Speakers Push Air


Speakers Push Air Albums Of The Year Pt 3: 10-6

10. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! (Kranky)

allelujah-dont-bend-ascend[1]

Godspeed get on my tits. Massively. Pompous po-faced sulky teenager cunts. I saw them once, they pissed me off. They’ve taken that whole “we reject the star system and the media” so far they’ve become more inaccessible than Howard Hughes. They’ve nicked their moves off Swans, mostly, and couch their fairly formulaic music in the kind of shallow anti-corporate schtick that even the most naive anarkid would find gauche. They reject ‘entertainment’ while writing entertaining songs called Mladic, which depend on a faux-Balkan sound palette to even vaguely reference the piece’s namesake.

Unfortunately, they’re fucking great at big soaring postrock noises. Even while I’m gritting my teeth at their nonsense, my heart races as the tunes explode. This is a fucking incredible album, which has pissed me off even more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXdF9uhVrI0

09. Raime – Quarter Turns Over A Living Line (Blackest Ever Black)

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Claustrophobic, oppressive, Stygian, like a musical black hole sucking in light. And absolutely beautiful for all that. The disconnect between the essentially danceable DJ sets (ragga jungle, Cabaret Voltaire, bashment, that sort of caper) and their almost-danceable 12″s was one thing, this is a whole other ballgame. Barely any beats, live instruments, more than a hint of goth.

08. El-P – Cancer 4 Cure (Turnstile)

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I don’t keep up so much with hip hop these days and largely depend on a man like Adam for tip offs. He wised me up to a number of great hip hop albums this year – Killer Mike and Typical Three especially – but the El-P album would have got to me anyway, cos I love a lot of his old stuff. But even compared with some of his excellent past form, Cancer 4 Cure is way better than all that. Might be my favourite hip hop album of the last decade or more. Crunchy, abrasive, layered, in your face, funny, paranoid and angry and all the other things that make great hip hop great.

07. Chain & The Gang – In Cool Blood (K)

41w4YpSnj3L._SL500_[1]On which the coolest man in rock’n’roll (since Lux passed, anyway) gets his own Poison Ivy (the Nancy to his Lee, the Kylie to his Nick) with the arrival of Katie Alice Greer, a new partner in crime to help him put the world to rights – socialism, freedom, sharp suits and the gospel yeh yeh sound! Greer’s voice (a kinda hipper Kathleen Hanna) gives Svenonius a perfect foil and adds a brilliant new dimension to the songs – and this album has SO many great songs. When I saw Svenonius front The Make Up at this year’s Ally Pally ATP, and pretty much win the weekend, I had an no idea that within weeks he’d release the flat out coolest album of the year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeYodvSK320

06. Jessica Bailiff – At The Down-Turned Jagged Rim Of The Sky (Kranky)

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Only got this album late in the year, which prompted some last minute list reshuffling (Dr John got dropped, I think). Once I’ve lived with this even longer, I’ll probably wish I’d made it top 5, it’s that wonderful. It’s the old dream pop noise MBV thing, but Bailiff does amazing things with the formula. Alongside the more indie pop moments, there are songs that nod at a kind of Wicker Man wyrdfolk, others that are unsettling, scary even. All wrapped in some of the best realised fuzzy warmth I’ve heard in years.


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