Welcome to founder of DrownedinSound.com Sean Adams’s playlist from the month of May.
Summer is here? Yes, summer is here. Sort of. Maybe. Who knows. By the time you read this there could be blizzards in Scandinavia and a mild frost in Surrey. However, for the month for the month of May 2010 the sun was shining and my stereo reflected as much, so what the hell, not everything on here was out this month but a lot of it will sounds great with the June sun pouring through your window and the breeze brushing your bare legs.
Listen/Subscribe: Drowned in Sound May 2010
1) Chilly Gonzales ‘Waves – Erol Alkan vs Boys Noize Piano Remake’
Gonzales has been chilling the world out with his pianos for longer than I’ve had hair on my 28-year-old chest. He is world renown genius, friends with/massively admired by Peaches, Feist and Jarvis but is barely known outside of certain in-the-know circles. If you are not so in-the-know, let this reworked version of a track from his forthcoming album via Erol Alkan’s _Phantasy_ label, easily one of my songs of the year, act as an introduction to the pianist with the pee-mostest.
2) Colder ‘To The Music’
With news of a new Interpol album causing a mixture of fear and excitement, I thought it about time that these frustratingly unknown French dark-wave riding electronic types Colder got some of the attention that their brooding dingy-disco deserved back in, oooh, 2005, right around the time when nearly every stereo in UK/Europe was still clogged up with The Killers’ Hot Fuss.
3) Soulwax ‘Too Many Djs’
We’ve heard rumblings that Soulwax are due back with some new material before the year is out. While you wait, here’s a certifiable T-U-N-E from the chaps also known as 2ManyDJs fromback around the turn of the century. Warning: features ridiculous flemish beat-boxing.
4) Tom Vek ‘I Ain’t Saying My Goodbyes’
There are also unconfirmed reports that Tom Vek has a new band. He’s been ‘missing’ for quite a while. He’s currently on a post-it note with the likes of The Rapture and Beck of acts due back this year but possibly not. Come back Tom… please?
5) Crystal Castles ‘Suffocation’
Walls of of glacial mist never felt so good, if only all chillwave-ish electronic(a) was this dreamy. Sadly, this is one of the highest peaks of a somewhat disappointing second album from the punk-bitch and the hooded chap with the glitch. Read Andrzej Lukowski’s album review for DiS here.
6) Deftones ‘Beauty School’
You can pretty much hear the waves crashing on a beach in this one, fading to a close-up of a cocktail, zooming in on condensation pouring down the side of the glass. When Chino Moreno said he was listening to a lot of M8, I never expected their new album _Diamond Eyes_ (Review) to turn out this amazingly. _”You’re shoo-ting stars, from the barrel of your eyes…”_
7) Washed Out ‘Feel It All Around’
Whilst I have you beneath a blanket (or somewhat refreshingly damp towel) of whirling guitars, here’s the fizzing and somewhat blissed out Turkish Delight coloured sunset of Washed Out’s ‘Feel It All Around’, one of the finest slabs of so-called ‘chillwave’ to hit the web so far this year. Read Dom Gourlay’s review for DiS here.
8) The Cure ‘Pictures Of You’
If that was the sun-setting then this is the perfect song for a muggy, twilight blue hued anthem from the recently re-issued 33-track special edition version of Disintegration, which, as I’m sure you know, is OBVIOUSLY one of the finest albums of all-time. If you have never spent an evening with it purring in your headphones, now’s as perfect time as any to do so. Read Tom Perry’s review for DiS here.
9) The National ‘Conversation 16′
It’s about now that I realised that this playlist has drifted somewhat from the theme of ‘summer’. Although, it really depends whether you want the somewhat dishonest, fairytale version of summer, without the sunstroke and hosepipe bans, and instead think of summer as rain lashing at your car window as you sit in traffic… Understanding the joy of the The National is perhaps not something for the optimistic of heart. They make melancholy seem not just bearable but wrap you in miserabilism until you realise basking in your sorrows every now and then is one of the most honest and rewarding ways to be. I still can’t decide whether they’re the most emotionally intense band in the world right now or just the band that I would most like to be in. For our review of High Violet, an interview with the band discussing the LP and lots more, visit: http://drownedinsound.com/The_National.
10) The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster ‘So Long Goodnight’
In case you were drifting off, woozy in the heat, along comes Brighton’s finest leather-clad goth-veering-on-vampiric biker gang, to remind us that the reassuring der-dang of a guitar and a rumble of drums, is very much a good thing. Their new album Blood & Fire was reviewed here.
