private and confessional that it could only have been meant for one person’s ears”. My compilation of the year this year came out on Anthology Recordings and Mexican Summer and was a double LP containing 20 tracks of lost gems from the dusty fringes of 70s Australian Psych and Folk – pure gold.

till 2018….

Mixtape over at Mixcloud here

Tracklisting

Tennis – I miss that feeling – We Can Die Happy EP

Tennis – No Exit – We Can Die Happy EP

The XX – I Dare You – I See You

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – Sacred Project – Find Me Finding You

The Clientele  – Everything You See Tonight Is Different From Itself – Music for the Age of Miracles

The Stargazer Lilies – Fukitol – Lost

Devilish Dear – I Wanna Do It

Devilish Dear – These Sunny Days

The James L’Estrange Orchestra – Closer – Eventual Reality

Floating Points – Reflections – Mojave Desert – Film/Album

Gilroy Mere – The Green Line

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Bosses Hang (Pt. I, II & III)

Vic Mars – Roced – The Consumer Programme

John Foxx – Empty Avenues and Dark Corners (Pye Corner Audio Mix) – Empty Avenues

Dust – Past Future

Dust – Dark Pleasures

Witnessing – Gary Shearston – Follow the Sun

BUT WAIT there is more….

You can explore previous years audio and video musings as all linkage is intact.

Nice track – who is that? – Best of 2016

Best Videos of 2015

Golden Apples of the Sun – Nice Things 2015

Top Ten of 2014

 

 

 

 

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Soulsides Gospel Funk Soul Edition
November 11, 2017, 3:46 am
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SOUL PREACHERS

Your soul preachers ‘Reverend Microgroove’ and ‘Pastor C. Mono’ return from the wilderness to deliver truth in soul and a message to the people who might not ordinarily get to a church – in this special gospel funk hymnal edition of Soulsides…your path to enlightenment starts here…

Show re-stream here (Select 10 Nov 2017)

HQ Mixcloud here

PLAYLIST

Shirley Ann Lee – I Shall Not Be Moved – Songs of Light

Rev. Solomon King and the Glory Bound Singers – Didn’t It Rain – Saved & Sanctified – Songs Of The Jade Label

The Staple Singers – Pray On – Pray On

Sam Cooke and Magnificent Montague – interview excerpt

Deliverance Echoes – Heaven

Voices of Deliverance – The Power of God

Otis G Johnson  – He’s The Way – Everything – God Is Love 78

Southern Echoes – Burden Down – King Bullard Version – Songs Of The BOS Label

The Pure Heart Travelers – My Captain – The Gospel Soul of Detroit (Sanctified Sounds from the Motor City)

Esther Marrow – When I Die – Sister Woman

Andrew Wartts and the Gospel Storytellers – There is a God Somewhere – There is a God Somewhere

The Loving Sisters – Cosmic Consciousness – The Sisters And Their Sons

Sensational Saints – How Great Thou Art – You Won’t Believe It

Marion Williams – My Sweet Lord – Standing Here Wondering Which Way To Go

Aretha Franklin – Spirit in the Dark – Spirit in the Dark

The Staple Singers – Who Do You Thiink You Are (Jesus Christ Superstar) – Respect Yourself

The Sensational Saints – I Feel The Spirit – You Won’t Believe It

The Stovall Singers – Yes To The Lord – The Stovall Sisters

The Voices of East Harlem – March Across This Land – Can You Feel It

Enlightment – Faith is the Key – Faith is the Key

Gospel Ambassadors – What Kind of man is this – Divine Disco (American Gospel Disco – 1974 To 1984)

Andrew Wartts and the Gospel Storytellers – Peter and John – There is a God Somewhere

The Relatives – Rap On – Don’t Let Me Fall

Mavis Staple – Trippin’ On Your Love – This Time Around

Mel-Vonne – He’s alright with me – Be Still

Pastor T L Barrett And the Youth For Christ Choir – Like A Ship – Like A Ship (Without a Sail)

Cliff Gober – A Poor Wayfaring Stranger – Good God A Gospel Hymnal

Dynamic Disciples – Satan – 45

 

 

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Get Claude – el ritmo
September 6, 2017, 1:39 pm
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”Claude…You’re not supposed to blow the bloody turntables up!!”

