We emailed a bunch of the bands that featured in our best sellers lists to ask for some 2014 picks of their own. Here is a list of lists from some of the great folks that put so much time and effort into giving us top notch product to sell. Listen to them. They are wise. Great read too.
(Snake / Total Control / UV Race / Dick Diver / Lower Plenty / Edgar Winter Band / Bad Company)
Alright everything in Australia is pretty well spoken for so im gonna talk about some music from from lands that generally suck.
Primetime from London
played with them in london with the uv race. thought they were unreal. reminds me of a lot of second wave english punk without any reggae influence. i love my billabong bob marley boardies as much the next guy but this 7 inch sounds like the raincoats or something with more VU records in their collection. one of the best bands i saw last year. their seven inch came out on nick warnock's favourite hype label "La vida es un mus".
Michael O from the Bay area
Michael O, formally of the Mantles is doing a solo thing now with the help of Glenn Donaldson of Skygreen Leopards. a bit more jonathan richman and a little less birds than the mantles which makes for a more exciting listen. they did a seven inch on fruits and flowers and a new lp is on its way. the seven inch has a sick scorpians cover.
Bert Scholten from Gronigen
Played with this noise/pop/graphic artist at the Vera club in Gronigen with the Uv Race. tip top stuff. He opened up the set reading out his description in the press release for the show over the top of abrasive noise emerging from a non-abrasive looking set up. The rest of his music is made up of dark and abrupt yet aesthetically pleasant electronic backing with a dutch mad man ranting over the top. maybe like the bomber jackets but with more clogs.Bert also runs a label too and i busy on the visual art side of things.
Alistair McKay (Dick Diver)
Here is a photo of Cronixx and Rockers crew I took on Wednesday night at the Kingston Dub Club. If you’re ever in Kingston on a Sunday night, it’s on Skyline Rd above Kingston. Cheap rum, great vibes, and on the wall it says The only good system … is a sound system. I’m in Jamaica on holiday. Currently sitting on my top bunk at Reggae Hostel while my roommate Yuko (travelling alone, very little English, don’t know how he manages Patois. Always eating chicken) is asking me if I am going to Weddy Weddy tonight. No. The rub is the ska, rocksteady, reaggae I’ve heard this week is more righteous than punk or DIY or the style that we popularised (Dolewave), but what it has in common is that it kicks against the pricks and you don’t need too much money to be involved. There’s also a sick community to be part of. I got a sticker from a Rastaman that says Veinstream, not mainstream. This last photo of me is with Bongo at Bob Marley's house. Bongo played soccer with Bob in the 70s and now teaches riddim to tourists. Keep rocking Australia. Happy new year!
Gareth Liddiard (Solo and The Drones)
I can never remember the name of anything I like. These days when I hear new stuff i like it's usually weird modern hip hop. All those people have fucked up text talk names so I have a harder time remembering them than anything else. But I did hear some pretty out there hip hop. One name that's easier to remember came up in about November. Einsturzende Neubauten put out a WW1 album called Lament. Putting out WW1 albums sounds really lame but Neubauten pretty much destroy any popular culture(rock, rap, punk, kronos quartet type stuff etc etc etc.....) music group out there since 1977, so they can do whatever they want. They cover the very weird and forgotten side of WW1 on Lament. Not the rod up you ass dawn service Gallipolli cove Fuck Off We're Full version of WW1.
They rule. Thanks.
Cooper Bowman (Altered States Tapes, Dry Mouth, Roman Nails)
The best record I heard this year was by Container. I probably punished more people with this when I was drunk than any record ever. ‘Adhesive’ is four tracks of raw techno brilliance.
The best live band I saw was mutant-punks Brando’s Island from Melbourne/Newcastle. They are wholly unique, something exceedingly rare in this day and age. Whether it was playing to a packed audience of punks at their Melbourne debut or a small cluster of weirdos in a sweaty bowling club in Newcastle, they delivered in spades. With two imminent 7”s, 2015 will be their year.
My favourite label of the year was Future Archaic. I had stuff released on it, so I guess there’s a conflict of interest. But who gives a shit right. These end of year lists inevitably regress into circle-jerking, so why not partake. Liam Osbourne’s curatorial scope and art direction are second to none as far as contemporary tape labels in this country go. Anyone looking for an accessible in for Australian noise and electronic muzak needs go no further than here. Cervere’s Excessive Liquidity released on FA was the best tape I heard this year.
Others: Exiles From Clowntown LP on Soft Abuse, Orion live / demo, Low Life's Dogging and Total Control’s Typical System, but enough has been said about that elsewhere for me to bother clogging your pores with my take on it. Otherwise I just listened to AC/DC (’75-’79).
Gonna try say stuff that I haven't said in other top 10s, because that's boring. These are equally as good as everything previously mentioned
Marc didn't reply to me when I asked everybody to write 2 - 3 of their favourite things of 2014. So i'll make his up for him.
