From Britney to Germán Bringas: the best old music our writers discovered in 2023

Our belated discoveries included some giant hits of the 80s and 90s as well as little noticed Moroccan genius and Polish post-punk
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Slapp Happy’s 1972 debut album is a curious thing. It was recorded at Faust’s Wümme studios, with the krautrock legends acting as backing band, but it sounds absolutely nothing like krautrock. It was intended as a joke – a sarcastic response to experimental musician Anthony Moore’s record label demanding something more commercial – but carries no audible trace of the smug condescension that implies. Instead, it exists in an unplaceable space of its own creation. Its melodies stick with you – the fabulous Blue Flower was covered on Mazzy Star’s 1990 debut album She Hangs Brightly – its air of oddness feels unaffected, Dagmar Krause’s voice is a plaintive delight: pop music made by minds untethered to accepted notions of pop. Alexis Petridis

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