I think we’ve all met a Nadya (or two) in our careers:

 

For those that are interested, here are my picks for the best albums of 2013 that I was lucky enough to have come across this year. I’m sure there are much more out there but I think I’ll keep the list down to an even 16. Where possible, I’ve included links to Amazon or direct to artist’s websites, to hear samples and purchase either the hard formats or the downloads.

Support the artist. Support the music. Support our culture. Keep the music alive. Keep the interest going. Keep the faith (strangely).

Peace,

-mf-

Tindersticks – Across Six Leap Years

Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones – Quatorze Pièces De Menace

Kitchens Of Distinction – Folly

Muslimgauze – Tandoor Dog

BLK w/BEAR – The Final Mapping Of New Constellations

Mikrokolektyw – Absent Minded

Lovisoni / Messina – Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo (reissue)

Luciano Cilio – Dell’Universo Assente (reissue)

Steve Hogarth + Richard Barbieri – Not The Weapon But The Hand

Harold Budd – Jane 1-11

The Claudia Quintet – September

Morton Feldman – Violin And Orchestra

David Bowie – The Next Day

Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest

Giovanni Guidi Trio – City Of Broken Dreams

The Dowland Project, John Potter – Night Sessions

– one of the best guitarists of all time.

 

Check out some STRANGE FREE RADIO on Mixcloud, The Out Of Work Communist has launched a new cloudcast:

Outside of the ordinary. The undercelebrated in post punk progressive, jazz, electronic, rock, new classical, avant-garde and ambient.

http://www.mixcloud.com/the_out_of_work_communist/

R-11541-1233423319

Transmission b/w Novelty

Factory (1979)

R-2118206-1265013562

Atmosphere (double A-sided/w) She’s Lost Control

(Factory 1980)

R-29008-1144669199

Love Will Tear Us Apart b/w These Days, Love Will Tear Us Apart (version)

(Factory 1980)

1979. Musical output coming out of England is becoming increasingly intense and exhilarating and it’s great to be a guitar-wielding teenager (for me, at least) with a plethora of new bands causing quite a stir in their native country but barely making a dent on the collective consciousness here, except for in the urban club scene, as fledgling and as closed-community as it was. Amongst them, Magazine, ClockDVA, Wire, Bill Nelson’s Red Noise, a certain ratio, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Buzzcocks, Gang Of Four, The Stranglers, The Cure and the pièce de résistance: Joy Division. The list can go on and on but I need to stop it here, for now at least. With Joy Division.

Around the time the first full length Unknown Pleasures lp was released, there began an unquiet sense among the music scene, more felt than spoken, that there was the beginnings of something new and very exciting in the air and the musical 70’s were over with and pretty much relegated to the past and most young aspiring musicians I knew at the time were feeling it too and were wholeheartedly embracing the winds of change. Haircuts, clothes, shoes, all things seemed like it was 1954 again instead of 1980. It was a merging of the new British scene with the local post No Wave / art / jazz / punk / funk noise scene here with the likes of DNA, The Lounge Lizards, James Chance, Noise ‘r Us, AE, Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth and a plethora of other downtown musical anarchists, destroying the old and giving birth to the new, all creating a maelstrom of ideas and musical activity. The club scene in New York was on fire, the likes of which will never be seen again in this pathetic age of million dollar plastic condos and million dollar plastic people, clubs like The Mudd Club, Hurrah!, Danceteria, The Ritz, The Peppermint Lounge, Squat Theatre, Irving Plaza, Max’s, CBGB’s, Tramps, The Limelight, The Knitting Factory  and the out of the way places like The U.K. Club, Tier 3, Inroads, The Cavern, Blackbird, Sin-e and a host of others that you went to only after 1am, making this the breeding grounds for this new wave of post punk bands to play America. Talk was that Joy Division was coming too to play their first North American gigs, but as everyone reading this brought here from the Joy Division tag knows, unfortunately never materialized. Only a very somber, elegaic performance of their new incarnation as New Order at Hurrah!, the next year after Ian Curtis passed from this mortal coil. A performance I can never forget. A funeral service rather than a celebration to say the least.

These three 12 inch ep’s I consider as three of the most powerful singles of all time for many reasons and deserve a place in history as the works of art they truly are. Each track jumps out of the grooves at you with a ferocity and power unequaled in many 12″ records of the time, or since, but never without their warmth and purpose and inner soul. There’s something quite magical about a 12″ record spinning at 45rpm as opposed to 33 1/3. Some of Martin Hannett’s shining moments in studio production, each one a gift to the ears and to the dance floor. If one has the chance to track down some copies in good condition and does not have to pay a king’s ransom for them, I strongly encourage them to do so, especially if they have a good quality stereo system to savor them on. Forget the downloads, forget the cd versions, and for heaven’s sake, forget the cell phone crap, none of those can match the sheer dynamics of these three immortal Factory pressings. A testament to when vinyl was produced with tender loving care and album covers were printed with exceptional quality. The iconic images that adorn each of these releases can in no way be separated from the music contained within them and indeed are burned into memory along with these tracks forever. Peter Saville, bravo.

