Tuesday, 10 November 2009

(Re)discovering new music

When I look back over the past year, my musical tastes have varied wildly. I've discovered bands and artists new to me, from all sorts of musical genres; a couple which spring to mind being Tuxedomoon and The Soft Boys. I have also rediscovered some artists that I hadn't listened to for years, David Sylvian and John Foxx to name but two.

New discoveries

For those bands who are new to me, I'm not quite sure how I managed to miss them first time around. Tuxedomoon in particular provide the experimental, post-punk sound that kept me going in the late 1970's and early 1980's but until recently I had not heard any of their material. Not only did I discover the band themselves, but also the brilliant solo and collaboration material from two of their founding members, Steven Brown and Blaine L.Reininger. Probably my favourite of the releases I've heard is Decade by Steven Brown, which gets regular airplay on the iPod on the train to work and at home.

Probably not a discovery in 2009, but certainly no earlier than 2008, was Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy). I came across him through Current 93 and couldn't resist when I found an album by him. I must admit it didn't resonate with me on the first listen but did grow on me soon afterwards. It wasn't too long before I'd tracked down another CD, and pretty soon was addicted. I think I've now got 10 or so under his various guises. I even managed to get to see him at the Festival Hall in London earlier this year.

Other new discoveries are thanks to lastfm.com and mostly within the folk genre. Artists of note include Fairport Convention, The Pentangle, Bert Jansch, and Jackson C.Frank.


John Foxx is a curious rediscovery. I was aware of his material at the time as one of my school friends was a big fan, but I remember only being slightly interested. However, having picked up second-hand copy of The Golden Section recently, my mind has been firmly changed and I am now a renewed fan, rapidly building up the back catalogue.

I can't classify the Fall as a rediscovery as I've always had a love-hate relationship with them. I have however picked up expanded versions of a couple of their early albums that I have always liked, Totale's Turns and Slates, which have been on regular rotation since. Grotesque, Dragnet and Witch Trials should be added to the collection soon.

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