Bagging Area End Of Year Review

I saw a thing on social media recently which said ‘nobody cares about your end of year review’. Possibly true. But it’s a blogging tradition and so here it is.

2016 has been a wretched year in so many ways but there’s been a real glut of good music from start to finish, from Bowie’s astonishing and difficult to listen to Blackstar (and death) in January through to the very recent album from A Tribe Called Quest (also marked by the death of one of its makers, Phife Dawg).

Albums Of The Year

All of these have spent time on the Bagging Area turntable and/or car stereo…

David Bowie ‘Blackstar’// Andrew Weatherall ‘Convenanza’// Dinosaur Jr ‘Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not’// Unloved ‘Guilt Of Love’//Aphex Twin ‘Cheetah’// A Tribe Called Quest‘We Got It From Here…’//Beyonce ‘Lemonade’//Tim Burgess and Peter Gordon ‘Same Language, Different Worlds’//Toy ‘Clear Shot’//Underworld ‘Barbara Barbara We Face A Shining Future’//Echolocation ‘Empire Blood And Bones’//Sordid Sound System ‘Lux Exterior’//Cavern Of Anti- Matter ‘Void Beats’// Steve Mason ‘Meet The Humans’//Frank Ocean ‘Blonde’// Baltic Fleet ‘The Dear One’//Pete Astor ‘Spilt Milk’//Cobby and Porky‘Cities Below Future Seas// and the much played round here swansong from Iggy Pop ‘Post Pop Depression’

As well as all of these the three that have given me the most repeated joy are…

Woodleigh Research Facility ‘The Phoenix Suburbs (And Other Stories)
Beyond the Wizards Sleeve ‘The Soft Bounce’
Factory Floor ’25 25′

But the most jawdropping album has been a compilation which included new recordings along with old, mixed together perfectly, making something new that was a meditation on life, love, loss and death, and that is David Holmes’ Late Night Tales. So that’s my album of the year.

As a sampler for those that haven’t heard it it opened with Barry Woolnough’s tribute to his wife who died of cancer, a 7″ single on Moine Dubh…

This is Sung Sung’s spooked out cover of 10cc’s I’m Not In Love (not a song I previously particularly liked but this is just wonderful)

And this was a one take vocal performance by BP Fallon to his friend Henry McCullough (a pair of Weatherall remixes are due next year).

E.P. Of The Year

Hardway Bros (Sean Johnston) released a four track e.p. in the early summer and I can’t think of three songs that have sounded any better on one piece of vinyl than Pleasure Cry, My PNO and especially Argonaut. The sound of my summer. Still doing it in December too.

Songs Of The Year

Drew’s songs of the year from last Saturday crosses over with mine in many ways- our 2016 Venn diagram has a big overlapping section. Here are 24 songs from 2016. No rankings, think of this list as a suggestion of the order in which these songs could be played…

Steve Cobby and Rich Arthurs ‘Bushfarmer’
Cobby and Mallinder ‘Tumblefish’
Primal Scream ‘100% Or Nothing Dub (Bobby Selassie And Primal Jah)
David Bowie ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’
Wussy ‘Ceremony’
Pete Astor ‘Really Something’
Paprika Kinski ‘Kids Of Your Crime’
Iggy Pop ‘Gardenia’
The Hurt ‘Berlin’
Unloved ‘When A Woman Is Around’
The Liminanas ft Peter Hook ‘Garden Of Love’ (Lundi Mouille Mix)
Warpaint ‘New Song’
Woodleigh Research Facility ‘Taqiya’
Massive Attack ‘Ritual Spirit’
Andrew Weatherall ‘The Confidence Man’
The Xx ‘On Hold’
Beyonce ‘Hold Up’
Beyond the Wizards Sleeve ‘Diagram Girl’ (BTWS Re-Animation)
Craig Bratley ft Danielle Moore ‘Play The Game’ (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Circle Sky ‘Reveal’
Daniel Avery ‘A Mechanical Sky’
Death In Vegas ‘You Disco I Freak’
Andrew Weatherall ‘Ghosts Again’ (Scott Fraser Ghosts In The Piano Mix)
Hardway Bros ‘Argonaut’

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This Is My List

Here is my list, self indulgent as Drew says, but fun to do. I’ve enjoyed more new music during 2015 than any in recent years. These are the albums and songs/singles that have struck a chord with me and that have stuck with me since their release.

