The Best Albums of 2017

This has been a kinda weird year of music for me. I’ve spent quite a lot of time resampling old vinyl and sampling old tapes, so I’ve listened to a lot less new music than usual. Nevertheless, here’s the list of the best music of 2017, determined by how many times I’ve listened to each album.

Zeal & Ardor Devil is Fine
Zola Jesus Okovi
Jlin Black Origami
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith Ears
Sleaford Mods English Tapas
Tara Jane O’Neil Tara Jane O’Neil
50 Foot Wave Bath White
David Bowie No Plan EP
Jenny Hval Blood Bitch
Noveller A Pink Sunset For No One
The Necks Unfold
Anohni Paradise
Gas Narkopop
Juana Molina Halo

Kinda. I had to cheat a bit to get the late entry from Zola Jesus to the top there, because it’s just a great album and a magnificent return to form after some not very engaging albums.

And the Zeal & Ardour album is the most sing-a-long-ey album ever. “A good god is a dead one / A good god is one the brings the fire” Sing along now! I had planned on seeing them at the Le Guess Who festival, but I was exhausted by that point.

And here’s the list of the older albums I bought this year and apparently listened to a lot:

Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang En yah say
Neil Young & Crazy Horse Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
Nouvelle Vague Nouvelle Vague
The Golden Palominos Visions of Excess
Adickdid Dismantle
Cassius feat Cat Power & Mike D Action
Commando M. Pigg Mot stjärnorna
DJ Deeon Funk City
Golden Palominos Pure
Jamez Energy

I saw Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang at a festival and was kinda blown away, and their albums didn’t disappoint.

New Music

Music I’ve bought this month.

The end of the Grand Sampling (of bootleg and rare tapes from the 90s).  It’s been fun revisiting the tapes, but it’s also nice that I can go back to listening to newer music again.

jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=4AD+3-94 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=4AD+Dub+for+Lars jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Residents&album=80+Aching+Orphans+(1) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Residents&album=80+Aching+Orphans+(2) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Residents&album=80+Aching+Orphans+(3)
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Residents&album=80+Aching+Orphans+(4) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Nine+Inch+Nails&album=Add+Violence jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Ekkehard+Ehlers&album=Adikia jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Margo+Price&album=All+American+Made jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Moritz+von+Oswald+%26+Ordo+Sakhna&album=Aslant+%231%3A+Bishkek%2C+Kyrgyzstan
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=BAD215%2C+BAD116%2C+BAD11 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Ekkehard+Ehlers&album=Betrieb jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Big+Hat jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Boundless jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Breathless&album=Chasing+Promises
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Cranes%2C+Rage+Against+the+Machine jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Creation+for+the+Nation jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Alcazar&album=Crying+At+The+Discoteque jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Dead+Can+Dance+live+at+the+Loft+Club jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Denon+XL+II+90+4AD
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Pet+Shop+Boys&album=Elysium jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Erased+Tapes+Collection+VIII jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=King+Gong&album=Erhai+Floating+Sound jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various+Artists&album=Even+A+Tree+Can+Shed+Tears%3A+Japanese+Folk+%26+Rock+1969-1973 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Claire+M+Singer&album=Fairge
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Shirley+Collins&album=Folk+Roots%2C+New+Routes jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Pet+Shop+Boys&album=Further+Listening+2005-2007 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Pet+Shop+Boys&album=Further+Listening+2008-2010+(1) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Pet+Shop+Boys&album=Further+Listening+2008-2010+(2) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Pet+Shop+Boys&album=Further+Listening+2011-2012
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Happy+Rhodes%2C+Loreena+McKennitt jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Hersh+Live jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=I'm+On+My+Journey+Home%3A+Sacred+Harp+Singing%2C+1928-1934 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Tiny+Vipers&album=Laughter jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Melanie+de+Biasio&album=Lilies
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Adult.&album=Live+at+Third+Man+Records jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Maxell+UDI%3A+%229%22 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=OCS&album=Memory+of+a+Cut+Off+Head jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Deerhoof&album=Mountain+Moves jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Muses+Demos+%2B+Mandelbrot+Set+%2B+Lush+(2)
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Muses%2C+Chain%2C+Inrain jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Magnus+Granberg&album=Nattens+skogar jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Four+Tet&album=New+Energy jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Pharmakon&album=Pharmakon%3B+Contact jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Polish+Radio+Experimental+Studio+1957-2003
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Godflesh&album=Post+Self jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Project+Hyperion jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Ralske%2C+Breeders%2C+Tammy%2C+Twins%2C+Coil%2C+Breathless jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Rare+4AD+Tape+1 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Rare+4AD+Tape+2
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=RareThree jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=RareTwo jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Shape+Platform+2017 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Sudan+Archives&album=Sudan+Archives jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Tel+Basta%2C+Seefel
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=The+Breeders%2C+Unrest jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Betty+Harris&album=The+Lost+Queen+Of+New+Orleans+Soul jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Smiths&album=The+Queen+Is+Dead+(1) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Smiths&album=The+Queen+Is+Dead+(2) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Smiths&album=The+Queen+Is+Dead+(3)%3A+Live+In+Boston+at+Great+Woods%2C+5th+August%2C+1986
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Throbbing+Gristle&album=The+Second+Annual+Report+Of+Throbbing+Gristle+(1) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Throbbing+Gristle&album=The+Second+Annual+Report+Of+Throbbing+Gristle+(2) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Throbbing+Gristle&album=The+Taste+of+TG jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Throwing+Muses+live+at+Anaconda+%26+Club+With+No+Name jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Throwing+Muses%2C+Breeders
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Cosey+Fanni+Tutti&album=Time+to+Tell jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Twin+Peaks+(Limited+Event+Series+Soundtrack) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Twin+Peaks+(Music+From+The+Limited+Event+Series) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=US+Indie+Sampler+1 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=US+Indie+Sampler+vol+2
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Ultra+Vivid+Scene+%2B+other+cool+stuff jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=White+Belly jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Unknown+Tape&album=Wolfgang+Press%2C+Belly jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Pet+Shop+Boys&album=Yes

