Wandering around Pitchfork yesterday, I came across this story about one of my old favourites, John 'Speedo' Reis.


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Great title, for a start, though I have little idea what it means. I just put “Mountain Battles” on for the third, maybe fourth time, and I’m beginning to get the hang of it. For a start, it sounds like something of a departure.


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After all the mature, relatively sedate stuff I’ve been writing about recently like Roedelius and the Imaginational Anthems “Primitive American Guitar” comp, something a bit livelier today.


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A fair number of reissues in this one, that I've compiled over the past day or so. But there's also a couple of auspicious new releases just in, that I'll be writing more about in the next few days.


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In spite of the current enthusiasm for Krautrock round these parts, I must admit to being a bit sceptical about the new album from Hans-Joachim Roedelius: one half of Cluster, one third of the recently reformed Harmonia, and now collaborating with an American called Tim Story on a highly pretty CD called “Inlandish”.


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Publishing imperatives being what they are, most of us have virtually forgotten about all the hair-wringing and number-crunching that went into compiling those Best Of 2007 lists. But before we completely write off the last 12 months, here's one last poll that's pretty interesting.


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Nice thing turned up in the post the other day from one of my favourite labels at the moment, Tompkins Square. The New York label tends to specialise in fingerpicking guitarists who are very much in the tradition of the Takoma school, which they categorise, neatly enough, as “American Primitive Guitar”.


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A few of you have been asking for me to write something about the new Drive-By Truckers album and, to be honest, I’ve been putting off doing so for weeks now, playing the record again and again to come to terms with it.


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With the next issue out of the way, we had a fairly constructive bash through a backlog of new releases today, hence not much here has figured on previous playlists. As usual, please let me know what you've been listening to: further to the Cave Singers tip I mentioned the other day, I've been quite taken with Health, who cropped up in one of your posts the other day.


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We were listening to the new Elbow album this morning when the first line of Track Four stood out. “I’ve been working on a cocktail called grounds for divorce,” sings Guy Garvey over a ratchety chaingang rhythm, one of those industrial-propulsive beats with which Elbow pepper their Floydian/Talk Talk reveries. Then a crisply distorted guitar cuts through it; far too controlled to be grungy, exactly, but endemic of the way this largely excellent band manage to mix up the grandiose and ethereal with something that’s much more earthy and humane.


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Editor's Letter

The 28th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


There's a song on this new Purling Hiss album, playing again now, that sounds more or less like "Debaser" played by Dinosaur Jr. Along with the intensely spirited debut by Mary Timony's Ex-Hex and a comp of the pre-...