Tag Archives: Fact magazine

Top 5 Records of 2011

Missed doing this last year as I was toasting myself to a crisp on a beach in Thailand, so it seems long overdue!  I know you are probably all a little weary of ‘best of’ lists, but it has been such a cracking year for music that it would be an awful shame not to share some of the love with your ears.

1. I Break Horses – Winter Beats

In a year so full of albums to fall in love with – from Slow Club to Oneohtrix – it seems cruel to have to choose one, but I Break Horses’ debut Hearts demands the accolade.  Layers and layers of perfection, so the songs blow you away on first listen but still keep enough back to reveal further delights on subsequent plays, it is a beautiful, beautiful piece of wonder.  If you don’t already own it, you MUST.  No question.  And if you don’t believe me, trust The Line of Best Fit, who made it their album of the year.

There are a couple of gems I could have picked, but I have gone for the one I discovered first, the stunning Winter Beats:

2. Octo Octa – I’m Trying

A sublime, silky, Amerie-sampling, soul-laden piece of loveliness from American producer Octo Octa, certain to get you in the mood for whatever tonight’s celebrations may bring:

3. Sully – Let You

I first discovered Sully via his mix for FACT magazine, yet it has been difficult to find out much else about him, as he seems to be that rare breed of producer that shuns publicity.  First album Carrier is another essential listen, mixing strong beats with soulful melodies to sound, in the way all good dance music does, brand new and classic at the same time.

Again, it is tough to choose a favourite, so here is the one that first caught my ears’ attention, with its sparse beats and tough bassline, Let You:

4. I Draw Slow – Goldmine

Slight change of pace for this one, a song I discovered via a friend and have rarely gone a day without playing since, a true mark of quality.  I Draw Slow meld American bluegrass and traditional Irish melodies to provide the perfect accompaniment to this haunting tale of a bad girl falling for a good guy:

5. The National – England

No-one following me on Twitter or reading ten minutes hate this year could have missed how much I fell for The National, even more so once they were able to play their long-delayed Tokyo gig.  I know that latest album High Violet was released in 2010, but hey – my site, my rules.  So I choose this stunner, the words to which never fail to put a tingle up my spine:

So, that’s my 5!  I am sure to have missed many other gems, so please let me know yours in the comments.  It has been such a crazy year for news, politics and life that concentrating on music seems at times dreadfully self-indulgent.  However, I like to think the opposite is true and that we need great music more than ever right now.  Whatever comes, I wish a very happy Year of the Dragon to everyone who has read the site this year.  Thank you!

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Filed under The Golden Country

Worry not, all things are well

I am probably too late getting to The National, as I would bet they already pick up quite an amount of praise in the right quarters, but given that I don’t really listen to any radio stations or music shows these days, I am often to be found a pleasing couple of months behind the hype machines.  When I was a kid it would have filled me with horror not to have an opinion on the latest band on the day of their album release, or at the very least, one day before you had one, but I suppose letting go of all that ‘now, now, now’ crap is one of the true joys of getting older.

This song I first found via an Andrew Weatherall mix which I wrote about a while ago and so is probably unavailable now (or try searching the internet, you may be able to hunt it down).  I have not stopped playing it since that day, and this beautiful song is one of the many reasons why it remains so essential, never failing to up my joie de vivre.

The next time I fall for someone, I want this to be on the soundtrack.  The search for love essentially does boil down to looking for someone to hide behind the sofa with, in winter, having slept in your clothes.  Right?  What else is there?

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Filed under Miniluv

Simple life improvement

factmix85-andrew-weatherall-alt

I have to recommend this mix as it will improve your life to a previously undreamt-of degree.  A perfect blend of really good music, no messing.

In a perfect example of symmetry, Andrew Weatherall has produced the new Fuck Buttons album.  Fuck Buttons are the subject of the most recent post over on  Bone Conduction.

There is also news of a new Junior Boy’s Own book.  Truly, life doesn’t get much better.

(FACT mixes have a three-week shelf life, so download it here before it’s gone!)

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Filed under The Golden Country