Monthly Archives: December 2011

Human Drizzle: The Playlist, December 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, here are our tunes of the month for December. The perfect soundtrack to any New Year’s Eve party, it features some bona fide bangers – and look out for James Blake’s version of ‘Case of You’ at the end. It’s really very nice.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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Joe Martin – Sapphire

Christmas is nearly upon us and, if the festive period is a time for reflection, then we can think of no better soundtrack than Joe Martin’s ‘Sapphire’. Listening to it (a lot) recently has highlighted two rarities:

  1. An insightful YouTube comment
  2. There seems to be absolutely no information about Joe whatsoever, anywhere online

In light of (2), it seems appropriate to share (1). So thanks, ‘xxemrexx91’, whoever you may be, for just about summing it up with the astute (if peculiarly-punctuated) remark: ‘Can I die to this music pls.?’

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St. Vincent – Cruel

Whilst mulling over our tunes of the year, HD gave a re-listen to Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent)’s third studio album, ‘Strange Mercy’. Good decision. It’s chock-full of great tunes, running headlong through highs, lows and everything in between. The single ‘Cruel’ is the poppiest song on the album but it gives a taste of the offbeat, guitar and vocal style she’s making her own. It’s accompanied by the customary bonkers video, put together by Terri Timely who was at the helm for Modest Mouse’s ‘Invisible’, another favourite of ours.

‘Strange Mercy’ came out on 12th September on 4AD, home of Gang Gang Dance, Ariel Pink, Zomby and Bon Iver, and it feels like a good fit given St. Vincent’s diverse influences. She cut her teeth as part of numerous nutters Polyphonic Spree and has weaved her way through a spell with Sufjan Stevens, tours with Arcade Fire and Xiu Xiu, and an intriguing collaboration with Kid Cudi.

It’s a top ten album and one that you’ll listen to over and over. If her hot and cold vocals don’t get you, her noisy-but-nice guitar will.

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Human Drizzle: The Playlist, Best Of 2011

After much agonising, some wringing of hands and a smidgen of passive aggression, we have settled on our favourite tracks for 2011. The playlist contains 30 tunes and, like an alcoholic grandmother on Christmas Day, it starts off full of joy and festive abandon – before becoming really quite emotional and contemplative as proceedings draw to a close. Laboured analogies aside, we hope you enjoy it.

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Sound It Out

“Men like music. Men like collecting. Men like travelling the country collecting music.”

Having grown up in the area, Jeanie Finlay decided to make a documentary film about the last surviving record store in the North-East town of Stockton-On-Tees. The end result is a heart warming work which we suggest you do all you can to see as soon as you possibly can.

It’s essentially a detailed account of why people collect music, and why the shop in question holds a very special place in people’s hearts.

Even though the high street is the widest in Europe, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say the sparse streets of Stockton don’t offer much more than a less-than-healthy Saturday market and a pretty decent concrete jungle for a wide range of activities on wheels. Based on this premise, Finlay beautifully shows how a love of music, and everything that surrounds it, can come to define someone.

Although the film is littered with music memorabilia, cultural references and has an excellent, eclectic soundtrack, the film is less about the music and more about the listeners. Through several endearing characters (all male except a jukebox ownin’, meatloaf lovin’ lady) we get a sometimes brief, sometimes extensive insight into what gets people hooked.

It goes without saying that music can offer people something extraordinary. Whether it’s a break from the mundane, a source of hope or a sweet memory deep inside that refuses to wilt. But it is the myriad ways it can affect people that is documented so expertly here. At some point in all of our lives, a tune, an artist, an album or a tour has moved us in a certain way and this film wonderfully shows how important these experiences and connections can be.

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Vondelpark – Camels

Vondelpark is a 47 acre park in Amsterdam and…that’s pretty much all you learn from a cursory Google search for the elusive London-based three-man. While they’ll have reached new audiences by supporting R&S stablemate James Blake on selected legs of his recent tour, they’re still hard to pin down. If (for some reason) you want a lesson in how not get into the spirit of an interview, check out their exchanges with Vice. Amusing work fodder.

Media training aside, their low-fi dubstep riddims ebb and flow nicely, with their July release,  ‘nyc stuff and nyc bags’ showcasing their talents effectively. The stand-out track for us is ‘Camels’, a languid summer tune accompanied by a video of scenesters grooving on a roof (which is fine). The Guardian were typically effusive in describing them as “Sade remixed by the xx, or a UK version of The Weeknd’s enervated R&B” – exaggerated but on the right lines.

They currently have no dates in the diary for 2012 but keep your eyes peeled: if their next record is as good as the last (or indeed Human Drizzle’s trip to the other Vondelpark) then it’ll be worth getting your hands on.

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Daggs – In Love

What with the season of giving upon us, innovative label WotNot Music have decided to skilfully pair up the countdown to Christmas with promoting their artists by serving up a ‘Free Download Advent Calendar’. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Our favourite thus far is a tune called ‘In Love’ by Daggs. The perfect stocking filler, it’s got a bouncy bassline which will satisfy any festive dancefloor – but it’s also accompanied by enough pensive atmospherics to keep you on your toes.

The 6 tracks thus far have constituted a real treat – from the deep house of Fazhands to the funky remix work of Ten David. We’re looking forward to the remaining 19…

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Kid Khaos – Sky’s the Limit

We know very little about the artist Kid Khaos, but what we do know is that he is creating some stupidly bold music.

At the sickening age of 19, he has put out an EP entitled ‘The Rosenhan Project’ which is full of dramatic beats and soulful samples, with an infectious tint of old school hip hop.

Most tunes are worth checking out but we feel this track, which is not on the EP, is his most impressive. What with its vintage sample, jazzy piano loop and spacious beatscape, it is delightfully uplifting. All of which is somewhat strange, given that he claims in his Twitter bio to be ‘making the soundtrack for the end of the world’.

If the end of the world sounds like this, then bring it on.

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Human Drizzle: The Playlist, November 2011

It’s December 1st. It’s really close to Christmas, you’ve not bought anything yet, and it’s getting dark at about half 2 in the afternoon. Bit depressing? What you need is a selection of the month’s best tunes to pick you up. Lo and behold, Human Drizzle have one for you!

Think of this as an extra special treat behind the first door of your advent calendar, or a Coca Cola advert that’s actually better than you remember (as opposed to cheesy and ever so slightly weird). In fact, why not print out the link to this playlist, wrap it up, and give it to your family and friends for Christmas? Sorted.

Anyway, enjoy the tunes and keep posted for some new Human Drizzle developments over the coming months. Bollocks to Christmas, get excited about that instead.

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