haven’t done one of these for ages
Various, Get Physical Vol II--4th Anniversary Label Comp (Get Physical)
Rihanna, that Schaeffel’n’B mashup of “Tainted Love”
Audion, Suckfish (Spectral Sound)
Various Artists, mixed by Kode 9, Dubstep Allstars Vol 3 (Tempa)
Tod Dockstader, Aerial #2 (ReR)
Takagi Masakatsu, Journal For People (Carpark)
Xylitol, Perogi I to IX (unreleased)
Booka Shade, Movements (Get Physical)
AFX, Chosen Lords (Rephlex)
Hot Chip, The Warning (Astralwerks)
Matmos, The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of A Beast (Matador)
First Nation, s/t (Paw Tracks) *
Burial, s/t (Hyperdub)
Scott Walker, The Drift (4AD) **
really really feeling
Scritti Politti, “The Boom Boom Bap” b/w ”Last Time I Looked” (Rough Trade)
Scritti Politti, White Bread, Black Beer (Rough Trade) ***
Various, Greek Electronic Music (Creel Pone)
Various, Hungarian Electronic Music (Creel Pone)
Conrad Schnitzler, Conrad & Sohn (Creel Pone)
Isolee, Western Store (Playhouse)
Delta 5, Singles and Sessions 1979-81 (Kill Rock Stars)
Various, White Bicyles: The Joe Boyd Story (Fledgling)
Brian Eno and David Byrne, My Life In the Bush of Ghosts
Ivor Cutler, Dandruff
Ivor Cutler, Jammy Smears
Ivor Cutler, Velvet Donkey
Ivor Cutler, Privilege
retro-really-really feeling (reissued)
Jake Thackray, Jake in A Box: The EMI Recordings, 1967 to 1976 (EMI)****
* Postpunk influenced but not the usual suspect-sources worn-threadbare by everybody else under the sun—for this (all?) female outfit, the coordinates really do appear to be Return of the Giant Slits and Odyshape, with maybe a bit of Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter and Abelarde and Heloise thrown in.
** Astonishing, at points terrifying (that track with the ungodly, subhuman, gargoyle-gloating howls), but I fear it's the kind of record one admires but seldom actually pulls out to play.
*** His best material since Cupid? Indisputably. His best album, ever? Looking more likely with every listen (the DIY stuff being EPs and Early not counting as an album-as-work)
**** I remember this guy as a saturnine, gangly figure who'd do turns on BBC light entertainment shows with his witty and slightly risque (for the 70s) songs. Listening with grown-up ears, I was surprised how incredibly--ecstatically--musical this Yorkshire Dales troubadour's songbook was--the twisty-turny melodies, his guitar playing, his sinuous singing. Something like Jacques Brel meets Jarvis Cocker.
I’m in broad agreement with Woebot's recent survey of the wan soundscape of contemporary musicking. (And most people I know seem to be dealing with the drought either by trawling the past intensively or by bunkering down in one genre and pretending it's the size of the universe). Oh, there's always good records; that’s not the point. What’s missing is surprise*. Even the people who've delivered colossally this season—Scott and Green—are people from whom you expect greatness, and who are delivering it in more or less the form you expect it. Having been around for decades, they know what they’re about now, and so do we.
* well Burial i guess is unexpected... but in a way that's kinda context-dependent. More on this later.