Bob Lukomski Poop 2021

Bob Lukomski POOPlist 2021 – A big ol’ dump

This year, at one point, was supposed to be a return to “normal” – Vaxxing, Grandpa Joe, live shows… and whilst not as shitty as 2020, still lots of uncertainty in the air. My new “normal” was acquiring a LOT of new music from artists I didn’t know, or know very well… So, for the first time, my POOPlist is not just what I bought over the past year, but a culling of releases into a sort of top 10 or whathaveyou! Here goes… (in no particular order)

Buy Can – Live in Stuttgart 1975 New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Can – Live in Stuttgart 1975 (Mute)
I’ve always been a bit hesitant when it comes to archival live releases. The potential for sub-par recordings, lackluster performances, etc., gives me pause at the cash register. Plus, many a time there’s no real reason to release some of this stuff other than for capitalist completism. Not so here. Can is in peak post-Damo form, with material from Tago Mago up to Soon Over Babaluma deployed alternately as launching pad or landing points for their improvisations. Shades of electric Miles Davis and the Dead lurk in the background, enough that I now understand the allure of the latter group (even if I’m still not sold on their aesthetic). A real ear opener… The more recent release of Live in Brighton 1975 not so much – jammier and looser, it doesn’t carry the same steamroller power of the Stuttgart gig. That being said, I can’t wait for the next concert release- would love to hear some Rosco Gee-era performances.

Buy Sault – Nine New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon ]
Sault – Nine (Forever Living Originals)
This UK collective exudes more mystique than a Residents’ eyeball, and that’s a very good thing.
They’ve released 5 records in the past three years, and Nine continues the K-tel-meets-mix-tape eclecticism. This one, like its predecessors, demands listening in toto. So anathema is it to playlist excerpting that I salut Sault for having the collective wherewithal to limit the online presence of this release to a 90-day stream, after which it was unceremoniously removed from the interwebs. Heavy topics and the gamut of soul/rnb/hip-hop/pop that is not un métier au hasard – I could go on but I’d get further tongue-tied. Just listen.

Buy Various Artists – Shake The Foundations: Militant funk and the post-punk dancefloor 1978- 1984 New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Various Artists – Shake The Foundations: Militant funk and the post-punk dancefloor 1978- 1984 (Cherry Red)
Who was this compilation made for?? Well, me for starters… post-punk dance funk is, if not musical mother’s milk (that’d be Kraftwerk and the Monkees), my first taste of solid musical nutrients. Dance music and funk of (almost) all (British) stripes represented – no Gang of Four, Au Pairs, or even APB – this 3-disc set jumps around from unexpected b-sides (Haircut 100??) to deep cuts from Family Fodder, Quando Quango, and the Stranglers. It’s a weird mix that somehow works; I’ve not heard Wide Boy Awake’s “Slang Teacher” since high school, and it fits quite nicely along with other also-rans like C Cat Trance and Maximum Joy. Cherry Red is fast becoming the UK equivalent to Rhino records (the label), indiscriminately releasing anything they can get their (licensing) hands on, but comps like these make their overt cash-con a sucker out of even jaded puds like me.

Rent Roger Webb – Bartleby OST via Amazon    Rent via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Roger Webb – Bartleby OST (Trunk)
Webb is a mainstay of many a music library (the genre) comp. Jonny Trunk really outdid himself with releasing this soundtrack. Jazz grooves and plaintive flute from a 1970 film of the Melville novella (not the Crispin Glover vehicle, which isn’t half bad). I dig I dig, even if I’d prefer not to…

Rent Pas Musique – Amateur Radio via Amazon    Rent via Amazon
Pas Musique – Amateur Radio (Alrealon Musique)
This Brooklyn-based group returns with one of their most overtly “electronic” records yet. Straddling the worlds of industrial and krautrock (not that much of a straddle, but these guys do mind their p’s and q’s). The Germanic influence is acknowledged in a cover of Faust’s “It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl”, featuring Jeanne-Marie Varain, daughter of Faustian Jean-Herve Peron. I’ve become rather bored with extemporaneous “composition” so PM is a refreshing sonic shower, borrowing some of the tropes of improv (through composition, fleeting themes and melodic fragments) but said tropes are always in the service of finished pieces. I’m sure that some unimaginative lugheads would lump them into the “noise” category – don’t make the same mistake.