Albums

12. Mbongwana Star ‘From Kinshasa’
Traditional African forms coupled with electronics. Still startling.

11. Mick Jones ‘Ex Libris’
Vinyl only, six track instrumental.

10. MonoLife ‘Phrenology’
The skull from Hull with some cracking old school dance music.

9. The Orb ‘Moonbuilding 2703AD’
A return to form, four very long pieces full of ambient buzz.

8. Le Volume Courbe ‘I Wish Dee Dee Ramone Was Here With Me’
Contains two of my favourite songs of this year- The House and Rusty.

7. Steve Cobby ‘Everliving’
It could have been ‘Revolutions’ as well. Both a full of sumptuous electronic tunes and ideas.

6. Gwenno ‘Y Dyad Olaf’
Perfect psychedelic pop sung in Welsh (except for the one sung in Cornish).

5. Crocodiles ‘Boys’
Dirty, sexy, brash guitars from San Diego. If you haven’t heard Foolin’ Around, go and listen to it right now.

4. Moon Duo ‘Shadows Of The Sun’
Loads of uptempo two chord motorik psyche but with In A Cloud they had one of the year’s most beautiful, almost Balearic guitar moments.

3. Sexwitch ‘Sexwitch’.
Six covers recorded by Natasha Khan, Toy and Dan Carey. The intense stomp of the Middle Eastern songs take some beating and Natasha’s vocals are superbly focused while also slightly unhinged. Possessed and obsessive.

2. The Charlatans ‘Modern Nature’.
Recorded after the death of drummer Jon Brookes, a band back on form and determined to celebrate life with some of the best, soaring songs of the year- So Oh and Come Home Baby especially.

1. Jamie Xx ‘In Colour’
A history of dance music from house to grime, emotionally charged from start to finish, with moments of ecstasy, clarity and genuine beauty. I’m still playing it from start to finish.

Singles/Songs
The hand and influence of Mr Weatherall is all over this section. That’s just the way it’s been this year. Both lists show I’ve been veering far more towards dance/electronics this year. A top seventeen for no real reason.

17. Noel Gallagher ‘In The Heat Of The Moment’ Andrew Weatherall Remix
It came out last year online but was released on vinyl in April. Glorious remix.

16. Dubrobots ‘Forever’
This Cardiff based producer sent me two versions of this massively dub influenced song. Still rattling my ribcage.

15. Public Service Broadcasting ‘Gagarin’ Richard Norris Remix
The album did nothing for me but this remix, full of Spanish acoustic guitars, sent Yuri to Ibiza.

14. jennylee ‘Never’
Warpaint’s foxy bassist with an early 80s single that pushed the right buttons.

13. Gwenno ‘Chwyldro’ Andrew Weatherall Remix
Further, stranger, slower.

12. Unloved ‘Guilty Of Love’
David Holmes’ new project taking in 60s/70s filmscores with a girl group vibe. Also had two long dubby Weatherall remixes.

11.  Vox Low ‘Cast Upward Through the Waves, A Ruby Glow
Strange stuff from a French duo finding weird spaces between rock and dance.

10. Heretic ‘Pollux’ Andrew Weatherall Remix
I’m getting repetitive strain from typing those three words- this one took early New Order and merged it with some sparse electronics and a spooky vocal refrain.

9. Timothy J. Fairplay
Timothy J released several superb four track e.p.s this year, full of vintage synths- Songs Of Prison, Love And Columbium, No News From New York. Take your pick. Together they’d make a potential album of the year.

