James Buttery is a Melbourne-based Kiwi who probably spends too much time (and a little too much money) digging though record crates across the city. He runs a sort of successful Youtube channel discussing recent vinyl purchases, and other music related topics.
Here are five albums he’s loving right now…
1 – Blur, The Great Escape: I recently revisited this album after hearing Country House again for the first time in ages. The Great Escape album feels like a social commentary of the 90s that I’m not quite old enough to remember. Sprinkled with a cast of classic Damon Albarn-esque characters, you dislike yet feel sorry for, living their lives in hedonism but ultimately, hollowness. The artwork is instantly recognisable, capturing the concept perfectly (A man escaping from a boat only to be caught by the shark below). Classic Blur.
2 – Rabbitlock, The Backbone: I picked this up a few months back at Rough Peel, only because I noticed it was on the almost forgotten Avant-Garde / Experimental Jazz label Braille, which was based in Wellington in the late 80s. Absolutely sublime musicianship using bongos, xylophones, banjos, cellos alongside more traditional jazz instruments. Bizarre as hell, completely weird but I really love it, an ‘outsider’ album if there ever was one. There’s something about this album that’s Kiwi enough to make me miss home.
3 – Popol Vuh, Kailash: A moving score to a documentary made about a mountain in Tibet, spiritual cosmic, piano-based music. Plenty of reverb and atmospherics to conjure up visions of grand open spaces and stunning landscapes. Blew me away when I first heard this. Others may hear this as pseudo-religious dribble but for me this feels genuine and moving. Highly Recommended.
4 – Jorge Ben, Forca Bruta: As summer rolls around, it’s time for this album to get a spin. A perfect summer record, Brazilian pop perfection in my book. Joyful music with killer guitar-led rhythms and singalong choruses (even if you can’t speak any Portuguese).
When you hear this, and the sun’s out you would almost want to give this record a perfect ten.
4 – Dead C, Secret Earth: Dead C, what can I say? Freaking awesome, what is it about this band?? There’s just something hidden under there that you can feel, but you can’t always hear. This album hit me right in the heart the other night when I had it on. Lo-Fi Rock Drone Goodness. Eat it up.