We used this as the closing track to our Northern Disco Lights documentary and I could listen to it on repeat for hours. Melancholy and wonky from one of the Norway’s most original and under-rated producers.
Isaac Hayes – By The Time I Get To Phoenix
I was a dyed-in-the-wool indie kid until I heard this at an after party and it blew my mind. A whole new world opened up and the indie days were left behind.
Aphex Twin – Analogue Bubble Bath
The ultimate come-down E tune and those chords still make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Absolute perfection.
Kon – Awe Baby (Medlar Remix)
Everything Kon touches is gold and this is a fantastic remix from Medlar with just the right mix of disco and soulful.
Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire
Playing With Fire was the soundtrack of my student days and it still sounds amazing. Stripped back psychedelia from a band at the height of their powers. Music to take drugs to play music to.
Oumou Sangare – Diaraby Nene
Recorded on cassette when she was only 21, she sounds fully formed as an artist. One of the great voices of modern Africa and a trailblazer in everything she’s done.
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – John Taylor’s Month Away
A gorgeous modern sea shanty that oozes melancholia, set off beautifully by Jon Hopkins’ subtle electronics. It is also a fearsome earworm that lodges itself in my head for months at a time.
Goran Kajfeš – New Track
A freewheeling jazz cover of the superlative Francis Bebey’s New Track. It draws you in until you find you’ve turned the stereo up as far as it will go.
Fela Kuti – Sorrow Tears and Blood
I could have chosen pretty much anything from the catalogue and go through periods getting a bit obsessed with Fela and Tony Allen, playing nothing else for days. An unbelievable life and musical legacy.
Mountain Man – Buffalo
Their Made The Harbor album has been the soundtrack to pretty much every Sunday morning since it was released. Close harmony country that sounds like it was recorded in their front room.
Stubb – Canopy (Paper Wave)
Davis has been DJing and producing for over twenty-five years, most recently as the failed superhero Flash Atkins, whose music has rocked the boxes of Andrew Weatherall (RIP), Horse Meat Disco, Bill Brewster, Gilles Peterson, Bjørn Torske and countless others. As his musical tastes have widened with age and sonic wisdom, so have his productions, beating a path to the Stubb project. 2019 saw two limited edition 12”s featuring Jane Weaver, Tunng’s Mike Lindsay and Huw Costin that have gone on to become digger’s delights. Now the deep, cosmic and left-of-centre debut album ’Canopy’ arrives, taking influence from dub, Africa, psychedelia, soundtrack, electronica, bass and Balearic. Found sounds infuse the album, from the sonic mayhem of Varanasi to the dawn chorus in Haven Wood as they blend with studio wizardry, vintage analogue kit and live sessions. The result is a blurring of genres and boundaries to create the Stubb sound. As Davis says “The album is themed around the concept of trees and woods offering a safe haven in these times of climate catastrophe, providing refuge, wisdom, comfort, peace, shelter and solution.” This ‘back to nature’ attitude and heartfelt approach can be heard through every track. After scene setting opener, ‘Varanasi’, Psych-folk goddess Jane Weaver provides ethereal vocals on ‘We Are Launching’, a beautiful song set to hypnotic guitar that aims straight at the stars with arpeggiators and cosmic synths. London poet Sirius Rush weaves his themes and words through ‘On The Nature of Light’, a track of psychedelic electronica that is heavy and trippy in equal measure. Next up, ‘Love Not Sex’ features Nottingham’s Huw Costin and Rachel Foster to deliver the most blissed out Balearic track of the album. 70s folk, MOR and nu-disco can all be heard in a live track to stir the soul. ‘Instant Karma’ has Kathy Diamond singing over a throbbing sub bass, dark synths and live drums. It’s moody and soulful in equal measures. Next up, ‘Haven Woods’ freeform drums lock into a groove over a bubbling arp, vocal snippets and digital pads. Effects and synths flow in and out as the track builds to reach a crescendo of joy and intensity. The second half of the LP lights up with ‘Philopappos’ featuring Leilani singing in her native Japanese over distorted guitars, heavy snares, a pinch of dubstep, clouds of drone and rave synth to top things off nicely. ‘Boring Days’ puts Tunng’s Mike Lindsay through the studio mangler and presses the button named ‘digidub’, injecting reggae bass, Balearic synths and lots of delay, delay, delay. You’d think Stubb couldn’t get any deeper when ‘Galleons Lap’ and its analogue bass and broken beats begin to hypnotise, cushioned with dreamy piano and wistful chord progressions. For the penultimate offering ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ gets a full re-rub with shimmering percussion, Rhodes and heavy sub that takes the classic song into previously un-chartered territory. Finally ‘The Love You Once Regret’ featuring Sylvette’s Charlie Sinclair sounds like The Cinematic Orchestra have dug their vintage synths out of the cupboard and had a bit of fun. Otherworldly and psychedelic, the rhythms and tempo climb steadily up to the end chorus as it explodes into a firework of blissful melodies.