TOP TRACKS OF THE MONTH – August 2016
The poor old blog has looked a little forlorn of late, as I put my time and energy into attempting to put on an exhibition that does justice to the under heralded Small Wonder Records. That’ll be on in September (see the Small Wonder Facebook page for more) but here’s almost 50 of the tracks I’ve been listening to in-between punk, punk, and more punk.
There are three flavours of playlist (although some tracks aren’t available on Spotify & Soundcloud)
Subscribe to my new music playlist on Spotify (Open in the app or your browser)
or listen to the monthlies on Whyd or Soundcloud.
Here’s some of the standouts from this month.
(If you like any of the tunes below please spread the word by showing them some love over on the Hype Machine):-)
Shaka Black – Pick Myself Up
Usually specialising in rare roots reggae reissues from the 70’s and 80’s, ‘Lo-fi showcase Pt.3’ marks Horus Records first full length self produced and recorded release. Strictly their own productions, writing, playing and engineering; cut to tape at their own Arch studio in Tottenham – N15, London. Out on October 11th but ready for pre-orders now.
Giant Swan – Earn
Bristol’s GIANT SWAN have been making sonic waves for some time now. Dark, ominous, invigorating.
‘Earn’ on F**K Punk Records is as dark a slab of vinyl as you’re likely to hear all year and I’m personally looking forward to seeing them play the WildCard Brewery in Walthamstow on August 25th (handily just at the bottom of my road) 🙂
Mugwisa International Xylophone Group – Mazongoto Woods (Alejandro Mosso Rework)
Featuring the re-recorded and rearranged compositions of Uganda’s Mugwisa International Xylophone Group, the record was assisted by Santuri Safari—a music collective that supports the East African underground electronic music scene.
Scraps – Touch Blue
Canberra based Moontown Records have been fans of Brisbane’s Laura Hill (Scraps) since discovering her 7″ ‘Secret Paradise’ on Disembraining Machine back in 2012. Intrigued, obsessed and addicted to the mysterious world of SCRAPS they brought her to Canberra to play several times and have now finally signed her for TTNIK (pronounced Titanic), her latest full length.
They say “Call it club music with luscious cosmic sunburn ~ Addictive, playful and sludgy synth pop that works just as well in a club setting as it does booming through the walls of a dilapidated weatherboard queenslander on a steamy afternoon”.
Frankie Reyes – La Comparsa
Frankie Reyes is the alias of Gabriel Reyes-Whittaker who also records as GB (Gifted & Blessed). Boleros Valses y Mas, his Stones Throw debut, is an album comprised of popular Latin standards, reworked by Reyes with an Oberheim synthesizer.
Vanishing – Glacier / The Cleaners
Ensemble Du Verre – Who Will Tell Us (Room 13) – 7″ Version
The first taste from the upcoming Ensemble Du Verre record “Rooms”.
Me and My Friends – All That Is You
The sound of English folk colliding head-on with the golden-era music of 1970s West Africa and the Caribbean. Vocal harmonies, soaring cello and clarinet lines, colossal basslines and drum patterns combine. The Bristol quintet’s second album, Hide Your Way, is out on Soundway Records.
Asda – Long Grass
Chester Giles and Seb ‘Vessel’ Gainsborough launched their ASDA project last year via a well-received 10″ on the F*ckPunk imprint the latter runs with Ossia. Here they follow it up with a decidedly fuzzy mini-album on No Corner. The duo’s formula – poetic, Sleaford Mods-style spoken vocals over crusty beats and wild, distorted electronics – leaves enough room for quiet eclecticism, as well as intense experimentation. As a result, The Abyss is an impressive set, with vocalist Giles musing on one-night-stands over metallic beats on “Universal Themes”, discussing blood-stained bus-stops and social unease on the clarinet-laden ambient creepiness of “The Desire For Light & Stars & Jubilant Songs”, and sticking two fingers up at the world on the dense, distorted intensity of opener “Killer Of Men”.
Collocutor – Arrival
Amanda Palmer – Black Boys On Mopeds (Sinéad O’Connor)
The brilliant cover of Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” may be the standout track from Jack & Amanda Palmer’s “You Got Me Singing” LP but the whole albums more than worth a listen. It’s always a pleasure to hear the under appreciated song writing genius of Sinéad O’Connor getting an airing, as Amanda herself points out in a lengthy blog about the making of the album. It was also recently covered by EMA.
“i wanted some of my favourite female songwriters to be repped on this record, and given what’s been going on in the black lives matter movement, this seems like a perfect fit for the times. to understand the backstory, you need to read up about the death of colin roach, on which this song is based. and…when I casually mentioned sinéad on twitter and found that most of my fans under 30 hadn’t heard of her, i was so horrified that i put this one at the TOP of the list. people got to know her music. it’s so, so good”.