Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Tracks Of My Year



So it's time for my self indulgent list of what I have been listening to and buying this year. The list is limited to music made in 2016 which ruled out a load of northern soul and a couple of recent garage rock acquisitions. When compiling the list I had a feeling that there was a definite bias towards electronic and dance music but when it was finished it actually appeared to be more balanced than I thought.

There are four people with entries under two guises. Firstly Carla Easton, responsible for two of my favourite albums of the year by Teen Canteen and Ette, the music is just so joyous and both albums make me smile loads. I just wish that the Ette track included had been released as a 7" as that is, in my mind anyway where it belongs. Also when I attended the album launch for Say It With A Kiss I finally realised that I am an old duffer, christ did I feel old and if I'm honest rather out of place even though Duglas T Stewart was in attendance.

Richard Norris also pops up with two tracks in the top three,  one as Circle Sky and one in his Beyond The Wizards Sleeve guise. The Circle Sky track transports me back to my golden days of clubbing while still being absolutely fresh, a sort of Rez for 2016 not quite as great as that track but similar in the way it builds. If the original version of Diagram Girl had been extended it would have been head and shoulders above anything else for me this year but the single version is just too short and the "re-animation" although very very good is just missing a tiny something. There could have been another couple of entries for BTWS if I had allowed multiple entries.

Jamie xx is the third. I know I included Talabot's remix of Loud Places in last year's list but it did appear very late in the year and stayed glued to the turntable until about February/March this year. The first single from the third album of The xx proper augers well and on the strength of it the album was duly pre-ordered and eagerly awaited. I am still pissed off that they are not coming to Scotland during their "UK" tour but not half as upset as Nick Waterhouse not coming north of Manchester but that's another story.

The final double entry, you will not be surprised to read is from Lord Sabre himself, one as part of the Woodleigh Research Facility and the other in the form of a remix. Weatherall is the only person to be included in all 8 of these end of year things. This year he could have had at least half a dozen entries if not double figures he has been quite prolific in 2016 while managing to keep the quality of the highest order. I am sure that SA will have more than a few Weatherall tracks when his list comes out round at the Bagging Area.

With regards to the rest of the list, there is the welcome return of Meursault, Also back this year were the Wedding Present with their best album since Take Fountain, still don't understand the inclusion of Secretary though. Earlier in the year I stated that due to the extortionate price of The Spoils on vinyl this would be one Massive Attack release I would not be purchasing however I am weak and knew that I would regret it and end up paying more for it in the future so I succumbed. Slam also released a new album to celebrate 25 years of making records and it was as fresh as fuck. My new favourite band are the Lucid Dream, Stiff and I saw them in September and they were loud. Sadly also in the list is the last song by Allo Darlin' who have decided to call it a day. Unfortunately this has had to be purchased on MP3 as the limited single is only available at the band's final two shows this weekend in London and I will not be in attendance. I have pleaded with the m on Twitter but have had no response.  It's been a while since I raved about a Primal Scream tune but this year there were two that were rather remarkable, one, Big Belly Nothing 100% dub, down mainly to Antone Newcombe's remix but the other, well, if somebody had said that I would have been blown away by a Scream cover of S'Express they would have been told to go and take a flying fuck to themselves, but I was, 2016 was indeed a strange year.  Talking of that, something had to be included from Blackstar. If I'm honest I hadn't taken much notice of Bowie  since Absolute Beginners really, apart from the James Murphy remix of Love Is Lost. After his death I streamed the final album and  a few listens decided it was worth having for the last track alone but the whole thing has grown on me, not a comfortable listen but absolutely astounding under the circumstances.

Also in the list is a track by a man I had the good fortune to DJ with when we did the Blog Rocking Beats nights in the Flying Duck in Glasgow,  Gareth from the sadly defunct How Does That One Go Again, whose track Solina is number 34 on the list, a labour of love which took 17 years to finally get a release and was played on the too few balmy summer nights we had up here, the kind of track that in bygone days would have accompanied a good toke.

You may have noticed that there is nothing by the gruppe in the list, even though they released a 12" ep in 2016. I'm not sure if I was compiling a top 100 Wise Old Man would even be in there, no I am sure it wouldn't. from reading the reviews of concerts from the second half of the year there are a few promising new songs but we will see how they sound when the new album appears but until then . . .

