ORGAN THING: List time, our top albums of 2021, who made it? Gazelle Twin & NYX, Peter Hammill, Michael J Sheehy, Black Country New Road, Robert Calvert, Flying Luttenbachers, Deerhoof, Van Der Graaf, Alex Ward, Charlotte Greve, the Commoners Choir and…

The self indulgent end of year best albums list thing, everyone loves a list don’t they? Do like to wait until the actual end of the year though, we’re almost there now and well, here it is. Of course we haven’t listened to everything, of course we haven’t, we certainly haven’t reviewed everything – we are very picky and this is the pick of the best albums that came our way in the rather fractured year that was 2021. Do enjoy exploring and maybe discovering a thing or two you might have missed during what was a bust musical year, it is all about the signposts and the links and the pointing at these things. Organ turned 35 this year, when we started this thing back in the last century, it was only ever intended to be a one off handmade fanzine, there’s been one hell of a lot of album reviews in 35 years, we look forward to the first reviews of 2022, or at least I think we do, there still seems to be a hell of a lot of good music the mainstream music press choose to ignore which of course is why we carried on and followed issue one of Organ with a second issue and then a third. Never have understood why publications and music websites let loose their lists at the end of November or the star of December, at least two albums on this list came out after most of the lists were released, four days of 2021 left, I think we can publish ours now….

1: Gazelle Twin & NYXDeep England – There’s something very otherly about it, something almost spiritual (actually, there’s no almost about it), English in the very best of ways, old ways, Albion, in touch with the land, the trees, the spirit of people, the heart of it all, a connection almost lost, deep indeed. Special, a purge maybe? A rage? Sometimes it is there in the silence, the space between the sounds, the quietest of bits, the anticipation at the end as you wait for the secret never to be told. Not a less is more because this album this body of work certainly isn’t less. It starts with church bells, of course it does, obviously it does, glory be – “Here lies our ancient future, Deep England: our hope and compassion in the chokehold of power and glory”. Read on – Can you tell me where my country lies? The new Gazelle Twin and NYX album is here, Deep England’s electronic-choral expansion is, as expected, a triumph…

2: Peter Hammill In Translation – First thing to say is, well actually there’s lots of first things to say about this (or indeed any) new Peter Hammill album, but the first vital thing to say is that this might be his first ever collection of versions of other people’s songs but this is very much classic Peter Hammill. The second first thing to say is that the cover art is excellent, that stark white brutalist feel of a sophisticated 60’s Italian airport in the bright Southern Italian light, that just right blue Italian tracksuit top that at first may seem to be not very Peter Hammill, a perfect (post-Brexit) statement from this rotten to the core one-eyed inward-looking tired old country of ours, Peter Hammill has always the forward looking Englishman (and in does seem…. read on Peter Hammill’s new album In Translation reviewed – these may not be his songs, but this is classic Hammill…

Michael J Sheehy

3: Michael J SheehyThe Crooked Carthy Sings – December came along (and most of the so called music press had already published their end of year lists when Mr Sheehy dropped these gorgeous pieces of beauty – “Recorded over the spring and summer of 2021, this is a collection of bastardised folk songs, murder ballads, traveller tunes and sea songs. I am not an aficionado, traditionalist or collector of songs – there are many great singers and players who keep the flame burning – in fact most of these songs were brand new to me, and half of them I have wrenched away from their traditional melodies and set the words to new tunes. I have used these songs to push out and explore new possibilities and no doubt some of these ideas will filter through to my own songs”.  

A new solo album from Michael J (Miraculous Mule, Dream City Film Club and such), and really what is there left for us to say? We’ve frothed often enough of his bands and solo albums, I don’t think he’s ever got anywhere near releasing anything other than a brilliant record and rather predictably he’s gone and done it again. The Crooked Carthy Sings drips with honey, with beauty, with so much soul, it glows with quiet considered (Irish) warmth, with charm, with everything you need from an album of this nature… read on – Michael J Sheehy’s The Crooked Carthy Sings, what is there left to say? A perfectly beautiful album, intimate tales, sad songs, songs alive with emotion…

Black Country, New Road

4 Black Country, New RoadFor the first time – Way way back at the start of the year, January 10th actually, we asked if Black Country, New Road had already released the album of the year, and here we are at the end and already feasting on the hints of next year’s follow up thing there’s a good argument that say they did release the album of the year. “Black Country, New Road are a very very now band, but not in that too now for their own good kind of way of so many “now” bands. At times Black Country, New Road are a beautifully shot six part Swedish crime drama, that touch of noir, that spoken word, that Eugene Robinson Oxbow approach to narration, that slightly awkward (but never ever too awkward) palette and watching those kids all dressed up like Richard Hell – a surprisingly sweet talker, invisible in these sunglasses. I’m so hip and now, who’s so here and now? Leave who out of it? Burn what’s left of what?  The film of that beautifully shot six part Swedish crime drama just got burn in the projector, that and the chemtrails and the points and the pokes and the jabs and the sense of pace that does get a little claustrophobic (in a good way) now and again.  We were waiting for this one, they haven’t let us down, Track X comes with peels of beauty….” Read on – Have Black Country, New Road just hit us with what could be the best album of 2021?

They did warn us!

