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Murkey's Marvelous Mixtape 2011

GUEST,Christopher Conder 14 Dec 11 - 05:17 PM
wysiwyg 14 Dec 11 - 07:11 PM
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Subject: Murkey's Marvelous Mixtape 2011
From: GUEST,Christopher Conder
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 05:17 PM

Last year I decided to make a 'mixtape' of my favourite musical discoveries in 2010. Lots of people were very kind about it, so here we go again.

It's available as a Spotify playlist here:

All going to plan, I'll also make a CD of it, with a slightly different tracklist as it will contain things not available on Spotify. I know I said I'd do that last year, but I just spent £15 downloading the tracks I didn't have on CD, so I have to now.

I make a point of trying to buy music I like, and if possible get it directly from artists or their labels to make sure the maximum profit goes to them (Spotify pays infinitesimal amounts per pay, so it doesn't really count). With that in mind I have given links to buy the recordings as directly as possible where I've been able to.

1.        Toddla T and Roots Manuva – Watch me dance

There's no better way to start than this funtastic party tune. Mr Manuva, English rapper extraordinaire, is always good, but this Toddla T track brings out the best in him. Check out the quirky video too -

The best version is the radio edit, only available as a single (Ninja Tune, 2011). Available to buy from

2.        Timbila – I go go

Timbila are the wooden xylophones of southern Mozambique, and it is also the name of the New York band here. With Nora Balaban on timbila and mbira (thumb piano) and African music writer and guitarist Banning Eyre, this is insanely infectious. I don't think they've come to the UK yet, but hopefully it won't be too long.

From Remembering the Future (TIMBILA, 2010)

3.        Bon Iver – Flume

I was a bit of a late comer to Bon Iver, but Justin Vernon's role in Anaïs Mitchell's Hadestown and Peter Gabriel's cover of this song persuaded me he was worth checking out. I liked this year's album but this song from their debut is the one that stuck with me. Fragile and unearthly, as I like it.

From For Emma, Forever Ago (4AD, 2008)

4.        Noël Coward – I went to a marvellous party

Since moving in with Owen I've been exploring his CD collection. Ridiculously English queen Noël Coward has been one of my favourite discoveries.

From The Noël Coward Album (Sony, 1956)

5.        Janelle Monaé – Cold War

The highlight of Glastonbury this year was the amazing Janelle Monaé, Kansas born protégé of Outkast's Big Boi and general all-round star. This is from her concept album 'The ArchAndroid' but is an ace song in its own right.

From The ArchAndroid, Suites II and III (Atlantic, 2010)

6.        Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Riccardo Chailly - Iron Foundry (machine music), Op.19

In my old age, I'm really getting into Radio 4, albeit in a carefully filtered way via the iPlayer. Earlier this year I listened to the whole of Martin Sixsmith's epic 50-part series, Russia: The Wild East. He featured a lot of good music, but Alexander Mosolov's futurist 'Iron Foundry' was the one that really captured my imagination. This is only the first movement, the rest is lost, but it's still an incredibly visual and powerful work.

From Mosolov: Iron Foundry / Prokofiev: Symphony No.3 / Varèse: Arcana (Decca, 1994)

7.        Steven De Bruyn, Tony Gyselinck and Roland Van Campenhout – King Kong in the Lunapark

I don't know much about De Bruyn, Gyselinck and Van Campenhout except they are based in Brussels, make this decidedly odd avant-jazz-blues music and think that old King Kong has a big ding-dong. Good enough for me.

From Fortune Cookie (El Fish, 2010)

8.        Philip Henry and Hannah Martin – The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn
As well as having all Christian names, Philip Henry and Hannah Martin are an exciting new English folk duo on (mostly) slide guitar and fiddle who I came across quite randomly at Glastonbury and later saw at the excellently named 'Fishstock' festival in Brixham, Devon.

From Live in the Living Room (Impact, 2010) or Singing the Bones (Dragonfly Music, 2011). Available to buy from

9.        Mavis Staples – Creep Along Moses

Me and Owen sang with gospel veteran Mavis Staples at a special recording for Songs of Praise at George Martin's Air Studios in Hampstead (due to be broadcast on the 25th of March 2011). She also performed with her band and did this great song.

