Saturday, 11 January 2014

2013 Moments in Music

I mentioned that I wasn't quite done with 2013 so here's my wee list of favourite CD's from last year, not necessarily released in 2013 but they all helped form my soundtrack to the year, (and checkout 2012's list here!);

1. DAVID SYLVIAN: Gone To Earth (2006)
2. DEAD CAN DANCE: Anastasis (2012)
3. THE BLUE NILE: Walk Across Rooftops (2012)
4. DEAD CAN DANCE: Wake (2003)
5. DAVID BOWIE: The Next Day (2013)
6. DAVID SYLVIAN: Brilliant Trees (2006)
8. LONDON GRAMMAR: If You Wait (2013)
9. ENNIO MORRICONE: Good, Bad & Ugly (1967)
10. THOMAS DOLBY: Floating City (2011)

I came comparatively late to David Sylvian's solo career via his first excellent retrospective Everything & Nothing (2000) and resisted his earlier works thinking that all the best tracks were already on this collection and its ambient companion Camphor (2002) but finally succumbed in 2013 and while there is a little overlap with those releases, both the Gone To Earth and Brilliant Trees remasters are  unexpectedly wonderful and kept me returning to them many times during the year.
As did the remaster of The Blue Nile's debut which I'd never previously had on CD despite proudly owning on vinyl back in the day! I would still say that Hats is their best but I was surprised how fresh Rooftops sounded, including the various bonus tracks.
After the excellent Albert Hall gig last year I continued my fascination with Dead Can Dance but so far have not dipped into their back catalogue thinking again that Wake will have all the best tracks, but maybe like with David Sylvian, I'll be proved wrong?
My other favourites, with the exception of Ennio Morricone, were all pretty much contemporary releases for me headed of course by Mr Bowie!  What a wonderful surprise his return was and while not a true classic, The Next Day is a strong contender and contains many worthy additions to the Bowie songbook. It was also a great reaction by the man himself to move forward while everyone else was looking back at the excellent V&A retrospective, proving that as usual Bowie's at least one step ahead!
My other 2013 favourites were mainly discoveries through the increasingly essential BBC 6 Music shows and the live circuit where I managed to see both Public Service Broadcasting and Thomas Dolby perform, separately I should add! P.S.B kept in character during their performance accompanied by the vintage information films which give them their name and are well worth checking out as is their earlier The War Room E.P which preceded their Inform, Educate and Entertain album.
We caught erstwhile 80's star and pop eccentric/genius Thomas Dolby at a small local intimate venue with maybe 100 or so people on his short Invisible Lighthouse Tour where he provided a live narrative and soundtrack to his recently completed movie about the closure of his local lighthouse and it was really quite something special. He even took a short Q&A session in between encores talking about his inspiration, his music and experiences, a humble and very talented man who, perhaps like Mr Bowie (who Dolby of course accompanied at Live Aid), has not yet turned his back on creating inventive music.

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