1. Haight Street, San Fransisco
2. Hackey Sack
3. Eating at Lentil as Anything.
1 - RICH GANG THA TOUR PT.1///YOUNG THUG IN GENERAL
1017 Thug and ICFN2 were beacons of joy through some bleak times for me, so i'm real happy to see thugger blow up like he has this year. It blows my mind how something like 'lifestyle' can be such a hit overseas but still feel obscure down here. 'Black Portland' had some bangers but the Rich Gang tape is amazing. Thugger holds on to all the quirks that made him so appealing while he gets more consistent and mature. Quan goes in on this one too. "Told You I Would Never Stop Going In". I hope Thug blowing up affords Ola Playa some more attention, "Slime Season" is a great tape.
2 NXT R-EVOLUTION///WRESTLEMANIA XXX
R-evolution was is so good it almost feels like WWE put it out just to appease crotchety internet wrestling fans. Nearly cried when Zayn got the strap. The thought of him going over to the main roster and getting buried gives me nightmares. Wrestlemania wasn't perfect, but Daniel Bryan getting the WHC was real.
3 - PC MUSIC
I like this label cause I love 90s bubblegum dance, happy hardcore, and sugary pop music in general. GFOTY makes me miss electroclash. Apart from all the silly think pieces and netartist posturing this stuff is great fun, has massive hooks, and gets up the noses of people who take music way too seriously.
Hardcore Devo reissues.
Definitely needed to come out on vinyl. its all great but vol 2, side 3 is my favourite, its packed out with all the hits. bottled up!
orb have taken over the later end of 2014 for geelong. they are the new thing. they get better and tighter every show, i am still waiting on that cassette that was meant to come out months ago.
Didnt get into these til december. best shit of 2014. only got the songs downloaded on a disc on my car. kinda strange to mention this next to hardcore devo as it reminds me heaps of it but what the heck. they both rule
Dribble - lovers 7". Heard it was coming out at the start of the year. Totally forgot by the time it arrived in the mail.
Paranoid Anxieties - I tried to buy this VHS and the guy never got back to me. Hopefully now that the 2nd one has come out I will have better luck. Everything I have seen on the internet is great!
Orion - Great tape. Great live band. Bangin basslines. Can't wait for more recordings.
Tom Hardisty (Nun, Woollen Kits, Leather Towel)
2014, musically, was neither a big nor dynamic year for me. I was entirely snowed in by the final year of my tertiary studies and consequently didn’t have the time, energy or funds to go to gigs or trawl through all the demos and 7”s I would have liked to have. I did my best to keep up with the usual Australian stuff, and another strong year it proved to be here (Half High, Lakes, Love Chants, Ruined Fortune, Eastlink, M.O.B., Guttergods, Low Life & Total Control – among others - all put out records I love).
In particular, Sacred Product were a real highlight for me. Their self-titled LP is an excellent example of idiosyncratic and genuinely strange contemporary rock music. Their double 7” (on Quemada Records, a notable and trustworthy source of great music) contains the track ‘Wastex’, which in my opinion was probably the best song of 2014. Another stand out track from 2014 (and one which took me by surprise), was Peter Escott’s ‘My Heaven, My Rules’, the refrain of which has the power of a song like ‘Born To Run’, despite being naught but piano and vocals.
However, besides a massive spike in Lou Reed solo records (for obvious reasons) and intense amounts of Television Personalities (everyone knows the first few are great, but give The Painted Word, Privilege and the How I Learned To Love The Bomb EP a listen if you haven’t already), my listening in 2014 was dominated by long-form instrumental music. This is a class of music I have enjoyed and been interested in from a relatively young age, but after studying Fine Art Sound for 3 years, I became burned out on it, ultimately leading to my exclusive passion for powerpop and punk for a number of years to follow. You can only listen to that shit exclusively for so long though (this goes both ways).
High on rotation in this vein was Pharoah Sanders (‘Jewels of Thought’), Arvo Pärt (‘Tabula Rasa’), Andrew Chalk (‘Goldfall’), Khan Jamal (‘Drum Dance To The Motherland’), Call Back The Giants (’The Marianne’), Psychic Baggage (‘self titled’) and my favourite discovery, on Eno’s Obscure label, Gavin Bryars’ ‘The Sinking Of The Titanic’, a warm and droning estimate at what the Titanic’s band might have sounded like if they kept playing all the way down to the ocean’s floor.
As I say, 2014 was a bit of a blackhole for me (albeit a very rewarding one), but I’m feeling really good about re-entering certain elements of society in 2015 and I am especially excited for music by Cured Pink, Orion, Terry and Dick Diver, as well as whatever joys labels like Albert’s Basement, Kye, RIP Society, Superior Viaduct and the aforementioned Quemada have to offer in this coming year.