5{ The Flying LuttenbachersNegative Infinity – The ever thrilling, ever evolving thing that is the never standing still usical beast known as The Flying Luttenbachers is back, “Brutal prog is back!” yells Weasel Walter and well indeed it is, not that it ever went away, the beautiful Luttenbachers have been rather active in recent times – “Brutal prog is back”, taste a first track from the new Flying Luttenbachers album Negative Infinity here…

6: Isildurs Bane & Peter HammillIn Disequilibrium – A second album from the two parties, they work s owell together – “I know, I shouldn’t say Peter Hammill album, this is a collaboration, this is really an Isildurs Bane album and they have crafted the music in such a gloriously grand manner, it is very much their crafted sound and yes it does sound a little strange to hear Hammill’s unmistakeable voice and way fronting such a full bodied technically crisp modern sounding clean cut band – no Van Der Graaf dirt here, no filthy sax or overheating Hammond through the heat and the warm smell of pained Lesley (or iF there is a Hammond in there it is very very clean, very very now).- Isildurs Bane and Peter Hammill – In Disequilibrium – A first listen to and the details of the new album… or The new Isildurs Bane and Peter Hammill album is out today, hear it all here or tastes of it on The Other Rock Show…

7: Alex WardGated – Back in the middle of Summer Alex Ward went full Alex ward on us – Alex Ward has a new album, it kind of feels like he always has a new album, this one, Gated, is out on Discus, this one feels like a big one. An album that bridges many a musical island, an album that is distinctively Alex Ward, his finger print is all over it, almost instantly recognisable, that urgent way he has with whatever he happens to be playing, that  composed insanity that has caused many a jaw to drop (his soundchecks are a thing of legend), all the right notes and always in the right order, many many notes, that experimental avant guitar that always flows, that never sounds like the showing off of most guitarise who can play like this. It is about the composition, the challenge, the places he wants to go, his constant insatiable musical ambition, his going off and things….    – Alex Ward has a new album, new Phew, another freshly mix VdGG classic, A new EP from Ren Schofield AKA Container, Wet Leg…

Charlotte Greve

8: Charlotte GreveSediments We Move – Back in September we said Charlotte Greve has shared the first tastes of what promises, on the evidence heard so far, to be a very rewarding album. This is beautifully epic… and indeed the whole alum was – the new seven-part album from German-born, Brooklyn-based composer, singer, and saxophonist Charlotte Greve. The winner of two ECHO Jazz Prizes (the German equivalent of a GRAMMY), Greve has been hailed the “Best of Bandcamp” for her nebulous sound—one that flows freely between choral music, rock, noise, free jazz, metal, ambient, and bombastic 80s-inspired pop. On Sediments We Move, her debut album under her own name, Greve, backed by her band, Wood River, and Berlin choir Cantus Domus, invites listeners into a world where disparate sounds weave together like twine, melding into one beautiful, cohesive flow. 8: Hidden People

Charlotte GreveSediments We Move

8 Kayo Dot Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike – If there’s one thing you know before you hear a single note of a new Kato Dot album, it is that things are going to be (more than) epic. New York’s Kayo Dot are indeed an undefinable band, a band  led by the always busy, always rewarding – often unexpectedly so – composer Toby Driver. We’re told “the stark frailty of the human condition is the overall theme running through the veins of Kayo Dot’s tenth regular studio album”.  Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike is an emerse album, an expansive album, a sprawling, brooding churning musical multiverse, very much a more is more album… read on – Kayo Dot let loose another epic, Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike takes us through their glorious complex musical multiverse yet again…

Kayo Dot Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike

9: Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Now this really was refreshing back in August, Grab hold of this one now, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog have an album that really lives up to the name they gave it, Hope. Now the thing to do here is to just skip our words and the so-called “review” and just hit the play button and soak it all up for yourselves, give it more that the now customary 30 second slice of your attention span now, let it flow, let it unfold, cut our crap, cut to the chase and let his word play begin, listen to it all, you can’t just take bites, you need it all, you need the cake and the fish. read on Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog and just about all the Hope you need right now…

Okay, so we might be cheating the numbers now just to try and squeeze everything from a very year into some kind of top 20, what we’re really doing here is just recaping and trying to make sure you didn’t miss anything. We have only listed nine so far right?

Deerhoof

10: DeerhoofActually You Can “Think of all the beauty, positivity and love that gets deemed ugly, negative and hateful by the self-proclaimed guardians of ‘common sense.’ We’d hardly be destroying society by dismantling their colonial economics and prisons and gender roles and aesthetics. We’d be creating it!” Deerhoof have such an uplifting way of doing their rather unique musical thing, there is a delightful bite to their way, they deliver it with a smile rather than a punch, it does punch though, don’t be fooled There is new Deerhoof, a new Deerhoof day is a good day, there is always hope when there’s a new Deerhoof album…

DeerhoofDevil Kids – oh and there’s a reason why we wait unti lthe year ends before we post these list things. This just in on December 21st – Devil Kids? An unexpected Deefhoof live album? An album released without warning today? Come, come see…

11: Robert CalvertThe Last Star Fighter –  The nebula city is still sounding like the luminous (green) glow of a cutting edge video coin-game, the glorious thing about the music of Tom Mahler was the sparse sparse beauty of it all, the edgy sound of West London’s future shock, of new wave post punk before most had even thought to call it any kind of combination of those things. It was about the motorik forwardness of it all, who knows where it might have gone if Mahler hadn’t been assassinated in such a cynically cold-blooded manner? This new album of remixes is, I guess, a rediscovery, and new appreciation of the one time Hawklord – and Calvert did fuel so many of the very very best Hawkwind flights, he came back and moved them on when things could have so easily stood still, … read on- A collection of Robert Calvert remixes? A new album, the Hawkwind legend’s work revisited in just the right way, the right stuff indeed, The Last Star Fighter flies again…

