Favorite Music from 2010

Another list. I look forward to skimming through others’ lists to see what I missed or dismissed too easily in 2010 or what never made it to my ears.

My picks, in alphabetical order:

Akira Rabelais – Caduceus
The latest from Akira Rabelais delves further into his finely textured soundworld. Having built a delicate and detailed sonic vocabulary since the 1990s, this composer continues to impress me with his skilled digital manipulations. Finely tuned grit.
[su_vimeo url=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/16411426″]

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
Still living with this one… I immediately liked about half of the album while the rest took time to grow on me.

[su_vimeo url=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/17116744″]

Beach House – Teen Dream
A memorable set of songs that manages to sound lush and spacious at the same time. Melancholy pop gems.
[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/HeaHW-rUsUQ”]

Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle
Not what I expected.
[su_youtube url=”http://www.youtu.be/kdP_lIv3POM”]

Darkstar – North
I must admit that hearing Aidy’s Girl is a Computer on the Hyperdub box did not initially impress me, but the album taken as a whole reveals Darkstar to be way more interesting than my first impression led me to believe.
[su_vimeo url=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/15391189″]

James Blake – Limit to your Love
My first encounter with James Blake’s name was on the Airhead & James Blake release Pembroke / Lock in the Lion, which I found alluringly atmospheric yet solidly built. Nestled nicely somewhere between dubstep and the LA beats scene. THIS song, however, found a side door into my brain and lodged there. I was not prepared for the simple piano chords combined with his voice to be so arresting.
[su_vimeo url=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/15624524″]

Kryptic Minds – Wasteland/Hybrid
Minimalist and crisp production on this dubstep monster. No wasted motion, just enough clack to keep things moving forward while waves of sub-bass frequencies swell and surge underneath.
[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/c90ZEOosOZU”]

The Roots – How I Got Over
The Roots got me interested again.
[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/nWhIayQL8YY”]

Sukh Knight – Cheese Loueez
Probably my favorite producer still exploring the half-step wobble bass style of dubstep.
[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/kElF2RXl8SM”]

Toro Y Moi – Leave Everywhere
Another song that stealthily laid roots in my brain. Catchy.
[su_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/12198415″]

Zola Jesus – Stridulum II
Dark and dramatic but restrained. The album opener, Night, makes me imagine that I am in the back room at a party when I am suddenly visited by a quasi-religious vision of Stevie Nicks floating in the back of the bathroom queue.
[su_vimeo url=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/11732812″]
[su_vimeo url=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/14563057″]

BONUS:
New Orleans street performers Tuba Skinny have a great vintage jazz sound which is steeped in local tradition. My amazing partner bought the band’s CD directly on the street and brought it home for me.
[su_youtube url=”http://www.youtu.be/0aFzRhhkAaw”]

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