I didn't get the chance to listen to that many records this year. Not sure why. Living out of a bag that couldn't fit a record player maybe had something to do with it. My friend got me into Jacque Dutronc on something called Grooveshark when I was in Marseille and that was probably the musical highlight. Fitting place to discover him. Even If he lives in Corsica chopping down cigars in seclusion nowadays. The man is a god! and is worthy of worship. Bow before him even if you can't work out what he's saying.I speak English and I say: take my word for it.
Little did I know Dutronc had been covered and cross-checked by The Black Lips and King Khan years ago. But I usually miss the boat, beaten to the punch yet again. He's also married to Francoise Hardy the lucky bastard.
Some of those Nikki Sudden/Jacobites records got vinyl re-issues and they are all brilliant.
Not sure if that was early 2014 or late 2013. Either way, he's the greatest of any year.
HERES SOME GREAT RECORDS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
EVERYONE IS EQUAL AND UNIQUE, LIFE IS NO COMPETITION
RANKINGS ARE FOR TRIATHLETES.
1. Old Mate - It Is What It Is
2. Ausmutaents - Order Of Operation
3. Total Control - Typical System
4. Lower Plenty - Life/Thrills
5. Ocean Party - Soft Focus
5. Straight Arrows - Rising
6. Blank Realm - Grassed In
7. The Broken Needles - Holy Coast
8. Joseph Liddy & The Skeleton Horse - And The God Is Named Abrasax
9. Ruined Fortune - S/T
10. Ela Stiles - S/T
Theres probably a hundred more.. But this is all I can think of for now.
Whatever you do.. DON’T BUY ANY NATHAN ROCHE RECORDS.
They only win awards at the musical equivalent of "The Razzies"
and now, drum roll please..
The best record of 2014 is:
Marty (The Twerps)
Here is my top ten things of 2014.
1. Signing to Merge
2. Serial Podcast. Thursdays couldn't come quicker
3. Making Underlay EP
4. True Detective, although it shat itself at the very end, it was some fucking tv show.
5. Thirsty Eyes by The Stevens
6. Angel Olsen - Burn Your Fire for no witness LP
7. Noise In My Head mixes done by the legend that is Michael Cusack
8. Krakatau live at Meredith
9. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
10. Under The Skin (Film)
David West (Rat Columns, Lace Curtain) - 'Great Encounters With Living Bands in 2014'
I'd like to mention some great bands I encountered on the Rat Columns/Lace Curtain 2014 USA tours....some highlights from the USA underground scene circa summer/fall 2014. I can only mention a few but the standard was shockingly high the entire time. No-Merica's killing it! We played with so many great bands but I am going to focus on the less well known, as it appears to me at this split second. This list is not in some kind of hierarchal order. Do we have to rank artistry like some kind of pastry tasting contest? I think and hope not!
My band Rat Columns played with Ruby Pins for several shows in the Pacific Northwest area of North America. Ruby Pins is one of Lillian the drummer from Grass Widow's newer bands. Lillian played drums for Rat Columns at a few of these shows which was amazing, as she is one of the best drummers on this planet! She sings and plays guitar in Ruby Pins and they shred hard, kind of a 70s art punk style mixed with Lillian's très idiosyncratic and dynamic songwriting voice. Her live lineup consists of a bunch of majorly cool Bay Area scene people and they are a good time to be around. That's almost better than being a good band, but to have both, woah! Karaoke with this lot at Portland's fabulous tiki karaoke bar The Alibi was a highlight. Easily the best tiki themed karaoke bar that I went to in 2014.
Rat Columns and Ruby Pins played with CC Dust in Olympia, that white hot bastion of underground culture, rainfall, greenery, radical politics and experimental schooling, as chronicled in the song 'Olympia' from Leni Riefenstahl's breakthrough album from 1994, 'Live Through This'. There was some confusion about the show in a classic Olympian smokescreen of chaos moment but this was short-lived as my main man Ian L put on a fabulous show featuring CC Dust, the singer of which, Mary Jane, plays with Ian in the fantastic contemporary hardcore band Vexx (https://soundcloud.com/vexxolympia). They emitted a couple of haunting dance pop siren songs making me think of such visions of past glory as Eurythmics and New Order. They are rather new and thus quite subtle in the electronic communications index but keep an eye out for these talented people!
Lace Curtain toured with Eaters around the East Coast in Fall 2014. A magical time to be in that area, what with the leaves turning hyper vibrant and the weather being Miss Moody like a 50s noir vamp. I was struck down by vicious allergies for much of the time as a result but the wonderful presence of Jonny and Bob from Eaters more than compensated for this immune system misfortune. Touring with these guys was incredibly surreal as they are both organised, competent, intelligent individuals who didn't freak out, lose the car keys or go missing in the morning. Was I dreaming??? Despite these obvious rock'n'roll faux pas, they blew me away every night with their beautiful electronic kraut synthscapes. They released their debut album in 2014, which is one to look out for!
