I don’t know how I came up with these 5. 2017 has been a pretty spectacular year for music, if you ask me. So, not sure if these would be my top 5 if you asked me tomorrow, but I’ve tried to include a wide variety of genres, in keeping with the schizophrenic nature of my show
Lankum – The Turkish Reveille (Rough Trade)
For me, this is the absolute standout on Lankum’s outstanding sophomore effort. Approaching 12 minutes long, it never feels like it drags, due to the hypnotic drone from the pipes, the stunning vocal harmonies and fiddle playing.
Minced Oath – Long Distance Clara (Countersunk)
Minced Oath is a moniker of Dublin musician/producer Dunk Murphy who releases music as Sunken Foal and half of Ambulance. This track is taken from the album ‘Supersede’ which was composed and recorded over 2 weeks this summer. All tracks are improvised and recorded with no edits.
Richard Dawson – Ogre (Weird World)
This track is from Dawson’s Peasant album from June this year. This one is going to be on a lot of end of year lists, justifiably. A concept album set ‘somewhere between the years 500 and 700, after the slow withdrawal of the Roman Empire from the North East’ shouldn’t work, but the composition of the songs, and passion in the performances make it a work of staggering beauty
Msafiri Zawose – Malugaro (Soundway Records)
This record is a collaboration between Tanzanian multi-instrumentalist Zawose and English producer/remixer Sam Jones released Soundway Records. The mutual respect for each others musical traditions rings throughout the record, making sure Zawose’s vision is never compromised, whilst highlighting Jones’ production skills. Love this record!!!
Thomass Jackson – Fantomas (Calypso)
I’m not sure where I stumbled across this record, but it has been on repeat since it landed on my turntable. This is a track off the first release on Calypso records, which will be highlighting South America’s electronic music scene, something I am not very familiar with at all. This track if from label co-boss Jackson, it’s a dark moody number, with a driving rhythm. Big big tune!!
My gig of the year was Anna & Elizabeth / Rue in Bello Bar on November 7th. Words can’t describe how amazing these two folk masters are. They are both virtuoso musicians interpreting old American folk tunes with stunning modern arrangements. To see them in such am intimate setting was such a treat. You get the feeling they will be on much larger stages in future They are back with a new album in 2018 with arguably the world’s greatest drummer Jim White.