Quietus Reissues, Mixes & Compilations Of The Year So Far

We're halfway through the year, so here's a recap of the anthologies, mix tapes and repackaged gems that have been rinsed on the Quietus stereo

As was the case with our albums of the year so far list that we published last week, our round-up of the best reissues and compilations released between January and June is packed full of more treats than you’ll find in a sweaty disco darkroom. We’ve even expanded the remit to include mixes, both to cover our own series on Mixcloud, and also to recognise those being published on Resident Advisor and FACT. In a time of information overload about artists, these mixes allow them to express their influences, interests and passions in a very different way. So from the reasserting of the brilliance of Suede, a farewell to LCD Soundsystem, the birth of Benin’s Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, Paul McCartney’s finest moment, to the brilliant Waka Flocka Flame (released in the US last year), and something from The Fall, you can see our list below. And with the likes of Throbbing Gristle back catalogue reissue to come, the rest of 2011 promises to be just as strong.

Essential old man support work carried out by Rory Gibb

30. Blank Dogs – Collected By Itself 2006 – 2011

Although defiantly scratchy, Brooklyn’s Blank Dogs hark back to the fertile San Franciscan scene of ten years ago (Numbers, Erase Errata) rather than the light fuzz of their citymates, or garage-inspired drawl of Vivian Girls et al. This wonky compilation of material over five years sounds like all the darker Manchester groups of post punk put in a blender, and poured over ice.

29. Pentagram – Be Forewarned

"Be Forewarned is an incredible piece of history that should never be forgotten as it was a relevant stab at a second chance in the spotlight for the original Death Row line up to shine above all others in the fledgeling Doom Metal genre… This album only gets heavier with each listen!" Joe Hasselvander

More on Pentagram reissues at Svart Records

Watch the Quietus for more on Pentagram over the coming months

28. Various Artists – Watch The Closing Doors: A History Of New York’s Musical Melting Pot Vol. 1: 1945 – 1959

"Since the mid-1960s, I’ve had an unshakeable fascination for New York City which has taken on different aspects over the years. At first, it was through hearing the Velvet Underground at the age of 13 and, not being at all familiar with who they were and what they were singing about, itching to find out more. Place names like Lexington and 125 and Union Square sounded exotic and dangerous. Next it was the Fugs painting their ribald picture of Lower East Side hippie-activist life, which led to the ESP label and Sun Ra then free jazz, tempered by Greenwich Village folk singers. The New York Dolls and all who sailed with them in the 70s put the lid on it, along with Kojak. By the time the CBGBs movement invaded the UK, I was bursting to go there, further stoked by disco, hip hop, electro and tapes of New York’s pioneering radio stations circulating around London in the early 80s, treated like gold dust by me and fellow conspirators Alex Paterson and Youth. It was unbearable!" Kris Needs

More on the Watch The Closing Doors Series here

Click here to read our interview with Kris Needs

27. Paul McCartney – McCartney II

"McCartney II arrived at number one in the UK charts and Wings began their slow descent to ground. Though McCartney had greater financial success from his time with Wings than in all his time with The Beatles, he still desired Scotland’s ground beneath his feet, because Scotland represented the opportunity and freedom to record without structure. The technology available at the time meant that McCartney II would become an altogether more experimental work; one that would incorporate synthesisers and a sense of galloping adventure. After all, for a man who had conquered the charts, what did he have to lose? What did McCartney have to prove?" Ash Akhtar

Click here to read our interview with Paul McCartney

26. Queens Of The Stone Age – Queens Of The Stone Age

"Early fans of the band that already own the album will want to pick up the new version for the warmer and thicker twin guitars that drive the record. Mercifully, Gardner was not drafted into the loudness war, and keeps the overall volume similar to the original and has selected to carefully boost the thin, upper-mid frequencies whilst retaining many of the original analogue dynamics resulting in an altogether punchier sound. Of the three bonus tracks presented here: ‘The Bronze’ takes the form of a late night trip through the desert ripped on acid; ‘These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For’ is a chaotic instrumental featuring spacious signature dropped snares; and the dusty tramp of ‘Spiders and Vinegaroons’ is reminiscent of the early Desert Sessions records and all three are worthy of inclusion. If that isn’t a rarity for re-released packages with exclusive bonus material, I don’t know what is." Ash Akhtar

