Weird, wonderful and wailing beauties. A small collection of softer tracks from my latest listening delights. A unique collection of obscurities.
Click Maria’s eye ball to have a listen!
If I wasn’t poor as shit I would have popped $100 dollars in the ‘Name Your Price’ section on Bandcamp. There is something so special about finding an artist as unique, captivating and intriguing as this. It is music that transports your mind into the arms of Jon Cryer, as rain falls hard on the shimmering road. This music hits the air with a triumphant fist, the gloved hand of Judd Nelson to be exact. It pours from John Cusack’s boom box, and eats at the inner core of my sudden transforming pubescent body. Finally, there is music to accommodate my white as hell, disastrously uncool Elaine-style dance moves. The drum-machine really understands the irregular flow of my unorthodox hip movements. I am impressed. With such adoration for 1980s cheese, how could this NOT be my favourite EP of 2013? It would seem that TELE/VISIONS has a burning desire to lead the pack of 80s pop revival, along with Ariel Pink, John Maus, The Drums and Yuck, and with a little exposure I could definitely see that happening. With guitar tones plucked from the hands of Felt or The Stone Roses, and the dreamy haze of Galaxie 500 drowning out the subtle Aztec Camera inspired ballad, nothing is stopping this summery bedroom pop from exploding out of obscurity into the conscious mind of music lovers everywhere. It is tender, exciting music with nothing to hide. Synthesizers that fill the room of slow-dancing teens, and vocals that urge young lovers to elope, what else could you ask for?
My dear friends, this is music to idly watch a drunken night go past, as the haze gets hazier and your friends get friendlier. It is youthful, hopeful and unapologetic. Brilliant, brave and blissful. No one will dance?? Well… when this is on, I find that very hard to believe.
A seductive listen.
Have a listen here my darling friends:
Summer is upon us my friends, and it is time to swap your amber ale for something more crisp and fruity. It is well and truly time to present your voluptuous chalky winter belly to the world. Time to idly bake your nude body in the lava rays of the sun, on your cousin’s front lawn, splashing about in their blow up pool. And while you do this, friends, be sure to pop on something like this:
LIARS is just as unprepared for the horrible summer heat as you. Clumsily, yet wonderfully, falling out of the speakers with each jangley, jungley jongley beat! There is a sweetness and a youthfulness to the track that tickles me in all the right places. It is innocent and hopeful. REAL//TALKS are everything you have been searching for, but haven’t found yet. Bright, bubbly and brilliant. Swirling, swaying and sexy Indie Rock at its absolute best. Better yet, their is a wonderful lo-fi quirkiness somewhere underneath the summery fun of this track, and it is extremely luscious. Like always, I am content with REAL//TALKS. I am sitting comfortably in my underwear at my desk longing for the bright salty water and crunchy white dust of the beach that I am too lazy to travel to. But flick this track on, and I am halfway there already. I will personally pay you $10 if this track doesn’t end up in your head for at least a day.
REAL//TALKS have an EP coming out a bit later on in the year, with some fantastic shows lined up to celebrate its release! So stay tuned dudes!
