Tis’ the season for best-of lists – so here is my top five vinyl picks for the year in no particular order. I don’t claim to be on top of all breaking music from around the world, these are just records I have enjoyed listening to since I finally got a turntable again at the start of this year.
So please feel free to use the comments section below to add your faves – I’m all ears!
Firstly some 12″ gems:
The Swedish DJ Alex Willner has been a long favourite of mine, and this ranks as one of my faves of the year – moody, ambient, evocative, edgy…
Great one to bring back those memories of bright mornings at rave parties, and the dubs from the Arab Spring news reports on side B are certainly poignant… I first heard these guys at a rave party in Berlin – but their music deserves a wider listen.
Other full length highlights include:
I must admit right here and now to have spent some of my formative years in my high school mates bedrooms listening to this obscure American Latino sing song writer. Yes, we thought he was talking to us and no-one else had heard of him. Turned out he was bigger than the Beatles in South Africa (news to him as well – see the film) The accompanying doco was one of the filmic high points of this year, and the music is just as moving now as it has ever been. This is a guy whose humility and authenticity and clarity just takes the breath away (PS – he is touring Oz in January!)
What to say about Patti Smith? The godmother of punk certainly didn’t disappoint with this years Banga – a feisty meditation on art, literature, travel, love, her dog… I was lucky enough to snavel one of the limited edition books – and it just vindicated everything I love about this woman – what a survivor and artistic inspiration she is… (Local trivia – she has an ankle tattoo of a sea horse by Melbourne’s own late Vali Myers)
I’m going out on a limb here I know, but I admire a band that are obviously not playing it for commercial success. This album takes quite a few listens to crack – but like centipede’s – its dense, multi-layered, and somewhat disconcerting. Which is what Animal Collective are really all about…aint it?