Top tracks of 2019 #7 – Nils Frahm, Michael Kiwanuka & Burial

Richard:

I stumbled across this excellent remix of Nils Frahm’s ‘All Armed’ by Monval on Soundcloud. The original is 12 minutes long, this remix reduces it to a more manageable six and turns up the Deep House bass and percussion to create a hypnotic groove, not a million miles away from Primal Scream’s Higher Than The Sun and U2’s Salome. Given my love of both these tracks, no surprise that this is my number 7.

If my last nomination – Brice Springsteen – was making his first appearance on these online annual lists, the same definitely cannot be said of Nils, who has accumulated enough frequent nominations points to get the Uncertain Smile gold card. After the breakthrough success of All Melody last year, 2019 was a relatively quiet year, particularly given his withdrawal from social media this year. However we did get All Encores, a compilation of the EPs of extra material from the All Melody sessions, from which this track was taken.

Choices from Ian and Roy below…

Ian:

Based on the provenance of this blog I feel I am about to crunch someone’s later nomination by selecting a song from Michael Kiwanuka’s new album as my #7. Justifiably lauded since his first album in 2012 (the year he beat Skrillex and Frank Ocean in the BBC Sound of 2012 poll), Kiwanuka’s collaboration with Danger Mouse brings a late 60s/early 70s sunshine to his 21st Century R&B. I could have picked almost any of the tracks, but think “I’ve Been Dazed” represents this album’s best combination of melody, soulful vocals, instrumentation, choral backing and production. So many layers to unfold in this one song.

Roy:

At number 7 a second entry by an alumnus of the Elliott School in Putney. Its widely accepted that William Bevan re-shaped electronic and dance music with his album ‘Untrue’ in 2007, in the process creating a whole new genre ‘Dub step’ – another former Elliott School pupil, Kieran Hebden a.ka. Four Tet, also released excellent new tracks this year; while other alumni The XX and The Maccabees were dormant and split up respectively. This track, which appeared seemingly out of nowhere earlier in the year, and true to form with no accompanying video or further information, takes his dub step template and adds spectral house to create, as the title suggests, a claustrophobic and strangely warped dance floor banger.

Number 7 – Burial, ‘Claustro’

8 thoughts on “Top tracks of 2019 #7 – Nils Frahm, Michael Kiwanuka & Burial

  1. Previously I’ve been ambivalent about Nils Frahm but really like this – also echoes of Massive Attack ‘Safe From Harm’ era.

  2. At number 7 a second entry by an alumnus of the Elliott School in Putney. Its widely accepted that William Bevan re-shaped electronic and dance music with his album ‘Untrue’ in 2007, in the process creating a whole new genre ‘Dub step’ – another former Elliott School pupil, Kieran Hebden a.ka. Four Tet, also released excellent new tracks this year; while other alumni The XX and The Maccabees were dormant and split up respectively. This track, which appeared seemingly out of nowhere earlier in the year, and true to form with no accompanying video or further information, takes his dub step template and adds spectral house to create, as the title suggests, a claustrophobic and strangely warped dance floor banger.

    Number 7 – Burial, ‘Claustro’

  3. Like Roy, I’m usually ambivalent/ambient about Frahm but I do like this. I can definitely hear Massive Attack and possibly Zeit/Tangram era Tangerine Dream. I don’t know Burial so will need to do some more homework. It did remind me a little bit of “Yeke Yeke” from “The Beach” soundtrack (ie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDZ9HYCAknc)

  4. Based on the provenance of this blog I feel I am about to crunch someone’s later nomination by selecting a song from Michael Kiwanuka’s new album as my #7. Justifiably lauded since his first album in 2012 (the year he beat Skrillex and Frank Ocean in the BBC Sound of 2012 poll), Kiwanuka’s collaboration with Danger Mouse brings a late 60s/early 70s sunshine to his 21st Century R&B. I could have picked almost any of the tracks, but think “I’ve Been Dazed” represents this album’s best combination of melody, soulful vocals, instrumentation, choral backing and production. So many layers to unfold in this one song.

    1. Color me crunched. I love the way on the album this track follows directly after Rolling to the extent on first listen I had not realised a new song had kicked in, like the song elements in Supper’s Ready and Abbey Road. In fact this is the first time I have heard the track ‘on its own’ with a cold start.

    2. Color me crunched. I love the way this track on the album follows directly on from Rolling without any gap, so on first listening you don’t immediately realise the song has changed – rather like the song gear shifts on Supper’s Ready or one side of Abbey Road. This is actually the first time I have heard it on its own.

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