Click here to read our review of Queens of the Stone Age

25. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou – The First Album

"Founded way back in 1966, the Orchestre’s heyday saw them release over 50 albums that partnered thousands of performances in the clubs and bars of Benin, where they occasionally shared a stage with Fela Kuti. A Marxist-Leninist government and the deaths of two key members in the early 80s spelled the end. But such a remarkable and prolific group was unlikely to remain undiscovered for too long, and soon their work came to the attention of the Analog Africa label, who released a series of compilations (and this month reissue their 1973 debut LP)." Luke Turner

Click here to read our interview with Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou

24. FabricLive 56 – Pearson Sound/Ramadanman

"It’s all very much live mixing, no time stretching or auto beat matching. It’s a bit of a retrospective of some of my favourite music from 2010, and is representative of a set I would play in a club. Even though I don’t play much stuff at 140bpm these days, I always like to end up at that tempo as that is the music that got me to where I am, and tracks like Sub Zero by D1 are very powerful for me because they remind me of spending time at FWD in 2006, which was so formative." David Kennedy

Click here to read our feature on Fabric’s first 100 releases

23. Queen – News Of The World

"1. Now it came to pass, in the seventh year of Queen, that they released their finest album.

  1. And from that moment on when the children of the Tribes Of America gathered to watch goat head football or the children of the Tribes Of Syria did gather to see a stoning, they would be accompanied by the sound of STOMP, STOMP, CLAP! STOMP, STOMP, CLAP! Which came to be known as ‘We Will Rock You’.
  1. And when the Gladiators killed yet another batch of hapless Christians in the amphitheatre they did sing ‘We Are The Champions’. But it was a very hollow and deeply unpleasant rendition.
  1. And one of the most apocryphal sounding meetings of the 1970s (but actually true) did lead to one of Queen’s finest moments.

For it came to pass that Sid Vicious, high priest to all oafs, did harangue Dear Freddie thus, “Still bringing ballet to the masses?” Only to be told, “One tries one’s hardest, Mr Ferocious.”

  1. This spiritual victory was then made physical by the recording of their superior and fabulously harmonised ‘punk’ song ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ whose drum roll, ironically, expertly mimics the sound one hears while undergoing a fatal, cocaine induced cardiac arrest.
  1. And lo, Queen quite fancied a dance and not caring a jot what anyone else thought, they revelled in both disco rock (‘Fight From The Inside’) and funk (‘Get Down Make Love’).
  1. And also in contention for album highlight was ‘It’s Late’, featuring a riff that would equal most from AC/DC’s catalogue, some (then) revolutionary finger tapping from Brian May and Freddie treating the last chance of the evening to pull with the same kind of enthusiasm that Cecil B. DeMille usually reserved for the onscreen deployment of biblical plagues." John Doran

Click here to read The Authorized King James Bible interpretation of Queen’s back catalogue

22. Waka Flocka Flame – Flockavelli

"The first time you listen to Waka Flocka Flame you think he’s angry. Listen again and you realise he’s not; he’s just someone who loves being aggressive. Obnoxious. Loud. Extrovert. I’m sure you could call Waka, born Juaquin James Malphurs in Queens, New York 24 years ago, any of those words and he wouldn’t mind so much. They each imply a projection out from a person, whereas when you call someone ‘angry’ you can’t help putting across the idea that they’re in some way subservient to the situation they find themselves in. Things ‘make’ people angry. There’s a pity implicit there that Whttp://thequietus.com/admin/articles/06540-quietus-reissues-mixes-compilations-of-2011/editaka Flocka Flame might deserve, but that he in no way seems to be looking for." Kev Kharas

Read the rest of Kev Kharas’ interview with WFF in The Stool Pigeon here

21. Tandy Love – Turk Jerk (Anatolian Anagrams)

"Tandy Love’s Anagram Jam sequel "Turk Jerk" AKA Anatolian Anagrams. Features 13 tracks of "Marmalised and De-Pipped" obscure-as-hell Turk-ish psych funk disco punk and cosmic floor fillers and mind benders." Finders Keepers bio

