200 Tracks from 2011 – Part Four (60-41)

#60 Toddla T – Streets So Warm feat. Wayne Marshall & Skream

This year’s best politically-minded 8-bit dancehall reggae track. I’m not entirely sure what it’s about though – has the government covertly installed under-floor heated roads? The public must be told.

 

#59 Mutated Forms – Doubts

Reckless, dirty, out-of-control D&B from Estonia.

 

#58 Iceage – Broken Bone

Frenetic indie-punk from Copenhagen, where traditional indie-punk handcrafting skills have been handed down to a new generation. Their album ‘New Brigade’ is great from start to finish – if this is your kind of thing then I’d seriously advise you to give it a listen.

 

#57 Redlight – Source 16

Future! Work!

 

#56 Washed Out – You and I

Not one of the more popular tracks from Washed Out’s ‘Within and Without’, and not exactly one of the best either, but I kept coming back to it for the vocals from Caroline Polachek of Chairlift – they are really something very special. They don’t start until 3.20. Until just now I thought she sung “I forget all of your favourite tenses” but it’s really “I forget all of your vain pretenses” which is not quite as special.

 

#55 Makoto – Bubbles

Euphoric amen-breaky effervescent goodness.

 

#54 Friends – I’m His Girl

Right-on gender politics + sexiness + funky bassline. I challenge anyone to listen to this and not love it.

 

#53 Solar Bears – Cub (Keep Shelley In Athens Mix)

No song this year seemed to be without a Keep Shelley In Athens remix, but as good as they are they seemed to peak with this dark soft rock / house dream / nightmare from last January. There are lots of very familiar things here, but this may be the first time they’ve all been jumbled up in this wonderful way.

 

#52 tUnE-yArDs – Powa

This is probably not the best way to get anyone into tUnE-yArDs, but it’s the song that finally got me hooked. An exercise in simplicity and waiting, it shows exactly what she’s capable of.

 

#51 Vortex Rikers – Collapsed

Dark ambient grave wave post-dubstep witch house from Germany. Apparently. Moody, clangy programmed atmospherics.

 

#50 Bill Ryder-Jones – A Leave Taking

The guy from The Coral with a simple but breathtaking piano and strings piece. The video is equally beautiful, but very NSFW.

 

#49 Mord Fustang – Lick The Rainbow

Dubby commercial electro. Every time I listen to it, it goes something like this – “Why did I pick this?” “Hm, it’s not very good, is it?” “Oh, this bit’s ok” “Hold on, bit rubbish again” “Yeah, bit better again” “OH! THAT’S WHY!” (NB – His other tracks all sound EXACTLY the same, don’t bother investigating)

 

#48 Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Walking in Unison

From Australia, garage punk krautrock. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Ten minutes isn’t enough.

 

#47 きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ – PONPONPON

There’s no point in even trying to write about this. Just watch the video. Watch it now.

 

#46 Toddla T – Take It Back (Dillon Francis Remix)

Toddla T and Shola Ama get a moombahton remix. Best after it kicks in, as these things usually are.

 

#45 The Caretaker – All you are going to want to do is get back there

“You were the caretaker here, Mr. Grady.”
“No sir, you are the caretaker. You’ve always been the caretaker. I ought to know: I’ve always been here.”

 

#44 Röyksopp – Shores of Easy

I’d completely forgotten about Röyksopp. Maybe you had too. Well, apparently they’re still around and still as good as ever. Technically this hasn’t been released yet – I expect it to be in next year’s lists.

 

#43 Patrick Wolf – The City

Incandescent, joyful pop song.

 

#42 AlunaGeorge – You Know You Like It

Unsigned sultry R&B singer Aluna Francis and electro producer George Reid. God, this is brilliant. Why is it only at number 42? Should’ve put it higher.

 

#41 A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears

According to the AV Club “one of the top 10 all-time worst names we’ve encountered“. Yeah, it’s not a great name, but it’s not really important when the music is as exquisite as this.

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