1. – Tweak Bird – Tweak Bird. This album is so unique you can’t help but let it charm the pants off you. It comes on like a quirky indie take on pummelling QOTSA style stoner rock. Even more remarkable when you realise it’s only 2 guy making it. The deal was sealed as this years favourite by a hilarious gig at the Lexington in Islington. Like Morecombe and Wise meets the Butthole Surfers and then some. Check out their ‘Lights in Lines’ Vid here
2 – Girls – Father Son & Holy Ghost. This is an album that doesn’t fit into any ‘what’s fashionable right now bracket’. It’s just an amazingly accomplished musical affair that would stand up next to a Beatles or Stones album. REALLY, IT’S THAT GOOD! From the Beach Boy style opener of ‘Honey Bunny’ to the Bealtlesque ‘My Love is like a River’ at the end it just makes me want to cry thinking about it!
3 – DJ Shadow – The Less You Know The Better. Put simply it’s almost as good as Entroducing and thank god as if he’d put out anything like the last 2 albums I think it would have nailed his coffin shut! His studio craft is second to none. Check out the way he cuts up the guitar and drums on ‘Enemy Lines’, it’s mind blowing. I played my mate ‘Sad & Lonely’ and said it sounds a bit like Pink Floyd. He said ‘Oh, I thought this was Pink Floyd’! Nuff said
4 – Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit. Desert Raven has been one of my favourite tracks this year. It starts with a kind of mothership hum that flourishes into a song so hooky & tuneful that it wouldn’t shame Crosby Stills & Nash. He has talent coming out the wazoo!
5 – Fucked Up – David Comes to Life. Although it’s not my favourite Fucked Up album you’d be mental to deny the pure ambition of this record. It comes on like the Pixies and the Stooges trying to make a Who record. ‘Turn the Season’ is a great track (check out the insanely weird video here) and they’ve made the wise decision to let Sandy sing more, which really complements Damian’s growl. If you get the chance to see them they are normally attended by naked stage divers and gigs will never be the same for you again. An insane blend of punk indie & melody
6 – Hyetal – Broadcast. It’s easy to use words like shimmering & vast when describing Hyetal’s music. This year has been a great one for home listening Dub Step and this guy along with Scuba is at the forefront. My favourite track is ‘Phoenix’ which sounds like a Trevor Horn 80’s production instrumental. I’d love to hear this out on a massive system. Interestingly I always think that ‘Beach Scene’ sounds like a song left off Purple Rain by mistake. What more incentive do you need to listen to it?
7 – SBTRKT – Step in the Shadows EP. Far superior to the album by this guy is this EP that preceded it. Of the 4 tracks on it 3 are stone cold classics. ‘Hide & Seek’ has a shuddering bassline juxtaposed with lush strings that send shivers down my spine. Meanwhile ‘Look at the Stars’ is the sort of music you should be listening to at 3 in the morning in a very moody club. Excellent!
8 -Iggy Pop and James Williamson – Kill City Remastered. I realised as I listened to Turbonegro (The worlds funnest, now defunct pantomime metal band) that they kept name checking this album so I downloaded it. The re-issued, remastered version is much better than the original (blasphemy!) and I should know as I own it on Vinyl as well – That’s how much I like it. It’s like a more melodic version of the Stooges but of course it still kicks ass! It’s one of those great albums that really runs together but if I had to pick a favourite it would be ‘Consolation Prizes’ for it’s boogie dirtbag charm & insightful lyrics.
9 – John Tejada – Parabolas. A fantastic album of clean, crisp deep house from John Tejada on the consistently high quality Kompakt label. It’s not often that a house album will grip you from start to finish but this hypnotic journey is about as good as it gets right now and of course it’s got that German minimal feel but not at the expense of the tunes. It’s like the good bit of Orbital never went away. Check out the album highlight ‘Subdivided’ here.
10 – Brainfeeder Records. These guys from LA are total in sync with the Antiswarm’s way of thinking, Lurching from blissed out psyche ambience to scratchy spaghetti western sountracks often in the same track the artists on this label are pushing the boundaries of modern psychedelia. You will have heard of Flying Lotus and Gonjasufi but for me it’s the B-List artists like Teebs and Tokimonsta that really stand out. With the former try the track ‘Cook, Clean, Pay the Rent’ from his album ‘Collection 01’ and with the later just stick the whole ‘Midnight Menu’ album on and drift off. Lovin it!
If I get round to it I’m going to do a soundcloud mix of 10 of these tracks so I’ll let you know when it’s cooked. A great year for music (as they always are if you’re listening hard enough!) Peace & love – The Antiswarm