Monday, 10 December 2018
I still have no idea who Koolaid are but the previous album Koolaid (Global Tyranny) from 2011 was a big favourite around these parts. Earlier this year a second lp Koolaid (Holy Sunshine) came out a few months ago and it's just about as bonkers as the previous release. Take this track. Canyon which makes the supposition that the whole counter culture movement in the 60s was actually a secret C.I.A. experiment that got out of hand. See I told you bonkers.
Koolaid (Holy Sunshine) - Canyon
Sunday, 9 December 2018
It has been a great year in my opinion for music and even more so for the album a format that we were all told had had it's day. I have bought more albums that hang together as a piece of work over the past 12 months than for many a year. Purchasing all of these has not come without its problems also, firstly there is the cost aspect, we shall not get into the question of why some new releases can be bought on vinyl for £13 and other are upwards of 20 quid but it is becoming very costly. Secondly and more worrying is that I am running out of space and even I can no longer justify the piles cluttering up the floor to the increasing comments regarding lack of visible floor in what should be the dining room. Recently I have bought some on cd, even when available on vinyl! but am not yet ready to go round the download only route.
It has been difficult to pick my top ten, five of them were a given but there are lots of others that would have been shooty in in previous years but didn't make the cut in 2018. Notable mentions being the Orb, Daniel Avery and Jon Hopkins. I could have easily made this a top twenty but decided to keep it to the ten. There are others that if I had bought earlier and had a chance to listen to more may have edged something out of the list, I'm thinking of Beak in particular and there are most certainly at least two that would have made the ten if I had gotten round to buying. But this is the ten as of 08th December.
10. Mattiel - Mattiel
This is a raw, retro mix of soul and 60's garage sounds which is pretty effective, My only gripe is that the vocals of Mattiel Brown can sound a bit shouty after repeated listens.
9. Tomorrow Syndicate - Future Tense
Find of the year for me. Retro futurist sounds from Glasgow. All analogue synths and sci-fi inspired dreamy pop that would not have sounded out of place in those 70s programmes about the future, that's not to say that the music is not fresh it just brings to mind that kind of vision of what was to come as envisioned during that decade.
8, Mien - Mien
Psych rock supergroup made up of members of The Black Angels , the Horrors and The Earlies which is as good and diverse as that would suggest.
7. Psychic Lemon - Frequency, Rhythm, Distortion
There seems to be a glut of good psych rock bands out there at the moment and Psychic Lemon with this their second album must be amongst the top of the pile. A great mixture of Kraut, Spacerock with plenty of fuzz and distortion on 5 mostly instrumental tracks. Great stuff when played loud.
6. She Drew The Gun - Revolution of The Mind
Another second album, this time from Liverpool's Louisa Roach. More scathing social commentary expertly written to a soundtrack of catchy and at times quite poppy modern psych that deserves to be heard by a lot more people. What is it about Liverpool and psychedelic sounds at the moment?
5. Tracyanne & Danny
Sublime album from Traceyanne Campell and Danny Coughlan. So many highlights on this lush mostly laid back album. If Alabama, Tracyanne's tribute to her friend and bandmate Carey Lander doesn't leave you with at least watery eyes then you are one cold hearted bastard that I never wish to meet.
4. Rival Consoles - Persona
I'm not sure that a more different album from the one above would be possible on this list. Ryan Lee West's fifth long player as Rival Consoles has been compared to the most recent release by Jon Hopkins and I can see why. However I found this flowed better and held my attention a lot more than Singularity. There are lots of 4x4 beats and immaculate techno on show here but also a couple of sublime less frantic moments.
3. The Lucid Dream - Actualisation
In any other year this would easily have been top of the list. The Carlisle psych-rockers experiment with acid house sounds and come up with something a bit different which got them tagged as "psych traitors" a badge that they and some of us wear with pride., The album had been highly anticipated after the release of SX1000 and did not disappoint over the 6 tracks, a hybrid of dub, psych and acid house. Very much looking forward to seeing them headlining in February after their all too short support slot with Wooden Shjips at St Luke's a couple of months ago.
2. Primal Scream - Give Out But Don't Give Up (The Original Memphis Recordings)
I have debated over including this in here but I think that it is different enough from the original release to warrant it's inclusion.
When I first read that Primal Scream were releasing the original Memphis recording of GOBDGU I thought to myself "oh aye, sounds a bit like barrel scraping to me" and then I thought that it might be worth having as a companion piece to the original which I really liked at the time. It can't be that different can it.
Fuck me, I was stunned on first play, those horns, the guitars, Bobby G's singing! There is such a warmth to the tracks on these recordings. At first I thought that they were mad not to release this at the time but on reflection, there was a lot of disappointment at what was released these recordings would not have been reviewed more favourably, 1994 was not the year for something as beautiful as these songs turned out under Tom Dowd's expert supervision. Even Rocks, my least favourite Primal track up until this point is nearly bearable. Who would have thought that Gillespie was capable of singing as well as he does on this record.
1, Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt
It's Spiritualized, what more do you need to know.
If this is Spiritualized's swansong, (I hope not) then there are worse ways to bow out than this.
Friday, 7 December 2018
A bit later than usual and with a track that has been posted before, sorry. But in my defence it was nearly six years ago and it is a belter and worth another airing.
Greg Wilson is renowned for his edits and for me this along with his extended Voodoo Ray is his best. On this Wilson takes two already re-edited tracks, one a mash up of Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy and Amerie's 1Thing and the other a mash up of 1Thing and Sympathy For The Devil splices them together and creates a monster of a track which is virtually impossible not to dance to.
Last week's pitiful performance by Airdrie was enough but having to listen to JC relate how well Raith Rovers were to his mate Aldo over the phone as I was driving us all, including Walter back to Lanark was nearly too much. Let's hope that the Diamonds can do better tomorrow when they take on Dumbarton away, for the third time this season. They won the last encounter two weeks ago comfortably but the team that came out at Starks Park last week was the exact same team the performance was back to something akin to dire showings of earlier in the season, so god knows what will be on show tomorrow.
Have a good weekend people
Greg Wilson - Two Sides of Sympathy
Thursday, 6 December 2018
I wasn't sure about posting this as feelings are still quite raw regarding Scott's death but it is such a good song. I did burst out greetin' when I pulled the 7" out of the cupboard and put it on the other night.
Frightened Rabbit - It's Christmas So We'll Stop (Choir version)
Frightened Rabbit - It's Christmas So We'll Stop
Wednesday, 5 December 2018
This is a bit strange but it has inveigled it's way into my brain and refuses to leave. Sophie Hunger is a Swiss artist who now lives in Germany and whom I was blissfully unaware of until last week but since then I have heard this track quite a few times and I even bought the download, not something I regularly do.
Tuesday, 4 December 2018
I still haven't been able to finish that Shack ICA, every time I think that's it, I fuck about with it some more and then it doesn't seem right. At present I am toying with the idea of doing two volumes as I don't think I'm allowed to make it a double album.
Here's Tom With The Weather was Shack's fourth album and is a rather mellow affair and the influence of Arthur Lee looms large on the album, nowhere more so than on the lovely Meant To Be with the track almost stops and the mariachi horns send it off in a totally different direction only for the track to break and return onto is original course. Not the sort of thing anybody else was doing back in 2003. The rest of the album is just as good and brother John takes the lead on three of the twelve tracks, his more gentle vocal adding a different dimension, check out Carousel for an absolutely lush love song.
Shack - Meant To Be
Monday, 3 December 2018
Today's tune is not the easiest of listens and not just due to the fact that part of it was used in the horror film 28 Days Later but it is still a gripping one and a track I return to often. I have learned that East Hastings is a rather down at heel part of Vancouver where all the trappings of poverty can be seen on the streets. I have heard comments that this track by Godspeed You Black Emperor would perfectly soundtrack a trip round the neighbourhood. Bleak is as good a description of the tune as you will get but as I said in the first sentence it is captivating. The rest of the album is great too and the further two releases I have by the Canadian band follow a similar vein but are no less worth checking out.
Godspeed You Black Emperor - East Hastings
Friday, 30 November 2018
As it's St Andrew's Day I thought that a bit of Scottish Progressive House from my golden days of clubbing should be the order of the day. I have talked before about 23rd Precinct in Bath Street in Glasgow before and the folk that worked behind the counter in the shop who made Barry from Championship look like the most customer centric record shop worker, so won't go back there suffice to say, gits one and all. The two labels that the label produced that probably released records by the aforementioned gits were for a time two of the labels that I would buy as soon as I say saw the label, no need to hear the track first as they would inevitably, to steal a phrase from another Glasgow label be quality recordings.
Between 1992 and 1994, Graeme Drinnan and Mark Brown, collectively know as Sublime released four belters for the labels, the first on 23rd Precinct Recordings Ltd and the other three on Limbo. The fourth release, TGV an homage to France's excellent high-speed intercity rail service speeds along like you would expect and would probably soundtrack a journey through the Gallic countyside perfectly, certainly worked in the dingy clubs of Scotland's best city in 1994.
Airdrie are going through a bit of an renaissance at the moment with three wins on the bounce. The change in the team over the past wee while is nothing short of remarkable and last Saturday there were shouts of ole during a particularly skilful period of play that saw the midfield string together more passes than they have achieved during the rest of the home games this season combined bringing back memories of the short-lived heady days of the Archibald era when we were being linked to Barcelona and an expectation that Airdire would be the place that Barca's up and coming players would be bloodied and their stars on the wain would finish their careers took hold of the stand, I kid you not. We were a guillable bunch once upon a time. Anyway, let's hope that the guys can sustain their winning ways away to Raith Rovers on Saturday. A game that Leo and I will be attending, as he approves of the half-time catering especially the Steak and Gravy pies (a totally different thing from the pie that you attempted to eat at the Excelsior Brian). We will meet up with JC and Walter there and I hope that on the journey back to Lanark it will be me this time telling JC that his team played well but unfortunately couldn't hold on to the 99th minute to secure a victory.
