So it’s been a slow year for the Antiswarm with only 2 shows posted, but in these days of sensory overload I feel quality not quantity needs to win the race. Having said that I promise to do better next year! So to try and redress the balance (a bit) here are my top 10 tracks and albums of 2015. Before I started my faulty memory told me it had been a fairly quiet year compared to the last few music wise but I was pleasantly surprised by my trawl through Spotify and iTunes. And so, here are the fruits of me meticulously poring over this year’s musical landscape so you don’t have to. Any additions, corrections or just general chat are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow me at TheAntiswarm on Twitter. Perhaps I’ll get the hang of Instagram next year. Who knows eh?
Top 10 Tracks (in no particular order)
1. Boil Yer Blood – Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind
Last year Jim dissolved the Jim Jones Review saying that the Rock n’ roll thing had run it’s course. He’s now persuing a more mysterious vibe with the Righteous Mind and with a new album coming in 2016 Boil Yer Blood was the first taster for his ravenous fans. It did not disappoint!
2. Lung – Blanck Mass
3. The Great Confuso Pts I,II and III – Blanck Mass
Having given us the fantastic Big Dumb Flesh album in May, Benjamin John Power in his Blanck Mass guise rounds the year off nicely with the Great Confuso EP. Part II is a little bit too crazy for me but is bookended by 2 of the best bits of music I’ve heard all year. Truly an artist maturing with every release.
4. Everything is in Colour – Cherushii
Joyously random find on Youtube. From Stockholm I think and the standout track from the ‘Memory of Water’ Album. Perfect 90s style ambience
5. Silverlake – Eagles of Death Metal
My wife and I were at the London gig with these guys a week before all the insanity in Paris took place. The band and crew are such lovely people and our hearts go out to them and all the fans involved. We hope to see them back in the UK soon and that they will be remembered for the right reasons not just because of the shootings. This was the best track on their latest album ‘Zipper Down’.
6. Sticky Hulks - Thee Ohs Sees
This track just blows my mind constantly….on a loop….constantly…..on a loop….seriously……listen to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7. Hogre – Evight Morker
One of the many great tracks on the Prins Thomas triple mix pack ‘Paradise Goulash’ (awesome name). Very crisp electronica. Good in the morning I find.
8. Daffodils (feat. Kevin Parker) – Mark Ronson
I’ve had a soft spot for Mark Ronson for a long time. I was gutted when the second single ‘Feel Right’ (way better than Uptown Funk in my opinion) was too filthy to play at home in front of my 9 year old but at the same time I like the fact that he didn’t clean it up. Daffodils is amazing and it features Kevin Parker from Tame Impala so I basically can’t lose. This opened up my DJ sets for most of the summer. Check out this live version with a cheeky Riders on the Storm bassline and some seriously eccentic lead guitar antics!
9. Gosh – Jamie XX
The end of this sounds so much like Belfast by Orbital that I was immediately transported to a rave in 1992. So much good old school house being produced at the moment. If you like this sort of stuff check out Tuff City Kids and Paul Woolford’s Special Request project.
10. It’s Just (House Of Dupree) – Leon Vynhall
Again just amazing house music with a really weird intro.
Top 10 Albums (in no particular order)
1. Sour Soul – Ghostface Killah and Badbadnotgood
For me Ghostface is one of the greatest rappers ever. He tells a story like no other and the marriage of his vocals and Jazz trio Badbadnotgood’s backing tracks is unique in my opinion. It’s like listening to Rakim spit over the Superfly soundtrack only better. It also features Antiswarm favourite Doom and has some incredible instrumental tracks as well. Killah!
2. Pattern of Excel – Lee Bannon
Not so much an album as a bunch of interesting soundscapes that morphs into something vaguely coherent. It’s a real grower so give it time and it will reward you.
3. El Reino Invisible – Leandro Fresco
I like listening to this in the morning as it’s very atmospheric and chilled. Kompakt released this and the quality of their output is always top notch. A close second on this label would be the Kolsch ’1983′ album. The Germans stayed strong this year.
4. Undertow – Drenge
A bit of QOTSA, a bit of Ian Brown and something quite unique makes this a really enjoyable album plus they have a great drummer. I need to see them live!
5. Currents – Tame Impala
Undeniably good. Also a great video to boot.
6. Mutilator Defeated At Last – Thee Oh Sees
Took a while to grow on me but this is on par with the last 2 albums in terms of quality i.e. excellent. They straddle a sort of proggy, garage, indie style I’ve never heard anywhere else and live they are a demented gonzo affair with 2 drummers. Very, very good!
7. A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Pt 4 Wizards of Oz – Amorphous Androgynous
Long after the Antiswarm was knitting together the psychedelic strands twitching over the horizon from Australia, the Amorphous Androgynous give us an in depth look at the OZ scene both new and old. If you’ve never heard the Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble comps you are in for a treat and this edition doesn’t disappoint.
8. Contrepoint – Nicholas Godin
Ok so an album inspired by Bach played by an enigmatic Parisian dandy might sound pretentious. It is, but it’s also great and reminds me how much I miss Air in their heyday.
9. Kingsman OST – Henry Jackman
Childish but it makes me feel like I’m a spy on my way to work! Henry Jackson turns in a brilliant fusion of dark electronica and orchestral pieces in his score for a film that along side The Men from Uncle hopefully paves the way for more playful spy/adventure films. Hans Zimmer take note.
10. In Colour – Jamie XX
It’s weird for me to see other end of year lists and agree with them but Jamie XX and Tame Impala have made the sort of albums this year it would be churlish to deny. There’s one duff track in the middle. Delete it is my advice. Here’s the brilliant Special Request remix of ‘Loud Places’. Enjoy!