Number 5. Spacelines: Sonic Sounds for Subterraneans
There are a good number of compilations that feature mixes of garage rock and some oddities; SEX, Andrew Weatherall’s Sci-Fi Lo-Fi mix, Cut Chemist has a couple out there but my favourite has got to be the one compiled by Spaceman 3’s Sonic Boom. Here’s a mixture of garage rock, Jazz, psychedelic rock, outsider music and Rolf Harris. It’s an album full of surprises and the tracklisting is seamless. My personal standout is Red Krayola’s Transparent Radiation (demo version)- that giggle in the song gets me every time.
Number 4. Rough Trade Shops : Counter Culture ’05
Consider my admiration for Rough Trade Shops, it was evident that one of the Counter Culture series would end up on this list. In theory all 16 volumes (17 if you include the special Counter Culture 1976 ) in this series are excellent but Counter Culture ’05 is a masterpiece.
The album is divided into two discs. Disc one features indie pop, folk, down tempo electronica, Alongside Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, The Spinto Band and The Boy Least Likely to, the compilation also features Jandek, Daniel Johnston, Scout Niblett and Smoosh so there’s a good mix of weird and listenable. There’s one hip hop track and cover version of Gary Numan’s Cars, that is jaw droppingly good. Cd 1 is perfect.
Cd 2 features the more aggressive and experimental music. It starts with a Nurse with Wound track featuring a boy talking about fish. From then onwards there’s Mongolian throat singing and Franz Ferdinand remix, obscure French art rock , screamo and Swedish jazz. The compilation ends with a guy making a duck sound. Rough Trade Shops are established tastemakers and with Counter Culture ’05 they managed to put together a compilation that still is relevant 13 years later.
Number 3. The Kids at the Club: An Indiepop Compilation.
Definitely the catchiest compilation in this list. The album was put together by Ian Watson, who runs the successful How Does it Feel to be Loved nights. The music at HDIF consists of indiepop and this compilation is a snapshot of what is played. What can I say it is just one earworm after another and if you’re a bedroom dancer I will guarantee that you’ll start moving along by the second track. Although this album is perfect I do ask for one thing, Ian, can we have a follow up?
Number 2. Rough Trade Shops: Post Punk 01
Yeah I included another Rough Trade Shops compilation. Sue me! This compilation introduced me to a genre of music I never knew about, increased my record collection and made me a post punk fanatic. Amazing tracklist with classics from Gang of Four, Young Marble Giants and The Raincoats and some newer bands like The Futureheads and The Rapture. Although back in 2003 I listened to this compilation everyday, I never got bored of it and although I listen to it once a year, I still feel the excitement of a fertile moment of music.
Number 1. David Shrigley’s Worried Noodles
The theme behind this compilation is simple: take artist/poet David Shrigley’s words, get a ton of trendy and obscure indie bands to add music to them and sing the words. The end result is fantastic. It’s quirky, fun and melodic. The music is varied as well from folk to full on indie rock. Not one bad note and a ton of surreal swearing. A must have.