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POSTCARDS FROM THE SIDE OF THE ROAD (spotify playlist)
The Perfectly Adequate DJ
Joan Of Arc – Flowers
A nice intricate instrumental song from their latest LP. I was a latecomer to the genius of the Kinsella family but these brothers have played in some seriously good bands between them (Cap’n Jazz, Owls, American Football, Owen). Go check them out.
Mr. Oizo – Analog Worms Attack
In these dubstep saturated times it can be difficult to distinguish the genuinely intuitive bass music from the generic run of the mill copy cats. Coming straight out of 1999, Mr. Oizo delivered this downtempo slab of wobble heavy bass goodness on the back of the yellow puppet friendly smash hit “Flat Beat”.
Gruff Rhys – Gyrru Gyrru Gyrru
I think the Welsh language is amazing and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have sing it to me than all round good Welsh egg Gruff Rhys. Now not being fluent in the language myself, I had to do some research to find out what on Earth he is singing about. I saw him performing a live version of this song on Youtube and he said it was about “the monotony of the road”. That’s good enough for me Gruff, that’s good enough for me.
Scout Niblett – 12 Miles
I discovered Scout Niblett through my new favourite DJ in the entire World, Buddy Peace. In theory, she is not dissimilar to PJ Harvey but her music is a much more minimalistic affair and with Steve Albini on production duties it is always going to sound massive. Amazingly, Niblett is her actual surname and unsurprisingly the Scout bit comes from everyone’s favourite GCSE novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.
Z.Z. Hill – That Ain’t The Way You Make Love
Now being a predictable music geek, I enjoy nothing more than finding the original locations of samples. A man who knows how to use a good sample is Stones Throw Records’ premier beatmaker, Madlib. Nowhere is this more evident than my favourite hip hop record of all-time “Madvillainy”. He effortlessly chops up this smooth soul number and turns it into the perfect bed for MF DOOM’s angry relationship flow.
Madvillain – Fancy Clown
Well this had to be next right?
Clor – Stuck In A Tight Spot
In 2005, Clor released the most exciting indie/electro record ever made and then they disappeared. Many had previously tried to combine the perfect mix of jangly guitars, drum machines and big squelchy synths and many have tried since but no one has carried it off with quite as much class and success as these guys did.
Eau Claire Memorial Jazz 1 Feat. Justin Vernon – Lump Sum
The beauty of Bon Iver for me is without doubt the way the sparse arrangements of the songs sound so full. So when I read that Justin Vernon was teaming up with his old high school jazz band to play a Duke Ellington festival I wasn’t sure what to make of it. They played a couple of Bon Iver songs including this version of “Lump Sum”. It’s far from sparse and even features a two minute flute solo but it works so, so well.
The Broken Family Band – Living In Sin
It’s always sad when a band splits up, none more so then when the mighty Broken Family Band called it a day towards the end of last year. Despite being criminally overlooked by the majority for their entire career they still churned out hit album after hit album. These guys should be rich, the UK “indie” funds weren’t distributed fairly, I’m looking at you Kaiser Chiefs.
Caribou – Niobe
This is an incredible piece of music. An ever evolving collage of sound that builds and builds into a non existent crescendo. Too much electronic music these days relies on the tried and tested method of climaxing into a triumphant explosion of banging drums and throbbing bass. This just meanders along for nine minutes whilst still keeping you on your toes for the entire duration. Truly stunning.