Every month we hand over the blog over to our playlister-in-chief Ollie, to tell you all about this month's musical picks. Read on to listen, find out more, and enjoy.
January’s Boat Floaters playlist, crafted exclusively for Meet Bernard, is especially exotic by design – how else to lift the Lockdown III blues? I’ve been having vivid dreams of far-flung holidays only to wake up to the nightmarish, grounding reality. Music can help jet us off.
Ska Cubano – a London-based band, ironically enough, though grouping together Mambo fans from all over the world – kicks things off with Babalu. It’s mysterious and charming, and suitably upbeat as the opening track for the year. Fittingly, the song title is a reference to the Yoruba people's Babalú Ayé, the spirit of healing that respects the elderly and is a protector of health.
I can’t get enough of La Mont Zeno Theatre’s Tell Them They Are Beautiful, a clever piece that is empowering and heartbreaking (certainly for a middle-class white man) in equal measure, from 2015 album Black Fairy – it’s just a shame it’s only 112-seconds long. I want much more.
I had to include some MF Doom, whose death was announced over the festive season. I chose Coriander, from his Special Herbs collection, which – ironically enough – doesn’t include any of his rapping, but proves he was a master beat-maker, too.
Also included in the 34-song selection is BADBADNOTGOOD’s effort for the latest Grand Theft Auto, The Chocolate Conquistadors, on which MF Doom is spitting rhymes in his unique way. Rest in beats!
On of my faves of this selection is Oyobi’s Mi Ritmo – just try not to get up and dance. It’s impossible not to wiggle to this newly released (via Atjazz) monster tune.
There are a couple of tunes from Khruangbin’s Late Night Tales, launched in December, which I urge you to check out. It was one of the best compilations of the year for me.
Here’s to a happier, healthier 2021.
Yours in music,
Ollie (Boat Floaters)