8. Paresse ‘Rosita’.
Super smooth stuff from Scandinavia. Wraps your ears up all warm.

7. Haunted Doorbell ‘Unconnected Thoughts On Jacking’
I’m cheating here- Fairplay again, this time with Matilda Tristam. Four outstanding instrumentals joining the various dots. The e.p. and title track gave us the song title of the year. Beautiful Sheffield is exactly as it sounds.

6. Patti Yang Group ‘I’m Ready’
Chris Rotter, Matty Skylab and Patti Yang with a thumping piece of hymnal house. Do you want a free download?

5. Jamie Xx ‘Loud Places’ John Talabot‘s Higher Dub
I posted this last week. It’s stunningly good, reworking an album highlight into something else with mesmerising, euphoric peaks.

4. C.A.R. ‘Glock’d’ Asphodells Remix
Super glam stomp, a massive wobbly bass, dirty guitars, French accented vocals; the sound of the future.

3. Sinkane x Peaking Lights ‘Mean Dub’
This ten minute dub version of Yacha was the sound of my summer. All four tracks on the reworked dub e.p. were top quality stuff but Yacha is something else entirely and from somewhere else entirely too. Fast dub.

2. Pearl’s Cab Ride ‘Sunrise’ (MonoLife Extended  Trip)
A Humberside funk and soul sixpiece taken on a long trip by MonoLife- trumpet, distorted vocal, two note bass, drifting but always moving forwards. Beautiful.

1. Mike Garry and Joe Duddell ‘St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson
This came out in August, an emotional tribute to Mr Manchester set to Joe Duddell’s Your Silent Face inspired strings, full of Mike Garry’s poetic references to the city and its sounds. All proceeds go to The Christie so if you haven’t bought it yet, there’s another reason to do so. Almost inevitably, there’s a Weatherall remix on the other side (which isn’t too shabby either. In fact it’s very, very good). Still prone to move me after umpteen listens.

2014: A List

This is my list of the stuff I’ve enjoyed most this year. There is nothing objective about rating or comparing music, any Best Of… can only be subjective.

Albums
There are two compilations that have taken up some of my listening time in 2014- Kompackt’s ‘Total 14’, two discs of electronic tunes from the Cologne based label, with a high hit rate. The Time And Space Machine’s ‘The Way Out Sound From In’ was a compilation of Richard Norris remixes that worked like a proper album and sounds adventurous and open minded. I liked the Ellis Island Sound album- a bit world music, a bit Talking Heads and Brian Eno. The Amazing Snakeheads ‘Amphetamine Ballads’ is a menacing, swaggering rock ‘n’ roll record shot through with hard drink, quiffs and cigarettes. Hollie Cook put out her second album ‘Twice’, ace Prince Fatty reggae with Hollie’s gorgeous and intimate voice. My top five, at the time of writing, looks like this.

5. Aphex Twin ‘Syro’
It might not have broken new ground but as a set of electronic sounds it was as good as it was unexpected.

4. Neneh Cherry ‘Blank Project’
Raw, honest and stripped back. A proper album.

3. Pete Molinari ‘Theosophy’
Totally retro- good songs, well played and sung, a cut above.

2. Warpaint ‘Warpaint’
I started listening to this back in January and haven’t got bored of it yet. Dreamy, stretched out grooves with the songs hidden somewhere inside.

1. Jane Weaver ‘The Silver Globe’
A month ago I had only just heard of the Jane Weaver lp. It’s been on my turntable more or less ever since. David Holmes and Andy Votel produce. The synths are cosmic, the singing beautifully English, the arrangements fantastic.

