Antiswarm’s Top 10s of 2017

To make this whole thing  quicker here’s the Spotifty link to all the tracks mentioned

 

 

 

Albums

Idles – Brutalism – A rhythm section to die for. Like Sleaford Mods but you could actually handle a whole gig. Bizarrely supported Foo Fighters. Some puzzled looks I’ll bet. The track Stendhal Syndrome contains the genius lyric – “Did you see that selfie what Francis Bacon did? Don’t look nothing like him, what a fucking div”

Oh Sees – Orc – Fast becoming my favourite band. Pointless denying their genius

Red Axes – The Beach Goths. Killing it both on the house and indie scene and they’re from Tel Aviv. What’s not to like?

Run The Jewels – 3 – Legend Has it and Don’t get Captured  straight off the bat as singles but as a whole it’s like a techno cut up masterclass with the greatest MCs over the top  This is just fucking amazing music. They smashed it at Field Day

Orb – Natrality. Amazing psyche with a spot of early Wolfmother vibe. Brave to choose a name with that much competition on Spotify

Tyler the Creator – Flower Boy. Some one has been listening to Magical Mystery Tour and this is the result. A beautiful, woozy hip hop LP. I missed it this summer but there’s always next year…..

Rone – Mirapolis. Brilliant if patchy (some of the spoken word/vocal bits don’t work) French Masterpiece. It has that flowing theme that I like where it’s the sum of it’s parts but Origami is the standout track here

Logan Lucky OST – This fairly average Steven Soderbergh film has a cracking David Holmes composed/compiled soundtrack. Standouts are The Groundhogs boogie-prog 3744 James Road and Lord Such’s Flashing Lights

Blade Runner OST – This was easily my favourite film of the year and Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch build on Vangelis’s legacy whilst adding a brooding layer of soundscape techno

I got bored of albums so here’s…..

 

Tracks

Fucked Up Year of the Snake/Passacaglia – A welcome, epic return to form. The former is 23 minutes long so you’ve been warned

Orb – Man in the Sand/You are Right – Just so much bouncy swag!

Shame -Concrete. Indie’s great white hope. Live they are a joyous mash of new wave, Happy Mondays bagginess with a dash of The Fall for good measure. Can’t wait for an album

The Horrors – Press Enter to Exit. Sounding almost identical to a slowed down version of Happy Mondyas Rave on (Club Mix obvs nerds!) this is an amazing bit of ambient, baggy pop. It’s all about the end so stick with it

Pangea – Router. Slinky, eastern tinged atmospheric dub step. Amazing!

Tyler the Creator – Garden Shed. Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream. Surprising Mellowness from the man that gave us “Yonkers”

Falling Acid – Tin Man. Repeat listens especially depressurising on the way home from work just confirmed this as an epic ambient acid piece

DJ Shadow – Corridors. After the challenging “The Mountain will Fall” album this is a welcome return for a hummable tune and the sheer scope of the epicness involved is impressive. If it didn’t have the skidding beat the ending would be all over Blue Planet

Emperor Machine – Ready Begin. Like Lalo Schifrin meets Shaft in a synth dungeon

Oh Sees – The Static God. If I needed to get out of the house in 3.5 seconds, this is the track I’d put on

Jagwar Ma – Give me a reason – Weatherall Meets Jonnie Two Heaters Uptown Pt1. After a disappointing second album Weatherall flexes the same muscles for Jagwar Ma that propelled Primal Scream towards the Sun

Beck- Dreams/Colors. The album is too current pop for my likeing but these 2 singles are sublime. Dream edges it for the crazy break down. Great for a sunny morning

Bicep – Opal/Glue. I wasn’t too sure about the album on first listen but it’s a real grower. These are 2 standouts from the House dons

Childish Gambino – Riot. Everyone else goes for Redbone – Idiots! The album has a great Funkadelic “Maggot Brain” feel. Impressive

Pond – Colder than Ice/ Someone sweep me off my feet. You’ve got to make space for this album as it’s an epic 80′s synth prog clusterfuck in all the best ways. So ambitious there’s even an 80′s sax thrown in there. I’d best describe it as like a soundtrack for a cartoon version of Barbarella if that existed

Black Spuma – Orme/No Cube. International Feel’s Black Spuma continue to make music like it’s 1991 with a perfect blend of house, breakbeat and Baleric chill as demonstrated on these 2 beauties

Mike Shannon – Sunrise (Original Mix). lf you’re going to watch the sunrise anytime soon this should be the track!

