The (not Secret) Santa CD swap


Great stuff, sorry it was later than I thought, chrimbo was a blinder. I will be feeding back shortly but feel free to Spotify it for others and I will do the same for mine at some point too.


I think @iain should have had enough time to give my mix a listen, so here it is on Spotify;

Unfortunately one track, Horseflies “Jill Kester” which should have been track 13, is not on Spotify so here it is on Bandcamp!


here’s mine



Thanks for your CD, have had a good few listens now, and what stands out is how mellow and laid back it all sounds - plenty of strings, a dash of brass and fair bit of electronic squiggles. Overall it makes it a very good whole - there isn’t a duff track on it, with the possible exception of Low - not once did I reach for the fast forward button. However, whilst there is nothing to dislike very little has seeped into my consciousness to the extent that two days on from last listening to it I can only recall a fragment of one song. That strength of being a pleasant whole also means the songs blend to such an extent that only the gender of the vocal differentiated it for me. My own personal tastes means whatever I listen to has to chop and change both in genre and tempo, your CD raely strays from its tone which I find difficult to adjust to - I want to be taken somewhere during the journey, expect something unexpected, try to figure out the juxtaposition of wildly differing tracks. About halfway way through the first listen I knew it was going to continue on the same path.

I knew three of the tracks beforehand: Low, whom I find incredibly dull and can’t see what the fuss is all about; Maarja Nuut & Ruum - I’d previously listened to the album as I’m always up for a bit of post-classical experimentalism and found it pleasant but a bit non-discript; and Jonathan Bree, whom I 've known since the time he was with The Brunettes, this is the only track which made an impression mainly because it bought to mind the Wedding Present offshoot, Cinerama, French inflected female vocals also do something strange to me.

Of the rest nothing has really gripped me enough to go off and search the rest of their catalogue.

Thank you for the CD and the time and thought gone into collating, alas it didn’t find my musical g-spot. Now waiting with intrepidation for your view of mine, we’re not crossing over much, very interested what stuck and did not with you.


Thanks for the great feedback and glad you found a lot to enjoy. I thought my original mixes were way too guitar heavy so put that softer sounding middle section in to break it up a bit. Thought it might be a bit hit and miss so in hindsight should have stuck with my original plans!

Young Jesus were a new find to me so I need to check out the s/t. Ulrika Spacek are one of my favourite new bands. They’ve been pretty prolific so far and this track was taken from an EP called Suggestive Listening. They’ve put out 2 albums too in the last two years - The Album Paranoia & Modern English Decoration. The former is their debut and has a slightly rawer feel to it but if bands with strong rhythm sections are your thing I think you’ll really enjoy everything they’ve put out so far. Fantastic live too so definitely worth catching them if you get the chance.

Hayley Heynderickx’s I Need To Start A Garden ended up in my top 5 for the year. A beautiful little album full of lovely little flourishes throughout. I don’t know much about Juliana Daugherty. A friend tipped me off about her debut album Light and I put the opener on my mix. The rest of the album is more sparse in places.

I hadn’t heard of Cross Record. Loma was bought on a whim in a good old fashioned rummage around a record store. I knew I’d read good things about it (probably on here) so took a chance and glad I did as it’s a stunning record. I love Relay Runner but as soon as I knew I wanted to take the mix down a few notches at the end I put Black Willow as the closer and worked from there!

Norway was fantastic thank you and your mix was a great accompaniment. I’ll post some feedback shortly.


Glad that Norway was good - a friend has just moved out there for a two year placement so hoping to go and visit at some point! Glad my mix didn’t bum you out!

Definitely check out Young Jesus’ s/t (I don’t know anything other than that as yet), but it’s a great record. For Cross Record, try Wabi Sabi from last year (one of my top 5 last year). A little like early EMA perhaps - actually quite different from Loma. Ulrika Spacek are next on my list of ‘to gets’.

Don’t worry about the variety in the middle of your mix, I think it’s always better to mix things up a bit than go for a full mix of the same sort of stuff - sometimes it hits, sometimes it misses!