Singles/EPs/Remixes/Internet Only Releases/Etc

I don’t know what has happened to guitar bands this year. Many of them sound very hackneyed to me. Or maybe my tastes have just narrowed recently. Most of the sounds that I’ve had on repeat since January have been from the dance music end of things. I loved the Death In Vegas ‘Gamma Ray’ 12″,  really intense and absorbing techno. Several remixes buttered my toast- Khidja’s trippy ‘Mustafa’ as remixed by Timothy J Fairplay and Richard Norris’ ‘Freaks’ re-done Hammer horror style by Ivan Smagghe. I bought Maurice and Charles’ ‘I, Carpenter’ on 12″ on a whim and it throbs darkly with Escape From New York samples. I posted an Andrew Weatherall remix top nine last Saturday- the Julian Cope One Three One band Dayglo Maradona ‘Rock Section’ Remix (only on white vinyl novelty fans) was the best. The Hardway Bros four track 12″ from last month (Sleaze) has been on heavy rotation recently.
My top five goes like this

5. Warpaint ‘Disco/Very’ The Time And Space Machine Remix
Rolling, sexy, trippy dance rock.

4. Junior Fairplay ‘Sugar Puss’
Let’s party like it’s 1992. Breakbeats and Korgs. On one sided purple vinyl.

3. Tim Burgess ‘Oh Men’ Peaking Lights Remix
Stunning, driving, electronic reinterpretation of Tim’s country song.

2. Friendly Fires and The Asphodells ‘Before Your Eyes’
A two track chilled, cosmiche collaboration from the St Albans threepiece and Weatherall/Fairplay. This one came in a lovely thick sleeve and on orange vinyl and the A-side especially is superb.

1. Frank Ocean, Diplo, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon ‘Hero’

The Frank Ocean, Diplo, 50% of The Clash collaboration came out on the internet as a tie-in with Converse. It is a sort of hip-hop, doo wop, punky soundclash that sounds joyously great, while Frank sings about the experience of being a black man in modern America. The only thing wrong with it is at two minutes and forty six seconds it is over too quickly.

Bagging Area End Of Year List

This is my list, based on what has been played the most this year in the Bagging Area bunker, that was released this year. Judging by many of the names it looks like it could have been put together in 1991 and probably won’t have too many surprises for those that read this blog regularly. I really don’t seem to have stuck with new stuff by new artists this year. Two of my most played pieces of vinyl in 2013 have been Kolch’s Der Alte and Glass Candy’s Warm In The Winter, but both came out last year. I have gone for a dozen records (albums, singles, eps, ‘internet teasers’), plus a book.

Thirteen. Morrissey ‘Autobiography’
As Davy said, his best work for ages. Too much on the court case but the first half is superb. Far better than it could have been and full of music. And people he’s fallen out with.

Twelve. David Bowie ‘The Next Day’
But especially Where Are We Now, just as it was so unexpected. And so good.

Eleven. Two re-issues (cheating I know but it’s my list)- The Clash ‘Sound System’ and Bob Dylan ‘Another Self Portrait’.
Once you strip away the lovely ephemera and trinkets from The Clash box set you are left with the best re-mastering job I’ve heard. And the Dylan thing was a brand new look at some previously unreleased or unloved songs, beautifully played and sung.

Ten. Peter Gordon and Factory Floor ‘Beachcombing’.
Fifteen minutes of sound waves, rippling synths and Balearic loveliness.

Nine. Steve Mason ‘Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time’. If only because in Come To Me and Fight Them Back Steve Mason released two of the year’s most affecting, emotion-laden songs, but in two very different ways.

Eight. Johnny Marr ‘Upstarts’.
A glorious upbeat guitar pop single from Mr Marr. The rest of the lp’s pretty good too.

Seven. Primal Scream ‘More Light’.
The more I lived with it, the better it got. Their best lp in a decade and though sprawling and heavy, it’s got depth, soul and invention, and they sound like they care again. Well done to David Holmes for the production job. It’s Alright It’s OK- the festival song it’s OK to love.

Six. Warpaint ‘Love Is To Die’.
New album in January. This is the best kind of advance warning- slinky, groovy dance rock from four girls who know exactly what they’re doing.

Five. Jeremy Deller ‘English Magic’ ep,
I love this- Voodoo Ray remixed by JD Twitch and Optimo. Steel drums, house piano, oh ooh ooh oh oh a ha yeah.

