Angular Recording Corporation's Spotify Playlist
, May 29th, 2009 06:17
The Quietus presents a supplement to Angular Records numerical catalogue: A Spotify playlist of the songs that shaped the label's founders
Estate agents and homeowners in a certain London postcode have much to thank Angular Records for. It was their label, Angular Records, that a few years ago put New Cross on the map with a series of legendary gigs and a terrific run of new, early singles and compilation tracks from the likes of The Long Blondes, Bloc Party and Art Brut.
Following the inspiration of Factory Records, everything to do with the label is given a catalogue, from the website (ARC 018), fetching enamel badges (that are, and celebrate, ARC 050) and occasional ceremonies at Ordnance Survey trig points (ARC 001, 010, 020, 040). Listen to ARC 057, a playlist of Angular releases, here.
Now partnered with Domino Records, Angular continue to put out some of the best new music you'll find in this land and beyond, from These New Puritans (Angular will be releasing their second album, currently being recorded with Graham Sutton) to Crystal Stilts, brass ravers Gyratory System, Navvy, The Vichy Government and The Lodger.
So it's with great pride that The Quietus brings you an addendum to ARC 057 in the form of Angular head honchos Joe M and Joe D's Spotify playlists of the songs that influenced them.
Angular Joe M's Spotify Playlist
The Bar-Kays - 'Soul Finger'
I started with this track as I can remember the first album I ever became properly obsessed with was an 'Atlantic Soul Classics' compilation. It also included the likes of Aretha Franklin, Sam 'n Dave, Booker T & the MG's and The Drifters. I love this novelty soul jam, and its childlike exuberance. Pop fact: The Bar-Kays were Otis Redding's backing band, and most of them died along with him in his 1967 plane crash. So, Angular = Pop
Pulp - 'Tunnel'
Perhaps Pulp's darkest hour, makes This Is Hardcore seem like easy listening. This eight minutes of angst and noise apparently embarrasses Jarvis now, but I love it! It feels like you're there in this nightmare with them, I think of it as Sister Ray set in a 1980's Sheffield underpass. Angular = A sense of place.
Woodbine - 'Mound Of Venus'
This record was the first time I became aware of Domino Records and what a brilliant label it is. To sign a band this sparse and uncommercial really made an impression on me. It's lovely, smoky, lo-fi, weird and very nearly almost pop music. Angular = Unusual
Baader Meinhof - 'There's Gonna Be An Accident'
Baader Meinhof is without doubt Luke Haine's finest endeavour to date. I love every track on this terrorist concept album, but I especially like any song that contains the 'superstition' riff and the line “you're going home in a fucking ambulance”. Classic. Angular = Ridiculous/Genius
Wire - 'Map Reference 41°N 93°W'
About the time we started Angular in 2003 I became obsessed with the idea of pop songs being not about love, but about geography. This is surely the finest geographical pop song ever written, and by extension the best song in the world. Angular = Humanities and field trips.
The Magnetic Fielsd - 'Epitaph For My Heart'
Opening a song with the safety instructions from a Corby trouser press gets my vote. In the unlikely circumstance I was forced to nominate a favourite track from 69 Love Songs this would be it. Erudite, funny, melodic and not a hint of ugly 'authenticity'. For me, The Magnetic Fields mean that Angular = Social Constructionist.
Delta 5 - 'Mind Your Own Business'
The only acceptable guitar solo ever. This song is brilliant by virtue of being the opposite of virtuoso. I love every second of this. Angular = DIY.
The Go-Betweens - 'You Can't Say No Forever'
This is the Go-Betweens at their most extravagantly pop. Is Robert Forster almost breaking into a rap? Obtuse, poetic, and not even a single. Like all Go Betweens songs this one is filled with optimism. The title says it all. Angular = Good vibes.
The Triffids - 'Kathy Knows'
Recorded in an abandoned sheep shed in the Australian outback, the session budget for this album is shown in the sleeve. I think they spent more on alcohol than food. Good drum fill 57 seconds in. The Go-Betweens' arch rivals in mid 80's London. The Triffids are excellent once you get past the earnestness, you realise they are hilarious. Angular = Recorded in a shed.
Angular Joe D's Spotify playlist:
In compiling this list of 'influences' I decided to trace my mind back to the musical headspace I was occupying when we started the label in 2003. Blur were still my favourite band and I excitedly collected old punk and post punk 7" records from charity shops. I was also in a phase of 80s pop songs and one-hit-wonders. The label began after we read Bill Drummond's books and saw the film 24 Hour Party People, so I've reflected these things in the list as well.
Blur - 'Popscene'
When I was 15 I used to come home from school and watch Blur's 1992 tour film Starshaped every single day. This song was one of my favourites but it isn't on any album so I could only watch it on that video. This version was recorded at John Peel's house.
The Undertones - 'True Confessions'
This is the B-side to Teenage Kicks. I was really into this song in 2003 and always played it if I DJ'ed.
Twisted Charm - 'London Scene'
"A&R people on the guestlist instead of friends, Yeah right..!" When we first started we got bands to sign things that said 'This contract is not worth the paper it's written on' and were generally a bit rude when we met other people in the music business. This line reminds me of that. We put Twisted Charm on at our Angular Disco clubnight in New Cross, they were exciting and had a saxophone like Essential Logic who would be on this list if Spotify were more up on their post-punk.
Fun Boy Free - 'Really Saying Something' (Velvettes cover)
Terry Hall in dungarees, and three girls who can't sing or dance very well. Amazing. I met Siobhan Fahey at a party once and got her to sing 'Cruel Summer' and 'Robert De Niro's Waiting'. Embarrassing.
Del Shannon - 'Runaway'
Bill Drummond theorises in his book _45_ that this is the best song ever. I think he's right.
Happy Mondays - 'Wrote For Luck'
In 24 Hour Party People, Tony Wilson theorises that Shaun Ryder is the best poet since W.B. Yeats, and that in time he would come to be regarded to be a genius on a par with Mozart. I don't know if that's true but this song sounds much better at 6am than Yeats or Mozart.
Cyndi Lauper - 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'
This perfectly captures what I like about 80s pop music, unabashed hedonistic exuberance and funny sounding keyboards. Could have chosen 'Kids In America', 'Japanese Boy', or 'Into The Groove' too.
Swell Maps - 'Read About Seymour'
When I was at Goldsmiths I used to sit in my halls of residence and play along to this song on the guitar a lot. It has a great spastic energy and is easy to play, and made me think I could be in a band.
Dexys Midnight Runners - 'Thankfully Not Living In Yorkshire It Doesn't Apply'
Young Soul Rebels indeed. Audacious falsetto. It's one of Dexy's many great songs about 'getting out'. I used to listen to the whole album everyday on my way home from charity fundraising.