12: Blectum From Blechdom’ and that Snauses In The Sky track that hooks you into the rest of it – Now this new album from Blectum From Blechdom is either annoyingly brilliant or in insanely maddening, been meaning to say something about it for weeks, there’s always a distraction, an opium den or a cute fox or too much orange squash or something stupidass like that and then it happens again and the angels  and the devils put pay to writing something and oh I’ll do it tomorrow nd can we have a full stop now please? If I could find just one little hour, what is the story here? Just how gloriously good is this album? How much sugar would you like in that cup of tea? The duo, composed of Kevin Blechdom and Blevin Blectum, bring us their sixth official album and first for the ever interesting ever rewarding Deathbomb Arc label. read on – Blectum From Blechdom’s new album and a place that puts a smile on your face. What a brilliant delight of a thing, how insanely good is this?

Palberta

=13: PalbertaPalbertha5000 – It really is impossible to not like Palberta, to not share in the delight they obviously have when they make their music, and there is a delight, it is delightful, you feel this radiant delight coming from their songs, coming off the songs and infecting everything in such a positively uplifting way. This is New York good (as Iggy Pop once said, no hang on, read on – Yes! Palberta’s new album Palberta5000 is peanut-butter-and-jelly bagels good good good…

=13: Lily KonigsbergLily We Need to Talk NowLily Konigsberg has a solo album on the way, she’s already released a new album with her excellent band Palberta this year, as well as a number of other things, she is productive, pro-active, whatever she’s doing she’s always worth checking out . Today, Lily Konigsberg has announced her “proper debut solo full-length”, the album is called Lily We Need To Talk Now, the title apparently comes from a text she got from Amos, who also serves as this album’s producer. It’ll be out in October and she’s starting things off today with a song called “That’s The Way I Like It”, and here it is right now… Five Music Things – Patrick Shiroishi, he of Upsilon Acrux, the mysteriously named ^L_, more Nick Hudson, Aloric, more from Palberta’s Lily Konigsberg and…

Lily Konigsberg

15: LiarsThe Apple Drop – The Apple droped back in August (sorry couldn’t resist the drop pun again), we never did get around to reviewing the whole thing, but we did feature it several times in the run up to the drop – “now this latest taste has us thinking they’re back on form, this latest taste made ears pick up right way. Those Liars have always been one of the more rewarding bands out there, we had suspected their magical powers were fading, but…” read on – Liars preview the first single from their forthcoming album, hear it here….. or Another taste of the forthcoming Liars album. ‘From What the Never Was’ is from The Apple Drop, hear the track and watch the video right here…

16: Jack O’ The Clock – Leaving California –  A Wide-Ranging Musical Adventure Six Years in the Making” so we’re told, Jack O’ The Clock’s new album is an immediately impressively beguiling ride of an album   And yes, Leaving California is a highly-detailed musical adventure that does indeed reveal new layers (and one big solid mass of connections) with repeated listens, the more you explore the more the colour is revealed and the better it all gets… read on – Jack O’ The Clock’s impressively detailed new album, a wide-ranging musical adventure six years in the making…

17; Android TrioOther Worlds – The wonderful new album from Android Trio is a thrilliant ride, Max Kutner, Eric Klerks and Andrew Niven, virtuosos all, is serious progressive rock in every sense. They have a pedigree of course, we’re talking “no-holds-barred experimentation while playing in one or both of two of the great legacy bands of progressive music: The Grandmothers of Invention, who specialize in the reinvention of the Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention repertoire, and The Magic Band, John “Drumbo” French’s uncannily inspired tribute to the music of his mentor and monster, Don “Captain Beefheart” Van Vliet” – Android Trio, Ghost Rhythms and Accordo dei Contrari, three thrilliantly progressive new albums on the always rewarding Cuneiform label…

18 ResinaSpeechless – Now what can we say about this that isn’t more dancing around architecture? It is rather beautiful, it does glow, it is sometimes dark and things can swirl in an almost space/Kraut rock flavoured post whatever you want to call it kind of way, mostly this is beautiful modern classical music. Post rock? Post classical? Post whatever you wish, a beautifully rewarding mix of classical strings and electronic warmth, a modern classical set of compositions, read on – Warsaw-based cellist/composer and sometimes Godspeed collaborator Resina returns with a highly recommended first standalone album in three years…

18: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END! – GYBE return with another soundtrack for our times. As the heretical anarcho-punk spirit of the title implies, Godspeed harnesses some particularly raw power, spittle and grit across two riveting 20-minute side-length trajectories of noise-drenched widescreen post-rock – read on – A new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album for the start of April…

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END

18: Pili CoïtLove Everywhere – “Guilhem Meier, river noisemaker and octopus drummer at PoiL, PinioL, uKanDanZ and LFant + Jessica Martin Maresco, strings rolled to the four corners of the tongue at Le Grand Sbam, Saddam Webcam, and most recently EZ3kiel.” More from the ever excellent Dur Et Deux label, the new album might be a little more stripped down than 2017’s excellent Pink Noise, but I kind of like this year’s lo-fi approach – Five Music Things –  Kristine Leschper, a new Pili Coït album, Mario Batkovic, more from the new Black Country, New Road album, the psychedelia of Lazy Eyes…

