I listen to music practically non-stop. I don't like it when there's no music in the background. From the moment I get up, either the TV or the stereo is on; the only way I can deal with the tube (at any hour) is to clamp my headphones over my ears and retreat into some appropriate tunes; at work, I always have some music playing and when I am napping I need some appropriately chilled music in the background. Every so often, I stumble across an album which shapes the next six months or so, and will not be leaving my iPod. Previous examples (in chronological order) include: Sound of Silver (LCD), Transparent Things (Fujiya & Miyagi), Writer's Block (Peter Bjorn and John) and a Bugz in the Attic LifeStyles compilation of '80s funk. Just before Xmas, I read about the incognito DJ and producer Burial, whose new album had been rated amongst the best of 2007. Normally, end-of-year lists are a little overone, but this was on DrownedinSound.com, the forum of uberMusos and sonic aesthetes of the highest (and often elitest and most pretentious) order. Duly, I investigated, after having many pleasant aural discoveriesas a result of positive reviews. And the fantastic sounds within - muffled garage beats over orchestral arrangements; choral crescendoes clashing with electronic shufflings - have provided a soundtrack to the last few months of dark winter. The sonic landscape (yes, it sounds grand, but it's not until you listen to this album that you can really grasp just how visual and grand a noise it makes) on display in 'Untrue' genuinely envelops you, swirls around you, sucks you down into a thickly smoky and richly delicious place; perfect for when you're swaddled in your scarf in the rain on your way home from a club at 3am. It's the kind of album that I have played, then heard in several different places, the kind that slowly seeps into your unconscious and before you realise it, the album has become a Staple. This is what makes a great album; personal conenctions with truly fantastic music. Other Staples this week:
Burial's album 'Untrue'
A slim silver leather belt
The Queen Mary pub on the Thames
American Apparel pants
Having a working boiler
Hoegaarden with Lime
Argos' self-service machines & "the laminated catalogue of dreams"