• 2007: My favourite albums

    Dic 26 2007, 13:03

    I thought that 2007 was a pretty good year musically. Looking back, there's been quite a lot of albums I've enjoyed. My top 10 faves (vaguely in order) would be:

    1. Pop Levi - The Return To Form Black Magick Party
    Awesome, definitely my fave album of the year. A fun album with lots of energy.
    Favourite track: Sugar Assault Me Now

    2. múm - Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy
    A bit of a mixed response to this album from the múm fans, and I can understand why to be honest, the new vocalists do make this album sound quite different to the previous ones, but I do enjoy this album a lot.
    Favourite track: They Made Frogs Smoke 'til They Exploded

    3. Amon Tobin - Foley Room
    Some amazing tracks on here, including two which instantly became all time favourites, however I felt that there's a couple of tracks which are a bit average.
    Favourite track: Esther's

    4. Amiina - Kurr
    Only recently discovered Amiina, hand have been making up for lost time! I've been listening to them a hell of a lot over the last few weeks, beautiful stuff.
    Favourite track: Sexfaldur

    5. Sigur Rós - Hvarf-Heim
    Only a handful of new (sort of) tracks, but still a great album. The live acoustic reworkings of the old stuff is at least equal with the original performances.
    Favourite track: Starálfur

    6. Radiohead - In Rainbows
    Well, this one came out of nowhere! Pretty damn good too. I bought the fancy discbox (which only turned up on Christmas Eve!), some great stuff on disc two as well.
    Favourite track: Faust Arp

    7. Fink - Distance and Time
    First track I heard off the album was This Is The Thing, as it was an iTunes free single of the week. Loved it and bought the album as soon as it was out and was not disappointed at all...
    Favourite track: Trouble's What You're In

    8. The Quantic Soul Orchestra - Tropidélico
    Damn funky! Great energy, great sound.
    Favourite track: She Said What? feat. J-Live

    9. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
    Probably my favourite White Stripes album, very energetic.
    Favourite track: You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do as You're Told)

    10. Björk - Volta
    Some good tracks on here, but I don't feel it's on the same level as some of her previous work.
    Favourite track: Wanderlust

    I could go on for ages, but here's the rest of the albums I enjoyed this year:

    The Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fleur
    Air - Pocket Symphony
    Colbie Caillat - Coco
    UNKLE - War Stories
    Beastie Boys - The Mix-Up
    Underworld - Oblivion With Bells
    Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
    Day One - Probably Art
    The Tuss - Rushup Edge
    Prefuse 73 - Preparations
    Kylie Minogue - X
    The Go! Team - Proof of Youth
    The Future Sound Of London - From The Archives Vol. 1
    The Future Sound Of London - From The Archives Vol. 2
    The Future Sound Of London - From The Archives Vol. 3

    And that's yer lot!
  • Old and New...

    Lug 27 2007, 14:16

    Felt like writing a journal about what I'm listening to at the moment cos I haven't written one in ages and I'm bored... ;)

    First off, there's a couple of artists that I've been getting into lately, one of which is Tori Amos. I've been aware of her for ages (as I understand it Tori's career kicked off over here in England before it did back in her native US, I bet I got that wrong though) but never really paid much attention to her. I decided to give her work a listen due to getting to know a few Tori fans online so, as I was hearing about her a lot I decided to see what the fuss was about. I always got the impression that her music was just fluffy piano stuff, but after checking out her album To Venus and Back I was pleasantly surprised. Quite a different sound to what I was expecting, I particularly liked Bliss, Juarez and Glory of the 80's (I just love that twangy sound). As a result I've been listening to this album a lot. I've also been listening to From the Choirgirl Hotel quite a few times too.

    The band I've been most into lately however is The Beatles. I've liked them for years already but I've only ever really been familiar with the more well-known tracks, but since I heard Love I've had a deeper interest in their music. As well as being a fantastic mix, it also showcased a lot of the 'album' tracks as well as the classics resulting in me wanting to check out their old albums in their entirety. Conveniently, my local record shop had quite a few Beatles albums for sale second-hand so I snapped most of them up. Pretty much every week I bought a Beatles album so I soon got hold of Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Revolver, The Beatles and Help!. I've been listening to the White Album the most out of that lot, I love Dear Prudence, Glass Onion and Julia, awesome tracks.

