TOP 200 TRACKS OF 2017 (1-25)
The top 25 in the perennially late, but hopefully always musically great, Music Like Dirt Top 200 Tracks of the year.
Don’t forget to explore the full 200 as there’s not a duff track to be found and the whole lot should only take about 14 hours to get through 🙂
Listen to numbers 26-50, 51-100,110-150, and 151-200.
👂LISTEN TO THE 200 ON:
APPLE MUSIC / SPOTIFY / OPENWHYD / SOUNDCLOUD / YOUTUBE
As ever, there are playlists galore including for the first time Apple Music, and probably (sadly) for the last time, Soundcloud. Soundcloud changed the way blogs worked and largely ended the constant threat of DMCA takedown threats but it’s now a mess with constant adverts and half the tracks only available as 30-second previews through the doomed Soundcloud Go subscription.
Anyway pick your streaming service of choice – obviously, there are loads of tracks missing from each platform so the only way to hear it all is to click and scroll through these pages.
25. The Great Sadness – Underground
In this place, underground, there is no god
Do you miss the days when The White Stripes were in their howling garage blues pomp? Don’t be Sad, try The Great Sadness.
“Los Angeles Delta blues from duo Cathy Cooper and Stephen McNeely. Turning traditional music on its head and skinning it down to it’s most lovely and brutal essence.”
Their debut album features ten gloriously ferocious bursts of Cathy’s howl and Stephens brutal drumming. Encapsulating their music perfectly, the video for ‘Underground’ features two ghoulish skeletons freewheeling through a graveyard on Choppers – honestly, it’s perversely life-affirming stuff.
Facebook / Bandcamp
24. Oneohtrix Point Never – The Pure and the Damned (feat. Iggy Pop)
Death, make me brave
Death, leave me swinging
23. Justin Bieber & BloodPop® – Friends
Know you’re wonderin’ why I been callin’
Like I got ulterior motives
Know you’re wonderin’ why I been callin’
Like I got ulterior motives
22. Breakfast Muff – R U A Feminist
Ur a feminist until I won’t fuck you
21. Young Fathers – Lord / Only God Knows
While the government wants to control
Our country will set you free
20. Preacha – Crying (feat. Jay Spaker)
Well tell me do you hear the soundboy
I was tipped off to this by WrongTom (find him elsewhere on the list) and I’ll leave it to NICE UP! Records own Jon Sheppard to explain it’s magic… “it reminded me of a classic Beres Hammond or Garnett Silk tune from the 80s, but in a modern setting. I instantly fell in love with it, signed it and have been playing it all summer“.
19. Jane Bee – My Crew
18. Headlock – Mad Diamonds (Elusive Remix)
I’m about to do what the fuck I wanna do
Described as Tucson #shredrap, a sound ‘from dollar bin records, abandoned effects pedals, thrifted drum machines, heavy psych borrows and VCRs’ Headlock bring to mind the Beastie Boys and ‘Bug Powder Dust’ era Justin Warfield (to my mind the highest praise).
This bonus digital-only remix is taken from their self-produced six-song EP “Gang Nativity” [HNR76]. The limited edition physical releases come with a variety of woven patches and steel buttons featuring a drinking and smoking nun…because why not.
17. Tove Lo – disco tits
I’m wet through all my clothes
I’m fully charged, nipples are hard
16. JonWayne – Out Of Sight
And every day I wish that we could speak again
But every time I wanna make it right I freeze up and the visions of the shadows of my demons who went out of sight
15. Darkie Fiction – Selula
My mama always told me not to ever complain, ’cause when the blessings come down like a storm rain
With its pulsing synth and endearingly skippy beat, ‘Selula’ is a fine calling card for a South African duo blessed with a brilliant band name – ‘Darkie Fiction’ – and a professed mission statement to help (South) Africans make music true to themselves. Rapper Katt Daddy and vocalist Yoza Mnyanda grew up on kwaito, afro-funk, neo-soul and hip-hop and artists like Brenda Fassie, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Steve Kekana, TKZee and Boom Shaka. In an interview with OkayAfrica, they said “Popular South African music just sounds like American music. We hope people listen to our music and feel proud to be South African and proud to be black. We want to celebrate the way black kids grew up and the way black kids are living now—that’s what we want to teach and that’s what we’re learning—to embrace where we come from and what we are.”