19: Danny ElfmanBig Mess – We were featuring him every month at the start of the year that lead up to his first his first solo album in 37 years, – ORGAN THING: Danny Elfman releases his April track and announces a new solo album Big Mess…

19: Non Serviam‘Il Pleut Partout Derrière – “‘Il Pleut Partout Derrière’ is a heady and hypnotic mix of sombre, fuzzed out guitars, glitchy distorted trap beats, screams and ethereal vocals arranged as only Non Serviam can. Those who have heard Non Serviam’s previous work will know that absolutely nothing is off the table, genre wise and ‘Il Pleut Partout Derrière’ only aids to reinforce that there is truly no one else around doing what this talented and mysterious collective do”. More of an album than a EP, a full on full bodied piece of work, loayers and layers of it, painterly extreme metal, well somewhere beyond extreme metal. Alive with dark colour, sharp edges, with intriguing warmth , with venom, with so much. “Non Serviam is a multi-talented, genre hopping anonymous collective blurring lines between genres and going beyond the boundaries that restrain them” More details – ORGAN: Five Music Things –  Non Serviam, Simon Grab and Francesco Giudici, more PoiL, more Bratakus, Berlin’s Kamoos and Dr. Jaz Coleman receives an Honorary Doctorate…

20: Ruth MascelliA Night At The Baths , -the debut solo album by Ruth Mascelli of New Orleans no wave/glam/industrial group Special Interest. actually the way the whole Specail Interest thing unfolded in 2021 (and those 2016 demos that came out this year) are all well wortrh investigating… ORGAN THING: A rather delicious debut solo album from Ruth Mascelli of New Orleans no wave electropunk band Special Interest… or go explore ORGAN THING: “I thought you might like to hear ‘Trust No Wave’, a reissue of the 2016 demo tape by incendiary New Orleans punks Special Interest…?” Too damn right we do!

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AND WHILE WE’RE HERE AND IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER other than the dictates of the alphabet…

A Formal Horse Meat Mallet Hayley McDonnell does have a delightful way with words and rhymes that others might not get away with…a modern melodic blend of progressive guitar-based metal that somehow feels a lot more inviting than modern progressive metal usually does, it must be the personality, the warmth, the humanity that is so often lost somewhere in the need to show off technique. A Formal Horse have big hearts – ORGAN THING: Three wholesome slices of prog rock, new albums from Airbridge, Diagonal and A Formal Horse…

Accordo dei ContrariUR – Back in November we said ORGAN THING: Android Trio, Ghost Rhythms and Accordo dei Contrari, three thrilliantly progressive new albums on the always rewarding Cuneiform label…

AirbridgeMemories of Water – back in August we feature a reather unexpected album from a band we featured way back in the very very early days of Organ – ORGAN THING: Three wholesome slices of prog rock, new albums from Airbridge, Diagonal and A Formal Horse…

The Amorphous Androgynous and Peter Hammill – We Persuade Ourselves We Are ImmortalORGAN THING: The Amorphous Androgynous and Peter Hammill release new teaser video ahead of the album, hear right here…

Back To The Future The RideSmog Psychic – “Back To The Future The Ride have a new album (members of True Neutral Crew, Foot Village, DRWG). It is the first new release from the act since 2017, and the 9th official album! It is called ‘Smog Psychic’ and was made in meditation on ways to get science deniers to still support paths towards helping the environment via the use of psychics, mystics, and ministers” And you see, read on – Back To The Future The Ride have a new album, you surely know by now that that is something not to be missed don’t you?

BirthBirth – we went down a prog rock rabbit hole back in September, San Diego’s Birth were down there, “Elegiac mellotron-assisted songcraft, richly melodious abandon and monumental solo passages thus join forces to deliver a third-eye-cleansing blast of vibrant progressive rock, replete with grandiose cinematic scope and psychedelic intensity” so they declared. How much more prog could they be? None, none more prog – ORGAN THING: A prog rock rabbit hole, The Osiris Club, Cheer Accident, Birth, The Mercury Tree, PoiL and….

Ben MarcBreathe Suite Something rather good brewing here, Ben Marc has released a first taste of his Breathe Suite. Jazz? Rap? Art? No, just good music for the minded people…

Black MidiCavalcade – “a bit Public Enemy, a bit industrial Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, a bit prog rock, a bit noise rock, a bit heavy funk, a bit Dr Seuss and a bit epic!” An outrageously good taste of the new Black Midi album and check out that video…

Bram Weijters’ Crazy MenThe Return – Back in April we said we’ll park this video here for now and we’ll tell you the rest of the album is just as good as this track. Here’s some information, we’ll be along with more in a couple of days,. I confess we never did coem back but what a fine albun it is – ORGAN: Five Music Things – Boo Hiss, Pretty Picture, Bram Weijters’ Crazy Men, The Fourth World Quartet, Prune Deer, is that six?

