That's right, it's that time of the year. Christmas is 9 days away now, and the end of 2010 is upon us. I've had a really good year, both personally and musically. I'm one year closer to finishing school. I had my first music released by an entity other than myself, and I've made many new friends and acquaintances. Of course, what would my year have been without the music that filled and enriched it? Not quite the same in my opinion, and I'm sure you agreed; We all create our own soundtracks to our lives! And with that, here are the albums that I enjoyed the most this year.
10. Autechre - Move of Ten
This album was a bit of a return to form for the duo after their Oversteps album released not too long before this accompanying album. The artwork was tied closely to the Oversteps artwork. My favorite tracks include rew(1) and y7.
9. H.P. Sneakstep - Pplz
"Mad scientists such as our Dr Sneakstep are inspired by numerous influences that shape their lives, for better or worse. In the case of our fine Dr Sneakstep, usually worse. These four men, represented in pplz, enlightened Dr Sneakstep in ways that others could not possibly fathom, and any attempt in doing so would surely result in insanity. In this manner, Dr. Sneakstep stared into the sun... and came out an even more deranged being." There is no standout track here. This is a solid 4 track EP and each of these tracks stand on their own. This is FREE album!
8. EOD - Utrecht
"This latest EP on 030303 is like a giant zeppelin. On the crossroads of electronics, twisted electro and classic UK techno, this is stuff that makes you want to, well…fly away and look down upon the dancefloor. EOD resides in Trondheim, Norway and we can see this fits into a landscape sparsely lit by the magical northern lights. A big six tracker for those who crave big portions of deep space!" Sadly no longer available as it was quite limited.
7. Brian Eno - A Small Craft on a Milk Sea
This album came out of improvisations with two young electronic musicians. The first, Leo Abrahams, met Eno in a guitar shop. Abrahams was trying out a guitar and, as he put it, Eno "was happy I wasn't playing 'Stairway to Heaven' with the amp turned up to 11. So he invited me to play on his album." For the past seven years they've worked with such artists as Paul Simon and Grace Jones.
Jon Hopkins, who plays piano and electronics, is the other standout collaborator. He and Eno worked on the last Coldplay album together, and the two performed with Abrahams at the Luminous Festival in Sydney, which Eno curated.
Unlike many of Eno's ambient albums, this one has varying moods — sometimes it lulls quietly, other times it's fierce. Turn it up. Look around. Enjoy the view.
6. Ceephax - Psychtapolis
"This new ep retraces Ceephax's history and its very own personal and genious way to appropriate a musical style with always such generosity. From the dubstep of 'Souley Man', the sunset dancefloor hit 'Bacardi Breezer', the drum n bass track 'Dona Hue', the break bit track 'Turrican 2' to 'Ticker Train', an acid bomb that defies anybody to not let themselves get carried away by these wild bpm." Standout track: Souley man
5. The Books - The Way Out
I really enjoyed the newest offerings by The Books. They continue to explore the sound of samples and guitars, and stay relatively close to home in regards to the signature sound. Standout track is "I Didn't Know That", for which they have a great video!
4. Various Artists - The Beauty of Juke Nukem: The WATMM Remixes
This remix album consists of a single a new Juke Nukem track and remixes of various old Juke Nukem tracks by the very talented folks of WATMM. Experimental hip-hop doesn't even begin to describe this album. It's the juke hip-hop vocal stylings of Funkmaster Flex put through the wringer to create everything from glitched out IDM to dubbed out alien landscapes. This is a FREE album
3. A Shared Sexual Experience - Synthetic Filth
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the supposed producers behind this manic EP. The story is that two Ugandan Brothers created their two tracks during much personal and political strife surrounding homosexuality. There is a large anti-LGBT movement in Uganda and other African countries. Standout tracks include the single Daddy's Bad Habits, and a Mitch Murder remix. This is another FREE album
2. Loden - Buggy
This is an album I have been constantly rocking since I was informed of its existence by a friend. The entire album is spot on, and doesn't have a miss. There are plenty of quirky beats, glitches and subtleties that just keep me coming back for more! Definitely needs to be checked out.
It can be streamed for free: http://loden.bandcamp.com/album/buggy
1. Squarepusher presents Shobaleader One - d'Demonstrater
This album has been a huge dividing line between Squarepusher fans. I have found it to be an amazing album that borrows from many funk and soul inspirations which are twisted into something more by the "band". The idea of being in a band is not new to Tom Jenkinson, his last album Just a Souvenir was built on that idea. But supposedly this album was really done by a whole band, and this also has lead to much debate. In my opinion there is only one way to make up your mind and that is to listen for yourself.
I hope that my Top10 had at least one release you haven't heard this year. They are all great albums, and I hop they find a spot in your rotation. Keep an eye out for some new stuff from me in the near future. I hope that the holiday season finds you healthy and happy!
Until next time, take care.