    I've also been listening to Amon Tobin a fair bit lately, mostly listening to Foley Room. I'm not into all of the tracks (two or three of the tracks aren't that spectacular I feel), but when it's good, it's pretty damn amazing. I can't stop listening to Esther's, Always and At the End of the Day, mindblowing...

    And finally a new band I've been listening to is The Mummers, the new project by one of my favorite singers, Raissa. I got hold of the first single 2 Survivors and have been listening to it loads. As well as the title track being great, the b-side Lately is pretty spectacular too. Worth checking out I reckon. You can listen to some clips on their Myspace page here.

    And that's yer lot. I'd better get back to work...
  • This week I am mostly listening to: La Funk Mob

    Dic 23 2006, 13:26

    I've suddenly got right into listening to La Funk Mob this week. I've been aware of them for a long time as I've got Ravers Suck Our Sound on the first Headz album, and I also have their first album under the Cassius name, 1999 which is pretty damn good too. I didn't realise that there was a collection of La Funk Mob tracks until coming across The Bad Seeds 1993-1997 while looking around on Last.FM. I promptly ordered it on Amazon (good work for delivering it so quickly during the Christmas period!) and have been listening to it daily ever since. I particularly love the tracks 357 Magnum Force and the gorgeous Itsagirl. The only tracks I'm not too hot on are the two remixes, apart from that, it's all good...
  • Currently addicted to: Pop Levi

    Set 12 2006, 21:16

    A short one this time. I've been listening to Pop Levi loads today. The first track I heard was Blue Honey, which was on the Ninja Tune compilation album Zentertainment 2006. Absoultely loved the track and had to hear more. Finally got the Blue Honey EP in the post today and have listened to it over and over. I've got the track Skip Ghetto (Echo Park Version) stuck in my head now.
  • Current obsessions...

    Giu 6 2006, 8:34

    Just a short one this time. I'm currently listening to a couple of albums almost constantly at the moment, and I hadn't heard any tracks off either album before I bought them, so perhaps I should keep on buying random albums!

    The first one is Sheath. I'm not even sure why I bought it actually. I loved the old classic LFO, but hadn't heard any other tracks by them (and that track was a very long time ago now). I think it was partly to do with the Designers Republic artwork, maybe it was as it was the limited edition version (no sleeve, just a clear CD case with LFO on the front, with a clear plastic slipcase with SHEATH on it and the LFO alien-like bloke logo thing on the disc, sounds boring but it is cool, honest). Whatever the reason, I'm glad I bought it as it's a really good album, especially Freak, a nice little throwback to the LFO track with the Speak & Spell style vocals.

    And the other is Everything Ecstatic. Again, I've not heard much of Four Tet, just the (absolutely brilliant) Pick Up (Four Tet remix). I'd heard good things about Four Tet, and as I loved the Bonobo remix as well as one track I heard here on Last.FM I thought I'd go for it and buy the album. I love loud crashing drum beats (mainly why I love the Bonobo remix) and the album certainly didn't disappoint in that aspect. Favourite track is probably the album's opener, A Joy. I'm definitely looking at getting Four Tet's previous albums now.
  • Goodbye PWEI, hello Vileevils...

    Mar 17 2006, 9:27

    Just a short journal here. Well, it seems that the mighty Pop Will Eat Itself aren't reforming after all, due to Clint Mansell and Richard March unable to find the time to contribute to the new work due to other commitments. Can't say I'm too surprised, considering Clint's soundtrack work. However, the remaining Poppies are continuing as Vileevil, and if you liked the Sonic Noise Byte then you'll be plased to hear that most of the work from that will be featured in Vileevil's forthcoming work. There's a couple of tracks available to download on pweination.org.
  • Bands I've seen live

    Feb 20 2006, 0:19

    Strangely, considering I'm very much into music, I haven't been to many gigs. Probably cos I'm a lazy bastard! Or that I'm on a different wavelength to my mates mostly...

