Of 2014’s new music, I was particularly taken by Dean Blunt’s album “Black Metal” and The Bug’s “Angel & Devil’s.” Fatima Al Quadiri’s “Asiatisch” album really stuck to the shadows of my brain (particularly Shanzai).
Of the pre 2014, there was lots of CAN, lots of PJ Harvey, some Leonard Cohen and loads of King Krule. There’s something kinda ugly about his voice, which is what I like about it.
I was also, blessed with an introduction to Bwiti music this year.
Of the stuff that sits in-between pre-2014 and 2014, it was Hyperdub’s Next Life + all four of their “Hyperdub 10” compiliations that got me; each offering a unique journey through the Hyperdub soundscape.
Of the live shows and DJ’s it was Dean Blunt and Kode9 at Corsica Studios, Francis Redman DJing at our friend Edith’s house on NYE 2014 and Oneman at Hideout Festival in Croatia. I loved meeting Rosi Lalor this year and experiencing her magical songs and personality and Duke Bradley with his Johnny Cash meets Nick Cave style.
Breezy’s parents punk band Lost In Space were a repeat prescription in 2014 and it felt so right to play alongside them at a gig with my own band (our third ever). They’re all 50+ and I can honestly say they kick it harder than many bands 20 years younger than them. Raw, honest energy with the most genuine PUNK spirit I’ve ever felt.
Kate Tempest’s launch of her new album Everybody Down at Brixton’s Hootenanny was also full of energy. It was beautiful watching her look so overwhelmed and surprised by the amount of people that had turned out to see her and her band, in a local haunt that she’s played on a number of occasions to far smaller crowds.
Hosting a couple of Oliver Sudden’s Vintage Fly night’s at Antenna Studios Cafe was great fun. I heard some great tunes and met some brilliant people at both of them, such as Hark1karan Gill, who runs this ultra fresh, positive culture website of the same name.
The Fireflies (Nina Walsh, Franck Alba & Dani Cali) have been a pleasure this year. Poet Joe Duggan joined them on the mic at the Crystal Palace Festival x Antenna Studios programme that I curated in June. I had a another great time at Weatherall’s A Love From Outer Space night just before Christmas, followed up by a session of beautiful music from Bear Phillips and Fireflies’ Franck & Nina and her dog Droogy at their house.
I’m incredibly lucky to know so many talented people and some of them appeared in music documentaries such as Channel 4 and Dazed’s “Music Nation” series. It was insanely refreshing being able to see and hear the story of Garage, Bristol Bass, Jungle and other genres and scenes on mainstream TV, particularly when parts of those stories cross over with your own story.
Other great music documentaries or films, included Tim & Barry’s feature length “I’m Tryna Tell Ya” (about Footwork), Rollo Jackson’s “Slimzee’s Goin On Terrible” and docs that I contributed images to including Mikhail Mehra’s “Skream- Come With Me,” Mala’s “John Peel’s Record Box” and another Rollo Jackson production “London On a Regular.” The last three are very poignant at this very moment, as they all mention Forward>> which happened at the club Plastic People, which as announced this week, is set to close, forever.
I really must also mention 20,000 Days On Earth, featuring Nick Cave, “The Possibilities Are Endless” about Edwyn Collin’s, “Diana Vreeland- The Eye Has to Travel” and Jonathan Glazer’s “Under The Skin.” The last two break the (perhaps obsessive) pattern of films about music, by being about an eccentric, life-loving fashion editor and an alien woman in Glasgow respectively.