Best of 2018

Albums

  1. DMA’s – For Now
  2. Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams
  3. Bob Moses – Battle Lines
  4. A Perfect Circle – Eat The Elephant
  5. Django Django – Marble Skies
  6. Black Peaks – All That Divides
  7. MNEK – Language
  8. Young Fathers – Cocoa Sugar
  9. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
  10. Khurangbin – Con Todo El Mundo
  11. Architects – Holy Hell
  12. IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Tracks

  1. Death Cab For Cutie – I Dreamt We Spoke Again
  2. Fucked Up – Accelerate
  3. Black Futures – Trance
  4. Kamasi Washington – Show Us The Way
  5. Troye Sivan – My My My!
  6. Abbe May – Bitchcraft
  7. Architects – Death Is Not Defeat
  8. Hookworms – Negative Space
  9. My Brightest Diamond – Champagne
  10. The Presets + DMA’s – Are You Here?
  11. SZA + Kendrick Lamar – All The Stars
  12. The Decemberists – For Once In My Life

Gigs

  1. DMA’s – Kentish Town Forum – Dec 17
  2. All Points East (Justice / YYY’s / Chromeo / LCD Soundsystem) – Victoria Park – May 25-27
  3. David Byrne – Hammersmith Apollo – Jun 19
  4. Bloc Party – Alexandra Palace – Oct 25
  5. Nine Inch Nails – Royal Albert Hall – Jun 24
  6. Black Futures – Electrowerkz, Angel – Jun 26
  7. DMA’s + Kasabian – Princes Gardens, Edinburgh – Aug 18
  8. A Perfect Circle – Brixton Academy – June 13
  9. Everything Everything + Sundara Karma – Alexandra Palace – Mar 10
  10. Justin Timberlake – Roundhouse – Feb 22
  11. The Human League – Hammersmith Apollo – Dec 8

Stop Making Sense (pt ✌️)

So we ALL know Stop Making Sense is the greatest live show ever caught on film. I share a passion for it with Sundara Karma, who’s incredible live ambition is derived from the 1984 show.

This year I was fortunate enough to see Stop Making Sense’s sequel “American Utopia” twice in London. David Byrne even performed a subdued 2018 version of his classic lamp dance to new track “Doing The Right Thing”.

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Cheers and tears to the greatest song ever written: “Naive Melody”.

Everything Everything – Night of the Long Knives

Everything Everything’s “A Fever Dream” is without a doubt one of my favourite projects I’ve had the pleasure to work on. I am definitely a fan girl.

I first saw EE in 2011 in Dublin after they released their debut album “Man Alive”, and was immediately blown away by their glitchy production and cacophonic wall of sound. It was only later, upon investigating their lyrics that it became clear the band’s thematic influences are wide-ranging and academic.

Case in point, “Night of the Long Knives”, the spectacularly heady and ominous 4th single from “A Fever Dream”. It tackles the Nazi “Blood Purge” of 1934.

Also known as Operation Hummingbird, The Blood Purge or the Röhm Purge, The Night of the Long Knives was a purge in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934, when Adolf Hitler carried out a series of political extrajudicial executions to consolidate his power in Germany. At least 85 people died during the purge, although the final death toll may have been in the hundreds, with high estimates running from 700 to 1,000. More than a thousand perceived opponents were arrested. The event was a turning point for the German government, establishing Hitler as the supreme administrator of justice of the German people, as he put it in his July 13 speech to the Reichstag.

Read more about The Night of the Long Knives ➡️here⬅️

Bob Moses – Days Gone By

This deliciously elegant vinyl sleeve belongs to the debut album from Canadian electronic duo Bob Moses, Days Gone By. Released in September 2015 (and added to my Best of 2015 list), the limited edition is pressed on beautiful 180gsm silver vinyl.

Doesn’t it just scream Joy Division!? The music however, is quite the opposite: warm, soft, sensual vocals, crooned over a combination of deep house and delicate rhythms – there is still an austere Isolation on this album. I’d love to know who is responsible for this sleek design work, however there is as little information about the artwork as there is about the duo themselves.

Despite their talent and a deal with purveyor of essential ear candy Domino Records, they are still relatively unknown and punching/playing venues far below their weight. Fortunately for us, that means tickets are till cheap. Very excited to see them at Oval Space in London on March 3. More dates on their website.

Composed

Who says streaming is just for kids?

Composed is a classy-as-hell classical music streaming service built for grown-ups by grown-ups. It takes advantage of the entirely unique metadata structure of classical music and presents the relevant content… the way it should be presented. It filters out the bazillion amateur recordings on all other DSPs* and focuses on the greatest premiere artist recordings available. It’s curated by classical music experts but it’s not snooty or niche. In short, it’s an absolute joy to use and it’s sexy as hell.

I’m incredibly proud to be an integral part of this project. We launched Composed earlier this year in conjunction with ClassicFM (the world’s largest classical radio station) as the exclusive digital home of the ClassicFM Hall of Fame countdown. This involved a surprisingly pleasant 4 day long weekend in the Global Radio Leicester Sqr offices watching our analytics go apeshi*t in realtime each time the service was announced on-air, whilst we updated the contents within the service every hour. I may have designed some packshots for Final Fantasy game scores during this period.

We (UMG UK / Decca Classics / Deutsche Grammafon) built the service with London/NYC digital innovation agency Made By Many who I’m glad to say are shit hot at what they do. Now Composed’s own very talented developers manage the product.

* Most classical is Public Domain, so any Joe Blo with Garageband can record & digitally release their own version murdering Nessun Dorma.