Booker Stardrum – Crater – “I titled this one ‘Bend’ after my natural relationship to pulse and rhythm, an elastic flow state that I strive to achieve in my playing. I love the feeling of stretching time in and out of groove, stumbling, and snapping back into it. Playing freely is a meditation on listening and awareness, and the embodiment of flexibility. I always attempt to capture these types of moments in my recordings, then enhance them with other gestures in a similar spirit – – ORGAN: Five Music Things – the patterned chaos of Booker Stardrum, rebel girls The Linda Lindas, more from The Cult of Dom Keller, the noise rock of Black Ink Stain, Japan’s Parasite and some Metal Punk Massacre and well…

Brice et sa pute – Musique Actuelle – Brice et sa Pute are part of the almost always rewarding Duretdoux family who brough you at least two of our top ten albums of 2020. From Lyon (or course they are), Brice et sa pute est un duo cabaret punk – : Les banquiers du coeur, Brice et sa pute est un duo cabaret punk, part of the always rewarding Duretdoux family, here’s a new video…

Clark

Clark Playground In A LakeORGAN THING: A beautifully choreographed video and a couple of tastes of the forthcoming album from Clark, the ambitiously multifaceted musician and composer…

Down By Law – Lonely Town – When you’ve been writing, recording and performing for as long as punk rock veterans Down By Law have, there comes a time when you take stock of the things that have kept you going all these years – the passion, the energy, the creativity, and the sense of being a part of something larger than yourself – Down By Law get back to punk rock basics

Fly Pan AmFrontera – The most direct, visceral, evocative music in Fly Pan Am’s oeuvre, originally composed and performed live for the acclaimed modern dance piece Frontera by Animals Of Distinction. The studio album stands powerfully on its own – The most direct, visceral, evocative music in Fly Pan Am’s oeuvre, a taste of things to come…

GeraldFire in a Madhouse – Okay, so technically it wasn’t an album, but we can’t leave them out, back in March we said “Whoooooooooo, yes, stop! Stop, look, listen, turn it up, grab yourselves fourteen minutes and pay full attention to this chemistry” – ORGAN THING: Hang on, holy merd (yet again), GeRald! Fire in a Madhouse, The Attack of the Giant what?! This just in from France…

Ghost Rhythms Spectral Music – Back in November we offered that this demands of you from the off and when that trumpet announces itself some forty seconds the band have you completely won over – not that their demanding was of a difficult nature, more something that demands you delight in paying full attention to the flow and interaction ORGAN THING: Android Trio, Ghost Rhythms and Accordo dei Contrari, three thrilliantly progressive new albums on the always rewarding Cuneiform label…

Girls in Synthesis – Shift in Space   London’s urgently good Girls In Synthesis, the deliciously spiky Girls In Synthesis with their wired up killing jokes and their brutalist black and white starkness…   Five Music Things – The sharp edges of Girls In Synthesis, the counting of Remote, multi-disciplinary artist and zoviet*france man Robin Storey, Vonamor, Loraine James and

The Go! TeamThe Get Up Sequences Part One – Another album we didn;t get around ot reviewing but hey, The Go! Team probably don’t need our support anymore but they do always lift the day. ORGAN: Five Music Things – The Leaf Library, more Gazelle Twin, more Holiday Ghosts, James Heather, Brooklyn’s Evolfo, Man on Man, new Go! Team, Gynoid’s noise rock, was that five?

GustafAudio Drag For Ego Slobs – we’ve been featuring bites of te album quite a bit this year, the New York New Wave band are rather good, they’re very very good – Can I touch it? They’re good, they’re very very good, NY art-punks Gustaf share another single… they’re playing a co-headline show on our street here in East London in May 2022 with Kill Birds if anyone dare to look that far forward.

Hamish Hawk – Hamish and especially The Mauritian Badminton Doubles Champion, 1973 took us down a rabbit hole back in August that eventually lead us to his Heavy Elevator album – ORGAN: Five Music Things – You will need a ballpoint pen this time, write down Hamish Hawk, Dublin’s Vulpynes, more Gustaf, ECHT!, The Gluts and…

Holiday GhostsNorth Street – they mine the works of eras past to cast the best of artists such as The Kinks, Violent Femmes, Alex Chilton and Modern Lovers as a backdrop onto which they deconstruct a myriad of social issues. Themes of breaking out of moulds and expectations whilst addressing displacement, disillusionment, and living in the midst of heavy advertising and commercial landscapes, spider their way through the new record and that song about their landlord was just brilliant – Five Music Things – Boo Hiss, the latest Danny Elfman monthly single, London duo Charlotte Spiral, Holiday Ghosts, Matt Lebofsky, Casual Nun, Don Pie Pie and…

Hot Breath – Rubbery Lips – we didn;t say much about the hard rock band from from Gothenburg, Sweden but we have been letting them do their thing around here rather a lot over the year – Five Music Things – Skip Action, Pavel Milyakov and Bendik Giske, Sweden’s Hot Breath just because, some Ed Balloon and from Austin, Texas some Arrows To Fire…

Icons of FilthPlight -iEght slices of everything you’d expect from the born again oldschool hardcore PUNK ROCK BAND. Back in July we said Welsh anarcho punks Icons Of Filth are back with a positively powerful new album…

In The PinesSlow Blink – from Ohio, they talk of “Chasing a thematic junction of youth, mysticism, and psychedelia, In the Pines are crafting wide-eyed rock music that aims for the heart”. ive Music Things – In The Pines, the polyrhythms of Blood Music, The Mastelottos romantic takes on King Crimson, a Cooling Prongs mixtape, some TV Priest and a beautiful slice of Lemmy from Hellsongs…

