Bootstrap Example
616 “Carnage Bargain” by The Paranoyds
9·0 “Classic Proto-Punk from the USA”
Title track to their album in September, 2019.
– Los Angeles quartet chanelling all the coolest traits of 90s indie rock, this 'un coming on like a pop Breeders. “Ever since he's been crowned, all I see is Orange clowns”. Don't worry Paranoyds, the nightmare is all but over. I've still to unpack this album (like so many others, groan), but on first impressions I'm loving the campaign to bring back off-kilter Manzarek-isms to alt-pop. Check them out mates...
Get it at Bandcamp
615 “Sufi Dub pt.2” by Delmighty Sounds
8·4 “Fantastic Reggae from Portugal”
A 12" single release in August, 2019.
– Irie sistible heavyweight dub action from Lisbon with magical eastern delights to help soothe the soul in these troubled times. From what I can gather, this was very popular in their soundsystem gatherings and they were encouraged to press up 500 copies. Nice up the place.
Get it at Juno
614 “Vortack [fracture remix]” by Squarepusher
8·5 “Excellent Drum n Bass from England”
A 12" single release in November, 2019.
– The ever-complex Thomas Jenkinson is on fine form right here. Bleep say: Rather than haring out of the blocks, ‘Vortrack’ actually reveals itself rather slowly, unfurling over the course of five-and-a-half minutes. It begins in rather disorientating fashion, a lopsided melange of kicks, hi-hats and acid bass that is pitched somewhere between Syro-era Aphex Twin and the discombobulating releases of Bjarki’s bbbbbb label. Rather than coalescing into a more streamlined groove, the track remains in this jittery holding pattern throughout, becoming increasingly agitated as widescreen reverb and choppy breaks are thrown into the mix. By the four-minute mark the centre can no longer hold and ‘Vortrack’ begins to break apart, eventually collapsing into a droning digital scree. It’s strange, it’s mesmerising, and it’s very distinctly Squarepusher.
Get it at Beatport
613 “Modality Transporter” by Sote
8·6 “Excellent Alternative Folk from Iran ”
From his album “Parallel Persia” in April, 2019.
– Extraordinary work from this Tehran innovator, 30 years in the game. Presser: Ata Ebtekar (aka Sote) composes music with a deeply-held conviction that rules and formulas should be deconstructed and rethought. A pivotal figure of the electronic music scene in the Middle East, he alters musical modal codes from their original tonality and rhythmic tradition to achieve vivid synthetic soundscapes. The music on 'Parallel Persia' was created in Tehran, Iran, in early 2018, after Donau Festival commissioned Sote to do an electro-acoustic AV project for their upcoming festival. The set combines various synthesis techniques [notably, physical modelling, FM, wavetable, granular and additive] with Iranian acoustic instruments [santour, tar] that are pushed beyond ordinary operation. Thus the synthetic and acoustic combine with equal strength to form a euphonious and complete whole.
Get it at Bandcamp
612 “Threat Of Rain” by Underworld
9·2 “Classic Club from England”
Originally available as a free download on in February, 2019, and later included on their album “DRIFT Episode 2: ATOM” in June, 2020.
– Soooo good to hear Underworld in such classic form; they're still lovin' it and doesn't it just shine through? The presser sez: Threat of Rain builds from a murky locked techno groove and a looped refrain of “I’m good, I’m good… I’m alright” into an orchestra of analogue noise that swells and surges and at times obliterates everything around it, which, with the accompanying film by Tomato’s Simon Taylor and Rick Smith, looks and sounds like a lost recording of a musique concrète symposium being broadcast from the DJ booth of the Omen.
Get it at Bandcamp
611 “Fuck Trump America” by Wesdaruler and Louis Larceny featuring Linqua Franqa and DopeKNife
7·5 “Great Hip Hop / Rap from the USA”
A single release in June, 2020.
– And so ends the four year term of the narcissistic manchild, quite possibly the worst of the 45 to date; a liar, a liability and an affront to democracy. Athens, GA-based beat-maker Wesdaruler is behind this one, released ahead of the last 4th of July weekend. HHBTM Records states: “The message is loud and clear in the lyrics, no statements need, the track is the statement. It’s a timely take on life in America in general, but especially during the Trump administration.
Get it at Bandcamp
610 “Get The Devil Out” by Nadia Reid
9·6 “All-time classic Folk from New Zealand”
Streamable from January, 2020, and included on her album “Out Of My Province” a couple of months later.
– This gorgeous and superior cut is unquestionably right up there as one of my year-end favourites. On this, her third album, the Dunedin-born lass was 28, but comes on like a seasoned veteran, very much a trait of her contemporaries, Laura Marling and Aldous Harding. Sublime.
Get it at Bandcamp
609 “Comin' Over Here” by Asian Dub Foundation featuring Stewart Lee
8·2 “Fantastic Dubbeat from England”
From their album “Access Denied” released in September, 2020. Released as a single in December, 2020.
– The best 99p or (1 Euro) you could spend this year. I'm in. OK everyone here's the plan... We are aiming to get the anti-racism anthem COMIN' OVER HER to the top of the UK chart on the exact day the United Kingdom withdrawal agreement ceases... will you help? To do this we need to sell as many downloads of the track as possible between these dates: 00:01 on Christmas Day (25th December) to 23:59 on New Years Eve (31st December). If all goes to plan we could have an anti-racism and anti-bigotry anthem at #1, showing the rest of Europe and even the World who we really are as a nation. Buying a download counts around 100 times more on the chart than streaming the song, so do spare a 99p. It's a good cause too, ALL of the band's profits will be donated to the KENT REFUGEE ACTION NETWORK (KRAN).
