This was how I discovered Necessary, via an interview at The Quietus: Necessary had given away their second album, Galgeberg/Gimle, for free, which was fortuitous for my ears, if not for their wallets. It was one of the best pieces of music I heard that year.
I’m not sure which words persuaded me to click on the link: “heavy breaks, turntablism, bass music, hauntological synth work, drum and bass, hip hop, chopped and screwed rap, industrial, choral and funk” … “combined in surprising, provocative and unsettling ways.” Maybe it was the occult chanting, the Persian singer, the Ligeti reference, grime, hip-hop, black metal and doom. Perhaps it was the Spanish civil war samples, the Chilean rapping, dub, goth, world music, or the “Post-Dictatorial Troll-Hop”.
Martin Atkins is a man on a mission. He’s looking to break a world record, and he’s pulling out all the stops to do it. In just six days, his Kickstarter campaign has received 36% of its funding target. He’s unstoppable – and his mission is most unusual.
He’s trying to break the record for the most appearances of the word “f***” in a book.
Martin’s previous publication, Tour:Smart, was hailed as “the ultimate touring manual” by Mojo and “the Holy Grail” by Kraze. As the former drummer for NIN, Ministry and PiL as well as the founder of the band Pigface and label Invisible Records, he had little difficulty pulling together people to contribute to his guides for musicians. Henry Rollins, Chris Connelly and numerous “industry” types chipped into the first, and for his sequel, he asked … me. Continue reading →
Crust. I think of two things: pie and bread. I didn’t know it was a genre. Neither did Him Indoors, and he knows a lot about rock. Apparently it’s a meeting of punk and metal and isn’t hardcore. I picked The Messenger off The Quietus Best of 2011 Spotify playlist – it was one of those effing-hell-must-play-this-again-immediately moments. Jaw, meet floor. Continue reading →
I’ve never actually danced to this, which is bloody tragic when I think about it. I’m going to have to find a day when nobody’s around and I can have my music on speakers (or when I have my headphones on and nobody’s in the office) and have a really good dance. This would just be the most exhilarating song to dance to. I’ll spare you the pretentious bollocks about “thunderous tribal percussion” and let you experience it for yourself. I can’t imagine a song that would be more fun to dance to.
The “perfect 10” ratings given to Kanye West’s new album have given many pause for reflection on the inherent ridiculousness of numerical review scores. When Metacritic lists a score of 93 on an album, it does suggest that it must be uncommonly good. I mean, that many people giving it 10/10? Really? For something to be that good, it really has to be as good as albums ever get. What worried me in this case was how few people seemed willing to really mention the music – what made it such a “perfect” album?
No album will ever be perfect, but I would expect a “perfect ten” to be strong all the way through. It would have to be more innovative than Radiohead’s The Bends, and stronger than My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, which was certainly inventive but was ultimately forgettable as a collection of songs. There’s plenty of great albums I just never got round to buying. You might be surprised that I’ve never bought Sgt Pepper, and I don’t really know why I didn’t, but I can’t miss what I don’t know. Many more, I’ve not owned long enough to know I’ll still love them many years down the line, or they have too many weak moments among the strong.
Pitchfork gave The Stone Roses a perfect 10, and that’s the opposite of what I’d call an “ideal” album – they were really only good for one single, and the album was ultimately quite weak and patchy, didn’t break any new ground and was – at least by me – quickly forgotten. A perfect 10 needs to do better – much better, at least, than the brief snippets of Kanye’s new record, which didn’t entice me to hear more. If I’m thinking of a “perfect 10”, it has to be something like
Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
Primarily influenced by David Bowie’s Low with the thematic influence of The Wall, it’s not really surprising that I would love it this much. As a varied and consistent album, The Downward Spiral is stronger than anything NIN produced before or since. Over 15 years later, Trent Reznor’s breakdown album is still an absolute pleasure to hear.