I find that quite hard to do nowadays because the way we (or at least I) consume music has changed drastically over the last few years.
I barely buy CDs anymore, and not much more albums. Yes, there is a difference between the two, because of the possibility of buying individual tracks opened by the likes of iTunes, Beatport and all the other online music stores.
The impact on listmaking is that it becomes hard to draft one that encompasses albums.
So, the following list of my favourites of the past year merely reflects the productions I have come across that made an æsthetic impact on my passion for music.
Without further adue, here they are, in no particular order and with as much useful info as I can convey to you, dear readers.
Blue Steel (Still Going Remix) – Bot’Ox
Bot’Ox, is a French duo composed of Tekel’s Julien Briffaz and Benjamin Boguet, who you might know better as Cosmo Vitelli. Quite a pedigree! As for Still Going, a pair of producer from New York City, they’ve been banging out wicked tunes on DFA for a few years now. Combine all that and what you get on a major dancefloor bomb and you can even download it for free here!
Listen to Blue Steel (Still Going Remix)
The Professor – Dionigi
I wasn’t even going to include this on my list until just before I started writing this list. I’ve purchased that album and didn’t really give it a thourough listen until today, while I was researching my library for tracks to include on my next Cosmix. While going through all the tracks of the album, I realized that this album by Dionigi is one hell of an album that falls firmly in the Space Disco category while touching to many broader styles, from House to Breaks to Ambient. Yes, Italians can and still do produce good music, if you dig below the surface crap they are also capable of producing… Special mention for ugliest album art of the year, or at the very least of this list!
Listen to No radio, No TV
Empire Ants – Gorillaz
Yeah, I could’ve included the whole Plastic Beach album, but this track stands out so much from the rest — and moved me so much — that I chose to include only this one on the list. It also has the added benefit of introducing me to Little Dragon, a band I didn’t know before. I’m madly in love with the second movement of the track, when it gets more electro, and it’s a real shame that it’s so short! Now, a concert is the perfect setting to jam a bit with a song and extend it, but when they stopped over Montreal last October, the Gorillaz (with singer Yukimi Nagano) didn’t do anything of the sort… Shame, I tell you… But guess what! When they played on whatever TV show they played on in this video, they did extend it! See, and hear, for yourself!
Desilusion – Gotan Project
Tango 3.0 is by far my favourite album by the multinational trio. They don’t reinvent themselves, but they certainly take their concept to a new level here, a level that was hinted at on the second album, released in 2006. Why did I choose Desilusion? Well, because I think it’s the most apt ambassador to the rest of the album as a whole.
Listen to Desilusion
She’s a Fast Persuader – Jamiroquai
I’ve been a total Jamiroquai fan from the get-go, no shame in admitting that! I’m always excited when they release a new album, and the latest was no exception to the rule. Jay Kay et al. don’t reinvent the wheel here, let alone themselves, but it’s still a great Jamiroquai album, better than the last one, in any case. I wouldn’t, however, go as far as including the whole album on my list, but this little gem of a track is definitely the stand-out track for me. Pure Jamiroquai at their best!
Listen to She’s a Fast Persuader
Le Troublant Acid – KZA
Yotsukaido Nature is a Japanese producer who’s known as KZA as sometimes Force of Nature. This amazing little ditty is entirely based on a a loop from an obscure French single from the 70′s, Le troublant témoignage de Paul Martin, that he sped up and complemented with a drum track and TB-303 line. Nothing groundbreaking, production-wise, but it is SO efficient! Once you hear this track, it’ll be stuck in your head for days, trust me.
Listen to Le Troublant Acid
Le shack à Chuck – Martin Léon
J’écris en anglais sur mon site perso car je m’adresse à un auditoire international, mais je trouvais plutôt étrange d’écrire en anglais au sujet de Martin Léon, un des très rares artistes québécois que je trouve vraiment intéressants. Il a une poésie, une façon de raconter des histoires plutôt que de banalement chanter l’amour, en plus d’un talent de compositeur et de réalisateur hors-pair. Je vous recommande chaudement son plus récent album, Les Atomes, comme tous les autres, d’ailleurs. And for the others, all I can say is if you don’t know Martin Léon, don’t let the language thing bug you and dig into his work: you won’t regret it!
Listen to Le shack à Chuck
OFI – Model 500
Godfather of Techno Juan Atkins doesn’t release stuff that often, so in and of itself, a new release by him, espcially under his Model 500 moniker, is quite a happening. In this case, however, we’re not only dealing with a happening, but also one monster of a track. Agreed, the break is so-so, but’s it’s the only blemish on this track’s face. I’ll let it speak for itself…
Listen to OFI
Long Distance – Onra
Definitely one of my favourite releases of 2010, Onra is a one-man-show from the mastermind of French producer Arnaud Bernard. Onra produces leftfield hip hop, or whatever you want to call it, but he does it with a flair that is unique and irresistible. I chose the title track from his 2010 album simply because my favourite track on it, My Comet, is actually from 2008…
Listen to Long Distance
Transatlantic Landing Bay – Space Dimension Controller
I don’t know much about the band, other than the info I found on Zero Inch: “Belfast’s Jack Hamill started releasing ambient downbeat as RL/VL before assuming the name of Space Dimension Controller. Combining elements of electro-funk and deep techno in his tracks, Space Dimension Controller has been one of the shooting stars of 2010, performing at Barcelona’s prestigious Sónar festival and recently signing to seminal imprint R&S Records”. But don’t believe the hype and just trust me when I say that here’s a name you should memorize, because I’m predicting his ascencion is only begining. As a matter of fact, his remix of the aforementionned OFI by Model 500 is coming out in January. Now that’s somehting I can’t wait to hear!
Listen to Transatlantic Landing Bay
Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!! (Lulu Rouge Feat. Abdullah S Remix) – Trentemøller || I’m not Dubstep’s best customer, but I like this one a lot, even though I’ll admit it’s got nothing very special about it.
I Know You’re Mine – Roberto Rodriguez || Can’t get enough of Rodriguez’ productions!
State Trooper (Trentemøller Unofficial Mix) – Bruce Springsteen || The only reason this didn’t make my list is that it did not come out in 2010, even though I only heard of it eraly in the year. Top work!
The Logical Song – Rodion || An electropop cover of the Supertramp classic? Gotta love it!