Read our comprehensive feature on Finders Keepers here

20. LCD Soundsystem – The London Sessions

"I’m obsessed with how bands should perform live. I don’t like the easy way out. I like sound and power. I will go on stage and play a song that we have never played together as a band but I will not go on stage if our monitors aren’t right. I’m concerned with having a physical experience and having the band feel the power of what we’re playing sonically, and trusting that the audience will either like that or not. Try to be thoughtful and concerned but don’t pander. Sometimes when people get into being professional it’s pandering — it’s a fear-based performance where you’re trying not to fuck up and not to be judged or fail. Whereas I don’t care. I’d love to fail and be judged and crash and burn. I’m not like, ‘We don’t care about you, we’re here for ourselves.’ But I also don’t want to be like, [sings] ‘I’m performing and making faces for you.’ I want to stab them. I’m not a fucking four-year-old! Do your best! I want to watch you do your best and experience that as much as possible. As a band that’s the argument." James Murphy to Dorian Lynskey

Click here to read our interview with James Murphy

19. Resident Advisor RA 255 Podcast – Lucy

"Lucy: producer, DJ, founder of Stroboscopic Artefacts. That’s probably how you know him. But there’s also Luca Mortellaro, a published author, experimental sound designer, and the man behind the Lucy moniker. There’s no doubt that the two are linked, but it’s certainly the hidden facets of Luca Mortellaro that are responsible for the dynamic output of Lucy. In 2005 Lucy left his native Italy for Paris. In search of romance? Perhaps. The fact that the very first demo he ever sent was noticed by James Holden and that he’s now releasing on Luke Slater’s Mote Evolver, makes Lucy’s story more than romantic, it’s fit for the silver screen." Resident Advisor bio

Read more of Lucy’s biography at Resident Advisor

This excellent podcast is now archived but watch out for more on Lucy/Stroboscopic on The Quietus coming soon

18. African Headcharge – Off The Beaten Track

"African Head Charge… was a studio name I had to start with, and it evolved into a band about eight years later. That started out [when] I read an interview in a newspaper where Brian Eno talked about [how] he’d made an album called My Life In the Bush Of Ghosts with another musician – that Talking Heads fellow [David Byrne] – and he said ‘I had a vision of a psychedelic Africa’. And I thought, ‘Oh, that’s pretentious.’ But then I thought about it, and thought ‘No, what a good idea! Make really trippy African dub’. From that day to this day, people really are scared of African music. You don’t hear loads of mental African drums in conjunction with big fat b-lines, do you? And I think it sounds great, with the hi-life guitars. So I entered that area and I used Bonjo, who’d been in Creation Rebel and is a great percussionist. I built the thing around his percussion playing and the idea of making some really spaced out African dub. That was the idea of it." Adrian Sherwood to Melissa Bradshaw

Click here to read our interview with Adrian Sherwood

17. Mercury Rev – Deserter’s Songs

"After See You On The Other Side we went through a giant sea change in the way we viewed what was going on. With the group, it was the way we interacted with each other, but most of all the way we interacted with life, personally. In the period after See You On The Other Side and before Deserter’s Songs there was a total dissolve of self, and I think in part that is where the record began, in that dissolving of everything. When we began it we didn’t have a manager, a label or a lawyer, everything had completely ground to a halt. I don’t know exactly how it all began again, when the bubble began to go again, or what sparked it, but something did. I can remember it was down to just… darkness." Jonathan Donahue to Luke Turner

Click here to read our interview with Mercury Rev

16. FACT mix 212 – Âme

"Âme have been in our lives since 2003, and have proven to be among the most quietly influential dance music producers of their generation, their early work heralding, and even inspiring, a whole new wave of artists refashioning and recombining Detroit techno and deep house tropes according to cutting edge production techniques." FACT magazine bio

Read more about Âme at FACT magazine

The mix is currently archived for download but you can listen to it on Mixcloud here

15. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Let Love In

"While picking up where Henry’s Dream left off, 1994’s Let Love In finds Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds finally grasping and mastering the sound they’d been striving to achieve since1986’s Your Funeral, My Trial. Defining a new vernacular in rock music, the band’s eighth album not only paints from broad brush strokes that saw them tackling a number of wide ranging styles – the demented lust of ‘Loverman’ and ‘Do You Love Me?’, the heartfelt yet pained balladry of ‘Nobody’s Baby’, the speaker-shredding intensity of ‘Jangling Jack’ and ‘Thirsty Dog’ – but, as evidenced by the chilling intensity of ‘Do You Love Me? (Part 2)’ also a subtlety that reveals great thought, empathy and sensitivity. As much a summation of what had gone on before, Let Love In stands as a culmination of a decade’s work." Julian Marszalek

Click here to read our review of Let Love In

14. Various Artists – Hessle Audio: 116 & Rising

"We started the label when me and Kev were in our final year of university and Dave was in his first. Me and Kev moved away from Leeds and Dave stayed up there. So it’s always been, you know, get together when we can, talk about things when we can. A lot of it’s been through email. It doesn’t feel more fragmented than it did at the beginning. The one thing that seems to have changed it that it’s a lot less easy to make considered decisions now. It’s been really good having the three of us, because we’ve avoided some mistakes – there were tunes would could have put out that one person wasn’t feeling, and it’s almost always been the right call." Ben UFO to Angus Finlayson

Click here to read our interview with Ben UFO

13. Neurosis – Enemy Of The Sun

"Fleeting temptation to describe this album as "ahead of its time" is tempered by wondering when, exactly, might constitute Enemy Of The Sun’s most fitting ‘time’. While they’d made another evolutionary step with the ragged metal wasteland rage of Souls At Zero (1992), Enemy… sounded like a nightmare no shrink could have pinned down. It barely sounded like Neurosis, or at any rate their discography to date – they would go on to handstamp this sound, but at the time few could have predicted this black hole of agonizingly precise metal riffs, unnerving backmasking, industrial folkisms and extensive sampling. Swans, Godflesh, Celtic Frost and Current 93 are progenitors of the eight songs here, to an extent, but that’s a long way from the whole picture." Noel Gardner

Click here to read our review of Enemy Of The Sun

12. Jane Weaver – The Watchbird Alluminate

"The new record is like a ‘Chinese Whispers’ version of my last album The Fallen By Watch Bird. On the initial record I worked with primarily female musicians who I knew – it was a slow process that spanned two years and I had strong visualisations as to what the songs looked like. I eventually pieced it together and it became a story each song being an event or a chapter. In the tradition of folk tales and fairy tales, I wanted to keep the story of The Fallen By Watch Bird alive. I love the idea of hand-me-down stories getting lost in translation, especially in cinema and badly translated televison. Firstly some friends interpreted the story and turned it into an animation, I’m currently working on releasing the story book version so Watchbird Alluminute is just another step to see how other people would interpret each scene." Jane Weaver to Ben Hewitt

Click here to read our interview with Jane Weaver

11. Various Artists – Cartagena! Curro Fuentes & The Big Band Cumbia And Descarga Sound Of Colombia 1962-72

"The SS Soundway once again sets sail for warmer climes, dropping anchor at the tropical coast of South America or in the harbour of titular Colombian town of Cartagena to be precise. This compilation focuses on the family run Disco Fuentes label which was established in the 1940s and still operates to this day and rich 1960s it enjoyed. This extremely dancefloor friendly selection of 19 tracks comes from a period in the label’s history when it was rejecting the supposed sophistication of European fashions and mixing cumbia, salsa, porro and fandango with traditional Afro-Caribbean and big band styles. These tracks may be cocktail hour smooth but there are furious timbale monstering rhythms powering the whole shebang. An effortlessly suave compilation." John Doran writing in The Stool Pigeon paper

10. Autechre – EPs 1991 – 2002

"There’s an in-joke at Warp’s graphic affiliates The Designer’s Republic. Apparently they always say that Autechre have claimed that the next album is going to be much more hip-hop orientated. The influence of this genre can be heard faintly across this compilation and with most clarity on ‘Goz Quarter’ from 1997’s Envane EP, with its clipped and sterile electro break providing a rigid framework for a distant maelstrom of effects scratched in on turntables and a sinister sample from the Dr Octagon track ‘No Awareness’. But really the presence of (old school) hip-hop and electro is felt in the pair’s real time manipulation of beats and loops in the way that they create a certain manufactured sloppiness, a willfulness, a berserkness, a rawness that dissociates them from most other techno or electronica producers. And that’s something that still holds true now more than ever. Contrasted to the conservative times we live in, some of this music sounds even more shocking now than it did when it came out." John Doran