Buy Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – I Told You So New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio – I Told You So (Colemine)
Booker T would be impressed. I really don’t give a shit where it was recorded and mastered (both prominently displayed on the back cover). This is just really solid Drum/Bass/Guitar/Organ (hey isn’t this supposed to be a trio?) riffage in the classic Stax mold. The cover of “Careless Whisper” is pure genius in its faithfulness to the spirit of the original (that mix of pathos and cheese – c’mon and admit it, you like it – hell, I’d bet good money you drunkenly cried to it). Dunno what longevity this may have, but you can bet the pink bubble gum vinyl its pressed on I’ll have worn it out before then.

Buy Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou (Fire)
Yeah yeah yeah, I hear the ghost of Stereolab all over the Ookii, too. This, their 3rd long player, adds some Denny-esque exotica to the mix, so I can get behind it without too many caveats. In all honesty, I dig this more than the ‘Tish ‘n’ Timmy show – Vanishing Twin wear their influences on their collective sleeve more overtly than the Groop, but they wear them better.

Buy The The – The Comeback Special: Live at the Royal Albert Hall New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
The The – The Comeback Special: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Cinéola)
Matt Johnson and co record a concert for a 3-LP live set, and they set nary a foot wrong. Comprehensive representation (from Burning Soul Blue up to Naked Self) and interesting reworkings of lesser-known works make this not only a solid “Hits” package and live document, but a keen intro to and/or re-evaluation of Matt’s personal angst. No Johnny Marr, but that’s okay by me. It’s all about Matt anyway.

Buy Campbell / Mallinder / Benge – Clinker New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Campbell / Mallinder / Benge – Clinker (Les Disque Du Crepescule)
A collaboration out of left field, for me anyway, this limited edition EP (800 copies, on light blue vinyl, for all the collector scum out there) sounds like a collaboration; each participant has their moment to shine, but a clinker it is not. Julie Campbell (LoneLady, Psychic Life) teams up with ex-Cabaret Voltaire member Steven Mallinder and one of his collaborators from Wrangler, a certain Benge, and the results are, if not greater than the sum of their parts, a showcase for the strengths of each contributor. Eclectic electronic music – if you’re familiar with anyone of these folks individually, you won’t be disappointed.

Buy Dry Cleaning – Long Leg New or Used via Amazon    Buy New or Used via Amazon    Rent via iTunes [?]
Dry Cleaning – Long Leg (4AD)
These folks get compared to the Fall for some reason. I can kinda hear it, but I’d say that they are more like a UK sister band to our local(ish) town criers, Sky Furrows (I’m still amazed that more folks haven’t pick up on those troubadours). Solid Drum/Bass/Guitar riffage with deadpan female recitation, conversational in tone. Wry observations abound – “I spent £17 on mushrooms for you, ‘cause I’m… silly.” Electronic inflections keep the proceedings fresh.

The rest of what I purchased (and was released in 2021)
Immersion – Nanocluster Vol. 1 (Swim)
Cabaret Voltaire – Shadow of Funk, BN9Drone, Deckadrone (Mute)
The Pop Group – Y in Dub (Mute)
Piroshka – Love Drips and Gathers (Bella Union)
Yvette – How The Garden Grows (Western Vinyl)
Steve Gunn – Other/\You (Matador)
Marisa Anderson / William Tyler – Lost Futures (Thrill Jockey)
Low – Hey What (Sub Pop)
Peoples / Pellegrini / Takahashi / Boretz (Open Space)
Roedelius – Ohrenbaden (Self-released)