Nina Simone – Plain Gold Ring (1958)

May 25, 2017 Leave a comment

I’ve had a pretty tough week at work and, getting in the car tonight to drive home after the train journey from London, I had the latest free CD from Mojo magazine on the “stereo”.

This was the first track I came to and the quality of the song is just stunning. I think I’ve heard it before (maybe the Nick Cave version?) but it had never resonated as it did tonight. Three listens on the 15 minute drive home; two more after I’d “fired up” the home computer and its place in the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime was assured (I’m an impulsive kind of guy!)

Taken from Nina Simone’s debut LP, Little Girl Blue, this is faultless stuff. An exquisite vocal (naturally), a stately bass line and shards of piano over the top combine to produce a minimalist classic. Sometimes, there is so little there to keep the music together, you worry that it will fall apart. And then, at the moment of greatest concern, Nina’s voice holds it together and propels the song forward anew ….!

This is perfect, peerless stuff. Unsurpassable.

 

Vin Gordon – Riding For A Fall (early 1970s)

May 17, 2017 Leave a comment

I first heard this 30 minutes ago and it’s been on repeat play since then! And now it’s been elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

A quite stunning take on John Holt’s classic “Riding for a Fall” features Vin Gordon overlaying possibly the finest trombone playing I have ever heard (really!) on an already wonderful record.

Produced by Bunny Lee and appearing on another impeccable Pressure Sounds release Tape Rolling!

Perfect reggae!

This Mortal Coil – Meniscus (1986)

Beautiful, short, guitar and synth instrumental from the band that brought you the defining cover version of Tim Buckley’s extraordinary “Song to the Siren”.

This is taken from their second LP Filigree & Shadow which was released in 1986 on 4AD records.

As Discogs tell us:

This Mortal Coil was a 4AD “supergroup” of sorts that recorded three albums and a few other tracks between 1983 and 1991.

The only official members of the project were 4AD label head Ivo Watts-Russell and well-known producer John Fryer, but many other vocalists and musicians from 4AD (and non-4AD) groups such as Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Dif Juz, Colourbox, The Wolfgang Press, Cindytalk, Breathless and more were involved at various points in the project’s lifespan.

Two and a half minutes of perfection. If only it were longer!

 

Monolake – Terminal (1999)

Well that hasn’t happened before! I fell in love with “Tangent II” from Monolake’s Interstate LP so much that I elevated it immediately to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime. However, it turns out that it is not even the best track on the album!

As such, for the first time ever, I’m posting two tracks from the same LP on the same afternoon!

This is gorgeous. Gossamer like; it sometimes hardly seems to exist at all but the almost King Tubby-esque percussion just keeps it moving along until the synth washes over the track and perfection is achieved!

Monolake – Tangent II (1999)

Having spent the morning sorting out my 600+ reggae CDs (I know how to live …), I’ve decided to settle down and work my way through the classic minimal dub techno CDs released on Chain Reaction, Basic Channel and related imprints!

Six tracks into Monolake’s monumental Interstate album and I am honour bound to elevate “Tangent II” to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime; a complete gem.

Interstate was Berlin based Monolake’s second LP and the follow-up to their monumental debut, Hong Kong which came out a couple of years earlier in a very fetching (and now pricey) metal tin!

Dub, glitch and funk coincide to devastating hypnotic effect; the best way to fill 9 and a half minutes today!

 

Luke Slater – Expectation No.1 (1993)

Working my way through my techno collection on a Bank Holiday morning and stumbled upon this gem as the last track on Luke Slater’s excellent 92-94 CD compilation.

Hailing from Reading in Berkshire (not exactly Detroit or Berlin methinks …..!), Luke Slater has been one of the UK’s most influential techno producers, particularly under his Planetary Assault Systems moniker.

Perfect, loping, ambient techno whose only fault is that it isn’t twice the length!

Fleetwood Mac – Beautiful Child (1979)

April 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Stevie Nicks at the height of her powers – an album track taken from the fourth side of the commercially suicidal Tusk double LP.

Rumours was on constant rotation at our flat in Hong Kong in the late 1970s and Tusk only got the occasional outing; I’m not sure we ever managed to listen to the whole thing uninterrupted from beginning to end.

Fast forward to today. I was walking into town with a completely random playlist on the iPod (I still have one!) and this came on and just brought me to a halt. Just beautiful.

Apparently it might be about Stevie’s brief affair with Derek Taylor, the late road manager and press officer for the Beatles ….. That sordid business is not what I think about when I listen to it though!

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