Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Crystals* – He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)

Guest blogger Rory McD takes us forward by taking us back

It felt right to add to the new site with a return to the past. And there are few who do it better than Harvey Phillip Spector. His brilliance as a producer was always tempered by the fact that he was a complete loon. I buried myself in his biography some year’s back as it traced his course from trembling dropout to maniacal studio whizz.
I like this song because it hangs somewhere in the balance between the two sides of his personality. The most delicate and innocent arrangement cushions some truly sinister lyrics. An unnerving reveal of the artists personality, in three minutes of pure honey.

Phil Spector back in the day:

Phil Spector


*Artist #609

Fleetwood Mac – Never going back again

Fleetwood Mac have been on my mind for a couple of reasons recently. Firstly, as I was getting a haircut the other day the barber mentioned that he had tickets to see them in Las Vegas on their 2013 world tour.  I was pretty jealous and might just try and see if I can score some tickets when they come to Ireland. The price will probably make my eyes water though.

Secondly, a colleague and I were talking about the death of the album in work this week. I was saying that albums are pretty much meaningless to me at this stage and how it makes me rather sad.

This got me to thinking about Rumours (which along with probably Astral Weeks, Highway 61 Revisited, Grace and only very few others) and how it is one of the few albums I still think of in that way rather than just a collection of songs that sporadically pop onto my MP3 player.

My colleague was suggesting although Astral Weeks was pretty good (!!) it wasn’t a patch on In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. You might say I disagreed with this idea but that is another story.




Blur – Under the Westway

While gorging myself on 90’s music over recent weeks Blur were that a band I came back to over and over.

During the heyday of Britpop the big question was – Blur or Oasis? I have to confess at the time I came down on the side of Oasis and their more substantial sound.

However, as time’s gone by I can’t help but admire Blur’s evolution. They have gone from the cheeky scallywags who made the pop classic Girls and Boys to opera writing, cheese-making middle-aged purveyors of high culture.

This track was one of my favourites of 2012 and I really like the more mature, almost wistful sound.

Blur – Under the Westway:

Under the Westway


Toploader* – Dancing in the moonlight | (GPF)

Five points if you can remember when this was released. It’s a real blast from the past for me anyway. I have been meaning to post it since revisiting Pumping on Your Stereo a few Fridays ago. They both evoke memories of carefree school days and generally make me smile which aren’t bad traits for a song.

For those of you playing at home Dancing in the Moonlight was released in 1999 and is taken from the uniquely titled Onka’s Big Moka (extra points if you remembered the name of the album).

My suspicion was that Toploader where a one hit wonder but according to Wikipedia they reformed a few years ago so maybe there’s still hope…



*Artist #608

Hugh Masekela and Letta Mbulu* – Mahlalela | (NAT)

This track, from legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela, is startling. Full of passion and urgency it sounds like a call to arms and makes my pulse quicken a little any time I hear it.

It is taken from his compilation The Chisa Years 1965-1975 (Rare And Unreleased) which was released a couple of years ago on BBE (Barely Breaking Even – great name for a record label).

For one reason or another I seem to have been listening to a lot of South African music so for in 2013 and for the most part have been really enjoying it. Look out for a few more tracks in the coming weeks. I still need to get around to posting Dark City Sisters again, who were big favourites from last year.

Hugh Masekela:

Hugh Masekela


*Artist #607

High Contrast (featuring Tiësto and Underworld) – The First Note Is Silent

Guest blogger Dom Ayliffe on Drum’n’Bass collaboration

This is not my favourite Drum’n’Bass track, or even my favourite High Contrast track – not by a long way; BUT, what it prompts me to think about is how inspiration from the different corners of the dance music spectrum can be pulled together and spawn something beautiful, something more than the sum of their parts.

Many fans of the Hospital Records label hollered in disgust at a collaboration with House/Trance mega DJ –  Tiesto. However I like the idea of moving beyond musical tribalism – this is my music, this is your music – I stay here, you stay there…  Says who?! I also love the storytelling and observation in the video, directed by Mr High Contrast (Lincoln Barrett) himself – hope you enjoy!


Toro Y Moi* – Say that

It seems that I am in a rather ambient mood so far this week. It must be the weather.

This track is from South Carolina singer Toro Y Moi’s recently released album Anything in Return is a breezy slice of electro-pop (“Chillwave” according to Wikipedia – erm…). It reminds me a little of Roosevelt who I posted a couple of weeks back.

I rather like the video here too. Simple but effective.


*Artist #606

How to dress well – Lover’s Start

This track, from Brooklyn artist Tom Krell who is better known as How to dress well, is real Monday morning listening. It’s smooth almost haunting sound is just the job to calm a racing mind.

It is taken off his 2010 debut album Love Remains which I posted the equally excellent Decisions back in 2011 (how time flies!).

How to dress well:

How to dress well/RjK

Q-tip* – Go Hard

Jimmy Tracey guest post on “The most underrated rapper of all time” Q-Tip…

This song grows on you the more you listen to it. It has this awesome UFO-like synthesiser loop going on in the background before the beat is even dropped.

Be sure you listen to it on a proper system with the bass turned so high the windows shake, otherwise you won’t experience it properly (do send my apologies to the neighbours! )

Its taken from from the 1999 album Amplified, which was the first hip-hop album I ever owned and remains my favourite to this day. At first it sounds like some kind of cheesy “Gettin’ jiggy with it” thing, but when you understand the message the album evolves to a new level.

I have been known to listen to this album on repeat for about 8 hours. It gets boring at first before getting unbelievably awesome. I swear there is some kind of transcendental meditation like mantra going on in the background, or it could just be one of the backup singers grunting.

Anyway, “go hard” tells the story of trials and tribulations in the life of Tip mostly his personal philosophy of doing his thing, the right thing, regardless of the obstacles. You will not regret living the Tip philosophy, just try it. “once you vibe with it you will keep on coming back”.

Q-Tip – Amplified:

Q-Tip Amplifiedp.s. this song is even better when it is followed immediately by “Do it” since on the album they are the same song.

Peace out…


*Artist #605

Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity

I still haven’t pulled out of my 90’s tailspin and this has lead me down something of a Jamirquai rabbit hole this week. I had forgotten how much I used to enjoy their stuff. The excellent The Return of the Space Cowboy and Traveling Without Moving (which this track is taken from) were both released just as I was becoming conscious of music and I was hooked.

While it is rather a simple affair I really like the video here.  It takes me back. Can’t believe it was made in ’96!

Jay Kay – Man of many hats: