As November draws to a close and the silly season of list making and roundups draws near, myself & Philip Neeson, who runs and edits one of my favourite and frequently visited Dukla Prague Away Kit, decided to get in on the action early. A blog swap whereby he & I pick our five favourite new acts from 2014 seeming the most apt. After all, I quite enjoy these end of year lists, both sharing mine and reading others to see what I`ve missed out on during the year, so this covers both bases nicely.
With that I shall leave you in Mr. Neeson`s capable hands as he outlines his favourite new sounds of 2014. You can also check mine out here.
The boy Nochexxx (aka Dave Henson) actually released a couple of slabs back in 2011 but 1) I wasn’t aware of these, and 2) he finally put out a debut LP this year, so he’s new in every other sense of the word…ahem. ‘Thrusters’ is one fun-packed acid test of retro bleep and sample-heavy techno. (The tune included here samples the classic ‘The Fly’ movie). “Electro-funk freak beats” was how Boomkat described this release, and they’re usually not that wrong.
“Slimy-grunge post-punk disturbance” is how I winged the track ‘Sloppy Joes’ on the website upon first listen or three. I enjoyed it lots. And then a month or so down the line the New Jersey three-piece got in touch to tell me about their “completely reverent and irreverent simultaneously” video for the single, and I loved it– and indeed them– even more. The vid in question is music video of the year for me, and the tune quite possibly my number 1 single to boot. I’m looking forward to hearing more.
Josh Quirke’s ‘Acid Beth’ is possibly my second favourite EP after the EP from my number 1 new act below ( I do like EP’s, you know). A dark release, that incorporates things like ghostly pianos in empty Victorian houses (the title-track) and restless, all-out industrialized techno attack (‘Break A Mirrored Leg’).
CRUISING are an Irish DIY indie supergroup. They’re also quite loud and raw. In fact, one can’t imagine them ever playing in a venue hat isn’t a spit-and-dust dive with graffiti scribbled in the toilets. I saw them play a venue in Belfast earlier this year that was a spit-and-dust dive with graffiti in the toilets. CRUISING also very good. And put out a cassette single this year on the excellent Soft Power label called ‘You Made Me Do That’. It sounds like Jack White playing The Fall circa 1980.
My favourite new act award goes to M.E.S.H., who is from Berlin, a place that seems to produce no end of good electronic and techno. His debut release ‘Scythians’ is possibly my favourite EP of 2014. It’s out on PAN, which also happens to be one of my favourite labels. I particularly love ‘Captivated’; it’s one cold and uncertain cave-dweller of a track. But M.E.S.H. loves everything from dub-techno to spacy hip-hop.
Photo by John Quintero