Of Interest to 4AD Fans of Olden Times

Back in the late 80s/early 90s, I was a huge 4AD fan and did many fannish things, like running VHS tape chains of 4AD-related video clips and the like.

It’s a bit difficult to remember at this remove just what was so important about watching video clips and interviews with these bands now, but this obsession led me to, among many other things, to record quite a bit of stuff from MTV onto VHS.

And then I rediscovered a cardboard box full of VHS tapes this autumn.

There were about 30 of them, and I thought that this was surely the time to get organisised, digitise them and upload the interesting snips (FSVO) to Youtube.

So I got started.

It turned out that there was about fifteen minutes worth of stuff of interest on each tape. Uploading music videos isn’t necessary, since they’re already all there, in better quality and from official sources. So that leaves only live footage and interviews.

I did upload some music videos if those made sense in the flow of an interview. If they’re saying “and let’s look at that video now”, it would be kinda awkward to cut it out, so I left them in and wondered what the Youtube copyright system would do: Give me copyright infringement warnings, block the account, or what?

It turns out that it’s less dramatic than that: For the vast majority of the snippets, Youtube notified me that the videos are copyrighted, and that I can’t monetise my uploads because of that. Which is fine, because I wouldn’t do that anyway.

The only problem was videos owned by Warner Music Group: They would block anything that contained “their” videos. So I had to re-edit a handful of interviews, but a couple I basically gave up on and just put on my own server:

Hey! I was there in London at that festival!

It’s taken some time to get all the tapes processes. Not because it’s a lot of work; it’s not: I just push play on the VHS and then four hours later (i.e., when I get back from work) there’s a .mov file that I can then cut snippets out of with Lightworks, and doing the editing takes, like, five minutes or so per tape.

But I forget to start the recording process, so things drag out…

Anyway, here’s the list of snippets I’ve uploaded. If you’re a 4AD fan, there might be some amusement to be found here… And there’s also some other non-4AD odds and ends sprinkled between. And there’s some duplicates, I’m sure, since MTV tended to do re-runs.

Enjoy.