The Great One Word Title Countdown – The Didn’t Quite Make It List #2

I was going to feature six songs today.  But a strange quirk of fate, one of the songs is due to be posted tomorrow as part of the ‘Nearly Perfect Album’ series and we can’t have the same song two days running, that would make us the blog version of Dave.  It is ‘Miniskirt’ by Canadian trip hoppers Braids in case anyone doesn’t like cliffhangers and won’t sleep tonight due to nervous excitement.

Anyway, lets start today with a rolling bass line, airy chimes and heavy techno synths and another track I expected to do much better than it did.

Pyramid – Four Tet (2011, Text Records, Taken from ‘Pink’)

I said yesterday that most of the songs that bubbled just outside the Top 100 appeared only once in all the returned votes.  That much is true with the exception of this next track.  ‘Depreston’ by Courtney Barnett featured in three Top 30’s, sadly for Courtney it was ranked 25 or under in all of them.  Meaning that despite being in more Top 30’s than most of the records list from 75 – 100 it didn’t score many points, making it the unfortunate winner of the Most Popular Unsuccessful Record in the Countdown Award.  Some of the other awards on offer in this series are  “Most Marmite Record” – for the track that people either seem to love or hate, “Song that Appears in the Most Top 30s” – which is not strangely the record that topped the list at the end of the voting and Most Psychic Jury Member – one of our jury successfully predicted 17 of the Top 20….But not quite in the right order, that would have been just too damn scary.

Depreston – Courtney Barnett (2015, Mom + Pop Records, Taken from ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think Sometimes I Just Sit’)

Anyone out there remember Grand Theft Auto III, the groundbreakingly violent crime game on Playstation 2?  One of the tasks in the second bit of the game was to run around the city reaching various ringing telephones before the timer ran out.  It was clearly inspired pastiche by the classic Clint Eastwood film Dirty Harry, which was of course scored by Lalo Schifrin.  Another game that leaned heavily on a Schifrin scored film was the ‘Driver’ series, which took its inspiration from Bullitt.  The theme of which is just a remarkable piece of work and very early crept into this Top 100

Bullitt (Main Theme) – Lalo Schifrin (1969, Warner Bros Records, Taken from ‘Bullitt Soundtrack’)

Next Up a track I featured a few weeks ago in the Nearly Perfect Album Series, and one that has done so badly its almost feels criminally neglected.  Unbelievably its ‘Demons’ by Super Furry Animals and it’s still a tremendous few minutes of indie brilliance.

Demons – Super Furry Animals (1997, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Radiator’)

Next up Boards of Canada, the first thing that you should all know about them is that they are not from Canada (although they did live there, whilst there dad helped build an ice hockey stadium) and are not boards either.  They are in fact two brothers from the east coast of Scotland, who in the late nineties ripped up the Electronica Rule book when they unleashed their landmark ‘Music Has the Right to Children’ album. 

Roygbiv – Boards of Canada (1998, Warp Records, Taken ‘Music has the Right to Children’)

And that completes the round up of all the tracks of note that didn’t make the Top 100.  On Monday, we start to countdown…

Nearly Perfect Albums – #28

Rounds – Four Tet

According to Neil Young and then St Etienne ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’.  I’m prepared to bet a rather large bag of doughnuts that Neil Young has never listened to ‘My Angel Rocks Back and Forth’ by Four Tet.  That folks with break your heart into two very even and symmetrical parts and leave you weeping like a lovesick puppy, on the kitchen floor. 

My Angel Rocks Back and ForthFour Tet (2003, Domino Records)

It is simply one of the most beautiful pieces of music you will ever hear.  It is essentially a ballad with no words, that chimes and tinkles away at your senses.  It is led by that most post rock of instruments, a harp, which is plucked (or in this case I imagine, sampled) away sweetly while a scratchy beat whispers alongside it.  Its marvellous in a “man I must stop chopping onions whilst listening to this track kind of way”.

As marvellous as it is, ‘My Angel Rocks Back and Forth’ isn’t even the best track on this album.  For that you have to look at ‘As Serious as your Life’ which blends Tibetan chimes, strings, acoustic guitars and then mutates them all together until it sounds like nothing on earth.  Its utterly unique and utterly amazing. 

As Serious as your Life – Four Tet (2003, Domino Records)

That’s the thing with ‘Rounds’ it’s unique.  There is simply nothing that sounds anything like it.   Here stands a record that was recorded, mixed and probably produced on a laptop, and it sounds otherworldly, timeless, heartfelt and incredible.  A record that was so hard to pigeonhole that the NME created an entirely new genre for it and then immediately made Four Tet the flagbearers for that scene.  They called it ‘Folktronica’, though it was quickly, like, nearly all of the other scenes that the NME invented, ignored.  ‘Rounds’ is a dance record, simple as that.  It’s just a dance record that you don’t want to dance to, because you want to listen to its intricate beauty, the way harps mix with hip hop beats, or the way that weird noises merge together to make a noise like no instrument on earth should sound like.

She Move She – Four Tet (2003, Domino Records)

I can see why they coined the genre ‘Folktronica’ though, it is an album heavily influenced by folk music. But its also an album influenced by hip hop (‘She Moves She’ clearly has its roots set in hip hop) and R & B.  But ultimately it’s the uniqueness that sets this aside, ‘Spirit Fingers’ for instance, mixes perfectly a violin led jig against what sounds like a house beat, its insane but it makes you giddy with its hypnotising brilliance.

Spirit Fingers – Four Tet (2003, Domino Records)

The Sunday Shuffle – #13

Break My Body – Pixies (1987, 4AD Records, Taken from ‘Surfer Rosa’)

Last Sunday I went for my weekly run.   Every week at the end of the run, my watch downloads a load of stats and stuff into an app that I use to monitor performance, times, distance, and all that.  It also tells me that I should change my running shoes every 400 miles.  Last Sunday’s run clocked up the 395th mile completed in my current trainers.

So for this weeks randomly shuffled song I decide to post the song that was playing on my iPod Nano at the very moment that my watch tells me that I had reached 400 miles in these trainers.  

My main running route can best be described as undulating, I live in Devon and its hilly but over time I have crafted a circular 10km course from my doorstep and on this day I decide to do that run.  The five mile point is roughly the point where I run past my daughters school in the middle of the village that I live in. 

And….it would appear that my iPod has developed a sense of humour, because at the precise point when the trainers had run 400 miles , ‘Break My Body’ by Pixies was playing and at that point I would have looked a lot like a beetroot that had grown legs and run 5 bloody miles.

I plod on regardless, determined to make it to 401 miles in these shoes, sadly it’s uphill most of the way back from middle of the village but slowly I make it, two songs help me on my way the first is almost in complete contrast to ‘Break My Body’ because its by Four Tet and the calm brilliance of Four Tet gives me the energy to trot up the final hill.

128 Harps – Four Tet (2012, Domino Records)

Four Tet are replaced about 500 metres from home by

October Swimmer – JJ72 (2000, Columbia Records, Taken from ‘JJ72’)