Great Xmas comp from Brighton’s fantastic Third Kind Records, with all money going to housing charity Shelter UK. If you don’t know about Shelter, the summary on their website expresses it perfectly:
“Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through our advice, support and legal services. And we campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to us for help.”
Buying this album is a superb way to donate to this amazing charity and hear some first-rate tunes at the same time. There are obviously too many highlights to mention across the album’s 18 tracks, but, if prompted, I guess I could pick out a few current faves.
Coming on strong early doors is Embla Quickbeam’s ‘Boreal Sonne’, a rainforest chorale of squeaks and hoots whose shifting, whistling tones flow out my speakers like biome data from a 3D printer. Tolling bells and weary drones add layers of shadowy unease, before the sun comes up over the canopy, and the nightmares just fade away.
Another front-end hit is the graceful electro-dub of Mudd Corp’s ‘Een Beetje Moe’. Perky synths execute a gamine jig over a diamond-sharp bottom line, with the double-speed hi-hat straight from the Black Ark making for hazy disorientation.
Elizabeth Veldon’s ‘A Ghost Story For Christmas’ offers a spooky counterpart to the sci-fi jams of her recent Third Kind tape, ‘Laika and Other Works’. Radiant electronic baubles hang glistening in space, their globular reverberations casting waves of gleaming inquietude. Short but cosmically unsettling.
Worthing’s Linden Pomeroy has a tape coming out on Third Kind on 2018, and ‘Falling Snow’, the track on offer here, provides an intriguing taster. Muttered syllables push through layers of translucent haze, and, while sleigh bell and xylophone add appropriately seasonal touches, the shadowy forms that are just about visible through the murk keep things on the right side of twee.
Finally, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a dodgy novelty song, and Erm & Nickname do their best to oblige. ‘What Do You Want For Christmas?’ is sticky wodge of comedy pop that sloshes Adam & Joe’s Song Wars and Dennis Waterman & George Cole’s ‘What Are We Gonna Get For ‘Er Indoors?’ into a blender, whizzing up a Tartrazine and Eggnog-flavoured mulch that’ll send all and sundry into sugary delirium. It’s the soundtrack to a perfect holiday.