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Music Of The Month: Things We've Loved This July
Christian Eede , July 26th, 2019 09:12

Once again, tQ's office team lines up to pick out some of our favourite albums, EPs and tracks from the month that was July

Illustration by Lisa Cradduck

Earlier this month, we took a look over some of the best albums of the year so far for the first half of 2019, sprinkling in a small helping of reissues, EPs and soundtrack records alongside the usual run of artist albums that were on heavy rotation in tQ's office between January and June. You can check back over that feature here.

With yet another month having passed putting us past the halfway mark for 2019 and well into the summer month, it's now time to look back over some of our favourite music for July, voted for as ever by tQ's office team of John Doran, Luke Turner, Patrick Clarke, Bobby Barry and myself, Christian Eede.

As ever with these round-ups, you can find a selection of our favourite EPs and albums from the month followed by some of the month's best standalone tracks. Amongst the picks are Bobby Krlic's gripping soundtrack for recent Ari Aster film Midsommar, an entrancing EP from Ostgut Ton affiliate Barker and the raw urgency of one our latest Lead Review picks by LINGUA IGNOTA.

Keep reading below for the full list of picks.

Albums / EPs Of The Month

Mega Bog - Dolphine

It is ten years and five albums late - and on the promise that I will be met at the door by ‘a Pacific Northwestern rodeo child with an unmistakable laugh, who was allegedly cursed upon conception’- that I arrive at the Mega Bog party. And I realise pretty quickly that I’ll be staying, for from all the squelch and grot of Erin Birgy’s moniker springs, like a dolphin from a puddle or rose from a toilet bowl, the miraculous Dolphine: 36 minutes and 36 seconds of shimmering dirges which could just as easily soundtrack ancient woodland or the night sky as the deepest imaginable depths of the sea Diva Harris - read the full review here

Rainbow Grave - No You

Listen to the music that's supposed to be defining our cultural moment in time. Expensively choreographed pop video collaborations with all of the subtlety of a PCP-enhanced Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on Peter Stringfellow's dying inner monologue; the return of actual Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals to prominence; The Killers headlining Glastonbury; Snow Patrol crowned the undisputed kings of the airwaves; Ed Sheeran's hip hop album.

Black Country sludge punks Rainbow Grave - a slovenly and insolent bunch of drunkards, habitués of the park bench who are, no doubt, one step away from the dole queue - are not exactly the antidote to all of this sonic misery so much as the final insult. Lemmy once memorably claimed of his band Motorhead: "If we moved in next door to you, your lawn would die." Well imagine Rainbow Grave, today, as we stride blithely past the irreversible tipping point into ecological Armageddon with all of mankind teetering on the brink of extinction, moving into the same house and then taking a massive daylight shit on the very same lawn just before the whole property collapses down a mineshaft. That should give you some indication as to what No You sounds like. Listen to Rainbow Grave. Because you're not worth it.
John Doran

Deontic Miracle - Selections From 100 Models of Hegikan Roku

Selections from 100 Models of Hegikan Roku is an essential record; it is a marvel that we can finally hear what happened that night in Stockholm, under conditions as ideal as they ever were for long-form sonic exploration. Remember, as Brouwer wrote, that “right through the walls of causality ‘miracles’ glide and flow continually, visible only to the free, the enlightened.” Hennix and her compatriots enlighten. Canada Choate - read the full review here

Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak - Midsommar OST

When it comes to folk horror soundtracks, Midsommar – like many modern folk horror films – doesn’t follow in any obvious way, the legacy of its forebears. Like 1973’s The Wicker Man, Krlic’s music makes use of diegetic folk singing but it’s nothing like the bucolic, folk jollies of Paul Giovanni’s imagination. And while it has the compositional finesse of scores like Luboš Fišer’s Valerie and her Week of Wonders and Mark Wilkinson’s Blood on Satan’s Claw, it sounds nothing like either. Lara C Cory - read the full review here

Richard Sanderson - Compass Rose

Three long tracks of amplified and variously mangled melodeon sounds from Linear Obsessional Recordings founder Richard Sanderson, Improvised live to tape at Iklecktik arts lab and Brighton Road Studios. Here the trills of English folk are distorted and deconstructed into a curiously heavy hybrid, evoking the terrifying image of Tony Conrad, AMM, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe all merrily morris dancing together bearing foamy goblets of real ale. Amidst the current vogue for avant-garde organ takes (see Ellen Arkbro, Aine O'Dwyer, Kit Downes and Tom Challenger), Compass Rose take a similar sound palette and delivers something far more intimate, far crumblier in texture, still teeming with space and rich with resonance. A gnarly, psychedelic thing. A bruised landscape of sound. Bobby Barry

LINGUA IGNOTA - CALIGULA

CALIGULA is an urgent and ferocious record, almost unbearable to listen to for its raw physicality. Each track is a multiply determined catalogue of violence against women to rival the gynocidal thesis notes of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character in Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist. From start to finish, this album feels like an exposed wound, freshly – you might almost say studiously – picked and mastered to tape. It is an album of baroque intensity and gothic flamboyance played out like one long cathartic scream. Like an onion, it offers up layer after layer to slowly unpeel, each one a potential incitement to the very bitterest tears. Bobby Barry - read the full review here

Pontiac Streator & Ulla Straus - 11 Items

Huerco S' West Mineral Ltd. label has been a reliable source of delightfully psychedelic ambient and experimental electronic music since its launch last year thanks to record from himself (as Pendant) as well as regular collaborators Exael and uon. Two other key collaborators to West Mineral Ltd' are Pontiac Streator and Ulla Straus who first made their mark on the label with last year's four-tracker Chat.

