9 Sleaford Mods – Key Markets
Have been listening to the ‘Mods sweary vignettes for a while now (although Shane might have got there just a touch before me!) and loved seeing this album break them into the mainstream and onto Jools Holland (a brilliant performance). They managed it without compromising their sparse sweary-ranting-over-crappy-drum -machine sound, although the songs here do sound a little bit more focused to me and all the better for it. Not 100% sure what a “tit cake” is though…..
8 Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness
This was a record I kind of bought by mistake. I was in the record shop and thought I’d half-remembered reading a good review of it somewhere, and I may also have been seduced by the austere Joy Division-esque cover and the Domino Records label. When I got it home and dropped the needle it wasn’t what I expected at all. On first play I thought it sounded like Lana Del Ray (not that there’s anything wrong with LDR, I just never got into her) and I filed it alongside Starsailor on my why-the-hell-did-I-ever-buy-that shelf. But then the songs started to appear in my head at unexpected moments (even though I had only heard them once) and I found myself drawn back to it again and again. The voice was great, the music was pop, but verging on the avant-garde (classical elements, free jazzy parps) and the songs were …..well, songs, which are something of a rarity in my collection!
7 Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls
I just finished writing a witty and informative paragraph about “Frozen Niagara Falls”, finishing with a flourish and the words “magnum opus“, a smug and triumphant grin on my face as I went to find a link, and found exactly the same phrase on the Bandcamp page. Had I unconsciously plagiarised it? Very probably. So I deleted the whole thing and am starting again. It really is a magnum opus though! I’ve been listening to the man that is Prurient, Dominick Fernow (and anything and everything he puts out on his Hospital Productions label) for a few years now, admiring and appreciating, but never quite loving his harsh unforgiving noise experiments. “Frozen Niagara Falls”, though, is a sprawling 90 minutes of uncompromising noise, power electronics and darkly ambient black metal, that can only be described by that most fractious of adjectives: art. Listening to the whole thing is a journey into the mind of a singular-minded artist that after decades making the noisiest of Noise is at the peak of his powers.
6 – 2 8 1 4 – 新しい日の誕生
They might well have called this album “Tokyo Nights”, such is the atmosphere of a rain-soaked, neon-lit urban nightscape that this record evokes. Except for the fact that it came out on Panther favourite Not Not Fun records , I don’t know too much about this artist or album. This was another late night listen for me this year. Especially when I worked late on Saturdays in Tokyo and was speeding back home on the express train watching the city disappear and the mountains come into view through the darkened windows. The dreamlike drone that hints of the future that never was served as the perfect way to wind down at the end of a long day.