Monday, 31 December 2012

Live - in pictures & videos: ATP Festival Nightmare Before Christmas curated by The National, Camber Sands 7-9/12/12

I won't put much commentary up to go with these, just to say it was a brilliant weekend, great atmosphere with a really good mix of bands and a great bunch of friends. All of the photos and videos on here are mine apart from The National ones at the end, which were taken by Ken from his prime spot on the barrier at the front.

Buke and Gase
The Kronos Quartet

Kurt Vile and The Violators closing day one

Kurt Vile rocking out

A stroll on Camber Sands on Saturday morning

Lower Dens

Michael Rother (backed by young Berlin band Camera)

The Antlers

Wild Beasts played 'Smother' in its entirety to finish day 2

Youth Lagoon

Local Natives

The National, closing the festival brilliantly

Matt Berninger, The National

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Albums of the Year 2012

As 2012 puts on its pipe and slippers and starts to relax in front of the fire, it's time to reminisce about the last 12 months. 2012 was pretty excellent all round (remember that little Olympic party that London threw in the summer?) - musically there were lots and lots of good albums, although I'm not sure there were that many truly great ones. Time will prove whether the albums below were real classics or just a flash in the pan, but for what it's worth here are my favourite records of the year.

1. alt-J - An Awesome Wave
An intriguing and beguiling album - great production (especially the percussive sounds), unusual melodies and arrangements, intelligent and dark lyrics all combine to make a fresh, undefinable sound and a band with a great future. Sometimes the Mercury Prize judges get it right!

2. Oddisee - People Hear What They See
Hands down the best hip hop album of 2012, on his debut album as a fully fledged rapper Amit 'Oddisee' Mohamed crafts an assured, intelligent and classy record. Whether he's examining his own life (on You Know Who You Are) or ripping into US capitalism (on American Greed) he never fails to entertain.

3. Pinkunoizu - Free Time!
A Danish band with a Japanese name, this is high concept lo-fi psychedelia that manages to sound like it's been made in the four corners of the globe and in the middle of outer space, all at the same time.

4. Perfume Genius - Put Your Back N 2 It
Although at times achingly fragile, there is a deep, underlying strength to this album. The gentle melodies and haunting arrangements hide the lyrics of someone who is prepared to fight for what they believe in and for who they love. As Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) said this year "If Rick in Pittsburgh or whatever isn't going to listen to my music because I'm gay, fuck it".

5. Tame Impala - Lonerism
A glorious blend of The Beatles, glam rock, The Flaming Lips, Electric Light Orchestra, Pink Floyd, Super Furry Animals and lost more. Best played incredibly loud and very often.

6. Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka - They!Live
Recorded in Berlin, but influenced equally by the UK and Detroit as Germany, this is a deep, warm dance record, full of light and shade, with guest vocals from Abigail Wyles on a number of tracks. Since I bought it back in January it's slowly but surely crept into my head and become a firm favourite.

7. Gang Colours - The Keychain Collection
Smouldering, moody, mostly calm but occasionally petulant, this is a simple, melodic and elegant album. Influences range from James Blake to Gold Panda with a fair bit of originality too. Like the shy boy at school, you should let this album ask you out on a date - it'll be worth it.

8. Ryan Davis - Particles Of Bliss
Melodic German tech-house, similar in feel to last year's Dominik Eulberg album. At times melancholic, bit always melodic, and a cut above most electronic dance music.

9. Chrome Canyon - Elemental Themes
Like the soundtrack to the best 80s film John Carpenter or Ridley Scott never made, this is a record that pays dividends if you listen to it all in one go and sink into the universe it creates.

10. The Gaslamp Killer - Breakthrough
Released on Brainfeeder earlier this year, this is an immense mix of music and styles. Unfairly criticised in some parts as being nothing more than a collection of sketches, while it occassionally misses the targer this is a record that's not afraid to aim high.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Free mixtape - 12 x 12 #6 - the cover versions

The week of mixtape giveaways comes to an end with this - my selection of the best cover versions to have come out this year. While some of these might not be surprising - Patti Smith covering Neil Young say, or Lana Del Rey doing Blue Velvet - there are some really unusual covers here. Who'd have thought that 2012 would see The Afghan Whigs covering Frank Ocean, or Oberhofer channelling Kanye West? The mix ends with a frankly astonishing version of The Low Anthem's Charlie Darwin by Tom Jones which proves that there's still life in the old dog yet. Just click on the mixtape above to listen to it, or right click to download it. Here's the tracklisting:

  1. Chromatics - Into The Black (Neil Young cover)
  2. Oberhofer - Runaway (Kanye West cover)
  3. The Afghan Whigs - Lovecrimes (Frank Ocean cover)
  4. The Rosebuds - No Ordinary Love (Sade cover)
  5. Chet Faker - No Diggity (Blackstreet cover)
  6. Gang Colours - Fill Me In (Craig David cover)
  7. Sufjan Stevens - Alphabet Street (Prince cover)
  8. Prince Fatty - Got Your Money (Ol' Dirty Bastard cover)
  9. Hackney Colliery Band - Jericho / Out Of Space / No Good (Prodigy covers)
  10. Lana Del Rey - Blue Velvet (Bobby Vinton cover)
  11. Patti Smith - After The Goldrush (Neil Young cover)
  12. Tom Jones - Charlie Darwin (The Low Anthem cover)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Free mixtape - 12 x 12 #5

The finishing line is in sight as we reach the fifth of my free mixtapes this week, with more of my favourite tracks from 2012. Just click on the cassettes above to listen, or right click to download it. Here's the tracklisting:

  1. Quakers - Fitta Happier (feat. Guilty Simpson & MED)
  2. Ryan Davis - Beluga
  3. Richard Hawley & the Death Ramps - You And I
  4. Mystery Jets - Greatest Hits
  5. Egyptian Hip Hop - One Eyed King
  6. alt-J - Breezeblocks
  7. Hodgy Beats - Bullshittin'
  8. Gonjasufi - Nickels and Dimes
  9. John Talabot - Destiny (feat. Pional)
  10. The Bomber Jackets - Larching
  11. John Wesley Coleman III - Trans Am Summer Blues
  12. Blur - Under The Westway
Make sure you come back tomorrow for a very special set of cover versions...

