It’s May and I’m feeling rebellious. I’ve decided to break the rules and keep a list of favourite albums this year. I should do it on a regular basis, here’s hoping I’ll be able to keep it up for the rest of the year.
These are the 2012 albums I like better than others so far, in alphabetical order.
Christian Bland & The Revelators – Pig Boat Blues (Reverberation Appreciation Society)
Second solo album by Christian Bland from the fabulous Black Angels.
It’s got good songs.
It sounds lo-fi, retro and psychedelic.
He’s in The Black Angels.
What more could a man want?
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/37859375″ width=”100%” height=”166″ params=”auto_play=false&show_artwork=false&color=b85cd6″ iframe=”true” /]
The Chap – We Are Nobody (Lo)
The Chap can do no wrong in my world. This might not be their best album, in my humble opinion, but it’s still better than most of the other stuff coming out these days. Sarcasm + rock = good.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/26461303″ width=”100%” height=”166″ params=”show_artwork=false” iframe=”true” /]
Field Music – Plumb (Memphis Industries)
I was translating a review of this album and the reviewer was going on about maths and patterns and stuff. I was wondering what that sounded like, even though maths and me is a definite no-no. When I listen to this, I don’t hear maths and patterns, I hear brilliant pop in the vein of Sgt. Pepper and Motorpsycho a few years ago.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/25989292″ width=”100%” height=”166″ params=”show_artwork=false” iframe=”true” /]
Los Fulanos – Si Esto Se Acaba Que Siga El Boogaloo (Lovemonk)
This Barcelona band was Joe Bataan’s backing band on his Afro-Filipino tour, which about spells it out, right? Boogaloo, salsa, funk, funk, jazz, sugar and spice and everything nice.
Kindness – World, You Need A Change Of Mind (Female Energy)
I must admit I was sceptic at first, because of the photos and the stuff I read about the boy. But after a couple of listens I budged. How could I not love tunes like “Gee Up”, “That’s Alright” or “Doigsong”? Still, not sure if it’ll make it to the end of the year, but for now, he stays.
Ah, if you get the CD at Rough Trade you get a bonus disc with a radio show/mixtape by the man himself, which is quite funny/good.
Linda Mirada – Con Mi Tiempo Y El Progreso (Discoteca Oceano/Lovemonk)
Spanish eighties-tinged pop of the kind I’m not usually into, but I like it. A lot. Not because it’s on Lovemonk, although it may have something to do with it, as I was putting together the press release and I listened to it a lot, so it grew on me. We’ve played a couple of her tracks on Soleado so you should know her by now.
Prinzhorn Dance School – Clay Class (DFA)
Finally, a new album by one of my favourite duos. The sound is mostly as Spartan as on their first, but it’s a little bit more melodic, and the overall mood is slightly more melancholic. Can’t wait to see them play again (June in Madrid w00t!)
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/40707634″ width=”100%” height=”166″ params=”show_artwork=false” iframe=”true” /]
Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Bárbaro – Look Around The Corner (Tru Thoughts)
Fabulous new album, good to see Ms. Russell working with the man from Cali/Brighton again. Soul, funk, nuff Latin sounds and some fine strings by Mike Simmons on there, the Combo Bárbaro is in top shape.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/32958713″ width=”100%” height=”166″ params=”show_artwork=false” iframe=”true” /]
The Sufis – The Sufis (The Sufis)
Another band sporting that loverly psychedelic retro stuff. The Sufis from Nashville placed their entire album on their Soundcloud page and said they were looking for a label. Well, they found two. Burger Records is releasing it on tape in June, and Ample Play will do the vinyl.
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/43485880″ width=”100%” height=”166″ params=”show_artwork=false” iframe=”true” /]
THEESatisfaction – awE naturalE (Sub Pop)
Saw these two ladies play live a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty awEsomE, like the album, on Sub Pop, no less. New daisy age music?
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/43688534″ width=”100%” height=”166″ params=”show_artwork=false” iframe=”true” /]
Their debut album With All Due Respect is released by Lovemonk, Spain, November 2010.
Incarnations are Bart Davenport, Bing Ji Ling & Daniel Collás and they’re playing @ Charada in Madrid, tonight (11th of November). Woo!
Filmed with an iPhone, with not enough light and a shaky hand.
Very fffffet new album. But is it going to be out on vinyl?
Zets is ze questiun.
Yeah I know it’s real hip to say you like Die Antwoord.
Tom Trago – Voyage Direct [Rush Hour] (www.myspace.com/tomtrago)
One of Amsterdam’s finest beat smiths – check his numerous (contributions to) releases on Kindred Spirits and Rush Hour – goes all out on the 4/4. Deep, rich, soulful and funked-up house for dancing, driving and chilling. Ace.
video for “Voyage Direct”
Various Artists – Dirty French Psychedelics [Born Bad] (www.d-i-r-t-y.com)
Dirty posse unleashes a trunk of French psychedelics, folk, poetry without even including a single Gainsbourg track. This is a gem. If you’re fast you can get a vinyl copy but there are very few left. It’s worth it though, even though it has one track less than the CD.
Dirty feature on Arte
The Phenomenal Handclap Band – The Phenomenal Handclap Band [Friendly Fire/Tummy Touch/Lovemonk] (www.myspace.com/phenomenalhandclap)
Yeh, I know, shameless self-promotion but fuck it, we love this record and that’s why we’re releasing it in Iberia. Psychdiscorockprogsoulfunkhop is the shit these days. It will mos def be in my top ten of this year’s album list schmist. And in many others’, because there’s a lot of people out there believing the hype. You should, too.
(out in June in the USA, July in the UK/Europe and September in Spain/Portugal)
video of “You’ll Disappear”, live
Quantic And His Combo Bárbaro – Tradition in Transition [Tru Thoughts] (www.quantic.org)
It’s Will Holland’s new project and it’s fine, ooh, so fine. He got together with a group of great musicians from all over the place in Cali, Colombia, and together they make sweet sweet music the way Holland has been doing over the years with all of his bands. Truly fantastic.
(out in July)
trailer of Tradition in Transition – Postcard from Cali
Lhasa – Lhasa [album] (www.lhasadesela.com)
Twelve haunting new ones by the Mexican-American singer-songwriter. Not out on vinyl though, sucksily enough.
video for “Rising”:
Mulatu Astatke + The Heliocentrics – Inspiration Information 3 [album] (www.strut-records.com)
The Ethiopian jazz legend joins forces with the Stones Throw-based band known for playing with people like DJ Shadow, Madlib and Yesterday’s New Quintet.
The Emperor Machine – Space Beyond the Egg [album] (www.myspace.com/emperormachine)
Space-a-delic disco-rock from Andrew Meecham and his boys.
video for “Kanana”:
El Michels Affair – Enter the 37th Chamber [album] (www.fatbeats.com)
The songs of the Wu-Tang played live.
The Time And Space Machine – Volume Two [album] (www.myspace.com/thetimeandspacemachine)
Psychedelic project of Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve and former The Grid member Richard Norris. Like the previous (debut) album, it’s only released on vinyl. Now that’s what I’m talking about!