Monday, 15 November 2010

[under duress] My Top 20 Albums of 2010

My place of work has demanded that I write down my top twenty albums of this year, and then share them with my fellow colleagues.

Unfortunately, I have mostly listened to Ben Sage's 2008 release "How The Days Collide" over and over, occasionally wondering whether Burial was going to hurry up and make a new set of sounds for me to absorb. No such luck, so far.

However, with a bit of hard work, I have managed to get 20 albums out of this year's solidly ridiculous hipster-fap. I thougth you might like to see them, and then list why I'm wrong about it underneath. That's what music fans do, isn't it?

Ok, here we go.

20. Cee Lo Green - Ladykiller.
Cee-Lo is a fucking legend. His voice is how I imagine baby centaurs would sing, if they were brought up during northern soul in the 70s. This album might be sneered at by some, but those "some" are clearly total morons.

(Embedding for Cee Lo has been disabled - soz)

19. The Roots - How I Got Over
Hip-Hop with soul. I just love them. So should you.

18. Four Tet - There Is Love In You
My love affair with Four Tet has been long and enduring, and they didn't let me down this year.

17. Darwin Deez - Darwin Deez
This cheeky chappy might look like he needs a bath, but he does make the most cheerful pop music you've ever heard. And I'm not using "pop" in the 'I guess if we say pop it makes us look like we have a broad musical spectrum' sense, I mean, look at him. He's pop through and through. He makes me dance like a primary school kid in a PE lesson.

16. Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
Little Laura has made me cry before with her wispy-yet-powerful voice. It was hard for someone so lyrically mature to grow up, but she's managing it. A great effort.

15. Andreya Triana - Lost Where I Belong
I was notified of Andreya Triana's album this year because of hearing her voice in my Bonobo playlist (yes, Bonobo playlist). A bit Sunday Papers, but still enjoyable.

14. Erykah Badu - New AmErykah Part 2 Return Of The Ankh

A soulful voice, odd samples, interesting beats - good road trip music.

13. Foals - Total Life Forever
As much as I dislike most indie music, I somehow fall for the most indie of them all every time. "Math Rock"? I mean, what even is that? Foals <3

12. Danny Byrd - Rave Digger
We're getting into my regular territory now. Danny is mental, which is pretty much the only way to describe his own unique way of crushing D&B up into tasty little crumbs and glueing them back together with syrupy-sweet melodic treacle. If you'll pardon the laboured metaphor.

11. The National - High Violet
There are two reasons why this album is on this list. One - The National are, and always have been, motherflipping awesome. The second is that if I didn't include them, my boss would probably fire me.

10. Chilly Gonzales - Ivory Tower
Quite frankly the most unashamedly funtastical album since Chromeo's debut. This also inclues my song of the year, You Can Dance.

9. Netsky - Netsky
He gets his name from Skynet, the robo-baddies from Terminator films, and he makes what I like to call "Nighttime D&B". Basically, it sounds better if you're out in the dark and there's some orange streetlamps lighting up the wet pavement. It's ATMOSPHERIC. We got there in the end.

8. Logistics - Space Jams
Another Hospital Records dude, but I can't help myself. They're all so flaming well talented. What can I say? He always comes up with the goods.

7. Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (II)
Yeah, they called their second album the same as their name AND their debut. Yeah, they're madder than a basket full of tadpoles. Yeah, they're so noisy sometimes you wish your ears would pack up. I still love 'em though. I've seen them more than any other band in my lifetime (7 times, or 6, if you don't count the one where I was unconscious). Embrace the ridiculousness, and wish you had a Black Eyed Madonna T-Shirt (mine got stolen :( )

6. Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Deftones are another band who bring out album after album of music so good I want to eat it all up. Helpully, the big fat walls of reverb they create makes it that much easier to imagine each track is a big sandwich.

5. Massive Attack - Heligoland
Not their best offering, but I was so damn worked up about it that i forced myself to love it, despite it's flaws. You can't tell a parent that their child is useless, and the same goes for trying to tell me that Massive Attack are irrelevant. I don't believe you.

4. Chromeo - Business Casual
Chromeo are sheer brilliance, plus, the lead singer is hot like jalopenos. AND they were on Yo Gabba Gabba. Sayyy whhaaaaaaat.

3. Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma
A man who made me love him at Bangface - he has more fun performing than all those in the crowd combined. THAT my friends, is an acheivement. Jagged hip-hop beats and dream-like samples. Loverlay.

2. Bonobo - Black Sands
A friend once said to me when I passed comment about my listening to Bonobo: "How very vegan of you". Yes, they do sound like the musical equivalent of wooden floorboards, woven throws, scatter cushions and incense sticks, but isn't that nice to have sometimes? Don't you sometimes want a nice comforting bath that tells you how lovely you are sometimes, rather than an aggressive yet invigorating shower? So yes, Bonobo is the Galaxy chocolate of the musical world, but I bloody love them for it.

1. MIA - /\/\/\Y/\
Good old Maya Arulgaprasm's been at the Korg again. This album was kicked from loved to hated so many times this year that it just had to be number one. It still hasn't bored me, and she still makes me feel excited about what music can be. Congratulations MIA, you've got a fan in an insignificant online presence :)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Kutiman - Still my favourite man on the internet.

It's wrong, actually, to say he's my favourite man. It implies his genius is singular. He, and the people who star in the videos he cuts up to form beautifully complex musical feats of editing achievement, are my favourite people on the internet.

He started making his Youtube video mashups three years ago, and I noticed them...ooh, about a year after that. I never stated that I was particularly fast to catch on to internet phenomena.

Here it is, the greatest human acheivement since Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangaliter's mothers gave birth. I hope you continue to love it as much as I do.

Visit Kutiman's website Thru-You and prepare to feel a helluva lot less talented.
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