Four. A bagful of Andrew Weatherall remixes.
Emeliana Torrini’s Speed Of Dark, Jagwar Ma’s Come Save Me and Baris K’s 200. Spaced out dance pop, with dub basslines, indie -dance, eastern dance house. Taken together almost thirty minutes of far out bliss. But most of all the stupendous remix of Moby and Wayne Coyne’s Another Perfect Life. Still not out on vinyl. Why? Write to your MP now, start a petition, call the Omsbudsman. It’s a disgrace.

Three. Daniel Avery ‘Drone Logic’
Electronic music, techno and ambient and acid and all the rest, aimed the dance floor and the headspace. The last few songs are close to perfection, the first few will make you move your feet.

Two. my bloody valentine ‘mbv’.
What still gets me about this record is the sound- the way that some things sound dead close and some sound dead far away and how much thought has gone into this. How no one else sounds anything like mbv do. new you is beautiful. And wonder 2 is the sound of a helicopter taking off at a drum and bass night,  twenty years ago and today, simultaneously. Don’t know why he’s abandoned capital letters but with this record he can do what he likes.

One. The Asphodells ‘Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust’.
Simply my most played album of the year- twelve tracks mixing up dub, early 80s punk-funk, John Betjeman, and acid house. Easy to lose yourself in, full of invention and the joy of repetitive music, I played it nonstop at the start of the year and I’ve been coming back to it ever since. Lovely packaging with the vinyl. As a companion piece the remix album was a beauty as well. It’s about time Weatherall and Fairplay took it out on the road.

Beglammered (Justin Robertson’s Deadstock 33s remix)

Bagging Area End Of Year Review #3

List time.
I did think about not doing a list but couldn’t help myself, partly because when I sat down and started to make a list I realised that I’ve listened to a reasonable amount of new music this year, surprising myself somewhat. At blogs where more than one person contributes or yer proper music magazines there always seems to be an attempt to get some balance into their end of year lists- here at Bagging Area there’s just me so there’s not so much balance, just a list of 40 songs, singles and albums that have had repeated plays through my record player/cd player in the kitchen/car stereo/mp3 player between January 1st 2012 and yesterday. I couldn’t get my head around ranking them so they’re in alphabetical order, rather than any attempt to say which is the best.

Andrew Weatherall- Masterpiece (compilation)
Cat Power- Cherokee (album track)
Chuck Prophet- Play That Song Again (album track)
Clock Opera- Once And For All Andrew Weatherall Remix
Daniel Avery- Movement Andrew Weatherall Remix
Daniel Avery- Fabric Live 66 (compilation)
Dexys- One Day I’m Going To Soar (album)
Django Django- Django Django (album)
Hollie Cook and Prince Fatty- The Dub Goes On (album)
Hooded Fang- Tosta Mista (album)
Jack White- Love Interrruption (single)
JD McPherson- Signs And Signifiers (album)
Jimmy Cliff- Guns Of Brixton (ep track)
Johnny Marr- The Messenger (album pre-release)
Le Carousel- Lose Your Love Andrew Weatherall Remix
Lightships- Electric Cables (album)
Madness- Death Of A Rude Boy Andrew Weatherall Remix
Mark Lanegan- Ode To Sad Disco (album track)
Orbital- Wonky (album)
Paul Weller- That Dangerous Age (single)
Public Image Ltd- This Is PiL (album, well most of it)
Public Service Broadcasting- Everest (single)
Public Service Broadcasting- Everest The Centaurs Remix
Public Service Broadcasting- The War Room (mini-album)
Savages- Husbands (single)
Scott Fraser- A Life Of Silence/A Life Of Silence Timothy J Fairplay Remix (12″)
Slighter- Our Own End (single)
Tim Burgess- Oh No I Love You (album)
Toy- Dead And Gone (album track)
Toy- Dead And Gone Andrew Weatherall Remix
The Horrors- Moving Further Away Andrew Weatherall Remix
The Kills- Pale Blue Eyes (ep B-side)
The Orb and Lee Perry- Presents The Orbsetter (album)
Timothy J Fairplay- The Final Reel/The Final Reel Andrew Weatherall Remix (12″)
Tindersticks- The Something Rain (album)
Underworld- Rez High Contrast Remix
Various- Isles Of Wonder London 2012 Opening Ceremony (compilation)
Various- On The Road (Original Soundtrack)
Various- Treasure Hunting (compilation)
Viv Albertine- The Vermillion Border (album)
Wooden Shjips- Crossings Andrew Weatherall Remix (ep)

