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How often do you get to listen to some of your favourite music – and music that could easily be your favourite music if you knew what it was – on a fantastic soundsystem without the distraction of people nearby talking shit, spilling drinks and/or vomiting on your shoes? And how often do you get that chance twice in one weekend? Not often; but this weekend (and I am including Thursday here since I’m now a freelance home-working hipster who has, like, you know, a flexible approach to working hours, this is 2015 after all guys) this weekend, I had three said experiences, each different and each enjoyable in its own way.

First, on Thursday, a night run by my ex-landlord Rodrigo called, fabulously, AQUARELLA, at one of my favourite bars in Lisbon: Brownie. Having up to that point thought that the friendly lady behind the bar was simply an employee, I was surprised and pleased to find out that she – Xana – actually set up and owns the place, having started it without any prior experience whatsoever – living the dream, in other words, though I get the impression in the current climate here it is not the best of ‘negócios’. I love it though: it’s essentially someone’s front room but with decks, a soundsystem and a bar, and they program a rota of local DJs playing to local bar-propper-uppers, including one slightly frazzled individual called Hugo whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making this time round. Rodrigo, playing on a Rane rotary provided by one of Xana’s friends, treated the exclusive (read: sparse) crowd to a mixture of his own brand of disco, italo, slow house and odds and sods, in true professional DJ form, and I took advantage of the full 15 minutes of Moroder’s ‘Evolution’ to dance in front of the Martin Audio speaker, soaking in that liquid, cyclical, future-funk opera masterpiece as if I was in my own living room. Experience #1. When the music finished we sat round the bar drinking shots on the house and ensuring headaches for tomorrow.

Second, on Friday, I went to Ministerium, probably the shiniest club I’ve been to in Lisbon, even shinier than Lux Frágil and worse for it, since, unlike Lux, which attracts a chic hipster crowd who nonetheless like to get down, it simply attracts the wealthy. Following my last few times there I had almost lost hope with the place, and on reflection Friday’s experience doesn’t change my overall view, but I did have a wonderful time: almost two hours of uninterrupted dancing all by myself in the centre of the dancefloor, optimum speaker orientation for maximum enjoyment of the parade of favourites played by Gonçalo and Francisco of 808. I mean, of course I knew they would play records I like, I just didn’t know I’d be spoilt with a dancefloor and soundsystem all to myself. ‘Crying Black Man’, ‘Make It Hot’, ‘My Soul My Spirit’, ‘Phreaky MF’ with an inspired conversational mix into ‘Overcome’…it just went on and on. I actually felt some genuine disappointment when more people arrived at the club, especially as they then proceeded to stand on the side as if it was a school disco. Maybe I was that crazy guy dancing before the hour at which it’s socially acceptable…so shoot me. Sadly it couldn’t last, as 808 wrapped up their set and Black Coffee, SA’s foremost ‘deep house’ guru, took over and proceeded to play the kind of banal, insipid music that the kind of people who go to Ministerium fucking love.

Time to leave, then, and see how the Dekmantel label night was getting on at Lux. Having been let in past the main queue for the first time by the club’s fabulous (and cute) doorman – but not for free (more work to be done) – I caught the last 30 minutes or so of Juju & Jordash’s liveset, which they were coaxing out of racks upon racks of gear and wires. It sounded good, apart from the odd system fuckup causing the front stacks to cut out, and of course the fact that is true about any and all livesets: they’re really just one track after another, in a way that’s far less interesting than DJ sets. Actually, I’ve never seen a Steevio modular synthesis set, so maybe I should reserve judgement in that regard, but even with Bletchley Park-levels of hardware J&J were still hamstrung by the format.

When they finished there was some brief applause before Joey Anderson, obscured by the stage and equipment, let fly with the full PUMP of Machine’s ‘There But For The Grace Of God Go I’ – there could be no better omen, you might say, and for 5 blissful minutes I was imagining the forthcoming hours of uninhibited hands-in-the-air madness…only to be brought savagely down to earth by the realisation that Joey Anderson was playing B2B with one of the Dekmantel DJs who, in combination, would find it impossible to locate any semblance of flow at all. Yes, I like Sha-Lor, and yes, I like Liz Torres, but no, I don’t like cheesy Sven Weisemann-esque-but-with-vocals house tunes, and no, I don’t think in this day and age that ‘Walk Music’ is still worth listening to, and no, I don’t think Oni Ayhun OAR003B should ever by played ever again unless it’s the final record of a festival on top of a dormant volcano in Japan and everyone’s taken loads of acid. Sorry. Time to leave, again.

