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Phirnis - Revelations

Here's a truly impressive bit of noise from the 2019 cassette Presence. Revelations rides the line between discreet pulses and continuous tones with a dirty industrial sonic palette. It's like the electronic equivalent of a malfunctioning chainsaw or outboard motor. It revs into life and then sets back into idling rhythm while the surrounding aural catastrophe continues the rend the air in jagged shapes. Exactly my kind of thing.

Phirnis - Revelations
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Capitol K - Landlocked

Kristian Craig Robinson is bugshit fantastic. For his latest album Goatherder, he built a recording studio inside a cave on Malta and filled it with ancient bamboo and reed instruments. Those recordings were then mixed with his trademark intricately interlaced drum machines to create a sort of ritualistic IDM. It's like the more new age end of the ECM spectrum but with way richer and fuller production, and a full appreciation of just how tired you can get at the end of a night on the dancefloor. Enjoy!

Capitol K - Landlocked
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Karkara - Proxima Centaury

Back in the early 1990s there was a moment when psych collided with didgeridoos in ways that while they may have failed on every aesthetic level were still terrifically exciting. Especially if you were off your tits in the front row. Listening to Karkara's Proxima Centaury it's almost as if that moment was coming back again. Yes, after years of neglect the didg is in action once more as part of their Middle East inflected space rock. Proxima Centaury has the kind of huge fuzz sound that you can only get from the most visceral of power trios. It's the opening track of their debut album Crystal Gazer (2019), and it's like they sprang fully formed from the skull of Zeus. An emphatic yes, and an emphatic reminder to get back in that front row.

Karkara - Proxima Centaury
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Carlos Niño & Friends - Baawdoobipp 032215

Is it instrumental slowcore hiphop? Is it some form of, and I use the phrase fully aware of the foul taste it will leave in my mouth, nu jazz? Whatever it is, it's the music that radio producer turned percussionist turned musical guru Carlos Niño makes with his friends. On Baawdoobipp 032215 (and again I feel like I should apologise for that, but it's all Carlos' fault really) that includes Kamasi Washington, so you know you're on to a good thing. It's a single musical line placed on a display turntable, rotating in an abandoned shop window. There's a patina of dust over everything, and the light keeps catching it in unexpected places, with the ghosts of the rest of the window display looking over it from their empty plinths. From the album Bliss On Dear Oneness (2019).

Carlos Niño & Friends - Baawdoobipp 032215
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Snapped Ankles - Letter From Hampi Mountain

I still have no idea how to assign genre to Snapped Ankles. It's partly post-punk, they play it on homemade synths, and it sounds like 4am on a particularly disorienting night out. Letter from Hampi Mountain is from their 2019 release Stunning Luxury and it's a sort of bleary narcotised version of electro chaabi. Everything's obscured by the haze of sweat fog and people closer to the action might be off their tits, but you, you're still hanging on on the outskirts. Let yourself get caught up in this if you know what's good for you.

Snapped Ankles - Letter From Hampi Mountain
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Pink Freud - Konichiwa

An absolutely joyous crossover number from Doklands' favourite Gdansk-based jazz act. Konichiwa is the opening track of their 2012 album Horse & Power. It has a moody and introspective start with Tomasz Duda's sax reed crackling and hissing like surface noise, before Adam Milwiw-Baron's trumpet shines out with gravity-defying clarity. It's what happiness sounds like.

Pink Freud - Konichiwa
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The Rolling Stones - Cocksucker Blues

"But what about all of those people who want to be on zero-hours contracts, who appreciate the flexibility they offer?"

If you ever hear that question, you can immediately peg whoever's asking it as a shill, as a rube, as a deliberate or witless agent of exploitation. Everyone knows that, and it makes it easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. It's much less easy when it comes to prostitution. Somehow the leftist position has become that sex work is fine, that because it's economically necessary for some people to sell the use of their bodies that we should respect their informed and rational decisions, rather than, I dunno, strive for a society where that's not necessary. Somehow concern for modern slaves and the victims of gangmasters is okay as long as we're not talking about people trafficked into prostitution, because that would be moralistic, it would be censorious, it would be patronising. When sex becomes work rejecting sex becomes more difficult for everybody. It's all just another contract to be negotiated.

Strictly speaking Cocksucker Blues isn't the title of this song. The Stones recorded it in 1970 as Schoolboy Blues as a contractual obligation riposte to Decca records. It's a more considered fuck off than Van Morrison offered to Bang records but it's still a pretty fucking flagrant violation of the spirit of the deal. And you know what? I reckon they were absolutely entitled to renege any way they wanted to. Their band, their rules. It's still never had a formal release. You'd almost think the bosses had something to be ashamed of.

The Rolling Stones - Cocksucker Blues
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Jon Gibson - Cycles

Here's another seldom-heard piece of early minimalist drone music. It was a small world in the 1960s and '70s, and Jon Gibson played with everyone who was anyone. Cycles comes from his 1977 album Two Solo Pieces which was originally released on Glass' Chatham Square label. It's a long, drifting piece for pipe organ, always in four-part harmony. There's no attack, no release, just this constant sonic bath that feels as if it satisfies all the senses at once. For all that it can be incredibly relaxing to listen to, it also feels as if there must be an incredibly rigorous structure underpinning it, but for me at least it remains elusive, lost in the layers. Anyone out there with a score? Hook me up.

Jon Gibson - Cycles
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Bas Jan - No Sign

Bas Jan strike right in my psychosexual hangups. Well-enunciated, slightly posh indie pop that still harked back to post-punk starkness. Had this actually existed while I was a teenager I would have had a massive crush on all involved, instead it's from Bas Jan's 2018 album Yes I Jan. That's Bas Jan the Serafina Steer band, not Bas Jan the Dutch conceptual artist who was lost as sea while trying to cross the Atlantic, just in case you need to Google for things. Never had a thing for drowned men, thankfully.

Bas Jan - No Sign
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Idles - Mother

Idles don't half get some stick from the music press these days. I guess some of it is appropriate - their attempt to co-opt football terrace culture to promote anti-racism was dreadfully hamfisted, the punk equivalent of "how do you do, fellow kids". But it can't be denied that their 2017 single Mother isn't just one of the best punk songs of the decade, it's one of the best songs of the decade full stop. It's ferocious and articulate and totally carries the listener with it. There's an ugly honesty to Mother. Not sure I'd call it raw, as its placement as the centrepiece of the album Brutalism would suggest. Singer Joe Talbot comes across as a man with an inner life too well-developed for that. Doesn't stop him from belting out the emotion though, thank god.

Idles - Mother
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