Saturday, 10 December 2016
The Tracks Of My Year
So it's time for my self indulgent list of what I have been listening to and buying this year. The list is limited to music made in 2016 which ruled out a load of northern soul and a couple of recent garage rock acquisitions. When compiling the list I had a feeling that there was a definite bias towards electronic and dance music but when it was finished it actually appeared to be more balanced than I thought.
There are four people with entries under two guises. Firstly Carla Easton, responsible for two of my favourite albums of the year by Teen Canteen and Ette, the music is just so joyous and both albums make me smile loads. I just wish that the Ette track included had been released as a 7" as that is, in my mind anyway where it belongs. Also when I attended the album launch for Say It With A Kiss I finally realised that I am an old duffer, christ did I feel old and if I'm honest rather out of place even though Duglas T Stewart was in attendance.
Richard Norris also pops up with two tracks in the top three, one as Circle Sky and one in his Beyond The Wizards Sleeve guise. The Circle Sky track transports me back to my golden days of clubbing while still being absolutely fresh, a sort of Rez for 2016 not quite as great as that track but similar in the way it builds. If the original version of Diagram Girl had been extended it would have been head and shoulders above anything else for me this year but the single version is just too short and the "re-animation" although very very good is just missing a tiny something. There could have been another couple of entries for BTWS if I had allowed multiple entries.
Jamie xx is the third. I know I included Talabot's remix of Loud Places in last year's list but it did appear very late in the year and stayed glued to the turntable until about February/March this year. The first single from the third album of The xx proper augers well and on the strength of it the album was duly pre-ordered and eagerly awaited. I am still pissed off that they are not coming to Scotland during their "UK" tour but not half as upset as Nick Waterhouse not coming north of Manchester but that's another story.
The final double entry, you will not be surprised to read is from Lord Sabre himself, one as part of the Woodleigh Research Facility and the other in the form of a remix. Weatherall is the only person to be included in all 8 of these end of year things. This year he could have had at least half a dozen entries if not double figures he has been quite prolific in 2016 while managing to keep the quality of the highest order. I am sure that SA will have more than a few Weatherall tracks when his list comes out round at the Bagging Area.
With regards to the rest of the list, there is the welcome return of Meursault, Also back this year were the Wedding Present with their best album since Take Fountain, still don't understand the inclusion of Secretary though. Earlier in the year I stated that due to the extortionate price of The Spoils on vinyl this would be one Massive Attack release I would not be purchasing however I am weak and knew that I would regret it and end up paying more for it in the future so I succumbed. Slam also released a new album to celebrate 25 years of making records and it was as fresh as fuck. My new favourite band are the Lucid Dream, Stiff and I saw them in September and they were loud. Sadly also in the list is the last song by Allo Darlin' who have decided to call it a day. Unfortunately this has had to be purchased on MP3 as the limited single is only available at the band's final two shows this weekend in London and I will not be in attendance. I have pleaded with the m on Twitter but have had no response. It's been a while since I raved about a Primal Scream tune but this year there were two that were rather remarkable, one, Big Belly Nothing 100% dub, down mainly to Antone Newcombe's remix but the other, well, if somebody had said that I would have been blown away by a Scream cover of S'Express they would have been told to go and take a flying fuck to themselves, but I was, 2016 was indeed a strange year. Talking of that, something had to be included from Blackstar. If I'm honest I hadn't taken much notice of Bowie since Absolute Beginners really, apart from the James Murphy remix of Love Is Lost. After his death I streamed the final album and a few listens decided it was worth having for the last track alone but the whole thing has grown on me, not a comfortable listen but absolutely astounding under the circumstances.
Also in the list is a track by a man I had the good fortune to DJ with when we did the Blog Rocking Beats nights in the Flying Duck in Glasgow, Gareth from the sadly defunct How Does That One Go Again, whose track Solina is number 34 on the list, a labour of love which took 17 years to finally get a release and was played on the too few balmy summer nights we had up here, the kind of track that in bygone days would have accompanied a good toke.
You may have noticed that there is nothing by the gruppe in the list, even though they released a 12" ep in 2016. I'm not sure if I was compiling a top 100 Wise Old Man would even be in there, no I am sure it wouldn't. from reading the reviews of concerts from the second half of the year there are a few promising new songs but we will see how they sound when the new album appears but until then . . .
1, Circle Sky - Reveal
2. Massive Attack - The Spoils
3. Beyond The Wizards Sleeve - Diagram Girl(Beyond The Wizards Sleeve Re-animation)
4, Nick Waterhouse - LA Turnaround
5 The xx - On Hold
6. Ette - Attack of the Glam Soul Cheerleaders
7. Hardway Bros - Argonaut
8. The Unloved - When A Woman Is Around
9. The Lucid Dream - I'm A Star In My Own Right
10, Teen Canteen - Kung Fu Kisses
11. The Wedding Present - Rachel
12 .King Creosote - The Long Fade
13. Woodleigh Research Facility - Osler's Crystal Fountain
14. Jamie xx - Loud Place (John Talabot's Higher dub)
15. Slow Club - Champion
16. Sordid Sound System - I Walk on Splintered Gilders
17. Primal Scream - Mantra For A State Of Mind
18. David Bowie - I Can't Give Everything Away
19. Lack of Afro - Fires Glow
20. Burial - Night Market
21. Slam - Ecclesiastic
22. Allo Darlin' - Hymn of the 45
23. Meursault - Simple Is Good
24. Haley Bonar - Kismet Kills
25. Al Kent - Good Inside
26. The Liminanas feat. Peter Hook - Garden Of Love (Mardi Mouille mix)
27. Caverns of Anti-Matter - Tardis Cymbals
28. Levon Vincent - Birds
28. Mogwai - Fat Man
29. Pearl Charles - Idea To Her
30. Death In Vegas - Consequences of Love
31. Hooton Tennis Club - Katy Anne Bellis
32. Cigarettes After Sex - Hurt You Baby
33. Ripperton - Hat Uh Mi Head
34. Imperfect Product - Solina
35. Emma Woods - I Don't Drink Too Forget
36. Rachel Modest - I Try
37. Rancho Relaxo - Who Married Jane Fonda
38.The Third Degree - Toxic
39. Brian Jonestown Massacre - La Facon Dont La Macine Vers L'arriere
40. Deadboy - White Light Gemini