Attracted To Things Uncertain: The Most Significant Albums Of 2001, Part One

In the autumn of 2001, occasional Trent Reznor collaborator Chris Vrenna released an album under his Tweaker moniker; an intelligent, restrained slice of melodic, melancholic, and mostly instrumental synth-pop, smuggled out in the dead of night under the name The Attraction To All Things Uncertain. It’s a record I was highly smitten with at the … Continue reading Attracted To Things Uncertain: The Most Significant Albums Of 2001, Part One

A House Full Of Leaves: The Most Significant Albums Of 1990

Because there’s all kind of texture, of nuance going on. The way records were composed, crafted, compiled and ultimately assimilated by an audience ravenous for sound, again and again. And yet there’s an entire decade’s worth of contrasting context between – say – 1980 and a 1990. The changes (if that’s what they are) – … Continue reading A House Full Of Leaves: The Most Significant Albums Of 1990

Ambition And Love Wearing Boxing Gloves: The Most Significant Albums Of 1987 – Part One

Strap yourself in – 1987 is taking us for a ride. Handbrake turns, 85mph in a residential area. And whilst I’m not going to suggest something along the lines of On New Year’s Eve, 1986, the patron saint of musicians did summon his flock, and did beseech them to strip-mine the mojo – because that … Continue reading Ambition And Love Wearing Boxing Gloves: The Most Significant Albums Of 1987 – Part One

The False Friendship Of Autumnal Colour: The Most Significant Albums Of 1986

1986. It’s a very different proposition to the sequence of four digits we’re currently lounging under. Different, but also eerily familiar; the films, the books, the breaking news writ large – not to mention the weight of vinyl that occupied the new release racks in your local record store – they pose as cultural mileposts. … Continue reading The False Friendship Of Autumnal Colour: The Most Significant Albums Of 1986

A Drunk Actor’s Playlist: The Most Significant Albums Of 1983

Snapshots. Skeins of recollection, re-visitation, recalibration. And then 1983, shuffling onto the agenda like a tawdry, half-cut actor during the matinee. “Look, my pretties. I have Jonathan Richman’s Jonathan Sings! I have Song And Legend by Sex Gang Children”. And whilst technically correct – he’s holding copies of both albums aloft in his sweaty paws, … Continue reading A Drunk Actor’s Playlist: The Most Significant Albums Of 1983

Words Come Crashing In: Depeche Mode’s Violator Revisited

The mechanics of detraction. Because there are traits in popular music where – should you be a serious scholar of sound – the default response is the snigger, a dismissive wave of the hand before something more worthwhile arrives on the turntable. Think: embarrassing lyrics, pompous stylings, a cloying longevity where the primary constant has … Continue reading Words Come Crashing In: Depeche Mode’s Violator Revisited

Something To Do With Listening To Depeche Mode Records. And Then We Got Drunk, So It Didn’t Matter

When I first encountered the #1 record that hides beneath today’s words, it sounded so utterly reminiscent of a Depeche Mode track – something from the very late eighties, perhaps, before our tattoo and heroin addictions took prominence – that I had to spend several subsequent hours legging it through the DM back catalogue in … Continue reading Something To Do With Listening To Depeche Mode Records. And Then We Got Drunk, So It Didn’t Matter

You Can Keep Me At A Distance If You Don’t Trust My Resistance

Depeche Mode released their fourth single, “See You”, in January 1982. This was still very much the band’s formative phase, scratching around for a distinctive sound in a era defined by it’s overtly-commercial synth pop leanings. A strange blend of the catchy and the twee that, although related to the experimental electronica of the previous … Continue reading You Can Keep Me At A Distance If You Don’t Trust My Resistance