All of which shows that about 25% of my list for this year were by this man (I did think about having a separate Lord Sabre list but decided against segregation)

And a fair few others there were connected to him. So here’s your song, released on thick vinyl back in January this year-

Wooden Shjips Crossings Andrew Weatherall Remix

Cavernous dub production, clattering drums, filthy bass riff, reverb heavy vocals, trippy disco noises, long enough to lose yourself in; from a man having a third (at least, maybe fourth) purple patch.

As a bonus, this is how to cover a Velvet Underground song you’ve heard covered any number of times before and make it exciting again- the guitars in this recording are why people still pick up a stupid piece of wood with six strings on it and try to make it sound good.

The Kills Pale Blue Eyes

This time last year we’d bought our tickets for The Stone Roses at Heaton Park, probably half expecting they wouldn’t make it even that far. What I really didn’t expect was that on a Wednesday evening in May I’d be standing in Warrington’s Parr Hall in a crowd of only a thousand waiting to see them at a free gig- and the outpouring of emotion from both band and audience that night, and the songs, will live long in my memory. This clip shows them playing Benicassim in July.

Still not sure about Ian’s choice of tracksuit tops. It’s worth noting also that they have maintained a total media blackout- not a single interview that I’m aware of. Shane Meadows’ film of the whole thing is scheduled for release next year. Part of me is half expecting them to release a new song or single without any warning on Christmas Day or something. Whether you like them or not, approve of their re-union or not, they’ve managed to pull off some complete surprises and more power to them.

Bagging Area End Of Year Annual Review #2

All the proper blogs have end of year reviews and lists and I did one last year so here goes again…

I really don’t think I can offer any broad, balanced or authoritative review of new music. I read Drew’s list and crumbled, voted in Song, By Toad’s list and not for the right kind of artists, read other bloggers lists and realise how out of touch I am. This is partly financial- I just haven’t had the money this year to buy loads of new records (albums, singles, e.p.s, vinyl, cds, shellac, any format). I don’t have the time/concentration span to listen to new albums all the way through anymore and I don’t want to just make a list of my favourite songs of the year because I fear it’d stop at around number 17. I’m going to try to sum up my 2011, the music I’ve listened to that’s been released this year, in some spurious categories I’ve invented for this post. My favourites of the year rather than an objective ‘best of’.

Best Andrew Weatherall Remix Of 2011

My favourite category and a fistful of career highlights from Mr Weatherall who has been on fire for two or three years now. The contenders include; DJ Harvey ‘Gunship’ (Weatherall Dub), Alice Gold ‘Runaway Love’ (Weatherall Dub)- one of the most popular tracks/posts here at Bagging Area this year-, The Shoes ‘Cliche’ (Weatherall Remix), and the recent Cut Copy ‘Sun God’ (Weatherall Remix). Recently Weatherall remixed Soft Rocks ‘We Hunt Buffalo Now’ turning it into a glam-rockabilly monster, but it’s the runner up I’m afraid, as the winner has to be Toddla T and Roots Manuva’s ‘Watch Me Dance’ (Weatherall Remix), a massive slice of dub disco, my song of the year and the song that soundtracked us driving around France this summer, while England burned. The 12″ copies of this record burned also, in that factory. The moment when civil disobedience went way too far.

Best Album I Bought As A Result Of Listening To Andrew Weatherall On His BBC 6 Mix Radio Show

From the morass of stuff Weatherall plays on his irregular radio show I got two standout albums, completely different from each other and I love both. One is the synthy, krautesque, heady and melodic Here Come The Warm Digits by The Warm Digits which I thoroughly recommend, kind of like a less noisy, less headsplitting Fuck Buttons. The other was the 60s garage psyche of The People’s Temple, again highly recommended.