Have a good weekend people.
Sublime - TGV
Thursday, 29 November 2018
As most of you will be aware The Sound Of Being Okay will be losing its most talented member, KT, this week as she heads off on mat leave from the blog. KT or KC as she was know previously has regaled us with some hilarious, often quite personal and on more than one occasion extremely moving posts.
So in KC's honour it seems appropriate that Coldplay be posted again. I realise the last time I did this I got some pelters but we really were ripping the pish out of ourselves for being the musical snobs that we are and in keeping with that I am going to post the same tune as I posted the last time as secretly if it were sung by say Ryan Adams or Jesse Malin I would be telling you it was brilliant as to be honest it's not a bad song. I still think that the first four lines are complete gash though.
All the best KT and I hope that your child sleeps as long as our second one did right from the off, the least said about the first the better.
Coldplay - Green Eyes
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Candie Payne's only album to date, I Wish I Could Have Loved You More, released 11 years ago has really got under my skin recently. When I first bought it I was quite disappointed as I thought that apart from a couple of really good songs it was a bit "meh" as the cool kids and Comrade Colin back then would have said. But over repeated plays over the past month or go the subtleties of the album have really appealed. The influence of Dusty and Nancy are all over the album but it's not just a 60's pastiche, well mostly it is but it is a very good one and for me stands up to the other purveyors of that sound at that time very well.
Around the time of the release of the album I saw Payne perform at King Tuts and I have never seen anybody more nervous on stage, she was visibly shaking when she first came on but by a couple of songs in she seemed to have calmed down although she didn't set the heather on fire she was very good.
I wonder why she hasn't released anything else.
Candie Payne - In The Morning
Monday, 26 November 2018
To try to stave off the Sunday night blues last night I reached for the Pledge Music funded live release by Dexys from 2014 and headed straight for side H and This Is What She's Like. Now any of you acquainted with the vinyl version of this release will know that the sound on the first 3 minutes or so of this side are not the best quality wise, I had three different copies of this sent to me and they all sounded the same, like an album that I had had for forty years and which had seen more than a couple of airings at parties but now I have been able to filter the noise out and just listen to what for me is the best rendition of my favourite Dexys song which always makes me regret hesitating just that little bit to long for tickets for the One Day I'm Going To Soar tour.
After listening I thought to myself that would be a great track for Monday's Long Song, such a pity that I've posted it before but I decided to check the blog to find out how long ago it had featured and to my amazement it hasn't so that sorted out today's post.
What Was She Like?
Dexys - This Is What She's Like
Thursday, 22 November 2018
There has not been a great deal of Soul posted here since I resurrected the blog, not sure why as I am listening to as much as usual and over the next few weeks will probably immerse myself in it as I've got to Richard Searling's book, Setting The Record Straight and the final book in Stuart Gosgrove's soul Trilogy, Harlem 69 at the top of the reading list and sitting on the bedside cabinet,
Talking of one half of the Off the Ball Team, Stiff and I attended a talk by him in Motherwell library on Tuesday night where he discussed the three books with the emphasis on Harlem 69 and very entertaining it was too.
So really I should be featuring a song from 67 - 69 today but I'm not. I've got what Brian would I think term a "doozy" for you from a few years earlier. 1964 but it is at least on the Okeh label out of N.Y.C. Somebody's Always Trying lies more towards the R&B send of the soul spectrum but is nonetheless a belter, It is also pretty rare, a vg copy would set you back around £430.
Ted Taylor - Somebody's Always Trying
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Back in May I posted Count Your Blessings the first single on Burger Records from Mattiel. A week or so later the single was released over here after being picked up by Heavenly and in July her debut originally released last year in the States also got a release this side of the pond and I have to tell you it's a belter. It ticks loads of boxes for me, a bit Garagey here, soulful there and with more than a smidgen of Girl Group sounds. What's not to like, not much, I do have one slight gripe Mattiel Brown's voice can come over a bit shouty when I'm not in the right mood or am on my third listen on the bounce, although I haven't once taken the album off before the end. It could be in my top ten albums of the year, although there have been so many great and extremely good albums this year it may not.
Mattiel - Just A Name
Monday, 19 November 2018
As the nights draw in and Autumn turns to Winter I always find myself rifling through the M section in the vinyl and cd shelves. I'm not sure what it is about this time of the year that lends itself to the sounds of John Martyn for me but I always find that the songs soundtrack this time of the year beautifully especially the output from 1971 to 1977. I have posted Small Hours from the classic One World album on a few occasions but never this instrumental version before. To be honest it's not a version I play that often as I like the vocal in the track but now and again it hits the spot and is a pretty good way to ease you into the working week.
John Martyn - Small Hours (Instrumental)