Hectic City 8a – Best of 2008 mixes

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Okay, the egg nog and mulled wine put us out of action for a few days as expected, so there’s a backlog of stuff to finish and get up, starting with the sort-of traditional megapost of the year’s best. As always when starting one of these, I think to myself “There’s not really been that much this year worth compiling, has there?”, but a swift look in the bulging box contradicts that pretty sharpish – It’s been a most excellent year for music, and what’s more, the main succeeders of the year (both for me, and in general) all seem to have come from left field, which is most pleasing.

Still, in a year dominated by Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Elbow, Portishead and the like, the three albums that got the most plays from me are as follows:

Advisory Circle Other Channels cover
The Advisory Circle – “Other Channels” (Ghost Box) : Jim ATT100 tipped me to this on our now sadly defunct radio show, which was quite a surprise. I’d been keeping an eye and ear on Ghost Box’s releases, but had thought till now that they hadn’t quite found the sound to match their splendid eye for design (check their website to see) – “Other Channels” is the record to rectify that – a deranged collage of music concrete, lost 70s educational TV soundtracks and fragments of vintage Public Service films that blend into the perfect backing track to one of your strangest “Back To School” dreams/nightmares.

Mountain Goats cover
The Mountain Goats – “Heretic Pride” (4AD) : There’s almost nothing more satisfying than discovering a band and then finding they have a lengthy and impressive back catalogue to dig into – once you’ve got over the “how the hell did I miss this lot before?” stage, of course. John Darnielle has been recording as The Mountain Goats since 1991, and has gradually updated his sound and style from lo-fi cassette recordings to recent full blown studio experiences, courtesy of a 4AD bankroll. The sound may have got clearer and tighter, but there’s no denying the man’s exceptional ability to write fine tunes.

Beat Pyramid
These New Puritans – “Beat Pyramid” (Angular) : I genuinely expected this to be a smash hit this year, but that shows you how much of a fashion barometer I am… Why not? I don’t know – Too arch and knowing? That chestplate? No marketing budget? All I know is this is the sound of two very current worlds colliding with excellent consequences – grime-y tech-step beats rub shoulders with Wire-y guitars and chanted vocals to fine effect. The frantic pace makes it a great “music to work to” album too which is probably why it got the most plays from me this year :)

So here’s part one of the five mixes. Five? Yes! Rather than bundle stuff into CD sized chunks, things seemed to sound nicer in smaller sections, so I’ve rolled with it. Hope that’s okay with you? Good.

Plenty fine stuff in part one, from Breakbot’s French House-meets-Hill Street Blues take on Pnau, DJ Downfall’s poptastic down-home distorted charm (and winner of the Mr Kleptone Award for best Genesis sample of the year) , Pearson & Usher’s symphonic deconstruction of Kelley Polar and yes, three Aeroplane remixes. It’s been another fine year for our cosmic Belgians, and my fingers are firmly crossed for their debut album, which should be landing sometime next year!

The Kleptones – Hectic City 8a – Best Of 2008 (Part One)

Pnau – Baby (Breakbot remix)
DJ Downfall ft. Gene Serene – Seven Dials
The Shortwave Set – Now Til’ 69 (Aeroplane remix)
Ricardo Villalobos – Enfants (Olin fix – Kleptones edit)
Samos – Alpha Storm (An-2 remix)
Lovelock – Maybe Tonight (Kleptones Quick Instrumental edit)
Lullabies In The Dark – Song For Marie & Elise (Aeroplane remix)
Kelley Polar – Entropy Reigns (Pearson & Usher’s Second Law instrumental)
Ajello & Daniele Baldelli – Magic Feet
Nomumbah – Like A Rainbow (Dub mix)
Kelpe – Yippee Space Ghost (SID version – Kleptones edit)
Grace Jones – Williams Blood (Aeroplane vocal remix)

Hope you enjoy! Next part to follow very, very, shortly!

“Revenge is a confession of pain.”

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I don't believe there's a reason...

Got a trio of stompers to post over the holidays that should clear the cobwebs from your food-and-drink addled brains and give you something to irritate the relatives with. Also, if the impending deluge of egg nog and mulled wine doesn’t completely destroy me, there will be a “Best Of 2008” mix or two before the new year :)

First up, a fresher than fresh one, hot from the overnight oven…

The Kleptones – Controlled Revenge (blog version)

Crank it up!

“In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns…”

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Ant Hill Mob

The Kleptones – Little Fight (blog version)

(PS Let me know in the comments if this one distorts on the bass – it sounded crispy on the mp3 player I normally use, but not on any others… weird.)

“Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.”

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

artist's impression

The Kleptones – Lost In The Ballroom (blog demo)

Enjoy!

“He was much too far out all his life…”

Monday, December 8th, 2008

quicksand jesus
(photo by Niemster)

Well it looks like the best intentions of having a new album up before the end of the year are going to remain just that for now (although it is getting there – more on that soon ;), so by way of a taster, I’m going to start posting up some demos to keep you ticking over :) I’m using “demo” in it’s most straightforwardly pointless meaning, as these are for “demonstation purposes only”, just like, er, everything else on this site!

But yes, demos these will be, some will be less finished than others, some will just need a bit of a remix, but I’ll also be posting up a few scraps and curios that didn’t or haven’t yet made the grade for some reason or other (but still have something going for them!) for you to pick the meat out of, which I’m hoping you’ll find interesting…

So to kick off here’s one that got a live debut over the summer at Beachdown, much to the surprise of at least half the band who had no idea I was going to drop it, hehe – just as well it went down good.

The Kleptones – Deeper Sand (demo)

Hope you like and if you do, stay tuned, as there’ll be more of these every day or two until the album (or until we run out of demos and start to slowly go mad…)

PS You may notice this is not the Hectic City mix that was promised last post – Apologies if you’re waiting, it is on its way, but the album stuff has taken over for a bit – soon come though, so thanks for the comment nudges – your boots up our arses are, as always, very much appreciated…