Sunday, 30 November 2014

Top Forty Albums of 2014: 30-26

Fuck Off - Good Throb

Before I continue, just a reminder that today is your last chance to cast your vote in the official Festive Fifty at  While you're considering that, here's the third instalment in my annual countdown of the year's best albums:

30.  Crisis-BSP - J CNNR (Tres Catorce)

From Spain, an old favourite who's been away and come back with a massive electronic bang.  

29.  Lands - Piano Chat (Kythibong)

And from France, an album of understated magnificence courtesy of one of the most consistently brilliant labels of recent years.

28.  Fuck Off - Good Throb (Self-released)

Anything but understated, it's so refreshing to hear albums like this that are, on the one hand, expletive-ridden slabs of guitar-hewn noise and, on the other, entirely original.  Recorded on New Year's Day 2014 and still going strong.

27.  No Fun (Not That One) - Mark Wynn (Self-released)

Hard to imagine this guy ever releasing a bad record.  The run continues.

26.  Utility Music - Gyratory System (Soft Bodies)

A track from this was the first thing I broadcast in 2014 and I still love it.

25-21 coming very soon.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Top Forty Albums of 2014: 35-31

Continuing the countdown of my favourite albums of the year.  A reminder that the only chart that really counts is the official Festive Fifty, and you've only got two days left to vote in that at

For now:

 35. Drown - Defrag (Hymen)

Crushingly abrasive electronica from an album that received some of the most favourable feedback of the year when I played a track from it.  One hell of a return from this German breakcore powerhouse.

34. Get Rid A Di Wicked - Lutan Fyah (Break Back Productions)

Sublime reggae stylings from a man whose work I really ought to write about more.

33. Mescendugos - Mescendugos (Hudini)

Hungary maintained its position as one of Europe's and the world's finest musical centres this year and the Hudini label certainly played its part.  This rumbling ogre of an album was their best release.

32. Slurpt - Ace Bushy Striptease (Odd Box)

One of those farewell albums that make you realise how much a band is gonna be missed. Superior indie pop.

31.  Everyday Robots - Damon Albarn (Parlophone)

Sometimes you've just got to recognise great music and this is Albarn's best work since Blur.  

30-26 coming soon.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Top Forty Albums of 2014: Numbers 40-36

I know some people think I start this too early but I like to get my top forty albums of the year out of the way before the festive fifty (which is, after all, the only really important chart of the year) starts its broadcasting cycle, so here goes.  Forty favourite albums of 2014, beginning with the numbers 40-36:

40. Scorched - Dead Fader (Robot Elephant)

Superior scratchy electronica whose position at number forty says something of the quality of what is to come.  2014 started slowly but more than made up for it in its later months.

39. An Actual Thing - Anguish Sandwich (Self-released)

Classy, giving indie a good name and probably only this low due to its appearance so late in the year.

38.  HUM - Futuroscope (Monofunus Press)

Ex-Jagwar Pirates make an impressive racket: repetition in the music, and they use it.

37.  Carnival of Souls - Pere Ubu (Fire)

Massive thanks to my Dandelion Radio colleague Lee Adcock for pointing me in the direction of this stunning return to form.

36.  Clark - Clark (Warp)

His best yet.  Another late in the year release: hear a track from it in my forthcoming December show and marvel at the results of some sublime manipulation of electronic sounds.

Numbers 35-31 coming soon.  As mentioned above, the only chart that really matters is the festive fifty and you have only seven days left to vote in it at

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Futuroscope - HUM

Among other things, it's that time of the year for stumbling upon things you really ought to have heard before now.  Such is the case, with this offering from Futuroscope, which came out during that awkward period in early summer when necessity so often prevents me from checking my inbox and the internet every day for fear of missing something.

Which just goes to show, you take your eye of the ball for a few moments and for almost half the year you remain shockingly unaware of something as good as this, a cassette/download release from a French bands containing members that were formerly in the extraordinary good Jagwar Pirates.  And if that doesn't spell out how good it is, allow me to do it for you: this band delivers as crushing a sub-krautrock simultaneous blow to the head and guts as you're likely to find anywhere.

The eight tracks all make you want to drown in the drool you produce on listening to them but, if you'll permit me to pick out some highlights, check out the epic brain-crunch of 'Voyager 1 (Delay Delay Dinosaurs)' and the even longer album-closer 'La Jetee'.   

I'm going somewhere else for my first stab at airplay though.  You can hear opening track 'Moon' in my Dandelion Radio show this month.  It begins with a teasingly long slow burner of an intro, and you wouldn't complain if the entire LP simply took its signature from there, but then it explodes into your head like the kind of fireworks the more uncouth kids down our way somehow get their hands onto, and things get cranked up to an almost impossibly appealing level.