The Black Madonna – He s the voice I hear. Is this a classic a la Strings of Life or French Kiss? It feels like it and  every time I’ve played this out this year it’s got  terrific response

Tom Trago – Use Me again. Not only is this a banging disco thumper of a tune but I think it has the most wonderful manipulation of a sample that I’ve ever heard. So simple but breathtaking. You need to hear the original by Millie Jackson (from the track “We got to hit it off”) to grasp it’s evil genius

Happy 2018 from the Antiswarm

Third Light Home, September/October

Sleevenotes: It’s been a while, the world hasn’t really got any better, but there are still records. Regular listeners — if anyone can remember that far back – will know I have a nerdish obsession with independent record labels: this broadcast is part one of a multiple-part road trip/odyssey through the world of coloured vinyl, limited cassettes, screen-printed and tip-on Stoughton jackets and all things related to the black stuff. Well, for now, I’m just playing the records from a featured bunch of labels I worked my way down the west coast of America talking to this summer. The book should be out in early 2019, published by Omnibus press. As I get closer to publication I’ll start adding some more salient detail to do with the actual book into the broadcasts – once I’ve, er, written it – but for now, it’s mainly just the music put out by the good folk at Mississippi, Sahel Sounds, Constellation Tatsu, Gnome Life, Superior Viaduct, Recital, Vin du Select Qualitite and Light in the Attic records (and one or two other bits and pieces early on). (And, in an attempt to keep the spirit of John Peel alive, when I say ‘Virginia Trance’ by Henry Flynt, I actually mean ‘Congo’ by Henry Flynt. Though, in truth, I meant to play the former.) The journey starts out in Portland with Mississippi Records.

Part two, back in London, hopefully will follow shortly. Thanks for listening: in the words of John Coltrane, ‘May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation.’

Third Light Home, December 2016, Sleevenotes

It’s hardly an original thought to note 2016 has been something of a dog of a year. Brexit, May, Farage, and now Trump. Where do these people come from? There’s always the music, though, and in 2016 that current has run as strong as ever under the bullshit of daily life. After my European ‘special’ here comes another melancholic post to reflect world events. I say ‘melancholic’, but the music of Americans Jeff Parker, Makaya McCraven, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, and even put upon old bluesman James Davis, seems full of joy. And here’s a fine video of America from another age, to accompany the track from Marisa Anderson’s new lp, Into the Light.

Marisa Anderson / Into the Light from JODI DARBY on Vimeo.

And here’s something perhaps a little more gloomy from Brooklyn resident Billy Gomberg.

 

There’s another track from Gomberg’s excellent lp, Slight at That Contact, featured in the show.

Still, it’s not all laughs and party tunes. Jason Molina’s cover version of Townes Van Zandt’s ‘I’ll Be Here in the Morning’ almost never fails to make my eyes water (there’s an unbelievable 37 copies of this ‘limited’ 7″ single for sale on Discogs – don’t buy it, stick it to the Record Store Day profiteers and just listen to it here); and F.J. McMahon’s 1969 track ‘The Spirit of the Golden Juice’ (culled from the fine Numero Uno compilation of lost recordings, Cosmic American Music) was recorded in the shadow of the Vietnam War. Ah well, thanks for listening and happy Christmas.

