Thursday, 15 December 2011

The obigatory end of year list of stuff I liked.

2011 was the year I started buying 'new' music again. As in actually making an effort to go to a record store to buy records by people who are still alive and making music. The last few years record shopping involved going to second-hand places and getting very dusty, rooting around in bargain bins on my hands and and knees like some bearded weirdo panning a Californian river in the hope of finding a nugget of gold.
Which isn't to say I didn't do that too. In fact I had a bumper year for crate digging and at one point found ~£300 worth of records (according to discogs anyway) for a mere £20.

So over the next few day I'll make up a few lists of stuff I bought/found/did in 2011, should anyone find it in any way interesting:

Ten 12" records of 2011 which I thought were really good (in no particular order):

Levon Vincent - Man or Mistress [Novel sound NYC]

There's been a lot of hoo-ha about Levon Vincent which I didn't really understand. Then I heard this. Just perfect really. Sonically beautiful & perfectly structured with a subtle yet demanding breakdown. I love every moment of this track.

Doubleheart - Salsa [Nonplus+]

JD Twitch of Optimo and Neil Landstrumm's collaboration led to a "what the fuck is this?" record which I'm sure would be called 'Post-dubstep' by journalists but as pointed out by Konx-Om-Pax that just means "just normal fucking house music" to anyone else.

Automatic Tasty - In It For The Money EP [Lunar Disko]
Soundstream - Soundsampler Vol. 1 [Soundsampler]
Matt Whitehead - Obsession EP [Rebel Intelligence]

Having a studio partner who works in a record shop is a perfect example of the pleasure/pain principle: You don't miss out on belters like these but you spend more money than you intended when you 'pop in to say hi.'
In fact, this phenomena is so acute that Thomas from Resurface Records actually had to send other people into Rubadub to get things to avoid Aleks bankrupting him. Rubadub: give that man a raise.

EDIT: It's just come to my attention that the Automatic Tasty record came out last year. It's really good though so I'm leaving it in anyway.

Shit Robot - Take Em Up (John Talabot RMX) [DFA]

John Talabot turns Marcus and Nancy's boogie gem into a swirlingly hypnotic house record which adds a real sense of melancholy to what was already a fairly heartbreaking track. Oh yeah, and it's on white vinyl.

Franz Underwear/Naum Gabo - World Unknown Vol. 1
[World Unknown]

From the ashes of dissident comes World Unknown. Similarly mysterious and just as great. All four EPs are instant classics but the debut release is the real keeper.

Johnwaynes - Black & White EP [Groovement]

Cracking house record from Portugal. White Track is the stand-out for me here with it's Chicago groove and off-kilter chant of "Gotta get you back into my life."

Tevo Howard - The Drum Machine Man [THR]

Like Levon Vincent, I wasn't blown away by Tevo Howard's stuff (maybe I just like bucking the trends?) however, every track on this is superb, especially Arena

Dimitri From Stoke on Trent - I Wanna Be You Lobster

Look, it's a great edit of Prince, what more do you want me to say?

I'm sure I missed out lots of great stuff. I can already think of three records (Storm Queen's It Goes On and Mickey Moonlight's Close To Everything being MASSIVE oversights) that probably should have been on here but those were the first ten to pop into my head.

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