How does it feel, to be pathologised? A few of you might wonder as much, picking up with some trepidation David Kinney’s “The Dylanologists: Adventures In The Land Of Bob”. For here is a book that purports to expose the eccentricities of Bob Dylan’s most obsessive fans, who – imagine! - spend all their money on bootlegs, rarities and ephemera, follow the Neverending Tour around the world, crowd the front rows of his gigs, meticulously work through his lyrics for meaning and echo. Not to be paranoid here, but is Kinney talking about us?


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Emotional times, as this is Allan’s last day as editor of Uncut. Before we get down to that, though, here are the records we’ve been playing in the office this week.


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A new office this week, although a good few crates remain. These, though, are the tunes that’ve sensitively assisted our transition. Special props to Bob Carpenter’s rediscovered album from ’74, very much kin to “No Other”; to the Mauritanian desert rock of Noura Mint Seymali; to the reissue of an old Imaginary Softwoods ambient set from John Elliott, ex of Emeralds; and to the enduring usefulness of Pye Corner Audio and Girma Yifrashewa.


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Scene of some devastation this morning, as we’re surrounded by crates, packing for a move to new offices on the floor below. In haste, then: this has been the soundtrack for throwing out a load of old shit these past few days. Special attention, please, to the tremendous new Pye Corner Audio business…


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Sometimes great songs fall by the wayside, for whatever reason, and over the past year or so it’s felt that Hiss Golden Messenger’s “Brother, Do You Know the Road?” might unfortunately be one of those.


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So much good here this time out, after missing a playlist last week for various reasons. Where to start?


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A month or so back, I sent Lee Bains III a few questions for a Q&A to run alongside my review of the Glory Fires’ “Dereconstructed” in Uncut. Bains’ answers turned out to be more thoughtful, interesting and extensive than pretty much any email interview I’ve previously conducted, so I’m pleased to run them in their entirety here…


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About ten years ago, I had a series of conversations with some people preparing a new edition of Harry Smith’s Anthology Of American Music. Their aim, it seemed, was to take the 84 tracks originally compiled from Smith’s collection of 78s, and subject them to a vigorous digital clean-up. How much better would these songs sound, was their reasoning, if all the grit and static was removed, leaving the performances unsullied and sharp?


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Beyond the Ebay landfill mountains of luminous “Ghostbusters” singles, there were a weird few days this week when it seemed as if no-one had actually located a copy of Neil Young’s “A Letter Home” on Record Store Day. After everything, did it actually exist? Had Neil, in his current capricious mood, personally had it removed it from the stockrooms of record stores on Friday night?


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One of the books I’ve enjoyed most in the past couple of years is “Pulphead”, a collection of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s longform, creative and not always entirely reliable journalism.


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Editor's Letter

Inside The New Uncut… The Best Albums Of 2014!


At some point in October, I started receiving emails from record labels and publicists about their Tips For 2015. A new year loomed, distantly, and with it the annual music business imperative to embrace a tranche of new artists. Around the same time, the 2014 Mercury Prize hoopla culminated...