Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

On The Record’s current soundtrack

Here are 10 albums making everything beautifully spring-like around these parts right now. (1) Hudson Mohawke “Polyfolk Dance” (Warp) Only six tracks but, man, what six tracks they are. Glaswegian producer getting those sounds he can hear on the dancefloor …

Tue, Feb 17, 2009, 09:30

   

Here are 10 albums making everything beautifully spring-like around these parts right now.

(1) Hudson Mohawke “Polyfolk Dance” (Warp)

Only six tracks but, man, what six tracks they are. Glaswegian producer getting those sounds he can hear on the dancefloor in his head down on tape. Hugely ambitious Godzilla-like strikes (no spares). Check out “Monde” or “Overnight” right now and prepare to swoon.

(2) Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On (Deluxe edition)” (Motown/Universal)

It’s amazing to listen to a new version of one of your favourite albums of all time and hear a ton of previously unheard material which throws new lights and shapes on things. Marvellous Marvin hitting all the right notes in some style. See also the dexule edition of DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing”.

(3) Nico Muhly “Mothertongue” (Bedroom Community)

The new Philip Glass shows his smarts. One of a rake of really great releases on the Icelandic label which arrived last week, Muhly has worked with Glass, Bjork and Antony but this solo album is one of those wonders which weaves a majestic spell from start to finish. Quiet music for the wee hours.

(4) Friendly Fires “Friendly Fires” (XL)

One of the last year’s albums which sort of fell below the radar on its release but which has kept me mightily entertained since I rediscovered it before Christmas. Big-brain disco-punk with a huge pop edge to it. A million, billion, zillion times better than White Lies.

(5) Jinx Lennon “Trauma Themes, Idiot Times” (Septic Tiger)

Cometh the hour, cometh the Jinx. The sound of righeous anger and edgy fury in 16 different flavours. Rather than people going on with the “fair play to Jinx” schtick all the time, maybe they could actually go out and buy this record when it comes out in March, eh?

(6) Various “Floored Memory…Fading Location” (Fat Cat)

Gorgeous chocolate-box selection from Fat Cat’s 130701 imprint. You get divine atmospherics and post-modern classics from Max Richter, Hauschka, Sylvain Chauveau and Set Fire to Flames. Perfect music to accompany a night spent staring at the moon.

(7) Various “Counter Culture 08″ (V2)

The pick of what the staff from the Rough Trade record shops liked from last year. For your money, you’ll get a bundle of names you already know (Bon Iver, Department of Eagles, Fleet Foxes, Times New Viking), some interesting electronic names (Rustie, Yo Majesty, El Guincho) and a clutch of lesser known names who are well worth checking out (Vivian Girls, Crystal Stilts, Salem, Indian Jewelry, Telepathe). Another reason why we need decent indie record shops.

(8) The Tallest Man On Earth “Shallow Graves” (Gravitation)

A wonderful record full to the brim with eerie sounds, atmospheric bird chatter, crackling backdrops and a heavyweight selection of wordy, bluesy songs from Swedish folkie Kristian Matsson. What you might hear if you go down to the woods outside Dalarna today.

(9) Fever Ray “Fever Ray” (Rabid)

More Swedes (this time Karin Andersson from The Knife) making magnificently moody, glacial music full of tongue-in-cheek lines (“we talk about love/we talk about dishwasher tablets”), sulky synths and slow-motion reverb. A treasure of an affair from the north.

(10) Candi Staton “Who’s Hurting Now?” (Honest Jon’s)

Southern soul belle enjoying yet another lease of life. While not quite as knock-your-socks-off as the Will Oldham-helmed comeback “His Hands”, there’s more than enough here to remind you of just why Staton was the toast of the old FAME gang.

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