49-30 of 08’s finest…. getting serious

And on (and on) it goes. I have long since realised that I bit off more than was easily chewable with this list, but in the words of Magnus Magnusson (the first celebrity Icelander) ‘I’ve started, so I’ll finish’! There were plans for doing similar with the album list but I fear that if I went down that road the best of 08 could be running till the end of ’09. The hope was to have this all sauteed by the end of Jan but Wellington (and more precisely THE bleedin BUG!!) are calling and I reckon the top 30 should be up here by this time next week, definitely, maybe….. hopefully.

49 The Rope Tightens…But The Bough Breaks – Shackleton (Skull Disco)
See this post. I could have filled this list with Shackleton triumphs of the last year from remixes to original tracks but this dark, dank and deadly track from the ‘Soundboy’s Suicide Note’ EP was a must.
(buy)
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THE ROPE TIGHTENS – SHACKLETON

48 The Mission – Stephen & Damian Marley (Tuff Gong)
Alongside the very similar, and also excellent, ‘One Loaf Of Bread’ this was a testament to the ‘….. & Sons’ power shift that has been going on in JA music with Bob’s nippers smashing it over a rhythm from the Jammy’s legacy. 
(JnGongspace)

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THE MISSION – STEPHEN & DAMIAN MARLEY

47 Spliff Dub (Rustie Remix) – Zomby (Hyperdub)
Stonking!

See this post
and this post for Rustie.
(buy)
(Zombyspace)

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45 Miracles – Mala (Deep Medi)
There is a depth to every track that Mala releases, that guarantees they are always regarded as standalones. After a very quiet year from the DMZ camp this multi-leveled, unfathomably deep gem slipped out at the end of ’08 putting everyone on notice.
(buy)
(Malaspace)
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44. Minimoonstar (Shackleton Rmx) – Ricardo Villalobos (Perlon)
In all honesty it could just as easily have been the blinding original from the Chilean groundbreaker, but Shackleton’s mix was another sign of his growing prowess outside the restrictive mores and bpm straightjacket of the dudestep world. Villalobos continues to remind me of the fertile early-mid 90’s period when Burnt Friedman/NUF, Porter Ricks, Basic Channel et al drafted new templates for techno tones.

its cheap here (buy) it!!!
(Villalobosspace)
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MINIMOONSTAR (SHACKLETON RMX) – RICARDO VILLALOBOS

43. I Heard Wonders (Weatherall Vocal Mix) – David Holmes (Mercury)
There has already been much waxing lyrical about the largesse of the one lone swordsman on this list, but how about Holmes. Getting Alan Vega in for lyric writing is a stroke of genius, singing the songs himself could have gone horribly wrong (yet doesn’t) and both the original and remixed version of this are sublime, timeless pieces. The 7″ with this mix is still available but one would imagine there aint many left, get to it!!
(buy)
(Holmesspace)  
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I HEARD WONDERS (ANDREW WEATHERALL REMIX)

42. Go Round Payola – Jahdan Blakkamore (Dutty Artz)

As mentioned before….big things in 09.
See this post. 
(buy)
(Jahdanspace)
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41. Ghost Note (Mark E Rmx) – Holy Jungle (Golf Channel)
A real, epic standout from the slo-mo shufflers scene amongst so many trifling, and frankly pointless, discoid dirges. This is right up there with Quiet Villagers in the school of not doing too much but doing it exceptionally well, always with a dab hand on the fx box. The mp3 doesn’t do the subsonic majesty of this slightly slept-on, 12″ justice – the wax is still havailable.
(buy)
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GHOST NOTE (MARK E RMX) – HOLY JUNGLE

40. Township Funk – DJ Mujava (Warp)
Yes, yes this appeared in everyone’s top lists, and so it should. That it should end up on Warp is appropriate, as this really does sound like LFO taking a dip in a South African dancehall. The rest of Mujava’s tackle (that I’ve heard) doesn’t seem to have the x factor of this gratuitously remixed  and remodelled cut, who cares this is more than enough.
(buy)
(Mujavaspace)
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39. F.U.R. – Black Acid (Fitzrovian Phonographic)
Richard Fearless has always been a step out of time, getting lumped in with dubious scenes like big beat (gawd help us) and electroclash (I can barely believe I typed that term) when the reality is he has made consistently engaging and untypical music for many years. In cahoots with members of Coyote, NYMPH and others (I could have sworn there was some A Place To Bury Strangers link but I’m wrong, I think) he has formed some unholy alliance in Black Acid and this gritty r’n’r grind which came in typically stunning artwork  from Fitzrovian Phonographic, is tonal tease that is screaming out for a follow up.
(BlackAcidspace)  
(FitzrovianPhonographicspace)  