It’s impossible to adequately express my own feelings towards the music contained within these three records, it would indeed take a lifetime to convey them, since that’s how long I’ve been carrying them with me. I was very fortunate to have been around when they hit and experienced the feelings firsthand working for a record distributor as I did, I was privy to all the new sounds coming out of Europe, even before the wonderful independent record stores were here (may they RIP). I can only say that for those that are not Joy Division fans, maybe because of the aura and mystique surrounding the band or that it’s all too depressing a vibe to deal with it for some, I totally get this, Closer being the one album that could convert one for life or make you run from them forever and this has indeed happened to others I’ve known. But these three discs can be removed from all that and can be enjoyed on the sheer musicality of what they do contain. Beautiful songs, the hooks, the lyrics, the motives behind them, the execution of these ideas brilliantly captured forever. Snapshots in memory. They should and do stand on their own and that’s all any artist can ask from their music and how it can affect others. I only wish Joy Division could have had a few more years at the game before it all fell apart. Who knows what they could have produced.

Martin Hannett RIP

Ian Curtis RIP

Transmission

Radio, live transmission.

Radio, live transmission.

Listen to the silence, let it ring on.

Eyes, dark grey lenses frightened of the sun.

We would have a fine time living in the night,

Left to blind destruction,

Waiting for our sight.

And we would go on as though nothing was wrong.

And hide from these days we remained all alone.

Staying in the same place, just staying out the time.

Touching from a distance,

Further all the time.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Well I could call out when the going gets tough.

The things that we’ve learnt are no longer enough.

No language, just sound, that’s all we need know, to synchronise

Love to the beat of the show.

And we could dance.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Novelty

When people listen to you don’t you know it means a lot,

‘cos you’ve got to work so hard for everything you’ve got.

Can’t rest on your laurels now,

Not when you’ve got none.

You’ll find yourself in a gutter,

Right back where you came from.

Someone told me being in the know is the main thing.

We all need the security that belonging brings.

Can’t stand on your own in these times,

Against all the odds,

You all just fall behind like all the other sods.

You slap our backs and pretend you knew about,

All the things that we were gonna do.

What ya gonna do, what ya gonna do,

When it’s over?

You’re on your own now,

Don’t you think that’s a shame?

But you’re the only one responsible to take the blame.

So what ya gonna do when the novelty has gone?

Yeah, what ya gonna do when the novelty has gone?

You slap our backs,

And pretend you knew about,

All the things we were gonna do.

What ya gonna do, what ya gonna do

When it’s over?

Atmosphere

Walk in silence,

Don’t walk away, in silence.

See the danger,

Always danger,

Endless talking,

Life rebuilding,

Don’t walk away.

Walk in silence,

Don’t turn away, in silence.

Your confusion,

My illusion,

Worn like a mask of self-hate,

Confronts and then dies.

Don’t walk away.

People like you find it easy,

Naked to see,

Walking on air.

Hunting by the rivers,

Through the streets,

Every corner abandoned too soon,

Set down with due care.

Don’t walk away in silence,

Don’t walk away.

She’s Lost Control

Confusion in her eyes that says it all.

She’s lost control.

And she’s clinging to the nearest passer by,

She’s lost control.

And she gave away the secrets of her past,

And said I’ve lost control again,

And a voice that told her when and where to act,

She said I’ve lost control again.

And she turned around and took me by the hand and said,

I’ve lost control again.

And how I’ll never know just why or understand,

She said I’ve lost control again.

And she screamed out kicking on her side and said,

I’ve lost control again.

And seized up on the floor, I thought she’d die.

She said I’ve lost control.

She’s lost control again.

She’s lost control.

She’s lost control again.

She’s lost control.

Well I had to ‘phone her friend to state my case,

And say she’s lost control again.

And she showed up all the errors and mistakes,

And said I’ve lost control again.

But she expressed herself in many different ways,

Until she lost control again.

And walked upon the edge of no escape,

And laughed I’ve lost control.

She’s lost control again.

She’s lost control.

She’s lost control again.

She’s lost control.

I could live a little better with the myths and the lies,

When the darkness broke in, I just broke down and cried.

I could live a little in a wider line,

When the change is gone, when the urge is gone,

To lose control. when here we come.

Love Will Tear Us Apart 

When routine bites hard,

And ambitions are low.

And resentment rides high,

But emotions won’t grow.

And we’re changing our ways,

Taking different roads.

Love, love will tear us apart again.

Love, love will tear us apart again.

Why is the bedroom so cold?

Turned away on your side.

Is my timing that flawed?

Our respect run so dry?

Yet there’s still this appeal,

That we’ve kept through our lives.

Love, love will tear us apart again.

Love, love will tear us apart again.

Do you cry out in your sleep?

All my failings exposed…

Gets a taste in my mouth

As desperation takes hold.

Why is it something so good

Just can’t function no more?

Love, love will tear us apart again.

Love, love will tear us apart again.

Love, love will tear us apart again.

Love, love will tear up apart again.

These Days

Morning seems strange, almost out of place.

Searched hard for you and your special ways.

These days, these days.

Spent all my time, learnt a killer’s art.

Took threats and abuse ’till I’d learned the part.

Can you stay for these days?

These days, these days.

Used outward deception to get away,

Broken heart romance to make it pay.

These days, these days.

We’ll drift through it all, it’s the modern age.

Take care of it all now these debts are paid.

Can you stay for these days?

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