Best Drone-Rock Kraut Inspired Fuzzed-up Guitar Album

Two way split between Moon Duo’s Mazes and Wooden Shjips’ West. Same album really. Same band (or very similar). Lovely. Repetitive but lovely.

Best ‘What Do We Call This Music Cos I Don’t Think You Can Dance To It?’ Dance Music

Two winners here- the Massive Attack v Burial 12″ was very good, especially the Paradise Circus side. Death In Vegas’ Trans-Love Energies is dark, scary and very absorbing. Jamie Xx’s single was good but I find his/their stuff easier to admire than to love.

Best Neo- Balearic Records

Thanks to Nolan Micron at Castles In Space I loved Free School’s Lemon single, especially the Time And Space Remix. Back in the spring Gatto Fritto’s full length debut album had me skipping around the house. Ace both. DJ Harvey’s Locusolus was chock full of electronic delights as well.

Best British Guitar Stuff

I wasn’t knocked out by the album but Arctic Monkeys recorded the best song this year that expertly spliced peak period Bunnymen with peak period New Order- That’s Where You’re Wrong, a great song. The Horrors Skying has been played a lot, and their song Still Life is a contender for something or other, although at times those early Simple Minds keyboards are a little too much (I know, I should like Simple Minds early stuff, but I don’t OK?). Despite their generic, derivative, two chord indie fuzz album being generic and derivative I can’t dislike The Vaccines debut album. It’s good to singalong to in the car (sounds like a very Dad thing to say).

Best Half Man Half Biscuit Album

That would be 90 Bisodol (Crimond). A little underwhelming at first but it’s wormed it’s way in, what with Iceland, Tommy Walsh’s eco house, the Gok Wan acolytes, the Duke of Westminster and his good lady wife, Razor Ruddock, so-called soccer sofas on so-called soccer Saturdays, the bands Curry Night and TBA (they do two sets and take requests, ‘play one the drummer knows’), jigsaws of Nazi war criminals and much, much more. And you can phone up about the much, much more. Nigel did so and they lied to him on their poster.

Best Billy Childish Record

The Spartan Dreggs, which added some 60s whimsy to the mod/garage Childishness.

Best US Garage Rock Record

Kid Congo Powers and The Pink Monkey Birds album, Gorilla Rose, was good. The Black Keys El Camino is pretty rocking too, especially the album opener Lonely Boy, if you like that guitar-drums duo thing. Similarly, I loved much of Cults debut album not that it’s garage rock. The Dirtbombs Party Store, guitar covers of Detroit techno was hit and miss but when it was good, it was very good.

The Rest

Lykke Li’s Wounded Rhymes, played a lot earlier in the year and again more recently. Jimmy Cliff’s Sacred Fire e.p. with it’s Guns Of Brixton cover version, available in green vinyl. I really liked Discodeine’s collaboration with Jarvis Cocker Synchronise, though the rest of the album didn’t grab me as much. And despite all the internet grumbles and gripes Lana Del Rey’s Video Games got me in the end as well.

Best Records (Or More Likely Downloads) That People Who Don’t Go On Music Blogs Bought

A while back daughter Eliza told me ‘When I go in other peoples’ cars their Mums and Dads play pop songs on the radio or Now albums. We just listen to old music by weird people’. Or was it weird music by old people? Either way she may have a point. For the record I have very much liked Beyonce’s Countdown, the more recent Cher lloyd single (I know, I know) and eventually Rhianna’s We Found Love. Eliza’s gone for Professor Green’s Read All About It and Jessie J’s Pricetag (kerching, kerching). I think she likes Cher Lloyd too, so at least we agree on something.

I know I should’ve heard the PJ Harvey album. I haven’t. Therefore I can’t offer my opinion on it. Peaking Lights 936 is Piccadilly Records album of the year; their opinion is always worth bearing in mind, and I will go looking for this soon.

I think that’s it for what it’s worth. I may have forgotten something. I definitely missed things that other people have rated and raved about. This was the record of my year. It’ll only be up for a little while seeing as the physical copies got melted and it was only available as a download.

