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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Doccortex's Festive 40 2011 (10-1)

Here it is, the moment you've all been waiting for. The all important rundown of my Festive 40 from 10-1! Hope you enjoy.

10 Sa Dingding - Girl in the Green Dress - (Harmony LP)
Beautiful Chinese electronic action from Sa Dingding. One of the big surprises of the year and one of the best LPs. Sorry this video is the best I can do.

9 Bloc Party - Positive Tension - (Silent Alarm LP)
Another surprise as I never liked the look of Bloc Party, but I really loved this album. The last minute of this song is supreme. A job hunting soundtrack.

8 Belle & Sebastian - I want the World to Stop - (Write About Love LP)
Say what you want about them, but they still know how to pen the perfect three minute pop song. The album was patchy, but this one and the title track were a reminder of how good B&S can be.

7 New Order - Dracula's Castle - (Waiting for the Siren's Call LP)
From a long forgotten album that I never knew existed, New Order finally produced a consistently brilliant LP. 'Dracula's Castle' is up there with their best, well almost.

6 Guided by Voices - Hold on Hope - (Do the Collapse LP)
This song feel like an old friend this year for a variety of reasons. Loved the whole album.

5 Panic at the Disco - That Green Gentleman - (Pretty Odd LP)
How can you not like Panic at the Disco? The whole album is brilliant and uncommercial. I could have happily picked any of the tracks for the Festive 40.

4 Leatherface - Nutcase - (The Stormy Petrel LP)
Delving into the Leatherface back catalogue unearthed a great album and two or three truly great songs. Not as good as their earlier stuff, but still good enough to go top 5.

3 Eels - Unhinged - (End Times LP)
More quality from Mark Oliver Everett, but I'm beginning to think I'm his only audience. Did very little business on the blog with the review.

2 Caitlin Rose - Own Side - (Own Side Now LP)
Sugary sweet alt-country classic. It defies you not to sing along.

1 Led er Est - Scissors - (Rough Trade Synth Wave 2010)
The surprise of the year. Mysterious, unpolished and gritty electro form a great compilation. Hopefully an annual release from Rough Trade. Really looking forward to listening to the Led er Est LP next year!

Doccortex's Festive 40 2011 (20-11)


Here we go then, for the next instalment of the Festive 40. Hopefully there's something to tickle your fancy in my selections from 20-11.

20 Laura Marling - What He Wrote - (I Speak because I can LP)
Not greatly impressed by the album, but this song has really grown on me. Marling has great potential and hopefully this will come to fruition in the new album.

19 Pantha du Prince - Lay in a Shimmer - (Black Noise LP)
Glockenspiels, cowbells and people blowing over the tops of milk bottles in a tinkly-winkly, mellow techno treat.

18 Agnes Obel - Riverside - (Philharmonics LP)
Easily the most atmospheric album of the year. Agnes produces minimal compositions with beautiful piano and emotive lyrics, with 'Riverside' one of the best examples.

17 Allo Darlin - Dreaming - (Rough Trade Counter Culture 2010)
Twee indie fun with boy/girl vocalists. The most typical Rough Trade song ever!

16 Eliza Carthy - Britain is a Carpark - (Neptune LP)
What is wrong with Britain? The apathy over Eliza Carthy just baffles me. Virtually no hits on the blog but this song is a cracker.

15 Heavenly - Trophy Girlfriend - (Operation Heavenly LP)
The beginning of my trawl through the Heavenly back catalogue unearthed this gem from the queen of twee, Amelia Fletcher and her cronies from 1996.

14 Infected Mushroom - 9% - (Heat Seekers - Israeli Trance Allstars LP)
Easily the best track on the compilation. Where would the world be without a bit of Infected Mushroom? Pure quality every time.

13 Amy Macdonald - Don't tell me that it's Over - (A Curious Thing LP)
Where did Amy Macdonald spring from and why is she so popular on the blog? This really grew on me through the year and I'm looking forward to listening to some of her earlier work this year.

12 Tinariwen - Tahult In - (Imidiwan LP)
I was semi-obsessed with this track for the first half of the year. The kings of Saharan Blues just keep churning out the classics.

11 Bright Eyes - Lover I don't Have to Love - (Lifted LP)
The King of Camp-Acoustic comes up trumps again with a fantastic LP and this little ditty is the pick of the bunch. Another Daughter of Doccortex favourite too.

So that completes tonight's entertainment. See you tomorrow for that all important rundown from 10-1.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Doccortex's Festive 40 2011 (30-21)

Here's today's selections and hopefully things are hotting up a bit. Hope you enjoy 30-21 of this year's Festive 40.