Thanks so much for posting the tracklist…
I just got around to pulling the tracklist together for offline listening yesterday & really enjoyed a couple of listens whilst catching up on some admin & then a long evening walk.
There’s a nice mix of what I know & love already (Cat Power, Adrienne Lenker, Low, Loma, Hilary Woods, Kathryn Joseph, Soap&Skin, Breeders & Saba)
Stuff that I had tried but hadn’t connected with before (Idles, Hot Snakes, Lykke Li & Ty Segall) The last 2 being artists who I’ve enjoyed in the past, their new albums just hadn’t grabbed me.
Everything else is new to me… a couple I had been meaning to check out but mostly completely new to me.
Sons of Kemet track is unsurprisingly great & I’ll be definitely be checking that album out. I also really enjoyed the Beak track.
Being away from home atm, it was really nice to hear some personal faves pop up… there always tends to be some crossover when we do swaps, but I don’t mind that & in fact I find it can make it easier to digest the newer stuff.
Only a couple of listens as I said, but I really am enjoying it so thanks very much again :+1:


Glad you’ve liked it - as you say there are some substantial overlaps between our choices. Had I looked at yours first I probably would have missed out some of the common choices and given you some different ones - if you liked the Sons of Kemet there were a ridiculous number of great new jazz records this year. I had tracks from the Idris Ackamoor, Kamasi Washington and Kamaal Williams albums on my long list but they missed out mostly because they tend to be long (and so have to be weighed against two or three other things). The compilation of new British jazz We Out Here is also well worth a listen.

I’ve really enjoyed your mix as well - about half of it is records I’ve got so that’s obviously all good. I particularly enjoyed hearing the BED track - that was very close to making my final selection and hearing it again on yours I regretted missing it off. Of the tracks that were new to me, Beach House have always passed me by a bit. I don’t know why, as they sound a lot like other things I listen too. I found it pleasant enough without being really compelling which is probably the reason. I used to like Wilco but haven’t really listened to Jeff Tweedy since he blanded out Low with his production on The Invisible Way. I liked this song but it was a tiny bit Later With Jools for my taste. I really really liked the Moonface song - I’d only heard Julia With Blue Jeans On before and this was quite different and excellent. I haven’t listened to Iceage since their early albums (wasn’t there something about them being fascists?) but I really liked this track. Might give them another go. Fucked Up are a band I’ve never really listened to - I didn’t like this much at first but it’s really grown on me. From what I know of them I probably need to listen to the whole album to really ‘get’ it. My real favourite was the Neneh Cherry - the only common choice of you and @keith - not sure why I never listened to this album before as I’ve always liked her (since having a massive crush on her when I was 15). I’ve put that right by buying the album now - it’s great.


Thanks for the feedback. My mix this year definitely did become more of a flowing album, with possibly a couple of other songs I excluded simply because they felt a bit jarring to the collection. Sometimes I like a bit of a contrast also, but this year they all seemed to fit together for me.
As for the ones you’ve mentioned (and already knew), Low have been a new/re-discovery for me. I only knew their Christmas cd from 15+ years ago, and then they’ve just passed me by. I listened to this one on a whim and after an initial uncertainty I ended up really loving it as it grew on me. I probably went slightly off the Maarja Nuut album towards the end of the year, but still really loved this song of hers/theirs. and Jonathan Bree was a new discovery for me this year (after unknowingly hearing him on a Princess Chelsea song years ago). I saw him play a gig with his masked band last year, and will be seeing him again in a few months’ time, so looking forward to that.

I had a strange feeling of apprehension and intrigue when I saw I was paired with you, as I remember reading a review you did a while back of a previous mix you received, where I just laughed at how honest/critical you were of it! So at least it will allow me to be a bit more honest with your mix than I might otherwise have been!

My first couple of listens were without a tracklist, and so it took me a short while before I realised that the first track was an instrumental guitarry cover of Britney’s Toxic, which was fine in a kind of novelty/interesting sound, but I was a bit surprised that it would make a top 20 of the year. I was then at least relieved when I realised that your cd was a countdown and so hopefully going to improve! Although I think Zefgirlclub was probably the first song that interested me, even if the voice effect feels like it’s a bit too much to have repeated listens of it.

