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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Doccortex's Festive Fifty 2014 (50-41)

It's that time of the year again when we publish our favourite fifty tracks of the year. Any genre, any era and just one entry per artist. So without further ado here's the first ten for this year...

50. Austra - The Villain

Lacklustre offering from a poor album (Feel it Break)

49. Banco de Gaia - Lamentations

Average atmospheric wailing from veteran dance music producers.

48. CocoRosie - End of Time

Odd quirky rap from the Casady sisters. I'm not that impressed.

47. Deadmau5 (sic) Dead Mouse - My Pet Coelacanth

Average electronic fun from people so cool the standard alphabet is not enough for them.

46. Allo Darlin' - Kiss your Lips

Elizabeth Morris adopts a strange accent for this twee outing from the eponymou5 album.

45. Queens of the Stone Age - I Sat by the Queen

Agreeable standard issue number from tired alternative rockers.

44. The Geraldine Fibbers - Toybox

The best of a bad bunch from the 'Butch' album.

43. Susheela Raman - Sharabi

Quality slice of eastern folk fusion from the British Indian songstress with big hair.

42. Fernhill - Folentein

Stark welsh tooting with a little bit of singing on the end. Lovely!

41. Bob Mould - The Silence Between Us

More of the trademark sound from the stalwart beardy popster.


Monday, 22 December 2014

Allo Darlin’ – Allo Darlin’ LP

Regular readers will know how much we loved Allo Darlin’s 2012 LP ‘Europe’ so it seemed only polite to give its predecessor, 2010’s eponymously titled album a spin. In some ways it’s a disappointment as it never quite lives up to the consistency and quality of ‘Europe’, however this is still a great album by anyone else’s standards, and throw in the flagship single ‘Dreaming’, which I’d already played to death, and you’re onto a winner. It’s quirkier and more twee than its more polished successor but there are odd flashes of brilliance if you can get past the irritation factor.

Top of the irritation list Elizabeth Morris’ accent on several tracks which sounds at best false and at worst attention seeking, with the worst offender being the chorus of ‘Kiss Your Lips’ where I almost needed subtitles to understand what was going on (I kassed your laps and they were kinduv salteee.). It’s not an Aussie drawl or a twee British stiff upper lip, it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before! And secondly there’s the super twee nature of some of the lyrics, exemplified by the excruciating ‘Heartbeat Chilli’, with its introverted cookery related monologue.

Anyway that’s the rant over. This is actually a solid and enjoyable album that chugs along with consistency and singalongability. If it wasn’t for the accent then ‘Kiss Your Lips’ would have been the standout track, but with its obvious limitations I’d have plump for the quiet confidence of ‘Let’s go Swimming’. Also worthy of a mention are the beautiful silky ‘Silver Dollars’, the desperation of ‘If Loneliness was Art’ and the slightly cloying but catchy ‘Woody Allen’.  

The whole thing is a bit too sickly sweet for my tastes, but the song-writing shows the promise that would ultimately lead to Europe. Hopefully there’s and even better album to come in the near future.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Oliver Koletzki featuring Fran – Hypnotised

Pick of the Week 59 – Oliver Koletzki

A nifty little house number from Oliver Koletzki with silky vocals from the wholesome looking Fran. Their other numbers is equally agreeable and nine million hits on YouTube shows that it’s not all willfully obscure stuff at Into the Valley… A lovely homemade video in a park, a smart frock and just a hint of submarine sounds; what more do you want?

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Terry Lynn – Kingston Logic 2.0

After enjoying Terry’s Kingston Logic track on the Rough Trade compilation I was curious to discover whether she had more little gems up her sleeve on the album of the same name. The answer is a resounding yes, but in unusual and interesting ways. The album veers away from the hardcore dance of the title track and instantly strays into MIA territory but with a distinctly spicy Jamaican flavour. It’s political, passionate and there’s lots of gunshot samples.

If the album was a film it would certainly be a gritty film. Terry covers a range of topics from poverty, the system, street life, violence and the International Monetary Fund to name but a few, so this is not one for the feint hearted. But if the social comment, hard hitting lyrics and pounding rhythms are the meat and two veg, then the gravy is definitely Terry’s fantastic accent. She refreshingly makes no attempt to hide her Jamaican roots and her voice adds an authenticity and realism to these tales of urban decay. If only we had a Yorkshire version of MIA.

Aside from the aforementioned title track the pick of the bunch are the soulful aspirational message of ‘Destiny’, the political economics lesson of ‘IMF’ and best of all, the guttural growl of ‘Streetlife’ which sees Terry reach world record levels of broadness in her Jamaican accent. Throw in some decent dancehall tunes like ‘Stone’ and the odd remix and you’ve got a good value package.

It’s a different, intelligent and engaging mix of songs that celebrates the culture of Jamaica. It’s like MIA, but then again that’s perhaps a lazy comparison as there is so much more to like about this album that is out of Maya’s frame of reference. Well worth a listen.