Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Who cares what Screenwriter’s favourite albums are?

Nobody. That’s who. Nonetheless, every year, I make an effort to compile a list of 10 squeaky, obscure recordings (and that year’s Keith Jarrett release). Not doing this for a living, I don’t pretend that this is any sort of …

Tue, Dec 6, 2011, 22:51

   

Nobody. That’s who. Nonetheless, every year, I make an effort to compile a list of 10 squeaky, obscure recordings (and that year’s Keith Jarrett release). Not doing this for a living, I don’t pretend that this is any sort of definitive chart. These are, as it happens, just the 2011 records I listened to most often when ironing or eating Marmite.

1. THE FIELD — LOOPING STATE OF MIND

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As far as I am aware, the Swedish musician did not derive his name from the popular John B Keane play about quarreling bogmen. He does produce the most marvellously mellow repetitive rhythms though.

2. DESTROYER — KAPUTT

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This is definitely suspect. Hear it through a heavy door and you could mistake it for something Californian from awful 1976. Actually Destroyer (once again, a person rather than a band) is from Vancouver. Heck, I still like “the Dan”. What am I moaning about?

3. ALVO NOTO AND RYUCHI SAKAMOTO –SUMMVS

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Alvo released a fine solo album this year, but his latest collaboration with the great Ryuchi takes the ambient biscuit. (Actually that’s a good name for a foil-wrapped treat.)

4. WHITE DENIM — D

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Now this is really suspect. It sounds a little like Clarkson Rock played through a Frank Zappa machine. Great though.

5. KEITH JARRETT — RIO

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What more needs to be said? Yet another sublime solo improvisation.

6. KING CREOSOTE AND JON HOPKINS — DIAMOND MINE

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Very soothing. We all need a little time stranded in a rowboat with a Scottish folkie and a mild techno bloke.

7. WU LYF — GO TELL FIRE TO THE MOUNTAIN

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What the hell is going on here? Ellery Roberts appears to have screeched all the lyrics from a building several towns away from the recording studio. I mean it’s shouty and yet not quite audible.

8. TIM HECKER — RAVE DEATH 1972

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Another masterpiece of fuzzy ambient from the man who invented the form.

9 JULIANNA BARWICK — THE MAGIC PLACE

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Okay, if you were being really, really, really, really unkind — I mean really unkind — you might argue that this is Enya out of Brooklyn. Not fair.

10. RUSTIE — GLASS SWORDS

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I have always lived by the rule that the only sort of electronic music worth listening to is the stuff you can’t dance to. Well, you can dance to this. But I don’t.

As Dave Lee Travis used to say, bubbling under we had: Father, Son, Holy Ghost by Girls; Replica by Oneohtrix Point Never; Slave Ambient by The War on Drugs; The Constant Pageant by Trembling Bells; A Winged Victory for the Sullen by A Winged Victory for the Sullen; Space is the Only Noise by Nicolas Jaar, Tarkovsky Quartet by Fran├žois Couturier; Celestial Lineage by Wolves in the Throne Room; Smother by Wild Beasts. Is that enough?

Oh, yeah. We should give a nod to Sony’s superbly packaged Miles Davis — Live in Europe 1967. (The Bootleg Series, Vol 1). It looks as if that company are going to do for Miles what they did for Bob Dylan. An unimaginably tantalising proposition.

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