So on to Experience #3, on Saturday afternoon (still only Saturday?), when I walked half an hour north from my flat, past Amoreiras (monument to Portugal’s late-20th century fixation on outsized shopping centres, and designed by an architect who must surely also be one of the first sex-tape celebrities of the internet age) and into Campolide, traversing various highways in order to reach the Jardim Amnistia Nacional, where Rodrigo was once again playing, this time at the invitation of OUTJAZZ festival. When I arrived there was a smattering of people listening to a piano-saxophone duo noodling away needlessly in the blinding sunshine with a backdrop of the banks and insurance high-rises that line the avenue west of Praça de Espanha. After much torture-by-saxophone, and after locating one of the few spots of grass actually shaded by the infrequent trees dotted through the park, I could finally sit down and enjoy more of Rodrigo’s wonderful record collection, which continues to impress me by its diversity and appropriateness to every occasion – the sign not just of a good collection but of a very good DJ. And then, unexpectedly, there I was sitting with a beer in hand to all intents and purposes alone (despite the growing crowd on the hill behind me) and soaking in the jawdropping bass of ‘Aquarius’, the sky blue above, the grass green in front, the buildings stark white and airplanes descending close overhead (Lisbon being notable for the sometimes worryingly intimate relationship between the city and its principle flightpath), all of this mixture of the natural and the synthetic being translated for me palpably in the song itself, whose nonsense litany of numbers, giggling and ‘ORANGE’ made my grin, already wide from the bass, reach manic proportions.

‘We don’t really need a crowd to have a party’ they say. Well, it’s nice to have company, but sometimes you can’t beat a soundsystem and some good music, never mind how many other people are there to enjoy it with you.


New record of the year

So Inagawa – ‘Logo Queen’ [Cabaret]
This is the only new record I bought this year, and practically the only new record I actively bothered listening to in the first place. Weightless, propulsive, refined, meditative, happy-sad…I doubt there was anything to match it, not that I’d know.

Old records of the year

Stasis – Disco 4000 EP [Time Is Right]
Both A-side tracks out of this world, one of two more stellar Stasis EPs I bought this year. I expect there are many more waiting to be found.

Ray Hurley – ‘Just Yourself (Hurley’s Dub)’ [Confetti]
“It doesn’t matter what they say, what they do, what they say.” Instant joy and energy when the vocal comes in on this, plus a super-effective switch up halfway through. Other Ray Hurley winners this year: ‘Closer’ and ‘Treat Me Right’. Not quite such a winner, but still good for some laughs: ‘The Messsage’.

Morgan Geist – Nebula Jersey Volume One [Environ]
One summer disco banger, one Detroit-garage epic with an interlude reminiscent of Deep Space Network on Urban Flow, and two more typically ruminative and emotional machine pieces. Storm who?

The Black Dog – ‘Otaku’ [Rising High]
I think I played this three times at the Spring Hindhead, which probably wasn’t enough. For some reason I took ‘T’Raenon’ with me to the Winter Hindhead. Should have just taken this.

Pantytec – Instant Orient [Perlon]
A late entry, given I rediscovered it in mid-December, only to hear G play it (by happy coincidence) at an afterparty a week or so later. Bassline.

Set of the year
Apart from Andrew in the afternoon sun at Sugarhouse Studios (which goes without saying) it has to be Nicolas Lutz at the party with Rhadoo, who (Rhadoo) in the afternoon had played *exactly the same record* resolutely for almost three whole hours, before finishing with an out-and-out banger as if to say ‘hey guys this is my cheesy closing record’, when in my book it was the only one with any actual feeling to it in his entire set. Nicolas Lutz proceeded to show him how to play, you know, a range of records, and out of the handful of sets I heard him play this year this was my favourite.

