Floats, dancers, steel drums and over forty sound systems shaking the ground and perforating eardrums with everything from soca to dub, reggae, jazz, house and calypso – it's time for...
As the sun sets on the first month of 2011 hopefully a few will still indulge me in my annually late look back at the year just gone. Now in its 6th edition (2005,2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) it should like all “best ofs” be taken with a pinch of salt. I dont even agree with half the placings but if you think Im retyping 200 numbers again…
Ask me tomorrow what my favourites are and ill have changed my mind or remembered a classic that somehow escaped my thoughts. Loving a piece of music depends so much on where you hear it, whats happening in your life or who you’re with. There are tracks that only feature because they seem to work particularly well when played repeatedly at volume while pummelling up the M6 late at night.
Its a personal selection at pray to my whims, if Im in love ill overload the chart with slush, break my heart and ive a terrible weakness for Country and Western. Quite what putting an experimental Norwegian Jazz collective at No.1 says on that front is probably best glossed over.
Hopefully somewhere among this ridiculously long list there might be one artist you’d never heard before but will go on to love in 2011. Regardless of their order everyone of these 200 pieces of music has something very special about it.
Watch: Jaga Jazzist perform a dogma version of “Toccata” in Tønsberg’s grand church, Tønsberg Domkirke (below)
“But we are ash, we are books
Coffee stained and overlooked”
“So what is love? (What is it)”
““try, try again, maybe we can start it over, like a record at the end””
The buzz around Obaro Ejimiwe aka Ghostpoet built slowly but inevitably in 2010. His soft, sleepy, dulcet tones first came to my attention via blogging stalwarts Cubikmusik & Jus’Likemusic, then in February at The Worldwide Awards his performance was so packed, security had to enact a strict policy of one in, one out (unfortunately I never got beyond out).
Gilles Peterson was just one of the people spellbound by Ghost’s everyday tales, sonorous delivery and mix of wonky beats, hiphop & electronica, snapping him up for his Brownswood imprint.
“To Something”, his unofficial mix of Fourtet’s “She Just Likes To Fight” featuring another up-and-comer Rox is a new high watermark. Absolutely beautiful. Count the days to his debut album.
GhostPoet – Twitter / Facebook / Blog / Soundcloud
Listen: The Sound Of Strangers FREE EP
Watch: “Cash & Carry Me Home” (Video) – The first big Ghostpoet single!
Read: Ghostpoet tells Cubikmusik about the acts that have most influenced him.
5. SAGE FRANCIS
“Best of Times”
“go on and listen when they tell that these are your best years, don’t let anyone protect your ears, it’s best that you hear what they don’t want you to hear, it’s better to have pressure from peers then not have peers.”
“I can do it up and down, I can do circles
To him I’m a gymnist, This one is my circus”
Adele – Twitter / Facebook
Watch: “Daydreamer” Live on Jools Holland
“Rolling in the deep” – Slightly odd video featuring a room filled with cups of water, a dancer flicking talcumn powder and Adele unable to get out of a chair.
“Oh, lust only grows like anger and revenge or beauty comes and goes but love stays until the end”
“Youuuuuuuu… are so very precious to me”
“Feathers and a cage too small
Chemicals that make us tall”
Peter Broderick – Facebook / Website / Flickr
Watch: “Human Eyeballs On Toast” Video of Studio Recording
“What I have is what you need
And I’m never gonna give it to you”
Owen’s trademark looped violin and vocals given extra oomph by the Czech Symphonic Orchestra.
Owen Pallett – Twitter / Website / Soundcloud
Download: FREE Export EP
Watch: “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt” – Suitably bizarre video
“And we’re so so bitter, we never got over when Marathon got renamed Snickers”
In a flagrant abuse of the one song per artist rule I’m opting for three Akira The Don related tracks at No.14.
Back in May Akira’s website went up in smoke after his ATD 23 Streetfighter tribute mixtape was declared “The Best Gaming Mixtape You’ll Ever Hear” by the ludicrously popular gaming site Kotaku.com. In the name of adding to the buzz, my dulcet tones could be heard on Hype Machine Radio enthusing about standout track “Be Brave”. Shortly afterwards an unholy alliance of MLD and ATD’s twitter followers propelled the tune to the top of the Hype Machine chart.
14. AKIRA THE DON – “Be Brave”
“All I need a beat and sample
I hit it and it goes pop… example”
No best of the year would be complete without an entry from Polarbear, this year its as a guest on Akira’s all done in a day LP. Listen to more here, and he’ll also be guesting on “Concrete Pigeon” from Sound Of Rums new album.
Finally a quick mention for PolarBear’s AfroBear side project, this month a few new demos popped up on Polars Soundcloud page.
15. GIDEON CONN – “Wildfire”
“Money fucks money and money is sexy”
“If you’re drinkin’ Tennants, you need to sober up”
Musically this list is a bit all over the place, if you want a more dance focused look back on 2010 have a listen to Joakims mix below.
51. SHAHEED & ANGELA KING
“Beautiful Black Ethiopian Skin” (MP3)
Who says romance is dead… Shaheed pays audio tribute to his beautiful wife…
Taken from BamaLoveSoul.Com‘s first remix compilation, The Street Lamp Sessions Vol.1: The Remixes!
The finest knob twiddlers in Alabama got their hands on tracks by Amel Larrieux, Jill Scott, Jaafar, Jay Z and more. Its free so head over to BamaLoveSoul and say thanks.
Shaheed – Myspace
Amarik Singh aka The Psychedelic Singh doesnt seem to appear on the blogging radar, or indeed any radio bar the BBC’s criminally threatened with closure Asian Network. Quite why is a mystery to me as everyone’s life would be improved by a little slice of Psychedelic Bhangra. On “Herbal Verbal” he takes HipHop pioneers The Last Poets down to the Bollywood disco.
53. HEDLUV ‘N’ PASSMAN
“When I drink Tea, It’s usually Tetley”
The Busking Champions of the South West, Hedluv & Passman return with that difficult 2nd LP. Having confused/delighted/irritated audiences near and far, from Brazil to a string of 40th birthday parties “Dreckly” was the first taster of their new material.
Its everything you’d expect from Hedluv, ie. is it bad, is it good? Have Morris Minor & The Majors reformed? Daft, unabashed and embarrassment free as Hedluv lays his rhymes over Casio keyboard loops.
As many people will hate this as love it. To those that hate, I’m sorry I can see your point but whats that?.. I can’t hear you very clearly.. I’m just playing “Dreckly” 6 times straight on my ipod.
“Sip the bottle now don’t be slow, Keep up with me as we lose control”
56. WRETCH 32 – “Traktor”
“My lifestyles terrible wild
but you’ll never find me on the Jeremy Kyle show”
Debruit – Twitter / Facebook
Watch: “” (Video)
58. RICKY RASURA
“Night Sin” (MP3)
Ricky Rasura – Twitter / Facebook
Watch: “” (Video)
102. FOREST SWORDS
103. B. DOLAN
“50 Ways (Paper Planes Remix) (Live in London)”
104. KENDAL JOHANSSON
106. DAM MANTE
“A Statue that is Perpetually Unveiled”
Dam Mantle – Soundcloud
107. THE WILDERNESS OF MANITOBA
108. GIRL TALK
“Let It Out”