Thursday, 23 December 2010

Musical finds, fiends, friends and enemas

Every now and again, I feel the urge to write something about musicians I've discovered or been pointed towards. This posting is sponsored by Spotify and the letter 'F'. Or not. Depending.

At this time of the year, the BBC publishes its list of musicians to watch for in the coming year. You'll find the current list on the Sound of 2011 mini-site. Usually, it's a pretty reliable selection of really decent talent. The 2010 list, for example, included Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds, The Drums and Owl City, all of whom were doing stuff that was fresh and good. (Marina's my favourite - she's intelligent, barking mad, and a damn good songwriter too. What more could you want?)

BBC's Sound of 2011 list is a bit of a disappointment.
The 2011 list, though, is a bit of a disappointment. I've watched all the videos, to spare you the indignity - and the only artist that got my attention was a grime MC who goes by the tag of Wretch 32. That's a pretty hefty indictment of the others, as hip-hop's not usually my bag, but this guy's good, and the production on Traktor was really slick. If his other tracks are as good, I'm getting the album. As for the other artists - sorry, but ... whatever. There was little else that wasn't derivative. Maybe I'll revisit the site in a while and have a second listen.

All of which means I have to do some actual research and find some names for you. Spotify's a great tool for finding artists you'd never heard of - just type a random word into the search box, listen to a few tracks and discover. Today, it's thrown up a strummer new to me: Paul Gilbert. Formerly of Mr. Big, and now with Racer X, he's a powerhouse guitarist who plays with accuracy and precision. For me, he's way ahead of Joe Satriani, whose work Gilbert's resembles. Much fuzzbox and overdrive, but the tunes aren't samey.

Something hip-hoppy, folky and ... Basque?
Fancy something hip-hoppy, folky, trance-y, techno-y and ... Basque? Look no further than Crystal Fighters. Mix Catalan instruments with Marina and an MC - and you've almost totally failed to grasp their range. Earlier in the year, they performed on Later with Jools: you can see the performances here.

More when I remember them.

No comments:

Post a Comment