From You are not alone (Anti, 2010). Available to buy from

10.        Josephine Oniyama – The Gallows Pole

Researching an article about Anaïs Mitchell led me to Beautiful Star, a charity tribute album to American folk singer Odetta by a number of singers largely unknown to me. It's a neat little collection, and this jazzy take on a well-known traditional song by Mancunian Oniyama is one of the best on there.

From Beautiful Star: The Songs of Odetta (Wears the Trousers Records, 2009). Available to buy from

11.        Friends – I'm his girl

Friends are from Brooklyn and they must be mighty cool. This reminds me of the obscure, sassy and ultra-hip tracks I used to get sent in my student DJ days by bands that I never heard of again. Which is a good thing. Plus, it has cowbell.

From the I'm his girl single (Lucky Number Music, 2011). Available to buy from

12.        Paul Williams and cast – Bad Guys

When I went to see my friend Naomi we watched Bugsy Malone and it reminded me how great this song was!

From Bugsy Malone (Original Soundtrack Album) (Polydor, 1996)

13.        Emmanuel Jal – Kuar (Olof Dreijer Remix)

I saw Sudanese former child soldier at WOMAD a few years back, but was underwhelmed and figured his story was more interesting than his music. However, this new(ish) track, remixed by Olof Dreijer of the Knife, is a right banger!

From Kuar EP (Innervisions, 2010)

14.        Kelis – Acapella

One of the most awful things about pop music at the moment is the insistence of American urban music types to sing their songs over terrible nineties Europop (usually courtesy of David Guetta). The wonderful Kelis though somehow manages to do exactly that but make it sound brilliant.

From Flesh Tone (Interscope, 2010)

15.        Cédric le Bozec and Soïg Sibéril – Coat Braz

I was supposed to go away twice in 2011 – to China and to Brittany - and both times got cancelled for various reasons. Still, think of my reduced carbon footprint. When I thought I was going to Brittany, I hoped to interview these two for fRoots magazine. I fear this may end up the most skipped track on the mixtape, but do give it a go! Sibéril is an acclaimed guitarist and le Bozec plays the bagpipes, usually for traditional fest-noz dances, as seen here:

From Duo Libre (Coop Breizh, 2011). Available to buy from

16.        Spoek Mathambo – Control

Spoek Mathambo is a South African rapper and singer (taking his name from a soap character apparently). This Joy Division cover rightly got attention on the blogs, but the rest of his album Mshini Wam is pretty good too.

From Mshini Wam (Republic of Music, 2010)

17.        SKRUK & Mahsa Vahdat – Gleden Ved Ditt Kyss
This quietly beautiful song is from the album I Vinens Speil (translated from the Norwegian as In the Mirror of Wine). It is a setting of a piece by the Persian poet Hafez (1320-1390), sung by Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat with the Norwegian choir SKRUK.

From I Vinens Speil (Kirkelig Kulturverkste, 2010)

18.        James Blake – Limit to your Love

I briefly owned some computer speakers with a very nice built in subwoofer, before they broke and I sent them back. This coincided nicely with discovering this Fiest cover with its impressive bass drop.

From James Blake (Atlas / A&M, 2011). Available to buy from

19.        tUnE-yArDs – Bizness

Quirky, catchy and inventive pop, with a great video too:

From W H O K I L L (4AD, 2011)

20.        Afrikan Boy – Lidl

Afrikan Boy is a 22 year old rapper from London who has already worked with favourites of mine like M.I.A. and the Very Best. This song is either a silly number that stereotypes immigrants or a darkly honest and amusing look at their reality.

From Yes We Can: Songs About Leaving Africa (Out Here, 2010). Available to buy from

21.        Abigail Washburn – Bring me my queen

Banjo-picker Abigail Washburn is not only steeped in American roots music (and married to Béla Fleck), but also has a strong Chinese influence that can be heard in this mesmeric number.

From City of Refuge (Rounder, 2011)

22.        Richard Hawley with Smoke Faeries – The Ellan Vannin Tragedy

This song was written by Hughie Jones and originally performed by his group, the Spinners. It tells a true story of shipwreck and appears on Richard Hawley's sea themed EP, False Lights from the Land.

From False Lights from the Land (Mute, 2010). Available to buy from

23.        Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Ain't no chimneys in the Projects

To end with, a Christmas song that's got just a bit more funk than 'Mistletoe and Wine'.

From the Ain't no chimneys in the Projects single (Daptone Records, 2010)

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Subject: RE: Murkey's Marvelous Mixtape 2011
From: wysiwyg
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 07:11 PM



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