Spread the love and Give them a likey like on Facebook:
Lie to yourself all you want, but sometimes personality is all you need to make a successful band. The power of charisma is unimaginable. The only reason we switched on Lana was because she told us she was some hard-done-by teeny drowning deep in the capitalist, patriarchal mess of a yucky sexist American river. And then it turned out she wasn’t drowning at all, because she knew how to swim, and better yet she was actually above it all…in a yacht somewhere in the Bahamas with A$AP Rocky. Personality goes a long way. Similarly, there is Bowie. Need I say more? Morrissey wasn’t always on a rampant surge to cure Manchester of its small-town monotony and bastardly segregation, he himself was a part of it. It was his very uprising against the ‘meat and three veg’ world that got people talking. And why wouldn’t they, he was also sexy as hell! If it was Tony Abbott singing Vicar In A Tutu, nobody would think twice about throwing their ale in his face, despite it costing 9 dollars. Or if Celine Dion belted out a Grace Jones track. Or if Morris Minor And The Majors started spittin’ Takyon or Money Trees. Or dare I say Chad Kroeger growling out a Birthday Party track….it just doesn’t work! The personality, the look, the IMAGE is just wrong. Lets just face it…some peeps just aren’t very……cool. Or just a different type of cool. 😉
Anyway. WAAX are cool. And their image is certainly in tune with their rad-as-fuck tunes. Unlike some artists, it isn’t just the IMAGE or personality that carries this Brisbane outfit. Although it is integral, the outstanding musicianship, wonderful songwriting and hypnotic artistic vision just can’t be ignored. What I really want is to get my hand on this band’s music collection and role in what I can only assume to be a big bundle of Zeppelin and Joplin records. It is invigorating to know that this music still runs in the veins of Brisbane’s music scene, without resorting to a sub-par 40 year old fedora clad, bald Metallica fan and his three trendy BUDS! Without cheesing it up too much, WAAX certainly have a “Classic Rock” sound (I deleted and retyped that 8 times, because I wasn’t sure if it was TOO lame. Then I realised it was a ‘tag’ on the WAAX Bandcamp, and so I didn’t feel too bad). It is a sound drenched in appreciation of Blues, Psychedelia, Garage Rock, Fuzz and bloody good grooves MATE! I am constantly impressed with this band, and I cannot see my genuine enjoyment fading anytime soon.
Blue Record Machine is perhaps the most tame track I have heard from WAAX, and the recording perhaps even tamer still. But someone was most definitely channelling the wisdom of Coco Chanel. The track is a stripped back, raunchy and elegant beast. The growling jive it carries, the unsettling ride it offers and the brilliant 60s haze it tames is nourishing to the soul. The track is strong, feminine and compelling. Marie is undoubtedly the next big thing Australia has to offer to the world of Garage-Rock, and I am pleased with that. She carries something very rare and certainly something all musicians, bar my main man Jimmy Morrison, should be disgustingly jealous of.
Maybe even more than Karen O….(If K-dizzle ever reads this, I love you and I am sorry…please forgive me). When playing live, I am enthralled by the magnetic, vivid and fantastically bawdy display of Marie as she dances, prances and screams across stage. And yet, amidst this whirlwind performance, not a single not is dropped. Blue Record Machine is perhaps the song that best shows off Marie’s vocal range, and bizarre and brilliant timbre. It is hypnotic.
And then there is the cow-bell.
Man’s best friend. Holding the clangy beat of this tune together, filling the gaps between the wall of fuzzzz that rises rudely from the guitar. Wonderful sounds, that delight my deafened and bleeding ears. It is a tastefully abrupt and strangely addictive track.
However, with such wonderful live charisma comes the hardest task of all. Bottling it, and selling it. Even though this single is intriguing and sumptuous, it has nothing on the live performance itself. I doubt that the raw energy and emotion delivered live from all members of WAAX could ever be controlled, and hence ever recorded at its greatest. I worry that this may, although I am doubtful, push away listeners or fail to arouse them fully, just because they haven’t been to a live show. It would be hard to fully grasp the intent by just listening to the single, as the WAAX beast is hard to tame. But, they are giving it a DAM good try. And anyway, the chances of close-minded folk coming across this Bandcamp site are slim, so I hardly think there is anything to worry about. Blue Record Machine is an unnerving and unapologetic listen. And I love it. Get it in your ears.
Listen here dudes:
Well, as expected, 2014 is off to a fucking good start. The always psychotic Gary records has delivered its first 7inch split ever, with Forests and White Lodge. And I am moist with excitement! Deep in some obscure back alley, above some atrociously rank strip joint, 3 floors up in a 4mx4m box apartment laden with ungrateful fumes of testosterone, Nag Champa and probably vomit, is where I imagine three strange Taiwanese gentlemen. Jiving in matching skivvies and white shrunken stove-pipes, playing bright red matching ’62 Jaguar’s as they wave their sandy bob cuts to their own infectious groove. I am surely wrong in my outlandish assumption, but I still idly wait to be proven wrong. Now, honestly……. there is a fuckload of music similar to this out there. The influx of 60s inspired Garage/Surf-Rock has seen the rise of many similarly fuzzy, quirky and boppy groups, it is almost too much to handle! And yet it is charisma that will always shine through, and let the better bands rise amidst a sea of sheep. Why do I think Forests live above a strip joint, because something about their sound unnerves me in the best possible way, and for some reason I am intrigued to continue listening. The same reason Jandek continues to be the most glorified experimental musician; the myth was stronger than the man. Forests are sexy as hell, and dam addictive. Imagine Brian Wilson singing over the top of some Television groove, and maybe you would be close to understanding Forests’ sound. Or just listen for yourself and stop taking my word for it. Ego Bender is like an early Monkees track on acid, with such a disgustingly solid BOP to it that dancing is a requirement. Although The Fall doesn’t meet the infectious level of radness that Ego Bender does, it is still another safe, solid and sexy track. Koodos to this bunch of dandy dudes! They are surely going places.