J. Fisher – more of his dope stuff or whatever he said it was, I think he said Dope stuff. We like Jeremy Fisher, we like most things that come our way via Deathbomb Arc. The story so we’re told is that Jeremy Fisher has been abandoned by his otherworldly friends and attempts to take on the music thing without them on his broken SP-404 and OP-1. is it broken though? Sounds fine to us – Five Music Things – The Early Mornings, Febueder, more of J Fisher’s dope stuff, Possum, Lisel and Booker Stardrum, more Sheep, Dog & Wolf and…

Jah WobbleMetal Box Rebuilt in Dub– You can’t really better the original of course and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the objective here? The original was of that groundbreaking time and place and this does feel right as a here and now 2021 version – it feels precise without ever being too clean cut, the spirit of the original is still very much there – ORGAN THING: A first listen to the new Metal Box Rebuilt in Dub album as former Public Image Ltd bassist Jah Wobble revisits old stomping ground…

Kill BirdsMarried – we weren;t sure we liked that name much, me and the pigeons may have had an issue with that name, do like everything else besides the name though, vocalist Nina Ljeti dos’nt mess, They landed here during the week that Frieze was distracting us, that album Married is one of the standouts of the year, they’re form L.A, more here

Lomond CampbellLŪP – – Did we actually ever get around to reviewing that sublimely beautiful Lomond Campbell album LŪP? I know we’ve been featuring bits of through the year, it really is something that looks and sounds rather special. Beautiful minimal, sculpted electronics, quietly daring – Five Music Things – Yvette’s crafted cleverness, Melvins, more Lomond Campbell, Keinemusik, Batang Frisco, Disassembler and…

Loraine JamesReflection – Loraine James comes with her second album for Hyperdub, made in the summer of 2020 and released in 21. Reflection is a turbulent expression of inner-space, laid out in unflinching honesty, that offers gentle empathy and bitter-sweet hope” Five Music Things – The sharp edges of Girls In Synthesis, the counting of Remote, multi-disciplinary artist and zoviet*france man Robin Storey, Vonamor, Loraine James and

Lucky Baby DaddyPurple Bonnet Phase – Was it an EP or an album? Does it really matter? From Tucson, Arizona, “Maybe you’re confused but you’re also smiling because you relate and you realize your heart is warm and you manage to catch a breath that feels a tad fresher. More here, some coverage from back in May – Where do you think we got it from?

LushlifeRedamancy– Another album we didn;t get around to actuslly reviewing but hey, we did tell you about it and well it is a rather beautiful thing and not just the Dalek bit – Catch Dälek collaborating on a rather impressive piece from the forthcoming Lushlife album…

TMelvinsFive Legged Dog – “The first ever acoustic record from Melvins clocking in at 2 1/2 hours, spanning the band’s career, plus covers of songs by bands such as The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Redd Kross and more” Wahat more do you need from us? Here it is, brilliant! – Five Music Things – Yvette’s crafted cleverness, Melvins, more Lomond Campbell, Keinemusik, Batang Frisco, Disassembler and…

Michael Woodman – guitarist/vocalist of the rather excellent Thumpermonkey, a band we covered rather a lot back in their early days, put out a new solo album this year. A rather expressive body of work, very much the Thumpermonkey fingerprint all over it, it featured quite a bit on The Other Rock Show. Back in August we said as part of a five musical things thing – Maarja Nuut, Foxx Bodies, more Psychic Graveyard, a ‘new’ Cynical Smile single, Thumpermonkey’s Michael Woodman, Dimmer, Mother of Sighs, a bit of Cheer Accident…

The Osiris Club

The Osiris ClubThe Green Chapel – once more the sound of the London band mixing old school proper heavy rock with a good dose of even more proper prog and just a small enough to make it matter hint ot two of 90’s flavoured post-punk in there with the bits of – A prog rock rabbit hole, The Osiris Club, Cheer Accident, Birth, The Mercury Tree, PoiL and….

Part Chimp Drool – The came back with a new album that sounded like classic Part Chimp, back in March we said – ORGAN: Five Music Things – Lady Rage are getting ready, Kazuya Nagaya, Part Chimp are back from the dead, Ava Mendoza, Shimmer, the delight of Gryphon, a touch more Cheer Accident and…

Pas MusiqueAmateur Radio – The whole thing is rather positively adventurous, we do get so many examples of this kind of thing, examples where the music pilots are happy to just set a safe enough course and riff on their Neu/Faust/Can influences without really wanting to take it somewhere past their safety net, this new album from Pas Musique, comes with a desire to be a little more, a desire to dare. The headline said it all back in July ORGAN THING: An impressive new album and a first taste from the Brooklyn-based Faust-flavoured Kraut-edged electronic collective Pas Musique….

