Sunday, 31 December 2017

Best of 2017


LPS/TAPES
Tantalising Mews/Cateared Chocolatiers - Moon Wiring Club
Cassettera - Ekoplekz
Dust - Laurel Halo
Take Me Apart - Kelela
AZD - Actress
Mnestic Pressure - Lee Gamble
The Ghost Of Hope - The Residents
async - Ryuichi Sakamoto
Texas Rock Bottom - Rangers
The Saddle Of The Increate - Sun Araw
Reassemblage - Visible Cloaks
Dulce Compañia - DJ Python
Lack - Pan Daijing
Ambient Black Magic - Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement
Colón Man - Equiknoxx
Insert Genre Here/Epson's Bladder Salts - Ashtray Navigations
New Age Sewage - Robedoor
Dedicated To Bobby Jameson - Ariel Pink

I've been trying to put this list together for over three weeks now. This morning I just thought 'Bugger it I won't do a list.' Then later this afternoon I thought I'll just write a small paragraph about a handful of records I didn't mind but didn't necessarily love to death and leave it at that. Listening to Moon Wiring Club's latest epic 2CD & LP combo I thought 'Well...they need a place to go don't they because they're fucking outstanding as usual.' So now I've put this together but I'm still not a hundred percent convinced about it. I mean the Ariel Pink LP is a bit lightweight innit? Yet It's also pretty good but it's just not in the same league as The Doldrums, Worn Copy or Pom Pom is it? It was still my most played LP of the year though.

Should it just be a top 3, a top 6 or maybe a top 8 list?....

Anyway many of my usual favorites did not make the list. I didn't hate the records by The Focus Group, Gas or Omar Souleyman but I didn't love them (like I usually do or wanted to) either. Toi Toi Toi and Migos just missed out, Chino Amobi was (oh so) interesting, Tyler The Creator, SZA & Thundercat were alright, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith was way overrated and that Zomby record just did my head in. Then there was my usual hip-hop entrants (Future, Young Thug, RJ, Beatking) whose LPs just didn't leave lasting impressions on my mind. I'd have been happy to make a top fifty list if there were fifty excellent albums released this year. I listened to a lot of stuff including black metal, even shoegaze and drum'n'bass plus a whole lot more rap but it just wasn't innovative, exceptional or consummate enough for me to write about.


REISSUES/ARCHIVES/COMPILATIONS
Selected Classics/Frontal Sickness/Final Sickness  - The Mover
Voyage Cerebral - Didier Boquet
Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale/Interface/Stand By - Heldon
Afternooners - Patrick Cowley
Miracle Steps: Music From The 4th World 1983-2017 - Various
Fetus/Pollution/Sulle Corde Di Aries - Franco Battiato
Pop Makossa: The Invasive Dance Beat Of Cameroon 1976-1984 - Various
Cryptik Stepperz - Ekoplekz (I know it was released 2/11/16 but I missed it!)


TELLY
The Deuce
Sure The Deuce isn't as good as The Wire but it's fine entertainment.
The Crown
Sure The Crown isn't anywhere near as cool as The Deuce but season two was ten dramatic mini-movie masterpieces in a row. I can't explain it, just watch it. Who would have thought twenty hours (two seasons) of television about the bloody Queen could have been this amazing?
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Sure they didn't really need to do another season but it still had me laughing out loud a lot.
Twin Peaks - Episode 8
Sure I kinda preferred it when BOB was just a mystery. When BOB just was. Anyway this is a pretty cool episode that was all about early, experimental & avant-garde cinema and much more. Exquisite. The other 17 episodes weren't a patch on this.
Black Mirror: Hang The DJ Episode
That was romance.
Line Of Duty
Best cop show since...........or perhaps ever. Season 4 was probably the finest so far with incredible performances from Thandie Newton and my current favourite actor Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings. Gotta wait 'til 2019 for the next episode.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Best 80s Albums

Yesterday on twitter somebody asked what was the best LP released between 1980 & 1989. I thought I won't do my obvious pick. So I did a little year by year list that didn't include Talking Heads, The Fall, The Birthday Party, Prince, The Church, The Triffids, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine or The Pixies.

My pick in the end was My Houdini from Tactics but it could have been any of these or like a hundred others. Ever since I started this blog I've been meaning to write an article in praise of My Houdini. Maybe the time has come to finally put pen to paper about this undervalued post-punk/new wave classic.


1980- Out Of The Tunnel - MX-80 Sound
1981- My Houdini - Tactics
1982- Ice Cream For Crow - Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
1983- Head Over Heels - Cocteau Twins
1984- Let It Be - The Replacements
1985- At Home With You - X (The Australian band not the inferior one)
1986- Three Virgins - Axemen
1987- Children Of God - Swans
1988- Sixty Nine - AR Kane
1989- Max Q - Max Q


This is another one I was going to write about in the beginning...er...maybe I did. I'll have to check that.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Problem Child - ACDC



Rick Rubin summed up AC/DC here. Amongst other things he wrote:

A great band like Metallica could play an AC/DC song note for note, and they still wouldn't capture the tension and release that drive the music. There's nothing like it.

