Really quite glad my iPod is really old w/ shit battery power cos I was getting soooo sick of my short attention span and never being able to settle on a song to listen to, wheeling through that thing for many a bus/train trip to find the "right song". No fun at all! My walkman is good like that; choose one tape, get lost in it. EASY. Naturally there were plenty of amazing cassettes to get lost in. Also I am really glad that Alt-Vinyl exists in Newcastle. SEE BELOW:
1. Matrix Metals - Flamingo Breeze
sample track: Tanning Salon
"It's just so weird, the neo-primitive retro futuristic FUN that oozes out of these claps and plastic beats. Taps into the 80s technology commercial feel and past ideas of the future that we're in right now with ridiculous glee and my absolute favourite sort of aesthetics. Just sounds real good."
2. Monopoly Child Star Searchers - Presents: "The Aqueducts Of Channel Island"
sample track: Untitled A
Way denser than some of the other Spencer Clark releases or at least chops and changes more so it all comes off as some super labyrinthian world that feels crossed between the old (ie. Roman) and super new/scungy KFC bright lights city. A real sour Hawaii; palm trees on VHS etc., grainy as.
3. Parasails - Parasailing
sample track: Skylife 3
The hand drum driven jams are best on here and clunk along with the most hazy major chord feelings. Can't work out if I like it better than the other Ducktails stuff but this more primitive/"hypnogogic" stuff is very, well, sort of have written a lot about these various projects this year but the crux of it is it "just makes you feel real nice eh".
4. Dolphins Into The Future - On Seafaring Isolation
sample track: Lapse - Dream
Taking that New Age trip so ridiculously far but somehow still making a rad and irony-free ambient tape. It actually has literal "soothing ocean noises" but I'm not sure if anything else has changed the room/made me feel so as weird/good this year.
5. Taterbug - The Savage Young Taterbug
sample track: Side A
"Tucked in the greasy folds of these super weird and trebely textures are some of the strongest feelings I can remember from this year and it's great how they're only half disguised under DIY gunk, "boys can be sirens too" for sure, and the hypnotic love on the scrawny wrists is creepy and sincere."
6. Sean McCann - Phylum Sigh
sample track: Spring Spill
Absolutely masterful ambient and bright noise with Solarisy contrasts between organic and space age. Real unique textures. Particularly liked listening to this on train rides with sun blurred on scratched windows.
7. Dunebuggy - Dunebuggy
sample track: W Thing
"Trust Ryan Garbes and Charles "Taterbug" Free to blow their mutant pop/punk in chunks like these. Can't stop obsessing over the defunct Americana and genius John Candy/family film/summer camp feelings. Somehow it drips w/ "free highs" rather than unease, interesting amongst all the wide-eyed fuzz." Also, just watched Meatballs 2 and realized that it is EXACTLY what I mean and feel like this stuff sounds like.
8. Sun Araw - In Orbit
sample track: Luther
Love Sun Araw's stoner haze in pop(er) form but I think it actually works better in 15 minute tape jams, real sun scorched.
9. Ryan Garbes - Born Under The Sun
sample track: Side A
The warm tenseness of the vibrato organs and the weird DIY/ultra off-the-cuff keyboard stammers get trapped in some prism of light with a laxed reverse prog mood running all the way through.
10. High Wolf - Animal Totem
sample track: Un Abrazo
Gently percussive with tonnes of creeping rhythms coming out w/ New Age harsh ambient stylistics. SOUNDS LIKE WAVES/THE BREEZE/CRYSTAL BALLS and meets some happy medium between zoned outness and head nods, way way lush and smooth psychedelia.
ALSO REALLY LIKED THESE:
Dirty Beaches - Dirty Beaches
Rangers - Low Cut Fades
Tonstartssbandht - Maihama
Blue Sabbath Black Fiji - Night Hawk
Heavy Winged - The Thinner Air
Yves/Son/Ace - Yves/Son/Ace
Mark McGuire - Guitar Meditiations
Peaking Lights - Imaginary Falcons
Best Coast - Where The Boys Are