11) The Icarus Line ‘We Sick’
More music with dried blood on its lips and oil on its hips, especially for people who avoid the sunshine at all costs. LA’s The Icarus Line, who later this year return with a fantastic new record, is another reminder that the rise of the massively over-rated Strokes and the associated garage-rock revivalism sucked a lot of attention away from bands that were truly making rock’n’roll vital again. Whilst you were standing in front of the mirror shouting lasssst niiiite into your favourite comb they were and continue to peck at the carcass of grunge and revive rock’s beautiful corpse with vials of post-hardcore. Check out this incredible Rolling Stones ‘Lips’ with fangs t-shirt Iccy Line currently have onsale.
12) Iggy & The Stooges ‘I Need Somebody – Bowie Mix’
The Stooges and Iggy Pop were a massive influence on the previous two bands and, to be honest, most rock-related music that you hear today. A legacy edition of Raw Power was released last month and reviewed on DiS here.
13) Sleigh Bells ‘A/B Machines’
One of the most talked about bands in May were MIA’s latest signing to her N.E.E.T. label, Sleigh Bells. The production on this record is somewhat bonkers. Our review will follow when this is released in the UK toward the end of June.
14) Holy Fuck ‘Red Lights’
Enough noise, let’s get your BBQ party started. Instrumental bands rarely find this nexus where dance meets psychedelia but then few bands are Holy Fuck. Read our review of their new album Latin.
15) 65daysofstatic ‘Mountainhead’
I say it’s rare and that few bands find the sweet spot that Holy Fuck have wiggled their way into but with their new record 65days have taken their cluster-bombing your skull with swathes of post-rock, jerky math-rock guitars and Kid A-like bleepy-bloopiness and created an album that soars beyond their reputation of being an exceptional cult band, and hints at a band on the verge of either vortex of no return or quite likely, lurching toward a Zeitgeist-shifting relevation. This might be a paradigm of confusion too far for some tastes but we like their new record so much that we let them takeover the site for a week.
16) The Rapture ‘Sister Saviour – Dfa Dub’
If the earlier tracks from Soulwax and Tom Vek provided memories of sweaty summer evenings in London clubs several summers ago, then this will bring those hazy nights into sharp focus with the realisation that The Rapture were pretty much THE band that made the dancefloor, and the cowbell, hip again. We’re still waiting for a new album [insert pouting face here].
17) Ratatat ‘Neckbrace’
I always assumed that Ratatat were french, and that they lived in Daft Punk’s loft and darned Justice’s socks. I was sad to learn that they’re not Parisian but love them nonetheless because their music rolls within itself in a way that’s more invigorating than indulgent. Strange vocal samples snapping like wildcats shape-shift their songs but mostly they specialise in bubbling synthlines and trickling digital drips of wonder. LP4 is one of the most talked about album’s of the year, and rightly so. (Read Hayden Wooley’s fantastic review of the album here)
18) LORN ‘Cherry Moon’
Whilst the beats from that previous track are still snap-cracking, here’s something a lot of our community have been bigging up lately. Much-like the previous few tracks, it rattles and rumbles, with warm string-like sounds that swell and contract. We featured a mini-mix of the album which has a lot more details about LORN.
19) Brian Eno & David Byrne ‘Mea Culpa’
If the previous found tracks sound somewhat futuristic, I can’t imagine how many minds were blown when Eno & Byrne released My Life in the Bush of Ghosts back in 1981.
20) Klaxons ‘Gravity’s Rainbow – (Soulwax Remix)’
A muted-bass line, a tink-tinking cowbell and then we’re away, dragged back into the Klaxons’ dimension in the very capable hands of them immense Belgian chaps Soulwax. Klaxons revealed new material from their long awaited new album in May, the response, was, shall we say, “rather mixed.”
21) Tim Sweeney ‘Dfa Mix’
22) LCD Soundsystem ’45:33′
23) Daft Punk ‘Daft Punk – Alive 1997′
You may have a rubbish record collection and want to seem like you’re a really talented DJ who can beat-match and cross-fade, and also pick killer tracks that impress all your friends… yeah, sound about right? You also don’t want adverts getting in the way of you partying so I thought at least one of the above three remixes or all-three if you’re throwing an all-nighter, might take the pain out of soundtracking your summer party, leaving you more time to invent some drinkable concoctions. You’re welcome.
LISTEN/SUBSCRIBE: Drowned in Sound May 2010
And that’s May done and your summer sorted. Hopefully. Until next month… you can follow me on Twitter @seaninsound and find our weekly Spotify+Friday=SPOTIFRIDAY playlists on DiS here.