And then came White Lodge. Already a favourite of mine, I am unimaginably impressed with the gargantuan arsenal of songs these Queensalnd dwelling homosapians continue to vomit out. Birthed from the womb of Max Bloom, raised solely on Rowland S Howard’s breast milk and the gorgeous irony of Christopher Owens, it is no wonder they are successful in their salty, scratchy, surfy crusade. Flower Eyes brings about a lovely change of mood, with a strange optimism and hopefulness in its lyrics, typical of any man in love with the ocean. It is almost a romantic listen. Not to mention noisy, bubbly and youthful. And Her Spell is a wonder.With the tempo change comes such a cheesy, disastrously enjoyable swing and horribly arousing groove. I am rarely disappointed with these gents! There is something to be said about their consistency, paired ironically with their brilliant avoidance of ‘same-y’ territory.
This is a sumptuous release, from a very lovely label. I implore you to spend your pocket money on a vinyl copy, and start listening for real. Much love to the beautiful people behind such lovely music.
More coming from me soon my friends.
I love you all.
Why not have a listen yourself, or even invest in a gorgeous 7″ vinyl!!!!!
White Lodge Facebook
Some bands aggravate me. Some bands make me turn to my Godin and say, “Hey, why aren’t you pulling your weight you bastard.” When you stumble across something as reclusive and understated as YOU, I think you remember why less is inevitably more. This music is bald, dusty and pale. It moves around my ears like gas, and fills the room with a thick bounty of pastel-blue haze. I am aggravated by their constraint, even in their experimentation, they hold back…just enough to keep your conscious mind alert. There is a gorgeous pop sensibility hiding amidst a thick swab of watery reverb and circus fuzz. This 2012 single, Mama, is a textury meal that is just as filling as any Mount Eerie dish, and yet there is this stubborn bitterness that hangs in your throat; a kind of Atlas Sound bitterness. And yet it is cute, like any good Act Of Estimating As Worthless track, but seemingly less youthful. I am at crossroads with YOU. Should I rip my headphones off and continue steady in life with my sanity, OR should I accept that I am a sub-par musician, and continue listening to songs that I wish I had made myself. I choose the latter. And wait eagerly for more releases from this sweet Brisbane Experimental Pop outfit.
Another week of music my friends! Here with Dan, Dool, PT and Marsom from The Table. xx
1. Andrew Bird – I Want To See Pulaski At Night :: 8/10 :: A tantalising violin album from one of modern music’s most diverse artists. Still holding onto his warm country sound from Hands Of Glory, but with the inclusion of very sensual Oriental instrumentals that circle the title track. :: Favourite Track = Pulaski At Night
2. Silver Jews – American Water :: 7.5/10 :: An off-shoot of Indie-Rock’s favourite band; Pavement. Deep vocals, incomparably sweet and fuzzy guitar, witty lyricism and irony that fills you up to the ears :: Favourite Track = Random Rules
3. This Will Destroy You – Young Mountain :: 6.5/10 :: Strong, jangly post-rock, that is crisp and clear. Sweet, sumptuous and gargantuan.:: Favourite Track = There Are Some Remedies Worse Than The Disease
4. Jordaan Mason And The Horse Museum – Divorce Lawyers I Shaved My Head :: 6.5/10 :: If Jeff Mangum was to impregnate Sean Bonnette, and then arrange a marriage between their child and Conor Oberst, the child of the newlywed youngsters would undoubtedly be Jordaan Mason. Harsh, bruised vocals, and overtly obscure and messy folk accompaniment:: Favourite Track = Racehorse: Get Married!
