10 Years Of Drowned In Sound: A Spotify Playlist
, October 1st, 2010 08:13
DiS is officially ten years old. Editor Sean Adams provides us with a Spotify Playlist
Today marks ten years since a site with blue bubbles appeared on the internet. Them fine chaps from The Quietus thought perhaps I could sum up what our past 10 years sounded like, with a mixtape. Of course, as the site's founder this should be easy but it's also utterly impossible because Drowned in Sound is less some party-line toeing defined brand and more like an aggregator of human opinions in both its editorial and community. A few things rise to the top of the pile come year-end list time but really, this is just a personal selection of songs that helped me on the bad days, got me dancing on my best days and/or distilled the frustration I was feeling, shook it up and sprayed it in my general direction.
The frustration which led me to starting my email fanzine (The Last Resort) that preceded DiS was partly the death throes of Melody Maker. Its eventual loss led to heaps of people giving up their dreams of writing for it and asking if they could contribute to what I was doing. We grabbed some beverages at Reading Festival, and chatted on ICQ, and decided we should start a 'proper' website, with forums and links to mp3s.
Atop of this, there was my frustration with the music industry machine, snake-oiling the media and driving the cogs that got me as far as a record store till to buy a record. Disappointment followed disappointment and yet the things I found myself, via Napster exploring or mixtapes from friends, led me to discovering bands I loved which were being slagged off. This whole charade of "best new band in the world" repeatedly showed those established bods driving the cogs to be at odds with spitting quality out the other end of The Man's sausage machine. That atrocity of "Terris will save music" on the cover of NME, was the last straw come rally call, possibly much more than anyone realised at the time. Whatever it was, I was young but I wasn't alone in my desire to share some words about the music I was passionate about. Fans were excited. There was At the Drive-in's Relationship of Command and Queens of the Stone Age's Rated R which dropped in early 2000, amid a media-storm about Kid A. The web had come of age, a domain was registered, a tech wizard was found and the energy of twenty of so music fans was unleashed (and un-sub-edited).
Fast forward a few years and the combination of exploring music on MySpace and services like Blogger and Wordpress let loose a second wave of music fans and what traditional mags still do and what DiS does perhaps seems somewhat quaint in these hyper-accelerated times. But for a few years we were the pioneers, dog-fighting with the dinosaurs via our dial-up connections and championing a new generation of alt-pop artists like Bloc Party and The Darkness, a year or so before they disrupted the pre-iTunes charts.
Then there was the "sod this"-ness of DiS, which led me to setting up DiS Records to release the acts I was loving that most A&R chaps were turning their noses up at, like Kaiser Chiefs, Bat for Lashes, Emmy the Great and Martha Wainwright. I wasn't alone in this desire to put my purse where my passionate prose were, and former staff went on to set-up Fear & Records, No Pain In Pop and various other labels, with legacies already forming. Others went into management or writing for magazines or became teachers or continue to contribute to the site to this day.
When I put together this playlist I wanted to share some glimmers of the spirit that juts from our world of music on a daily basis, in our reviews and discussions on our boards. I also attempted to capture the sprawling moment in time when artists played with technology and the new possibilities for creating as well as consuming music. Above all, this was an attempt to compile something that coheres and hopefully introduces Quietus' readers to a few things they might not know, alongside a few things you may already find collecting dust on a nearby shelf.
No Age 'Loosen This Job'**
"Why are there so many records in my life?" we've all been there. Dean and Randy have enough spirit to derail this entire playlist. Alongside HEALTH, they gave LA a trobbing heart and made the whole Brooklyn-is-the-centre-of-the-music-world nonsense seem ever more ridiculous. They're our live band of the decade and will be playing two of our birthday parties, one of which is on a roller skate rink in Sheffield. Next week, they will be editing DiS, writing pieces about being vegan and giving us a guide to their home city.
Patrick Wolf - 'A Boy Like Me'
Lycanthropy sucked in Kate Bush and the Planet Mu back catalogue and jostled it around, added static glitches into its digital grooves and went wherever Patrick's imagination wanted to go. Truer artists are hard to find.
The Kills - 'No Wow'
Hipsters? The way some people wrote this band off in favour of new flavours of the moment was ridiculous.
Errors - 'Mr. Milk'
Amid a sea of low-rank yanks, Glasgow grew some disco balls.
The Rapture - 'I Need Your Love'
DFA have released some of the defining records of the past decade but for some reason The Rapture were massively over-looked come the end of the decade list toss-fest.
Panda Bear - 'Good Girl/Carrots'
Animal Collective often seems compromised when you hear what they get upto on their own.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - 'We Call Upon The Author'
“Who is this great burdensome slavering dog-thing that mediocres my every thought? I feel like a vacuum cleaner, a complete sucker, it's fucked up and he is a fuckerBut what an enormous and encyclopedic brainI call upon the author to explain”
Bright Eyes - 'When The President Talks To God'
Derided for his emo tendencies but adored by the likes of me for the very same reason. This was an off-cut between albums that offered a rare voice of opposition to war on American television.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - 'Cheated Hearts'
Also celebrating their 10th Birthday.
Blood Red Shoes - 'It's Getting Boring By The Sea'
From the ashes of Cat on Form and Ladymuck came a side-project with a singing drummer and guitarist who likes the sound of Herculean helicopters landing. The pair of them have built a fanbase across Europe since releasing one of their early singles via DiS and are one of the least likely but most deserving day-time Radio1 bands of recent times. We love 'em and they're DJing a special set of grunge-favourites for our birthday on Thursday 7th Oct at the Barfly, following their sold-out show at the Electric Ballroom.
Liars - 'Mr Your On Fire Mr'
See also: No Age, above.
Colder - 'Losing Myself'
Whilst it would have been obvious to have included something off of Interpol's debut, it would also have left Colder's similarly darkened take on rock'n'roll languishing far from the acclaim they deserve. One of those records you discover by accident and keep telling people they really should check out.
Bat For Lashes - 'The Wizard'
She's currently making her third album with Beck but this was the debut single I released that kicked things off.
The Stills - 'Allison Krausse'
"She lied, said she was a virgin, I asked her which, which version..."
Explosions In The Sky - 'Magic Hours'
Tom Cruise may be big on Sigur Ros but I was saw Stephen Fry tweet that he's an EITS fan.
PJ Harvey - 'The Slow Drug'
Polly can do no wrong, ever.
Electrelane - 'Film Music'
Our first ever album of the year. Technically they shared the top spot with The Strokes. Yawn.
M83 - 'Teen Angst'
Dear France, you win at music. Please take the next 10 years off. Thank you.
Postal Service - 'Natural Disaster'
The OC and a general sweetness put a lot of people off of this, one of Sub Pop's biggest selling albums of all-time. Always nice to go back to it, remembering the olden days of blog-rock, and that it wasn't all cheesy lyrics.
The Emeralds - 'Candy Shoppe'
A track from our contender for album of the year 2010.
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