Mixcloud HQ Mixtape here – just the music

Show re-stream here  – Select 5 September 2017 – does include Claude talking

PLAYLIST

Roy Budd Meets MB – Get Carter (Heavy Drum Mix)

Burning Banzai – Carter Takes a Train

Stereolab – Get Carter

Stefano Torossi – Fearing Much

Giancarlo Gazzani – Under Drama

Goblin – Death Dies

Group Modular – Acid Wheels

Big Boss Man – Oh my Gawd

Psychemagik – Spiced Odyssey

Bobby Hughes Combination – Seasons/Goi(Vegetarian remix)

The Mad Flute – Snatch OST (uncredited)

Nicola Conte – Kind of Sunshine

Sun Ra – Stardust From Tomorrow(Gerardo Frisinas Tomorrow Remix)

Andrea Daltro – Kiua

Pathless – Goddess

Folk & Røvere – Fotihouse

The Karminsky Experience – Exploration (Medeski Martin & Wood Mix)

Thievery Corporation Vs Nicola Conte – Bossa Per Due

The James L Estraunge Orchestra – Closer

The James L Estraunge Orchestra – Groovin You

Serge Gainsbourg- Melody Nelson(Molecule remix)

pedro gonez – Hippie

Soledad Miranda – El color del amor

Sergio Mendes – After Sunrise

Sergio Mendes – Crystal Illusions (Memorias De Marta Sare)

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Soulsides 14 July 2017
July 15, 2017, 4:51 am
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Soulsides presents

Two guys who love to boogaloo…Microgroove and Claude Mono

Listen to the re-stream here – select 14 July 2017

PLAYLIST

Soul Generation

Them Two – Am I A Good Man

Vernon Garrett – Keep On Forgiving You

The Soul Brothers Inc – That Loving Feeling

Jimmy “Preacher” Ellis – Baby I Love You

Professor Earl Lett – We Oughta Get Together – The Story of Professor Earl Lett

Mickey and the Soul Generation – Iron Leg

Mickey and the Soul Generation – Football – Iron Leg: The Complete Micky and the Soul Generation

Lenis Guess – Why Why Whyd She Leave Me?

Mickey and the Soul Generation – Mystery Girl – Iron Leg: The Complete Micky and the Soul Generation

Gate – Chocolate Puddin – Praise Poems Voulme 5

Dusty Springfield with Burt Bacharach – The Look of Love – Casino Royale OST

Kadhja Bonet – Remember the Rain (Live) – The Visitor

Tom Jones with Portishead – Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child- Reload

Scott Cunningham Band – Anita – Praise Poems Volume 5

Don Gardner – You Love Is Driving Me Crazy

Roy Porter Sound Machine – Love You – The Story Of Roy Porter Sound Machine 1971-1975

Seeds of Fulfilment – Solemn Solitude

Odyssey Group – Midnight and You

The Three Js – Chalito – Praise Poems Volume 3

Billy Storm and the Tempests   Apologise

Carol Veal – H’way of Love

William Cummings – Your Soul Searching Love

Clarence Reid – I Get My Kicks

Adrian Younge – Winter Is Here (Instrumental) – Something About April !! (The Instrumentals)

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Going To A Go Go

Betty Boo – Spellbound – Detroit a go go

P.J. – TLC

Joe Mason – Let It Out – Totally Wired Volume 5

Turner Brothers – Cause I Love You

Sisters of Love – You’ve Got My Mind

Sisters of Love – Now is the Time

Tom Jones and Ella Fitzgerald – Sunny

 

 

 

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el ritmo eastern block party
March 23, 2017, 12:54 pm
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Come to the Eastern Bloc….The el ritmo Eastern Block Party is on again on Tuesday night at Victor’s flat above RTRFM. Bring vodka and perhaps some jazz and funk records. DJ Claude will be bringing the new hi fi system he got in the West. Check out some of his new grooves at his blog post. Tell everyone to make sure they get there as with the new state restrictions and the clampdown on kooky music there is unlikely to be a re-stream…there may be some cassettes…be warned there is hi-fi and lo-fi…

HQ Mixcloud Bootleg Cassette here

If you dig jazz then you might also dig this – “Meet me at the Jazzkeller…Bring Jazz…”