GOD VOL. ONE
LC and Eaters played at the subterranean hotspot 'Situations' in Chicago, a mysterious and delightful cave in a secret location not far away from the great falafel spot Sultan's Market, a hyper efficient and tasty Mediterranean oasis with a charming cafeteria ambience. God Vol. One played at this show, however as it was their ninth show, they were billed as God Vol. Nine. It became obvious that GV.1 are couch-comfortable with the conceptual, as furthermore, after an extended soundcheck where the two ladies played three songs, they delivered two more songs, effectively crushing the longtime hegemony of the 'show' over the 'soundcheck' in a conceptual coup! Beyond mere annihilation of format, they killed it in the traditional music sense, emitting what struck me as a mind melting aquatic synth-pop-dance sequenced dream. I'm not sure if they have any records out yet but they should!
Rat Columns scooted into Chicago a month before Lace Curtain and played at the Mousetrap, an amazing DIY venue in the heart of the bustling Ukrainian Village. We ate Mexican food at the same place I ate Mexican food the last time I was in Chicago. It's around the corner from Permanent Records. Recommended! The show was great, and Negative Scanner killed it with some kind of high tension wire clanging power punk lightning. We stayed at Rebecca, the Negative Scanner singer's house, where she lives with the world's biggest You Am I fan and all-around cool person Jen. These two fabulous ladies accompanied the RC coterie on an Unspecified Romantic Facilitation Adventure (URFA) that night. The next morning Rat Columns went to the most divisive co-operatively owned organic hippie grocery of the tour, The Dill Pickle. I personally was in favour of the Dill Pickle's small but carefully curated food selection and bewitchingly witchy staff but others in the group were disappointed in their organic selections. Such is the life of your Average Touring Rock'n'Roll Band in 2014...
The second port of call on the Canadian leg of the Lace Curtain/Eaters tour was Montreal, a beautiful city filled with beautiful people. Such charm, such spirit. The shorts are shorter, the nights are later, Montreal has a certain 'je ne sais quoi' indeed. The venue was the only venue I have ever played in Montreal, ostensibly the lads from the great band Each Other's practice space/loft/club, and why would one play anywhere else? Two groups from the Montreal scene, Koko and Real Life, played a collaborative set at the show which left all of our jaws on the floor. It carried wafts of Tuxedomoon, LA bass, skewed R'n'B and damaged funk into my dome like the scent of jasmine in warm summer air. I wish I could point one in the direction of this group but all I can find is Koko's individual page, which is great also. Please, Koko/Real Life, drop a record pronto. Mathematique (http://mathematique93music.bandcamp.com/) also ripped it, a Quebecois dance pop juggernaut with a charmingly sassy stage presence. The next day blessed us further with my first ever legitimate Montreal bagel experience from the BRILLIANT St. Viateur bakery. I won't say Montreal bagels are better than New York bagels, I'll just say, Montreal, JE T'AIME!
As a long time acolyte of the Purple One I was extremely excited to visit the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St.Paul, and the joint didn't disappoint. Shawn of the legendary label Night People welcomed us to his new town and in true and righteous sound boy style both dubbed the tapes and screen printed the covers for a couple fist full's of my solo tape 'Drop Out Of Collage' on the spot while schooling me on digital reggae and dancehall. Did you know Shawn Reed is a first class dancehall/reggae/rocksteady selector? If not, correct your posture and scope his mix den, Lick It Back (http://www.mixcloud.com/lickitback/). Our show at a delightfully right-on activist cafe was rocked by the group Pen Test who ripped an electro/coldwave/synthpop shaped hole in the night sky making me dream of some kinda blessed union of Voice Farm and Kraftwerk. Not to mention their brilliant synchronised gestures and extremely attractive custom synth table! So you CAN have it all?
I could go on but I sense boredom in the stands. Generation Loss. This is one of Hannah Lew from Grass Widow/Cold Beat's newer bands. The hardest working lady in San Francisco rock'n'roll and a born shredder of formats (video, axe, voice, record label, waffles, the list goes on...). The band also features the divine Kyle Crawford, who had the Best Hair In The Bay in 2014 and is a sinister axe minister indeed. They play a scorched future vision of punk blitz which drifts tantalizingly in the direction of NWOBHM, in my humble opinion. They ruled it at the final show of the Rat Columns tour which completed our circle back to our spiritual No-Merican home San Fran-Frisco in fabulous style.
Liam Osbourne (Future Archaic label, Freejack, Trust, Lucid Castration)
Wrote a top 10 in no order and included a sentence for each, pretty standard but this is it:
Odwalla 88- Lily 23 (Flash Drive) Self Released)
Flash Drive release from great Baltimore Duo, really incredible intersection of spoken performance and strange sample based music.
V. Sinclair- Memoirs of a Twin (Cassette) Unseen Force)
Great deconstructed tape collages and minimal power electronics on Unseen Force.
MSHING- Exterminate (3” CDR) L. White Records)
Although I’m not a fan of the 3” format, the crushing death industrial on this outshine the annoyance of the format.