I was definitely not expecting TV Girl to come up almost halfway through, so that was a nice reset point for me. TV Girl were one of the bands that just missed off my final selection for my cd - Lonely Girls was going to be my choice. I had listened to their latest album quite a lot this year, but mainly in an attempt to enjoy it as much as their previous couple of albums and ep, which I had really loved.

The Le Superhomard song is catchy. This Lucrecia Dalt song came up on my Spotify Discover list in November. Nothing too much happens in it, but I liked it, although I don’t think I was grabbed by the other stuff I had a listen to of hers/theirs. I didn’t know that the next track was by Confidence Man when I first listened to them (but afterwards remember seeing their name mentioned on the boards here). My initial notes were that they sounded like something that could have been on a Shine compilation cd from the 90s. I honestly can’t tell if I like the song or find it a bit too much. It seems to be both at the same time.

The Eartheater song is my favourite of the album, especially as it sounds quite different and ethereally. Sort of like a mix of a dreamy/nightmarey Coco Rosie mixed with Múm. I’ll definitely have a listen to her album to see what the rest is like.
Night Club, Le Vasco and The Misty’s at the end were good. The other songs I haven’t mentioned are either because I didn’t like the singers’ voices, or it was a bit too guitarry or seem a bit too stressful to actually listen to!

I think I could probably make a mini-album of songs I like from the mix, especially from the middle section and towards the end(, and happily not hear the rest again!). But that’s better than me not liking anything, which can happen, so thank you for the new sounds!



Many thanks for the comments, I’d much rather be honest than try and brush things under the carpet - if you don’t like it say so, we all have our personal taste, to me its like a venn diagram the important thing is where we overlap.

I kind of like not having a tracklist to begin with as it becomes a bit more of a mystery - in fact I often play these CDs on rotation during my commute and purposely leave the sleeve at home. See what jumps out at me. Yours was very interesting because no tracks did that yet I found it a really pleasant and relaxing mix to listen to, particularly in the morning. It is the type of playlist I’d listen to whilst concetrating on doing something else, which is a good thing in my opinion as sometimes you need music for that reason.

Glad you got a mini album out of it, I was hedging bets on a Double A side! The surf version of Toxic amused me more than anything else - it isn’t great but it does work, its a gimmick more than anything. Zefclubgirl grew on me over a period of time, it’s that mix of dreamy and sinister that does it for me. Much like you I think TV Girl are excellent could have picked a number of things from that album, but Brad is at his best being lovelorn and detached - there is something in the voice that just works. Confidence Man are pretty much what you say, they want to be pop but can sometimes but that little bit over cynical about how they do it. I’ve played that Eartheater song to about three different people and two of them have asked which horror soundtrack that is from, I’m not quite sold on the rest of the album but this track just has something bubbling away under the surface. Do check out The Misty’s if you can, they are hard to find as they don’t stream except the odd track on Soundcloud, but it is a mixture of fuzzy electronics and Beth Roberts’ helium filled vocals that give it something extra. Their LP is Pregnant Mannequin which was released on vinyl towards the end of the year in this country after coming on CD on a Japanese label during the summer.

Once again, many thanks for your CD, and also for your honest comments, they are much appreciated.


Highly recommend you try and get out to Norway. We travelled from Oslo in the south to Tromso in the north and it was all very beautiful. Expensive but beautiful.

Many thanks for your excellent mix. The main thing it has made me realise is that I made two very bad decisions at Green Man last year when I passed on seeing Accu & Jim Ghedi. Both were unknowns at the time although friends tipped me off about Jim Ghedi and reported back that his set was excellent.

A few I already love, the aforementioned Loma, Young Fathers although I haven’t got round to getting the new album yet so this was a nice reminder, Low, Brigid Mae Power & Ryley Walker who narrowly missed the cut on my mix.

