The list continues –

LCD SoundSystem – ‘This Is Happening’ (DFA/Parlophone)

The final curtain call for James Murphey’s ubber-hip dance outfit, the final swansong opus, ‘This Is Happening’, perfectly finishes of his triumvirate of New York albums on an aloof and pained high.
Anxiety (yep that again), regret, remorse and nostalgia all make an appearance, as a backbeat of reworked ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ (‘Drunk Girls’), and Talking Heads (‘Dance Yrself Clean’), make-up a familiar sounding accompaniment and commentary on our times.

Moddi – ‘Rubbles EP’ (Propeller Records)

Hailing from the furthest regions of Norway, Moddi stands on the harsh unforgiving shoreline, lamenting Nico and Scott Walker-esque inspired songs about the foreboding and unforgiving landscape.
The ‘Rubbles EP’ is a perfect companion piece to the stark and deep thinking cinematic images of Ingmar Bergman, with its astounding and breathless laid-bare folk sea shanties, filled with intense lyrics, “You lost all your sons, and killed your daughters with your own doubt” – we feel your pain.
This is Moddi’s first proper release outside his home country, and features two tracks from the debut album ‘Floriography’, which is being re-released to the world in February. One of 2011s brightest hopes.

Oh No Ono – ‘Eggs’ (Leaf Label)

More schizoid pop from the Danish psychedelic outfit, whose glam regurgitating of Sparks, MGMT, REO Speedwagon and Mercury Rev always sounds like immense fun.
Opulent strings, richly layered far eastern atmospherics with plenty of sporadic step-changes produce a hysterical album of optimism and languid escapism.
Just like their fellow Danes, Mew, Oh No Ono attempt to navigate new vistas and dare to marry unconventional influences together, with varying degrees of success.

People Like Us and Wobbly – ‘Music For Fire’ (Illegal Art)

Audio collage artist Vicki Bennett and improvisation specialist Jon Leidecker, construct a polygenesis collection of film, TV and Radio dialogue samples, to a stolen endearing musical landscape of fairytales, film noir, goofball outbursts and Foley sounds.
All of the featured songs lyrics are constructed entirely from found material that includes snippets of Johnny Cash, Elton John, Marvin Gaye and 10CC.
Imagine The Books recording the contents of the Radio Times and Encyclopaedia Britannia.

Sultan, Mark – ‘$’ (Last Gang Records)

Sultan’s doo-wop brand of swooning garage, dirge druggy nonchalance and heavy-as-fuck growling psych, out-guns the likes of The Black Lips, Ariel Pink and The Hunches, leaving them with mouths wide-open in disbelief.
The voice behind King Kahn & BBQ Show, the turban sporting Sultan of schlock, croons his way through motorcycles gang soundtracks, pinning Frankie Valli 50s collage romance and imploding bursts of narcotic fuelled nightmarish visions’ as he puts the bop in the bomp and astonishes with his audacity.

These New Puritans – ‘Hidden’ (Angular/Domino)

These New Puritans could just be 2010s new shade of black, as they dwell in the murky shadows, composing woodwind, brass and minimal beat-driven soundtracks to the underbelly of English literature and dormant historical characters. Steve Reich and Terry Riley aspired compositions and choral influences aside, the concept is highly ambitious, and at least original to a point, with dramatic futuristic backing and sophisticated use of language. ‘Hidden’ is a standout album when compared to the languid mediocrity that is the British indie scene.

Various – ‘Absolute Belter: Mid-Med-Mod-Rock and Spanish Pscyhsploitation from the cradle of Spanish pop’ (Finders Keepers)

Those miscreant ethnographical treasure hunters, Finders Keepers, continue to un-earth the goods. Picking over the long forgotten bones of the sporadic Spanish label Belter, our arriviste architects compile a loose collection of Euro Ye-Ye (Sonya’s ‘En Mi Nube’), lavish Amon Duul II Gothic baroque (Fusioon’s ‘Tocata Y Fung’), freakbeat shambling soul (Los Roller’s ‘Un Consejo’) and cabaret breakbeat showboating (step forward Ruddy Ventura). In other words there’s something for everybody on this lavishly double album spread of rowdy Iberian fun.

Various – ‘Cloud Cuckooland: Choice picks from German label Kuckuck’ (Finders Keepers)

The second compilation to make the list from the Finders Keepers gang, ‘Cloud Cuckooland’ blows the dust of Germanys best kept secret, the 70s eccentric led label Kuckuck. Krautrock shenanigans come thick and fast, from division two bands such as Ihre Kinder, Out of Focus and Antiteater, whilst wild-eyed electronic composers Sam Spence and Ernst Schultze knockout strange and bizarre experimental vignettes of nonsense.
Essentially this is the greatest German music collection of tracks you’ve never heard before, and probably don’t even need, but you should own regardless.

Various – ‘Nigeria Special Vol.2: Modern Highlife, Afro Sounds and Nigerian Blues 1970-76’ (Soundway)

Spoilt rotten over the last two years by labels such as Soundway, Analog Africa and Honest Jon; both connoisseurs and fan’s with only a passing knowledge of African music, have been issued with one outstanding compilation after another of lost and forgotten tunes.
Soundway’s painstaking research lavishes us with a collection of dusted off diamonds from Nigeria’s golden age of psych, blues and rock: in a way the Nigerian version of Greg Shaw’s Nuggets.
This is the follow-up to 2007s first volume, with a return to the roots of the Highlife and Afrobeat styles and showcasing such elaborately endearingly titled bands as The Professional Seagulls Dance Band Of Port Harcourt, and Commander In Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe And His Nigerian Sound Makers.

Various – ‘The World Ends: Afro Rock and Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria’ (Soundway)

Soundway yet again deliver the goodies on this overview of the post war-torn Nigerian music scene. This album is the sound of a country that missed out on the 60s, but made-up for it in the following decade, where they took funk, rock, disco and howling James Brown anthemic soul-shakers to a whole new level, creating something wholly African in the process.
You’ll wonder how you ever got by for so long without owning the music of The Thermometers, Chuck Barrisiter and the voices of Darkness or the hypnotic disco opus ‘You’ve Got To Try’ by T-Fire.
With the story of Nigeria’s most iconic, and controversial, music star Fela Kuti now brought to the stage, Afro Beat seems destined to loom large into 2011.


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