Exclusive Playlist: Spilt Milk Upon Dots & Dashes' Horizons
–Posted by Calum Sager on 2 October 2012
Dots and Dashes is a music website that we have following for quite a while now. Avoiding the modern bloggers propensity to upload anything and everything new, instead Josh Holliday (Editor) carefully selects each track or album that he features or reviews on the site. Unconfined by the trappings of genres or scenes Dots and Dashes can quench almost any new music lovers thirst for something fresh. The site is also set apart from many of its contemporaries due to the exceptional writing offered up in the reviews of tracks, albums, live gigs and just about every festival under the sun. Our particular favourite strand of the site is a section entitled 'On The Horizon' which is one of the most on the ball A&R sources we have come across on the web. Editor Josh Holliday has generously curated us an exclusive playlist of future favourites and golden oldies and has written some brief words about each of his selections (please scroll below the track-list to view these).
To visit Dots & Dashes please click here.
1. The Avalanches - A Cowboy Overflow Of The Heart
We inaugurate the evening just drumming up a little weirdness" Silver Jews main man David Berman initially intones with a deadpan frailty, and A Cowboy Overflow Of The Heart is indeed a somewhat outré reintroduction to the Antipodes' finest beat splicers that ever did waive all forms of copyright. Since I Left You was, personally, a fundamental record throughout my formative years and having waited over a decade for this moment, it did anything but disappoint when it finally washed up on my horizons. That it samples one of the most perfect things ever committed to black wax in Shuggie Otis' Strawberry Letter 23 only heightens its effortless allure.
2. David Byrne & St. Vincent - Who
I've never been the most avid fanatic of collaboration albums, and don't get me wrong – I'm not wholly fond of the adopted New Yorkers' Love This Giant either. Although Who, all Ethio-jazz honks and vividly harmonious toots vocal, only further enamours of the irrepressibly excellent Annie Clark.
3. Empty Pools - Exploded View
There's something quite exciting stirring way out West Country around about now, thanks in no small part to Howling Owl Records – a shoestring indie dedicated to unearthing the grungiest scuzz the country has to offer. Yet drawing inspiration from the most radiant of All Tomorrow's Parties rundowns rather than underground fuzz are Empty Pools, an explosive and hugely fulfilling four-piece trading in erudite lyricisms of Patti Smith flings, fringed with shuddering drum fills and seamless key signature corrections.
4. Ides - trains
even in the desperate inattention to capitalisation, ides oozes naïveté just as trains weeps an unadulterated emotivity as it trundles slowly toward an irremediable despondency.
5. John Talabot - Tragedial
A brewer of bona fide Balearic euphoria, Barça's John Talabot cooked up quite a few accolades with his sangria-refreshing début full-length, ƒIN earlier on in the year. This one was recorded in the same period, although somewhat inexplicably never made the final cut. A typically distant and unknowable, although inviting wash of rudimentary rhythm and synths as revitalising as a dunk in a gelid winter Med, Tragedial ultimately feels a triumph.
6. Fear Of Men - Mosaic
Jessica Weiss is one of the finest melodists fresh outta Brighton, or indeed anywhere else at the minute. And on Mosaic, as she softly coos: "Break me into pieces to feel safe" everything fits snuggly into place. With this, their latest release, they fulfil every oodle of early promise, thereby vindicating the umpteen indie sites to have supported them quite so staunchly since.
7. Each Other - Ash Mound
An entirely valid alternative to the artsy stylings now expected of Montréal, crackle pop specialists Each Other brought us these most joyously raucous and ramshackle few moments back in June. They've now infested the internal ear canals, and only aggravated all that ringing that's perpetually dinging away in there.
8. Black Marble - A Great Design
Coldwave couldda, and certainly shoulda been a genre to withstand the brutal passing of blogosphere time. Perhaps it might have done so, had it been fuelled by a little more emotion and whilst it may be too little too late, Brooklyn's Black Marble here weigh in with some real warmth. Granted, it's totally synthetic and with it monochromatic, but A Great Design is irrefutably just that.
9. Bare Pale - Mexican Wave
This one may sound as though it were recorded over Skype across a fairly poor connection, but buried deep among the almost impenetrable distortions resides a savagely effective melody. That the duo are ludicrously youthful irks as much as it inspires, and Mexican Wave is their one true anthem thus far. One well worth flailing an arm or two for.
10. Lazyeyes - Weight
It's none too often that the effect of reverb adds a leaden oomph to a recording, just as it's equally infrequent that a scattily recorded song brings with it much beauty. Yet in its syncopated idiosyncrasies, Weight carries a potency to offset any momentary stridency. Surfgaze shouldn't exactly roll fresh outta Brooklyn either, but some things just seem to work alright, y'know?
11. Young Unknowns - Far Enough
At times I kinda figure I'd be best upping sticks and rerooting them down in a certain NYC borough, and Meredith Meyer's Young Unknowns only reaffirm such a thought. For their sultry, if soulful electro is enough to melt the Manhattan Schist from which the famed island is formed in minutes, most probably thawing out a few of the city's stone cold hearts too.
12. Weird Rivers - Charlatan
So yeah, you can doubtless guess from whereabouts this bunch hail, although irrespective of origin – or rather because of it – theirs is again a quite bedazzling rickety indie rawk. Charlatan recalls Real Estate, were the Ridgewood outfit to relocate their respective manhoods.
