I subscribe to Spotify – some of you won’t like that, I know. I got rid of our turntable, CD player, speakers and amp and have yet to replace them, so the only way I get to play music that isn’t the radio is streaming tracks from either my iTunes library or Spotify through my Sonos. Every week Spotify pushes a new playlist to me called Discover Weekly. It is made up of tracks based on my listening habits – it’s how I came across Lift to Experience. The other week a track popped up called Ride On and I thought “ooh that sounds like Play era Moby” but it wasn’t Moby, it was this guy called Little Axe and the album the track came from was The Wolf That House Built.
Play by Moby is the sort of album most people have in their record collection. It was quite different to the work that came before it which was predominantly techno-ish club music. Play melded a bluesy sound with electronica, it felt mellower to me than his previous work and as I’d pretty much stopped going clubbing by this time, it also felt a bit more grown up; an album you could stay in and chill out with. For Moby it was a breakthrough as it brought him international acclaim when it was released in 1999 (remember that year).
I think Little Axe is the stage name of musician Skip Macdonald, but I’m not entirely sure because in some places I’ve seen Little Axe referred to as a group. Wiki doesn’t tell me much about Macdonald other than he’s worked with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five which fails to explain the awesomeness of The Wolf that House Built released in 1994 and the later album Hard Grind released in 2002. Both albums ooze blues, jazz and dub rhythms with a hint of electronica thrown in over repeating deep south samples. The Wolf That House Built is so reminiscent of Play and yet it came a full 5 years ahead of Moby’s seminal work.
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?
I’m a sucker for a new sub genre, the more unpronounceable the better, so was thrilled to come across something called Gqom this week – apparently it represents “da sound u get wen u drop a rock on tiles”.
At first I was surprised that something that seems so Western and cutting edge like bass music/dupstep/electronica could find a voice in the poor South African townships of Durban, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that a music that started out being made on Playstations by 15-year old black kids in deprived London tower blocks should resonate with 15-year old South African black kids in deprived Durban townships, especially when held against the college kid centred fratboyisms that twisted the urban grime of bass music into safe and inoffensive stadium-glo-stick-waving US EDM.
OK, enough rambling, here’s the lead track on a compilation album documenting the scene. The African musical influences are more than apparent and it stretches the genre in any number of new directions.
Listen to (and then buy!) the whole thing here and read all about the album and the scene.
Last week I had a research paper/book chapter thing to write, so I took the week off work, set up a desk by the window in the warmest room in the house overlooking the garden, and settled down to work. For someone like me who spends most of the day out of the house, has a young family and a partner not terribly au fait with the concept of compromise (not to mention taste in music on the slightly noisy side) this opportunity to be by myself and listen to whatever the hell I wanted to all day for a week was a very rare and precious thing indeed.
Over the course of the week I listened to about 50 of my own records and despite the mental taxations of the task in hand had one of the most enjoyable weeks in a long long time.
Finding even more time to myself to put it all together to make a podcast was pretty impossible, so I enlisted Panthercub as my official selector and made a fun game of it on a rainy afternoon. It ended up completely different to what I had in mind (I was thinking more noise and less electronica), but there you go, it was out of my hands!
I have had “Mr Noah” by Panda Bear (his 2007 LP was my fave of that year) on repeat for the last two weeks & is the mpst bizarre earworm as I have no clue at all what he’s singing about, apart from he won’t get out of bed except for chips & egg? Maybe? And it’s definately dog themed….maybe….
I thought it may be fun if we have a guess at the lyrics, without googling (who wants the truth? not me!) and see what comes out of the morass?
What a transfer window that was! The Premier League continues to obscenely devour itself out of pure greed, and I get no more comfortable coping with that. But nonetheless, let’s talk about it.
– Time to vent that spleen, Toon fans!
– End of an era at LFC, with Dagger and Pepe leaving permanently?
– The Mancs now challenging the Arse as the team with least connection to its roots?
– Southampton fans: sleeping any better now?
And let’s try adding a poll; I’ve never done that in a DsD post – Who was August’s “best” acquisition, IYHO?
Someone has been feeding Trwbador after midnight, and then getting them wet (okay, not so difficult for a band based in the depths of West Wales). The landscape of their forthcoming second album (out on 11th August) is familiar enough, with Angharad van Rijswijk’s delicate vocals, Owain Gwilym’s guitar patterns, subtle electronic beats and random tinkly noises all present and correct. This time, however, the landscape is dominated not by gentle, shy creatures with big soulful eyes but by giant avant-pop monsters in eye-catching plumage, cavorting exuberantly. Continue reading →
10 dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip – I’m contracted to add Pip every year.. this is one of the best protest tracks of the year – again missed by Dorian. Stiff Upper Lip dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip feat. Itch Repent Replenish Repeat
9 Orties – French elctro making you dance like a robot from 1984 – here you go – accented songs about orgasms and goths – sold. Ghetto Goth Orties Sextape
8 The Indelicates – Arcade Fire’s extremely intense love of their own dangly bits getting on your nerves? – then try this – yet another brilliant story telling album played with passion and anger but without the egoistic self love of the brilliant ideas involved – they ARE brilliant ideas and wonderfully imaginative musically and lyrically too. Bitterness Is the Appropriate Response The Indelicates Diseases of England
7 Zola Jesus – with strings, lush and cool reedits of her ‘famous hits’. Collapse Zola Jesus Versions
6 Manix – the Daft Punk album retro theft left you cold with it stealing from all the crap eras (when they used to at least try and be pioneers) and only having one track of any merit – yep – skip that and play this; it recreats 1992 with all the fun of a prodigy album off their tits with spiral tribe… no pretense at originality – no media hype – this it 24 hour rave and it’s boz. Your Love Is Over Manix Living In The Past
5 The Lovely Bad Things – the pixie aping nuggets loving bad things. Darth Lauren The Lovely Bad Things The Late Great Whatever
4 Savages – there’s is no better indie this year – full stop. No Face Savages Silence Yourself
3 Tricot – jagged jittery brilliance from Japan – a masterpiece of alternative buzz rock playing and performance. ACE. Artsick Tricot The
2 Sleaford Mods – ranting, swearing infested, bile, spewed forth with aggressive venom and stream of consciousness – brilliant – is number one album of the year when I’m not in polite company – (**this track from Jobseeker 3 track single not austerity dogs album). Black Monday Sleaford Mods Jobseeker album is Austerity Dogs