Flat Fix- An Unkempt house (Cassette) Not Not Fun)
Lush and repetitious all Analogue CV compositions with an ear for perfection.
Stefan Jaworzn- Drained of Connotation (LP) Blackest ever Black)
Wild synth and drum machine experiments uncovered from 82.
Powell- Club Music (EP) Diagonal)
Pretty obvious choice here and probably indicates my departure from following techno, I think this record is really a testament to how the genre can be moved forward.
Nicki Minaj- The Pink Print (Album) Young Money, Cash Money)
Recently released masterpiece from the best selling female hip hop artist of all time.
Container- Adhesive (EP) Liberation Techniques)
Again another obvious Techno release but another example of perfect genre bending.
Rich Gang- Rich Gang the tour part 1 (Mixtape) Self Released?)
Probably my most listened to this year, an amazing mix tape that shows that Atlanta is really the hub of contemporary trap and the future of music.
Helm- The Hollow Organ (EP) Pan)
The best at soundscapes. Utilising samplers, synths, field recordings and other techniques.
Also I have the new batch out which includes new tapes from Italianz, Short Future, Nicky Crane, Roman Nails (Cooper) and Lucid Castration, let me know if you're interested in getting some for the store, me and coop have been talking about sending some stuff up together.
Lynton (Satanic Rockers, Sacred Product, Encounter Group)
*Ulsers "Remember Them" 7-inch and "Forget Them" LP. This kind of wonky sax led shit gets me in the mood to stay in my room and just keep listening. The excellent Australian music blog Wallaby Beat reissued the seven inch and issued the LP for the first time ever......what a treat! Twisted sub-rock or after work drunk cardboard box rock played by people several decades ago who might've been into the Laughing Clowns but it all came out wrong. Art/Punk excellence! Trawl the Wallaby Beat if you dare for other great outside/inside Oz boredom killers! Of note is another Adelaide punk band called Black Chrome who's track called "Australia's God" is an articulate jab at complacent living for all ages(and places), delivered in an economical style.......it's up on the Wallaby so run it down!
*Peter Gutteridge "Pure" double LP reissued by 540 Records from an Xpressway cassette originally made in the late 1980's. Unfortunately Peter passed away shortly after his first trip overseas earlier in the year. I was really hoping that with this record being released he might make it over to Australia and play some shows, but this was not to be. His music has made a big impact on me and I remember way back in 1996 seeing Snapper play the most killer show ever. It was evil, I was drunk, Mike Doolley the drummer played a stripped back kick/snare/floor tom/ride kit. That's all he needed and it more than did the trick in pulverising my drunken swaggering into blissfull reverie! I strongly recommend if you like your rock deep and dark have a listen to Snapper's final LP called "ADM". It's my all time favourite album. I wish I could've thanked the man behind this music in person, cheers for the beauty Peter Gutteridge.
*Pip Proud "Adrenaline and Richard" and "A Bird In The Engine" LP's reissued via Superior Viaduct. These two records originally came out in the late sixties. I am only just starting on the folk journey and Pip opened the gate wide for me. No need to describe the haunting uniquenss of this artist so just have a LISTEN!
Another honourable mention must be made to Buttercup Records who reissued Tasmanian folk LP "So What If I'm Standing In Apricot Jam" by Howard Eynon. I'd say that the folk gate was kicked open by Pip and Howard is ripping out the flowers! Good work Buttercup!
*Cybotrons first LP reissued by local quality merchants Dual Planet. Melbourne was pulsating to this sound way back in 1976 while I was still licking chair legs and learning to roll on the floor. There are strong connections with German bands from the same time such as Sand or Tangerine Dream, I reckon the 'Tron have their waves and throb down slick with the production suitable for some serious high volume flat wrecking!. Try cooking an egg on the speakers any time of the day with this!
*Shoes This High "Straight To Hell" live in Wellington 1980. I'm not gonna mention the word post-punk, oh fucky fuck! Too late! Snotty angry manic theatric oppositional rock from N.Z. Maybe if the Gordons were fronted by Sid Vicious you'd get something vaguely similar...Tom Lax from longtime underock label Siltbreeze hasn't been Lax this year in getting this classic kiwi cult album released amongst other greats such as the Victor Dimisich Band and Scorched Earth Policy. Mention must be made of Bavarian label Unwucht who have been releasing some very obscure records from my shitty old hometown Christchurch. I just received his CHCH Boxet in the mail before Christmas and it certainly qualified for some serious needle grinding. Included in the set is a compilation LP and seven inch by Richie Venus(ex-Elvis Impersonator and longtime roll rock songwriter). There's some searing emotional rockin' to be heard in his tunes and they're real growers on my ears. I won't go into any more details here so just visit Peter at Unwucht as he has great curatorial taste.
I guess not only does my day job help out the landlord but it's been put to great use in buying round plastic things that make noise. No regrets just like that Leminster from Hotormead.