30 Actress - Casanova - (Rough Trade Counter Culture 2010)
Squelchy electronic fun from an artist I know nothing about. I'm sure we'll here more from them in the future though. Sorry no video available.

29 John Grant - Jesus Hates... - (Rough Trade Counter Culture 2010)
Lyrically clever and profound John Grant's contribution to the Rough Trade compilation was also a favourite of Daughter of Doccortex too.

28 Dub Collosus - Guragigna - (Top of the World 77)
Ethiopian music with a twist from the excellent Songlines compilation.

27 Taraf de Haidouks - Cintec de Dragoste Si Joc - (Honourable Brigands LP)
I was really into this earlier in the year and semi-obsessed with the album. It's an acquired taste I guess.

26 The Wilders - This Old Town - (Top of the World 78)

Harmonic alt-country sing-a-long. Check out the live video of them performing the song at some festival.

25 The Fratellis - Shameless - (Here We Stand LP)
Unfashionable pub rock from the kings of the indie lower leagues.

24 Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work - (Tourist History LP)
Fashionable harmonic indie from the band every teenager now loves. We were there first and virtually discovered them single handedly. Not convinced at first but this one is real grower.

23 Dhol Foundation - After the Rain - (Top of the World 76)
The perfect combination of Asian drumming and Irish fiddling in an epic chunk of world music fusion.

22 50 Foot Wave - Long Painting - (50 Foot Wave LP)
Kristin Hersh turns back the clock with a bit of shouty indie folk-rock from new combo 50 Foot Wave.

21 Love Triangle - Splendid Living - (Rough Trade Counter Culture 2010)
Like some primitive early version of the Wedding Present Love Triangle provided us with one of the most memorable singles of the year.

So that's it for this evening, with a mix of classic world tunes and indie oddities. Tomorrow night it's the top 20, so we may see a few more familiar names.

Doccortex's Festive 40 2011 (40-31)

Happy new year to all our readers! Here's my forty favourite tracks form this year in time-honoured Festive 50 format. The rules are the same as Evlkeith' festive chart with tracks qualifying as long as I purchaesd the CD this year. Hope there's one or two that you enjoy. So let's get started with 40-31 selections...

40 UNKLE - Celestial Annihilation - (Psyence Fiction LP)This just sneaked in to the chart this year. The LP is not a particular favourite, but the DJ Shadow influence means there's a decent bit of hip-hop flavour and I quite like the samples.


38 Asa - Be My Man - (Beautiful Imperfection LP)Accessible world music for the masses. Wife of Doccortex likes this a lot. For me it's too sugary sweet and sounds like a cross between Kelis and Alesha Dixon which can't be a good thing.

37 Alison Kraus - Paper Airplane - (Top of the World 76)Yee-ha! The first of the Alt-Country entries and it's really grown on me. Singalong bluegrass with beautiful vocals and catchy chorus.

36 Bat for Lashes - Daniel - (Two Suns LP) Not all wilfully obscure stuff! This is the least goth-influenced and dirgey number from the album. It's much better with the video I think.

35 Art Brut - Nag Nag Nag Nag - (It's a Bit Complicated LP)Sounds a bit like the 'talky' bits from Serious Drinking songs. Walks a bit of a tight rope between fun and annoying, but loved the line about 'I'd rather be damp than seen in jeans'.

34 The Fall - Dr. Bucks' Letter - (The Unutterable)No Festive chart is complete without the Fall. The last minute of this is pure quality, with Mark E Smith reading a magazine article about Pete Tong in his own unique style.

33 Forty Thieves Orkestar - Last Band Standing (Top of the World 77)Feel good world music from the Balkans, apparently inspired by jamming with a belly dancing band. Need I say more?

32 Juju - Night Walk - (Top of the World 78)Collaborative fun involving African vocals, fiddles and pounding base rhythms.

31 Nkata Mawewe - Khulumani (Rough Trade Counter Culture 2010)Chiptune meets African wailing in an intoxicating cocktail of contrasting styles.

39 Bob Dylan - Ballad of Hollis Brown - (The Times they are A-Changin LP)My first experience of Dylan and although I respect the concept, I'm still not convinced by the song-writing. Loved the overall atmosphere of 'Hollis Brown' though and his voice is a bit less nasally than on the rest of the album.

Evlkeith's Festive 50 - 10 to 1

Strap yourself in for the final ten in this year's Festive 50. It could be a bumpy ride.