Below is the cover though black on black on black makes for a serious eye test!
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F.U.R. – BLACK ACID

38. Don’t Unless – Romain Bno (Les Edits Du Golem)
So many edits this year, so few worthwhile. This fruity six pack of 50’s and 60’s re-shines was way above average and frankly foolish. Hurrah for that!
See this post.
(buy)
(RomainBNOspace)
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37. Done Wid War – Busy Signal (Busy Signal Productions)
Posterations all over the place about Busy here at Stinkinc. This festive little boomshot from the Alliance camp lays on the fromage with a trowel, but what sort of a cold hearted cad couldnt find a place in their heart for this?? You can find his links and whatnot all over this blog like a rash…
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35. Code For The Streets – 77 Klash (Klash City)
The man responsible for Turbulance’s classic ‘Nortorious’ and other fine tunes is poised for greatness. Interviewing him (via email) for Real Groove he was a proper gent and  a decidedly smart cookie too. Do smart cookies really exist? If so are there dumb ones? So many questions.
No need for me to put this up as the good folk at RCRDLBL have it here for you freely and legitimately like. Killer tune, NYC fire.
(77Klashspace)
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34. Clunk Click Every Trip – Peverelist (Punch Drunk)
Another end of year belter from the Bristol camp and a record that seesm to take on a different form every time you play it. A lot of the 2562, Headhunter etc technoeystep malarkey that people got all hot and bothered about this year was pleasant but failed to fully float my boat. Tracks like this need no justification and the b-side reminds me of the days of ‘ambient dub’ (apologies for the number of naff genre titles in this post) which is A-OK in my booklet.
(buy)

(PunchDrunkspace)
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33. Bosques Via Temperley – Chancha Via Circuito (ZZK)
For the amount that I’ve played and listened to it this year, the new school of cumbia gear coming out of Buenos Aries and the ZZK camp is probably underepresented. The vocal version of this featured on the excellent ZZK compilation (Digital Cumbia Vol 1), and the instrumental on its accompanying 12″, both are scorching. The Chancha Via Circuito album should be on the way to me as I type, and here’s hoping that this fertile scene gets the releases and distro it deserves in ’09, I’m loving this multidirectional gear.
(Chanchaspace)
(CVCandZZKonweb)

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BOSQUES VIA TEMPERLEY – CHANCHA VIA CIRCUITO

32. The List – The Knux (Interscope)
Hip Hop album of the year no doubt for me and it’s criminal that lazy-ass journalists flung this in with the hipster rap dumpster. I’m not a man taken to rahing on about riffs, but it’s pretty damn decent when some of the best ones of the year came from a couple of New Orleans brothers now living in Hollywood. With this track it’s the very Peter Hook-esque bassline that should be taken in for questioning,  because it’s pure murderation…. launching this song into one of the great album openers of the year. (Doff of the cap to KH and Dart on this for the early listenings, you blessed us!)

(buy) in NZ
(Knuxspace)

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Below are the vids for ‘Cappucino’ and ‘Bang Bang’, which are two of my least favourite tracks from the album as it goes…but I’m not risking a ‘The List’ mp3 because it’s Interscope and it’s bound to cop flack.
  

31. Bad – Kode9 & LD (Hyperdub)
One of two excellent singles from the Hyperdub head honcho, who didn’t miss a beat with his label, this year, pushing boundaries with every release. Apparently this is ‘funky’ or some other foolish genre name (it’s the post for that, dont you know), well it is genuinely funky and quite remarkable, marking Kode9 out as a leader amongst  so many followers….. once again.
(buy)
(Hyperdubspace)
(Kode9space)
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BAD – KODE9 &LD

30. Vampire Blues – Wooden Shjips (Sick Thirst)
This Californian 4 piece have wormed their way into my affections with a sledgehammer approach to psychedelic caterwauling, that takes no prisoners. This was a tour only 7″ that can still be found (if you’re quick) and most of all the Neil Young cover reminds me of the Cramps at their finest. In this day and age that is something to be treasured! I’m not quite sure why, but man I love this band, what they do aint so new but they just seem to nail it time after time,  and anyone who’s prepared to indulge in a seriously headfuck version of Rabbie Burn’s ‘Auld Lang Syne’ (and then give it away on their website) is seriously in my good books!
(buy)
(Woodenshjipspace)
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VAMPIRE BLUES – WOODEN SHJIPS

Top 100(ish) Songs of ’08 ….100-91

And so it begins. As much time as I’ve spent going through playlists, reviews, piles of discs, crates and the rest, it’s a very unscientific process and the numbers or rankings are pretty meaningless in all honesty. I’ve already remembered some stuff I’ve overlooked, so there will inevtably  be omissions and what have you. Some 10’s will have more tracks to try, some less, avoiding anymore attention from the pullers down of posts is a must right now. I’ll be trying to fling the next 10 up within a day or two, and so on, till we get to the albums. Enjoy.

