Alright. Grendelcakes has moved to Wordpress where it looks much sexier and makes me infinitely more happy. Sorry blogger :( we've had some lovely moments but its time to move on.

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Recent mixes can now be streamed online here
What a magical world we live in.



Making end of year lists seems to be all the rage at the moment, so it seems that I should make an of attempt to follow suite. What follows is probably my favourite ten records from the last year, those that I can remember at least, and a few others that deserve mention but didn't quite make it into the top ten:

Ana Caravelle - Basic Climb
Beautiful, original compositions, seamlessly combining classical harp with a plethora of other instuments and elegantly delivered vocals. All the quirky drama of Kate Bush and the intricate beauty of Joanna Newsom yet somehow more alluring than either of the above.

Downliners Sekt - Hello Lonely Hold the Nation & We make hits, not the public
Unspeakably brilliant next level productions that allude to almost every facet of contemporary music yet somehow defy any attempts at categorisation. Where they get their ideas from is beyond me, the same head-scratching wonderment probably goes for the majority of the electronic music community.

Darkstar - North
Brooding, melancholy songs inseamed with a rich sense of cultural milieu. I was a bit sceptical after hearing that Darkstar had left their computer laments behind and incorporated a singer into their lineup, but the fears were unfounded and the results were spot on.

Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
Not much more can be said about Lotus' third album than hasn't already been repeated endlessly. Suffice to say there's a number of very good reasons why this sonic opus appears at the top of so many best of 2010 lists.

Lorn - Nothing Else
As sombre as it is exhilarating, as angst ridden as it is awe inspiring, Nothing Else was a sharply inhaled breath of fresh (if a little murky) air when it dropped. Subsequent commercial success was a remarkable achievement and a testament to the somewhat unlikely mass appeal of this album.

Four Tet - There Is Love in You
Considering his formidable reputation, Four Tet's foray into 4/4 rhythms could have been received as a terrible oversight. Fortunately we were treated to an unquantifiably beautiful  album that has been on constant rotation my house since the beginning of the year, and will probably remain so for years to come.

Susumu Yokota - Kaleidoscope
Whirling, disconcerting, eclectic compositions from a bafflingly versatile, genre hopping producer. In accordance to the title, Kaleidoscope is a shimmering, multifaceted journey through sonic worlds that are alien and familiar in equal measure.

Forest Swords - Dagger Paths & Rattling Cage
Haunting and epic in every sense, Dagger Paths and the subsequent single Rattling Cage deserve to be recognised as the two of the most original and evocative releases of the year. Like embarking on a feverish oddessy across a fractured world where nothing is quite as it seems.

James Blake - CMYK & Klavierwerke EP
After an accomplished start to the year with the Bells Sketch EP on Hessle Audio, James Blake has gone on to prove that he is even more talented and inventive than any one could have foreseen. Although I'm trying not to play favourites here, I don't mind saying that these two EP's are my favourite releases of the year.

Clubroot - II/MMX
Another gem of an album from the mysterious Clubroot, who manages to somehow make forward leaning music whilst maintaining a constant focus on retrospective themes. Comparisons to Burial abound, but they do nothing to diminish the mercurial, haunting beauty of this sophmore release. It's wistful, rave imbued textures and pulsing wood block beats create a sound that is as euphoric and uplifting as it is mournful and reflective.

Special Mentions go to:

Jneiro Jarel - Fauna
Dam Mantle - Purple Arrow EP
Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner
Johann Johannson - ...and in the endless pause came the sound of bees
oOoOO - oOoOO EP
Balam Acab - See Birds EP
Flying Lotus - Pattern + Grid World
Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers
Asura - Asura
Brian Eno - Small Craft on a Milk Sea
Shigeto -Full Circle
Dimlite - Prismic Tops


Beats for the Btown Sistas Vol. 2: Pocket Summer

Its a Pocket Summer yeah? Small enough to fit in your pocket and light enough carry around wherever you go. The forecast is a cascade of sunshine beats interspersed with cool breezes and an occasional light rain shower to keep things fresh. An hour, or thereabouts, of glorious mornings, sun drenched afternoons and balmy evenings. No mosquitos though, which is a blessing.

