Sonntag, 10. Dezember 2023

2023 - Short


In addition to my year-end list, here are a few songs that didn't appear on it but should not go unmentioned. The list does not contain a rating of the songs.

Samstag, 9. Dezember 2023

This Year In Music - Part V


Here comes the rest of the show of albums that impressed me very much this year. Slowdive is a band that was named together with other shoegaze bands but for me they were always Mogwai's little brother that could also play great ballads over extended guitar and synth patterns. everything is alive could be their breakthrough to a wider audience.

Konformer is a three piece band from Nuremberg, Germany that I got aware by recommendation by Adam from Bagging Area earlier this year. Five instrumentals on their self titled LP are all awesome, just because I don't know any band at this time making cosmic and dark inspired music like they do.

Kevin Rowland is back with another album I bought blind before I ever heard any song of it. Just because he can't make any worse record for me. And my high expectations were fulfilled. Northern soul inspired songs alternate with intimate ballads. Certainly a record that will be played often at my place.

David Holmes was very busy this year and while I prepared this list he released Blind On A Galloping Horse an album that is ahead of many others. Together with Raven Violet he showed his spectrum in electronic music. There was no filler on this record and probably a masterpiece.

From Edinburgh multi-instrumentalist John Brydon appeared as Eyes Of Other, a band many people could agree. It is impressive how many ideas he combined into a very unique sound. One of those albums you could play in a row without getting bored.

Freitag, 8. Dezember 2023

2023 - This Year In Music Part IV


Robyn Hitchcock surprised me in springtime with a new album. We know him well as one of the greatest singer/songwriter from the last decades but I never expected that he will release an instrumental album. It is a little masterpiece in quiet finger picked guitar and filled with really wonderful music.

I was introduced to the music and work by our dear friend JC and Heavy Elevators was a highlight in 2021. Now he released Angel Numbers this year and it shows again his ability of creating songs. This one is not accessible as his last one and you need time to see the beauty of his songs. But when you get into this music you won't be disappointed.

Another year, another output by Steve Mason. Brothers And Sisters is another example of how flexible he is. He's still able to make an album that will stand the test of time. Not his best one but another highlight in his discography.

Kerala Dust is a band featured at this pages for several times. It is a British band now living in Berlin and they released with Violet Drive on of the highlights of this year for me. Their sound could be described as European rock because it includes elements of blues, Americana and electronic beats as well but always with great guitars alongside.

Another band I followed for long times is Yo La Tengo. Torn between folk and guitar improvisations they released with This Stupid World an album that shows every facets of their sound. Lo-Fi guitars meets great voices is their simple trademark. Thank you for making music like this.

Donnerstag, 7. Dezember 2023

2023 - This Year In Music Part III


It was conceivable that Reset, the last year record by Sonic Boom and Panda Bear will be remixed. But I didn't expected that Adrian Sherwood will be at the controllers to create a dub version of this album. The original was a favorite of mine last year and this dub album was a steady companion to me during the summer.

No year without anything new by Andy Bell. Earlier this year he released Tidal Love Numbers, a good collaboration with Essex-based duo Masal to explore some ambient jazz roots to release Gateway Mechanics a live experiment by GLOK in September this year. This record shows everything I like from him: dubbed-out acid, psychedelica, a bit of Balearic and ambient. Wish I could see him live one day.

Since Craven Faults released their first album in 2020 I was fascinated by their music. Not only because you can classify them easily. I enjoy their hypnotic sound made only with a few drum snippets and putting an electronic coat over them. Of course it is another music to drift away but if it is made like on Severals, I will walk this road with them.

This Is The Kit is the alias of British singer/songwriter Kate Staples. Her latest album Careful Of Your Keepers was a surprise and a delight. I seldom heard a new great voice like her during the last years. One of the best new artists for me.

Another album that made fun for a while was Zuma 85 by California based Allah-Las. With songs between Velvets, glam and vocoder their songs work well. Not the big thing but a band you get from what you expect.

Mittwoch, 6. Dezember 2023

2023 - This Year In Music Part II


Let's start this small review with a new band to me. Brown Spirits are from Melbourne, Australia and celebrate a fusion of krautrock and a d-i-y punk attitude with drums, bass and guitar/keyboard. They have learned by many but make a sound of their own. 

Bristol's Blue Aeroplanes also appeared with a sing of life and gave us with Culture Guns this year's trademark in jangly guitar sound. Seems like the songs work well live as well.

Belle and Sebastian, one of Glasgow's pop-bands released Late Developers, another album by them that is very good and full of great songs with hooks. Seems like they are very close to a perfect pop/rock song 

It seems like Julian Cope has too many ideas in his mind to release them all on vinyl. This year he surprised us with Robin Hood another album full of weird ideas. But after all he made another great record (if only the ones which are huge fans). 

HiFi Sean and David McAlmont finished their long time collaboration this year with their first album Happy Endings. And the title is programm: they collect a lot of influences and create their own space. An album full of great songs often added with strings but never overproduced. An album I came back from time to time with joy.

Dienstag, 5. Dezember 2023

2023 - This Year In Music Part I


Like every year I do the same as many other among us and take a look back on the musical year. I have to admit that this year was another good year for new music although older bands released some great albums. 

Let's start with a compilation that brought me back music from more than 30 years ago. In 1989 almost the same happened like 10 years ago when punk and new wave turned the music I listened upside down. Young people round Manchester detected the dancefloor with guitar based music and established remixes forever. Come Together: Adventures On The Indie Dancefloor is another excellent compilation by Cherry Red and shows how great music was made at this time. 

A few years ago Cologne's Kompakt label started a compilation series called Velvet Dessert Music. Two months ago they released Chapter 3 where relaxed guitar music meets western meets South American music elements. It's one of those records I used to listen to in the late evening.

After a longer hiatus Everything But The Girl came back with Fuse, an album showing the ability by Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt to write great songs. The songs are more focused on the dancefloor like before but Tracey's voice makes them extraordinary.

Montag, 4. Dezember 2023

Monday's Long Song


During the last years I posted long songs but seldom really long songs. It took a long time until I was remembered that in 1994 a song was released who also deserves this predicate. Before there were Two Lone Swordsmen there were Andrew Weatherall with The Sabres Of Paradise who produced the epic first album by One Dove and remixed everything from Björk to New Order. One of them was James. Jam J was an improbable single from their underrated album Wah Wah. The Sabres remixed this album track in a wobble-esque style into a 33 minute long sprawling epic of a remix broken up into four movements. The beat never stops and it seems more a DJ-set than a remix. If you are into dubby techno or ambient dub you shouldn't miss this gem.

Sonntag, 3. Dezember 2023



Nottingham's Dj's and producers are back with a new song, a one that I never expected in this way. They still riding the Balearic sound but now Rolo McGinty joined them. McGinty is well known for his work with The Woodentops in the 80's and probably one of the first ones that opened his sounds for electronic music. And this collaboration works well because Rolo McGinty's deep voice and acoustic framework fits perfect to Coyote's slo-mo beats. 

Samstag, 2. Dezember 2023

Phonox Nights


It is done. Yesterday was my last day of work for this year and in a few days I'll be boarding the plane at this time every year to spend the next few weeks in Sri Lanka. Until then I will finish some works that I should have done earlier, finishing my year-end list and preparing some posts. Last week I got the news that Woodleigh Research Facility released Phonox Nights, the final result of the long time collaboration between Nina Walsh and Andrew Weatherall. Beginning with the slick acid majesty of the piercing title track, where Andrew plays ethereal synth lines on Nina's coaxing, Phonox Nights crowns the pair's 30-year creative relationship with their masterpiece.