Top 200 Tracks of 2012 (101-150)
150. Messy Mya – New Orleans Houston Atlanta
While in New Orleans last March we visited Nicky Da B’s Bounce Shake Off but despite my booty barely mustering a wobble, a good time was had by all and I remain signed up to various mailing lists.
The New Orleans Bounce soundcloud page shared this previously unreleased track from Messy Mya, the NOLA rapper and comedian who was murdered in late 2010.
“New Orleans Houston Atlanta” is taken from the album “Shake Twerk & Wobble 3” which’ll be out for carnival 2013 and despite being aimed at the dancefloor is somehow simultaneously laid back and reflective.
149. Dirty Projectors – Dance For You
148. Young Romance – Follow On Your Own
147. Scuba – Ne1butu
‘NE1BUTU’ is Scuba’s take on the classic late 80′s Italian piano house tune. Black Box, D-Mob, Double Dee, Gino Latino etc… I can’t listen to this without expecting Betty Boo to come in rapping mid-way, like it’s the bloody Beatmasters. That should be a bad thing, it isn’t.
146. Wall – Something On Your Mind
145. Dean Blunt – The Narcissist feat. Inga Copeland
144. Duffy Power – Sweet Again
Given the moniker “Power” by the impresario Larry Parnes who also gave Billy his Fury, Duffy Power has been described as the ‘Zelig’ of British music. He was present at the birth of skiffle, rock’n’roll, blues, underground folk, jazz rock fusion, the Summer of Love, Prog-rock and in the heyday of Northern Soul. Then in 1973, silence.
Whether it was ill health, lack of sales or general disillusionment only Duffy himself knows but nothing was heard of him until the late ’90s and in 2003 he recorded “Sweet Again” for a compilation CD. Now that track features on “Tigers”, the first new album for 39 years from one of Britain’s hidden blues singers (well, blues, rocknroll, rock…).
143. Night Works – I Tried So Hard
142. Antibalas – Dirty Money
“Dirty Money” is three and a half minutes of banker bashing, horn driven, dancefloor filling Afro-funk. If Fela Kuti were still alive today inequality and the Wall Street/City fatcats would probably be on his very long list of song topics so it’s fitting that one of the bands most influenced by Afro-beat king carry that spirit of resistance in the OCCUPY age.
Its great to see Antibalas return with new music after their triumphant part in FELA! The Musical.
141. Adam and the Amethysts – Drinking in LA
140. Shlohmo – Rained The Whole Time (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
139. Empresarios – Estereolismo (Auditors Domination Remix)
138. Alpha Steppa – Highest Dub
137. Gaggle – Army Of Birds
136. Bat For Lashes – Laura
135. Kimmo Pohjonen, Samuli Kosminen & Kronos Quartet – Särmä
134. Skrillex – Make it bun dem (feat. Damian Marley) (Dreadsquad remix)
Skrillex & Damien Marley “Make It Bun Dem” with all trace of Skrillex removed. Genius! The Dreadsquad replayed the tune on piano, Fender jazz bass, Hohner clavinet, Hammond organ, Hohner melodica and guitar. Throw in a few vintage fx like a Roland Space Echo Re-201, Fisher Spacexpander, Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Wah and you’ve got a hit. Incidentally they may have made up the names of all those FX boxes and I wouldnt know.
133. Le Le – Drunken Cigarettes
132. Lotek Hi-Fi – Rebel Dub (ft The Ubiquitous Dub Legitimizers)
131. Woodpecker Wooliams – Sparrow
Gemma Williams was an auxiliary maternity nurse and midwife before a severe illness ended that career but gave birth to another. Woodpecker Wooliams was born while recuperating in the calm of Devon, waitressing and – as you do – hiring a harp.
Learning to play the harp and sing, she originally operated in fairly folky waters but on “The Bird School Of Being Human” her new album, she’s moved towards a more electronic sound. “Sparrow” in particular is all kinds of wonderful.
130. Cosmic Revenge Damn Girl (Original Mix)
129. Disclosure – Latch (feat Sam Smith)
128. Chromatics – Lady
127. Synkro – Why Don’t You
126. Benzel & Jessie Ware – If You Love Me
125. The Casket Girls – Sleepwalking
The Casket Girls are a new project from Ryan Graveface (Black Moth Super Rainbow/Dreamend) that according to their press release came about by fortuitous accident.
Graveface was visiting Savannah, Georgia, and in walking through one of the city’s 22 squares, he happened upon two girls playing autoharp and singing bizarre songs. He watched from afar, eventually approaching them with the idea for the band. Ryan had been (and still is) obsessed with the Shangri-las, and the sisters personified his desire of a far darker and more complex version of the 60s group. The band’s debut album, Sleepwalking, came about rather quickly. Ryan sent Elsa and Phaedra 20+ songs he thought they could add to, and they came back with vocals for 15 of them.
Facebook / Website
124. Njena Reddd Foxxx and Zebra Katz – Ima Read
123. Laurel – Next Time
The Breaking More Waves blog featured Laurel back in May as “one to watch” from his local Portsmouth/Southampton scene. It seems he wasnt the only one watching as negotiations were already ongoing with mega record conglomerate Universal and in June Laurel signed a deal with one of their development arms.
