Monday 29 December 2008

This is what a year sounds like, 08

It's been a record year (no pun intended) for buying, downloading, ripping and being given music in 2008 and this is what it largely sounded like. Personal overview at the bottom of this post:

British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
Thom Yorke - And It Rained All Night (Burial Mix) EP/Atoms For Peace (Fourtet Remix) EP/Harrowdown Hill (The Bug Remix)
Autechre - Quaristice
Fugazi - In On The Kill Taker, Red Medicine
The Ex - Singles. Period.
Lou Reed - Sally Can't Dance
Hot Chip - Made In The Dark
Feist - The Reminder
Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Black Uhuru - The Dub Factor
Julian Cope - Peggy Suicide
Modeselektor - Happy Birthday!
The Bug - Poison Dart EP
The Angels Of Light - We Are Him
The Angels Of Light & Akron/Family - The Angels Of Light & Akron/Family
Akron Family - Meek Warrior
Wire - Read & Burn 03
Various - You Don't Know, Ninja Cuts
Box of Dub Volume 2 - Dubstep and Future Dub
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band - 13 Blues For Thirteen Moons
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Boy
Benga - Diary of An Afro Warrior
Skream - Skream!
Barry Adamson - Back To The Cat
Portishead - Third
Wire - The A List
The Fall - Imperial Wax Solvent
Holy Fuck - Street Horrrsing
Wooderson - Safeguard/Heard About It (Demo)
The Tupolev Ghost - The Alpha EP
Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune (Import)
Talking Heads - 77, More Songs About Buildings & Food
Chumbawamba - The Boy Bands Have Won
Danbert Nobacon And The Pine Valley Cosmonauts - The Library Book Of The World
Nomeansno - The Day Everything Became Isolated, Wrong
Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down In The Light
Cat Power - Jukebox
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley: His Best
Animal Collective - Water Curses EP
Billy Bragg - Mr Love & Justice
Malcolm Middleton - Live At The Bush Hall
Outkast - The Love Below/Speakerboxxx
Lee Perry - A Serious Dub
John Renbourn - Nobody's Fault But Mine: The John Renbourn Anthology 1966-2005
AntiFolk Volume 1- Compilation
FabricLive 07 - John Peel
The Felice Brothers - The Felice Brothers
White Denim - Workout Holiday
Eliza Carthy - Dreams of Breathing Underwater
Adrian Sherwood - On-U Sound Crash: Slash & Mix
Mark Stewart - Edit
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - The Mighty Upsetter
Neil Diamond - Home Before Dark
Getatchew Mekuria, The Ex & Guests - Moa Anbessa
Various - Best of Nigel
Various - Gangsta Top 10
Various - God songs +
Tricky - Knowle West Boy
Wire - Object 47
The Bug - London Zoo
Various - Trojan Box Set: Skinhead Reggae
Steinski - What Does It All Mean? 1983 - 2006 Retrospective
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
The Young Knives - Superabundance
Lou Reed - Lou Reed, Coney Island Baby, The Blue Mask
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement
Foals - Antidotes
Diana Ross and The Supremes - The Ultimate Collection
Squeeze - Essential Squeeze
Dizzee Rascal - Maths + English
The Specials - Stereo-Typical, As, Bs & Rarities
David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
Roots Manuva - Slime & Reason
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - Repentance
David Byrne - The Catherine Wheel
Glasvegas - Glasvegas
TV On The Radio - Dear Science
Mogwai - The Hawk Is Howling
Lou Reed - Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse
The Clash - Live At Shea Stadium
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy with Harem Scarem and Alex Neilson - Is It The Sea?
Palace - Arise Therefore
Warsaw Village Band - Uprooting
Talking Heads - Remain in Light, Fear of Music, Speaking in Tongues
The Specials - The Specials
The Stooges - Fun House
Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
Half Man Half Biscuit - CSI Ambleside & back catalogue
Six Inch Records 01, Patrick Bell - Travel Notes
Six Inch Records 02, Max de Mara - Classist
Six Inch Records 03, The Joy of Living - The Beyond Within
Robert Wyatt - EPs
Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, Frankenchrist
Iggy Pop - New Values
Hot Chip, Robert Wyatt and Geese - Made In The Dark
Aretha Franklin - Respect, The Very Best of Aretha Franklin
The Everly Brothers - Definitive Pop

