#80 Rainbo Video – Ultraviolet
There is pretty much no information whatsoever available on this band, so I’ll just quote the 20jazzfunkgreats entry that led me to this in the first place –
“Ultraviolet takes that disconcertingly (and contradictory) modernist baroque that Steve Reich popularised and harnesses it to a almost pastoral melody that suggests not golden fields and ancient trees, but nebula and gas giants and impossible distances and the aeons old gravitational dance of galaxies. It is the sound of giddy excitement at fantastic detail. An orgy of data driving the rapidity of the notes; a clear drone binding in place the looping and falling of the rest of the track.” http://www.20jazzfunkgreats.co.uk/wordpress/2011/07/the-space-shuttle-nievete/
#79 Julianna Barwick – Prizewinning
An astonishing voice, looped and layered until it sounds like a Cathedral full of hymn-singing ghosts. It’s the kind of thing that people describe as “ethereal” and “transcendent” which seems like grasping at words for something fundamentally wordless.
#78 Zomby – Digital Rain
Perfectly named – cascades of casiotone raindrops from this year’s most compelling electronic minimalist.
#77 Eleanor Friedberger – My Mistakes
Her from the Fiery Furnaces. I wouldn’t usually say that I liked something because it’s “catchy” but this seems a good place to start.
#76 Belong – Keep Still
Sad, choral ambient, beautifully descending to a terrible place, like the realisation of some unpleasant truth.
#75 The Horrors – Still Life
In which The Horrors say “fuck it, why not turn into Simple Minds” and play it straight enough that it works.
#74 Rizzle Kicks – Down With the Trumpets
The kids are alright.
#73 Thurston Moore – Circulation
2011:Thurston Moore breaks up Sonic Youth after 30 years, breaks up with Kim Gordon, then releases this muffled acoustic baroque pop delight.
#72 Azari & III – Manic
From Toronto, two Detroit-style techno engineers and two camp black soul singers with a dark, funky track about manic depression… somehow this is completely successful in every way.
#71 Moon Wiring Club – Kindly Cavort
I don’t really know anything about this except that it’s really, really weird and makes me feel very odd indeed. There’s a facetious and unhelpful biography here – http://www.blankworkshop.co.uk/page7.htm – did I mention how much I like weird music and facetious and unhelpful biographies? Sinister.
#70 Nicola Roberts – Beat of My Drum
Pop star releases commercial pop song, critics praise it, the public entirely fail to buy it, then half a year later it’s in all the best-of lists. Including this one. Sorry, I could try to be different, but I do actually like it. Better without the terrible video of course.
#69 Teebs – Cook, Clean, Pay the Rent (New House Version)
Floating, dreamy, airborne hammond-organ space instrumental
#68 The Antlers – No Widows
I was a bit suspicious of anything being touted as the “saviour of indie music” this year. Indie doesn’t need saving, it needs putting out of its misery at this stage. But who cares what other people say? This song won me over completely.
#67 Pale Sketcher – Wash It All Away (King Midas Sound Remix)
Apparently Pale Sketcher is Jesu and King Midas Sound is The Bug. I hope that clears things up. This takes something dark and sad and adds HARD to the mix, with terrific results.
#66 Jazzsteppa and Foreign Beggars – Raising the Bar (Stray Remix)
This is exactly like a dark and dirty D&B remix of something off Squarepusher’s ‘Go Plastic’ album – so not really breaking new ground, but smashing up old ground pretty effectively.
#65 Buraka Som Sistema – Hangover (BaBaBa)
BabababababababababababababababaBABA NyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehnyehNYEHNYEH DoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodoodooDOODOO BabaBABA BababababaBABA
#64 Factory Floor – Two Different Ways (Original)
Hypnotic, spiralling krautrock techno, like Neu! set free on FL Studio.
#63 Solar Bears – Twin Stars
Swooshy sci-fi electronica from Ireland with creepy scattered drums.
#62 Body Language – Social Studies
A simply lovely little indie-electro-pop song from the summer which somehow slipped under the radar of even the music blogs. There must be millions out there who’d love this.
#61 The Oh Sees – The Dream
Heavy, propulsive garage punk. The pitchfork review of their album says “Dwyer’s guitar playing is best described in terms usually reserved for feral cats”. That’s about right.