Yep, I’ll admit with my hands in the air that this is hardly an original idea. Radiohead have been doing office charts for years, and I can only assume that thousands of hip blogs and magazines have adopted it. Of course, it doesn’t really matter. I just thought it would be a fun monthly thing to do. Besides, I’ve got a High Fidelity-esque predilection for making playlists anyway. Neither of the Bens have anything to do with this, in case they get ashamed by the choices. This is just my own personal “writing an article for Secret Cave” playlist. … [continue reading]
(in the lands before ACME)
Chipped rock flew through humid, bubbling air. Disordered lines in cave walls connected and separated in haphazard heavy-handedness. Architects of some new place, intangible and distant to even its benefactors, hacked with primitive bashers and scratchers; patterns even they didn’t understand. This was when man still bawled its aimless evolutionary whines – a communication, but with all the lexical weight of bleats and barks. Here, as language was beginning to grind into motion, so too were the first wild lunges made in the direction of creativity.
A beat rose up in the night, rolled out on rocks and animal skin. … [continue reading]
When we think of Mogwai, at one point the undisputed champions of post-rock, we usually think of their impressive debut, Young Team, or their extensive work on soundtracks (such as Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait and Les Revenants). However, Mogwai have quite a number of releases under their belt – many of which are tragically underrated. One of these is the individual track, My Father My King; a twenty minute long belter released on its lonesome in 2001. Presumably left off any official album for its length and singularity, it’s found a niche for itself as one of those fandom gems that really deserves a little more attention.… [continue reading]
I was really rather young when Original Pirate Material was released; just coming up on teenage life and embroiled in the noisy cacophony of The White Stripes (who I still hold in high regard). As such, it took some time for the record to click for me, although I could already relate to the grim, working-class picture that Mike Skinner presents – having grown up around the images he conjures. I simply found the confrontational nature of such tracks as Don’t Mug Yourself and Sharp Darts to be distasteful and a difficult listen.
The power of its themes and the reality behind them was what compelled me to eventually buy it after a few years growth, considering it an essential album despite not being fully behind its musical context. … [continue reading]
Pavement are one of those cult bands that you just eventually come across one day, and it may be hard to pin down exactly how they appeared in your life. For me, I can’t at all remember who introduced me to them, or how I found their work. Despite the vessel that brought them into my life being clouded in mystery, I can still recall strongly how I felt upon hearing Stereo (Brighten the Corners‘ opening track) for that first time. I was already a big fan of Pixies, and a few other calling card bands in that alternative-guitar-rock style, yet Pavement backed up their raw and esoteric ditties with an amazing intelligence and wit that I hadn’t heard before. … [continue reading]
Without a word of a lie, I once spent an entire year listening to nothing but Babooshka by Kate Bush, and around three other songs. I think I can put it down to the fact that I was working on an album of my own throughout that year, and was left really quite sick of music in my free time as a result. It says something that Babooshka, which I discovered in that period (too late in my life i’m ashamed to say), was such a beautifully composed and powerful piece of passionate pop that it cut right though my musical apathy with ease.… [continue reading]
Best known for the Wim Wenders film of the same name, which documents the recording of the album spotlighted today, Buena Vista Social Club will always be known as a release that reminded us why heart matters so much in music. The players consist, on the whole, of extremely experienced, elderly Cuban musicians who each once held a significant reputation at the Havana club which gave them their name. Painstakingly rounded up by jazz guitar legend, Ry Cooder, it doesn’t even take much dusting off for these long-forgotten virtuosos to once again give music the soul and dedication it deserves. What they come out with is of such incredible quality that it’s hard to believe their material was on the verge of dying out. … [continue reading]
I’ve not heard the infectious groove of Bootsy Collins’ “space-bass” ever denied, which has often been a big draw for Parliament and one of the main factors in their lasting appeal. Odd then that the seemingly oh-so-Bootsy funk of Flash Light is in fact driven along by Bernie Worrell and a handful of Moogs. But that’s all just opening trivia to one of the more influential nuggets in their back catalogue. All that influence fizzles into insignificance when placed against the pure greatness of the track itself however; a jagged musical circle jerk that rolls ever gloriously through playful fields of varying bonhomie.… [continue reading]