The Pop Group Y in Dub – one of the era-defining releases of the post-punk period reworked this tear – – ORGAN THING: ‘Y in Dub’ a dynamic dub reconstruction of The Pop Group’s formidable debut album ‘Y’ is on the way, hear a first taste here…

Strega Beata

Strega Beata ORGAN THING: Whatever happened to Lana Del Rabies? “I’m still right here. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to”. Strega Beata is the next evolution of… – “Strega Beata is the next evolution of musical work by Sam An, formerly Lana Del Rabies; a cross-genre dark electronic music project that explores a wider scope of soundscapes and thematic concepts as a multi-media solo project.Current work addresses power dynamics between individuals, the physical environment and spirit world, ancient mythological allegory, and grief”. Was it an album, I guess it was a 30 minute self titlrd EP and she says hert debut album is to be released in 2022 but don’t be spliting hairs here…

The Stranglers Dark Matters – The Stranglers came back with a very strong album – A new Stranglers song we said at the time, This Song from a new Stranglers album, “who’s that?” she said, “that’s good”, and that is the thing here, if this was a new single from a new band everyone would surely be raving, those Stranglers are sounding rather good, and those keyboards, did any other keyboard player have a fingerprint like that? This Song’ is out today on 10th Sept 2021. Taken from the new album ‘Dark Matters‘ by The Stranglers, actually the whole album is sounding rather fine . And that “frontman” in the video looks rather familiar, when did Stuart Pearce join the band? What a video (who directed it?)

Pan DaijingJade 玉观音 – Electronic textures and tension-inducing arrangements are met by Daijing’s vocals which arrive fragmented and lost. At times spoken word is said or sung, usually in the form of reflections or experiences, which, when pieced back together, urge the listener to confront the tender parts of her own- Pan Daijing announces a new album and two new major artworks, hear a first taste of the album here…

PhewNew Decade– Back in September we shared a taste od something new from Phew – “Phew’s career began in the 70s fronting trailblazing Osaka punk group Aunt Sally (who released one album on Vanity Records in 1979). Ryuichi Sakamoto produced Phew’s first solo release in 1980 and in 1981 Pass Records issued her debut LP, a classic featuring H. Czukay and J. Liebezeit of Can, and Conny Plank. She’s since collaborated with members of DAF, Neubauten, The Raincoats and more”- Phew shares a new track, Days Nights, the latest to be taken from the new album…

Psychic GraveyardVeins Feel Strange – Psychic Graveyard return with ‘Veins Feel Strange’, their second album for Deathbomb Arc. Throbbing electronics, heavy percussion, and vocals like a riddle winding their around everything – but not a guitar in sight. Former members of Arab on Radar, Some Girls, All Leather, Chinese Stars and more come together to curse the land once again” They’re like an evil Devo, I like the idea of a band that sound like an evil Devo – ORGAN: Five Music Things – Psychic Graveyard, Dublin art-rock quintet Silverbacks, the hardcore Riot Grrrl punk of Shooting Daggers, Gustaf remixed by Beck, Mario Batkovic…

Rien faireRien faire– Un trio pour faire des chansons imprévisibles. Parfois c’est le rock, parfois c’est la balade délicate ou la mélodie étrange faite pour inventer des danses or a trio for making unpredictable songs. Sometimes it’s rock, sometimes it’s the delicate stroll or the strange melody made to invent dances – Five Music Things – the delight of Lyon’s Rien faire, the darkwave of Vazum, Patrick Drake, New York’s 6th Floor Orchestra, the Avant pop of Swiss Grenadian trio Monte Mai…

Sarah Davanchi – Antiphonals – “It was once said that listening to Antiphonals was, ‘like listening to a half-speed progressive rock album, except it’s just the keyboard parts.’ More here – Sarah Davanchi has released a single ahead of the release of a new album

Steiger The New Lady Llama – a 21st century piano trio who continue to exemplify the spirit of exploration in their sound. If the critically acclaimed albums – ORGAN THING: Gent three-piece Steiger are back with more of their experimental otherness, taste some here…

String Noise, Eric Lyon, Greg Saunier & International Contemporary Ensemble Giga Concerto – Violin duo String Noise (Pauline Kim Harris and Conrad Harris) team up with composer Eric Lyon, Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, and the International Contemporary Ensemble for this wide ranging release of Lyon’s Giga Concerto and his re-imagined versions of Brahms’ op. 105 songs for violin duo and drumset- A violin duo called String Noise, composer Eric Lyon, Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, and a whole lot of Prince and Brahms and…

TEKE::TEKE

Teke::Teke – Shirushi – Montreal-based seven-piece Japanese psych-rock band Teke::Teke have, so it say’s here, “returned today with a frenetic, high energy single & lyric video for Barbara” a track described by someone or other as “a wild ride with a call-and-response chorus and the band’s unparalleled energy in all its surf-psych glory.” and by us as a thing that’s maybe going off and things if you know what we mea – ORGAN: Five Music Things – Teke::Teke, GoGo Penguin, Thumpermonkey’s Michael Woodman, Clipping’s Jonathan Snipes delivers again, Mickey J and that shaver sales guy, James Holden…

YvetteHow The Garden Grows – There’s some powerful sounds here, powerful textures, powerful songs, a dynamic, an experimental edge, rewarding atmospheres, melody, moves that aren’t obvious. There’s a lot of forward movement, a lot of positive forward movement. Besides is thrilling, there’s a richness running through the whole album and crucially, Yvette don’t obviously sound like anyone else – yes there are hints of things, nothing obvious though, Yvette have “it”. How the Garden Grows is different, this is good, textured electronics, poppy edges, a New York synth duo, crafted, clever, rewarding, proper art of noise., proper art, I guess post-industrial neo-no wave music is as good a description or label as anything you could put on it. Something has sparked…  – Five Music Things – Yvette’s crafted cleverness, Melvins, more Lomond Campbell, Keinemusik, Batang Frisco, Disassembler and…

CRASSThe Feeding of the Five Thousand Remix Project – And although it hasn’t been released yet, we have really really (really) been enjoying those tracks off the fortcoming (out on January 21st 2022 and clearly erady for the round up at the end of next year if we all make it that far – The Feeding of the Five Thousand Crass Remix Project album details while you listen to the Jack Matthew Tyson Remix of ‘What A Shame’ right ‘ere… and we especailly like that it tooks to the Commoners Choir – More from Crass and The Feeding of the Five Thousand Remix Project and the heartwarming brilliance of the Commoners Choir… The Choir are probably the Thing of The Year.