Click here to read our review of EPs 1991 – 2002

9. Scritti Politti – Absolute

"There was an unwritten rule when I was a kid. Icons and pop stars could never be Welsh. Growing up in drizzly, grey old Newport, I used to look to Manchester, to London, to the States – anywhere outside of my immediate environment really… In April ’84, ‘Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)’ crackled over airwaves from Anglesey to Arizona like an alien radio transmission beamed out to an unsuspecting planet. A gleaming, chromium nugget molded by ultra-modernist studioheads, it heralded in three and a half minutes the dramatic, bravura transformation of a band called Scritti Politti. Formerly a DIY squat punk band, they were now a group doused in glinting pop sheen. Knowing little of their past, there was a single fact that mind-boggled me. That was that the band’s frontman – Green Gartside, six foot something with impossible hair – hailed from my hometown." Robin Turner

Click here to read our interview with Green Gartside

8. Various Artists – Disco Discharge: Disco Fever USA

"I was a kid in the 1970s so I used to buy disco 7”s and the great compilation albums on Ronco and K-Tel. My real introduction was when I met my boyfriend (Steve Matthews) in the mid-80s. He’d been on the scene a bit longer than me. It’s quite clear that disco has come back into favour over the last four or five years, especially with the whole re-edit culture that’s sprung up. It was out of favour for quite a while but that’s not the case now. Horsemeat Disco has really helped pave the way for this kind of thing. Hopefully it will continue like this as well." Mr Pinks of Disco Discharge to John Doran

Click here to read our interview with Mr Pinks of Disco Discharge

7. Suede – Dog Man Star

"Dog Man Star [was] just such a perfectly made and sequenced album, even if Suede casually spunked away ‘Killing Of A Flashboy’ and ‘The Living Dead’ (two of the best songs they ever wrote) on b-sides. Aesthetically it was perfect too – flicking through the booklet now I remember how the photograph of a topless woman in a cycle helmet raising her arms felt like something radical. In the notes Brett Anderson writes, ‘If I could choose to be remembered for just one musical document it would be this.’ Wise words: Dog Man Star is not only Suede’s greatest work, it’s also one of the best British albums of the 90s, and possibly beyond." Luke Turner

Click here to read our review of Dog Man Star

6. Mark McGuire – A Young Persons Guide

"A Young Persons Guide to Mark McGuire collects together some of this Emeralds members best works, previously released on a number of limited editions CDr and tape releases over the last 4 years. Although, only 24 years of age McGuire has racked up an impressive canon which most artists twice his age would have problems delivering. With his expert use of loops and layers, as well a superb ear for killer melody hooks, [this] makes AYPGTMM simply an essential collection." Editions Mego bio

5. Various Artists – Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque

"There isn’t a bad song on this album and the simple act of playing it feels like you are summoning better weather. An early highlight is ‘Je Ne Bois Pas Beaucoup’ by Les Ya Toupas Du Zaire, who are local heroes in Congolese terms. This track, recorded in Benin in the late 1970s, is a trance-like soukous or African rhumba with lilting guitars over skittering hi-hats and a rock-solid funk bass line. If you don’t already own this track you need to take immediate steps to rectify the matter; it will act as a very immediate example of why a lot of people consider Zaire to be the most influential country in terms of African music in general." John Doran

Click here to read our review of Sofrito

4. Quietus Mix 008 – Chris & Cosey

"Those who only know Chris and Cosey as members of TG might be surprised to take a journey through the vast back catalogue, much of which was created within these four walls. Their music moved away from austerity of their first group towards the glacial electronic pop heard on early records like Heartbeat or Exotica (both reissued on vinyl earlier this year). As Carter explains: "None of us went on to do anything remotely industrial. We’d burned ourselves out of it and we didn’t want it to sound like TG. We were going along with the flow, like we always do. It was exciting times for producing music electronically. We had no formal musical training, so it was an experiment, to see if we could come up with some songs and make it sound like we knew what we were doing." Chris Carter to Luke Turner