10. Placebo - Pitchfork - Eucalyptus
When I found out that John Rice/Reece and Rick Froberg had collaborated in another group, I was a bit giddy. The album’s okay, but this song’s a cracker. It’s surprisingly tuneful for a Rick Froberg number.

9. Run - Obits - I Blame You
I so giddy again, when I discovered that Rick Froberg (Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) had a new popular music combo. It’s a shame then, that my favourite track is the only one he doesn’t sing. Not quite sure who does sing it, but it’s great. The guitar solo as the music kicks back in, is subtle, but meaty.

8. Aspirina - Noção de Nada - Sem Gelo
Brazilian hardcore rockers produce the goods yet again with a strangely sing-a-long number. If you’re Brazilian. Clocking in at 2:13 you don’t get bored either. One of the best starts to a song this year.

7. Wretched World - Converge - Axe To Fall
It’s strange, that on an album of fast screamy shouty numbers, I’d go for a slow one like this. I couldn’t cope with a full album of slowness, but variety is the spice of life. Play very loud for maximum effect, especially as it builds towards the end. This one has really grown on me.

6. Higher Love (Slipmatt Remix) - J.D.’s - Best Of Bonkers
I bought this album because there were 60 odd tracks for £2. How can you go wrong? Quite badly actually. £2 for one great track isn’t quite as appealing. This is worth it though. The main vocal line is cracking. Plus you get a stupid fast housey piano.

5. Sex Jam Two: Insect Incest - Milemarker - Frigid Forms Sell
Milemarker was one of my happy findings from trawling through the free downloads on last year, so I decided to take the plunge and buy a full album. Mmm. Not that great. But this song is a corker. Relatively unshouty until two and a half minutes in, and then it all kicks off. Brilliant. Plus there’s a sweaty gentleman and lady on the front cover.

4. Coloris - she - Coloris
A fantastic track from a fantastic album. This is the first album by she that you have to pay for, but it is well worth the money. Based on other stuff I’ve paid good money for (cough * Younger brother * cough) I’d pay way more for this. Quality chiptune for the masses.

3. This Is Not The End - Renton - TAKE-OFF
Free download from Very slightly like The Smiths, except from Poland, this one sounds like it could have hailed from the 80s rather than 2008. You find yourself singing the chorus occasionally and the final repetition has a fair bit of energy to it.

2. Atomic - she - Orion
Narrowly missing out on the top spot and I thought that this would be number one for ages. When I first heard it, I wished that I could hear it properly without all of the cutting out action. Now, I want more of the cutty, glitchy business. One of the best uses of an inhalation too.

1. Make Me Real - she - Make Me Real - Single
And so to my number one for 2011. I’ve listened to this track so many times since I downloaded it. Gorgeous breathy vocals with beautiful lyrics, the song builds and builds to a cracking bit of power chord action along with the final partial chorus. This song never fails to have an effect on me and amazingly it’s free! You can support she by buying the two full price albums, ‘Coloris’ and ‘Orion’. They’re both well worth it.

So, 2011 has definitely been the year of she. A veritable hidden gem found amidst the general low quality products that constitute the free downloads. There’s a new album next year, supposedly. I'm really looking forward to that. All that remains to say, is put on your smoking jacket, enjoy a glass of port and have a Happy New Year.


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Evlkeith's Festive 50 - 20 to 11

Only two posts left now. It's getting vaguely exciting. Or not. Depending on your perspective. Let's start with number 20 then.

20. Meccamputechture - The Mars Volta - Amputechture
Cracking start to this song. You then have to wait another nine minutes for the main hook to come back. When it does come back, it’s worth the wait. Typical Mars Volta. The little tinkers.
You tube ‘The Mars Volta - Meccamputechture’ Second one, black with white and grey writing.

19. Scottish Windows - Buffalo Tom - Smitten
Another one from Buffalo Tom, just a different album this time. I’ve got all their other albums and then I saw this one to buy that I’d somehow missed. Same as all the others really, but if you like Buffalo Tom, you’ll like it. Gentle and sing-a-long for a change.

18. Tommy - Portugal. The Man - Waiter: “You Vultures!”
A lovely song from those punctuation lovers Portugal. The Man. I wasn’t that hopeful for this album when I bought it, but it really grew on me. The whole album is not too shabby. I love the part in this track where the main guitar comes back in just before the chorus.

17. Nintendokore - Sabrepulse - Nintendokore EP
Premium quality proper chiptune from Sabrepulse. Fairly insane drumming and an intense ending all add up to a cracking track. If you like chiptune.