11 Items, their debut album together, delights in many similar ways to that record. Taking a somewhat freeform approach, the pair weave together various mesmeric loops to create a series of submerged soundscapes of percussion, synths and barely-intelligible vocals. 'Item 2', an early highlight, is underpinned by system-rattling sub bass while 'Item 5' comes the closest to danceable that the record gets, centring around a repeated, heavily-warped vocal sample of "I just... okay". Most importantly, as with much of the music that finds its way out through West Mineral Ltd., 11 Items is made up of ambient music that demands attention rather than retreating into the background. Christian Eede

Barker - BARKER001

Already a familiar name to many as a Berghain resident and co-founder of the Leisure System label, Sam Barker stepped out last year for his first solo outing on Ostgut Ton with Debiasing. The four-tracker saw him craft a record of richly melodic club cuts that garnered heavy rotation from a number of house and techno's finest DJs, but chiefly saw the producer eschew one of techno's key conventions, the kick drum. It made for one of 2018's best records and with his debut solo album for Ostgut Ton, Utility, due in September and set to see him build on the ideas explored on that EP, there's more to come.

BARKER001 is a precursor to that album, released by Ostgut Ton as a vinyl-only white label to give a home to three cuts that didn't quite fit in with the rest of the forthcoming LP. Announcing the record last month, the producer joked "there's a shitload of kick drums on the A-side btw, sorry about that". The first of those, 'Neuron Collider', slowly whirs to life in a fit of metallic percussion before being anchored by a subtly enchanting synth line just short of the three-minute mark. 'Kickboxing', completing the A-side, does away with melody entirely. Centred around an almost jacking percussive groove, it's sure to be a strong tool in the sets of numerous DJs. Best of all is 'Maximum Utility' which occupies the entirety of the B-side and finds Barker returning to the sound that made Debiasing such a winning prospect. Sitting at the 140-BPM mark, its rapid-fire arpeggios and ecstasy-filled modular synth lines rise and fall across its near-eight-minute runtime with stunning results. Christian Eede

Tracks Of The Month

Nadia Rose - 'Skwod'

Stormzy's cousin here delivers exactly the kind of fun, sassy, poppy grime single that once made the likes of Lady Sovereign such an irresistible prospect when she first broke onto the scene a decade and a half ago. An anthem to female friendship, blessed with the winning line, "I'm fuckin' higher than a block of flats in Battersea".

Jenny Hval - 'Ashes to Ashes'

The first taste of Jenny Hval's new LP, The Practice Of Love, is every ounce as gorgeous and sublime as last year's incredible Spells EP.

One True Pairing - 'I'm Not Afraid'

Post-Wild Beasts, the second single from Tom Fleming's new project One True Pairing shows off a terrific blend of melancholy power pop.

Antoine Souchav - 'The Complete 555 Domenico Scarlatti Harpsichord Sonatas - ALL AT THE SAME TIME'

If you've ever wanted to be able to listen to every single harpsichord sonata by baroque master Domenico Scarlatti, now's your chance. All five hundred and fifty-five of them - at once. An absolute waterfall of sound, simultaneously very silly and utterly sublime.

DJ Bogdan - 'Love Inna Basement (Midnite XTC)'

Announcing his ubiquitous club hit 'Theme From Q' back in 2017, Objekt touched on its inspiration, an apparent anthem of the now-closed Berlin club Basement Q produced by its owner DJ Bogdan. Now that track and this rave-indebted variation of it have emerged in apparent 'reissued' form. We'll leave you to work out DJ Bogdan's identity.

Oli XL - 'Clumsy'

The lead track from Oli XL's debut album, Rogue Intruder, Soul Enhancer, 'Clumsy' is a barebones deep-dive into gorgeous melodies and android vocals.

Alexander Tucker - 'Energy Alphas'

Alexander Tucker, a future guest at our Quietus Social event, introduces his forthcoming album with this track which references a series of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft that saw the writer focus on an alternate dimension that could only be entered in dreams

William Doyle - 'Nobody Else Will Tell You'

"Nobody Else Will Tell You' became about the exploration of your residential surroundings and affording them the same kind of curiosity and wonder that a woodland or a mountain range is meant to inspire within you," the artist formerly known as East India Youth has said of this precursor to his forthcoming, as-yet untitled album.

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