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Free mixtape - 12 x 12 #4

And still there's's mixtape number four with another selection of my favourite tracks of the year. Just click on the tape above to listen to it, or tight-click and 'Save as' to download it. The tracklisting goes like this:

  1. The Maccabees - Pelican
  2. Kidkanevil & Daisuke Tanabe - Tiny Concrete Block
  3. Oddisee - Let It Go
  4. Bat For Lashes - Laura
  5. Venetian Snares - Fool The Detector
  6. Plan B - Ill Manors
  7. Ultraista - Smalltalk (Four Tet Remix)
  8. Gang Colours - Tissues & Fivers
  9. Hodgy Beats - In A Dream
  10. Daphni - Yes, I Know
  11. Jagwar Ma - Come Save Me
  12. Withered Hand - (it's a) Wonderful Lie
All the previous mixtapes from this week are still available so if you've missed any go grab them now!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Free mixtape - 12 x 12 #3

Here's the third of this week's mixtapes, again featuring some of my favourite tracks of the year. Just click on the tape above to listen, or right-click to download. Here's the tracklisting:

  1. Jack White - Sixteen Saltines
  2. First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar
  3. Oddisee - Paralyzed
  4. alt-J - Bloodflood
  5. Burial - Kindred
  6. Thee Satisfaction - Deeper
  7. Gravenhurst - Fitzrovia
  8. Perfume Genius - Hood
  9. DIIV - Doused
  10. Pinkunoizu - The Abyss
  11. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark)
  12. Seams - Hung Markets
The first and second mixtapes are still available to download as well, so go grab them from elsewhere  on my blog if you haven't got them already.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Free mixtape - 12 x 12 #2

Here's the second of this weeks mixtapes, showcasing some of the best music from 2012. Click on the mixtape above to listen, or right-click to download it. This is the tracklisting:

  1. Flying Lotus - Between Friends (feat. Earl Sweatshirt & Captain Murphy)
  2. Dam Mantle - Brothers Fowl
  3. Halls - White Chalk
  4. Telefonica Tel Aviv - The Birds
  5. Thee Satisfaction - God
  6. Night Works - I Tried So Hard (Extended Mix)
  7. Eaux - No More Power
  8. Tame Impala - Elephant
  9. Laetitia Sadier - Auscultation To The Nation
  10. Fidlar - No Waves
  11. Crybaby - A Misery Of Love
  12. Kendrick Lamar - Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst
PS if you missed yesterday's mixtape just click here to find it.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Free mixtape - 12 x 12 #1

Today marks the start of a week of giveaways on my blog. These mixtapes are designed to showcase some of the best music from 2012, whether that's stand alone single releases or tracks from some of my favourite albums of the year. There'll also be a few nods in the direction of artists who I think will go on to bigger and better things in 2013. Each one will be 12 tracks long and span many musical genres, so there should be something for everyone.

To listen to today's mixtape just click on the mixtape above, or right-click to download. Share it with your friends, and don't forget to come back for another one tomorrow! Here's the tracklisting:

  1. The Gaslamp Killer - Nissim
  2. Joey Bada$$ - Hardknock (feat. CJ Fly)
  3. Bobby Womack - Dayglo Refelection (feat. Lana Del Rey)
  4. Frank Ocean - Pyramids
  5. Holy Strays - Christabell (B)
  6. Lower Dens - Brains
  7. Rudimentary - Feel The Love
  8. Slugabed - Mountains Come Out Of The Sky
  9. Bitches - Kill Birds, Eat Shit
  10. Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka - Battleships (feat. Abigail Wyles)
  11. Ty Segall - Handglams
  12. Quakers - Earth Quaking (feat. Akil)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

New mixtape - DJ Cull presents 'ATP curated by me'

I'm off to the ATP Festival Nightmare Before Christmas (curated by The National) tomorrow. Over the weekend there's a mixtape swap session, where the themes is 'ATP curated by me' i.e. the artists you'd pick if you were running the festival. So here's my mixtape, and rather than just picking a bunch of people who've made my favourite records I've tried to focus on bands who I know are really good live, either because I've seen them myself or I've heard good reports. You can listen to the tape above, or click here to download the whole thing for free. And if you're the person who ends up getting hold of this at Camber Sands then please get in touch! Here's the tracklisting:

  1. The Gaslamp Killer - Nissim
  2. Gonjasufi - Nickels and Dimes
  3. Friends - I'm His Girl
  4. Egyptian Hip Hop - Iltoise
  5. FM Belfast - Underwear
  6. Matthew Dear - Get The Rhyme Right
  7. Little Roy - Dive
  8. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)
  9. Peaking Lights - Amazing and Wonderful
  10. Pinkunoizu - Time Is Like A Melody
  11. alt-J - Bloodflood
  12. John Wesley Coleman III - Million Faces
  13. The Acorn -Slippery When Wet
  14. Bitches - Kill Birds, Eat Shit
  15. Peter and Kerry - Knees
  16. Ty Segall - Handglams
  17. British Sea Power - Who's In Control
  18. These New Puritans - Three-Thousand
  19. Big Deal - Talk
  20. Withered Hand - Religious Songs