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2013 – Mystery Man

June 13th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

At some point in the 2000’s I just stopped buying CDs. This is a big deal for me, having over-spent on music for as long as I can remember. The thing is, all my existing CDs are only played through the computer, having been ripped ages ago. New music I just stream. I pay the full-price subscription to Spotify, so no freeloading, but even that is a lot less than I would have spent on physical product.

This works out well for me, because I have been discovering so much new music that I couldn’t afford to buy it all, and a lot of it would get listened to quite rarely anyway. My only exceptions were for surround sound SACD or DVD-A discs which I would play through the DVD player (because it is a universal player than can handle all those formats) and the AV amp that Jayne got me for my 50th birthday. In reality this is mostly just the Steve Wilson surround remixes of old Yes albums.

Having said that, this year an album came out that excited me so much I just had to buy it, even though I didn’t really need to. It was Snapshot by The Strypes. The band were all about 17 when the album was released, but this was not really a case of me being ‘down with the kids’ because this is an extremely retro album. The band, showing remarkable taste at such a young age, were big fans of Dr. Feelgood and early Yardbirds and play very much in that style. There is hope for the future if teenagers are getting enthused by Wilko Johnson.

There were some other new discoveries for me. I didn’t feel compelled to buy their stuff but enjoyed listening to them all the same. TRAAMS released a debut album. They are a local-ish band, from Chichester and another band with some noticeable krautrock influences, which I always approve of. My other discovery was Shpongle, who have been going for ages, but under my radar. They are more psychedelic, dance/trance and remind me a bit of The Orb and FSOL.

There was a bit more excitement in the form of Public Service Broadcasting’s debut LP Inform-Educate-Entertain, which was every bit as good as I had hoped, after hearing the War Room EP last year.

Otherwise, there were a lot of new releases by old favourites like Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, The Fall, Joe Bonamassa, Franz Ferdinand, Eminem, Pet Shop Boys, Arctic Monkeys, Megadeth, Manic Street Preachers and newer favourites like Fat Freddy’s Drop and John Grant. Elton John released The Diving Board, another late-career classic, and David Bowie sprang The Next Day on us.

There were even some chart singles that caught my attention – Get Lucky and Happy. Both really catchy and instant classics.

With so much to get enthused about, it was like being a teenager again. I don’t think I had been so engaged in new music for decades, and the track Mystery Man from the Strypes’ album is a reminder of how my appetite for new music was renewed in 2013, and so it goes on my playlist for this year. Here is the official video for it:

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