February's edition of 'Now Playing', the Spotify playlist I rotate each month, is out now. I've added 15 tracks as usual, and as it's a bit of an eclectic bunch this week, I thought I'd break down why I've put each track in there.
First off, get your headphones in and give it a listen:
1. Gang of Four - Paralysed. I wanted to kick this month's off with a little tribute to GO4 guitarist Andy Gill, who sadly passed away at the end of last week. I absolutely love those first two GO4 albums, and Paralysed is such a good, moody opener. It starts 'Solid Gold', their second album. Love the open, creepy atmospherics in it. I've often tried to copy Gill's guitar in certain satan stuff, and especially the live set too. He had a great way of reeling out these super interesting, but really simple guitar lines that give thier songs a sense of urgency, but also space when required. RIP.
2. me - Mirrors. My favourite track off the new record, and it's already in the new live set that I'll be rolling out very soon! Of course I added this in here for a bit of self promo, but it's my list and I'll do what I like with it ;)
3. The Cure - Primary. Never been much of a huge Cure fan. Know a lot about them, and all the singles, etc. but never really gotten into them loads. I had that album 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me' and to be honest, left me a little cold. Anyway, I saw this in a charity shop for a quid so thought I'd go for it. Neat little record, and this tune is a right banger.
4. Harry Styles - Sign Of The Times. I know, I know. "Why's this guy in here?!" - well it's a good song, that's why. Reminds me of those big bastard almost-ballad songs David Gilmour always had a hand in when he was still giving stuff to Pink Floyd (before Roger stopped accepting anyone else's songs) - has one of those big lap steel guitar bits in too.
5. Delta Sleep - The Younger Years. Didn't know an awful lot about DS, but Big Scary Monsters (their label) did a PWYW sale over xmas, so picked up a bit of their catalogue. Always love a bit of mathy prog, and this is about as mathy and proggy as you can get.
6. Mute Forst - Dance The Spell Off. Oh man, this album is an absolute must. My friend Ryan from the label Lost Tribe Sound, sent it over to me as he put a few of my solo bits out over the years. It's easily one of the best albums I've heard lately, and has this really beautiful, hazy Talk Talk style sound to it. The album isn't out until April, but go pre-order it now.
7. Modeselektor & TTC - 200007. One thing I like about Modeselektor is just how un-seriously they take themselves. I remember this one being a big hit in the satan household around the time it came out, and it's just ace.
8. The Bug & Riko Dan - Iceman. Cor, fuckin hell - that bass! Great isn't it? Always love The Bug's commitment to insanely deep bass, and natty shuffly rhythms.
9. PNL - La Monde ou Rien. It translates to 'the world is yours'. Can't quite remember where I heard this first, but I saw the video somewhere, and as a fan of brutalism, I enjoyed all the footage of the notorious La Scampia housing estate in Naples. Looks incredibly brutal.
10. Kylie - Still Standing. I've always enjoyed Kylie's more esoteric stuff, and she does a surprising amount on albums over the years. This is a really good little 80s almost-new wave kinda thing from the same album that weird Kraftwerk style song Slow was on. Sounds a bit Scritti Pollitti, which is never a bad thing I suppose.
11. Joy Divison - Digital. I just finished reading JD drummer Stephen Morris' autobiography, and everytime he mentions the band, I always get this bassline stuck in my head. Brilliant bit of cold, jagged misery from their early days.
12. Bang Gang - Something Wrong. Questionable band name aside, this one is from the early 00s from a little known Icelandic electronic project. I remember frequenting a Sigur Rós chatboard and p2p site an absolute age ago, and people would recommend other Icelandic music. This popped up, and loved it - so simple, yet really airy and melancholic. Just the kinda stuff I like.
13. The Prodigy - Everybody In The Place. I think the only reason this popped up again recently is that I keep falling down whosampled.com wormholes and disappearing for hours, listening to samples and breaks and stuff. Think I wanted to know where the "let's go!" bit came from, so just caned all the older Prodigy stuff in one sitting. Great fun.
14. Caroline Polachek - So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings. With 'Pang', she's made one of my favourite albums recently, and this is like her 17th appearance in one of these lists. This is her most poppy song, but it's also just really nice.
15. Marvin Gaye - Inner City Blues. Oh man, everything about this track is just silk. That rhythm section is the tightest, yet loosest thing I've ever heard. Such a groove, yet so languid. Fuck-ing-hell.