Apologies for the frustrating gaps that appear in this week’s playlist. A lot of 2014 releases arriving in the office now, some of which haven’t been officially announced. As a consequence I have to keep their identities suppressed for the time being; I’ll try and fill in the missing words once these albums are formally unveiled.
Last year, I interviewed the film director Peter Strickland about Berberian Sound Studio, his tribute to the Heath Robinson-style endeavours of analogue sound designers. Strickland and I chatted about the influences for his main character, a tweedy sound engineer called Gilderoy; Strickland mentioned pioneering figures like Adam Bohman, Vernon Elliott and Basil Kirchin.
In haste again this week, but various delays in posting this have at least meant that the playlist has kept growing: 32 entries, with seven interesting things to listen to, including Neil Young and a couple of strong new artists, the pretty psych Morgan Delt and Matt Kivel, whose album reminds me a bit of the first one by Bon Iver.
There’s a scene in Cormac McCarthy's novel No Country For Old Men, where sheriff Ed Tom Bell and his deputy arrive at the site of a particularly grisly murder. “It’s a mess, ain’t it sheriff?” asks the deputy. Surveying the corpses and the wreck of a burned out SUV, Bell replies, “If it ain’t, it’ll do till a mess gets here.”
Celebrating anniversaries has, I guess, become second nature in the music industry now. A quick pass through the reviews pages in the last couple of issues of Uncut reveal anniversary reissues and special editions for Nirvana, Billy Bragg, Tears For Fears, R.E.M, Four Tet and Bob Marley.
A lot of things can happen when you watch The Necks, the magnificent Australian improvising trio, play live. Sometimes, you can become fixated on prosaic details: how does Tony Buck’s left hand keep vibrating that shaker onto his drumkit at such an ecstatic velocity for so long, for instance? Do they have hidden clocks that allow them to move so elegantly to a conclusion without appearing to even acknowledge each other’s presence, let alone look at one another? Will unzipping my coat be an unacceptably noisy intervention?
Avatar has much to answer for. Blue-skinned aliens aside, James Cameron’s film was famously heralded (at least by the PR team) as the future of cinema – a digital epic to change the shape of the modern blockbuster.
We’re all still reeling from the shocking news of Lou Reed’s death on Sunday. Reading through the tributes that have poured in over the last few days, the one that’s resonated most with me came from John Cale, who in his wise and moving testimonial to his old sparring partner, wrote: “we have the best of our fury laid out on vinyl, for the world to catch a glimpse”. We’ll be running out own full tribute to Lou in a future issue of Uncut.
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-...