After gate-crashing the Britpop party in 1996 with The First Big Weekend , Arab Strap went on to produce eight albums (six of them on Chemikal Underground) over a period of 10 years. Reflecting now, over a dozen years after the songs were initially recorded, we can start to appreciate just how influential Moffat and Middleton’s output actually was. Favourites of Conor Oberst, Underworld and Helena Christiansen; they are regularly cited as primary influences for bands like The Twilight Sad and, in Aidan Moffat’s lyrics, they shone a light under the rock of sexual politics with so much truth, honesty and insight that, had it not been for the fact they were so funny and, well…accurate all the time, we would have been barely able to look. This collection explores Arab Strap’s recorded material from the time of their first two groundbreaking albums: their debut The Week Never Starts Round Here (1996) and its spectacular follow-up Philophobia (1998).
Best listened to from inside the womb, Duster’s 1998’s debut Stratosphere simultaneously capped off and reinvented the slow core’s first wave. A four track dreamscape that will wake the neighbors [...]