40: THE SOFT BOYS
‘I Wanna Destroy You’
The missing link between 60s psyche-pop, 70s punk and 80s new wave, Underwater Moonlight is inexhaustible. This Yep Roc edition isn’t as comprehensive or as revelatory as Matador’s from ten years back, but nonetheless it’s great to have the album available on vinyl album again and an excuse to marvel all over again at Robyn Hitchcock’s proto-punk snottiness and Kimberley Rew’s incendiary guitar-playing.
PLAYER PIANO EP
‘Push Me, Pull You (Part Two)’
Bringing together elements of electro-pop, punk and minimal synth, Futurisk’s sound was heavy and propulsive, with layered drums (both live and synthesized, recorded in a bathroom for maximum resonance), grinding guitar and mannered vocals from Jeremy Kolosine in the vein of Bowie, Ferry and Fox. This is a reissue of their hitherto impossible-to-track-down 1980 EP Player Piano, which happens to be one of James Murphy’s favourite records.
CAMINO DEL SOL
‘Camino Del Sol’
Long treasured by the Balearic crowd, Isabelle Antena’s impossibly sleepy-eyed, bossa-infused post-punk wonder seems to get even better with age, and deserves to be considered as more than a mere cult curio today. This heavyweight “library” vinyl edition from the Numero Group is definitive, adding a wealth of bonus tracks and restoring Benoit Hennebert’s original sleeve art.
37: QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
RATED: R (DELUXE EDITION)
‘In The Fade’
Fantastic modern rock record, capturing Josh Homme et al at the perfect meeting point between the echo-heavy desert rock of former band Kyuss and the poppier sound they went on to pursue as QOTSA. Hasn’t aged one bit since its release 10 years ago, and is reissued here with live bonus disc.
GRACE / TIMES OF GRACE
‘Under The Surface’
Neurosis don’t get the credit they deserve in some circles, which is ludicrous – their modernisation of Black Sabbath’s doom metal template in the ’90s not only led to some of the greatest rock music of all time, but opened the gates for Isis, Electric Wizard, Pelican and the rest of the next decade’s ‘post-metal’ brigade to flood on in. Times of Grace is the first album they recorded with Steve Albini (and arguably, their last truly great album), designed to be played in sync with Grace, an ambient record by sister band Tribes of Neurot. This reissue represents the first time the set has been released as one.
35: REEL BY REAL
20 YEARS SURKIT
‘Surkit 1990 (Original Version)’
Overlooked Detroit techno classic from Marty ‘Reel by Real’ Bonds, released on limited white label in 1990 and this year reissued with additional material, including collaborations with fellow space cadets Antony ‘Shake’ Shakir and Juan Atkins.
34: DESMOND SIMMONS
ALONE ON PENGUIN ISLAND
(ROUGH TRADE CUTS)
‘To Be Lost’
A tense, conflicted work, Alone On Penguin Island isn’t quite the post-punk holy grail that some would have you believe, but it’s certainly a fascinating oddity. Simmons wasn’t too happy with the way the album turned out, feeling his songs weren’t well served by the minimalist production work of Dome (Wire’s Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis), but surely he’d acknowledge now that the sinister, synth-daubed ‘To Be Lost’, to take but one example, benefits hugely from Lewis and Gilbert’s deft touch.
33: REGIS & FEMALE
AGAINST NATURE (11 RECLAIMED FRAGMENTS)
Originally released on Tresor and credited to the artists’ real names (Karl O’Connor and Peter Sutton), Against Nature is UK techno at its most uncompromising, and this reissue on O’Connor’s own Downwards label restores the tracks to the sequence that was originally intended. Though dominated by fearsome club tracks, the beatless sections are of particular interest, making explicit the duo’s debt to TG, Cabaret Voltaire, Factory Records and the 80s synth wave.
32: ROLLING STONES
EXILE ON MAIN STREET
The greatest rock ‘n roll album ever made.
31: IGGY & THE STOOGES
(MUSIC ON VINYL)
Actually, sorry, this is the greatest rock ‘n roll album ever made.