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Carl Orff! Allegedly a Nazi, who knew? I can’t let that spoil this for me, sorry. Badlands is my favourite film. Try and tell me that this piece of music doesn’t make you wanna kill your girlfriend’s parents and hit the road?

Carl Orff – Gassenhauer (from musica poetica)

Also on my mind in this brave new year – the distant past. A past I never experienced, but re-live all the time in films, records, and my daydreams. Days of being wild, well combed hair, bad girls, UFOs, whisky drinkin’, yeah yeah yeah rock n roll was here to stay… so what happened??? Here’s some tunes to play in the car after slayin your elders.

Fats Domino – There Goes My Heart

Gene Vincent – Crazy Beat

Duane Eddy – Rebel Rouser

Oh yeah and how about some freakbeat while we’re at it

Johnny Wakelin – In Zaire (best track ever, guaranteed to win you friends)


German Oak

“…a Teutonic tribe standing in the ruins of some Roman temple, playing barbarian riffs on classical instruments too sizes too small. Aerosmith’s Joe Perry once said: “When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” He must have been listening to German Oak.”

Julian Cope

Recorded in the Air Raid Shelter, Dusseldorf in 1972, this heavy, heavy record was largely ignored at the time. Perhaps not everyone in Germany was as ready to confront the ghosts of the war that the artwork and titles conjure up.

It’s now reissued on CD with three tracks not originally on the original release, as well as a 12″ repressing of the album as it was first available. Buy it here. I picked it up in Academy in Brooklyn on the recommendation of a friend. Dedicated to “our parents which had a bad time in world war 2”, I’ve had a few interesting conversations with German friends about it, with mixed reactions. But no one who actually listens, really listens to it, remains unpersuaded. It’s relentless. At first the repetition of riffs seems simplistic. But soon, the riff becomes everything, holy, monolithic, astonishing, relentless, undeniable. A pure dose of heavy psychadelic kraut freak-out.

Here’s the two extended jams from the album, as well as another killer groove from the CD reissue, opening with a tape sample that may not appeal to all…

Down In The Bunker

Raid Over Dusseldorf

The Third Reich



Southern Comfort is a 1981 cult classic that sees a group of weekend soldiers – National Guardsmen – get trapped in the bayou of Louisiana, where they manage to offend the local cajuns enough that they are hunted and one-by-one killed off. It’s a pretty un-subtle comment on America messin in places they shouldn’t be messin, Vietnam being the obvious parallel.

Anyway, the really great thing about this film is the soundtrack. It’s never been released, I’ve heard that it’s the most-requested soundtrack of all time (that hasn’t been made available).

Spoiler warning: this clip comes near the end of the film, so don’t watch it if you really care about that. But if you want to hear some badass authentic cajun music – this is ‘Parlez Nois a Boires’ by Dewey Balfa.

Anyway the really great thing on the soundtrack is Ry Cooder‘s guitar stuff. I’m not into Ry Cooder at all, I think it’s mostly new-age bullshit. But his Paris, Texas soundtrack is usually considered to be one of the best, a weird combination of drones, slides and harmonics; and this one is even better, a truly haunting piece of music.

 Ry Cooder – Theme from Southern Comfort


Shit hot. Tracks from the new Burial album. Anonymous, faceless London producer. No sequencer. No quantized beats.

The first album felt like London being drowned, a sonic burial. This feels warmer, but still completely connected to the sounds of the city. Deep electronic glows. Subterranean rumbling bass. A heartbeat beneath the tarmac. Percussion like metal sliding over metal, a blade being honed. Waking up still in a dream. A phone rings somewhere, the girl next door is singing in the morning.
Desires either erase the city, or are erased by it.

This comes in delicious double vinyl. Order online at Boomkat.


“Divine music shall always be the sound of love, the sound of peace, the sound of life, the sound of bliss”

Alice Coltrane (1937 – 2007) is known for being married to John Coltrane. That he isn’t known for being married to her is a shame. They met on July 18 1963 and married in 1965. John became stepfather to her daughter Michelle, and they had three children of their own. She joined his band, playing piano with the group until his death in 1967.

After his death, she became deeply immersed in spiritual music and continued to explore the harp, which John had introduced her to. This led to some beautiful work, most famously Journey in Satchidananda (1970). Becoming increasingly devoted to eastern religion, she adopted the name Turiya. In 1974, she recorded Illuminations with Carlos Santana, who was also big into vedic religion.

She enjoyed a return to the spotlight thanks in part to a new generation of musicians inspired by the freedom and spirit of the music she wrote. Kieran Hebden’s 2003 album Rounds drew heavily on samples of her work. She returned to the stage in 2006 with her son Ravi Coltrane on sax, veteran Roy Haynes on drums, and Charlie Haden on bass. She died on 12th January in LA.

