I’m Done With 2008

January 2, 2009

So we had a huge, spectacular end of year round up planned, the kind of thing that would be spoken of in hushed tones for years to come and would have been imortalised by future primitives, every word chiseled into tablets of stone. But real life intervened, it’s not like anyone pays us to do this (though if anyone wants to pay we can accept checks, cash, paypal and all major credit cards), and before you know it you’ve spent the last fortnight under a duvet, eating turkey and being shot at by 10 year olds on your new Xbox.

So anyway since my ego is currently Goodyear blimp sized after the piece in this week’s Time Out, I didn’t want my worthless opinions of what was good last year to go to waste. So from what little I can actually remember of it here is my best of 2008.

Oh and those of you not terminally bed bound and looking for one last blow out before you return to work on Monday, we are hosting a night of disco fun and frolics at Cargo in Shoreditch tonight. The line-up includes Soft Rocks, Bill Brewster, Capracara and The Romantic Motherfuckers, best of all it’s free to get in all night. Check here for more details…

John’s Slutty Fringe End of Year Round-up!

Label of the Year! – DFA Records


Painfully obvious maybe, but there’s no denying that DFA has been on FIYA in 2008, from the bath house sounds of Hercules and Love Affair, to Mock and Toof’s dubbed out disco and Juan Maclean’s euphoric club tracks it’s been all killer no filler all year. Throw in the excellent RongDFA and Death From Abroad labels and the choice was easy. With new releases from Capracara, and the Juan Maclean and Mock and Toof albums due next year, there’s a fair chance they’ll be occupying this spot again next year.

Runners Up
History Clock, Ambassador’s Reception

2008 was the year of the re-edit, and whilst there was a hundred new labels to choose from two stood out. Just 3 releases old History Clock, a superior re-edit label from Nathan Gregory Wilkins and Jonny Burnip has already established itself as unmissable. Taking the path less obvious the first three releases have taken in epic dark synth pop, psychedelic rock and space aged disco, essential.

Ambassador’s Reception coming to us from Amsterdam via East London has been another re-edit label happy to look way beyond the ususal, mainly thanks to the label boss Stevie Kotey and it’s chief splicer Loud-E. Loud-E’s debut album is out later this month till then though pick up Afrika, Afrika on twelve, possibly one of the heaviest tracks you’ll hear all year.

Single of the Year – The Juan Maclean – Happy House (DFA)


Since dropping through the letter box back in March Juan Maclean‘s epic, piano driven house number has never left my record bag. A turn for the euphoric from the ex-Six Finger Satellite man, this was a gorgeous update of classic house music and has made the new album one of the most anticipated of 2009. Even better on the flip was a re-rub from my favourite remixer of the year Prince Language who took the already rather heady original and with a dusting of cosmic snow launched the track into the cosmos on glittery wings of disco, undoubtedly the track of the year.

Runners Up
Glimmers – I’d Much Rather Go (Out With the Boys) (Diskimo), Franz Ferdinand – Ulysees (Wizard’s Sleeve Mix) (Domino), DJ Mujava – Township Funk (Warp), Little Boots – Stuck On Repeat, Loud-E – Afrika, Afrika (Ambassador’s Reception), Fan Death – Veronica’s Veil (Phantasy), King Cannibal – Aragami Style (Ninja Tune), Hercules & Love Affair – Blind [Club Mix] (DFA), Midnight Mike – Interplanetary Music (Ed Banger), Surkin – Next Of Kin/White Knight Two (Institubes), James Yuill – This Sweet Love (Moshi Moshi), Dez Dickerson – Modernaire (Citinite)

It really has been a singles year, either the Glimmers or The Wizard’s Sleeve re-rub of Ulysees could have taken the top spot, hopefully it is these two tracks that point towards where dance music is heading in 2009, stripped down, raw disco/Chicago influenced tracks that don’t turn into over driven, agro bangers for beery lads to get their dicks out on the dancefloor to. Seriously much as I personally have no animus towards Boys Noize, it was incredible how towards the end of the year their sound got co-opted by thousands of aggressive obnoxious jerks clubs the world over.

Still it wasn’t all bad for the French grind house collective, Ed Banger got major props for signing the wonderful Mickey Moonlight and Institubes released the incredible White Knight Two by Surkin, for someone born after most original acid tracks were made, he absolutely nailed the sound on this, beautiful stuff.

Elsewhere King Cannibal’s first release for Ninja Tune was one of the loudest sounds around and bodes well for his debut album, DJ Mujava updated the original bleep sound of Sheffield via South Africa’s Kwaito and clubs the world over fell for Hercules & Love Affair’s gorgeous Blind. Let’s hope 2009 matches up to its predecessor.

Album of the Year – Alexis Taylor – Rubbed Out (Treader)


Released with little fanfare back in October, the debut solo album from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor was an understated affair in every sense. Still this modest, intimate set outshone every other release this year, including his own band’s effort. Bruised and emotionally raw it’s a perfect soundtrack for love and loss and the tender cover of McCartney’s Coming Up was one of the most beautiful things you’ll have heard all year.