She recently said that her new material is more “chilled and a bit dubsteppy” than her older stuff but let’s hope she doesn’t move far from the fragile beauty of “This Time” which Breaking More Waves accurately described as “church like pianos, a voice that gets near angelic and a string arrangement that kisses with the lightest of heavenly touches Laurel has created something just a little bit special“.
122. Swans – Song For A Warrior
121. El-P – The Full Retard
120. Grimes – Oblivion
119. Crazy P – Heartbreaker (Original)
118. A$AP Rocky – Fuckin Problem (feat. 2Chainz, Drake, Kendrick Lamar)
117. Deniz Kurtel and The Marcy All-Stars – There´s Enough For All Of Us (With Gadi Mizrahi, VS Hardage Featuring Michael Franti)
There’s been disappointment in some quarters that Deniz Kurtel’s new album didn’t stick to the house sound that made her name. “The Way We Live” is packed with collaborations – mostly with acts from the Wolf + Lamb label and is so slow and laid-back to be almost stationary.
Disposable Hero of Hiphoprisy Michael Franti’s lends his stentorian tones to “Right On,” building broodily with a burbling electronic backing as the Spearhead frontman intones that “Music makes his life complete”. It’s actually a version of “There’s Enough For All Of Us” a far more political track with Hardage.
116. Prince Fatty – Ali Baba (Featuring Winston Francis & Alcapone)
115. The Orb Feat. Lee “Scratch” Perry – Golden Clouds
“Golden Clouds” is less of a rework and more a re-germination, The Orb taking their famously fluffy cloud and growing something new from a seedling. It begins with a female voice asking The Upsetter what the sky’s were like when he was young but Perry replies in the style he’s made his own for the last quarter century, ie incoherent waffle. “I funk out the funk, I cast out the punk, I cast out the drunk … Funky funk and junky junk”
Perry may be a mere echo of the talent he once was but on this track at least the pairing with The Orb works very effectively. Theres enough new to keep the listener interested and enough hints of familiarity to inspire nostalgia in those old enough to remember what the Orb were like when they were young.
114. Menomena – Heavy Is As Heavy Does
113. Daughter – Medicine
112. Billy Palmier – Let me tell you why
Billy’s got a brand new bass, and according to his Soundcloud page “Tell Me Why” is the sound of him having “some fun learning to play”. If you’ve ever had a neighbour learning an instrument or tried yourself then you know the results are best kept within the confines of a soundproof room, heaven forbid you’d record your noodling for the wider world.
However Palmier’s “practising” sounds like an unreleased DāM-FunK cut or an unheard offering from Paisley Park.
Previous Palmier tunes have received airplay from Benji B at 1Xtra and i’ll certainly be keeping an ear out for future releases from the Citywurl studio’s in Schaerbeek, Brussels.
Twitter / Soundcloud
111. Soom T – Summer Days
Continuing a fine tradition of not just missing the boat but walking straight off the jetty I’ve come across this burst of reggae sunshine that almost single-handedly rewinds the clock to the glorious summer we didn’t actually have.
Created by Jahtari trailblazer Disrupt and Anglo-Indian Glaswegian MC Soom T, “Summer Days” bounces along with more of a spring in its step than Inspector Gadget.
Released on Soom T’s Renegade Masters label, there’s a dub version on the flip that unfolds the wonderful Nintendo Dub beeps and throbs and sends them echoing off into the distance.
110. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
109. Jah Wobble and Keith Levene – Yin & Yang
Just as PiL reform and release new material, two of the key players from their most revered album “Metal Box” make their own return. The unmistakable sound of Jah Wobble’s bass first reunited with Keith Levene’s guitar after the latter kicked smack and fancied recording some music again.
“Yin & Yang” finds Wobble in abrasive but ebullient mood as he rasps “Fuckin’ Yin & Fuckin Yang” to a backing of fierce drums, distorted guitars and manic laughter. Never one to mince his words he ends with the rhyming couplet… “Like a bolt out of the blue, I’m a cunt and so are you“.
108. Chvrches – The Mother We Share
107. Bobby Womack – Love Is Gonna Lift You Up (Julio Bashmore Remix)
106. Aiden Grimshaw – Curtain Call
105. Money – Goodnight London
104. School of Architecture – Ground Beneath Our Feet
Putting “Ground Beneath Our Feet” on is like arriving home to find a steaming hot bubble filled bath awaiting with a glass of wine on the side. It softly soothes your soul and probably gives you a bit of a backrub too.
It’s the lush and relaxed sound of Burt Bacharach jamming with vocoder don, Zapp.
It’s also worth checking out The School Of Architecture’s blog for musical tips. I did and am now watching afantastic video of a naked French man singing in some woodland! And If that’s not a recommendation I don’t know what is!!?
103. Savages – Husbands
102. Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You (Ryan Hemsworth Bootleg)
101. Iggy Azalea – Pu$$y