Thursday, 31 December 2009

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Songs of Praise: Best Songs of '09

I was going to put a little piece up the latest Space Invader show but the show was actually a collaborative effort by myself and Colin Cubikmusik, so instead I'll just direct towards his blog where he rounds it all up very nicely.

If you just want to listen again, you can do so here:

Saturday, 26 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 1 : Heroes of the year

1. Burial and Four Tet

Is it cheating to have two people at the number one? Not if between them, their tracks are three of my favourites of the year and their collaboration was my number 1.

I guess 2009 was actually a quiet year for both of them - their entire collected output would probably come to somewhere around 30 minutes of actual music. Firstly Burial, who after all the Mercury prize and outing fiasco last year, kept away from the spotlight and his only release was to be a part of the Hyperdub anniversary compilation.

Four Tet dropped the first single from his forthcoming album late in year and showed that he still knows what works on the dancefloor after a couple of experimental free jazz albums. His choice of remixes was also spot on with Joy Orbison being asked to do the business and delivering. I can't wait for the album in early 2010.

When the two combined on the ultra limited 12", I knew before even hearing the track that it would either bring out their very worst and be some messy experimental noise, or the very best and be heavy dubstep / atmospheric type thing. I was really pleased then that I was completely wrong and in 'Moth', they actually made a deep house track. Ok, house music with some mad noises, those skippy / clicky beats and cut up vocal snatches. Its all about the build, the drops and coming backs for seconds.  That's why we've gotta have house music all night long.

Burial - Fostercare 
Four Tet - Love Cry 
Burial and Four Tet - Moth 

And if you are wondering where Joy Orbison, the xx, Shackleton and many others are from the chart, check out Songs of Praise on Sunday when me and Colin will be doing a 3 hour run down of all our favourites of the year with (hopefully) very little overlap from this chart. Check it here: Space Invader Sunday 6 - 9 pm

Thursday, 24 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 2 : Heroes of the year

2. Mr Beatnick

I've been a big fan of this guy for a couple of years now, firstly from his writing on the Brownswood site and more recently for Shook magazine - he is a self proclaimed archiologist of sound. This passion for digging out the lost and unknown was manifested in a series of classic mixes of jazz and library cuts on his Shhhhh site.

As a producer he has been responsible for a couple of the wonky / broken anthems - 'I Know All The Bitches' and the 'What's Going On?' edit. This year has seen more of his productions / remixes released including one of my records of the year, 'Walk' by Jungle Drums. The second track I've picked came through his twitter page where he slipped out a couple of exclusive edits earlier in the year. 

However what I really want to focus on is how he is pushing forward his dj sets. Since the summer, he was (to me) one of the pioneers of using his UStream site to throw down some random and irregular sets. Highlights have been the day he bought a huge collection of old jungle records and rinsed them one Saturday afternoon or the time he was spinning and Dobie came on chatting. Nick invited him round to play a few tunes of his own and within an  hour they were back-to-back playing classic disco breaks. 

A short clip of the session can be found here:

As a short introduction to his style, I can also highly recommend his mix for Mary Anne Hobbs from August.

Download: Jungle Drums feat Ahu - Walk (Mr Beatnick Remix) 
Phat Kat - Lovely (Mr Beatnick I love Melanie Edit) 

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 3: Heroes of the year

3. 8Bitch

Maybe a surprise choice but I'd like to think it's just a bit of an upfront exclusive and this time next year everyone will be raving about her. Anyway, no-one else has so many tracks (19!) in my 'most played' list this year so she must be doing something right.

For anyone deaf or daft enough to have missed her this year her music ranges from techno, r'n'b, to dubstep and dirty old crunk. Oh yeah and throw in that she's not just a great producer, but that she can more than hold her own on the mic too. And be an international dj superstar. And although I'm generally on safer grounds talking about her music, she's also involved in fashion, acting and some sort of Dj computer game which I don't even want to bother asking about.  However I think her greatest achievement of the year was that she made La Roux sound less shit.