Mention must be made that the best show I saw in 2014 was the Hammering the Cramps reunion at Dane Certificate's Magic Shop. There is a live recording of some of the show and a little write up I did here. These guys from Hobart hadn't played for years and had a bit of a shambolic energy to them that greatly aided my distorted sense of reality. Something special, something rare for the few...
Thanks to all the great truly indie labels and personalities around Australia keeping the flame of Underock alive and developing. Too many people to mention but I'll pass a kind word onto you next time we meet...By the way this non-particular order list was just the tip of the icy pole.
Matthew Hopkins (Four Door, Half High)
Below are some musical highlights from the year 2014 that I very much enjoyed.
Some recordings and live performances, which are in no particular order; there be no ranking or anything in place here.
Karla Broecky – Still In Your Pocket (LP), Recital
Ingram Marshall – Fog Tropes/Gradual Requiem (LP), Arc Light Editions
Tim Coster – Gemini (cassette), self-released
Exotic Dog + Monica Brooks + Moonmilk – live at 107 Projects, Sydney
Many acts from the Now Now festival, especially James Rushford & Joe Talia,
Alice Hui-Sheng Chang & Jessie Scott, Love Chants, & The Overtone Ensemble
Ora Clamenti – Cover You Will Softer Me (LP), Penultimate Press
Eduard Artemiev – The Mirror/Stalker soundtrack (LP) Superior Viaduct
Miaux – Dive (LP) Ultra Eczema + Miaux live at the Firend in Hand Pub, Sydney
Hour House – Stroke (cassette) Altered States Tapes + Hour House live at Tapes
KYE/Penultimate Press live event, Café Oto, London
Orion live, various venues around Sydney
Vanessa Rossetto – Whole Stories (LP) KYE
Food Group – S/T (LP) KYE
Matt Krefting – Lymp Est (LP) KYE
All the Future Archaic tapes I’ve managed to get
Valerio Tricoli – Miseri Lares (X2 LP) PAN
Seeing Luca Garino perform in Turin and Milan, Italy
Club Sound Witches live at Real Bad Music, Brisbane
Blank Realm in general
Lucy Cliché sets (all of them)
Sam Chiplin (Housewives, Ruined Fortune)
No agenda…No glamour…No back rubs
Cooper Bowman - Altered States Tapes CEO - roman nails
Oranj Punjabi - Fjorn Butler
Radical creation - sean mcmorrow
https://soundcloud.com/radical-creation (old but gud)
Mazurka Editions - Jarrod Skene -
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata
Good Area 7" - 'Cubic Zirconia' b/w 'Bad Karlshafen' 7"
Maps to the stars - Cronenberg
$5.70 or 3 for $16 or 6 for $10 1L Longneck Beers "Sagres" from Petersham Bottleshop
Yuta getting kicked out of the rip society opera house show
Al being away for the most of the year
XNOBBQX & Yr Intestine @ The Friend In Hand, Glebe
Rolf Harris getting done
Tom at the farm - Xavier Dolan
Dan Stewart (Distort Zine, Total Control, Straight Jacket Nations, UV Race)
Nic's a pedant for "unheralded" and in 2014/15 it's pretty difficult to say what's overexposed or overhyped. Like that Low Life LP is my favourite record of last year, and the last Gutter Gods show was the best local live experience, but Nic's heard of them. You've heard of the label Cool Death who are doing the right things in Melbourne, and you've heard the Gutter Gods LP they released. Overseas, the Vanessa Amara LP on Posh Isolation is high quality, as is the Puce Mary LP on said label. In Melbourne the tape labels Altered States, Future Archaic and Hideotic did my favourite local non-Cool Death releases, and the Snake tape was KING. Degenerate, Teenage Fantasies and Down and Out were the mags I liked to read. The best record I bought in 2014 was the Pan Sonic double LP, and the Crisis double LP was the best reissue. The Girls in Oz Punk calendar needs herald.
Ben Warnock (Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Red Red Krovvy)
I can't remember the first half of the year too well. Maybe don't release things before August if you care about end of year lists probably. 2014 was the year of listening to CDs, tapes, and computer more than records, or the year of not that much stuff on record exciting me to sit up off bed to flip a side vs being too tired after work to care. 2014 was the year of listening to classical music on youtube.
Song of the Year
Peter Escott - My Heaven My Rules
Dag - Dogwood
Oily Boys - Majesty
Bi Hour - An Accident
Primetime - Tied Down
Low Life - Dogging
Good Throb - Fuck Off
Watery Love- Decorative Feeding
Crime - Murder by Guitar
2015 (?) looking forward to
Leather Towel LP
Model Citizen LP
Daniel Spencer, Blank Realm.