COMPILATION OF THE YEAR

La Fête de la Musique – …. you know if their name (and that one-eyed horse) is on the label you need to check it out, you know it is going to be challenging, that it is almost certainly going to be rewarding. But, and there is a but, but that’s the thing, they deal in epic prog albums, massive slabs of art rock, proper progressive art rock sometimes edged with a very French take on new wave, always progressively challenging, with an attitude, forward looking, the spirit of punk, real art, almost everything they do do is thrilling. I mean, just look at their…- La Fête de la Musique, and it really is a glorious festival of music to explore, a vital compilation album loaded with treasure from Dur et Doux…

REISSUE OF THE YEAR

1: Van Der Graaf Generator – The Charisma Years Boxset, and those four re-issued three CD sets – Van Der Graaf Generator, The Charisma Years – I mean, catch hold of that BBC session version of Killer from 1970 and tell me it isn’t laced with punk rock danger… and The re-issued 50th Anniversary edition of Van Der Graaf Generator’s Pawn Hearts, surely one of the finest albums ever made? and And then there were the other three, Van Der Graaf Generator’s Godbluff, Still Life and H To He Who Am The Only One reissued, four properly classic albums and… 

2: RingO De Dun Dun – Way way back in the very first editions of Organ, way way way back in the last century, one of the very first things we ever wrote about was a Ring tape, back in the glorious days when it was all about DIY albums released on tape only and mostly sold by hand at gigs or through the post (soaped stamps on the packages) they were a big part of the underground scene. Ring were Organ regulars, gigs with Cardiacs, at free festivals, at places like the Clarendon over in Hammersmith with Nik Turmer, at Club Dog when is was still over in Wood Green way before – Ring’s legendary first tape album re-issued at long last. Back in the day Ring were the only other band really going off and things alongside those Cardiacs…

3: Christopher John WhiteChristopher John White Vol 1/2 – Not really an album from 2021 in the true sense but it did come out in June of this year and it was a stand out and that song England in The Rain is very very special – ORGAN THING: For the benefit of Mr White, suburban psychedelia, songs of beauty and that magic in the Kingston air that brought us Cardiacs and The Trudy and… Volune two has jsut come out – ORGAN THING: For the benefit of Mr White again, more suburban psychedelia, songs of beauty and that magic in the Kingston air that…

4: LongstockingOnce Upon A Time Called Now – Secret treasure of the queercore/riot grrrl era, Longstocking’s Once Upon a Time Called Now was, ironically, the recording with perhaps the broadest commercial appeal. It leaps from the speakers, thanks to the immediacy of guitarist/lead vocalist Tamala Poljak’s pop songcraft and the sharp angularity and surging energy of the… , Five Music Things – The motorik sound of Mt. Mountain, the Riot Grrrl flavours of Longstocking, the progressive pop of Tim Morse, Dutch composer Rutger Hoedemaekers, more Sturle Dagsland, La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio and a bit of Deadcuts…

5: GongLive At The Gong Family Unconventional Gathering – They were innocent, they were far from innocent, if you were lucky enough to be at a gig when they really took off they were glorious, when your ariels were tuned in, when they really got on it. When they really connected it all up they were brilliant and this, the last time the classic line-up took us down the oily way – A new Gong live album reviewed, the last time the classic line-up flew together, Live At The Gong Family Unconventional Gathering…

5: SkinGraft’s Sides – Now you see, if we were to start arguing about the greatest ever pieces of vinyl ever released in the whole history of vinyl, there would be no argument, is would be those Sides that SkinGraft released back there whenever it was, was it the last century? They’re reissuing them right now. The latest is Sides 7-10, they kicked it out in downladable form today. Sides was and I guess still is a series of vital seven inch complications that featured various left-field noise bands covering AC/DC classics. Read on – Killdozer thrashing AC/DC, Mount Shasta doing the same, more Sides, more SkinGraft, more Bandcamp Friday and… or here Shellac ripping up AC/DC SkinGraft style? Phil not knowing his proper place?

5: The Fourth World Quartet1975 – Was that album a re-issue or a piece of lost treasure finally released in 2021? “This is never-before heard music from a pivotal time period. Recorded March 1975 at Thomas Jefferson College, Allendale, Michigan.. Released June 25, 2021”, people from Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and suc, we covered it back in June – ORGAN: Five Music Things – Boo Hiss, Pretty Picture, Bram Weijters’ Crazy Men, The Fourth World Quartet, Prune Deer, is that six?h

And there you have it, what did we miss? Load i expect, lots of good music out there, this is why we still do it, see yuo on the other side

8 thoughts on “ORGAN THING: List time, our top albums of 2021, who made it? Gazelle Twin & NYX, Peter Hammill, Michael J Sheehy, Black Country New Road, Robert Calvert, Flying Luttenbachers, Deerhoof, Van Der Graaf, Alex Ward, Charlotte Greve, the Commoners Choir and…

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