Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mixtape Ahoy!

This week's mixtape has a new name. It's a bit of a crap name, but it's new all the same. Fill yer boots!


Disc One

  1. Isobel Campbell - James (She wrote a song for me! Squee! Anyway, 'James' appears on Isobel's new, low-key acoustic album, Milkwhite Sheets and it is a gorgeous, mood-setting instrumental, replete with lovely lashings of acoustic guitar, bongos (yes, bongos) and sweeping strings. Very nice it is too.)
  2. Klanguage - Chrysalis (I've been a little taken aback by electro-rock producer, Yuksek's band project, Klanguage, as it's nothing like anything we've heard thus far from Yuksek. His own stuff can be a bit too full-on, jackhammer nonesense for my tastes, but this track slowly unfolds, much like the titular pod to reveal the butterfly within the tough exterior.)
  3. 120 Days - Be Mine (Yet another buzz band from Scandinavia, but 120 Days are definitely worth a look-in. Theirs isn't the light poppery that we've come to expect from the fjords, but a narcotic, harsh buzz of gothic disco, Spacemen 3 atmos and Can's motorik. Very promising indeed.)
  4. The Killers - Bling (Confessions Of A King) (Don't look at me like that! This is actually a very fun, unpretentious, operatic pop-rock song, a bit like U2 used to do so well. A few more songs like this and, you never know, The Killers might well make their Joshua Tree next time around. Stranger things have happened.)
  5. The Changes - When I Wake (Back on the old blog, at the start of the year, I tipped these guys for big things this year. It hasn't really happened for them, but it should, as their album, Today Is Tonight is full of 70s-inflected, potential radio hits. Like Phoenix' new album? Try this.)
  6. Peter Bjorn & John - Amsterdam (Another funky pop confection from the Swedes, 'Amsterdam' proves that PB&J aren't one-song wonders. They're two-song wonders, at least.)
  7. My Bloody Valentine - Only Shallow (Possibly my favourite MBV song, 'Only shallow' perfectly encapsulates the beauty and the beastliness of this great band.)
  8. Mansun - Being A Girl (Part One) (I said enough about my secret love for Mansun the other day and this is one of my faves. Short, sweet and it says more about, y'know, stuff than any band today ever will do.)
  9. Glass Candy - Etheric Device (Glass Candy were on my mixtape the other week, but as long as they keep pumping out tunes as good as this, they can be on it every week. Come and play Manchester, please. And bring Chromatics with you.)
  10. Patrick Cowley - Mindwarp (Disco don, Patrick Cowley practically invented Hi-NRG and influenced some of your favourite bands along the way. 'Mindwarp''s sci-fi party vibes still sounds utterly contemporary, despite being recorded in 1982. Feel the mindwarp!)
  11. LSB - Original Highway Delight (Superb, laid back house music from Pete Herbert of Reverso 68. Came out of left-field on me this, to become one of my favourite tunes of the year. Got crossover potential too, but then again, it might be too good.)
  12. Lindstrom - The Contemporary Fix (Superior 12" version here. Better than the version on the It's A Feedelity Affair album, purely because it's got that excellent 303 line running all the way through it that makes it so damn addictive, especially when you hit that key change about two minutes in.)
  13. Kelley Polar - Here In The Night (The brilliance of Mr Polar's Love Songs Of The Hanging Gardens album only recently hit me, in the middle of a bus journey to work, with this track mainlining directly into my brain at full volume. It made me want to get up and do some really ill-advised dancing, but the fact that I'm British and, well, not insane stopped me from doing so. That would have been a sight, for sure!)
  14. The Orichalc Phase - Comatone (DC Recordings' Death Before Distemper doesn't have a bad track on it, so all that's left is to determine which are the best. At the moment, I'm repping for this slab of dark, psychedelic robo-funk, because it reminds me of early ACR.)
  15. A Certain Ratio - Flight (It wasn't exactly a massive cognitive leap to go from that into this, but then again, I'm not one to favour the obscure over the obvious really. An absolute, unsung Manc classic this.)
  16. Shitdisco - I Know Kung Fu (The jury's still out on Shitdisco as far as I'm concerned, but this is a charmingly slapdash percussive freakout that is better than their New Rave tag suggests.)

Disc Two

  1. Annuals - Brother (Current blog favourites and recent Ace Fu signings, Annuals take the rustic psych of Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear and marry it to an Arcade Fire-like directness, which means fist-pumping indie anthems with just a little bit of weirdness thrown in for good measure.)
  2. Mercury Rev - Chasing A Bee (Head-bending musical strangeness used to be the Rev's raison d'etre before they went all neo-classical and dumped David Baker in the process. The fact that they still do this live goes to show that they haven't completely forgotten where they came from and also acknowledges the fact that this is still one of their best songs.)
  3. The Walkmen - Subterranean Homesick Blues (The Walkmen's 'cover' of Nilsson and Lennon's Pussy Cats album has to be one of the most pointless releases of the year, but that doesn't stop it being occasionally a very fun record. Take this cover of a Dylan cover, where The Walkmen really cut loose with what sounds like all the band singing in unison, handclaps, sax and a kazoo. Crazy guys.)
  4. Klaxons - Magick (Ignore the NME-centric hyperbole and just focus on the music. With 'Magick', Klaxons let fly with manic drums and overdriven guitars before a floaty, quite beautiful breakdown. It climaxes with a feral intensity that belies their status as great white hopes. There's more at work here than the press would have you believe.)
  5. Joakim - I Wish You Were Gone (Dub) (Okay, so I passed on this when I first heard it for being more-DFA-than-DFA, but the more I hear it, the more it grabs me as a tune in it's own right. It still kind of feels like a DFA greatest tricks collage though.)
  6. Zombie Nation - Don't Touch (Whoo! Zombie Nation are back, baby! Funky electro-tech of the highest order.)
  7. Lordy - Off With His Head (Street-tough funk from Steve Kotey with a lo-slung disco edge. Superb.)
  8. Barfly - Heavy (The clue's in the title. Despite all the airy lasergun effects and peripheral sounds going off around it, the bassline anchors this track like a ten-ton weight.)
  9. Kate Simko - Strumm (Unai Remix) (Rising techno star and classically trained pianist, Simko gets the Unai treatment, which means that the remixer finds the heart in the machine and turns the original into a skittery, electro-soul blinder.)
  10. Dennis Parker - Like An Eagle (12" Disco Version) (The tragic story of porn star-turned-disco crooner, Dennis Parker is made all the more sad by the brilliance of this, the title track from his only album. Many, many thanks to Radio Slave for including this on his brilliant new mix, Creature Of The Night.)
  11. Of Montreal - Gronlandic Edit (Of Montreal have gone and made a weirdo-disco track on their forthcoming album, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?. We always knew they had it in them though.)
  12. Prince - Raspberry Beret (12" Version) (Because you can never have too much Prince.)
  13. Field Music - In Context (I think I said pretty much all I have to say about this wonderful song the other day, so I won't say anymore, lest I ruin it for myself.)
  14. The The - Uncertain Smile (Slowed down to a crawl by Rub 'N' Tug on their Better With A Spoonful Of Leather mix from earlier in the year, nothing compares to the original from this most-overlooked band. A good place to end things, I think.)

Disc One (Zipped and Megauploaded)

Disc Two (Zipped and Megauploaded)

Bye for now,



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