By Jon Averill
1. Bjork - Overture
It became clear to me early on that a lot of the music I had earmarked for this podcast had only the most tenuous connection to the theme.
2. New David - Radioland
One thing I’ve learned about covers of Kraftwerk tracks over the years is they’re mostly crap. Not this.
3. Kenneth Patchen - So Be It
A wonderfully forbidding work by Kenneth Patchen. His own reading only serves to enhance its sense of authority.
4. Keith Fullerton Whitman - Generator 3;
Keith follows his obsession with "the tenets of Process music & Systems music"
5. Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmastime Is Here (Alternative Version)
The first track which could be called an outright ‘Christmas song’ is from Vince Guaraldi. Vince composed & preformed the music to the Peanuts/Charlie Brown cartoons from which this is taken. It provides a suitable nod to the season without Slade or Sir Cliff in sight.
6. µ-Ziq - Hasty Boom Alert
Swiftly back to the ‘tracks that remind of Christmas but have no connection whatsoever’ box. ‘Hasty Boom Alert’ is first rate melodic clatter and bash from µ-Ziq. Taken from his album ‘Lunatic Harness’ which I may or may not own.
7. Speedy J - Hayfever
Speedy J was behind some stunning techno releases in the mid 90’s before stepping back somewhat to make quieter music.
8. Moscow New Choir - Pushkin’s Garland
Nothing evokes the holiday spirit more than a choir from a cold country, nothing.
9. The Hacker - Electronic Snowflakes
I’ve never been a big fan of The Hacker. This is ok.
10. Max de Wardener - Snowflakes
An accompaniment piece to the previous track. Complementing The Hacker’s electronic gurglings with more traditional instrumentation.
11. The Cure - Primary
Before things get too peaceful and you drift off here are The Cure in their visceral prime.
12. Visage - Whispers
From a distance Visage always seemed like something of a novelty act. ‘Fade To Grey’ has had all its power and mystic drained away from inclusion on multiple drive-time 80’s collections but if you dig deeper they have a handful of really innovative pioneering tracks.
13. Creative Control - Me & My Drums
Creative Control rework ‘Little Drummer Boy’
14. Lord Buckley - People
Another whimsical rant from the one true lord, Lord Buckley, an indomitable exponent of the importance of people over deities.
15. Tom Waits - Clap Hands
I won’t lie, I don’t know why Tom Waits whiskey & sandpaper voice reminds of Christmas but it does. Cian Ó Cíobháin used a Tom Waits track on his Christmas podcast also so there must be something in this?
16. The Andrew Oldham Orchestra - Play With Fire
The Andrew Oldham Orchestra are most famous these days as the act whom The Verve sampled for the string refrain on ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony.
17. Wendy Rané - After Laughter
Some may recognise this as the backbone to Wu Tang Clan’s ‘Tearz’.
18. The Kingston Trio - Last Month Of The Year
Are we the only ones or does the intro remind you of Jape’s ‘Floating’? This is 60’s folk vintage from the ever so clean-cut Kingston Trio.
19. Soft Cell - Say Hello, Wave Goodbye (12” Mix)
Increasingly this time of year is about people returning, myself included from their various outposts around the world before departing just as rapidly.
20. John Baker - Christmas Commercial
This short concluding motif comes from John Baker, a key member of The BBC Radiophonic Workshop who produced some stunning and still highly sought after electronic music in the 60’s & 70’s.