PLAYLIST of some of the tracks but some are just unknown…

Vladimir Vasilkov – Woodpeckers Don’t Get Headaches\

DJ Soulviet – SovietFunkTrailers (excerpt)

c.j. plus – Soviet Funk Expo (Excerpt)

Zeljko Kerlata – The Newcomer

Henryk Debich – See You At The Disco Tonight

Novi Singers – My Own Revolution

Hiedi Bruhl – Berlin

Hildergard Knef – Ich Wart auf Die Nacht

Gelsominos Magic Voice from 1977

Victor Kiswell Archives – I Can’t Stop

Horst Jankowski – Das ist der Morgen

Anita Pallenberg – Stones Muse Supreme

Lottie and Leherb – Irre Gut – Funky Frauleins- Female Beat, Groove, Disco, Funk in Germany 1968-1978

Omega Omega 2 – Kérgeskezü Favágók – Well Hung Well Hung: 20 Funk-Rock Eruptions From Beneath Communist Hungary – Volume 1

Labaratorium – Funky dla Franki (Joakim Remix) – Various – Iron Curtain Revisited  Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records

Tri Plus Dva – Vitok (soviet jazz easy listening, 1966, USSR)

Anne Hathaway – Russian Accent (Valentines Day)

Hildegard Knef – Im achtzigsten Stockwerk

Yugoslavian PsychJazz-Funk – Aleksandar Subota – Corazon (1976 LP)

Peter Herbolzheimer MPS Rhythm Combination & Brass – El Soul Condor

Henryk Debich – See You At The Disco Tonight

Kuno & the marihuana brass – marihuana mantra

Günter Noris – Gemini

Daniel Pemberton – Escape From East Berlin –

Eduard Khil – Mr. Trololo

Soviet Space Disco 1978

Soviet Disco

Eolika – Falling Stars – Melodiya 1980

Zdravstvuj Pesnya (Здравствуй, песня)- Marathon (Soviet electro space disco, 1982)

 

 

 

 

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“Nice track – who is that?” – Claude’s Best of 2016
December 15, 2016, 3:05 pm
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I know everyone who is even just slightly cool hates ‘list season’, but not me, I love it and reading the lists – well a few of them – the ones created with way too much passion. It is my most compelling reason to take a pause for the cause and contemplate what actually was some the best music I heard during the year? The lists of others often help as they remind me of tracks that I would have simply just forgotten about – these days often played a few times and then just buried in a hard drive folder five levels down probably never to be accessed again. Never have that problem with 45s. I am so uncool I even like around list time going back to see what I picked last year and if it’s still ok? – of course being involved with The Golden Apples of the Sun means a Best of 2016 will be pretty loose genre-wise, have no order, and include songs not even from 2016 only here because I first heard them this year and that is good enough for me… enjoy…

Claude

El Michels Affair feat. The Shacks – Strange Boy

the-shacks

The story goes that Max Shrager brought the soft whispered Shannon along with him to the studio. Max was playing guitar on a track produced by Leon Michels — the producer and co-founder of Big Crown Records — and Michels needed a vocalist. They put Shannon in the booth to try it out. It was her first time ever recording. Then, in one take, the song “Strange Boy” had a singer who completed the vibe. The Shacks were born. Last year I was very big on David Holes and his Unloved project with Guilty of Love in my best of 2015. The Shacks fit effortlessly into a special place in my music collection amongst bands like Unloved and Death and Vanilla. This track really was a standout.

 

BP Fallon & David Holmes – Henry McCullough

All rights reserved ©Jen Maler Photography

All rights reserved ©Jen Maler Photography

David Holmes: “I received a phone call from BP Fallon the day before Henry McCullough’s funeral. He was heart broken having lost his dear friend and asked could he stay at mine after he returned from the funeral. After I picked him up from the train station he asked me if he returned early enough could we record something. I started working on the music that day and then I had an idea which was to record something about Henry and their relationship. When BP returned that evening I sat him down in front of the microphone and this happened in one take! We both knew we captured a very special moment that couldn’t have been created at any other moment – magic. ”

 

The Invisible – ‘Life’s Dancers’ (Floating Points Remix)

the_invisible-lifes_dancers-zendnls437-web-2016-usr

Seriously on point jumpers and one of the best remixes of the year. A nine minute beauty stab touched by the hand of Floating Point….

