The Antiswarm’s Top 10 Lists of 2015

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 antiswarmjim@gmail.com 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!

The Antiswarm’s Top 10 Tracks of 2013

1 – Through Me – Tom Rolands

A track so awesomely jackin from the taller half of the Chemical Brothers that it begs only one question: In the studio what the hell does Ed do?

2 – Stumbling Room – Dawn Hunger

Sadly now defunct but this track is testament to the power that  Andrew Hung and Claire Inglis had as a duo. A stuttering apocalyptic rhythm frames the wailing vocal and builds to a stunning ending. Like nothing else you’d have heard all year

3 – Big Room Tech House DJ Tool Tip! – Joy-O

I realised the genius of this tune at about 4am in a tent at the Eastern Electric festival. Got to be the best bassline of the year. Annoyingly only released on Vinyl

4 – Big Love – Matthew E White

This tune makes me wish I played bass better. Also it has a chorus of back-up singers swearing their heads off. Makes of the rest of his album seem really bland

5 – GoGo Bop (A Trip To The Bodega) – Cheeba Starks presents The Toupe Committee

A breakbeat techno masterpiece with a genuinely un-nerving sample. A small girl asks over and over ‘About the date we’re having. Come to my house, bring a lot of money’. Unsettling in all the right ways

6 – Clear the Air – Jacco Gradner

From the amazing Cabinet of Curiosities album this track wrong-foots you with a  discordant chorus that runs against the happy flower power verse. Good like Pop Levi’s ‘Blue Honey’ and recommended for fans of Foxygen

7 – Gallows – Dogstate

The only band to make it into both my album and track chart. This tune makes me want to drive very very fast and shoot guns and do badasssss shit. This is the type of music Josh Homme should be making if he still had balls

8 – Inter – Function

A beautifully sparse ambient techno track that has stopped everyone I played it to in their tracks. vaguely like the Orb at the height of their powers. It has other stuff going on behind it that you can’t make out. Intriguing

9 – Cheap Beer – FIDLAR

This LA skate punk band school you about their drinking habits in this 2.25sec rabble-rousing song. Good enough to open an Antiswarm show then it’s more than good enough for this list

10 – Headache – Metz

Another show opener, these guys remind me of the never talked about Nirvana ‘Bleach’ album only better. Very powerful live. The album all sounds the same – in a good way

The Antiswarm’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

1 – Foxygen – We Are the 21st Centuary Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.

Just a fantastic journey from start to finish that has just the right measures of nostalgia and innovation. If you have the Winter blues then this is the album for you. Also a European tour cancelled for ‘Creative health’ reasons heightens the mystique

2 – Jagwa Ma – Howlin

A great mix of ‘baggy’ tripped out early acid and beach boy vibes. I prefer the tunes that favour the former but it’s a very listenable album that got played in the garden a lot this year. Try the 12 minute Pachanga Boys remix of ‘Come and Save Me’ for the ultimate blissed out version

3 – Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare

For fans of 80s pink Floyd CSN and post Beatles solo projects this album, like it’s predecessor is an embarrassment of riches. I found it required a few listens but the songwriting just gets you. Try Dear Friend as a taster.

4 – DaftSide – Darkside Daft Punk Remix album

This came out about 3 weeks after the original, is totally unauthorised and shows that there is a decent album somewhere in the original. If you think you wouldn’t like a acid reggae mix of ‘Get Lucky’ – Think again!

5 – Holydrug Couple – Noctary

Just really good. If you like Tame Impala you’ll like this. Also they are from Chile. Track 3 is a killer – “Follow Your Way

6 – Valient Thorr – Our Own Masters

Any year with a Valient Thorr album is a good one. Probably their most commercial single ‘Torn Apart‘ blazed the trail showing that as well as their punk metal sensibility these boys can carry a tune too. I always describe their sound as somewhere between Thin Lizzy and Gallows. Probably the most enthusiastic band live at the moment

7 – Pond – Hobo Rocket

Billed as the band ‘Tame Impala aren’t brave enough to be’, this 5th offering from the Perth Aussies certainly pushes some boundaries. It lurches from blissed-out psych ambience to Sabbath style riffs at the drop of a hat. More of this please!

8 – Black Angels – Indigo Meadow

I was never that fussed by these guys but after a sojourn as Roky Erickson’s backing band they’ve come back much more interesting. Like a mix of early Floyd, the Doors and any good stoner band you can think of.. Great live as well. Try this single “Don’t Play with Guns”

9 – Dogstate – Let It Loose

These guys described their sound as ‘Stripper Music’ to me followed up by a big dirty laugh. I think they’re selling themselves short as fans of Danzig, The Cult, Led Zep and Soundgarden will find things to like in here. Josh Homme would cut off his right arm for a riff like “Gallows” right now

10 – Dillinger Escape Plan – One of Us is a Killer

Like Valient Thorr, a new DEP album is a blessing, all-be-it a very dark and aggressive one. I’ve come to think of them as the math rock equivalent of the Ink Spots in that a lot of their tunes start off the same. But it’s the detail and intensity that follows that sets them apart from all other bands at the moment. Probably my gig of the year at Kokos in October

Desert Fest 2012

Modern Metal owes huge debt to the desert scene. Without it there’s no Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Nebula or of course Queens of the Stone Age. And now thanks to the boys at Desert Fest, Camden got to experience it’s very own Desert inspired Stoner Rock festival and wisely got it to coincide with Jesus getting us some days off to deal with our hangovers. Read more…