Beats for the Btown Sistas

1: Avril 14th – Aphex Twin (Ana Caravelle Cover Version)
2: Lonely Owl – Gold Panda
3: Farewell and Closing – Spencer Doran & Cloaks
4: Pee Green Bote – Fishing
5: Hazy Window – Bugskull
6: Oooo – Fishing
7: Snow – Red
8: Skies of The Revolution – Shigeto
9: Cascade – Tycho
10: Land of Plenty – Kid Kanevil (Throwing Snow Remix)
11: Breathing Light – Nitin Sawhney
12: You do my head in – Bass Clef
13: Castaju Cajuena – Jneiro Jarel
14: Marmalade – Taz Buckfaster
15: Fairweather Friends – Daedalus
16: Kid Sista – Jega
17: Polaroid Romance – A Setting Sun & Shigeto
18: Two Weeks Inner Science (Remix) – Aslope
19: Circling – Fourtet
20: You – Gold Panda
21: Maybes (Live in Berghain) – Mount Kimbie


Beats for the Btown Sistas Vol. 1: A Homesickness Cure

I done a new mix! Part one of a three part series originally dedicated to my Btown sisters is now available for everyone to enjoy! An hour (or thereabouts) of straight up, unadulterated UK business. So if you're missing old blighty, or if you want to remind yourself why its so special, or even if you hate the place and want a reason to justify your convictions, this ought to do the trick...

Beats for the Btown Sistas

Volume 1: A Homesickness Cure (Click Here)

1: Trim – Thoughts
2: Geeneus Feat. Riko, Wiley & Breeze – Knife & Gun (Blackdown Remix)
3: Dusk & Blackdown – Con Fusion
4: Amen Ra & Double Helix – Steelz
5: Quest – The Seafront
6: Quest – Eden
7: Skream – Trapped In a Dark Bubble
8: The Bug Feat. Warrior Queen – Poison Dart
9: Vex’d – Lion (VIP)
10: Dusk & Blackdown – Focus
11: Sully – In Some Pattern
12: Naphta – Soundclash #1 (Grievous Angel VIP)
13: Naphta – Soundclash #1 (VIP)
14: Remarc – R.I.P (Remix)
15: Omni Trio – Renegade Snares (VIP)
16: LTJ Bukem – Horizons
17: Clubroot – Toe to Toe
18: Coldcut & Hexstatic – Timber
19: Pariah – Orpheus
20: Fantastic Mr Fox – Sketches (Roska Remix)
21: Fourtet – This Unfolds
22: James Blake – I Only Know (What I Know Now)
23: Mount Kimbie – 50 Mile View
24: James Blake – Postpone
25: Bass Clef – Halliwick
26: Dam Mantle - Movement


Erratic Conditions

Occasionally it seems that the whole world decides to be a bit clunky and awkward, stuff doesn't line up properly, I trip over a lot. Perhaps its a personal affliction but if you're also finding yourself crashing awkwardly through life, unable to get into the flow of things or even to maintain your balance, here's three music things that won't help in the slightest:

Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches + Fermented Condiments

Sunken Foal have been around for a while and as such should require little introduction, they even had a track featured on one of Mary Anne Hobbs' compilations which is as good a seal of approval as any. This isn't to say that they have a huge fanbase, until very recently the only person I've ever heard championing their music was Mary Anne herself and although its more than apparent why you don't hear it played out or at dinner parties or whatever, I feel as though I've lost out having been ignorant of them for so long. Nevertheless it remains to be said that they're really rather talented and now some two years after their debut release it's probably only fair to give them some belated props: At first Fallen Arches sounds pretty sedate, sort of like Boards of Canda being reinterpreted by The Cinematic Orchestra in a sunlit meadow somewhere in  middle England. At some point (perhaps on track four) this all changes dramatically and it quickly becomes clear why such ambient, pastoral pleasantry ever got signed to Planet Mu. It has to be said that after such a meandering start the Plaid style drums and glitched edits were a bit of a jarring departure, but once you get used to being removed so abruptly from your comfort zone it quickly becomes apparent how good this album is. The same can be said for the follow up EP Fermented Condiments, an enjoyable and suitable sucessor, featuring three new cuts alongside Triplehorn from the album. What's worthy of particular praise is that through its stylistic variation this should appeal to a range of demographics, fans of anyone from Animal Collective to Aphex Twin and most ports in between should enjoy this greatly.