The video (below) for ‘Selula’ was made with a few rand and a ton of goodwill from their friends…
14. Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip – Odd Jobs / Sweet Leaf of the North
I do odd jobs for cash, and I like what I do
Unlike famed Radio 2 disk jockey Ed Miliband I’d not seen Napalm Death “from fucking Birmingham” prior to Glastonbury so having got the tent up, Thursday night seemed like as good a night as any to be shouted at. And good fun it was too but after half an hour or 45 songs as it’s known in Napalm time I ambled off to nowhere in particular. My attention was however immediately drawn to the next tent along – The Rocket Lounge – by a strange noise… the sound of unbridled joy!?
There every man and women of a packed crowd seemed to be grinning from ear to ear, singing along to Leeds’ very own Mik Artistik and his Ego Trip. Frontman Mic regaled with tales of Dad Muscles, leaves travelling to London and back and the biggest sing-along of all – led by the bands travelling
army gaggle – “foxes at the front, leaves in the middle”. As Mik himself pointed out, this makes no sense – certainly if you weren’t there.
Part comedy, part punk funk, but as a live show, pure brilliance. It’s rare to see a band play the audience, although the same can’t be said the next morning, when having ordered a hearty breakfast I sat down to find Mik and co setting up to perform for the hospitality breakfast area! A much tougher crowd, although Mik answering a call from a Guardian journalist in the middle of the set did raise a titter or two from the mostly disinterested liggers suspiciously prodding their sausage around the plate.
They’ve played every Glastonbury every stage that’ll have them for a decade now and every year new converts, like me, are freshly charmed. I can’t think of any higher praise than the fact I spent a good 15 minutes at the end of their set debating whether to buy a £35 pound Mik Artistik teapot.
13. Katy Perry – Chained To the Rhythm (feat. Skip Marley)
Aren’t you lonely, Up there in utopia
Where nothing will ever be enough?
12. The Seshen – Distant Heart (Wrongtom Remix) / Wrongtom + The Ragga Twins – Just A Dub
East end dub-master WrongTom is best known for his consistently excellent ‘Wrongtom Meets…’ series with the likes of Roots Manuva and The Ragga Twins. However, he’s also a wizard at the controls of a damn fine remixes. His ‘Right Dub’ mix of John Turrell’s ‘Right Time’ was my previous favourite but he may have topped that with his dub for Tru Thoughts label mates, The Seshen.
Subtly adding a floaty lovers rock feel to the tune along with – crucially to my ears – some lovely new drums, which have a certain ‘Whyness’ about them. Whether you end up spontaneously bursting into ‘Hey Bonita, glad to meet ya‘ or ‘why does my heart hurt so much‘ half way though depends on whether you vintage is Carly or ATCQ. You’ll be humming one of them.
I’m declaring this a joint entry for The Seshen and the latest dub version of Tom’s own ‘Meets..’ series. On ‘In Dub’ he dissects and then rebuilds each track with a new lease of life. While the singles “Bacchanal” and “Follow Fashion’ from the original album picked up spins from David Rodigan, Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne, among others, it’s ‘Just a Dub’ from the perhaps underappreciated dub version that always seems to earn a rewind on my stereo.
Rather than me babbling on, why not read WrongTom’s own rewind of 2017 with links to a ton of dubs, tunes, videos and reads.
11. Open Mike Eagle – 95 Radios (feat. Has-Lo)
And we wrapped both hands in tinfoil
Pointed at the window frame
Tryna find a radio
10. MC Almond Milk – Wet Wednesday, Pt. 2 (feat. Jonnie Common)
We can please the crowd like Jesus… yet even more people believe in us
‘Wet Wednesday’ is taken from the third compilation of acts huddled under the umbrella of Glasgow based music collective, Save As.
9. Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest
8. ThE DiAboLIcaL LibERTieS – THe baTtLe Of TrAFaLgaR feat. gENerAl RUBbIsH & nYaSHa /
17 : 04 TuESdaY evENinG
7. Selena Gomez – Bad Liar
But just like the battle of Troy
There’s nothing subtle here
6. Sleaford Mods – BHS / Just Like We Do
Pisshead knocking out half-cut ideas
Pretentious little bastard on social medias
5. Petra Glynt – Up to the People
The stunning cover art on all her releases betray Petra Glynt’s background as a visual artist turned electronic pop provocateur. For ‘Up To The People’ Petra took inspiration from her realisation of the enormous positive power wielded by a unified and diverse population, Petra Glynt rides atop a propulsive rhythm track to deliver an empowering and emboldening message.
“‘Up To The People’ comes from the year 2013,” explains Glynt. “It’s about the end of the Occupy Movement and the globally internalized realisation that the world is controlled by a 1-percent elite and how strong we really are as the 99-percent for our sheer numbers and diversity. There’s power and beauty in feeling that. That year was a poignant brain shift for me and I was empowered by my own rage and in awe of brave people and community organising for the sake of challenging capitalism. This song is basically giving props to those people.”
4. Marie Modiano – Guérir ma colère
Novelist and singer Marie Modiano’s stunning single, ‘Guérir ma colère (Heal my anger)’ was released with very little fanfare courtesy of the La Souterraine label who continued their exploration of the French Underground, with an 11 track compilation of established names, new collaborations and the first fresh shoots of unknown musicians. Great compilation though it was, stumbling across ‘Guérir ma colère’ was like popping to an arts fair and suddenly spotting a Da Vinci in amongst some talented local artists.
3. Roger Robinson – New Maps
Do you know how many grassroots artists howled wild poems on microphones…
before it was your fine wine shop
Can you feel the vibrations amongst the Merlot
2. Idles – Mother
Sexual violence doesn’t start and end with rape
It starts in our books and behind our school gates
At a point of uncertainty, IDLES bring you concise carnage. At a time of lies, IDLES bring you honesty.
At a time of body shaming and Photoshop, IDLES bring you a visceral barrage of joyous bile.
At a time of The Kardashians, IDLES bring you a story of working hard for what and who you love.
“The best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich,” frontman Joe Talbot repeats in the anti-misogynist sledgehammer “Mother”, nailing the point home without deviation.
1. Coldcut & On-U Sound – Robbery (feat. Rholin X)
After keeping us waiting for a decade, in 2017 Coldcut unleashing an audio visual feast of tunes, videos, memes and games on a practically weekly basis. Several preview tracks from their ‘Outside The Echo Chamber’ collaboration with fellow dance legend Adrian Sherwood featured in last years end of year best of. However ‘Robbery’ found them returning to the kind of interactive political subversion they pioneered with 1993’s ‘Global Chaos’ video game, only this time the political satire comes straight through your browser.
With a trademark banging beat mixed by Adrian Sherwood (On-U Sound) and featuring JA vocalist Rholin X whose voice could out gravel Buju Banton musing on who’s really robbing who, each level has a different rub of the ‘Robbery’ track to which your gameplay adds extra sounds.
On completing the game, the user gets a bonus track. The cut’n’ paste graphics nod to Terry Gilliam and sample Gillray, the leading caricaturist of the 18th Century.
‘Robbery’ is a 3D Virtual Surreality® game set in a world where the banks have stolen everyone’s savings, the Gov let them get away with it, and people are left with the bill. Maybe not that surreal then. You’re given the help of Coldcut who imprison the main Bankstr in a crystal ball. But it’s down to you to deliver justice and save the world, overcoming many challenges to arrest, charge and jail the miscreant in three increasingly difficult levels of Marble Madness-style rolling action.
Topical with recent revelations of the Bank of England and Tory government involvement in the huge LIBOR fixing scandal, the game is a satirical comment on probably the World’s biggest crime of all time: the ongoing heist of the global economy by the Bankstr inner circle.
For those wanting to dig deeper, visit coldcut.net’s Robbery knowledge page.The page contains documentaries, videos, books, journalism, campaigns to join, infographics and memes. A decent information library focused on Banking and Inequality. This is part of an ongoing Coldcut ‘Infobone’ MOOC project, a free online teaching resource to inform and inspire activists.
Coldcut: ‘The 2009 ‘financial crisis’ was just one moment in a big global rip-off whereby the 1% continue to grab more of everything from the 99% (you) – here’s how that actually works’
But don’t forget to listen to the tune below. It’s so good to have Coldcut back!