1,  Circle Sky - Reveal
2.  Massive Attack - The Spoils
3.  Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - Diagram Girl(Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Re-animation)
4,  Nick Waterhouse - LA Turnaround
5   The xx - On Hold
6.  Ette - Attack of the Glam Soul Cheerleaders
7.  Hardway Bros - Argonaut
8.  The Unloved - When A Woman Is Around
9.  The Lucid Dream - I'm A Star In My Own Right
10, Teen Canteen - Kung Fu Kisses
11. The Wedding Present - Rachel
12 .King Creosote - The Long Fade
13. Woodleigh Research Facility - Osler's Crystal Fountain
14. Jamie xx - Loud Place (John Talabot's Higher dub)
15. Slow Club - Champion
16. Sordid Sound System - I Walk on Splintered Gilders
17. Primal Scream - Mantra For A State Of Mind
18. David Bowie - I Can't Give It Everything Away
19. Lack of Afro - Fires Glow
20. Burial - Night Market
21. Slam - Ecclesiastic
22. Allo Darlin' - Hymn of the 45
23. Meursault - Simple Is Good
24. Haley Bonar - Kismet Kills
25. Al Kent - Good Inside
26. The Liminanas feat. Peter Hook - Garden Of Love (Mardi Mouille mix)
27. Caverns of Anti-Matter - Tardis Cymbals
28. Levon Vincent - Birds
28. Mogwai - Fat Man
29. Pearl Charles - Idea To Her
30. Death In Vegas - Consequences of Love
31. Hooton Tennis Club - Katy Anne Bellis
32. Cigarettes After Sex - Hurt You Baby
33. Ripperton - Hat Uh Mi Head
34. Imperfect Product - Solina
35. Emma Woods - I Don't Drink Too Forget
36. Rachel Modest - I Try
37. Rancho Relaxo - Who Married Jane Fonda
38.The Third Degree - Toxic
39. Brian Jonestown Massacre - La Facon Dont La Macine Vers L'arriere
40. Deadboy - White Light Gemini



Friday, 9 December 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



This week I have been spending quite a bit of time trying to work out the "Tracks of My Year" so I have been mostly listening to stuff from the past 12 months. Early in the week today's track came on the mp3 player and I had to remind myself that this single came out 5 years ago and not recently which is quite rare these days as when I find myself sticking on dance tunes from the last few years I find that a lot of them have dated quite considerably in a quite a short time.

This week the Diamonds will be hosting Stenhousemuir and a win would mean us consolidating our second spot in the table, yes I did type that correctly, we are second in the league!. Unfortunately only Leo and myself will be at the game from our mob as Stiff and Willie are off to see Newcastle United and Max has decided that he no longer wants to support Airdrie, his exact words were "I've got better things to do with my Saturday",which is debatable as all he seems to do is hang about Subway or play the x-box which is in no way better than watching Airdrie on a winning streak. I wonder what it would take for them to be made team of the day on Off The Ball, nothing short of winning the Scottish Cup I think. A few weeks ago Tam Cowan actually nominated a thug called Jim Goodwin as pplayer of the day after a game against Airdrie where he persistently fouled, scored an own goal, was sent off and nearly broke an Airdrie player's leg with his well timed cropping of the player. I'm not saying Cowan is biased but he is from Motherwell and mentions their cup win over three decades ago at least five times in every show (and his taste in music is pish). But I digress.

Have a good weekend people.

Dauwd - Acireams

Thursday, 8 December 2016

I Suppose It's Time



What is all this warm temperature shit in December? Driving home from Dundee yesterday afternoon I noticed it was 13.5 c.

The Raveonettes - The Christmas Song

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Cigarettes After Sex



I heard this a few months ago and from the first couple of bars I was hooked. Okay it isn't the most original thing in the world it brings to mind the Trinity Sessions, The Velvets at their most laid back  and Mazzy Star but when in the right sort of mood on these dark evenings this really hits the spot. Not sure about the name, it's pish not as pish as Cabbage but if I had heard the name before listening I don't think I would have bothered. The band are resident in Brooklyn but were formed in El Paso by Greg Gonzalez. If you like what you hear, the vinyl or cd can be purchased here.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

I've Been Through It Before



We will keep mining the rich seam of gold that was garage land USA in 1966. This time from Lansing Michigan. The Plagues had been on the scene for a couple of years when they recorded their third and final single , I've Been Through It Before and what a way to bow out, all fuzz guitar, mournful vocals and a great bit of drumming, really what more do you want or need in a two and a half minute garage track.

The Plagues - I've Been Through It Before

Monday, 5 December 2016

Your Love's Too Strong



I know virtually nothing about this track apart from it would cost you north of £300 on 7" if you could find a copy. I don't think that if you were ever to track down D Wilkerson and ask if he/she was influenced by the Motown, I don't think that there would be any point in him/her denying it as this has the sound of 2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit all over it, however the record apparently is a Chicago release. it reminds me a lot of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. I love that bit at about 1:30 when the piano stops and just the drums and vocals continue.

Donna Coleman - Your Love's Too Strong


Friday, 25 November 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



I'm going clubbing with my nephew tomorrow! I know, I should know better. When I say clubbing, I mean I'm taking Lewis to see the Orb perform Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld in full and also stuff from Chill Out World in a club in the town and I'm right looking forward to it. Stiff and I went to see them in the same venue last year for the first time in 10 - 15 years and both of us didn't really know if we were up to it anymore but we had a rare time although decided that the club needed arm chairs and tea served to us as we sat and soaked up the vibes. There will be no such behaviour tomorrow as Lewis is a bit of a bevy merchant (ie likes his alcohol). I'm not sure he quite realises what he's in for as his usual haunts are Pressure and the Subby but we will see. Due to this I am going to have to miss tomorrow's Scottish Cup Round Three encounter with Livingston, who sit one point ahead of us at the top of League 1! No, you did not read that wrong, Airdrie are second in League 1 and I think that we are all a bit shell shocked about that. Not sure how long we can stay there and I'm not sure either Bat, Stiff or myself's nerves will be able to take, (Leo on the other hand is very cool about the situation) but I have to admit that it is a very good feeling.

