This Week at Musikigai
I’m incredibly upset. and not just because of my ice-cream-less existence (see below for story time). The Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes album What Kinda Music have been royally screwed over! See here for my full, glowing opinion of this incredible record.
Today saw the unveiling of the Mercury Prize shortlist. For the uninitiated it is an alternative to the Brit Awards and is entirely an industry thing aiming at rewarding those at the top of the artistic medium as opposed to the most popular or most financially successful. Albums are nominated by the labels or artists and the long list of over 200 is whittled down by a panel of 12 or so judges to deliver the 12 in the shortlist.
There are some fantastic records on there. I’d already heard at least half and I’m now working my way through the rest. Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka, and Song for My Daughter by Laura Marling were shoe-ins for the shortlist and are present and correct. While the most popular record seldom wins, I do think Kiwanuka could buck that trend this year. BUT ONLY because What Kinda Music missed out… No, I don’t actually think it could really have won but with the nomination being the bigger prize in itself as industry acknowledgment of producing something special, it is the nomination that matters. I’m upset because the lack of nomination for this record means fewer people will hear it and that is a great shame as it deftly combines several musical trends into something just so enjoyable. I will be covering the nominees separately so won’t harp on any more.
Elsewhere in the Musikigai world the new IG posts have gone live and have been met with the same amount of likes and comments as before so I’ll just take my simpler workflow as the win there. Do let me know if you have any opinions on it. I’ve also managed to get to day 3 of my new pay check without spaffing it all on vinyl… however the month is long, my Discogs want list long and my Banquet Records cart rather full so I reckon day 4 may not be so well navigated.
A tale from lockdown:
Last weekend I planned to leave the house for the first time in a month to take the camera out, take some pics and get an ice cream from our favourite independent dessert shop on the high street (while avoiding the plague-ridden masses, of course). This plan was scuppered by stubbing my little toe with sledgehammer force immediately after waking up on Saturday morning, turning the air blue with profanity and whimpers and the sheets red with blood from my newly exploded little toe. My plan cancelled for Saturday and my toe bandaged, I resolved to go on Sunday. I put on proper trousers for the first time in weeks, got my camera, sunglasses and wallet and was ready to leave the house. I then tried to put on shoes, it hurt too much so quickly took everything off, returned to the sofa to have a little sulk like the ice cream seeking 6 year old I really am inside. (Yes you are allowed to laugh, I’m OK now).
Enough injuries, more music:
Wherever You Go – The Avalanches (feat. Jamie xx, Neneh Cherry and CLYPSO)
This track is just do god-damn pretty. In true Avalanches style it is a clever concoction of samples taken to the next production level which is itself heightened still further by contribution from Jamie xx. The track takes this track from a ’70s cartoon as its foundation but only notionally as it warps through contribution and further sample into a galactic rave. That is how it feels and turns out a fitting description as one of the samples is of the UN Secretary General message on the Voyager record. Wonderful. The road to their third album continues and if the singles are anything to go by it should be something quite special.
Honey – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
The prolific Australians return with a return to their wheelhouse after the thrash metal detour of Infest the Rats Nest. Defying genres as it hops from folk to pop rock infused with psychedelia it is a delightful upbeat listen. An older track unearthed and brushed down it is a positive vibe we could all do with about now.
International Love Affair – Keleketla!
Fair warning if the full 7 minutes is a bit much, there is a radio edit but I think the style of track almost commands the lengthy repetition presented in its full state. Keleketla! is a musical collective headed up by Coldcut working with a laundry list of South African artists. The eponymous album is the result of recording around the world and brings together multiple genres including afrobeat, folk, rap, electronic dance and techno, and garage to create a kaleidoscopic and vibrantly colourful record that I will be covering in more detail at some point in the future. I highly recommend giving the full album a go.
I Know The End – Phoebe Bridgers
Full album review coming on Monday – don’t miss it. This record has taken me from a indie-darling cynic to someone enraptured by the atmosphere on offer. This is the closing track from the album and combines many of the sonic themes present throughout into a spectacular crescendo. That’s all I will say here for now except spoiler alert: I recommend it and you should listen to it in a moment when you are feeling in need of calm and comfort.
Take Me Home, Country Roads – Whitney (feat. Waxahatchee)
More indie darlings here offering a bit of fun with a universal favourite. Presumably featuring on the forthcoming Whitney record, this sees them team up with Waxahatchee to cover the perennial favourite crowd rouser from John Denver.
Some different stuff in this week but hopefully enjoyable. Do let me know what you think of the tracks over on Instagram. Give us a follow there too why not?
- Monday: Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
- Wednesday: Nadine Shah – Kitchen Sink
- Friday: Friday Five
Coming Soon: Fontaines D.C., The Streets, Keleketla!, and articles on the Mercury Prize nominees