Car crash of the year
Craig Richards immediately after Nicolas Lutz. Please, for the love of God. NO MORE CRAIG RICHARDS.

Thing and things from NYC this time round…

******


The Fashion Institute of Technology’s Queer History of Fashion essentially boiled down to ‘a collection of outfits’ because, let’s face it, most fashion designers are massive queers anyway. There weren’t enough bitchy anecdotes or critical insights to warrant putting all these clothes together in one room…though of course lots of them were fabulous especially Marlene Dietrich’s evening suits. I recommend this exhibition primarily for the kicks to be had observing its patrons: gays of all stripes (some in stripes), gays everywhere.

J. Crew had 25% off thanks to Columbus Day – shout out to Chris for my discounted cashmere jumper!


I found beaten up copies of Delicious Inc. and Dub.E.Us in the $2 bins at A-1 Records, by far the best record shop in the city, though this came at the unexpected supplementary price of having to listen to a man talk for about 2 hours straight about not very much to anyone who would listen. Turns out he didn’t even work there. I also picked up a pretty bad Mosaic record which isn’t even worth very much…yet.

******


Riding the Coney Island Cyclone is something my 12-year-old self would have been over the moon about, and gladly my 27-year-old self was pretty over the moon about it too. Coney Island is over an hour away on the subway but when the weather is good (it was exceptional), the subway is cheap (it was unlimited) and time is plentiful (it was there to be spent), why miss the opportunity to eat a nasty hotdog, get attacked by seagulls, go on a legendary rollercoaster and take on the biggest Mr Whippy imaginable? That was my attitude anyway and it paid off massively.

The Brooklyn Museum is currently home to Emily Dickinson’s super frilly vagina (plate) in Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party. When taken in combination with Wangechi Mutu’s decidedly unfrilly creations the effect is pretty disorientating.

Having now visited The Thing I feel qualified to say it’s not really worth the visit, unless for some unknown reason you want to aggravate whatever pre-existing respiratory/skin/eye conditions you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from. A-1 is a record store; The Thing is a pit – literally – the illusive potential of which was apparent from the copy of Donna Summer’s The Four Seasons Of Love staring at me immediately on completing my descent. But that proved to be the highlight of an otherwise unedifying series of shoulder and back exercises shifting piles of shite records in one direction in order to access more piles of shite records. All I ended up buying was a book by Colette, which I have been very pleased with, but isn’t particularly compatible with a turntable.

Similarly, the new Academy Records – recently relocated from Williamsburg to Greenpoint – is slim pickings for someone like me who’s not really looking for LPs, though I did get a cheap Akufen 12″.


Prior to that endeavour I was sensible enough to refuel at Paulie Gee’s, the man himself there to ask me how my ‘In Ricotta Da Vita’ and Sixpoint Bengali Tiger Pale Ale were going down. Very well was the answer, and the one-two combination of the meal and a short turn around the nearby riverside park – with stunning sunset view – was a highlight of the trip.

******

We braved opening day at PS1 for two reasons: lunch at M. Wells and a Motörhead-soundtracked dance performance to open the new exhibition. The former was a success – smoked chicken in tomato sauce, the leg excitingly with claw, grasping, still attached – and the latter proved entertaining if only because i’d never listened to Motörhead before. Sadly the exhibition itself was a load of bollocks.

******

The next day’s adventure was a trip to see an installation in the Fuentidueña Chapel at the Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters, far up on the West side of the city. This is absolutely wonderful and if I lived in New York I would be tempted to go back again. Not only was the music and setup itself fascinating, but there was also the thrill of seeing up to a hundred people all stop simultaneously and listen, in most cases quite wide-eyed, for the full length of the piece.

We coupled this with a visit to the Cathedral of St John the Divine, which was probably the most impressive building I have seen in my whole life. I spent what seemed like 10 minutes just walking down the nave, gawping up at a ceiling that reminded me (rather embarrassingly) of those scenes with the Balrog in Lord of the Rings. The central dome is so high and dark you can’t see the ceiling, and, standing in the aisle to the side of the choir looking back to the extraordinarily large circular stained glass window over the entrance, you could be forgiven for thinking yourself on a spaceship. Add to this the disco light effect of the late afternoon sun on the interior stonework and you have yourself a real experience of a building, and to me what could have felt somehow shameless (and shamelessly American) in size and attitude instead felt quietly profound, which is of course the way it should be. Shout out to the bats ‘peace fountain’ out the front too.

