The Hot 100: Labels we love
- Stewart Smith
- 1 November 2017
We flick through this year's movers and shakers among the Scottish cassette, vinyl and digital record houses
The prohibitive cost of vinyl has led to a renaissance in underground cassette labels and Scotland is full of great ones. GLARC, aka Greater Lanarkshire Research Council, win the award for most original packing, with their felt and ceramic efforts. The music was brilliant too, from Quinie's stark Celtic folk to Still House Plants' dreamy and explosive art-pop. Oliver and Laurie Pitt's Akashic presented the surreal sound art of Vernon & Burns, and a joyous compilation of tracks from Green Door Studio's youth programme.
Domestic Exile unleashed the queasy electronics of Sue Zuki, while Winning Sperm Party took a surprise turn into jazz fusion with Banana Oil. At War With False Noise roared back into action with the welcome return of Glasgow's dark cosmic overlords Vom, while Fuzzkill spooled out garage pop from Catholic Action and Shredd. And if you don't have a tape player, fear not, for it's all available digitally via Bandcamp.
At the more commercial end of the underground, Night School enjoyed another great year (number 9 on Hot 100), while Optimo initiated its So Low imprint with Happy Meals' blissed-out Full Ashram Devotional Ceremony. Edinburgh indie stalwarts Song, by Toad brought us the acclaimed debut of singer-songwriter Siobhan Wilson, while crowdfunded Last Night From Glasgow entered its second year with new releases from the Americana-tinged Sister John and 'minor supergroup' Radiophonic Tuckshop. Eigg's Lost Map hosted their Howlin' Fling festival and released the debut album from Manuela, the off-kilter pop group from Manuela Gernedel and her husband, former Franz Ferdinand guitarist Nick McCarthy.
Veteran indie label Chemikal Underground was the subject of Niall McCann's documentary Lost in France, while Mogwai's Rock Action went pop with Sacred Paws' infectious Strike a Match, a deserving winner of the Scottish Album Of The Year Award.
Check out The Hot 100 2017 now.