16. Knee-Deep In The North Sea - Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep In The North Sea
Wait a minute while I put my polo neck on. Right, sorted. I feel in the mood for someone tooting a saxophone over someone else playing steel drums (allegedly a ‘hang’, steel drum more like). The experimental jazz sections of Mars Volta’s stuff prepares you for this track. Surprisingly good. If you want to listen to the whole album though, you really need a London dockside apartment. And a beard.

15. Faux Show (Shimmy Shimmy Ya Remix) - Kraddy - Truth Has No Path
Most people would probably disagree with the ‘That’s a fun sound’ quote from the start of the track. Most people would say, ‘That’s a really irritating sound’. I like it though. It’s definitely a track that requires some pimp hand movements. If you feel the need.

14. Straight American Slave - Rocket From The Crypt - Group Sounds
Similar to Buffalo Tom in that, if you like one album, you’ll like them all. Distorted guitars, horn section, gravel voiced shouty fellow John Rice/Reese, a recipe for success every time. 

13. Lucky Horses - The Wheels Of Sorrow - Cycle
Free download from Gatecrashing the party at the last minute come The Wheels Of Sorrow from Russia. It is quite catchy, so I’m wary of placing it too high; it hasn’t proved itself over time yet. They’ve only done four tracks sadly. Would love to hear more by these cheery characters.

12. Trajes E Comportamentos - Noção de Nada - Trajes e Comportamentos de Acordo com os Eventos e as Ocasiões
From the longest album title in the Festive 50 (I’m not quite sure what that now rules out) comes a track from our favourite Brazilian rockers, Noção de Nada. Quality start and a quality rock ending all combine to make a half decent song. 

11. Project 100 - Infected Mushroom - Legend Of The Black Shawarma
You’re always guaranteed quality produce from Infected Mushroom and this album is no exception. I initially was oblivious to this track. It just washed over me. Then I bought some new speakers and listened to this track as part of a test. Played loud on good speakers, it’s a revelation. The highlight is actually a small section of pure silence at 6:44. Brilliant stuff.

And sadly, that's your lot. You'll have to wait until tomorrow night for the final instalment. See you then.


Monday, 26 December 2011

Evlkeith's Festive 50 - 30 to 21

Welcome back to the middle section of my Festive 50. There should be a few more choice offerings in this section. Hopefully. I like them anyway.

30. Drumming Song - Florence & The Machine - Lungs
This has been popping up on my Amazon recommendations for ages, but I never really fancied it. Then someone lent it to me. Why was it recommended to me? Far too catchy. This one’s good though, it took me a while to get into it and it improved on subsequent listenings.

29. Breakawaii - Lolishit - LOLI JUICE
Premium extreme hardcore chip tune action with this one. Warning - don’t listen to the full album then accompany it with a bit of Sabrepulse. Really hard work.

28. Ecologia del Delitto (Titoli) - Stelvio Cipriani - Ecologia del Delitto
This is the title track from the film A Bay of Blood by Mario Bava. Possibly the best thing about the film. Why can’t new films have soundtracks like this?

27. Happier - A Fine Frenzy - Bomb In A Birdcage
Slightly similar to Fiona Apple’s stuff, this is quite a pleasant little number. The whole album is listenable, even to a grizzled shouty screamy boy like me.

26. Naked Sun - ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - So Divided
Nowhere near as harsh as their name makes them sound. Every album of theirs is fairly standard issue. This song has got a good little break in the middle with a horn section.

25. Your Sun is a Destroyer - I Create - Complete Medley
Free download from I like the mixture of clean jangly guitars, restrained drumming and someone screaming their lungs out until they vomit them up in a little pool of spit on the floor. Plus you can download the whole album for free.

24. Ashtray - edIT - Crying Over Pros for No Reason
This is one for all those people who love their tracks to be cut up and chopped around. It’s amazing how many different ways the underlying track is messed about. 

23. Fleeting Moments - Pocketbooks - Flight Paths
Free download from Doccortex will love this one. It should definitely have been released by Sarah. Have a listen and you’ll hear why.

22. Nothing Special - My Dad Is Dead - Shine(r)
Minor cheat, this one. I’ve heard the Peel Sessions version before, not the album version. It’s easily the best song on a disappointing album.
21. Argument - Fugazi - The Argument
I didn’t realise that I was missing a Fugazi album. But I was. So I bought it sharpish. I wasn’t really missing much. It’s okay, but not up there with their earlier albums. This track sounds like a midway point between Fugazi and The Evens. Good ending pulls it round.

It's hotting up now. Fugazi at number 21, you'd have thought they'd be higher. On the plus side that means 20 tracks better than Fugazi. I'm spoiling you. Come back tomorrow for 20 to 11.