There was still time for a quick visit to the rooftop of my sister’s office with a brilliant view south over Central Park towards the skyline of downtown Manhattan at sunset. I still haven’t been up the Empire State Building, but now I think it’s even less necessary than before.

******


By this point I was flagging a bit, as you might expect, but there was still time in my final couple of days for a quick visit to the Met to see some textiles, and a return to the Frick Collection, which has to be my favourite gallery if only because it’s sore-feet-friendly and has one of my favourite paintings in it. The Socrates Sculpture Park and Noguchi Museum in Queens were also worth visiting, the latter especially due to its current exhibition of line drawings and ink paintings. The Museum Of The Moving Image permanent exhibition is also very good value.


Evelyn treated me to great seats at the Booth Theatre to see The Glass Menagerie, which turned out to be happy-sad in the best sort of way. As someone who doesn’t go to the theatre very often at all, it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around all the things about it I did and didn’t like, but I think it’s this post-experience consideration that adds up to getting your money’s worth, and I’m still not done thinking about it.

******

Chicken McNuggets in New York are not the same as in London though – less crunchy, not as nice – which is a shame since they come in packs of 10 instead of 6 as standard.


On Friday we hosted our last Kiss Me Again before Bleimann heads off to sunnier – and sexier – climes. In appropriate style it was a total gayfest, save a long overdue appearance from Dave of TOTHEBONE. It must have been over two years since the inaugural BONE ME AGAIN and nearly a year since Charlie TTB played us out – this time we had a late license so there was room enough for Dave plus 2toomanygays, Arty, and only the second club appearance of the elusive Sue and Giles (creators of KMA’s only official podcast…ever).

Arty neglected altogether to play any Sweet Pussy Pauline records, but I’ll forgive him since he made a Connaisseur record sound good, which I’m sure you’d agree takes great skill. 2toomanygays aka Sam and Os tempered their usual bitch track-heavy experience for the occasion, though to be honest with the volume restrictions i’m not sure bitch tracks would have been much of a problem anyway. Dave’s records struggled against the quietness too, bringing home to me quite how much of a shame it is that such a nice venue has been so hamstrung by its neighbours.

Sue and Giles took the issue head on by playing loud, unsubtle records, to great effect (I felt), and those left at 4am seemed to have had enough of a party to satisfy them. Sue’s mix from Artful Dodger into Bobby Brown will surely go down in the CLUB DRAMA hall of fame, accompanied by copious weeping to ‘Erotic City’. My personal highlight was an airing of this Hot Lizard record I got a few weeks ago which I can’t. stop. listening. to. With Sake being passed around the dancefloor – and there really was dancing – it felt like a fitting send off.

So despite my misgivings over the lack of volume I still enjoyed myself immensely – and I feel like LIFE can still host a good party if the ingredients are right. It is hard to complain about a venue generous enough to pay US to put on a party, rather than the other way round. KMA has generally been an uncomplicated affair and I think it can carry on in the same fashion as long as we relax and enjoy it for what it is.

******

At the other end of the spectrum yesterday was Toi Toi’s latest party in a car park by the Olympic site. Fabulous venue, great sound and no neighbours – a sure recipe for success, topped off by a 2-hour set from Andrew. If the Toi Toi ‘family’ hadn’t been exposed to MJ Cole in the past, at least now they should understand what’s good for them. You couldn’t have asked for a better setting for Andrew’s first proper set in public and hopefully it means more of the same in the future. Reasonably priced drinks, proper toilets and a minority of weirdos meant everything was easy to enjoy.

I didn’t stick around long enough to find out if the residents have upped their game since last time – and they’d have to considerably in order to keep up that kind of quality – but then again after 3 hours of excellent music and sunshine I wasn’t totally into the idea of going indoors anyway, so made the slog home instead. In fact that was the only downside of the whole experience, but no-one ever said partying was easy, and the commute was more than worth it. May the summer last as long as we want it to!


