Well, the dark days have well and truly rolled in now, haven’t they? I don’t know where you are Dear Reader, but Berlin has now fully completed its yearly transition to a monotone, cold war wasteland, complete with festering Straßenmüll, half-frozen dog shit and ice-spiked winds that cut you to the bone. This will be my 13th Winter here and, with the dark spectre of lockdown looming, it looks to be a cracker! With that in mind, let’s have a little look-see at what old Jammo’s been bothering the neighbours with this month.

Die Goldenen Zitronen – Die Alte Kaufmannsstadt, Juli 2017

Without a shadow of a doubt, the most played thing in my house this past month. The final track on the bands excellent 2019 album, More Than a Feeling, tells the tale of Olaf Scholz’s catastrophic Hamburg G20 summit in 2017 and moreover the manufacture of perspectives from the organisers to the media, police and the rest. Its chorus repeating “And it happened, as it was meant to happen, well-orchestrated, everybody knew their role!” –forgive my unpoetic translation, it sounds great in German–. Anyway, it’s a belter!

Lambchop – The Old Gold Shoe

I’ve been revisiting a lot of old CDs of late. Perhaps it’s my age or some corona-driven nostalgia for halcyon days: when I could come back gurning from some free party or whatever and float away, necking Ribena to weird psyche, alt-country and soul music. The opening song on 2000’s Nixon, The Old Gold Shoe is one of the dreamiest southern-soul infused country things you’ll ever hear. Kurt Wagner’s half-sung lyrics hang like second-hand smoke over a lackadaisical suite of pedal steel guitar, strings, and horns. “The guy on the cross is holier than I, But then again he’s made from plastic”.

Golden Bug – Hitodoma

Throughout November I found myself obsessing over much of Gothenburg’s Höga Nord Rekords’ output. So much so that it’s hard to pick a winner. Finally, I chose this buttery Cosmic-Ritmo-Dubber from the marvellous Golden Bug.

Undercover Elephant – Realm of the Cougar

This track has everything for the ageing gurner: Long pads, Amens, naughty incessant bass and that sped up Here Comes that Beat! sample running throughout. Simple, effective, rave brilliance.

Loraine James ft  Eden Samara – Running Like That 

I’m utterly in love with this tune. Eden Samara’s vocals lean toward the sweeter side of 90’s RnB with ethereal flourishes, while Loraine James’ frantic drum patterns and wavey chords offer a system update to Braindance. Soul for the future, loaded with melancholy.

—/// Bonus Bits ///—

Telly: Casa de Papel: Like most of the couch potato community, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the final part of Netlix’s adopted Spanish language anarcho-heist romp Casa de Papel. How would the gang escape the Bank of Spain? Would they get all the gold out? Would Luis Tamayo finally explode, leaving only a pool of blood and guts? I’m happy to report that all questions have now been fully answered. Ana and I binged it last weekend. No spoilers from me, but it was especially fun to watch Fernando Cayo’s portrayal of Colonel Tamayo, twitching and jerking like a syphilis sufferer from Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. Sadly, like this review, I found the ending just a little bit rushed.

Podcast: Thinking Allowed / Black Music Cultures in London: As you can probably tell by now, I listen to a lot of Thinking Allowed podcasts. I might have a wee crush on Laurie Taylor, can you have granddad issues? Anyway, this particular episode was a nice one. Featuring Kim-Marie Spence discussing Reggae and Dancehall culture and the lack of governmental support in Jamaica with respect to the former’s status as ‘Revolution Music’ and the latter’s downright naughtiness. The second part features Caspar Melville, talking about his book, It’s a London Thing: How Rare Groove, Acid House and Jungle Remapped the City. I’ve not read it yet, but I liked his descriptions of spaces and the geography of London leading to the inevitable fusing of Dub/Soundsystem culture with raw soul to create Hardcore and Jungle. Other highlights included Laurie Taylor pausing for a moment after a clip of Phuture’s seminal Acid Tracks and then saying “d’you know… I hate that”. It’s ok Laurie it’s not made for you! https://open.spotify.com/episode/55M9BWOloafOHevrTT6vYX?si=kGlPJtMlTFOOFsfLXOu9uA

Book: Mark Fisher – Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures: A collection of Mark Fisher’s writings, taken from his K-Punk Blog and various published articles and essays. I love the way that he talks about pop culture in step with governmental and cultural events. And, I have become obsessed with his ideas of a non-place / non-time scenario within music and wider culture. Though from Mark’s perspective this is often presented as a negative, I think the real future might just be generally about recycling, reusing and fusing, rather than the notion of something brand new.

Achtung!!! All clips are cut to 1 minute, mega low bitrate. I do not own the rights to these recordings. If you see my shitty blog as a big risk to your gold medallions, jacuzzis and Ibiza beach houses, then contact me and I'll take it down!