I guess we’re expected to come up with some kind of best of 2015 top ten thing again then? Top ten art shows or records or gigs or cat food flavours or whatever clickbait the others are hooking you in with? It was a good year, there was lots to explore, here’s just a few of the 2015 musical highlights from the Organ pages …
There was Miraculous Mule doing it with so much soul – “I can die happy now” said the girl next to me, she isn’t being silly, Miraculous Mule in a basement …There was Death Grips toying with us in such a challenging way, Death Grips? I.L.Y’s? New album? Don’t ask us, it goes it goes it goes, and then there was Jenny Death back in the Spring…. And then there was an album beautifully addressed to swallows and woodpigeons, precious moments, Whisper of the earth, the glories of William D Drake’s latest album Revere Reach surely was the album of the year.
What else was there? Well back in February there was that new Enablers album, The Rightful Pivot was certainly a highlight, There was the beauty of Esben And The Witch… There was that night with Starsha Lee, Deadcuts and a whole load of art, performance, smoke and red light at the Ritter-Zamet gallery over in Whitechapel, East London. Bowie’s ten minutes of Blackstar wasn’t bad, there was an unexpected treat of a new album from the Oroonies. Alex Ward did one or two things, so did Clipping…. And a children’s brass band covered Cardiacs
There was Upsilon Acrux and more prog as flip challenge from the always dynamic L.A band. There was Laura Bruce, her music and her art, you have to love Dangerpony surely? There was waking up to those lemons over Manchester, Charles Hayward continued to challenge (and he’s not reformed This Heat for 2016) Then there was bbigpigg from New York City, “Wailing, siren-like guitar blasts over grinding, thunderous bass with blurting, spoke-sung vocals…for fans of Arab on Radar, Jesus Lizard, and Big Black”. There was the continued hard-boiled musical commitment of Weasel Walter – “I make art in spite of this world, and I’m never going to let them forget it”
We were enticed into the witchery of the new Cold In Berlin album. Seminal US punks Flipper came back with David Yow from The Jesus Lizard as front man. There was Soldiers Of Fortune, Alarmist, United Bible Studies and Úlfur Eldjárn, the continued goodness of the no messing label that is L.A’s Deathbomb Records. There was old school hardcore punks Oi Polloi down by the Thames. There was a new dose from New York’s ever excellent Guerilla Toss… Ni plus Poil equalled PinioL in 2015. Autobahn came down the brutalist motorway from Leeds. Pinoko, who’s that then? That new DJ/AM documentary film, there was Abandcalledboy, and the sonically nefarious menace of Sex Swing, there was more Miraculous Mule in a window, and the rather beautifully uncluttered flowing sound of Trestle Records. There was Cornstar Farmer’s Market Pornstar Coinstar… okay, maybe they just get a mention for their name. There was Max Richter’s eight hour sleep, and the Mexican flavours of Mexrrissey, and more from Switzerland’s ever excellent Peter Kernel and Gitane Demone’s quartet and Vi Subversa and the free state of creativity and the awkwardly good prog food of Body Hound
There was the sound of holy joy from the Band of Holy Joy at the Art Car Boot Fair, there was Gryphon crumhorn-wielding at the Union Chapel There was Taylor Swift and that Swift Noise? (No really, there was noise from Taylor Swift!) There was the beauty of Rubik. That Kayo Dot tour with Botanist, new Dalek, Nick Cave soundtracks again, Jaga Jazzist’s Starfire. Lost in The Riots at that Polymath gig… And no apologies for mentioning Courtney Barnett here, and Iceland’s Fufanu, and Das Fluff, and The Pop Group had a rather good year.
AK/DK throbbed, as did New Opera Hero. The Black Lantern landed here, a Long Beach, California musical anomaly. Their debut album We Know The Future landed early on in 2015, a frenzied mix of rock & roll and modern hardcore that feeds off the energy of punk. Gaz Coombes was worthy of mention, Baltimore “noise-rap performer” Abdu Ali let loose a rather fine video back in February, while back in January there was some New York menace, anglerfish teeth and more from the rather excellent Pop.1280. C-Duncan added some refined pleasure, Venom released an album, the original thrash band back and blistering, the gods of mayhem not giving a damn, the return of the long haired punks or so they said. The Go! Team delighted us with their new album The Scene Between, oh and right back at the start of the year there was Fashion Week, the first of three Death Grips albums, not bad for a band that we thought no longer existed! And the whole year kicked off with a band who did not exist… Not a bad musical year then… Miraculous Mule were the band to see in 2015, William D Drake released the album of the year, and Death Grips more that fulled us. Bring on 2016, we’re ready to do it all again, no cat food though… (SW)
And before we go, there was Lemmy and Philthy Animal and Paco and Gong’s Daevid Allen and Steve Strange and Chris Squire from Yes and Stump’s Mick Lynch and Scott Weiland and Aphrodite’s Child singer Demis Roussos and Specials drummer John Bradbury and Nick Marsh, he of Flesh For Lulu and Urban Voodoo Machine and…. We lost some good musical people in 2015…. Wilco made it through though…