100.  What Im Gonna Do – Bugle (Daseca)
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This boy can whine (and I’m not talking about dancing) on some tracks, but when he’s on…phew. There’s a lot of aaite but ultimately average sub hip-hop rhythms running around JA these days, Daseca ALWAYS shine.
(buy)
(Buglespace)
(web)

99. Usain Bolt Nuh Linga – Elephant Man
The tribute track came almost as fast as Bolt’s record breaking Olympic fun run, and it’s unspeakably fine to see Jamaicans having something positive to cheer about. However by the end of the year its back to business as usual with Ice, the originator of the Gully Creepa dance favoured by Bolt after demolishing the opposition, shot and killed in Kingston. Of course that bit of news ends up in the national press. Plus ca change.
(Elepspace)
This is a good bit of written Bolt Olympic commentary from them that were there.

Usain Bolt Nuh Linga – Elepehant Man

Nuh Linga (Original) – Elephant Man
Gully Creepa – Elephant Man

98. Soft Cheese – Natural Yoghurt Band (Jazzman)
Soft but definitely not sloppy, this 45 (the b-side of the nae bad ‘Voodoo’) from Gerald Jazzman’s eponymous label is a scorcher. First introduced to me by that man Grant in New Plymouth ( I believe they call him The General or suchlike) on a scorching night, mid-WOMAD at some bar gig that turned out real nice with Cian also on the decks, and not a little bit of sessioneering amongst some hearty back-to-backery.
(buy)
(NaturalYoghurtspace)
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97. Gemini – Del Shannon (Dirty Edits)
Check this post

The late, great, oft slept on and somewhat troubled Del Shannon. There’s a lot more to this man than just ‘Runaway’!
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GEMINI (PILOOSKI EDIT) – DEL SHANNON

96. Fuckaz – The Bug ft Spaceape (Ninja Tune)
Wrote a lot about the Bug for various mags and whatnot this year so I shall not ramble too much, but man it was good hearing this track blasting out on the bFM playlist (without a single complaint I believe) like a righteous burst of wake up-ness to all and sundry. In case you didnt know (NZ readers) the end of January is looking seismic, with The Bug and Warrior Queen visiting at the same time as Rhythm & Sound with Tikiman (if he’s still allowed to be called that), personally i cannot fucking wait!! The word on AK is at Bacco Room on 31st, I’ve been asked to play, not sure who else, should be a stonker but I cant find a flyer anywhere. Here’s the Welli haps (respect to Nice Up) …..
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(Bugspace)
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95. One Two Order – Tarrus Riley (VP/Deadly Dragon)
When he’s not submerged in Dean Frazer’s occupationally hazardous saccharinicity or veering too far down the mild side, Jimmy Riley’s son is right on the money. This little gem from the ‘Parables’ album was put out on 7″ by Deadly Dragon (check this post) and VP, so no audio!
(buy) the 7″ from Deadly Dragon
(buy) Parables
(Tarruspace)
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94. Last Saloon Swagger – Forsaken feat Joker and Ben Blackmore (Soul Motive)
A record that mentions swagger that isn’t lamo-ip-op boasting, and a dubstep concept 12″ to boot. There’s more Joker on the way down the list, but nothing quite like this Wild West themed business from Bristols out-westest one-off combo. The Soul Motive label has kicked off hard, and the cover, with a fair steed borrowed from the local constabulary, is a welcome change from the usual dryballs dubsteppery malarkey.
(buy)
(Forsakenspace)
(SoulMotivespace)
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LAST SALOON SWAGGER – FORSAKEN FT JOKER & BEN BLACKMORE

93. For Hoped – Black Devil Disco Club (Lo Recordings)
Yet more pulsing nonense from the BDDC, marvelous.
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BLACK DEVIL DISCO CLUB – FOR HOPED

92. Through The Robot Chicken Shed (Andrew Weatherall Rmx) –Le Sarge On Board (Rotters Golf Club)
Frustratingly the vinyl of this has yet to be unleashed on Weatherall’s Rotters Golf Club, and unable to hold out any longer I relented and bought the sappy mptrees from Bleep. This is from the ‘Andrew Weatherall vs The Boardroom’ release which is another indicator that the sly prince of Slough is on some of the best form he’s had for years. Keep an eye on the Olfactory One Hundred for more of his superlative ’08 mixes.
(Buy)
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91. Tempered – Rustie (Kapsize)
Check this post, more Rustie to come….  as we proceed.
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Mas countdowneration in the next day or so…..