Get it at Amazon UK | Bandcamp | iTunes
608 “Handmade Card” by Nina Nastasia
9·2 “Classic Songwriter from the USA”
Single release in December, 2018.
– I picked up this exquisite little Xmas cracker several months back. The good news is there's a new Nina Nastasia album in the pipeline which fills my heart with joy, what a singular talent she is. The site stats tell me that there are more and more of you visiting more regularly than ever before, so this seems like a perfect opportunity to dedicate this one to you; especially if, like me, you're missing family this year. Sláinte!
Get it at Bandcamp
607 “Threats” by Blue Sky Black Death and Jean Grae featuring Chen Lo
9·0 “Classic Hip Hop / Rap from the USA”
From their album “The Evil Jeanius” released in September, 2008.
– Blue Sky Black Death are San Franciscan production duo Ryan 'Kingston' Maguire Ian 'Young God' Taggart. They're joined here by two Brooklyn residents, rapper Jean Grae and 'tablist / rapper Chen Lo. The powerful sample comes from Etta James's “Something's Got A Hold On Me”. Stunning track, just a pity that the project has a bit of a shady background, the Babygrande label not having cleared the release with Jean Grae herself.
Get it at Amazon
606 “Salga Bien” by Linda Guilala
9·2 “Classic Indie from Spain”
B-side of their “Agosto” single (Virgin VS-237) released in September, 2019.
– I can hardly believe these Galicians have been going for 14 years; they always seem like an exciting new band to me, even though I've been picking up singles for the best part of a decade. Delicious like primetime Ladytron, “Salga Bien” is a crisis of confidence: “Necesito que alguien me diga que esto va a salir bien” (trans: “I need someone to tell me this is going to work out”) A real dreamy classic.
Get it at Bandcamp
605 “Dybbuk” by Yotam Avni
8·3 “Fantastic Alternative Dance from Israel”
From his EP “Perlude To Dybbuk” in January, 2018.
– Love it! I'll let the label do the talking: Perlude to Dybbuk makes references – both in title and in sonic content – to the ancient Hebrew folklore of his homeland (a “dybbuk” being a kind of limbonic spirit attaching itself to the body of a living human until it has successfully reached its final destination). However, the atmospheric, rather than overt, use of these references gives this record a level of dignity and quality as well as a premonitory feeling that hovers over the proceedings. “Dybbuk” situates listeners in brutal modernity, with the first sounds heard being something like insistently slicing helicopter blades. Avni merely uses this as the foundation, though, for a genuinely unique construction whose shamanic beats, throttled horn and undertow of frenzied electronics combine to give the feeling of being menaced and eventually overtaken by a spirit entity. This piece shows just what Avni is capable when operating in a more aggressive, ‘post-industrial’ mode, and the result stands up with some of the best exponents of that genre.
Get it at Bandcamp
604 “Nothing” by Esya
8·2 “Fantastic Alternative Rock from England”
Streamable from April, 2019, then included on her EP “Absurdity of ATCG (I)” a month later.
– Sidestepping Savages for a bit, Ayşe Hassan explores her inner Kim Gordon on this thrilling piece. Mood, tone, delivery, all fantastic, she's a one-woman mean-machine.
Get it at Bandcamp
603 “The Sticks” by The Cool Greenhouse
8·4 “Fantastic Trance Rock from England”
First out as a single in March, 2020, before serving as the opening track on their self-titled debut album a couple of months later.
– Fall-tastic 5-piece led by the wonderfully sarcastic Tom Greenhouse who places market town oddballs firmly in the firing line on this 'un. The blurb: Having caused a stir on the underground DIY label circuit with their inimitable, infectious brand of lo-fi post-punk in 2019, The Cool Greenhouse’s debut album shows off a newly developed, fuller sound, taking their signature style to previously unexplored heights while doubling down on their tried and tested formula of angular motoric riffs and no holds barred biting social commentary.
Get it at Bandcamp
602 “Nga Ba Compensadora” by Pedro Lima
9·2 “Classic Africana from São Tomé and Príncipe”
First released on his “África Minha Terra” album in 1987. Featured on the compilation “Léve Léve : Sao Tomé & Principe Sounds 70s-80s Vol.1” (Les Disques Bongo Joe BJR-040) late in 2019.
– This should gently soothe, following on from yesterday's tense affair. I collected my first ever record from São Tomé and Príncipe earlier this year, a wonderful compilation packed with gems that I'd thoroughly recommend. As the CD says: The two Portuguese-speaking African islands of Sao Tomé & Principe, located in the Gulf of Guinea, created an unique music called Puxa; a refined mixture of various musical components from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. A blend of Semba, Merengue, Kompas, Soukouss, Coladeira patterns, often pushing forward with a voodoo-like energy, solid bass lines, delicate melodies and backing harmonies of the rich Sao Tomean melodic traditions. Very first compilation focusing on the golden age of these island’s sounds, the 16 tracks selected will surely set fire on all dance floors.
Get it at Bandcamp
601 “Supermarine” by Hans Zimmer
9·3 “Classic Film Score / Incidental from Germany”
From his album “Dunkirk (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)” released in July, 2017.
– As with many of these posts, I don't have the album, so this is just a cherry-pick; I haven't even seen the film tbh - what else am I missing out on I wonder? This ominous and dramatic cut is simply epic. As I understand it, film director Christopher Nolan used little dialogue, with much of the onus being on cinematography and music to recreate the suspense and intensity of the deseperate situation. Zimmer's mathematical approach uses layers of rhythmic elements, with subtle shifts of tempo and volume that seem to build and build forever, getting your heart racing and keeping you on the edge of your seat. I think I need to see this film!
Get it at Amazon UK