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December 2007

Archived recommendations go back to Spring 2000.

Looking back over the year my taste has changed a little. Not sure if its got better or worse, but the fact remains that I still buy records. The internet has played an ever-growing part in finding bits and bobs and has become now a staple part of weekly, sometimes daily hunting, but life does not begin and end on line. Far from it. Greater adventures are to be had out in the wilds. A good example is the reasonably scary visit I experienced recently to a record dealer's house way down on the south coast. I say scary as it was daytime when I got there but the curtains were all drawn closed and the only light coming into his house was from the computer screen in the front room. Through the muddy light it slowly became apparent that the word "hoover" had never been part of this dealer's vocabulary, and I had to keep moving my feet to make sure they remained loose and not stuck to the smeggy carpeted floor. I tried hard not to breath in too often as the dust coating everything around me was turning back into skin, and rather than dare use or even ask about the lavatory I waited a couple of hours until I was back safely in my car, on the motorway and heading into a service station. Now you won't find that kind of adventure on the internet. And I bought some records from him too, some have even made it on to this, the current list of Trunk hit records...

This is a right bugger to find, because it's quite early (1963) for modern jazz and also no one really wanted this kind of "foreign muck" when it came out. It's the first ever Polish jazz record to be issued in the UK apparently. Isn't that interesting. Yes. And just look at those great V neck jumpers and cool "jazz" ties. The album's title is Lola (named after a lady I assume) and I'm not even going to bother to write out the big man's name as there are far too many Zs and L's with funny bits attached to even start trying.


He has featured on this list before but this time it's an EP I've been listening too quite a lot. I really love this because its got one of his addictive and slightly cockerney little ditties on it, all about a red head girl and a bus. As well as old Cribbins, I've been listening quite a lot to George Formby. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Filthy songs, especially the window cleaning one.

Reasonably unfashionable these days are the classic mid 1960s hip scores, but get away from the go-going groovy sounds and there are sonic treasures galore. This album has the sublime track Something's Up on Side Two which is all spooky strings, strange time signatures and other things I like. When you're trying to buy this score make every effort to find the UK issue with slightly different music and the lovely photo of Rita Tush on the front.


I remember hearing the classic B.E.F. Music For Stowaways cassette tape a long time ago. Well this is the private LP they issued about the same time, it's the same music but without all the words. They pressed and sent out the LP only to TV companies and film producers for possible soundtrack usage. I have no idea how it did, but it's a really quite unusual electronic album. I think these two Heaven 17 boys are still active, possibly under a new band name - something like "Honey Wotsit" I'm told.


It's unusual to find a blues LP on this website. And here is a raw one. I bought it as you rarely see original British pressed blues albums anywhere and I thought I'd give it a go. It's barking mad. Some of the time Mr House is just grunting, or belching, or sounding like he's about to throw up or expire. Nevertheless he's always strumming and a picking but only when he can remember which always happens to be right on time. I think you'd be hard pushed to hear something / anything as honest, as hardcore and as physically demanding on both listener and performer. One of the tracks is about 15 minutes long and is enough to drive you to drink I reckon.


This is a green vinyl ten inch mental record. I love it when a musical scene quickly grows up and then someone comes along and throws in a curveball like this. It's like a dub steppy record, but using Black Sabbath as a basis for samples. Instead of creating an underground dubstep record, they've produced this really bananas crossover heavy mental dub reggae monster. I wet myself nearly everytime I hear it, especially when the wobbly bass comes in. Superb. I probably won't like it in a week or so.


This is the first 12" issued by the mysterious 23 year old called Burial. I had no idea I even had it or what it was until I started rooting out a few records that I hadn't listened to much at all. If I remember correctly I bought it at Honest Jon's in a rare "modern" moment because the bloke behind the counter was playing it and it sounded groovy and mental at the same time. His work reminds me a little of early Photek (in that you can play it at different speeds and it still sounds interesting), mixed with Eno, Morricone, and a touch of Cliff Martinez.


