I’M CLOSING down this badly-named Fanuary feature with a run-down of my top 10 tracks by Dj Shadow.
Shadow, real name Joel Zimmerman, has loomed over my listening for a good decade now, and each and every release he puts out adds something new and inventive to his oeuvre – and how many artists can say that over that period of time?
My top 10 is –
10. Midnight In A Perfect World (Gab Mix)
9. You Made It
8. The Number Song (Cut Chemist Mix)
7. High Noon
6. You Can’t Go Home Again
4. Stem/Long Stem
3. Mashin’ On The Motorway
2. Blood On The Motorway
1. I’ve Been Trying
Agree? Disagree? Leave me a shout in the comments section!
SOUND Advice factoid of the day – Richard Clayderman has sold more records than Lady Gaga.
In factoid, he’s shifted more units than Bob Dylan, than Coldplay, than Adele, than Jay-Z, he’s sold more than 85 million records collecting 267 gold albums and 70 platinum albums along the way.
And on Romantique, the Frenchman’s first LP in more than a decade, you can clearly hear why.
Because Clayderman peddles the most inoffensive brand of instrumental piano cover version of the most obvious middle-of-the-road classical pop you can imagine.
He starts off with his lavish, orchestra soaked versions of songs from films and shows like Spartacus, West Side Story and Les Miserables, adding the likes of standards such as The Flower Duet, Hallelujah and Adele’s Someone Like You, before a finishing one-two knockout of You Raise Me Up and Nessun Dorma.
Romantique? No doubt his fans will love it, but I’m sorry to say that I hate it with a burning passion.
NINJA Tune newcomer Moire’s debut EP, Never Sleep, is not the eye-opener you would have hoped for.
The collection, which was fuelled by the enigmatic Moire’s insomnia, is a dark and deep affair, much longer than its four tracks might suggest – or maybe it just feels that way.
Because monotony rules here, the opener Lose It trudging into the pulsating standout Drugs, which marches incessantly on into two more increasingly long and repetitive tracks which barely merit a mention.
Now frustratingly there is something here, a decent base of intense dancefloor darkness from which to build from, and sure it captures the tedium of lying awake in a darkened room – but without a bit of chord progression or clever sampling or drum tinkering or something going on, overall the effect is just tiresome.
IT’S PLAIN that rapper Serengeti is a talented man.
The C.A.R album was one of the highlights of the year’s hip hop output, especially album closer Uncle Traum which was one of my most-played tracks of 2012.
But in case “married, mustachioed and middle-aged rapper” Serengeti has passed you by so far, you can grab yourself a free mp3 download of Shazam! here – Serengeti – Shazam.mp3
DOBIE or not Dobie? To be honest, I could take him or leave him if judging by his latest LP, We Will Not Harm You.
Dobie has been close to the beating heart of black British music for decades now, what with working on Soul II Soul’s first two albums, producing London Posse, releasing solo work and remixing everyone from Bjork to Massive Attack to Les Negress Vertes to Tricky to Gangstarr – so it’s no surprise that this album is all about the rhythms.
There’s the jazzy drumbeats of Stan Lee Is A Hero Of Mine, the dark and heavy bass beats of She Moans, the junglist The Chant – every track is driven by a drum.
Melodies are simple, bassy, dark and brooding, and vocals are practically non-existent, as unlike some of his previous solo work Dobie’s studio magic conjuring beats totally takes the forefront throughout.
As a result We Will Not Harm You is a solid if not spectacular solo effort – but if it’s just straight-up rhythm work your after, Dobie is hard to beat.
I ALWAYS get a swell of pride when I see Biffy Clyro topping festival bills, winning awards, generally getting the recognition they always deserved.
I’ve been a fan of the Scottish trio since their grungey start, and they’re probably the band I’ve recommended to people the most as they’ve grown more and more bloody awesome with each album.
Basically, ‘mon the Biff this Fanuary.
Here’s my top 10 –
10. Let’s Get Smiling
8. Only One Word Comes To Mind
7. Stingin’ Belle
6. Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies
5. Wave Upon Wave Upon Wave
4. My Recovery Injection
3. The Captain
2. Eradicate The Doubt
1. There’s No Such Thing As A Jaggy Snake
Agree? Disagree? Have a top 10 for your favourite band to share? Let me know in the comments.
ROCK band Papa Roach will be performing at Download Festival in Castle Donington this Summer.
The news comes after a self-confirmation on Facebook from frontman Jacoby Shaddix – who also let the band’s visit to Donington Park slip early before they played in 2009.
Festival booker Andy Copping said: “That man just cannot keep quiet!”
For more information on Download visit www.downloadfestival.co.uk
And to hear a playlist of the acts confirmed on Spotify, click here.