Around this time in 2012, I came up with 40 records, released between January and June, that I liked enough to include in a six-month Best-Of list. Either I’m being more diligent, or less discerning, or else 2013 is shaping up to be a better year: as you can see, I’ve managed 67 here.


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Back from a week’s holiday, so plenty of new things among this 21st office playlist, with lots of the best tracks - from Cian Nugent, Lace Curtain, Houndstooth and The Cairo Gang, among others – embedded. A hairy teaser for Crazy Horse’s imminent UK dates, too, and a serendipitous reissue for Samuel Purdey’s luxe late ‘90s evocation of Steely Dan and the Doobies; curious Daft Punk fans might be advised to check out “Only When I’m With You”, especially.


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If, as internet speculation and promo footage imply, “Tomorrow’s Harvest” has a Cold War/atomic age subtext, Boards Of Canada’s focus is, as ever, long-range and aesthetic: less on the actual devastation wrought by nuclear weapons, more on nebulous creep and on the terrible beauty of a mushroom cloud when observed from a relatively safe distance. It’s a potentially glib way of toying with signifiers: Armageddon as nature documentary.


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Another week, another new issue to plug: after last week’s launch of our Nick Cave Ultimate Music Guide, I should flag up that this month’s Uncut goes on sale in the UK tomorrow, featuring Boards Of Canada, The Source Family, Mississippi Records, These New Puritans, Mark Kozelek, Thee Oh Sees and the “Origins Of American Primitive Guitar” alongside the marquee names.


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A couple of months ago, I was staying with an old friend, whose teenage daughter was heading out to an ‘80s movie all-nighter. Before she went, she listed what they were going to watch; Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – the kind of John Hughes films that are now routinely used as exemplars of that decade. Her father and I were talking, and we realised we hadn’t actually seen any of them.


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Playing the Daft Punk album this morning (it’s streaming on iTunes if you haven’t found it yet), which is quite interesting. Bits of it are astonishing, I’d say (“Get Lucky” of course, “Contact”, “Giorgio By Moroder” especially). I am finding it hard, though, to completely sign up to a record that intermittently reminds me of Christopher Cross record. Evidently, I still carry traces of ‘80s indie militancy.


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Various malign forces conspired to prevent me from posting this playlist in its rightful timeslot last week; apologies for that. But better late than never, I guess, and some fine new arrivals here from, among others, Duane Pitre, Bitchin Bajas, The Cairo Gang and Houndstooth.


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Since Thee Oh Sees start their UK tour tonight in Liverpool (then Leeds on the 7th, Cardiff (8), London (9), and Camber Sands ATP at some point between the 10th and the 12th), today seems a good time to post this excellent piece about the band by Lou Barlow.


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Been meaning to post this piece for a while, since the whole clandestine operation around the new Boards Of Canada album, “Tomorrow’s Harvest”, began. It’s an interview I did with the duo in February 2002, around the release of “Geogaddi”. NME billed it erroneously as “Boards Of Canada’s first ever interview” at the time, which was pushing it a bit…


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Seeing as how Matthew E White and his band are on tour in the UK this week (I’m seeing him play in London tomorrow), it seemed a good time to post the feature about my visit to Richmond a couple of months ago. I’ve put a few links to stuff in here, too, so you can get a taste of the really interesting music coming out of the scene that revolves around White. Long read, this one…


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The 40th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


A glut of very exciting 2015 music this week, but before you get to that, maybe check out the Milton Nascimento track below which, as KidVinil Vinil pointed out in the comments section beneath...