I don’t know much about Lump other than it involves Laura Marling who I’ve never managed to get a real feel for but I quite liked this. I don’t really know what to make of Let’s Eat Grandma. I’ve seen the name about and saw that it was very highly rated on here so was looking forward to finally checking them out. Every time I listen to it my opinion on it changes! Sometimes I think there’s just too much going on and I find it a bit irritating but the next time it comes round I’m singing along and loving it. It’s definitely piqued my interest enough to check out the album.

The woozy guitars of B R O A D S and then the summery surf jangle of Shells nicely broke up the more ambient sounding section of the mix. The later reminding me of the debut Real Estate album before they became all polished.

Only really one that I would call a miss. Had Oneohtrix Point Never pop up on a few mixes on these swaps and I’ve never gotten on with it and unfortunately this track does nothing to change my mind. It’s not really a genre I listen too much and when I do I seem to struggle with the more harsher sounding electronic side of it. I tend to enjoy the more slower paced, natural sounding tracks so Forma with the lovely scattering of piano, Dialect with the strings and a real warm scratchy sound reminiscent of Forest Swords and Szun Waves with the minimal electronic squiggles and jazzy drums were big hits with me.

Not sure if it’s the cd or my player but on the closing track by Mint Field it took me a couple of listens before I realised it was just jumping and repeating the riff over and over again at the end. It’s quite a hazy, hypnotic riff so I lost myself in it before realising!

Thanks again for a great mix and in this quiet lull at the start of the year it’s given me a lot of new music to discover.


Awesome - thanks for the feedback. Can’t recommend Jim Ghedi highly enough, we listened to it crossing Yorkshire on the way to the Lakes and it was one of those “perfect music for the moment” moments. If you don’t already have any William Tyler, then he is similar and is another avenue.

Accu came to me late in the year while working in a remote church on Shetland and I picked up the album thereafter. I think it’s really good, totally overlooked in the online media (let alone anywhere else).

The Shells album is a great one to work to, entirely instrumental but if you like that guitar tone it is representative of the rest. The B R O A D S track is great but entirely atypical of their normal electronica. Let’s Eat Grandma have five absolute pop bangers (seriously) of which Hot Pink is one and then two 10 minute or so long form dance epics, one of which I would have put on instead but there wasn’t room. Not normally my thing either (found Chvrches boring for example) but their album is varied and so impressive given their years. I also felt compelled to put three Norfolk artists on (Let’s Eat Grandma, B R O A D S and Luke Abbott (Szun Waves)). Both the Szun Waves and Forma albums are great, and I’d strongly recommend both.

I know what you mean by OPN, tbh as he’s moved from conventional drone (Replica / Returnal) into this odd dance / pop / drone hybrid I’ve found his approach too scattershot. The track i put on (which I really like) was comfortably my favourite off an album I don’t feel that compelled to listen to. Lump is a good (but short) album (it’s Laura Marling and a bloke from “folktronica” band Tunng) and worth a try I would say. Thanks again for putting the time into listening to it and providing feedback - I think it’s the only way these mixtape clubs work and it makes it all worth it (even if the feedback is bad, as noted further upthread).

Thanks also for the tip on Norway, sounds amazing. I’ll start saving!!!


Had Ryley on my end of year mix too. The Lilywhite Sessions didn’t do much for me, Deafman Glance was an excellent record from last year which I don’t think got the attention it deserved on here.

I drunkenly accosted him after a gig in December and was for some reason fixated on his double drummer setup. I think it’s because my mate was telling me about all these American tours of his where he’s essentially been trying to get his Twitter followers to put the band up for the night after shows…and then he’s carting two drummers over to the UK! It seems like a luxury he probably can’t afford…but I kind of like that complete disregard for practicalities. Anyway, he was very nice about it…I think.

How many times did you double check your exchange rate on your first day before realising that those were the actual prices??


I can imagine that was a beautiful setting for Jim Ghedi as were the Black Mountains of the Brecon Beacons that my friends were quick to point out after I missed him. I’m sure I was enjoying myself wherever I was but I do have a tinge of regret now when listening to this. Is William Tyler connected to Lambchop? I think I saw Hand Habits post something about playing on his new record so I’ll definitely give it a listen.