Another great year for music, if you knew where to look. I tried not to maybe include stuff that would be overly familiar to Repressed shoppers in this list, which is hard. I should make mention of the monolithic albums made by Total Control, Exhaustion and Nun, and the great work done by the Twerps, Dick Diver, White Hex, Straight Arrows and Ruined Fortune. Live I saw amazing stuff from Multiple Man, Hookworms, Terrible Truths, Four Door, Constant Mongrel, Miss Destiny, Sun Ra Arkestra, Workshop, Soft Walls, The Moles, Scraps, The Stevens, Ghastly Spats, Lucy Cliché, and Yo La Tengo.
Anyways, here’s some albums I really liked this year:
Good Throb - Fuck Off
That’s a pretty antisocial album title, but given how ferocious this album is, there really not much else it could have been called. Singer KY Ellie gets my vote for Best Vocalist Working in the Medium of Punk Rock in 2014. Echoes of Kleenex, Crass and various strains of classic DIY but with a bass heavy almost groove that is very much their own.
Matthew P Hopkins - Nocturnes.
Pretty much a fan of any project this guy has been involved with over the years, but this one is particularly great. I’m hesitant to attempt description of music this personal and idiosyncratic, but if pressed I would say sounds like Harold Budd wandering with a Dictaphone around a sleeping circus.
Lawrence English – Wilderness of Mirrors
Lawrence’s masterwork so far. A kind of power ambient music that annihilates as it envelops. A good place to lie down for all eternity.
Pip Proud - Adreneline & Richard
The endless treadmill of reissue rock is the most exhausting in all of modern music, but Superior Viaduct has established itself as a beacon of hope in the morass. This unlikely reissue of an Australian classic filled me with joy. Pip Proud is titan of lysergic folk and poetry, and this is one of his most beguiling moments.
Fourth World Magazine Vol. 2 – Pinhead In Fantasia
This record is the complete realization of Spencer Clarke’s alternate universe, where Pinhead from the Hellraiser movies, choirs of Cenobytes, Walt Disney, HR Giger and classical harp are all tied together by a disorienting dream logic.
Wonderfuls - Only Shadows Now
Another Wonderfuls record, probably their best. Nocturnal, completely wasted and drunkenly profound. Half-spoken elegies for lives that didn’t turn out as planned.
Pretty great collection of mutant electro filled with filthy beats and mangled vocal samples. Good in the headphones for a late night stroll.
Itasca – Unmoored by the Wind
This album had a really cool out of time feel, recalling records I love by the likes of Collie Ryan and Mark Fry. It takes its time to unfurl and cast its spell slowly, but by the time it finishes you are somewhere else.
Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985
This comp is totally revelatory and moving. From Crazy Horse style rockers to Townes Van Zandt style ballads sung in native tongues, it’s all great. A piece of the puzzle we never knew was missing.
Thigh Master – Head of the Witch
Probably the catchiest song ever that I don’t understand a word of. Thigh Master live is a thrill and a half. This track just about captures it. Great vid from Helena Papageorgiou too. We watched it on a smartphone in Diksmuide, Belgium and felt a bit homesick.
John Coltrane – Offering: Live at Temple University
Incredible to hear this concert in full. That much talked about moment where he drops the sax and starts vocalising is true magic.
Oily Boys thought Gutter Gods’ ‘Innersense’ LP was an exciting exploration of space punk’s frontiers. Low Life’s ‘Dogging’ LP showed them how thoroughly ‘punks’ can be out-punked by ‘non-punks’. They thought the Leather Lickers demo was a great combination of H100s and The Stooges; and the great punk demo of 2014. The boys enjoyed the way Power demonstrated their prowess with their two song tape of good-time Australian rock n roll; and look forward to more VB tins with Nathan Williams and his coloured balls. Their favourite electronic releases of the year were the Civilisation recordings Plaguebody Gush, BREACHKEENLYHAPPENING; the Cooper Bowman ‘Essential Oils/Hock’ tape; and the Four Door LP.
They also enjoyed the TV show Black Mirror, a modern day Twilight Zone from the UK; and "Äkta människor" (Real Humans), a Swedish sci-fi show about androids, AI, and freewill. Their favourite films were Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer; and Winter Sleep, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Dan Carlin’s ‘Blueprint for Armageddon’ episodes from his Hardcore History podcast were also a favourite.
Other highlights of 2014 included seeing Low Life at the Square (for the Square’s second last show ever); the Gutter Gods last show at the Tote; Lucy Cliche’s set at Fredas; Soma Coma at the Red Rattler; Horse MacGuyver at the Red Rattler; Power, Destiny 3000, Low Life, Royal Headache, Zodiac, and Dribble at Maggot Fest V; Soma Coma at Red Rattler; Brando’s Island at Croation Club; Low Life’s glowstick infused set at the Agincourt; and Danny Pinter’s dancing.
Things that Oily Boys look forward to in 2015 are the Power LP, the Teuton promo tape, the Black Deity LP, the Seating Plan tape, the Cured Pink LP, more drugs, more raves, and the return of space punk.
