Twenty-Five Favourites From 2012

Merry Xmas! It’s that time of year again (2010, 2011) when we drink spiced booze and make a list of our favourite records from the last twelve months. It’s been quite difficult to choose just 25 releases from 2012, but here – in no order – they are…

2012 - albums of the year

Seahawks – Aqua Disco (Ocean Moon)
Holly Herndon – Movement (RVNG Intl)
Mouse On Mars – Parastrophics (Monkeytown)
Chris Cohen – Overgrown Path (Captured Tracks)
Zammuto – Zammuto (Temporary Residence)

Steve Hauschildt – Sequitur (Kranky)
Euros Childs – Summer Special (National Elf)
Pye Corner Audio – Sleep Games (Ghost Box)
Jon Brooks – Shapwick (Claypipe)
Suzanne Ciani – Seven Waves (Reissue, Finders Keepers)

Polysick – Digital Native (Planet Mu)
VA – Tomorrow’s Achievements: Parry Music Library (Public Information)
Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas (Columbia)
Bobby Conn – Macaroni (Fire)
Testbild! – Where Did This Begin? (BCNVT)

Patrice & Friends – Cherry Sorbet (Sulk)
Cousins – First Cousins (National Elf)
Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin – Instrumental Tourist (Software)
Andrzej Korzynski – Possession (Reissue, Finders Keepers)
Petar Dundov – Ideas From The Pond (Music Man)

Laetitia Sadier – Silencio (Drag City)
Donald Fagen – Sunken Condos (Warners)
Lorenzo Senni – Quantum Jelly (Editions Mego)
Jouhou Desk Virtual – Sapporo Contemporary (Beer On The Rug)
Laurie Spiegel – The Expanding Universe – Expanded Edition (Reissue, Unseen Worlds)

How was 2012 for you?

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Waste Not at the Barbican

At the weekend I saw a fascinating and poignant art installation called Waste Not, by the Chinese artist Song Dong.  It’s been shown around the world for the last few years, and now there are five days remaining until it closes at London’s Barbican. If you haven’t already been to see it, I recommend going – and it’s free!

The work presents five decades of items collected by Song Dong’s mother, Zhao Xiangyuan. The Chinese adage of wu jin qi yong – ‘waste not’ – was taken to extremes in Song Dong’s family home, and the story behind the clutter is what really elevates the installation.

I took some photos too.

Exploring Balham in a New Video

Here’s a brand new video for an old song – an ode to the slowly disappearing old heart of Balham, South London.

Don’t forget you can still download the Places EP – where “Exploring The Landscape” can be found – for FREE from our Bandcamp page. The EP also features a beautiful contribution from The Advisory Circle (Ghost Box).

LateNightTales DJ report

As you may know, on the first of this month I had the pleasure of DJing at the Big Chill Bar in aid of Belle & Sebastian’s LateNightTales comp vol.2. In addition to meeting lots of nice people (including B&S’s Chris Geddes, who played an excellent selection of old reggae tunes) I got to spin a few of my own 45s.

In case you wanted to know what I played:

Holger Czukay – Cool In The Pool (EMI)
Ryan Paris – Dolce Vita Pt II (Clever/Carerre)
Hot Blood – Dracula’s Theme (Creole)
Harry Nilsson – Me And My Arrow (RCA Victor)
Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra – Afrikaan Beat (Decca)
Richard Denton and Martin Cook – Tomorrow’s World (BBC)
Sly & The Family Stone – Family Affair (Epic)
John Barry – Theme From The Persuaders (CBS)
Rita Chao – Yummy Yummy Yummy (King)
Steely Dan – Peg (ABC)
Lalo Schifrin – Quiet Village (CTI)
Ennio Morricone – Mon Nom Est Personne (WEA)
John Scott and his Orchestra – Midweek Theme (Polydor)
Kraftwerk – Tour De France (Instrumental) (EMI)
Brigitte Bardot & Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie and Clyde (Fontana)
Tony Camillo’s Bazuka – Dynomite Pt 1 (A&M)
France Gall – Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son (Philips)
The Roger Webb Orchestra – Theme from Cover (Chips)
Grethe Agatz – Ekkoleg (Bocaccio Records)
Coulouce – Beau-Pere (Damoo Mauritius)
Los Diablos – Un Rayo De Sol (EMI)
Herb Alpert – African Summer (A&M)

I told Paul Glancy – who runs LateNightTales – that my band would surely make an amazing mix for the series. Yes, that’s what they all say, he replied. He did share my passion for Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly, though, so at least we were able to bond over something.

Sixteen Albums From 2011

It might not have been as good a year musically as 2010, but there were plenty of records we loved over the last 12 months. Modesty prevents us from including My Fantoms, so here are the rest:

The Advisory Circle – As The Crow Flies (Ghost Box)
The High Llamas – Talahomi Way (Drag City)
J Mascis – Several Shades of Why (Sub Pop)
Battles – Gloss Drop (Warp)
Giorgio Tuma – In The Morning We’ll Meet (Elefant)
James Ferraro – Far Side Virtual (Hippos In Tanks)
Testbild! – Barrikad (Kalligrammofon)
Mountains – Air Museum (Thrill Jockey)
North Sea Radio Orchestra – I A Moon (The Household Mark)
Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica (Software)
Moon Wiring Club – Clutch It Like A Gonk (Gecophonic)
Jon Brooks – Music For Thomas Carnacki (Cafe Kaput)
Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky)
Pye Corner Audio – Black Mill Tapes Vol.2 (PCA Transcription Service)
Euros Childs – Ends (National Elf)
The Leaf Library – Different Activities, Similar Diversions (Proper Songs)

What were your picks of the year?

A Very Modular Christmas From Ebenezer Moog

Here’s a Christmas treat: both sides of a 1974 novelty single I picked up in a charity shop, from the aptly-named Ebenezer Moog. Released on Atlantic, the A-side is a jolly modular synth sound overload that gives Belbury Poly a run for his money, while Silent Night on the B is impressively sinister…

Ebenezer Moog – A – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Ebenezer Moog – B – Silent Night