December 27, 2011

Essentially Eclectic’s Albums of 2011: Numbers 10-1

Posted in Albums of 2011 tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:49 pm by essentiallyeclectic

Following on from 20-11, here be the top 10…

10. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient

Beautifully languid Americana from Philly’s finest.

The War on Drugs – Brothers (Slave Ambient)

9. Evenings – Lately

Some ambient instrumental genius discovered over at Evening’s Bandcamp page.

Evenings – [Lately] See You Soon (Lately)

8. James Blake – James Blake

The much-lauded, self-titled debut from Blake deserved its plaudits.

James Blake – The Wilhelm Scream (James Blake)

Soft Powers – Outlandish Scandals

Brilliantly creative and esoteric rock from the outlandishly productive Soft Powers

Soft Powers – 1,300 Decibels (Outlandish Scandals)

6. Emika – Emika

One-woman producer/singer Emika created one of the year’s most forward-thinking bass music albums.

Emika – Count Backwards (Emika)

5. Summer Camp – Welcome to Condale

London duo combine pastiche with a sixth sense for melody, while proving themselves pretty handy live too

Summer Camp – Down (Welcome to Condale)

4. Pinch & Shackleton – Pinch & Shackleton

Some exquisitely composed and ambitious bass music from the two masters of the genre.

Pinch & Shackleton – Boracay Drift (Pinch & Shackleton)

3. Shabazz Palaces – Black Up

By far the best hip-hop album of the year, Black Up is dark, brooding and oozing effortless originality.

Shabazz Palaces – Recollections of the Wraith (Black Up)

2. Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder

Ethereal, ice-cold and majestic stuff from the Tri-Angle Records man with the visual nature.

Balam Acab – Apart (Wander/Wonder)

1. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring for my Halo

Essentially Eclectic’s love affair with Kurt Vile is no secret, from tumbling superlatives about live performances to a more than positive review for Smoke Ring for my Halo. It’s no surprise then that the long-haired Philadelphia man tops the tree in our round-up of 2011.

Kurt Vile – Runner Ups (Smoke Ring for my Halo)

Kurt Vile – Society Is My Friend (Smoke Ring for my Halo)

February 25, 2011

Recent Listening…Jan/Feb

Posted in Recent Listening tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:16 am by essentiallyeclectic

Things have been going a bit reviews crazy here at EE towers, and it’s been a while since I’ve posted up any music – apologies.

Here, then, are some more than enjoyable tracks from the first couple of months of this year…


Spartak – Nightshift (Version)

I came across this track on a compilation entitled New Weird Australia: The Sound of Young Canberra, which is pretty self-explanatory. The pleasingly disconcerting nature of Spartak’s contribution stands out as a highlight.

Cocteau Twins – Cherry-Coloured Funk

Taking it back to 1990 with a band that have become de rigueur on the influences lists once again, supposedly inspiring the minimalist compositions of The XX and recent Massive Attack releases among others. Here’s my personal favourite from the Heaven or Las Vegas album.

Gayngs – Cry

Gayngs – Spanish Platinum

Another album that scandalously passed me by in 2010 was Gayngs’ Relayted, an inventive collection of not-understated songs of craft and ingenuity. Here are a couple of the album’s slower cuts, of which there are a few…

Broadcast – Echo’s Answer

The untimely death of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan early this year caused a stir among the music community, and here’s a great indicator as to why from 200o’s The Noise Made by People.

Mux Mool – Heart attacker

Brooklynite Brian Lindgren produces instrumental electro/hip-hop  under the alias Mux Mool. This shimmering head-nodder is taken from his Drum EP 2 released for free earlier this year.

Soft Powers – Just Like Tropica-L

A bit of dream-pop (sorry) from Soft Powers’ last album Bad Pop. The title says it all.

Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High

Bit of euphoric guitar music from California and Sub Pop’s Dum Dum Girls, complete with the surfer-rock vocal melodies of frontwoman Dee Dee. He Gets Me High is from an EP of the same name, coming soon.

Sepalcure – Fleur

Brooklyn-based Sepalcure mix ’90s house sensibilities with bassy tribal rhythms, none more so than on the EP Fleur. Here’s the title track from that inventive release.

The National – Secret Meeting

I’ve recently become one of many to have finally realised the true brilliance of The National. The Ohio five-piece pedal a distinctive brand of guitar-based enigma, fronted by the Edwyn Collins-like baritone of Matt Berninger. Secret Meeting is the opening track from 2005’s Alligator, the band’s first for Beggars Banquet.