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Murkey's Marvellous Mixtape 2013

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:23 pm
by MurkeyChris
Welcome to the (slightly late) fourth of my annual roundups of my favourite tunes, new and old, that I’ve discovered in the last year. It’s on Spotify at: ... QaRO2iLxCB

This year it’s again got a bit of a world music theme (nine countries are covered), but English folk has made a bit of a comeback after just the singular track last year, and I’ve also included one of the most popular songs of the year because I love it.

Where available, I’ve given links to buying the albums from the artists’ Bandcamp page, as they will usually see more of the money that way.

1. Jackie Oates and Chris Serjeant – Sleepers Awake

Jackie Oates is a well established young English folk singer who this year released an album of gentle, meditative songs called Lullabies. My favourite track of the whole year has been her duet with Chris Serjeant on this old Incredible String Band number by Mike Heron. Watch them perform it on a punt in Oxford here:

From Lullabies (ECC, 2013). Available at

2. Lisa Knapp – Hidden Seam

Straight on to another young English singer who established herself on the folk scene, but this time one who is bursting out of the genres parameters with a new album of original songs that reflects the influences of Björk and Kate Bush as much as anything traditional. It’s produced by her husband, Gerry Diver, who also did Sam Lee’s wonderful album last year. In an article, Knapp explained that Diver just told her to, “Make some noise at the end [of the track]”, so she did!

From Hidden Seam (Navigator, 2013)

3. Jambinai – Time of Extinction
And now for something completely different. Jambinai are a group of highly trained traditional musicians from Korea who decided they wanted to subvert notions of Asian music being fragile by mixing their indigenous instruments with heavy post-rock. I met them at Womex world music showcase in Cardiff and will be writing about them, as well as the Korean duo [su:m], in upcoming issues of fRoots and In the Red magazine. You can get an idea of what is happening via the video at

From Difference (GMC, 2012)

4. Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers – Get Lucky

It took me a little while to get into this, but by the time I watched Chic at Glastonbury and the soundman followed their set by playing it out to the crowd, I was hooked.

Radio edit from the single

5. Quartetto Cetra – Crapa Pelada

I listened to a whole load of Italian music before our trip and this fun number about hair loss from 1945 stood out. Apparently it was used in Breaking Bad, which ruins my cred for obscurity! The group also did the Italian dubbing for the film Dumbo, which seems appropriate.

Available on numerous compilations of the group’s music.

6.Kirsty McGee – Solace

I have days when I feel like this.

From Contraband (Hobopop, 2012). Available from

7. Tina Turner – I can’t stand the rain

A local charity shop closed down this year and was selling off CDs at 5 for £1. Having selected a few interesting albums, I picked up a copy of Tina’s Private Dancer album with few expectations just to make up the numbers. When I got round to listening to it I really liked it! This cover of Ann Peebles’ classic sounds like it could have been produced by the Eurythmics (Terry Britten actually did the honours).

From Private Dancer (Capitol, 1984)

8. Lo Griyo – Sans Souci

Lo Griyo are a three-piece from the French island of La Reunion, near Madagascar. They play wild electronic, jazz influenced music with kora and Moroccan and Maloya influences on their album Mogador. I interviewed them at Womex and my article is in the January / Feburary issue of fRoots.

From Mogador (Lo Griyo, 2013)

9. Slamboree – I hate myself

This track stood out to me when I was checking out acts playing at Glastonbury on Spotify. I didn’t see their live show, which is supposed to be amazing, but did have a great time getting down to this tune in some random corner of Arcadia. It’s a pretty obvious track really – liberal use of a quirky old sample (credited to 30s bandleader Isham Jones and sung by Eddie Stone), an electoswing groove and floor-shuddering bass, but it works for me!

From the compilation Electro Swing Club Vol. 1 (Pashmount, 2013)

10. Zebra Katz featuring Njena Reddd Foxxx – Ima Read

More than once when compiling these playlists I’ve been faced with a dilemma with tracks that have really impacted on me, but are not pleasant songs to listen to. I heard this song through the Guardian’s round up of 2012’s best tracks. I find it transfixing, unnerving and confusing (what’s he actually saying?). I reject the notion that music has to be uncomplicated fun, but I’m still not sure whether I should be spreading the misogyny of this more widely. Would I be so forgiving if the lyrics were homophobic? Lots of questions, but a powerful track nonetheless.

