Continuing a Christmas tradition started by the late broadcaster John Peel in 1976, an assortment of our DJs count down through the best 50 tracks from 2014 based on listener's votes.
You can hear the full results of this legendary poll repeating from Christmas Day and into January, finishing off with Kevin Robinson revealing this year's winner!
For January 2015 Dandelion Radio introduces a Review of the year 2014, as seen through the eyes of our DJs. Join Rocker, Pete Jackson, Kevin Robinson, Mark Whitby and Neil Jenkins as they take a turn in guiding you through some of their musical high points from the past year.
Tune in, enjoy, and give us your feedback.
Before we even begin to tackle 2015, there's a pile of releases from late 2014 to sift through including terrific albums which must not go unheard from Raspberry Bulbs, Witching Waves, Trash Kit, USA Nails, Afrikan Sciences, The Skull Defekts and Posh Isolation's White Void, as well as an awesome compilation from Duppy Gun Productions.
As usual we go global with The Calypso Steel-O-Rama Band from the Caribbean, The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band from Thailand, and there's a recently reissued album from Congolese legends Verckys & Orchestre Veve. We've also got new records from Cairo's Maurice Louca Hungary's Stephan Olbricht and from Romania there's more found material from Rodion G.A..
Weird and warped electronica this month comes from IVVVO, Klara Lewis, Shackleton, Ekoplekz, and Eric Copeland, plus a particularly lively number from Dead Man's Chest.
Also this month Gorgon Sound remix Kahn, Ancient Methods rip Powell to shreds, Skeptical collaborates with Clarity, and there's a stunning late contender for remix of the year from The Haxan Cloak and Akkord.
Oh, this would be a tough one to compile, the elders said. Throw together a review of last year, they said. Well, GUESS WHAT? By some crazy feat of luck, I've piled up a bunch of sparkly new tunes to stun and amaze you with. (OK, I did cheat a little bit, but shhhhh.)
So hey-ho, let's ring in 2015 with one banging' party: main man Pour Le Plausir will man the decks; Ex Hex can bring the keg, and Hookworms the illicit drugs; Clockwork Orchestra will stomp everyone on the SNES; The Fucked Up Beat will project super-8 black-and-white films on the wall; and The Ropes will stand in the corner as the resident divas.
But partying shall cease to observe the strange aural rituals of an elusive cult known only as Mind Brains - rumor has it that the members are Elephant six magi, but no one knows. Also, prepare to be hypnotized by more Henry Plotnick, Andy Stott, Dissolved, and Gretchen Lyme.
Plus a big warm welcome to Empty Child, another precocious composer/producer with most excellent skillz.
Jackn bones provides the session tunes for a January show in which the emphasis is firmly on the new. In that spirit, we've got tunes from a whole load of keenly awaited releases set to hit us during January and February 2015, including new albums from Belle & Sebastian, Peter Kernel, Disappears, The Wave Pictures and Whyte Horses, plus a few that won't be seeing the light of day until March, from Moon Duo and Gratuit as well as a cracking Awesome Tapes From Africa reissue from Ghana's Ata Kak.
The amazing Blue Tapes is branching out into vinyl this year and we've got the first fruits of that, courtesy of the excellent Pour Le Plaisir. There's also a new album from Alasdair Roberts, something suitably eccentric from MCFERRDOG and a debut from Viet Cong to look forward to so we throw something from those in there too.
Of course there's been plenty happening since the last show so we also manage to cram in some fine end-of-2014 releases from the likes of Mogwai, Can Can Heads and Pete Bentham & the Dinnerladies, as well as the glorious racket brought forth by Slovenia's Praznina and an excellent split release from the Outward label featuring scares and Tocopa.
And, with the 2014 Festive Fifty now out there for your listening pleasure, our Peel Back... section digs back into the chart of ten years ago while tentatively speculating what might have made a festive fifty forty years ago, had there been such a thing.
Just 60 mins from Pete this month, but still chock full of great new stuff from Hookworms, Blue Giant Zeta Puppies and Jumble Hole Clough, old stuff from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry and Art Phag and the first fruits of my mate Steve's mega US cross country CD buying adventure, kicking off with music from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Kicking off the New Year with a bang! This month's three hour show includes three featured albums - the new one from the reformed Manhattan Love Suicides, the forthcoming debut from The Fireworks, and an excellent compilation from Very Gun Records which you may have missed when it slipped out towards the end of last year.
We also manage to squeeze in new tracks from Stephen Fall; Emma Kupa; CTMF; Burnt Palms; Not Right; The Electric Pop Group; Sleater-Kinney; Caves; Hard Left; Lost Pets; Trust Fund; The Popguns; Zipper; Pale Lights; Evans The Death; Tyrannosaurus Dead; Kahoots; Joanna Gruesome; and Inspiral Carpets.
Theres some twisted electronica too - Applescal reworks Daniel Averys Primal Scream mix; Butch and C. Vogt collaborate on a killer track recorded live with an orchestra; Radio Slave remixes Theo Schwarz, and Max Cooper mangles an ambient classic from The Rustle Of The Stars with judicious application of drumnbassbeats.
This months Peel's Big 45 is a pseudo-Japanese release from 1971, while this months Educating Elizabeth track is the title track of the current Swamp Dogg album.
As well as little known acts, heres a little known fact: Rod Stewarts Reason To Believe, played here in memory of recently deceased keyboard player Ian McLagan, a cover of a Tim Hardin original, was released in 1971 as a 7" A-side, however it was the B-side Maggie May which received most US airplay, and became Stewarts breakthrough hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Welcome to 2015.
On a short trip down to Sydney in December I realised how much great new Australian music there is around at the moment. You'll have all heard the likes of Tame Impala and / or Courtney Barnett over the last 14 or so months but all of Australia's state capitals seem to be overflowing with great left field indie pop and rock at the moment. Melbourne still without doubt the nation's musical capital has bands left right and centre. In the show we feature, The Twerps, Dick Diver and The Ooga Booga's amongst others.
A short 15 hour drive takes us up to Adelaide where we've come across the Wireheads who are on of those bands who don't sound like anything else we've heard..nothing better than a bit of cultural isolation to let a band develop properly. Back in the car and it's only a 23 hour hop across to Sydney a city that has been losing venues to developers in 2014 and being a musician there at the moment is by no means easy. Especially being a band with attitude, Low Life are appropriately named and remind me of the spirit of the early Fall. Do check out their album Dogging on Bandcamp. Also new band Community Radio formed from the ashes of cult Sydney band Youth Club have released a great little album that just gets under your skin after about half a dozen listens. Thanks to Red Eye Records in Sydney for the recommendation.
Finally it's another 15 hour drive up to Brisbane to experience some more of the wonderful Blank Realm. This month we feature their track "Working on Love" which I have a funny feeling I'll be listening to daily this year. Also to break up the aus indie music fest I've thrown in a short set of left of centre dance tracks that have appealed to me recently. LA's Secret Circuit who I've featured in the show, a new 12" from Clarian entitled "My Shiva", a track that harks back to the days when Sven Vath was still making inventive music. And the best last, New York based Invisible Conga People and a DFA release entitled "Can't Feel My Knees". As far as I'm aware they've only written three songs - "Cable Dazed", "Can't Feel My Knees" and "In A Hole". But here at Ring of Fire those three songs still outclass the entire oeuvre of 90% of artists out there.