Ralph Sher & Andrew Kelly from The Friendly Side of Strange’s Best of 2017

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Almost Grown – The System (Music From Memory

Released in 1983, re-issued in 2016, heard by us in 2017. Amazing bass line and little riff on the keys. A lot of music from this era seems to over do it on the chorus but here it’s perfect. Love how it’s a pop song that’s 6 minutes long as well. This one is very much “The Friendly Side of Strange”

Storm Desmond – Davy Kehoe (Wah Wah Wino)

The drum loop is super hypnotic and really pulls you in from the start. Everything else sits perfect in a lovely muffled and murky way. I can’t say why this song sounds so Irish to me but it does so that’s nice.

Lolina – Lolita (Not On Label)

Inga doing what she does best – channelling the sparse instrumentation of early grime records through her paranoid and bass heavy production style, fuelling a sardonic takedown of toxic masculinity.

Muntanyes De Granit – Pep Llopis (Freedom To Spend)

Always looking for stuff along the lines of Laurie Anderson and Tony Hymas, so this one stretching out that kinda thing into an 11 minute minimalist odyssey really blew the socks off me. That vocoder bit! Released in 1987 and reissued by the ever exciting Freedom To Spend in 2017.

Sun Araw – Orthus (Sun Ark Records)

We love the way Sun Araw sings “alright!” and there’s plenty of “alright!”s in this cut from “The Saddle of the Increate”. It’s an infectious trip to wander through his arid, psychedelic paradise.

Best Gig

We were lucky enough to go to a gig called Above the Clouds run by the RMBA over in New York. Two floors of vacant office space and a balcony converted into a specialised environment for ambient listening (complete with tiered cushioned seating modelled on clouds), the gig was host to experimental performers and composers like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Laraaji, Malcolm Cecil, Dorit Chrysler, Julianna Barwick, and Chino Amobi. A highlight was falling asleep during Huerco S in the midst of a thick cloud of red smoke.

Listen to The Friendly Side of Strange here.

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