It’s Jim Up North (apologies to Cauty & Drummond)

Please do not expect posts every day, this is extraordinary! Im just trying to get a bit of a head of steam up to make this malarkey worthy of your perusal (especially after all the time I’ve spent not getting this blog started)!
Despite coming close to two decades in the mighty Auks and the stenching shire that is NZ my default settings, at least navigationally, are still in Blighty.
So when I think of Manc mistresses (and 1 mister) Sisters Of Transistors and Glasvegan beat brutaliser Rustie, my Midlands mind automatically goes ‘up north’ (with a doff of the proverbial cap to the KLF).

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Having just released one scorching single on This Is Music, Sisters Of Transistors may have not have produced a blip on enough folks radar yet, but the strength of that 12″ suggests it won’t be too long. The four sisters are keyboard toting madams who also sing, and they are joined by the ever impeccable Graham Massey, ex-of 808 State, Toolshed, Homelife etc etc. In all honesty the track that provoked me into searching out, and securing, this wonderful wax (thank you Piccadilly Records) is ‘Pendulum’ a smoldering instrumental that sets the organs (their keyboards, and possibly my vital ones) onto stun, but the A-side ‘The Don’ has also worked its charms on me big time. This kind of reminds me of Cadet Records incomparably fruity Rotary Connection being dragged willingly into the 00’s, and it carries that delightful Bisto-like whiff of musical obsession that Manchester seems to have in spades. Last time I played in Manchester, 5 or 6 years ago with me pal Trevor Whateva, I was delighted and not a little flummoxed that every single person encountered was charged and ready to enter into serious and intense musical discussions and enthusiastic, knowledgeable ‘have you heard this???’ conversations at the drop of a proverbial piece of headwear. They take it serious, and I can respect that till the bovines have returned to their domicile.

You can hear that kind of passion in the Sisters Of Transistors tracks, and it once again proves that man Massey should have a target on his back, for easy identification as far as following them tunes is concerned. This track gets remixed quite nicely by those stereophonic sluts Hot Chip (is there anyone they haven’t remixed?? come on, get off there and give someone else a go, honestly they’re like the kids on the trainset at Toys R Us) and I know James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Klaxons producer etc) is a big fan, when I interviewed him a year or two ago he spoke at length and very highly about Massey as a major influence and mentor, so Im guessing you can expect SMD mixes at some point in the future.
You can pick the 12″ up from these fine folk
or right here

And the murdokkkspaz is ici

SISTER OF TRANSISTORS – THE DON

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On the back of just a few 12″s and remixes Glasgow’s Rustie has become a standard bearer for ‘wonky’ alongside the likes of Flying Lotus, Ras G, Samiyam, Bullion etc. Despite have a pretty rubbish umbrella name for what is essentially messed up beats, them folks are making some good and challenging tunes. The crossover with the more progressive end of dirty old dubstep, and the simple fact that this seems to be a musical area where experimentation is encouraged bode well for the future, though I have difficulty with the fact that all these artists have a tendency to draw on a similar palate of sounds and feels which makes it a little bit like when everyone wanted to be Prefuse 73 a few years ago (and look where that ended up!) Rustie does seem to have the handle though as his devastating remix of Zomby’s ‘Spliff Dub’ on Hyperdub easily demonstrated, and this track which is the B-side of his collabo with the utterly mindboggling Joker on the jocular ones Kapsize label has sent me in the last couple of weeks. Joker has been responsible for several of my favouritest and most played tunes in 08, so the mere fact that I’m whacking up the flipside should speak volumes.

You can score it like this
or like that

RUSTIE – TEMPERED

Keeping it Glaswegian and on a completely different tip, this ‘last gang in town’ have done my nut in (ta for the early warning KH) and will no doubt be getting a post of their own soonest, in the meantime check this Youtubery (not allowed to embed any of the proper vids, boo hoo)for a rare case of believe the hype!