    My first ever gig was at Reading University to see the incredible Pop Will Eat Itself, and it was quite a weird gig (in a good way) in some ways, not what I was expecting. I assumed that the band and the punters would be separate, but as I was chatting to my mate when the support band was playing, Graham just walked between us. And later on Clint Mansell was just hanging around by the merchandise stall. After a brief chat about Wolverhampton Wanderers, I asked him to sign my ticket, prompting a weird 'you want my autograph why?' expression.

    I also saw Blur at their Mile End Stadium gig, back at the height of the Britpop era. That was a pretty good gig, the support acts were a bit hit and miss though. Dodgy were particularly good though, I probably enjoyed them more than Blur.

    If I remember correctly, next up was Pet Shop Boys. A bit of a weird one that as I'm not a massive fan or anything, and it was all sitting down too. Dead clever though. It was their Somewhere 'tour' (if you can call it a tour, it was something like 22 nights at the same venue in London) and the band interacted with two screens showing videos of two different rooms.

    I think it was Oasis next, for the Be Here Now tour. The most I remember from that was a bunch of teens waving their watered down beer in the air doing their best Liam Gallagher impressions. Supergrass were supporting and were pretty good too.

    Next up must have been U2 for the Popmart tour at Wembley Stadium. Class gig, and the biggest I've been to so far (and I don't think there would be many opportunities to see bigger gigs). A great show, even though I couldn't see much of the band due to a girl sitting on some guy's shoulders in front of me.

    Whlie the U2 gig was pretty big, the next one couldn't have been far off: Radiohead in Oxford's South Park. Another fantastic gig with great support, Supergrass again (making them one of only two bands I've seen live more than once) and a band at that time I had never heard of, Sigur Rós. They certainly got my attention, great performance, as was Radiohead's. Shame that it started pissing down with rain, resulting in my view blocked by hundreds of umbrellas...

    And that brings me to the last gig I've been to, which brings me full circle. Pop Will Eat Itself again, this time for their reformation gig, and we decided to make the effort to go to their first hometown gig in Birmingham, and a fantastic night it was. A great buzz, and great hanging around the pubs before hand mingling with the other Poppies fans.

    Now for two nearlies: I was going to see The Shamen once, but couldn't make it due to being ill at the time (damn!) and I was also going to see The KLF for the 2K 'F**k The Millennium' performance but my mate went in with my ticket, as there was delays on the tube. Particularly annoying as The KLF don't do many gigs at all (and I did get there before the show started too). I did see a showing of their K Foundation Burn A Million Quid though, and did briefly meet them afterwards.

    And that's yer lot.
  • Inane ramblings about what I'm currently into...

    Feb 16 2006, 21:31

    I've been getting back into The Shamen in a big way lately. I've been a fan for years but have recently started to listen to their stuff a lot more and have been scouring eBay for the various mixes I haven't got already (yeah, I'm a completeist freak), even buying a 12" I already had (D'oh! I found a good home for it though, Christmas has it's uses...). Was pretty chuffed with finding the Japanese import single of Hyperreal. Result! Also got the limited edition double vinyl of the original release of En-Tact, shame the sleeve was knackered. It's still much better than the 'US' re-release version.

    Who else... I've recently been getting into Nils Petter Molvær a lot lately too. I came across his work via the Designers Republic issue of Hot Rod magazine. Being a big DR fan I bought the issue which happened to feature a CD of some remixes of tracks from the then forthcoming album NP3. Loved the mixes, checked out the album, loved it and got hooked. I'm particularly into his more ambient-like work, currently love Sober off his latest album er.

    Probably my favourite album of last year was Takk.... Amazing album, couldn't stop listening to it for ages. I've just managed to get hold of their debut album Von and have been giving it a few listens too. I can't really think of many other great albums from last year (close to the lever of 'Takk...' at least), though I did like The Campfire Headphase quite a bit too, as well as a few from them lot on the mighty Ninja Tune label.

    As for 2006, I've been enjoying the new Coldcut album, Sound Mirrors, not a bad start to the year at all. Hopefully the possible forthcoming album from the newly reformed Pop Will Eat Itself will see the light of day, and I also read somewhere that a new Portishead album wil be out this year, but I'll only believe that when I have the CD in my hands...

    And I think I'll leave it there. Have a banana!