Click here to listen to Quietus Mix 008 by Chris & Cosey

3. Various Artists – 20 Fucking Years Of Planet E: We Ain’t Dead Yet

"What advice would I give to someone trying to start an independent record label in the 21st Century? Start a Sound Cloud account… Ha ha ha!" Carl Craig to John Doran

Click here to read our interview with Carl Craig

2. Demdike Stare – Tryptych

"Probably the best way to describe [Demdike Stare’s sound] is that the main rule we have when buying records is that we don’t stand still. We’re not allowed to dwell for too long on, or get too far into, one thing. We have to keep moving because it keeps it fresh, it keeps us enthusiastic – and I think it’s exactly the same with producing music. We don’t want to step backwards or stay in the same place. This year, now, we just want to go somewhere completely different." Miles Whittaker to Rory Gibb

Click here to read our interview with Demdike Stare

1. The Fall – This Nation’s Saving Grace

"At the end of the day, of course, it’s not a pop record it’s a Fall record and it’s not a Brix record it’s a Mark Edward Smith record. Listen to ‘I Am Damo Suzuki’… a song that marries the drum beat of one Can song (‘Oh Yeah’) to the bass line from another Can song (‘Don’t Turn The Light On, Leave Me Alone’) with lyrics replete with references to other Can songs (‘Vitamin C’ etc) and Can albums (Soundtracks etc), while he even repeatedly claims to be a member of Can. Has a song ever sounded more like The Fall though? Has a song ever sounded more like the work of Mark Smith? Talking about the song, Smith said: ‘Damo Suzuki and Can had a really big effect on me when I was younger. I met him in about 1989. He was a car salesman for Mitsubishi in Germany. He was telling me about the troubles he’d had over that decade but by then he’d ‘reformed’ himself. He thought the song was great but I think it was the group in general he liked.’" Mark E Smith to John Doran

Click here to read our feature on This Nation’s Saving Grace

The Quietus Reissues, Mixes and Compilations Of 2011 So Far


  1. The Fall – This Nation’s Saving Grace
  1. Demdike Stare – Tryptych
  1. Various Artists – 20 Fucking Years Of Planet E: We Ain’t Dead Yet
  1. Quietus Mix 008 – Chris & Cosey
  1. Various Artists – Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque
  1. Mark McGuire – A Young Persons Guide
  1. Suede – Dog Man Star
  1. Various Artists – Disco Discharge: Disco Fever USA
  1. Scritti Politti – Absolute
  1. Autechre – EPs 1991 – 2002
  1. Various Artists – Cartagena!
  1. Jane Weaver – The Watchbird Alluminate
  1. Neurosis – Enemy Of The Sun
  1. Various Artists – Hessle Audio: 116 & Rising
  1. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Let Love In
  1. FACT mix 212 – Âme
  1. Mercury Rev – Deserter’s Songs
  1. African Headcharge – Off The Beaten Track
  1. Resident Advisor RA 255 Podcast – Lucy
  1. LCD Soundsystem – The London Sessions
  1. Tandy Love – Turk Jerk (Anatolian Anagrams)
  1. Waka Flocka Flame – Flockavelli
  1. Queen – News Of The World
  1. FabricLive 56 – Pearson Sound/Ramadanman
  1. Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou – The First Album
  1. Queens Of The Stone Age – Queens Of The Stone Age
  1. Paul McCartney – McCartney II
  1. Various Artists – Watch The Closing Doors: A History Of New York’s Musical Melting Pot Vol. 1: 1945 – 1959
  1. Pentagram – Be Forewarned
  1. Blank Dogs – Collected By Itself 2006 – 2011

Also voted for: Various Artists – Before The Fall: 24 Prelapsarian Cuts!; Fusioon – Absolute Fusioon; Sonic Router Mix #90 – Teeth; Slayer – The Vinyl Conflict Box Set; Starship Africa – Creation Rebel; Doug Shipton Mix – Dedicated Swallower Of Fashion

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