Lists are great fun to make. (Here’s one I made earlier.)

January 31, 2011


What does one’s top 40 of the year really say about them? My wife would probably conclude that I listen to a lot of stuff that she prefers to skip when it comes up on shuffle.

A top 40 of last year.

1. Drake – Thank Me Later
2. Deftones – Diamond Eyes
3. The Roots – How I Got Over
4. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
6. The National – High Violet
7. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
8. Twin Shadow – Forget
9. Foals – Total Life Forever
10. 65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway
11. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
12. Darkstar – North
13. Fang Island – Fang Island
14. Wild Nothing – Gemini
15. Perfume Genius – Learning
16. Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (II)
17. These New Puritans – Hidden
18. Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
19. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
20. Four Tet – There Is Love In You
21. Janelle Monae – The Archandroid
22. Steve Mason – Boys Outside
23. Robyn – Body Talk
24. Aloe Blacc – Good Things
25. Bilal – Airtight’s Revenge
26. Grinderman – Grinderman 2
27. El Guincho – Pop Negro
28. Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
29. Ikonika – Contact, Love, Want, Have
30. Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner
31. Actress – Splazsh
32. Glasser – Ring
33. The Phantom Band – Wants
34. Errors – Come Down With Me
35. Toro Y Moi – Causers of This
36. The-Dream – Love King
37. Cee-Lo Green – The Lady Killer
38. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
39. Brian Eno – Small Craft on a Milk Sea
40. Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky

And HERE you will find some words on the top five.

Drake – Over

Deftones – If You’ve Seen the Butcher

The Roots – How I Got Over

Big Boi – Shutterbug

Kanye West – Monster


Reboot. (And some videos.)

January 31, 2011

Wow, I’d forgotten about this. But I think it’s time to bring it back online. And why not start – now that all the bru-ha-ha over its final five has been and (mostly) gone – with the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 poll.

I contributed three names, as I had twice before. One made the longlist of 15 names; and that same one appeared on the top five. Which was nice for him, him being James Blake. His debut album, an eponymous number, is fairly far from instantaneous. (Read the BBC review HERE.) But within its depths are treats, tickling sounds that emanate from a quite singular talent. He’s far from the finished article, but I’m sure his will be one of the finest debuts of 2011 when everything finds itself reassessed in several months’ time.

This sampler – which appeared on the Magical Mystery ‘Net this very day – will illustrate – WITH SOUND – just how very unlikely-to-break-the-singles-chart Blake is, right now.

Anyway, those other two names: Trophy Wife and Darkstar. The former are on tour right now with the band I am chuffed to be co-manager of, Esben and the Witch – they call at Bristol Louisiana tonight, and Brighton Pavilion tomorrow. Darkstar’s debut album North came out via Hyperdub late last year and slotted comfortably into my own Albums of the Year list… which I might as well sling up here in a mo. Meantime: check out the videos below if you’ve been living under a rock, with your fingers in your ears, on the dark side of the Moon, and these are Brand New Names to you. Cos you just might enjoy.

Trophy Wife – The Quiet Earth

Darkstar – Gold

Jessie J? Like a hideous, hackneyed, too-late-in-the-game hybrid of a Duffy warbler dying in a sea of soundalikes and a Gaga-production-line ‘oddball’ without the core charisma to match the highly studied aesthetic eccentricity. Do it like a dude? How’s about I do myself a favour and turn the telly over every time your horrible lips appear on it. (And here is the disclaimer: this view is my own, not that of the BBC, etc.)