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…
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)
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).
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.
I was reminded, for no particular reason, of the adorable W (Double You) track 白い色は恋人の色 [Shiroi Iro Wa Koibito No Iro] the other day and was prompted to do a little research into the song’s origins when I found out that it was actually a cover version.
And I could not be more surprised by what I discovered!
The original was recorded in 1970 by a teenage American duo named Betsy & Chris. Elizabeth Wagner and Christine Rolseth first came to Japan in 1969 as members of a high school choir and the pair were offered a recording contract to perform Japanese language folk songs.
The original Shiroi Iro Wa Koibito No Iro (roughly translated as “white is the colour of my love”) is full of the pair’s wonderful harmonies and picked folk guitar. I really can’t get enough of it.
Betsy & Chris went on to release nine albums in Japan with a mixture of English and Japanese songs. Here are a few of my favourites:
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)
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…