Kyle McCallum Top Ten
Kyle is responsible for the fantastic Contrapop Festival in Ramsgate. Possibly the greatest Thanet music festival since the glory days of Broadstairs Folk Week. He has a fantastic show on Margate Radio too.
Celestial Choir – Stand on the Word (1982)
I first heard this one at Optimo at the Sub Club in Glasgow in 2003. I’m not religious at all but this was a spiritual experience, especially on that massive soundsystem. I wouldn’t usually do this but I climbed up the outside of the booth and leaned in to see what it was and saw LARRY 02 spinning. Levan’s involvement in the record is contested but that’s another story. It’s testament to the music that it had the same effect on me when played through one of the worst set of speakers in the world at a DIY venue in Margate in 2022. This is the only record in my collection that I’ve worn out and re-bought three times even although a couple of the copies were double-sided with the same track on each side.
Robert Wyatt – Age of Self (1985)
One of my all-time favourite artists, but I first heard this particular track when Anadol played it in a London DJ set in 2022. Love the bit where he does the echo on his voice by repeating the word himself in real time rather than using effects – it’s this playful and reflective approach that makes Wyatt such a legend.
Francois de Roubaix – Les Amis (1971)
Discovered this one through the revelation that was the post-Limewire file-sharing culture of 2008. Was lucky enough to happen across the 7” single itself in a Paris record shop in 2021 as well. While it was made a good decade earlier than ‘Stand on the Word’, ‘Les Amis’ shares the euphoric choral qualities of the Celestial Choir but comes from a film soundtrack, rather than gospel/club, context.
Ghetto Priest – I Murder Hate (2017)
I was lucky enough to sit in on Squidz’s vocal sessions for this track at On-U Sound HQ in 2014. The record is a collaboration between Ghetto Priest, Adrian Sherwood and visual artist Graham Fagen and revolves around Squidz’s delivery of the words of Robbie Burns. The production is quintessentially Sherwood – warm, rich and heavy – and the vocal delivery is smooth as velvet.
Delia Derbyshire – Blue Veils and Golden Sands (1968)
I love that the sole instrument used in this recording is a tatty old BBC lampshade. If Derbyshire could make work as deep as this using a solitary household object, it’s no wonder she was upset when all those young bucks starting cutting corners using new-fangled synthesisers. Derbyshire was a true artist who fought the establishment and the commercialisation of the BBC and ultimately lost. However, her legacy lives on in her discography and in the work of the countless experimenters she inspired.
Anadol – Ablamin Gozleri (2022)
To be honest, it’s less about this individual track and more about the artist’s whole back catalogue. I could have chosen anything from her last four albums as they’re all killer. There are shades of Delia Derbyshire/White Noise, Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks score and elements of the Necromantik soundtrack in Anadol’s work, but it’s greater than the sum of its parts and is completely uncompromising in its vision.
ANGUSRAZE – WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD (2022)
Yorkshire-born Kentish lad ANGUSRAZE makes music like nothing I’ve ever heard before. You might say I’ve led a sheltered life and maybe you’d be right, but if you’ve ever heard anything like this then fair play to you. The best way to describe it would be Diamanda Galas stuck in a lift with a faulty record plyer and a warped copy of ‘Happy Funeral’ by Kitchen and the Plastic Spoons.
Bonnie Dobson – Morning Dew (1962)
First heard the Tim Rose version of this one on Optimo’s (Why Nobody Comes) Back to Mine CD in 2004 and then got into Dobson’s original a few years later. It was the first song she ever wrote and has to go down as one of the greatest ever written. It was a blueprint for the pop-and-rock-adjacent variety of the ’60s folk revival but transcends genre in its post-apocalyptic sublimity.
The Storm Bugs – European Coffee Lounge (2023)
Steven Ball and Philip Sanderson’s Storm Bugs projects is one of the few musical endeavours that has retained its integrity and vitality over a four and half decade period. Coming out of the DIY tape underground of the late ‘70s, the duo’s latest release is as fresh as a daisy and as wonky as a temperature-sensitive synth in a thunderstorm. ‘European Coffee Lounge’ (pressurised and finely ground) breaks the third wall like B.S. Johnson, ‘The Girl Chewing Gum’ or peak-era Wyatt and is as funky as a mozzie’s proboscis.
Dean Rodney Jr. and the Cowboys – The Man with the Golden Suit (2023)
One of the most prolific artists of the 21st century, DRJ’s singular vision is now backed by the Cowboys on his ‘The Yeehaw Moment’ release. This is life-affirming music that will move you and entertain you in equal measure. DRJ’s lyrics will paint vivid pictures in your mind and his Cowboy’s musical backdrop will get your feet shifting and your shoulders swaying.