Here is the second part of Bleep Years, in which I trawl through two decades of tunes that sum up, in an entirely and unfairly arbitrary fashion, whole years of my life. Today's randomly-chosen year is...
2003: Plaid's Get What You Gave
2003 was a big year for pop music. White Stripes enlisted their Seven Nation Army, Beyonce was Crazy In Love and Kelis had a line of dairy products that was proving popular with her male fans. Plaid. though, were calling back to a whole different era.
Having released records for over a decade, by 2003 Plaid were already an amazing band. Their insistent, spiralling tunes were a nod to their origins as members of The Black Dog, a leading pioneer of intelligent, brain-driven techno. Plaid's album this year, Spokes, was hailed as a return to those roots.
The debate continues as to whether Spokes is one of their better albums. One thing it did do was confirm their status as uber-ultra-lords of all electronica (official title). What I loved about the eighth track on the album, Get What You Gave, was the sheer simplicity: like steel drums on a Sunday drive along the rings of Saturn.
This track is still one of my most DJed. The track acts as a very simple study in repetitive melody, with all manner of spikes and whirrs peppering proceedings from start to finish. There was no other song from this year that got under mys skin more, that slowly and carefully spread its tuneful darkness. Get me tipsy on a few of Kelis' milkshakes and I may even start raving that this is the number one anthem from electronica's number one band.