Alice Coltrane – A Love Supreme

Journey In Satchidananda

Journey In Satchidananda

Isis and Osiris


Bliss: the Eternal Now


Four Tet – My Angel Rocks Back and Forth

Here’s one for a Saturday night. Marc Moulin is a living jazz-fusion legend. Here’s a killer beat from his first record with Placebo in 1971.

Placebo – Humpty Dumpty




If you can find a copy of ‘Ball of Eyes’ it could set you back a few hundred quid.

Here, try some more:

Placebo – Temse


Another good Marc Moulin record that I’ve been enjoying recently is ‘Sam Suffy’. More killer beats, funky arrangements, and some wild keys from Marc. Prepare for lift off, lovvers.

Tohu Bohu (pt 1)

Tohu Bohu (pt 2)

Tohu Bohu (pt 3)

Tohu Bohu (pt 4)

Tohu Bohu (pt 5)


As if all this wasn’t cool enough, Moulin went on to form Telex in 1978.  Basically conceived as a joke, they performed all electronic covers of hit songs, wrote a few of their own, appeared on the Eurovision song contest with a song about how shit Eurovision is, got Sparks to write lyrics for them, never played live, and then somehow got a deal with Warner Bros. Respect.


Moskow Diskow

Twist St Tropez

Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley)

Dance To The Music (Sly and the Family Stone)

Sigmund Freud’s Party (lyrics by Sparks)







I don’t care what the haters say, I’m going to see Animal Collective this week and it’s going to be a good time, like the Beach Boys during one of Brian Wilson’s bad trips. Might even re-use my Halloween mask, it’s only the day after. Peacebone!


Animal Collective & Vashti Bunyan – I remember learning how to dive

Also on my mind this week…


This naked Japanese guy is Pseudo-Nippon. I saw him opening at an Upset the Rhythm show a few weeks ago, and he blew me away. Imagine aliens landed in Tokyo and decided that gabba should be the new language of the universe. Then they decided to learn karate and move to Shoreditch. You’re getting close, but you’re not there yet.


Big Man Moustache



They just don’t make ’em like this anymore. Pistol-packin, teen, terrific, pedantic – the Shangri-Las are the coolest girl group ever. When he met them, James Brown couldn’t believe they were white. For a while, the Sonics were their backing band. When it wasn’t the Sonics, it was the Iguanas (the band Iggy Pop played in, where he got the nick-name).

They came from Queens, two sets of sisters, although most people thought they were a trio, because Betty rarely bothered showing up for photoshoots (or tours). Here’s a rare performance by all four…

What realy makes these tracks special is the production work by George “Shadow” Morton. He was twenty years old when he wrote and recorded Remember (Walking in the Sand) with the group. Check out the echo on that track… I think all these tracks are pretty much essential. Read all about them.

Give Him a Great Big Kiss

Remember (Walking in the Sand)


I Can Never Go Home Anymore

Out in the Street

A few years ago I was wasting vast amounts of cash in a record store in Washington, DC, when I came across a stark white album with two words impacted on the front:

I flipped the record over, but all it said was:

So, still completely ignorant, I bought it. It wasn’t until a couple of months later that I took it round to my girlfriend’s house and properly listened to it. I thought it was nice folky guitar picking, good for background music. But by the second track we were silent, listening to the sounds pouring from the speakers. Completely hooked.

There’s not much point in me going on about John Fahey, although I could. I could talk about how he started his own label in 1959 as a teenager (to release the ‘split’ with his alter-ego, Blind Joe Death, which I would later find in DC), how he rediscovered Mississippi bluesman Bukka White, how he fused his blues/folk with the dissonance of Bartok, his surreal, hilarious liner notes, how he explored eastern styles, his incredible Christmas albums (yes, really), or how he redefined the steel string guitar as an instrument:

And go on to wax poetic on his prolific recording career in the 1960s and 70s, the experimenting with soundscapes and tape loops, when he was always different, always the same – music which he would later dismiss as ‘cosmic sentimentality’:

Or his battles with illness and alcohol, his own slide into obscurity and poverty, and eventual ‘rediscovery’ and late return to music before his death in 2001. But you can read all that elsewhere.

On The Sunny Side of the Ocean (1965)

Impressions of Susan (1967)

The Yellow Princess (1968)

Lion (1968)

The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee (1968)

A Raga Called Pat (Part III) (1968)

America (1971)

The Waltz That Carried Us Away and then A Mosquito Came And Ate Up My Sweetheart (1971)

Beverly (1973)

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (1973)

Thus Krishna On The Battlefield (1973)

Dry Bones In The Valley (1974)

Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania/Alabama Border (live 1978)

Summertime (2003)

Red Cross, Disciple of Christ Today (2003)