I haven’t written up a top 10 music releases of the year for a while, so I thought I would give it a go this year. I definitely feel like I haven’t bought that many records this year, but that is probably a lie!
1. Rezzett Live (The Trilogy Tapes)
This tape is a recording of a live gig in Japan for Cav Empt and the other side is another live recording from somewhere. Not much is known about Rezzett, it’s not really important though. This releases has stayed on my iPhone for most of the year. I think I took it off for a month or two but then stuck it back on. It’s just a great release. I feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of DJ mixes and radio shows you can listen to at the moment so listening to a live performance is a nice break. I wish I had gone to Cafe Oto to see them play live back in March. Hopefully they will start playing live again soon.
2. Samoyed – Saturday (Flask)
I think Samoyed’s music is great and I really enjoyed his first album, so I had been looking forward to this one coming out. I had heard a few of the tracks on Mr Beatnick’s NTSlive show and I think Lukid had played a track on a mix for Benji B a while ago. Supposedly this album is influenced by John Hughes films and I guess it is. It feels very 80s, which is great. It reminds of Oneohtrix Point Never and Kate Bush. I guess there is a bit of nostalgia in it for me too. The vinyl is definitely worth pick up too for the sleeve. Highlights of the album for me are definitely Angel St. Nunez and Dumpling.
3. BadBadNotGood and Ghostface Killah (Lex Records)
I hadn’t really bought any hip hop for ages and when I heard about this album, I was intrigued. I had seen BBNG live a couple of times when I was in London a few years ago and really enjoyed their live show. Ghost face Killah is one of the more consistent Wu Tang MCs. It sounded like a good mix and it is a great mix. I’ve listened to this a whole bunch of times throughout the year. BBNG certainly come through and it is does have a 70s vibe to it. I’m not a big fan of Danny Brown, so the track that he guests on is one of the weaker ones for me, but the track Sour Soul is amazing!
4. Floating Points – Elaenia (Pluto)
I guess everyone was waiting on this album coming out. I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew that Floating Points had become obsessed with Talk Talk, which is a great thing. You can hear so many different types of music on this album. He’s melded a lot together and it is great to see someone just doing exactly what they want to do. This is a bold statement of an album. I definitely need to listen to it more.
5. Liquid Liquid – Bellhead (O.S.C.A.R.R.)
Ok, this didn’t come out this year, but I finally got a hold of this 7″. I was at this gig and listening to this record takes me back to it. It was so rowdy. There was so much cheering going on and people going crazy on the dance floor, me included. I love Liquid Liquid so much, so this was a great release for me to pick up.
6. Tapes Meets The Drums of Wareike Hill Sounds – Datura Mystic (Honest Jon’s)
I first heard this on Benji B’s show and just thought it was such a weird record that I had to pick it up. Honest Jon’s release some good records that are always a bit different. I have no idea who The Drums of Wareiki Hill Sounds are and it doesn’t really matter. This sounds a bit like a 23 Skidoo record in a way. Drums and bass getting rinsed through some heavy reverb in a mad time signature. I just really love the way it sounds and I have a habit of putting the record right back to the start when it finishes. The dub on the b-side is just as good, if not better than the a-side. Good sleeve by Will Bankhead too.
7. Linkwood – Expressions (Firecracker Recordings)
I first heard Object by Linkwood on the Boiler Room website. I couldn’t stop listening to it. It is 9 minutes of hypnotic grooves. I really like how this album switches between dance floor material and ambient music. It’s a deep album and one that really does take you on a journey. The sleeve is great too so it is definitely worth picking up on vinyl.
8. Athens Of The North
Ok, this isn’t an actual music release, it is a record label that specialises in reissues. I first heard a couple of tracks that they reissued when Four Tet played them when he was standing in for Benji B on his Radio 1 show. A quick search online brought me to the Athens Of The North website and hey presto I had bought a couple. The label specialises in re-issuing old soul, funk, disco and more! I have never heard of most of the music on this label and I probably couldn’t afford to buy an original if I wanted to. I’m happy they are re-issuing this music as some of the releases are amazing. I also like if you buy straight from them you get the 7″ and the mp3! Oh and you get some stickers too. They seem to release about four records a month and they do some albums as well. Go to their website and have a listen for yourself.
9. Computer Incarnations For World Peace III selected by Jazzanova (Sonar Kollektiv)
I loved the original Computer Incarnations for World Peace compilation that came out years ago. I bought it for the sleeve, I wish I had got it on vinyl, but the CD is great too. It featured old post disco proto-house songs from the late 70s and early 80s and it was amazing! It was just a well thought out compilation and everything on it was interesting to my ears. It had some big hitters like Will Powers – Adventures In Success and some weird African music from Codek. This new one seems like a combination of older tracks and some more modern ones. It kicks off with a track by Anna Domino called Caught, which I can’t stop listening to it at the moment. It is a total 80s disco track with some great lyrics. It finishes off with an amazing track that I thought was African at first, but I believe it is by some guys from Germany.
10. Kelela – Hallucinogenic EP (Warp)
This is a very late contender. I literally got this a couple of days before Christmas, but I have been listening to it non-stop. I first heard Kelela on Benji B’s show but it wasn’t until the song A Message that I clicked with her. I guess it might be due to the fact that Arca produced A Message and it’s suitable weird. My friend David played me one of Arca’s albums earlier in the year and I really liked it. That’s not to say that the Arca produced tracks on the EP are my favourite, because they aren’t. I really like Rewind and also The High.