As I've just moved my vinyl collection into our loft many of these purchases are digital replicas of things I already have and it's good to catch up with some Lou Reed and Talking Heads again this year. Without wallowing on past glories though, (although I must mention it was great to hear Steinski's 'And The Motorcade Sped On' again on his retrospective, the first piece of sampling I ever heard back when I was 14 or 15 and it still sounds innovative today), here's my take on some of the above:

Disappointment of the year has to be the last Wire release, 'Object 47'. Largely well written and performed songs but the production is dreadful and dulls the whole sensation, especially in comparison with the magnificent 'Read & Burn 03' released towards the end of 07 which led me to have high expectations. CDs that have been played the most include Vampire Weekend's debut (thanks for the tip off Kelvin) and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's 'Lie Down In The Light' with the best dogging themed song I've ever heard. Discoveries of the year include the Angels Of Light (thanks Roki) and Warsaw Village Band (thanks again Kelvin).

As for my favourite, well, it's difficult to choose. Roots Manuva's 'Slime and Reason' is up to his usual high standards although he threw several curve balls with some of the more upbeat tracks ('Again and Again', 'Do Nah Bodda Mi', 'Buff Nuff') which left his usually excellent fare pale in comparison and led to an excellent but schizophrenic album. Portishead's 'Third' is shear electronic bliss once it gets going which sadly isn't until halfway through - then it becomes immense. If the first half could have matched the second then it would have been top of the pile but in truth they only really made half an album. However, the one that ticks all the boxes for me personally is The Bug's 'London Zoo', a dub/electronic hybrid that is atmospheric, dense, poetic, heavy and paranoid; real zeitgeist stuff and completely at odds with anything else that was released in 2008. (Thanks for the recommendation about 'Poison Dart' last year Steven or I'd have never have found this.)


Steven Ball said...

yr welcome re: The Bug

Lot of oldies would be on my list too (I've been (re-)discovering Van Der Graaf Generator and nineties German dark-ambient-techno-dub stuff - Porter Ricks, Fluxion, Basic Channel label and Rhythm & Sound, etc - for example), but as for newies, I would concur on a number of yr choices, The Fall ("I'm a 50 year old man, whayugunnadoabahtit") is a return to form (part 567), Portishead - yes, Skream! - yep, yep (was that this year? I'd forgotten Street Horrrsing (actually by Fuck Buttons) I quite liked it so maybe time to get it back on the iPod.

Other things and all recommended:
Other Channels - The Advisory Circle,
Heretic Pride - Mountain Goats,
Women as Lovers - Xiu Xiu (only bettered by their extraordinary live performance at ULU),
Parallax Error Beheads You - Max Tundra,
Everything/Everything - Simon Bookish,
Vicki Bennett's Do or DIY WFMU show podcast ( has been the source of much great stuff, 'avant-retard' as she calls it and tremendous mash-ups, she also turned me onto:
Thiaz Itch and Tep from the Bedroom Research stable ( all of whose 'albums' are available as legal free downloads, also lots of other 'free downloads' *cough* mostly too numerous to mention.
And on the more (conventionally) experimental front:
Artefacts of Australian Experimental Music 1930 - 1973 - Various,
Contemporary Chinese Experimental Music - Various (from Ubuweb),
and lots of stuff by the Australian performer Chris Mann at his website here:

Dan said...

OK... so I'm a big Holy fuck fan... but what is Street Horrrsing?

Never hear of it...


Steven Ball said...

this thing:

Anonymous said...

ah, so Fuck Buttons, not Holy Fuck... gotcha! Thanks


Dubdog said...

Typing cock up Dan, should read Fuck Buttons as quite rightly pointed out by Steven. Apologies to a big fan.

Steven: Skream! was 2006 I think but I only got it this year. I had several things on compilations but not the LP. Finally took a punt which paid off, although it didn't with another dubstep release in the form of Benga which really wasn't very good at all excepting 'Crunked Up'.
Will check some of your other suggestions when I have time.

Steven Ball said...

yr right re skream! I just checked the record. Seems so long ago. I kind of drifted away from Dubstep in 08, I guess the novelty wore off a bit. Burial's Untrue, although not strictly Dubstep, and although I enjoyed it at first, had me yearning for something even darker and more immersive. I understand that Grime has had something of a resurgence but I haven't been keeping up with Rinse FM and too many other pirates innit.

Just downloaded the Ambiance app - real ambient!

Steven Ball said...

oh you probably won't like the Bookish or the Tundra :/