Chart for stowaways – Albums 2019

These are the top albums for stowaways for last year:

  1. Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstasy
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  3. Ladytron – Ladytron
  4. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  5. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  6. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  7. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  8. Kylie Minogue – Step Back In Time – The Definitive
  9. The Future Sound of London – Yage 2019
  10. Dido – Still On My Mind
  11. Erasure – Wild!
  12. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
  13. The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
  14. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  15. Madonna – Madame X
  16. Divine Comedy – Office Politics
  17. Rammstein – Rammstein
  18. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  19. Pet Shop Boys – Inner Sanctum
  20. Lighthouse Family – Blue Sky In Your Head

Chart for stowaways – 20 July 2019

This is our album chart for July:

  1. Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstasy
  2. The Future Sound of London – Yage 2019
  3. Kylie Minogue – Step Back In Time – The Definitive
  4. Erasure – Wild!
  5. Lighthouse Family – Blue Sky In Your Head
  6. New Order – (no12klg17mif) New Order & Liam Gillick
  7. Madonna – Madame X
  8. Divine Comedy – Office Politics
  9. Tycho – Weather
  10. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun – A New Beginning

Air – Pocket Symphony

Of all of Air‘s albums, 2007’s Pocket Symphony is definitely one of my favourites. The hits might have been eluding them by this stage, but the album was well received, and for me it remains Air‘s last great studio album (2009’s follow-up Love 2 has little to love, Le Voyage dans la Lune is a good extension of a soundtrack, and Music for Museum is a little too avant garde for my tastes).

It opens, as all good Air albums do, with something soft and gentle – in the case of Pocket Symphony, it’s the adorable Space Maker. There’s already a certain spaciousness to the piece, with a bit of melancholy as well – gone is the simplicity of the first album, and the daftness of the second – this is the sound of a group who are entirely comfortable in their skins and with their sound.

Lead single Once Upon a Time is the second track, with a lovely rippling piano arpeggio. In an earlier age, this would have been a huge hit single, but in 2007 it only got a French release and only had one b-side.

Of all people, Jarvis Cocker turns up to deliver the vocal on One Hell of a Party, and does an exceptional job. The melancholic side of Air – not really explored too deeply on earlier releases – is really rather beautiful, and Cocker’s lyrics and vocal performance are both sad and sweet.

But there’s also plenty of Air‘s traditional sound here – Napalm Love is a sweet love song, and Mayfair Song is a charming instrumental. Left Bank is another sweet, lonely acoustic piece, and their ode to pop superstars Photograph is very pleasant too.

The second and final single – and the only one in the UK, although you could have been forgiven for failing to notice its release – was Mer du Japon, a very simple one-line song which apparently was written to honour the Pacific Ocean. It’s a little too simple in some ways, but it’s a pleasant piece nonetheless.

The instrumental Lost Message follows, and then Neil Hannon of Divine Comedy fame turns up to sing the adorable Somewhere Between Waking and Sleeping. It might not have been destined to be a hit single, but it’s a great song even so, and a very worthwhile collaboration.

By this point the album is pretty much over – the vocal Redhead Girl and instrumental Night Sight close the album in gentle fashion, and it’s finished already. This may not be Air‘s most famous works, but it’s definitely one of their most consistent and finest hours.

You can still find Pocket Symphony at all major retailers. There are a few bonus tracks, either on the digital versions or using “OpenDisc” technology (no I don’t know either) on the CD.

Music for the Masses 11 – 1 March 2000

Universities, seats of learning though they may be, are not always seats of perfection, so a note from your producer saying “Please mention karioky,” as shown on the image below, shouldn’t be too much of a surprise! Just in case I forgot to mention it on Bay Radio back in 2000, there’s karioky at PJM on Wednesday night at 8pm.

show11pl

Show 11: Wed 1 Mar 2000, from 10.55am-1.00pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 12 tracks). A indicates A-list (6 tracks); B indicates B-list (3 tracks) and C indicates C-list (2 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 11 tracks). X indicates tracks I borrowed off friends (Total 1 track). L indicates the ones from the “library” (Total 6 tracks).

  • 1. Bellatrix “The Girl with the Sparkling Eyes” C
  • [IRN 11.00 News]
  • 2. Gene “As Good As it Gets” L
  • 3. Wannadies “Yeah” A
  • 4. Death in Vegas “Aisha” L
  • 5. Kraftwerk “Expo 2000” R
  • 6. Heaven 17 “Dive” R
  • 7. Chemical Brothers “Music: Response” A
  • 8. Basement Jaxx “Rendez-Vu” R
  • 9. Human League “These Are the Days” (Sonic Radiation) R
  • 10. Ooberman “Shorley Wall” A
  • 11. Asian Dub Foundation “Real Great Britain” S
  • 12. Bluetones “Keep the Home Fires Burning” A
  • 13. Big Yoga Muffin “Is that How You?” A
  • [Chart rundown: numbers 10 -> 6]
  • 14. James “Just Like Fred Astaire” L
  • 15. Erasure “In My Arms” R
  • 16. Dubstar “Not So Manic Now” R
  • [IRN 12.00 News]
  • 17. Moby “Natural Blues” A
  • 18. Enigma “Return to Innocence” R
  • 19. Divine Comedy “Something for the Weekend” X
  • 20. Coldplay “Shiver” B
  • [Chart rundown: numbers 5 -> 1]
  • 21. Atomic Kitten “See Ya” L
  • 22. El Niño “Friends” L
  • 23. Massive Attack “Protection” R
  • 24. Tony di Bart “The Real Thing” R
  • 25. Jean Michel Jarre “This is a Sign” R
  • 26. Sarah Cracknell “Anymore” (Faster Pussy Cat, Kill Kill Mix) R
  • 27. Muse “Sunburn” C
  • 28. Southern Fly “Maybe It’s the Right Time” B
  • 29. Charlatans “Scorched” B
  • 30. Peach “Hush” R

Producer: None.

Notes: Reasonable… had severe ups and downs (I went from being half decent to completely dying on my rump). Nonetheless, entertaining from where I was sitting.