Dam Mantle - Purple Arrow EP

I've been keeping a weather eye on Dam Mantle since he dropped his somewhat overlooked Grey EP last year; an intellegent and ambitious debut that, despite being generally awesome, may have been a touch too esoteric for mass appeal. However all preconceptions arising from his previous release have been comprehensively demolished by this follow up. The opener Theatre  is a massively anthemic statement of intent, sounding in equal parts like Rustie, Kuedo and Dibiase and easily matching all of them in impact and complexity. Not to be pigeonholed as a peddlar of 8 bit-synth rave his approach on Broken Slumber is quite different, building with soft, pastel hued pads, choral drones and squeaky ephemera before flipping the tune entirely with an cold, alien synth wobble that Starkey would be proud to call his own. The EP closes with Purple Arrow and Two Women, two entirely unpredicatable tracks that defy expectations and and evade any attempts at categorisation. The former is a massive tune, to be honest I wasn't expecting much during the intro; the vocal buildup falls somewhere between The Mighty Boosh and the jarring delivery on Dimlite's Elbow Flood, however the drop is immense, bringing a bass line that sounds like something from a '96 era Bad Company tune drip filtered through treacle, alongside a wash of twinkling astral sounds and more Kuedo-esque lazer synths. Finally Two Women wraps up the EP in impressive form, think Robot Koch's Gorom Sen being blended with Dimlite's Kalimba Deathswamp in an unlikely mashup-remix collaboration between Darkstar and Asa Chang & Junray. Just as outrageous and brilliant as it sounds.

Ana Caravelle - Basic Climb

Singer, harpist and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Ana Caravelle brings the latest in a string of impeccable offerings from Non Projects. After the genre defying, future leaning sounds presented by labelmates Asura and Anenon this is an interesting deviation for the fledgling label; Caravelle's music is almost entirely organic, based heavily in rustic folk templates but with elements of melodramatic pop and modern classical inseamed within the compostion, sounding kind of like how you'd imagine it would if you went for a walk on a sunny summer's day and accidentally stumbled into a tangled yet glorious wild rose garden cultivated by tree spirits in the middle of an ancient forest. As a vocal talent she bears comparison with a plethora of contemporaries and influences, from Cocorosie and Joanna Newsom to Bjork and Kate Bush, yet she manages to avoid sound overly similar to any one of them which is certainly to her credit. Her delivery is particularly interesting, at some points slipping into rhythmic poetry and at others becoming a melodic narrative, all the while maintaining a consistently lovely balance from one transition to another. The tracks are all arranged by Caravelle, providing equal voice to flutes, strings and percussion; each beautifully layered into a lush tapestry that forms a background mileu for her elegant vocals and intricate harp arrangements. The album was produced by Asura and mastered by Daddy Kev so expect some minor tweaks and edits here and there, but for the most part this is an impressive solo debut from an incredibly talented musician.



Back from a blurry couple of weeks in the UK, lots of time spent with loved ones, enjoying lock ins at the pub and gathering as many memories of my favourite people as possible, all culminating in a beautiful wedding of two close friends. Hattie asked me to put a special bass heavy mix together for the wedding after party and as requested it's now available for download with accompanying tracklist:

Weddingcakes - Mixed by Grendel (2010)

1: In  Ruins - Fol Chen (Baths Remix)
2: Aidy's Girl's a Computer - Darkstar
3: Skyfire - Slugabed
4: P-Clart - Kavsrave
5: Tron - Joker
6: Agnus Dei - Eskmo
7: Baggage Handler - Kavsrave
8: Until There is No End - Lorn
9: Space Boots - BD1982 (Slugabed Remix)
10: Everything up (Zizou) - Zero 7 (Joker & Ginz Remix)
11: Midnight Thunder - Nero
12: Unknown - Quest
13: Jelly Monster - Science Project
14: Searching - Om Unit (EAN Remix)
15: Level 9 - Mala
16: Last Chance - Starkey
17: Chainsaw Calligraphy - 16 Bit
18: Chainsaw Calligraphy - 16 Bit (Kanji Kinetic Remix)
19: Gammera - Hexstatic (Akira Kiteshi Remix)
20: Otacon - Reso
21: Armoured Core - Reso
22: Cuthead Theme - Cuthead
23: Street Dancing - Naphta
24: Win San Western - Gold Panda
25: Loving Dub - Barry Lynn
26: Be True - Commix
27: Nothing Makes Any Sense - Bop (Blu Mar Ten Remix)
28: Turn Up the Music - Camo & Crooked
29: Enjoy the Moment - Bop (Thinnen Remix)
30: Electric Dream - Shapeshifter
31: Racing Green - High Contrast
32: Satellite Type 2 - Commix
33: Sunhammer - Amon Tobin & Noisia
34: Stigma - Noisia
35: Middle of the Night - Evol Intent
36: Don't Dream It Mirage Mix - Pale Sketcher (original by Jesu)
37: Run In To The Light - Brokenchord
38: Dream Out - Balam Acab

Dedicated to Sam and Hattie. Have a wicked honeymoon guys!