I played in some order: Angel Freakin / Erotic City / Caught Up / Ramp One / Get Up / Rapture/ Djurgårdsbron / Slang Teacher / Chronoclasm / Night Chime / Beyond The Clouds / Luv 4-2 / Trail Of Dreams / Raptures Of The Deep / Kiki De Montparnasse / Crown Royal / Cosmic Fonk / Caught Up / New Age Technology / Otaku / Return Of The Speaker People / Area / Roboho / Got To Be Movin’ / The Helium Kid / Wiggin (Re-Mix) / Cause Of Suffering / Sorting The Afternoon / Composure / Your Love / Too Late / Ain’t Nobody / Hannah’s Dub / My Love Turns To Liquid / Black Or White / CAUGHT UP.

Other people played some records too.

We are the best.


As far as my day-to-day interaction with new music goes, to say Scuba’s ascendance to prog-techno stardom has been anything other than a silly sideshow would be an overstatement. Once every few months I hear he has a new single out, listen to it, and promptly post it on a friend’s facebook page with an obligatory ‘lol’. The tragedy of his post-A Mutual Antipathy trajectory has long since faded into rueful bewilderment: ‘What the fuck happened?!’ has turned into a faintly amused ‘Oh what is he up to now’. Tracks as fundamentally torpid as ‘The Hope’, ‘Hardbody’ and ‘Talk Torque’ have become run-of-the-mill for him, and those track names, which on his debut seemed, like the music, mysterious or elliptical, have since been exposed as what they were all along: a meaningless mix of new-age bullshit and American Psycho.

Cue the latest mailout from Hotflush via LOCK N LOAD EVENTS, which some people will likely think is advertising a new series of Robot Wars. Actually, Robot Wars might have been all about boys and their toys but it was hardly macho, and it’s the lack of self-aware geekery that I find most offputting about this flyer.

In fact I’d find it positively worrying if it wasn’t so funny:

This exclusive showcase will illustrate Scuba’s exceptional ability to blow people away by his superlative talent, as his arsenal of rich synths and melodies is stretched to the max.

It’s Scuba remixed by goatse. And the hugely anticipated support act can now be revealed as…two funny looking men in a snowstorm. Actually, the photograph of Machinedrum and Jimmy Edgar is probably the most reasonable part of the pitch, being a picture of two normal people who are more comfortable making music than they are posing for photographs. Contrast with George Fitzgerald, whose striking resemblance to David Cameron would be enough to put me off even if he wasn’t glowering humourlessly at the camera.

The final support act is someone I’ve never heard of (nothing out of the ordinary there), despite being voted ‘No.4 Best New Act of 2012′ by XLR8R. This rather underwhelming endorsement is bettered by recognition from the dance music elite (their bold): Jamie XX, Benji B, Mary Ann Hobbs, Mosca, Claude Vonstroke and Richie Hawtin. The only name missing is Deadmau5, or maybe Swedish House Mafia. In fact I’d much rather listen to Swedish House Mafia than ‘Talk Torque’.

I suppose the worst thing about all this is that Scuba is in fact playing LIVE at this gig, rather than DJing. I still maintain some fondness for his RA podcast, in which he played lots of interesting records with quite a lot of flair. Here people are paying £18 to hear recorded anodyne shit produced without any roundness or depth being pumped out of what looks like the Crystal Dome, and it’ll all be over by 2am.

I guess it will sell out.


On Friday I returned almost 5 years to the day to the site of an accident that has stayed with me since then, visible for all to see on my long-serving (and -suffering) winter coat. This is the coat that has seen me through a terrible mushroom trip in Wales and acted as an extra tramp blanket at various locations some less salubrious than others (the least, I believe, being the corridor by the cat pee-fragrant front door of a friend’s house in Chorlton). In all these places anyone caring to look closely enough would have spied some faintly spunk-like stains on the sleeve and lapel.