After months of constant pestering and annoying her with "when are you getting released?" "when are you getting released?", the big news came through last week that the new year will finally see the release of her first records. News as to whether or not it'll be a tropical picture disc is as yet unconfirmed.


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 4: Heroes of the year

4. Floating Points

As a long term lurker on the brownswood site, I had been watching the continued rise of FPS work for nearly two years now. From demos and remixes played at CDR nights that eventually went on to be his big breakthrough full releases, it has been interesting to quietly watch him develop.

I think he would have been in my "heroes" list just for Love Me Like This, but through in his three other releases (each of which also came with some stunning b-sides!) and the remix for Bei Bei and Georgia Anne Muldrow and finally the live session on Gilles Peterson's show, says that the album and live shows from this guy are going to be amongst the highlights of next year.

Download: Floating Points - Love Me Like This (Nonsense Dub) 

Monday, 21 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 5: Heroes of the year

5. Mark Pritchard

Over the next few days, I'll be focusing on a few of my "heroes" this year. People who have really been pushing things forward this year. 

I think with the Harmonic 313 LP from 2008, Wind it Up this year and (whenever they eventually drop) Lion and Heavy as Stone, Mark Pritchard meets this criteria and then some. 

Always a name you can buy blind, from his classic work with Tom Middleton, the track with Spacek in  '07, the remix of Guilty Simpson, hell even Rhubarb and Custard wasn't too bad back in the day. He kind of went a little quiet (to me) a few years ago but then came back stronger in the past 24 months or so. 

On a side note, big up to Warp and Hyperdub - two labels closely associated with Pritchard's work in his various guises - who both celebrated milestones this year and continue to put out some of the most forward-thinking and interesting records around.

Download: Mark Pritchard - Wind it Up (feat. Om'mas Keith) 

Sunday, 20 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 8 - 6

The Revenge / OOFT blog has been one of the 'must check' sites for me this year. Their very limited edition downloads of edits / remixes from their sets might have gone from the sublime, see below, to the ridiculous, see their latest Wham meets Diana Ross cut up (move quick here), but the quality is always of the highest order. Here they drop a bit of Neneh Cherry with Malcolm Mclaren to great effect.

8. Neneh Cherry - Buffalo Stance (The Revenge Edit) 

Whats left to say about Rustie? I think a lot has been written about the Glasgow scene he, Numbers, Hu Mo et al have been at the forefront of this this year.  Completely different to the Glasgow that Revenge (see above) must be living in but still, was there a more vibrant city this year? Is Rustie going to make the album of 2010? With his productions like this and Bad Science, you know its going to be something a bit special. Or is it going to be the year the piss poor imitators move into the scene flood it with crap?

7. Keyshia Cole - Shoulda Let You Go (Rustie Keesha Resmak) 

Who would have thought Whitney Houston would have come back so strong? Well, although the original mix was good, it took a little re-edit from Scrimshire, extending it and using a little bit more of the Loleatta Holloway sample, to really send it soaring. Adam must be the most generous man of the year as not only did he give away this gem away, if you move quick enough, you can still pick up his full artist album either as a pay-what-you-want download or limited edition personalised cd here:

6. Whitney Houston - Million Dollar Bill (Scrimshire Edit) 

Saturday, 19 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 11 - 9

I don't generally check a lot of what the likes of Diplo, Jesse Rose and Sinden etc play and that style of house however this track was in one of A-Trak's lists. It really stood out to me because he described it as a Beyonce accapella over Doug E Fresh drums. Sounded good to me.

11. Beyonce - Single Ladies (Ted Smooth & Mick Boogie Edit Remix) 

One of the most eagerly anticipated, hyped and unsurprisingly  disappointing albums of the year was Blueprint 3. It did however have one stone cold classic Timberland beat. 

10. Jay Z - Venus Vs. Mars 

Seiji's blog ( has been giving away little exclusive tracks and remixes for the past few months and for me, this was the pick of the bunch.