The essence of Malcolm Young.

RIP Malcolm Young




Malcolm Young.
The Centre,
The Core,
The Engine,
The Backbone.
The Heart & Soul,
A riff machine.







The essence of AC/DC is the rhythmic guitars and the minimalist groove.



Malcolm was the fucking essence of AC/DC!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

2017 Gloom/Doom-Core















The atmosphere on these tracks is just so....now. Is World War III really going to be about a couple of drama queenz having a bitch fight in the sand pit about who's old, short or fat? Ye olde cartoons were smarter than that. Kim & Don are are the dim wit kids in grade one you felt sorry for. This here is the soundtrack for the schoolboy/world leader dust up which was made in 91/92 with a vision to 2017. I'm worried Marc Acardipane is some sort of Nostradamus type figure. I mean like Nostradamus (as in a psychically freaky fortune teller for the ages) and not just into him as Simon Reynolds mentioned at the beginning of the year on my blog. These aren't even Marc's most pulverising beats, It's all about the blackest gloomiest synths and sound generators. Some of these beats are almost quite fun. Music for the surviving cockroaches, ants and mutant sea creatures to joyfully bug out to while the ghost of humanity looms in the post-apocalyptic air.

*All of these tracks have been remastered and reissued in digital form in 2017. Frontal Sickness, Final Sickness and a compilation called Selected Classics have been part of Acardipane's reissue campaign by Planet Phuture. So far it's been all about The Mover and Mescalinum United, I wonder if any of his other aliases will be getting the remastered treatment?

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Obscure Darkside Mix - DevNull



You can always depend on Pete DevNull to come with something fucking cool around Halloween for lovers of the darkside of the hardcore continuum and this year is no exception. This fabulous mix, that was posted a few days ago, is some of the most shadowy old school jungle you'll ever hear. According to Blog To The Old School some of these tunes are mega rare white labels and unreleased trax from back in the day. I reckon I only recognise 3 or 4 of the platters in this set. You know the score!

If you love the darkside I suggest you go through the BTTO archive of mixes. One year (2012?) Pete did an epic 3 hour set for Halloween which is one of my favorite all time dj mixes. There's a bunch of fantastic darkside sets from DevNull that should keep you going out of your brain for some time.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Umberto Lenzi Movies For Halloween



Watch Eyeball in tribute to the late great Umberto Lenzi. Ocular violence is probably my biggest fear so this gets to me despite how funny the whole movie is. It's very disturbing to me.



Lenzi did like 7 or 8 Gialli and Spasmo is his most triumphantly mental. Just go with it and forget about a cohesive narrative for the duration. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. There's actually a better version on youtube Posted by Giallo Realm which won't embed here. So maybe search for that one. Happy Halloween.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Halloween




Friday The 13th goes to an early 80s disco, 1982 to be precise. Love that synth bass.



Remember when Howard Shore was awesome? Particularly when he was scoring for Cronenberg.



Ambient to noisy electronic delirium and back again.



Francois De Roubaix was a French film composer. I think his mind was quite free of constraints when it came to making music. You can hear it all here in just 3 minutes. He covers a lot of ground but it doesn't sound forced or shoehorned, it's just wonderful. As far as I can tell only two tunes from the soundtrack to the 1971 Belgian film Daughters of Darkness were ever issued. Les Dunes d'Ostende was on one side of a 7" released by French label Barclay.

Keeping with the horror theme, De Roubaix died in his mid 30s in an accident whilst diving off The Canary Islands in 1975. He is pictured on the cover of one of his compilations in scuba diving gear which I thought was rather macabre.



HORROR MOVIE PODCAST - FACULTY OF HORROR
If you can get past how impressed this duo are about their scholastic achievements and are a horror movie fan this could be a podcast for you. The hosts Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West take an analytical look at one or two films per episode which are thematically linked. They've covered ye olde classics like Night Of The Hunter, Witchfinder General, Black Christmas, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Shivers, Halloween etc. Plenty of 80s and 90s movies like The Shining, Sleepaway Camp, Friday The 13th, Fright Night, Gremlins, Lost Boys, The Crucible, The Crow & The Cube have been featured. Films of the new Millennium are not shied away from either, like they are in many other casts of pod. Wolf Creek, The Loved Ones, Elle, The Descent, Trick'rTreat, Calvaire, Martyrs, The Babadook, Cabin In The Woods & Drag Me To Hell have all been picked apart by the faculty. Alexandra West wrote the book Films Of New French Extremity and has a new book due soon about 90s teen horror.



I've never seen this movie but it's apparently a cross between Carnival Of Souls and Messiah Of Evil. Which sounds like it would be right up my street. The full version on youtube is unwatchable but it was issued by Arrow on dvd & blu-ray last year though. Looking forward to tracking it down.