13. Kwes. - lgoyh
A truly great British pop architect, Kwesi Sey is at his Bashful best not when producing the likes of Bobby Womack and Speech Debelle, nor when stood up alongside the one-man cultural phenomenon that is Albarn but when channelling his every inner insecurity into impassioned, polyphonic free-pop. Now signed up with the ever incredible Warp, lgoyh is the indecipherable highlight from his début EP, Meantime.
14. Rocketnumbernine - Matthew and Toby (Four Tet Remix)
Unfathomably, brothers Ben and Tom Page are yet to really lift off, and that despite having supported the likes of Caribou and Radiohead amongst others of indelible note. They're currently prepping a collaborative effort with Four Tet, and here Hebden remixes the finest thing we've heard from them thus far in the palpitant throb of Matthew and Toby. And in doing so, he and they set the old pulse racing rather uncontrollably.
15. Mallow - Mono no ke
Suave glitch-hop from Boston's Ian Barnett, aka Mallow, Mono no ke is the most grandiose piece of instrumental hip hop yet to feature on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder roster. Strings soar; cyber synths oscillate, wild as fluttering eyelashes; a rare resplendence is achieved.
16. DIIV - Doused
Zachary Cole Smith is something of a lo-fi luminary, even at just one LP in. And that LP, Oshin, proved an overwhelming wash of indie urgency well worth bathing in 'til veritably prune-like. Or until you were left resembling a 2k12 Thurston Moore – either/ or. Doused was its apex – a bombastic deluge of ruinous guitar maintained in motion by Smith's acerbic snarls, it represents Brooklyn label Captured Tracks' bestest release thus far.
17. Mac DeMarco - Freaking Out The Neighbourhood
That is until label mate and Montréal fruitcake Mac DeMarco releases Mac DeMarco 2, one may argue. For he's one heck of a gawky genius, and the slouchy '60s vibes of Freaking Out The Neighbourhood set the oddball off on an unremitting roll. His immaculate nostalgia pop propensities are weirding me out from across the pond so mercifully, he's coming over later on in the year to stare us all in the whites.
18. Roosevelt - Sea
I once said that the only musical produce I knew of Köln was Arsenal No.9 Lukas Podolski's involvement with the Europop dross of Brings' Halleluja. To stumble upon Greco-Roman signing Roosevelt, therefore, educated as much as it enthralled, and this simplistic, subdued electropop belter did plenty of the latter. Envisage Hot Chip deep-fried in sugar-coated dreams, and you may see and hear the faint undulations of Sea.
19. Sam Cleeve -Squint
The closest these Isles have come to a neoclassical wunderkind in the richly provocative veins of Nils Frahm or Dustin O'Halloran, Sam Cleeve is a truly great revelation. And Squint is unspeakably stunning. A soaring victory for the sombre, it remains.
20. Teengirl Fantasy - End
Glitchy grooves and a surging piano interlude elevated End, the midpoint of Teengirl Fantasy's sophomore full-length, Tracer, metres and miles above anything else they've authored to this day.
21. Thulebasen - Forever Grinning
If you love your sonics likeably scatty and like your bands loveably Scandinavian then Copenhagen's Thulebasen tick your two boxes. I can't comprehend a solitary word of Forever Grinning, although it has painted a rather unsightly smirk across my face each and every time I've been exposed to its klutzy charms.
22. Yosi Horikawa - Bubbles
Eklektik Records' Chiba-based sound designer Yosi Horikawa here turns the clunky patter of a bounding pingpong ball gone rogue into the most sumptuous minimalism Kieran Hebden never conjured. Konnichiwa to the latest Red Bull Music Academy alumnus worth getting all jittery over.
23. Pablo Nouvelle - You Do Me Wrong
To be added to Toblerone, and ink currency chemistries, and absinthe, Swiss gent Fabio Frieldi (nowadays masquerading both as a film-maker and more importantly as Pablo Nouvelle) may already be filed alongside the country's finest exports. You Do Me Wrong picks up where The Avalanches left off yonks ago, and indeed Nouvelle sounds as though he's been perfecting his exemplary skills since some time back around then. And if some may be swift to brand it the stuff of mahogany coffee tables, if so it'd be off the sort off which J Dilla once dined.
24. Moodymann - Why Do U Feel
60% slow Detroit techno offset by smooth neo soul vocals, the line "You'd be happy somewhere else/ I don't believe it" pretty well sums this one up. For if you're looking for something to subduedly shuffle a shoelace to, well, Why Do U Feel should take some bettering.
25. King Tuff - Alone & Stoned
Sub Pop scruff King Tuff is pretty much the quintessential fratboy. And were he to put on some grotesquely debauched parrrty you suspect he'd play this one for hours on end, before collapsing in a heap of inhaled upchuck. You'd most likely have the best darn night of your twenteens, freshman.
26. Lotus Plaza - Monoliths
Lockett Pundt finally came out of the shadow of Brandon Cox' ego with Spooky Action At A Distance, as the Deerhunter melody maker emerged to fuel an inimitably bright 'n' breezy LP. He here gushes: "And one of these days, I hope I come around." Nothing better exemplifies this stunning fruition of form quite like Monoliths, a monumental pillar of wistful mellifluousness.