Of course they were nothing of the sort. Rather, they were souvenirs from an ill-advised and ultimately unsatisfying journey to a Man Make Music party in a Hackney Wick warehouse to see none other than NATHAN FAKE. I could say my main reason for attending was the far trendier ONEMAN playing in the other room but this would be an outright lie, though I do claim some credit for ditching the pastoral trance quite early on when I heard ‘Night’ emanating through a nearby wall (not that much credit, obviously). Upstairs at said party was a sort of ‘art’ exhibition in which I managed to pick up various bits of white paint about my person.

Needless to say the coat was only one week old at the time.

You would of course be well within your rights to ask why I would return to the site of such tragedy. The lure was Jan Krueger and Daze Maxim playing at one of Toi Toi’s parties, with Vera in support. Also, crucially, I wasn’t aware it was the same building. Once we finally found ourselves approaching the place it all came rushing back, though of course the interior is now rather better turned out than it was 5 years ago, and there wasn’t such a terrible crush of people at the door (dubstep was the shit in early 2008 I guess). In fact things only started heating up when Vera came on, probably because she played proper music as opposed to Voigtmann’s rather tepid warm-up, most of which I spent sitting on a sofa massaging the feeling back into my frozen toes.

Vera was great, playing a Nordic Trax EP I’d only ever heard before in mine and Andrew’s houses, along with several great breakbeat-y numbers. Her mixing was relatively tight, though sadly the same can’t be said for Daze Maxim. He was responsible for it being an underwhelming first experience of Jan Krueger, who was clearly an exceptional DJ hamstrung by his inept and inappropriate compatriot. I can sum it up as follows:

Jan: I’ll play a pretty good groovy record just to get the crowd going.
Daze: OMG FUSE LOOP!!
Jan: O…k… how about this nice bumping track, maybe Daze’ll take the hint.
Daze: THE CLIMAX THE CLIMAX THE CLIMAX! [/trainwreck]
Jan: ….

I’m being rather unfair here because by this point in the evening I was hardly paying any attention to the music, my mind being distracted by the pills i’d taken earlier and the presence of several dear and interesting friends. One has to justify a trip to Hackney Wick somehow. Safe to say, though, that when I did pay attention it was invariably to notice Daze Maxim screwing up another mix. Perhaps he didn’t play all the obvious tunes, but those that he did he played badly.

We went to the afterparty in Stoke Newington afterwards, an indulgence worth it solely to hear a set by Junki Inoue, a diminutive Japanese man with long hair and a fine taste in afterparty house music (Baby Ford et environs). Pity poor us that he only played for an hour before Toi Toi’s resident vibe killers Lamache and Voigtmann commenced another exclusive bore-off session.

We left far later than we should have, yet further evidence as if it was needed that mashed clubbers NEVER FUCKING LEARN. The ride back on the East London line was one of the most shameful in recent memory, said shame only just offset by the sense of achievement at having gone to the party in the first place.

And this is probably the moment to temper my earlier petty barbs at Voigtmann’s music policy with a frank acknowledgement of how much good he and Isis do for the London club scene. Of course I wouldn’t have gone all that way in incipient snow if I didn’t think it’d be a good time, and of course it was. Anyone who believes enough in DJs like Jan Krueger to make a party like that happen deserves my gratitude, but that gratitude will never be unmitigated as long as said positives come packaged with such dull nonsense from the hosts. We can only hope that ongoing exposure to Krueger, Lutz, Inoue and the like results in improvement. Fingers crossed.

Top 5:
Prince – Baby I’m A Star
Demarkus Lewis – Crown Royal
Concept 1 – 01:00
Francesco Del Garda for Kontrast
Junki Inoue – Camden


I’m listening to this EP by DHS, which has been on my list to buy since I first heard ‘Hypnosis’ as the opener on Prosumer’s RA podcast. But I’m listening to it on 33 by mistake, so the B-side ‘Telephone Sounds’ is coming off as more of an experimental bleep throwback than the refined early 00s minimal house track it probably is.

It’s reminiscent of some of the downtempo/IDM tracks on the Deep Space Network meets Higher Intelligence Agency s/t by David Moufang and Jonas Grossman, which has been on heavy rotation since it arrived in December. ‘Ramp One’ was my main motivation for that purchase – and I’ve since put it in a mix for my sister – but the whole LP has proven interesting, if not all dancefloor material. There’s been time to listen to their ‘A La Pulpe De L’Orange‘ on Urban Flow many more times, too.

