2021 Tapes - January
45 minute mix of January 2021
As might be expected, I hadn’t really got started on 2021 music for much of January. So instead, most of this mix is made up of a lot of new discoveries of old music, a few relistens (RIP DOOM) and just a couple of truly new tracks.
So here we go…
Attica Blues - Deeper starts us off. I love trip hop but its a bit before my time so I’ve never been very knowledgeable about it. Didn’t know Attica Blues at all until Gilles Peterson played them earlier this year.
Next up is a double bill of MF DOOM tracks to go with the sad news on NYE that he’d died last year. It’s hard to pick out specific tracks - I feel Doom works function much better as whole album that little snippets - but I’ve picked a couple anyway. First up is Viktor Vaughn - A Dead Mouse from the Vaudeville Villain album, one that I didn’t really know very well but listed to a lot in January. Followed by Madvillain - Figaro, a classic piece of one of his most loved albums.
I don’t know if its escapism from the grey cold weather or escapism from the grey cold lockdown but I’ve been listening to a lot of reggae lately, a lot of whch has come from David Rodigan’s excellent shown on BBC 1XTRA. So here’s a triple of reggae cuts. First up is The Loving Paupers - Enemy of History. They’re a contemporary New York band and their whole 2019 album, Lines, is great but this is my favourite track. After that’s its Macka B - Gentrification a brand new track I’ve enjoyed a lot and then Mafia & Fluxy - Horns of Jah Children, a lovely re-recording of a clasic tune.
By far the oldest track on this month’s playlist is Roberta Flack’s Compared To What. It’s another Gilles Peterson discovery that he played for its 60th anniversary and I just found myself singing over the following days.
Kruder & Dorfmeister brings us back to the 2020s, although it doesn’t sound like it. I didn’t really start listening to the dusty sounding beats on their 2020 album 1995 until the start of this year but its a firm favourite from start to finish. It’s a similar story with the next track from Four Tet - Parallel 4. Parallels came out right at the end of lasy year but I didn’t really get to it until the first couple of weeks of January. Great stuff.
The last pair up the ante a bit. We have the fab squelchy, bassy stomp of Danny Breaks’ - The Jellyfish, an early 2000s track I listened to on repeat this month (need to check out more Danny Breaks!) and then the only true 2021 album of the lot: from Isles we have Bicep - Saku. There was some serious hype around this album and it was well justified, the whole LP is incredible. A strong early contended for AOTY 2021!
Best Music of 2020 - Part 3 Weird
Third and final selection of the best music of 2020
There was some good music in 2020, so I’ve put together my list of ~40 albums. This is the ‘Weird’ section - there’s nothing in common here except that they don’t quite fit anywhere else. And I love them all.
Heather Leigh - Glory Days - All I Do Is Lust
One of the best albums that is very much a product of lockdown. Echoes of deserted dancefloors.
The Mountain Goats - Songs for Pierre Chuvin - Until Olympius Returns
What do you do when Covid cancels recording sessions? Write an album of acoustic songs about old pagans, of course.
Harmonious Thelonious - Plong - Höhlenmenschenmuziek
Nuel - Fantasia - The Running Flow
Hotspring - Obit For Sunshade - Resounding
Nihiloxica - Kaloli - Gunjula
Genuinely know nothing about any of these but I’ve been playing them all year. Hard to describe any of them well but the Nuel album may well be the best of the year.
Nídia - Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes - Tarraxo Do Guetto
Everything Nidia does in fantastic. I’m still kicking myself for passing up an opportunity to see her live a couple of years ago.
Lyra Pramuk - Fountain - Gossip
This is an interesting one. Every sound on the album is Lyra’s recorded voice, manipulated and chopped.
Duval Timothy - Help - Fall Again
An impossible to define album. It does jazz, piano solos, gospel, sampling. Fascinating.
Mary Lattimore - Silver Ladders - Silver Ladders
Sarah Davachi - Cantus, Descant - Ruminant
Both really beautiful albums. Mostly wordless, rewards slow listening.
Lina, Raül Refree - Lina_Raül Refree - Os meus olhos são dois círios
One of the most interesting of the year. Fado, stripped of guitars and reimagined.
