I’m far too disorganised and I just can’t be bothered to give a shit about release dates to make a best of 2013 list. The wonders of internet and its databases do make it easier to compile them though. So I’ll share 2 of them this end of year. One with my selection of most interesting Belgian electronic music thanks to the admin page of our 22tracks list (a list you’ll find soon on The Word Magazine’s website) and one with my most prized additions to the vinyl collection (because I once started adding them to Discogs and I keep doing this with a discipline I would like to have in many other matters). So here‘s a list with this year’s acquisitions I cherish the most. Freshly released items as well as dusted off gems.
Violence Conjugale – Violence Conjugale – Born Bad Records
Going through the New Wave / EBM sections was my thing of 2013. Been leaving those unbothered for far too long. Unlike the Funk / Soul crates these are filled with many relatively reasonably priced nuggets in Belgium. This is how I stumbled onto this. Released last year. Every time I play this people come asking what it is. Pure genius and rumours are floating around they’ll perform in Brussels pretty soon.
Gorgon Sound – Gorgon Sound E.P. – Peng Sound
Could have mentioned just about anything by Kahn & Neek. Revived my interest for electronic Dub last few months and this is the new stuff I dig the most. Pillaged several shops to get my Peng Sound / Kahn / Neek collection as complete as possible.
Various – The Best Of The Beat – Espera
New Beat, another thing I went mad over collector-wise this year. Taking the time to go through everything remotely related to this end-of-the-80s Belgian craze. Putting a lot of crap back into the crates and keeping very few yet extremely nice pieces for myself. Like this one. The Kristina-Lobotomix track alone justifies its prominent place in my collection.
Doctor Pablo & The Dub Syndicate – North Of The River Thames – On-U-Sound
Much of On-U-Sound’s appeal lies in what I find lacking in today’s music scene. Their forward-thinking, non-conformist approach resulted in many nice discoveries this year. Yet my favourite record on the label probably is one of the most traditionally Reggae releases they have ever done. So good though. Happy I finally stumbled upon it after years of having it high on the wants list.
Hiele – Hiele – Ekster
My favourite new record this year. Bought this one weeks before they were available in most shops and before they offered me one for free when Roman and Viktor came to our radio show. That’s how dedicated I can be when it comes to buying records, haha. Fresh and diverse just the way I like it.
Gang Of Four – Entertainment! – EMI
One of the many Post-Punk records I bought this year but certainly the one that touched me the most. Inspired me in a lot of ways. Bought an original copy of this in a shop that had the reissued version too but at a higher price. The vinyl-mania gone absurd.
Gherkin Jerks – Stomp The Beat – Alleviated
So glad they repressed this one (and the” Don’t Dis The Beat” one too). Pure genius from a man who’s EP’s contain more quality than most producers ever amass over their entire career. This is why House music used to be exciting. It’s a slap in the face of the formalism and lack of ideas of too much modern music claiming to be that genre.
Syclops – A Blink Of An Eye – Running Back
Not to prove I’m not an hopeless nostalgic but because it’s supremely well-made and exciting House music. From one of the strangest men I ever met. It’s a shame to notice that it’s the veterans of the scene (also see Theo Parrish and Pepe Bradock) that make the freshest sounds though.
Eurythmics – Love Is A Stranger – RCA
Buy this for the b-side “Monkey, Monkey”. Picked this up in a record shop in Bristol when the owner invited me to give his stock in the back a check after having fine-combed the stuff on display. Cursed the hills of this city on my way back to the hotel though.
Plastic Bertrand – J’te Fais Un Plan – RKM
Never go record digging with other collectors with a complementary taste to your owns. Did this in Mechelen with Stan from Veals & Geeks and came home with way more records than expected. This gem among many others. The stand out track has been sampled by Les Deux Fils De Pute for the funiest song on their “Cirque Royal” album.
King Sunny Adé And His African Beats – Juju Music – Mango
Discovered this by checking DJ Reedoo’s and Funky Bompa’s 22tracks lists on a regular basis. Always a great source for unexpected treasures. Excellent record for when you get the chance to slowly build up the night.
Depeche Mode – Master And Servant (An ON-USound Science Fiction Dance Hall Classic) – Mute
Probably the best remix ever (the “Are People People?” one that is). Adrian Sherwood going crazy with this well-known track. Rarely does a remix make you laugh in a good way. This one certainly pulls that off.
Arbeid Adelt! – Het Meisje Van Mijn Hart – Parlophone
Also check Walhalla’s record store day 7” release with Bene Gesserit on the flip. All things AA from this period are gold. Gets the prize for most pointless b-side by the way. Belgian absurdism at its best.
Bobbie Gentry – Ode To Billie Joe – Capitol
Golden tip from Koenraad aka The man from Duffel. Opening the door to exploring Country music and starting yet another section in the collection.
Wareika Hill Sounds – No More War EP – Honest Jon’s
Superb release on the always interesting Honest Jon’s label. Love visiting the shop, love the imprint. Not the most productive maybe but every year they manage to release records that never get far away from the decks. This one too hasn’t found its place in my Expedit’s yet.
The Circle City Band – Magic – Becket
Found this one at a semi-secret digging spot for virtually nothing. It’s getting hard to find stores like this but they are still out there. Only succeeded partly in my aim to visit all record shops in Belgium. Took me to a few unexpected places though. Next year I’ll continue my quest.
Various – Sound ‘n’ Pressure Story – Reggae Archive
Happy to see this get a reissue. Bought some of them back in the days they were released but being still a student I lacked the money and the possibilities to follow them up as closely I would do nowadays. This was before the internet days and I only got them through digging trips to London. When the foundation was laid for my love for physical shops over the online game.
Vangelis – Hypothesis – Oxford
Even though Vangelis himself wasn’t all too happy about these sessions being released (also check “The Dragon”) it’s for me the best work he has done. I also got a thing for airbrushed sci-fi covers.
Anika – Anika EP – Stones Throw
One of those records I try to slip in every set I play even though they are musically miles away from its dark wave-esque sound. I admit that I rarely actually play it in sets but it just goes to show that I want everybody to like this. Certain records incite this in me. Got Geoff Barrow some extra points on my most respected producers list too.
Edith Nylon – Edith Nylon – CBS
Why I still prefer actual shops over online ordering. I would never have stumbled upon this if it wasn’t for my favourite shopkeeper giving me a French rock selection to listen to. Put most of it back but this one stuck. Poppy, Punky fun music.