Thursday, 22 January 2015

More Noise Found Down The Back of Richard D James's Sofa

With the typically confusing title of "Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2" - was there ever an part 1? - Aphex Twin makes a slight return to follow on from 2014's Syro album.

Here we have a 13 track EP of "heavy grooves...interspersed with orphaned loops, pregnant drones and itchy, atmospheric piano breaks", which could be read partially as some stuff that he never got round to finishing. Still, there's some great pieces on here, made doubly appealing by the only detail printed on the disc's label: "33 or ...45". Whether it's there as a suggestion, instruction or Aphex perversity I don't know, but I've listened to it at both speeds and can't decide which is best.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Sixteen albums from 2014

In no particular order...

Aphex Twin - Syro

Not quite the outstanding album that many people would have you believe, but even a pretty good Aphex album will have more jaw dropping moments than many artist's entire career. Check out track 2 (or XMAS_EVET10 (thanaton3 mix) if you want to be picky and use song titles) as an example.

St Vincent - St Vincent
The critics favourite of the year it seems. And who am I to argue? 'tis good.

Manic Street Preachers - Futurology
I was a bit underwhelmed by Rewind The Film, but this is great - a Manics album that might appeal to non-Manics fans. Any album that might have the word "motorik" in its reviews is always worth checking out.

Goat - Commune
Like their debut album, but different.

Spoon - They Want My Soul
Loved by the critics, bought by a small handful of people.

Brian Eno & Karl Hyde -Someday World/High Life
A collaboration that spawned two great albums. The melody heavy Someday World was quickly followed up by the more experimental robo-afrobeat High Life. Both are worth checking out.

The War on Drugs - Lost In The Dream
Artists that came up in conversation whilist listening to this: The Waterboys, Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, The Cars, Don Henley, Arcade Fire, The Eagles, early 80s Rod Stewart, and A-Ha. A great album for playing spot the reference point.

Tweedy - Sukierae
In the absence of a new Wilco album, I guess 20 wonderful new songs by Jeff Tweedy and his son will have to do.

Jack White - Lazaretto
As long as it's the vinyl version, obviously.

Wildest Dreams - Wildest Dreams
DJ Harvey's latest exploration into west coast psych rock.

The Phantom Band - Strange Friend
I was supposed to go and see the Phantom Band at the Deaf Institute in June, but managed to write off my car on the way there whilst listening to this album.

Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
Mr Tembo made me smile a lot. The best song about an elephant ever?

Todd Terje - It's Album Time
By far the best party album of 2014

Mogwai - Rave Tapes
More like "post rave comedown tapes".

Caribou - Our Love
Dan Snaith will always be Manitoba to me. Regardless of the name he's still churning out some great music.

Electric Youth - Innerworld
Lush, gorgeous dream pop.