Watch Me Dance (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Bagging Area End Of Year Annual Review #1

Bagging Area started on January the 1st 2010 so this is my end of year round up.

Firstly, the top sixteen tracks as chosen by you the readers and the clickers, based on the numbers of downloads-

1. The Pharcyde ‘Passing Me By’
2. A Tribe Called Quest ‘Scenario’
3. Wayne Smith ‘Under Me Sleng Teng’
4. DJ Shadow ‘Def Is All Around Us’
5. DJ Shadow ‘I’ve Been Trying’
6. Spiritualized ‘Come Together’ Two Lone Swordsmen Remix
7. Shannon ‘Let The Music Play’
8. Pilooski ‘AAA’
9. Steve Mason ‘Boys Outside’ Andrew Weatherall Dub 1
10. Go Home Productions Destinys Child v The Smiths ‘How Soon Is Independence?’
11. NF Porter ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’
12. Half Man Half Biscuit ‘With Goth On Our Side’
13. Bassheads ‘Is There Anybody Out There?’
14. Le Corps De Mince Francoise ‘Gandhi’ Andrew Weatherall Mix 2

15. Warpaint ‘Ashes To Ashes’
16. Honkeyfinger ‘Running On Empty’ Andrew Weatherall Vocal Remix

Which makes it look like this is mainly a dance music blog, with a side order of hip hop. Where are the guitars? I often think of myself as a fan of guitar music as much as anything but maybe that isn’t the case. It also ignores the thirty odd posts of rockabilly we’ve had, which taken together would add up to quite a bit. I suppose there have been lots of guitar based tracks here, The Clash, Joy Division/New Order, The Cramps, Half Man Half Biscuit all being repeat offenders- they just don’t hit the high figures. There’s been northern soul, psyche, mod, ska, dub, reggae, mash ups, the continuing adventures of Johnny Marr, post punk and 80s indie. I guess I’ll just carry on covering as many bases as I can.

I wasn’t going to have an end of year list partly because I’m not sure I’m best placed to give a wide ranging and considered view of new music in 2010, especially when I read other bloggers end of year lists and think ‘Not heard that, not heard that, not even heard of that’ and I don’t think I listen to enough new music, but Bagging Area’s own 2010 favourites list would read something like this-

1. Steve Mason ‘Boys Outside’ Andrew Weatherall Dub 1
2. Le Corps De Mince Francoise ‘Gandhi’ Andrew Weatherall Mix 2
3. Pilooski ‘AAA’
4. MIA ‘Born Free’
5. Hippies ‘Friendly Ghost’
6. The Xx ‘VCR’ Fourtet Remix
7. Trentemoller ‘Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, Go!!!’ Andrew Weatherall Prinz Mix
8. Woods ‘Bloods Dries Darker’
9. Warpaint ‘Undertow’ (or their cover of ‘Ashes To Ashes’, I’ll take either)
10. Massive Attack ‘Paradise Circus’ Gui Boratto Remix
11. Massive Attack ‘Pray For Rain’ Tim Goldsworthy Remix
12. Paul Weller ‘Andromeda’ Richard Hawley remix
13. Edwyn Collins ‘What Is My Role?’ (or ‘Losing Sleep’ or any one of four or five off the album)
14. Grinderman with Robert Fripp ‘Super Heathen Child’
15. LCD Soundsystem ‘I Can Change’
16. Wounded Lion ‘Friendly’
17. Error Operator ‘Follow’
18. Paul Weller ‘No Tears To Cry’
19. The Xx ‘Shelter’ John Talbot remix
20. The Jim Jones Revue ‘High Horse’

21. Gorillaz ‘Stylo’

But there could well be records I’ve missed out or forgotten, and some of the placings are pretty arbitrary.

Pilooski’s AAA is one of the best things I’ve heard this year. This is the minute and a bit dub/bonus beats that came on the 12″. Thanks for reading, here’s to 2011.

b1-pilooski-unknown.mp3