These records shook me all night long:
Pivot – Make Me Love You (Sensory Projects)
Breathtaking, lush, tricky, melancholyâ€¦ In short everything you could want from their long awaited debut. I was immediately hit by Incidental Backcloth, which I first heard on the Cyclic Defrost sampler and still love, but tracks like Kirsten Dunst and Montecore got stuck in my brain quickly. Live they’re better. I hope the second album doesn’t take as long.
Remote Viewer – Let Your Heart Draw a Line (City Centre Offices)
Two of Hood get small and achingly melancholy with their indie electronics. Just one of a half dozen great releases on City Centre Offices this year – I loved Cyne, Marsen Jules, Boy Robot and Studio Pankow too.
Francis Plagne – Idle Bones (Synaesthesia)
I love records falling about themselves with ideas. And this is one. Shamelessly inspired by the ’60s, it’s nonetheless totally individual, fun and cerebral. Plenty of people complained that the album is sequenced wrong, bizarre noise and dark musique concrete ambience smooshed alongside dallying pop melodies. But it seems completely right to me.
The Herd – The Sun Never Sets (Elefant Traks)
Like every record from The Herd this is a huge step from the previous one. Everything’ tighter – it’s the first one that feels like a band rather than a loose collective – and they’re confident enough to face their own spotlight without sacrificing the party tracks. Plus it’s my brother’ band.
Omar S – Just Ask The Lonely (FXHE)
When I bought this at Hardwax in Berlin I was desperate to hear something new; for such a fantastic record shop it really is a museum. Fortunately I found this. Brilliantly DIY, house, techno and broken beat deep repetitive underground soul music.
Five Dollar Day – Black Bears (Ill & Alice)
Favourite albums aren’t always the ‘best’s ones. It’s tempting to choose top 10s on originality, innovation, success, influence and so on. But when it comes down to it, music should be about what it does to you, how much it affects you, all that kind of thing. And on the latter judgement, this one’s been a favourite of mine. I love listening to this.
Khonnor – Handwriting (Type)
So many shoegazer electronic bands are perfectly hazy and reference all the right acts, but make polite forgettable music. Like that other teen indie kid, Francis Plagne from Melbourne, Khonnor’ made a truly affecting album.
Pasobionic – Empty Beats for Lonely Rappers (Elefant Traks)
Curse Ov Dialect and Tzu’ studio operator released this early in the year, but it took a while to hit me. Now it’s a firm favourite. The sparse beat programming may be too niche for Australia, please international beat diggers, find this.
Roll Deep – In At The Deep End (Radioclit’s chopped and screwed version) (Radioclit.com)
I can’ believe I still haven’ heard the proper record yet, DJ/Rupture put me onto this remix through his blog, I downloaded it and all I can remember listening to it now is the first time walking, jumping singing around Ebisu listening to this on my headphones and even the shoutouts “w w w w w w dot radioclit dot com’ don’ dull it’s the vitality of this narcoleptic flip to Roll Deep’ first record.
The Chap – Ham (Lo Recordings)
Clever, fantastically catchy pop. Art funk? Who knows, all I know is these songs get stuck in my head and I actually like it. Maybe it’ll actually get a release in Australia one of these days, Popfrenzy?
Tunng – Mother’s Daughter and Other Songs (Static Caravan)
Another album that could easily be thrown into folktronica or whatever silly bracket is being used nowadays. I love those names as much as the next music geek, but really for something as delicious as this it’s just irrelevant. Beautiful warm folky and cut up disjointed rhythms make for an album that’s just really well developed, musically advanced and lovely to listen to.
favourite records, more than 10
Dave Miller – Mitchell’s Racolta (Background)
Isolee – We Are Monster (Playhouse)
Sam Prekop – Who’s Your New Professor (Thrill Jockey)
The Zillions – Play Zig Zag Millionaire (679)
Architecture In Helsinki – In Case We Die (Bar None)
Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene (Arts & Crafts)
Roots Manuva – Awfully Deep (Ninja Tune)
Mu – Out of Breach (Output)
Serena Maneesh – Serena Maneesh (Honeymilk)
These are not brand new, great though:
Essendon Airport – Sonic Investigations of the Trivial (Chapter)
Durutti Column – Domo Arigato (live in Tokyo, 1985) (Factory)
It hasn’t been a singles year for me, but these ones were good:
!!! – Get Up – (Touch & Go)
Six Vicious – Krunk’s Not Dead (Sixtoo)
Vex’d – Gunman/Smart Bomb (Planet Mu)
Shed – everything on his label Solo Action
Lindstrom – I Feel Space (Playhouse)
Damien Marley – Welcome to Jamrock (Universal)
These gigs shook the foundations of greatness:
Autechre & LFO at Cinecitta, Tokyo
Sam Prekop, Chicago Underground Duo, Archer Prewitt & The Cocktails at O-Est, Tokyo
The Herd album launch at The Metro, Sydney
Oya Festival in Oslo, Norway
Pivot at the Abercrombie Hotel, Broadway
Jens Lekman at Mudd Club, Berlin
Closing night at Tresor, Berlin
Sodastream at Toast, Canberra
Came So Far For Beauty, the Leonard Cohen tribute at the Opera House featuring Nick Cave, Antony, Jarvis Cocker, the Wainwrights, Beth Orton, etc.
Lali Puna, Mouse on Mars, Pole, Atom Heart, etc at O-Est, Tokyo