Move D – what happened?

My proper non-dance listening has mainly involved Miguel’s album from last year (late to the party again), the weird guitar elements and effects on which I can’t quite get my head around. Then actual guitars on My Bloody Valentine’s new album, most of which sound exactly like they did over 20 years ago. You can’t fuck with songs like ‘Only Tomorrow’ or ‘New You’, though, and they’ve been quite satisfactory for blocking out annoying noise at my office.

I’ve just realised I’ve been listening to the locked groove at the end of DHS’s ‘Subliminible’ for the past 4 minutes, on the wrong speed still. Time to leave the laptop alone.

Top 5:
Deep Space Network – A La Pulpe De L’Orange
Miguel – Arch & Point
My Bloody Valentine – Only Tomorrow
Angel Freakin – Angel Freakin
Herbert – Never Give Up


Now that this worst of months is – thank god – finally over, we can all go back to actually listening to music, rather than playing it only as a background accompaniment to our collective misery. I personally had something of a break from dance music, relying mainly on Chaka Khan, Queen and the new songs from Destiny’s Child and Justin Timberlake to get me through.

In fact, Chaka soundtracked my musical highlight of the month, providing me as she did with the opportunity of belting out ‘Ain’t Nobody’ live on stage with an *actual funk band*. Never mind that I missed the cue for the second verse (I’ll give you a clue: it starts straight after the first) – I am counting this as the first step on the ladder to stratospheric fame. Incidentally, you can buy a box of Chakalates here.

I haven’t neglected dance music entirely. Two recent purchases have already leapt high on my list of all-time favourites: both Evil C & The Hustler’s ‘Get Up‘ and Morgan Geist’s Nebula Jersey Vol. 1 EP made the transatlantic flight in one piece, the latter notable among Geist solo EPs for not wasting a single moment over its four tracks.

Top of the pops:
Queen – Another One Bites The Dust
Steely Dan – Peg
BWH – Stop
Frank Ocean – Sweet Life
Rick James – Give It To Me Baby


More top 5s, generally in reverse order.

Lifesavers:
Bill Withers – I Don’t Know
Madonna – Borderline
Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover
Janet Jackson – The Pleasure Principle
Whitney Houston – How Will I Know

House tracks from 2012 that I actually bought:
Schubaq & Verveine – Züri Dub (Tardis)
Xosar – Xephyr (L.I.E.S.)
Murat Tepeli – Good (Philpot)
Philipp Boston – Night Charm (BTAIM)
Fumiya Tanaka – 337 (Perlon)

Eurovision:
Kaliopi – Crno I Belo
Tooji – Stay
Sofi Marinova – Love Unlimited
Ivi Adamou – La La Love
Loreen – Euphoria

Zip, fabric room 1, 01/12/12:
Philipp Boston – Night Charm (BTAIM)
Omar S – The Maker (FXHE)
Die Sterne – Das Bisschen Besser (Herbert’s Er…Dub) (L’Age D’Or)
Kenlou – Gimme Groove (MAW)
Theo Parrish – Overyohead (Sound Signature)

Disco stalwarts:
Odyssey – Inside Out
Amii Stewart – Knock On Wood
Cher – Wasn’t It Good
Candi Staton – Young Hearts Run Free
Donna Summer – Heaven Knows

Pop tunes:
Azealia Banks – 1991
Florence + The Machine – Spectrum (Calvin Harris Remix)
Rudimental – Feel The Love
Usher – Climax
Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

Hindhead:
Maple syrup
Blankets
Pile – The Spirit (Innervision Mix) (Perlon)
Stars
Drugs

KMA goes overground:
Tina Moore – Never Gonna Let You Go (Artful Dodger Remix)
Cameo – Word Up!
Madison Avenue – Don’t Call Me Baby
Janet Jackson – The Pleasure Principle
Jakatta – American Dream

Drinks:
G&T
G&T
G&T
G&T
G&T

January safety blanket:
Beyonce – 1+1
Thelma Houston – You Used To Hold Me So Tight
Usher – You Make Me Wanna
Queen – I Want To Break Free
Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody

and…..


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