Just mentioned Cliff Martinez and yes, I have been listening to his music recently. Lots of marimba samples. Very drifty music. This soundtrack to the Solaris remake is a quite expensive CD to buy these days. And the music turns up everywhere at the moment, like on the telly, in documentaries and adverts. I listened to this when I went away recently for a quick break with my wife. And then my wife woke me up.



Possibly one of the scariest electronic bonkers things I have ever heard, this is a recording by Ruth White. Here she sets the poems of Baudelaire to the sounds of the most evil people alive or something. Really off the hook music here, and the funny bit is you can hardly make out the poems. Very addictive record this, one that you want to keep hearing just to find out how evil it gets.


I'm not even going to write about this, You just look at the sleeve and draw your very own terrible conclusions.


Maybe I'm wrong and you have heard of Relly Coloma, the legendary organist from the Philippines. Well you have now, and he's most entertaining in a spaced-out accidental naff way. Here Relly takes the standards of the day and puts them through his unusual musical mind and comes up with ever cooler versions - like an ska take on The Good The Bad And The Ugly which I think is supposed to be something else but has come out all Jamaican. Anyway, I've been finding this LP just too funky and too bad to stop listening.


Another from the pile of records what I bought over the years and hadn't really paid any attention to. This a slice of post rock from the 1996 Tortoise / Thrill Jockey period but isn't from that band or stable. I only like this for one track, an eleven minute rock out thing which morphs cunningly into a gentle Sunday morning tune of sweet beauty. Like the wolf turning into little red riding hood or Mr Angry turning into Little Miss Sunshine.


Oi veh! A fine gift from my good mate Joel, this album came from the WFMU record fayre, or so he says. The unpredictable talents of Mr Restum here pay homage to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, one of the great film musicals of all time. The results are painful and entertaining, often at the same time. Mr Restum also looks remarkably like Martin Green, but Martin doesn't play the sax and hopefully won't see this comment on-line and get angry that I've said that, but it looks just like him. Really it does.


Yet another small piece in the vintage surf documentary soundtrack recording jigsaw. This is from Australia and musically is performed by a bunch who call themselves Frog Hollow. What I like about this is the explanation of the film on the record reverse. "A new concept in power surfing, an explosion of colour and nightmarish imagination". Sounds like horror surfing to me. Which must be cool.


No one told how much this classic slice of 1960s Marmalade had increased in value - I really had no idea. That aside, I'd forgotten how lovely one of the cues on it is, the one called Isola Natale. I also had no idea this was Brian Auger's first LP. I've got no idea about much really.


Not all charming looking school LPs are charming. This is a great example of the truly disastrous. Foolishly I paid four quid for it, because it just looked so good and bad at the same time. And I got it home to find that it's really just bad bad. The school is in Petworth. I will not be going to Petworth for a very long time, such is the deep mental scar I now wear thanks to this recording. I've put the album on this list as a warning, and also to point out the fact that it is possible to do a rubbish cover version of Moon River. I play this album to get rid of people who come round and outstay their welcome, like the endless charity workers and religious pamphleteers that haunt the early evenings where I live. It works.


Recently I came upon a stash of UK label singles, all by Simon Fisher Turner. Back in the early 1970s where these come from, he was known as "The Prettiest Star". Now of course he's the multi talented instrumentalist and composer who has worked with all sorts of exciting musicians and film directors around the world. Anyway, this is quite odd glam, and is worth a listen, especially for the more throwaway B sides. Very hard to find the records with original picture sleeves though, as I think may were just issued as promos.


I like this one as it's very seasonal, is all electronic and has a track on it all about French blizzards. This is great because blizzards are all drifty windy snow and the music is just like that too. But the record is slightly less inconvenient than a blizzard and doesn't effect public transport either.


Let's end the year on a cheerful, festive note, and with this classic LP all the way from Harlem in about 1972. Wow, is this cool. It's also raving mad, and unexpectedly funky in parts. According to the child narrator here, Santa is not only black but he's tall, cool and really outtasight. Yeah baby. This also has to have one of the greatest Christmas LP covers of all time. Anyway, Happy Christmas to you all... more recommendations in the new year.



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