5. Coil – The Ape Of Naples :: 7/10 :: Obscure, experimental electronic goodness. With clear metal influences, and cold industrial excerpts, it lends itself to being quite an interesting listen :: Favourite Track = Teenage Lightening 2005
6. Siouxsie And The Banshees – Juju :: 8.5/10 :: An absolute classic post-punk/garage-rock album. Wailing vocals, screeching guitars and all-round beautiful music :: Favourite Track = Monitor
7. John Frusciante – Smile From The Streets You Hold :: 8/10 :: If pure Heroin could sing, it would sound like this. Haunting, creepy, rude and unapologetic underproduced rock ballads. If I am not mistaken, this was made at the forefront of John’s horrid addiction :: Favourite Track = Femininity
8. Deafheaven – Sunbather :: 6.5/10 :: Apparently, this is an undefinable genre. However, Black Metal, Shoegaze, Post-Rock, Hardcore are perhaps the most prominent sub-genres that come to mind. Strangely beautiful. Awkwardly abrasive. After a more recent listen, I don’t feel like I am on the ever-growing Deafheaven bandwagon as much as I first thought I was :: Favourite Track = Vertigo
9. Pink Floyd – Atom Heart Mother :: 9/10 :: A Classic. Softer than other releases, with certainly much more of a ‘ballad’ feel to most songs. Quirky, cute and always a pleasure :: Favourite Track = Summer ’68 OR Alan’s Psychedelic Breakfast
1. Harmonium – L’heptade :: 9/10 :: Beautiful alt-prog rock; perfectly orchestrated. A stand-out album in the genre, with stylings that rival the likes of Pink Floyd. Favourite track = Comme Un Fou
2. Bonnie Prine Billy – Wolfroy Goes To Town :: 7/10 :: Some delightful alternative country by singer-songwriter Will Oldham. A swelling LP, that keeps you captivated through the wounded vocals and the raw tones. Favourite Track = Quail and Dumplings
3. Angel Olsen – Half Way Home :: 8/10 :: A dark and haunting country release. Olsen’s vocals are just chilling as she croons over some authentic country backings. Favourite Track = Acrobat
4. Brian Eno – Another Green World :: 7/10 :: Eno’s first journey into a more ambient art-pop sound. The album revolves mainly around new-wave instrumentals, with the occasional vocal track. Very charismatic release. Favourite Track = Golden Hours
5. Bjork – Medulla :: 8/10 :: Brutal, hard hitting avant-garde a cappella songs. Beatboxing, yelling, and belting; all drenched in the shadow of the Icelandic Choir. Extremely interesting album. Favourite Track = Who Is It
6. The National – Alligator :: 8.5/10 :: More indie-rock from a prominent name in the genre. As I venture further back into this band’s discography, the albums get more and more raw. Catchy and very well written songs. Favourite Track = Secret Meeting
7. Red House Painters – Songs For a Blue Guitar :: 6/10 :: Classic 90’s pop-rock. Acoustic ballads drenched in the flavour of it’s era. Favourite Track = I Feel The Rain Fall
8. The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree :: 5.5/10 :: A folk-rock album that thrives only in regards to it’s lyrics based around childhood violence and drug abuse. Easy listening. Favourite Track = This Year
9. Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie Prince Billy – What The Brothers Sang :: 7/10 :: Two modern country greats coming together for an album of everlasting pleasant vibes. Polished tracks with a nostalgic feel. Favourite Track = My Little Yellow Bird
1. Black Milk – No Poison No Paradise :: 7/10 :: Well produced instrumentals and sincere lyrics compliment each other on this album although there are some interludes that don’t need to be there. Sounds like Danny Brown’s more tame style, as opposed to his high pitch voice :: Favourite Track = Perfected On Puritan Ave.