Have a good weekend people.

The Orb - Suburban Smog

Thursday, 24 November 2016

And Yet It Moves



Do you remember the Amazing Snakeheads, responsible for one of the best albums of  2014? Well the lead singer Dale Barclay has returned with a new project which if the track below is anything to go by is a very interesting project. The track " Make America Great Again", nothing if not topical,  was recorded live at Glasgow's Green Door Studio. If you like what you hear and I had gotten off my arse quicker you could have caught them at various places in the UK on their second tour which finished a couple of days ago. If you are in London all is not lost as they are playing Unit 30 in the Bow Triangle Business Estate on the 10th of December and I am hoping to catch them at the Kinning Park Complex in Glasgow on 16th. The Snakeheads were always very exciting live and so I will be hoping for more of the same from this mob.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Garden



I hadn't listened to Perverted By Language  in ages and had sort of forgotten just how brilliant and original album it is. Nobody else sounded like the gruppe sounded back in 1983. This was the Fall's 6th studio album and the first to feature Brix Smith but due to the fact that the majority of the album was recorded prior to her joining the group it isn't quite as, for want of a better word, accessible as the next few albums would be. I don't think there is a bad track on the record but one  for me towers above the rest and that is Garden. I have no idea what Smith is going on about in the song and don't really want to know but the repetitive nature of the music always sucks me in and if it went on for a further ten minutes it would still grip my attention. I have stated before and I know that quite a few disagree with me, but the Peel session versions of Fall tracks tend to be superior and that is no different here it feels fresher and is over a minute longer. It comes from the 6th session broadcast on 23/03/83.

Marvelous stuff.

The Fall - Garden (Peel session)

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

I'm Movin' On



Today's slice of garage rock again comes from that vintage year of 1966. Not strictly true as I'm Movin' On was never released and languished on acetate for years eventually being unearthed by a garage music historian Miami Jeff who released it on his own Florida Archive Recordings/Limestone Records.

Evil hailed from the Miami area and were active from 1965 to 1967. In 1966 the won a local Battle of the Bands competition and their prize was some studio time where they recorded I'm Movin' On and a few other songs, which were cut onto an acetate and then forgotten about. The band did release one single, a cover of the Small Faces Whatcha Gonna Do which was released in 1967 on another local label which came to the attention of Capitol Records who signed them up and re-released the single and the group duly imploded before they released anything else.

Miami Jeff deserves some sort of award for unearthing this absolute stormer of a track where the influence of the Who and The Small Faces looms large. No bad thing in my book.

Evil - I'm Movin' On 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Spellbound



Not the same song as the Azie Mortimer one that has featured here on more than one occasion at Halloween on this blog, Tamiko Jones* release from 1966 on the same label, which surprisingly hasn't featured here. Spellbound was originally supposed to be released on Ed Wingate's Golden World label but was shelved when Berry Gordy bought the label and only saw the light of day. until recently  as an album track on the first Grapevine compilation album, Talk of The Grapevine in 1978. Betty Boo's real name is Betty Winston who along with her sister Jackie and Pat and Diane Lewis recorded three singles as the Adorables for Wingate's label.

Betty Boo - Spellbound

* Kindly pointed out by John in the comments, it was late last night when I threw this together.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Sharon Jones RIP



We've lost another one, jeez!

Rest Easy Sharon

Sharon Jones and The Daptones - 100 Day, 100 Nights

Friday, 18 November 2016

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



Staying on the up beat with today's bit of disco infused house music. The original version of Free is by Italian singer Marina Conti  and was the second single from her 2012 album. I have no idea what it sounded like but Raj Gupta (Ray Mang to us) liked the vocal so much that he lifted it along with the piano line, fucked about with them a bit, I think he might have been listening to Ten City  at the time and produced this brilliant, uplifting piece of music which would fill any dance floor.

Airdrionians are going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment, although I have probably just put the kibosh on that. They have won four games on the bounce and are sitting fourth in the league!. I know! Last week they were a joy to watch not just because they won but they were playing with a confidence and dare I say it ability that has been lacking for quite some time. Tomorrow we take on Alloa Athletic one place above us in the table,  a win would see us take third and if local rivals, Albion Rovers could do us a favour by beating Brechin we could even be sitting second!

Have a good weekend people.

Mari - Free (Ray Mang extended mix)

Thursday, 17 November 2016

This Never Fails



I tweeted on Saturday night that when all else fails I turn to this record to cheer me up. Which wasn't 100% accurate it would be this or Bizarre Love Triangle. I don't think that I need to go into the merits of this tune they become evident from the first note until the last. Play as loud as you possibly can.

The Only Ones - Another Girl Another Planet