We caught up with Alexis just before Christmas to see how his year had been…

Slutty Fringe: This year saw the release of both Hot Chip’s Made In The Dark and your own solo album Rubbed Out, throw in a few tours and festivals, and it’s been a pretty busy year for you, you happy with how it’s all gone?

Alexis Taylor: Yes really happy – glad to be busy playing and making records, and enjoying having met a lot of great musicians this year.

SF: Had Rubbed Out been planned for a while? Did you sit down and specifically write songs just for yourself or were they tracks that you’d written in the past but maybe didn’t feel right for the band?

AT: I tend to just write – and think about what it is I have written after it is done. These songs started to take shape together and feel better in their current state, rather than be turned into something else, something more ‘Hot Chip’. I felt like they had their own logic next to each other and also wanted them to come out quite quickly, without being toured for a long time before, during or after their recording, being shaped and reconsidered, or re-cast.

SF: Any plans to tour or just do some one-off solo shows?

AT: I think I will play the occasional show – but only when it feels fun to do that. With friends on the bill, or in interesting venues/settings i might not find myself in otherwise.

SF: What have you been listening to most this year?

AT: Swamp Dogg, Arthur Russell, comedian Steven Wright, Harry Nilsson,
Clipse, Syreeta, Peter Tosh, Rose Royce

SF: And which bands or artists would you tip or readers to look out for in 2009?

AT: Man Like Me, Pat Thomas!

SF: There’s been a few mentions in the press recently about the next Hot Chip album, how is it going? Will Peter Gabriel really be popping up on it? There was also some talk of you looking for a drummer, I’m sure he could put you in touch with his old band mate.

AT: Haha, Peter Gabriel would be welcome on any of our records, but there are no plans at the moment. Phil also would be welcome, but he would be our second drummer. I think if we have more than one drummer we would have to go one (or more accurately 11) better than the Boredoms and have 99 playing together, on the 9th of the 9th 2009.

SF: And what do you want for Christmas this year?

AT: Samuel Pepys’ diaries. Time with my wife, our cat, and my family.

Runners Up
– Soft Power (Mercury), Metronomy – Nights Out (Because), Cut Copy – (Modular), Heartbreak – Lies (Lex), Pivot – O Soundtrack My Heart (Warp), Hercules & Love Affair – Hercules & Love Affair (DFA), Windsurf – Coastlines (Internasjonal), Lindstrom – Where you go I go too (Smalltown Supersound), Sportsday Megaphone – So Many Colours / So Little Time (Sunday Best), Hot Chip – Made In The Dark (EMI), Quiet Village – Silent Movie (!K7), Liquid Liquid – Slipping In and Out of Phenomenom (Domino), Allez Allez – Best Of (Eskimo), Veros Artists – Dissident Vol 1 (Dissident), Various – Dreams Come True (Domino)

To be honest I’ve probably spent most of this year listening to Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and The Byrds but in an effort to appear hip and ‘down with it’ I should mention Lindstrom’s dazzling 3 track cosmic masterpiece, Heartbreak’s glorious italo disco and Metronomy future pop classic, in fact all the albums on here are worth checking out, if they weren’t I wouldn’t have mentioned them!

Gig of the Year – Acid Mothers Temple @ White Heat


Without a doubt the live set of the year, Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno, the latest incarnation of Kawabato Makoto’s psychedelic troupe absolutely destroyed White Heat back in July. Pummeling drums, brain shredding psychedelic guitars amped up to 11 and booming throat chanting all made this a very special show, one that culminated in Makoto smashing his guitar into a thousand tiny pieces. Rock n’ fucking Roll!

Runners Up
– ICA, Pivot – Be @ Proud Gallery, Specials – Bestival, Flaming Lips – Camp Bestival, Flying Lotus – Plastic People, My Bloody Valentine – Roundhouse

I could have filled this list with bands who have played at Be this year, but that would have been a bit dull so instead we’ll just find space for Pivot who slayed it. Elsewhere mention has to be made of My Bloody Valentine responsible for me losing my hearing for a few days over the summer, and the Specials (or at least most of them) whose surprise appearance at Bestival rescued what had been till then been the wettest, muddiest, grim weekends of the year.

Ones to Watch in 2009


I was going to tip Little Boots here but that’s just too painfully obvious, even for this round up, so let’s just assume that Victoria will be massive by this time next year and look elsewhere. Instead I’m opting for Capracara, whose belatedly follows up his classic acid jam from Soul Jazz back in 2006 with a release on DFA, Nottingham based Line, whose debut album ‘Hearts’ should catapult him right into the medium time in February, Rainbow Arabia with their psychedelic sounds of the souk, Radioclit and their global fusion of all things hype and Shock Defeat, one of the best new British bands I’ve heard in years.

2 Responses to “I’m Done With 2008”

  1. xenmate Says:

    Quite intrigued by who this “Majuva” may be 😉

  2. h0tsauce Says:

    in my defence i’m still drunk from NYE

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