Didn’t know anything about Accu until I read the description in the programme and it sounded like my kind of thing. Again something else trumped it and as you said I think the lack of mentions anywhere meant I forgot to check it out on returning so a good job you put it on your mix as it could have been one that totally passed me by.

I think I’ll give the Let’s Eat Grandma album a go this afternoon. I found Hot Pink varied enough so let’s see how I get on with a whole album.

Oh okay I’ve got a couple of early Tunng records so I think I’ll queue this one up too.

Totally agree. Any feedback is good feedback even if it’s bad feedback!


Good stuff - I’d start with Behold The Spirit for WT and then Deseret Canyon. He’s got a little ‘cheesy’ more recently (IMO) if no less critically acclaimed. And yep, you’re right, former Lambchop!


I missed him on the Deafman Glance tour but managed to catch a show on the back of the Golden Sings tour where he was already playing a lot of new stuff. Unfortunately not with two drummers though. I’ve never had the fortune to chat to him but yeah he definitely seems like bit of a character! From some of him posts I can’t quite tell if he enjoys touring or not but he does a hell of a lot of it.

We were told before we left not to change any money as Norway is now pretty much a cashless society but just tapping here there and everywhere makes it a lot harder to keep track of your spending. We are by no means made of money but decided after a couple of days to stop checking our statements for fear of it ruining our holiday! Even the smallest of everyday items were eye-wateringly expensive not to mention the pints of beer!


Norway+++ !


Yeah, you could go a few songs at a time forgetting there were two drummers there (the gig was at Band On The Wall, so you can’t really see them that well anyway) and then suddenly the band would lock into a groove and the extra drums would sound awesome. Hope you get to catch him again.

He humoured us for a couple of minutes in the pub after the show and then some other people came over who’d bought him drinks. I couldn’t compete with that.

In Norway I was glad we’d bought gin in the airport and could just drink G&Ts in the park because we could only just afford the tonic! Return flights were about £30 mind, so just had to see one as offsetting the other.


@keith - thanks for your mix, I loved it - you achieved the rare feat of finding stuff that I mostly hadn’t heard but really enjoyed. There’s nothing on it at all that I didn’t get something from and most of it is genuinely great.

Only five tracks from albums - I’ve got - Sons of
Kemet, Shabaka Hutchings, Young Fathers, Hot Snakes, Neneh Cherry (and I’ve only bought that recently). They are all great, obviously.

Loved Georgia Ann Muldrew and Sudan Archives - neither of which I’d ever heard of and Duppy Gun who I vaguely have (air horns! Great!). Skull Defects and Neinzer both good although they both go on a bit.

I love Mulatu Astake - didn’t know he’s released anything new in 2018.

Holy Faun is not the sort of thing I usually listen to but I quite liked it, again a little on the long side. I’ve tried with Deafheaven before but struggled a bit - the vocals are a bit of a barrier for me. I actually enjoyed this track a lot more than I expected. It clicked with me when I realised it was actually quite similar to early
Mogwai. Take the vocals off an it could easily be one of their quiet/loud/quiet epics like Fear Satan. Actually even the vocals worked for me on this one (perhaps because they are mixed well back). Still not sure I’d want to listen to a whole album of it.

Thanks again. Also complements on the sequencing- made quite a disparate set of music work really well together.


I don’t think I was expecting that positive a reaction!

Sudan Archives has two mini albums - the better one was last year; Georgia Anne Muldrow can be a bit hit and miss but I like that album (Seeds from a few years back was produced by Madlib and is probably her best.)

Duppy Gun’s Miro Tape was probably my favourite thing last year.

I think the Mulatu Astake one might have been 2017 but I bought it last year so I’m counting it! That one is the first I’d heard of his and I really like it.

Deafheaven are definitely an acquired taste. I go through days where I love Holy Fawn and days where I can’t be bothered - I can totally hear Mogwai but also The Cure. That album is a bit of a guilty pleasure because it sounds so early 00s to me.

I’m giving yours another listen tomorrow and will feedback this weekend.