9. Seiji vs Lady Chann - Sticky Situation (Seiji's VIP Mix) 

Friday, 18 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 14 - 12

You can't really review 2009 without mentioning the events of 25th June. I think some used it to try to put out any old crap with the tagline of MJ tribute. Most were just very poor remixes which added absolutely nothing to the original classics. Even The Roots ruined Billie Jean so it really does take something special to not only pay homage but also perhaps improve on the original. I think they managed it this time.

14. The Roots - I Wanna Be Where You Are w/ Erykah Badu 

I could really have chose any of Onur Engin's edits which have been appearing on Soundcloud this year, however if pushed, I think this one would be my favourite. My only (very slight) issue is that it needs to be longer, that loop could o on forever for me. However until then, the repeat button will have to do.

13. Diana Ross - Brown Baby (Onur EngiEdit) 

Another new producer in '09 (to me anyway) whose tracks first started appearing again on Soundcloud earlier this year. His full release, Strings Detached, was a great little ep and whetted the appetite for more releases and remix work. I've recently been hearing very good things about his dj sets too - must catch up with one of them soon. The broadsheets must be tipping this guy as one to watch in 2010, right?

12. Flying Lotus ft Andreya Triana - Tea Leaf Dancers (Blue Daisy Remix) 

Thursday, 17 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 17 - 15

I think this track could have been the first time I really saw the benefits of Twitter. Questlove from The Roots took up the challenge to take an unusable album and make something out of it. He tweeted his progress along the way and then at the end, posted this video and the track up to show mission accomplished.

17. The Randy Watson Experience - Philip Michael Thompson (?uestlove edit) 

I hadn't really thought that dubstep would have crossed over to US rappers so well but this is one heavy track that really worked. I don't think it actually got a full single release yet as it hasn't yet been the pop chart hit it deserves to be.

16. Eve with Benga - me N my (Dirty)

This album almost slipped me by earlier this year but the inclusion of this track in, what was probably the best mix cd this year, Modeselektor's Body Language Vol. 8, I immediately had to go back and check it again.

15. Animal Collective - My Girls 

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

2009 Record of the year 20 - 18

Beak> were Geoff Barrow's (of Portishead) new side project band, whose limited edition box set album sold out before you could even say gone, despite very low key publicity. Thankfully it has now been repressed as a single cd and can be picked up here:

20. Beak> - I know 

I never really found out too much about this track or who the Mcsleazy was that put it together but it grew to be one of my favourites from September. Drone guitars with the classic 'Baby I Love You' seemed a little strange on paper, but actually turned out to compliment the wall of sound Spector might have been making today if he wasn't planning on working with Charles Manson or whatever else he gets up to these days.

Also, I can't pass this moment without paying a small tribute to the writer of The Ronettes track, Ellie Greenwich, who sadly died this August.

19.  Arab Strap vs The Ronettes - Baby, 1 4o7e 1ou (Mcsleazy Bootleg) 

Where did this one come from? Well, some street festival in Manchester back in July would be the precise answer but who would have thought a steel band playing post punk could sound so good? Well, lots of people it seems.

18. Steel Harmony - Steel Transmission 

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Round up

Just a bit of a round up from the last few weeks. I think all the good new tracks I have been listening to have already been heavily blogged so I don't really want to spend too long or what you probably already should be very familiar with. But incase you have been hiding away trying to deny it is Winter or something and completely missed them, you need to check out Rustie, Flying Lotus and Dobie's latest.

There have been two more Songs of Praise shows on spaceinvader fm which can still be played again here and here. From the first I think the track which got the most attention was the Digital Mystikz one, and from the show last Sunday, I think one or two people were surprised by the inclusion of a Chris Rea Christmas classic.

One final bit of news, me and Colin have finally sorted out the list for the end of year show so I can start putting my own favourites up on here now, so that will start in the next few posts over the coming days.

Digital Mystikz - Pathways 
Chris Rea - Driving Home