Best Records of February 2019 Featuring Nyah Fearties, King Midas Sound, Galerie Stratique, Jessica Pratt
It was a slightly alarming February as at times it was about 20 degree warmer than last year. But who ever let society’s failure to address worldwide disaster get in the way of enjoying the sun? Or this month’s best releases for that matter?
Best albums this month
Nyah Fearties - A Tasty Heidfu'
Few bands have the ability to grab you by the scruff of the neck and shake you into loving them like Nyah Fearties do. Their debut album was first released way back in 1986 and features the lads tearing their way through half an hours worth of post punk meets Scottish folk with an almost inhuman urgency. Scottish as scotch pies, hard as anything, A Tasty Heidfu’ is a masterpiece
Decadance - On And On (Fears Keep On)
Ooo errr, italo-disco has always had an air of being stylish and sexy. With a name like Decadance the duo of Franco Rago and Gigi Farina were hardly about to buck that trend. On And On (Fears Keep On) has a nobility and grandiosity wrought from its slightly sinister and mysterious air. A track that would play just as well in some chic 80s club as it would in the ornate halls of some contessa’s palazzo.
Mattias Gustafsson - Frånvarande
Some music sounds so brittle that it should come with a warning to handle with care. Mattias Gustafsson’s music is just this. His looping drones sound like all that’s holding them together is a promise Gustafsson has made to us, the listener. The palette is patient and acoustic, the slowly decaying piano at the heart of the album is sorrow incarnate.
Not Waving - Futuro (Music For The Waldorf Project)
After making a name for himself dropping EBM heaters on Diagonal, Alessio Natalizia aka Not Waving wants to make amends. In stark contrast to his previous work Futuro is an ambient record more interested in moving you emotionally. The switch to ambient has also offerent Natalizia the opportunity to foreground his considerable skill in texture work and sound design.
King Midas Sound - Solitude
Though Kevin ‘The Bug’ Martin, is likely best known for absolutely destroying dancefloors, some of his most powerful works lies in the King Midas Sound discography. On previous album’s vocalist Roger Robinson had Kiki Hitomi to support him through the waves of Martin’s bleak and minimal production. But on Solitude, he is alone and he is exposed.
Jessica Pratt - Quiet Signs
No one has a voice like Jessica Pratt. You would be forgiven for thinking that it belonged to a child, but that’s just because you haven’t noticed the precision with which she wields it. This, along with an instrumentation that is content to be quiet and subtle, makes for a listening experience as intimate as you’re likely to find. This makes for a bracing and refreshing lesson, as though a curtain has been opened in a forgotten room.
Noyzelab - Metal Cell Meditations
What to make of an album that comes with a prescribed dose? Do you talk about it like an album, or like a drug? Metal Cell Meditations is one of Noyzelab’s opulent five part series
Experimenting with the limits of synthesizer drone. As an album, it’s stirring an double and immersive to a T. As a drug? If you’re looking for a surefire way to reach some escapist pleasure it’s gold. I wouldn’t recommend it for any medical conditions mind.
Galerie Stratique - Horizzzons
Whatever you do, don’t say Boards of Canada… Yes the comparison is there, but to leave it at that would be a disservice to Galerie Stratique. Their 2003 album is a collection of delightful ambient-pop tracks that come bitesize. As the sun sets we look to the Horizzzon. The synths warm our face for the day one last time as the sky starts to turn. We’re nostalgic for the warmth, but everything’s so beautiful.
Elecktroids - Kilohertz
With every new release and reissue it becomes clearer and clearer that Drexciya’s Gerald Donald and James Stinson will be remembered as some of music’s greatest. Kilohertz, one of two releases the pair did as Elecktroidz, was release in 1995 and, with their own take on Kraftwerk inspired electro, imagines a 2019 more utopian than we managed. Catchy and playful melodies accompany crunchy electro-bass, and of course, the ever dependable drum machines.
Theon Cross - Fyah
Though he’s not Sons of Kemet’s front man, there is a good argument to be made that Theon Cross’ tuba playing in some ways defines that band’s sound. The freedom with which he plays his instrument is utterly unique and gives that band something its peers can never have. On Fyah, cross is happy to provide the bassy underpinnings for some more wonderful examples of this London jazz. Luckily for us, he also steps forward a bit more often too.
Coming to a shelf near you this March
Another month rolls around and the music industry’s release schedule inevitably Marches on. Eh? Eh? … eh?
- Not those new puritans, these ones!
- It’s been about five minutes since his last release so Ty Segall’s very kindly chucked us down a live album.
- Beth Gibbons will make you cry.
- Hey remember when White Denim were in a Persil ad? Get that money boys!
- Fennezs goes back to basics.
- We’ve got Cocteau Twins reissues.
- We’ve got Sophia reissues.
- We’ve even got [double take] a Kate Nash reissue.
Not satisfied? Have a glance at our less-reliable-than-a-Brexit-negotiator release schedule.