2. The Amity Affliction – Chasing Ghosts :: 8/10 :: Thoroughly enjoyable album that’s well produced, aggressive and emotional at times. Satisfying instrumentals that include heavy breakdowns and catchy melodies, which is essential in the pop-punk realm :: Favourite Track = R.I.P Bon
3.Clipping – Mid City :: 10/10 :: Truly unique and jaw-dropping experimental rap. This isn’t an album for dancing or relaxing and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it as background music when studying. It’s not just music, it’s an experience. Never before have I heard a more well-executed flow on an opening track :: Favourite Track = guns.up
4. Death Grips – Government Plates :: 9/10 :: (See last week):: Favourite Track = Anne Bonny.
5. Andrew Jackson Jihad – Knife Man :: 8/10 :: Folk and Alt. Rock superbly combined to create catchy tunes. Lyricism that’s abrupt and confronting at times yet abstract at other times :: Favourite Track = American Tune.
6. Lil B – Pink Flame :: SWAG/10 :: SWAG. SWAG. WOOP. MARTHA STUART. OKAY?! :: Favourite Track = Flex 36
7. Arctic Monkeys – AM :: 7/10 :: The first Arctic Monkeys Album I’ve heard since their debut. I probably need to hear this a couple of more times to get a true opinion of it but so far I’m hearing well produced sounds and some memorable melodies. However, I still prefer their fast-paced tracks of their debut album :: Favourite Track = One for the Road.
8.OutKast – Stankonia:: 8/10 :: A really fun album that contains quirky instrumentation and creative lyricism. However, this is album is stung by a couple of filler tracks. :: Favourite Track = Ms. Jackson.
9. Action Bronson – Blue Chips 2 :: 8/10 (See last week) :: Favourite Track = Pepe Lopez.
1. Jedi Mind Tricks – The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological And Electro-Magnetic Manipulation Of Human Consciousness:: 8.5/10 :: Dark hip hop laden with occult themes. Uses fantastic and creepy production without sounding cheesy:: Favourite Track = Chinese Water Torture
2. Bjork – Medulla:: 10/10 :: Despite the cringeworthy album art, this album cannot be given enough credit. Bjork will drag you along a journey of the voice as she wails and grunts and beatboxes her way through an a capella masterpiece. Goes from gorgeous to downright scary at times. Not a recommended starting point for Bjork :: Favourite Track = Oceania
3. Jedi Mind Tricks – Legacy of Blood:: 2/10 :: JMT lost all credibility with me on this one. Though production is passable, lines such as “Listen I ain’t gonna play no more/Beat a f*ggot till he ain’t f*cking gay no more” were all too common. The problem is the addition on Vinnie Paz to the collective, who amounts to nothing more than a homophobic Immortal Technique sound-alike:: Favourite Track = On The Eve of War
4. John Frusciante – Smile From The Streets You Hold:: 9/10 :: Deep in the trenches of heroin addiction, Johnboy has produced the least apologetic piece of work I have ever heard. He screeches and produces some experimental-ass rock :: Favourite Track = Enter A Uh
5. MF DOOM – Mm…Food :: 7.5/10 :: Fun raps with a culinary theme. Fantastic sampling. Doom is a wonderful lyricist and has great flow to match :: Favourite Track = Potholderz
6. Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home:: 7/10 :: Enjoyable folk/blues, with the main selling point being Dylans beautiful poetry, as usual :: Favourite Track = Maggies Farm
7. Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven:: 10/10 :: Known as ‘plunderphonics’, this album is an exploration of samples which drip rich texture. I find it difficult to describe exactly what is so enjoyable about this album, yet time and time again I find myself enveloped in the atmosphere it has achieved :: Favourite Track = Along
8. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Exodus :: 6/10 :: Pleasant reggae music. Kept me interested right through which is more than most reggae albums have achieved :: Favourite Track = Jammin
9. Quasimoto – Yessir Whatever:: 9/10 :: Quasimoto is the rap alter-ego of producer Madlib. As such, the album has the recognisable production of Madlib, with strange pitch shifted rapping which shouldn’t work but somehow does :: Favourite Track = Catchin’ the Vibe
Every Monday, my musically literate friends and I shall produce a Grid of 9 albums we have listened to/enjoyed the most over the last week, generated using our Last.Fm accounts. It may educate, inspire or even arouse you! We are similar sometimes…other times we are polar opposites. If you don’t feel like reading, look at all the PRETTY PICTURES! We don’t mind if you pick favourites. In fact, our egos thank you in advance.
1. Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball :: 7.5/10 :: One of Country music’s most renowned voices, with one of her later albums from the 90s. Soft and subtle tunes turn into crunchy and up-beat jams :: Favourite Track = Sweet Old World
2. ((sounder)) – If We Don’t Get Better :: 8/10 :: Mike Aho’s fuzz-folk project is sumptuous and invigorating. Perfectly rough folk/pop music that may be one of my favourite Bandcamp finds of the year :: Favourite Track = Head East
3. Various Artists – Sorrow Come Pass Me Around :: 7/10 :: A collection of rural black religious music, from Blues to acapella to gospel. Dust To Digital have done a remarkable job by unearthing this beautifully raw music :: Favourite Track = By The Grace Of My Lord, I’ve Come A Long Way
4. Bob Dylan – Desire :: 10/10 :: Reminiscing about an all-time classic this week. With disgustingly intriguing Middle-Eastern and gypsy influences, it is no wonder this is a timeless release :: Favourite Track = One More Cup Of Coffee
5. Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Wolfroy Goes To Town :: 9/10 :: One of my absolute favourite Will Oldham releases. Twangy alt-country/folk, with haunting melodies and instrumentation, and the ever-chilling presence of Angel Olsen’s howling vocal :: Favourite Track = Quail And Dumplings
6. Mission Of Burma – Vs. :: 7/10 :: Classic Post-Punk release from a somewhat forgotten punk band. Any Joy Division fans will lap this up, if they haven’t already :: Favourite Track = Trem Two
7. Red House Painters – Songs For A Blue Guitar :: 9.5/10 :: Slowcore/dark-folk/alternative rock. One of the best things the 90s ever produced :: Favourite Track = Make Like Paper
8. Gas – Pop :: 7/10 :: One of my favourite ambient albums. An infectious lullaby of natural beauty and grandiose synths :: Favourite Track = Pop 1
9. Bill Callahan – Dream River :: 9/10 :: Mr. Callahan has outdone himself with what may be one of his best releases to date. Folk storytelling at its ripest :: Favourite Track = Small Plane
1. Yuck- Yuck :: 6.5/10 :: Raw yet refined indie-rock with a nostalgic 90’s aesthetic. Ranging from crunchy distorted head-bangers, to polished acoustic sing-alongs :: Favourite Track = Get Away
2. Arcade Fire- Funeral :: 9/10 :: A favourite album of mine, and a classic indie-rock album by anyone’s standards. Each tracks puts forward flawlessly genre-appropriate stylings, as well as melodies and hooks that will be locked in your brain for weeks to come :: Favourite Track = Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)
3. The Tallest Man On Earth- There’s No Leaving Now :: 8/10 :: A gravely folk record to make you dance, cry, then dance again. Kristian Matsson growls his cryptic yet picturesque lyrics over a backdrop of flowing guitar picking :: Favourite Track = Wind And Walls
4. Lou Reed- Transformer :: 8/10 ::Not much needs to be said about this masterful rock & roll LP. The late and great Mr Reed orchestrated some powerful bass-lines and truly gritty guitar tones in all his tracks :: Favourite Track = Walk On The Wild Side
5. Adam Green – Friends Of Mine :: 7/10 :: This folk-rock album cannot be flawed in regards to cleanliness and perfect melodies. Adam’s ironic approach to music continues to impress me, and his lyrics continue to make me giggle like a little school girl :: Favourite Track = The Prince’s Mine
6. Neutral Milk Hotel – Ferris Wheel on Fire :: 7/10 :: Acoustic folk, with a brutality that you would expect from the songwriting of Jeff Mangum. Harsh, unapologetic, and beautiful :: Favourite Track = Ferris Wheel On Fire
7. Submotion Orchestra- Finest Hour :: 5/10 ::Smooth and sensual electronic jazz. The female vocals croon delicately over rich bass-lines and dub inspired grooves :: Favourite Track = Angel Eyes
8. Bob Dylan – Desire :: 9/10 :: A folk album that I’m mad at myself for not acquiring sooner. His story telling is as strong as ever, and the album as a whole delves into influences that he has never visited before :: Favourite Track = Hurricane
9. Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde :: 6.5/10 :: Lo-fi indie-rock, with fuzzy garage/surfy flavours. The tracks are awash with reverby synths and jangly guitar riffs :: Favourite Track = End Of The Night
1. Chase and Status – Brand New Machine :: 7/10 :: A refreshing take on DnB with some groovy reggae vibes and interesting guest vocals :: Favourite Track = Black and Blu
2. Kanye West – Yeezus :: 8/10 :: Another worthy addition to Ye’s portfolio. Innovative sounds and an aggressive flow when necessary make this a captivating listen at all times :: Favourite Track = Bound 2
3. Action Bronson – Blue Chips 2 :: 9/10 :: The presence of one or two ‘filler’ tracks may have prevented this from being a 10. Nevertheless, Bronson’s back with a mix-tape that reflects his unique style :: Favourite Track = Pepe Lopez
4. Danny Brown – Old :: 8/10 :: Just like his last album, Brown has segregated the personal tracks from the party tracks. Lyrical mastery from Brown combined with great production from A-Track is a winning formula :: Favourite Track = Undecided
5. The Weeknd – Kissland :: 9/10 :: Thoroughly enjoyable album, excellent production and a great voice. Even the bonus tracks on this are superb. The synths on some of these tracks convey an 80’s vibe that The Weeknd has “contemporized” brilliantly :: Favourite Track = Undecided
6. A$AP Rocky – Long Live A$AP :: 6.5/10 :: The first half of this album is pretty strong but fizzles out after 1 Train which is arguably the best collaboration I’ve heard in a while between similar artists to A$AP. With great production and catchy melodies, it’s an enjoyable listen for the most part :: Favourite Track = 1 Train
7. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris :: 7.5/10 :: Second to Tyler in the Odd Future collective, Earl has some impressive and impacting lyrics combined with haunting yet memorable instrumentals. Doris is undoubtedly an improvement from his previous solo effort :: Favourite Track = Sasquatch
8. Death Grips – Government Plates :: 9/10 :: Raw, gritty and hard-hitting (and similar words) are what first come to mind when describing this album. Sounds like they’ve listened to the feedback after NO LOVE DEEP WEB and reconnected with the similar themes that the Death Grips fan base fell in love with :: Favourite Track = Anne Bonny
9. J. Cole – Born Sinner :: 8/10 :: An easy and enjoyable listen that’s brilliantly produced and rightly praised by critics everywhere. There is the danger of quantity of quality here with one or two tracks being slightly lacklustre. Don’t let this put you off though :: Favourite Track = Undecided
3. M.I.A – Matangi :: 8/10 ::The musical equivalent of a middle eastern robot party on meth. Undeniable fun for less serious times :: Favourite Track = Warriors
4. Boards of Canada – A Few Old Tunes vol. 2 :: 7/10 :: Essentially the same as volume 1 :: Favourite Track = Undecided
5. NAH – Die Bad :: 7.5/10 :: Experimental beat music. Very gritty, crunchy vibe :: Favourite Track = Undecided
6. DJ Koze – Amygdala :: 4/10 :: I know very little about house, so all I really have to say is that I found this fairly boring :: Favourite Track = Tormentor II
7. Spark Master Tape – The #SWOUP Serengeti :: 8.5/10 :: Rap which sounds influenced by the likes of A$AP Rocky or DJ Screw. Pitch shifted gangsta rap which is often so overstated that it sounds hilarious and ironic. Fantastically fun sampling and bassy production :: Favourite Track = Leave My Crib
8. James Blake – James Blake :: 10/10 :: My favourite album. This album achieves a cold, minimal, stripped back sound which compliments Blakes voice which has been aptly compared to a bruise :: Favourite Track = Wilhelms Scream
9. Daniel Avery – Drone Logic :: 6/10 :: Continuing my exploration of house, this my be the first of the genre I’ve enjoyed. Predictable house bets provide the foundation for Avery’s tinkering on top of the mix which could be compared to Immunity by Jon Hopkins :: Favourite Track = Undecided