Available as a single (Mad Decent, 2012)

11. Bobby Womack – The Bravest Man in the Universe

I first saw this performed on Later and it just oozes passion and soul.

From The Bravest Man in the Universe (XL, 2012)

12. The Choir of Westminster Abbey – Zadok the Priest (Coronation Anthem No. 1, HWV 258)

Okay, I’m slightly cheating here as I’ve obviously heard this before, but it was this year, when hearing it on an album of film soundtracks Owen has, that it really grabbed me. It was of course written by George Frideric Handel and has been used at every coronation since 1727, making this version by the Choir of Westminster Abbey a good choice. I love the strings building to the climax as the voices come in.

Available on various compilations.

13. Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin – The Nailmakers Strike, Part 2

I’m a big fan of this duo, one of the most exciting acts on the English folk scene. This song from their new album sums up their appeal – interesting instrumentation (that’s Phil on beatbox harmonica), intelligent original lyrics (about the strike of 1862 in the West Midlands), global reference points (the refrain paying tribute to both ‘Declaration of Rights’ by Jamaican reggae group the Abyssinians and the Beastie Boys) and a way with a memorable melody.

From Mynd (2013). Available at

14. The Mekons – The Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Long serving roots punks the Mekons are a favourites of fRoots editor Ian Anderson, who posted this amazing song on Facebook. The song takes its name from one of England’s oldest pubs and seems to be about the crusades, misappropriation of religion, oppressive authorities… that sort of thing.

From Oooh (Out Of Our Heads) (Quarterstick , 2002)

15. Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay – 212

This is just as foul-mouthed and aggressive as ‘Ima Read’ but Banks somehow pulls it off through her sassiness and the fact I can’t really hear what she’s saying. Released in 2012 which is when I may have first heard it, but it’s come to the fore this year thanks to her super Glastonbury performance and my dear friend Julius Hinks’ mash-up of the track with ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ ( If you’re wondering what Lazy Jay’s contribution was, he did the original track (called ‘Float My Boat’) which is sampled.

From the single (Polydor, 2012)

16. The Congos – Fisherman

I discovered old roots reggae group the Congos through their 2012 collaboration with American experimental musicians M. Geddes Gengras and Sun Araw, and have since been digging their back catalogue, especially this classic trip, which was produced by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

From Heart of the Congos (VP Music Group, 1977)

17. Winston McAnuff and Fixi – Garden of Love

More reggae, this time from a man I met at Womex but whose gig with accordeon player Fixi I stupidly missed when drinking with those Treacherous Orchestra guys. I love how the accordeon interweaves so well with McAnuff’s Jamaican groove.

From A New Day (Wagram Music / Chapter Two Records, 2013)

18. Abnoba – Albeena Delight

More accordion! Whilst researching Italian sounds, I discovered a rich seam of music from the Occitan region in the North-West of the country, and ended up interviewing Sergio Berardo from Lou Dalfin, the band who started the whole revival. I’ve decided to represent the scene with this track by a group called Abnoba, who seem to be inactive at the moment sadly but display a zesty enthusiasm that I like.

From Abnormal (Felmay, 2010)

19. Geomungo Factory – Geomungo and Tango

Another great band from South Korea, this group has taken the traditional geomungo zither and done everything they can to twist and subvert it, changing the style of playing and adapting it into entirely new instruments. They’ve made some amazing music in the process, and this one comes with a good video:

From Metamorphosis (Synnara, 2012)

20. Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer – Willie of Winsbury (Child 100)

Vermont's Anais Mitchell is a phenomenal songwriter, but sounds just as wonderful with Jefferson Hamer on this album of English ballads collected by Francis Child in the 19th century. This melody used in this recording originally belonged to ‘Fause Foodrage’ (Child 98) but was linked to these words by Irish singer Andy Irvine. You may also recognise the tune from Fairport Convention’s ‘Farewell Farewell’, which adds original lyrics by Richard Thompson to it.

From Child Ballads (Wilderland Records, 2013)

21. Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita – Future Strings

This comes from the album Clychau Dibon, an unlikely but well deserved hit on the world music scene. It pairs top Welsh harpist Finch with Senegalese kora player Keita, and is a record of beautiful, mesmeric conversations.

From Clychau Dibon (Astar, 2013). Available at

Re: Murkey's Marvellous Mixtape 2013

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:35 pm
by will vine
This'll take a bit of working through but I love it when people post best of lists.....maybe get back to you on this sometime Chris, meanwhile thanks for sharing it.