Mulatu Astatke - New York, Addis, London: The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 (2009)
Addictive ethio-jazz which miraculously combines a dark, smoky feel with a soulful gutsiness, reminiscent in mood of the concurrent-ish work of Augustus Pablo.
Manuel Göttsching (Ashra) – New Age of Earth (1976)
A fluid creation of electro(guitar) ambience which, like all the best work of the genre, is both interesting and complex as the subject of attention, while also forming a pleasantly atmospheric background wash blending warm and cool textures, and employing repetition and variation as central elements. Göttsching’s work is a unique historical bridge between krautrock/kosmische, thoughtful dance (more evident on his seminal E2-E4) and ambient.
Cold Cave – Love Comes Close (2009)
Imagine that Ian Curtis, rather than committing suicide, had remained the lead singer into Joy Division’s New Order period. And got into some seriously dancey beats – without losing the melancholia or the atmospheric guitar jangle-n-fuzz. Not highly original, but highly recommended nonetheless.
Lawrence – Lawrence (2002)
The Sight Below – Glider (2008)
Dark, ambient beats with an influence from minimal techno and drone/shoegaze, whilst also infused with an eighties indie miserablist sensibility. Points of reference: Wolfgang Voigt, Bowery Electric, The Smiths. See also: Mikkel Metal - Victimizer.
‘It’ bands the obscurantist in me doesn’t want to admit loving: Neon Indian (chillwave: could it be the best genre ever? See also Millionyoung, Small Black); Grouper (if some reverb is good, more must be better – and she was so right about that).
Honourable mention in 'It' band category: The XX (fantastic music, shame about the lyrics).