The Glass – Michael Nau

michael-nau

I had never heard of Michael Nau or of his bands Page France and Cotton Jones. I first heard ’The Glass’ on Sean Rowley’s radio show. Sean being a key source for music that often stays with me on repeat and also often finds its way into my ‘bests songs of the year’. It has some subtle very Timmy Thomas-esque lo-fi electric drums and then this amazing vocal – think Lee Hazlewood… his debut album ‘Mowing’ was released November 2016.

 

DINERS – Fifteen On A Skateboard

diners

“Fifteen On A Skateboard focuses on the joy of bombing a hill. A Skateboard” paints a vivid picture of youth, where teenagers chase simple pleasures, like the wind in their hair or a two-stair set that’s just begging to be ollied”. AV Club. Sounds like a love-child born of a dangerous liaison.between Ariel Pink and Harry Nilsson.

 

Beyond The Wizards Sleeve – Creation

beyond-the-wizards-sleeve-creation

Another perfect genre-mixing indiepop electronic slightly 60s kind of thing that you can play again and again and which has a great video. Goes perfectly before or after Modular

 

MODULAR – Fiebre En La Disco

modular-elefant

Part of the sprawling Spanish pop label Elefant that simply can do no wrong Modular released their third LP in 2016 and I am a big fan.“Fuga Al Paraíso is full of their trademark impeccable pop melodies, a solid collection of analogue synthesizers, and that certain combativeness that they acquired from their kraut influences is an album focused on dance, in a tribute to the disco music of the 70s, That means a lot of pop, kraut, some lounge music, touches of sabadabada and lot of ingenuity”. Perfect pop/disco with a great video.

 

Gary Davenport – Sarra

sky-girl-compilation

Gary Davenport founded both Closet Records and Texan post punk/folk-wave group Mannequin. ‘Sarra’ was written for a 17 year old English girlfriend who he was crazy about, much to the detriment of his band relationship. The young lovers eventually broke up and out of consideration, he never officially released the 100 copies which sat in a box for the next 30 years. Released in July this year by Noise In My Head offshoot Efficient Space, the Sky Girl compilation has got a lot of attention from the DJs within the Golden Apples collective who love everything about it

 

 Myron & E – Going In Circles

myron-e

Actually released in 2013 but who cares. Here because I only picked up the Broadway LP as part of a little 2016 haul of second-hand records from Safari’s Record Shack. And Microgroove did not get it when he was there before just me. Amazing album with this track taking it to another level – a classic. Timmon Records in Helsinki, Finland – the home of Myron & E’s band & collaborators The Soul Investigators – have released their own custom versions of the Myron & E recordings, cut right at home in the Timmion Cutting Laboratory – check them out.

BadBadNotGood – Lavender (Feat. KAYTRANADA)

badbadnotgood-lavender-kaytranada-video-01

December 2016 saw my favourite gig of the year. BadBadNotGood still flying under the radar. They played jazz, they played it wiggly with beats and they played it straight, and they played with no vocals – just the grooves – and best of all a packed main room full of kids at Capitol were digging the jazz…this is a crazy video

 

Autumn Leaves (feat. Anthony Kerr) · Kathryn Williams

kathryn-williams

Sublime jazz wrapped in gossamer fine silk vocals. Is it a classic from the late 60s – no its from 2016. Kathryn Williams has teamed up with revered jazz musician and vibraphone player Anthony Kerr, to create an album of complete re-imaginings of classic jazz standards, including brand new single ‘Autumn Leaves’. Previously performed by greats such as Eva Cassidy, Doris Day, Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra, Kathryn and Anthony’s version of the infamous song is hushed and delicate – Williams’ signature vocal tip-toes over lush, rich vibraphones.

 

Farbror Resande Mac – Chemtrails

Gets it just right for deep listening – leave on repeat – essential travelling companion – actually from 2016 but only discovered this year by me

 

Tele Novella- Heavy Balloon

tele-novella

Possibly almost an afterthought Tele Novella caught my attention because it included some of the original members of Voxtrot responsible for another of my all time indiepop favorites. This one is more here for its kooky video.

more….

Best of 2015 (Golden Apples)

Best Videos of 2015

Top Ten of 2014

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