Rian Treanor - File Under UK Metaplasm - Debouncing
Wow this album. Hard to listen to, hard to imagine anyone dancing to. Sits somewhere between music and noise.
Best Music of 2020 - Part 2 Club
Second selection of the best music of 2020
There was some good music in 2020, so I’ve put together my list of ~40 albums. This is the ‘Club’ section - from full on disco to some proper techno.
Romare - Home - Gone
Beatrice Dillon - Workaround - Square Fifths
Kelly Lee Owens - Inner Song - Melt!
Three fantastic albums from very different UK producers. All of these work as long-play albums in their own right.
Jupiter Jax - No Such Thing - Moods No Grooves
Shinichi Atobe - Yes - Yes
I don’t know very much about either of these, but both albums are great fun.
Horse Meat Disco - Jump Into The Light - Jump Into The Light - Aeroplane Remix
This album’s been a long time coming. Joyous stuff.
Georgia - Seeking Thrills - Tuff City Kids Remix (Edit)
Actually found the album a little disappointing but this single is big, and the remix even bigger.
Ellen Allien - Auraa - True Romantics
Damian Lazarus - Flourish - Into The Sun
Now we’re talking. Some of my favourite techno from this year.
Faithless - All Blessed - Synthesizer (feat. Nathan Ball)
New Faithless! No idea how this manages to be both totally cheesy and thrilling. Had the album on repeat for a week.
Luke Vibert - Luke Vibert presents Amen Andrews - Bad Boy Acid
Vibert dropped 3 monster releases back to back, covering breaks, rave and rave-hop. It’s all great.
Best Music of 2020 - Part 1 Songs
First selection of the best music of 2020
Thanks, COVID. There was some good music in 2020, so I’ve put together my list of ~40 albums. This is the ‘Songs’ section - a mixed bag of genre but all recognisably songs.
Hot Chip - Late Night Tales: Hot Chip - Nothing’s Changed
Late Night Tales is a decent mix album, with a couple of new tracks.
Owen Pallett - Island - Paragon Of Order
An early lockdown favourite. The whole album’s beautiful.
Bill Callahan - Gold Record - Let’s Move To The Country
Never really been that much into Bill Callahan. This was clearly a mistake. Must go and listen to more.
Destroyer - Have We Met - Crimson Tide
A favourite from the pre-Covid months. Fantastic album.
The Mountain Goats - Getting Into Knives - As Many Candles As Possible
Two mountain goats albums in one year!
Nadine Shah - Kitchen Sink - Ladies for Babies (Goats for Love)
Only picked this up in the last few weeks. How did I miss this? Great fun.
Mark Lanegan - Straight Songs Of Sorrow - Ketamine
I’d listen to Mark Lanegan reading the news. Everything he does is great.
Porridge Radio - Every Bad - Sweet
The Lovely Eggs - I Am Moron - This Decision
Its the Lovely Eggs. Great album. Gutted not to have seen it live. Fingers crossed for next year.
Hey Colossus - Dances / Curses - Dreamer Is Lying In State
Missed this one. Only picked it up from The Quietus’ year end list. Wall of noise.
The Orielles - Disco Volador - Space Samba (Disco Volador Theme)
The album is great fun from stasrt to finish.
Róisín Murphy - Róisín Machine - Jealousy
Big album. All the remixes I’ve heard from it have been great too.
Santrofi - Alewa - Kwabena amoah
No idea where I came across this one but I’ve listened to it pretty regularly for about 6 months now.
Keleketla! - Keleketla! - International Love Affair
You will be singing this for days.
Aesop Rock - Spirit World Field Guide - Button Masher
New Aesop Rock is always a good thing. Album goes in hard.
Jeffrey Lewis - Keep It Chill in the East Vill
It’s not really from an album, but its too much fun to not include.
Film festival summary
When at home for lockdown holiday… drink cocktails?
This one’s new to me. A Jasmine. Gin, triple-sec, campari and lemon juice. It’s good.
A simple test post
This is a simple test post. It doesn’t really say a lot.
But that’s ok. We all have to start somewhere, right?