“I am the slave to a rave of a race of space punks living on a beam of diamond light, the glow is forever” - Oily Boys 2015
Cool Death Records
I didn’t listen to a lotta records released in 2014. Here’s some I did that I didn’t hate:
Eastlink - ‘Mullum Mullum‘ LP
This boyishly handsome group of fashionable idiots surprised me with a long player that delivered what the 1st 7” promised - a kind of driving psychedelic, dum-shit RnR fusion carried by Al’s snotty OZ accent. I don’t know why this works.
V/A - Milk Music/Destruction Unit/Merchandise - Split LP
More for side-B. Destruction Unit blowout a monstrous helping of blackened wreck n’ roll to begin, then Milk Music continue their flawless run of output. If 2014 music is of interest to you in 2015 then do yaself a solid and suss Milky’s cover of CCR’s ‘Effigy’ that features on this.
V/A - Down Under Nuggets: Original Australian Artyfacts 1965-1967
Top reissue of last year and my most listened to by a Nullarbor’s length. The D-Coys ‘Bad Times’ coulda been track 1 & lockgrooved for all I cared but you get 28(!) other freaky Australian sounds to do the bop to. Essential for anyone that’s true blue.
Oily Boys - Majesty 7"
Was this even released in 2014? Who cares. Gravely missed.
Fiercest acts of Live Evil…
Simfuckers @ The Metro (ADL) December + Ripped Off @ Maggot Fest (VIC) November:
Two of the most putrid representations of hardcore punk one could hope to imagine. Too off-the-rails and misplayed to catch any groove to. Not a second to relax, or feel at ease. Both the ferals fronting these acts really don’t seem there when committing acts of buggery when playing, and their crowds got sucked in, channellingthat feeling too. Two vulgar displays of power.
Lowlife @ Maggot Fest (VIC) November:
The loudest set of the weekend. Ignorant amounts of feedback during & between songs. This one really fucked with me. An absolute pleasure.
A few of the finer things from 2014
- Total Control- Typical System- If i wasn't friends with these guys I could easily imagine them kicking back on the yachts they each bought with the royalties from "Safety Net'. W O W
- Orion-Demo- They only dubbed like 12 of these things, so I have to settle listening on my computer. Their arvo set at Maggot fest got me tingling in all the right places. Sydney's next great hope.
- Hobo Magic live @ Bendigo Hotel who? i don't fucken know. Kicked off Maggot weekend. Fantastic heavy seventies/NWOBHM-esq band done by from what i could tell, kids born in the 90s-in NOOSA!?? woah!
- Power- Live (Anywhere). Its our job to ride the nuts of all the bands on COOL DEATH, but even if i didn't have conflicting interests here, I'd be raving. Incredible live band. New record on Cool Death in 2015.
-Primetime- Live and s/t 7"- UV Race did a short tour of Europe last year. Just when i was starting to think that every band in Europe are absolute dogshit, we played with these gals. Total diamonds in the rough. Reminded me of early UV but with a better grasp of their instruments?
The #1s- S/T LP- Great powerpop from errrr... Northern Ireland no less. Modern Kicks.
Die-Vexed 7" Another great 7" from these geezers. New wave of british hardcore.
-HOZAC records- Killin' it with the England's Glory and electric eels 7"s and the Timmy's Organism 2LP. Essential.
ZODIAC - It is written in the stars.
Zephyr Pavey (Eastlink, Total Control)
Music that I saw/heard and liked in 2014 was Dire Ears, TOL and Dracula. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Future Archaic cassettes,unbeatable design work ,a particular fave was Sussex Street Death Squad and I’m sure the Nicky Crane tape that narrowly avoided 2014 is second to none.
Ben Hepworth (Eastlink, Repairs)
1. Power - Serpent City cs
2. Italianz - Lost Catz Ov Calabria cs
3. Ill Winds - Selftitled cs
4. Regional Curse - Selftitled cs
5. Gloss - Prey
1. Choice Gary Quote: "Do you know who The Basement Jaxx are?"
2. INXS Prestige Limited Television Mini Series: Good time local boys make good. Logie award winning talent in every facet of the production. Second half is a bit how ya going because old mate dies and JD Fortune is nowhere to be seen.
3. Hardcore Punk. Still mad
4. Nightcrawler, Coherence, The Guest, The Babadook, Under The Skin, Stranger By The Lake, Edge Of Tomorrow. Music is for mouth breathers. Don't talk to us about music.
5. Music. Excellent Australian cassettes from ASPS, Ill Winds, Flat Fix, Orion, Freejack and Adelaide laying waste with Grid City Itch. Why bother with other formats?
Honourable mentions: Sharpie revival, Campbell Newman, Pub sound guys, Russell Brand, Vance Joy, G20, Woodboot
Tim Coster (Maker of really nice experimental music)
Lincoln Brown (Housewives, Ghastly Spats, Ruined Fortune)
Cool guitar list!
The Warm Feelings