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.

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.

Beach House – Teen Dream
A memorable set of songs that manages to sound lush and spacious at the same time. Melancholy pop gems.

Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle
Not what I expected.

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.

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.

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.

The Roots – How I Got Over
The Roots got me interested again.

Sukh Knight – Cheese Loueez
Probably my favorite producer still exploring the half-step wobble bass style of dubstep.

Toro Y Moi – Leave Everywhere
Another song that stealthily laid roots in my brain. Catchy.

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.

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.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.