 

Third Light Home, August 2016

I’ve got no wish to add to the hundreds of thousands of words written about the EU referendum. We’ve heard more than enough about the self-serving politicians who got us into this mess. I just thought I’d let the music do the talking and produce an entirely European-based show for Little Englanders everywhere. Hopefully Brexit voters can listen to it on repeat while stuck in a six-hour traffic jam on the M20 outside Dover. For enlightened Seeks Music listeners the world over: please don’t think we’ve all got St George’s flags attached to the fishing rods of our garden gnomes. Fantastic record labels like Rune Grammofon, Clean Feed and Sonic Pieces (from Oslo, Lisbon and Berlin respectively) will forever be a feature of this show. I love egg and chips, the tea and the rain, a good curry, the seaside and fourth division football grounds as much as I love Tubby Hayes, the Tindersticks, Disco Inferno and Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou . . . I just hate small-mindedness and right-wing zealots. One Love, Third Light Home, east London.

Third Light Home new show, February 16

There’s a paragraph early on in David Stubbs’ fine tome, Future Days, Krautrock and the Building of Modern Germany, where he points out that Krautrock isn’t about strong vocal performances. Seventies German music was far more about ‘texture than text,’ he writes. ’The inadequacies of Ralph Hutter’s vocals are not an inadequacy of Kraftwerk, but one of the group’s key defining factors. Had Tangerine Dream featured a Jon Anderson-type vocalist, it would have undermined one of the strong implications of their early work — that the cosmos is awesome and that, for all the ego and subjectivity of humans, it is indifferent to us. It’s not all about us.’ He goes on to point out that Germany (and the world) had already had enough of one impassioned vocal performance, one set of ‘fanatical dreams and loathsome prejudices’ imposed upon everyone. In terms of music, it’s why I’ve always struggled with Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson and the rest — it’s just too much, I can’t breathe in here. Far better, as Alice Coltrane once pointed out, to remember we’re all nothing but grains of sands on the infinite beach of the universe — give me the aerated motorik pulse of Neu!, the windmilling drums of Cul de Sac, the simple understated beauty of Joan Shelley and Josephine Foster any day. You can hear the rumbling enormity of the cosmos (as well as the horrors of the twentieth century) in the tape work of Else Marie Pade; and I’m sure even David Bowie, who seemed to age with great dignity, came round to such a humble point of view in the end. (All are featured in the programme.)

But enough of that heaviness. Here’s Vic Mars’ video for a track from his new lp, The Land and the Garden

I was also pleased to read in Future Days that Neu! were apparently good footballers. I saw an excellent Michael Rother gig (thanks, Kevin & Rudi), appropriately enough, in a kind of nightclub/gig venue underneath Stamford Bridge this month. Roman Abramovich’s millions have at least been put to some good use in installing an excellent soundsystem (in a club that feels like a smaller, spruced up version of Rock City in Nottingham). It felt like seeing Neu! live, and I imagine Rother was a skilful, diminutive but tough attacking midfielder, sort of Luka Modric and Alan Ball rolled into one. With the exceptions of New Order, Pat Nevin and John Peel, the intertwined history of football and music is not generally a happy one . . . but then there was Half Man, Half Biscuit, and, in recent times, Derek Hammond of Yeah Yeah No has produced a fine series of books detailing lost aspects of football culture . . . and now, in flagrant contradiction of the sentiment in the opening paragraph above, please indulge us in a second of internet self-promotion, and don’t delay in placing your orders with all good newsagents and booksellers (or here) for The Heyday of the Football Annual, myself and Doug Cheeseman’s humble offering in the overcrowded retro-football marketplace. Features folk troubadour, Bert Jansch fan and Birmingham City midfielder Trevor Hockey, Honor Blackman’s thoughts on life at Craven Cottage, Liverpool’s Billy Liddell playing electric guitar, Glasgow Rangers’ squad ‘swinging the Clyde blues’, and much more. (Original hardback, annual-size printing, disappearing fast.)

ps, both Josephine Foster and Joan Shelley are in the UK on tour this month.