Best of 2011

Seun Kuti – From Africa With Fury: Rise (Cartell)
2nd slab of Afro funk power from son of Fela. Now he’s roped in Eno. A recipe like this can’t fail.

Balkan Brass Battle (Asphalt Tango)
It’s a brass off, full of spit and ego. Music to inspire heart attacks and savage drinking.

Scott Morrison
Incredibly classy organic field recordings and images gathered from the same place. Sound/video art has never felt so accessible.

Omar Souleyman – Haflat Garbia (Sublime Frequencies)
The best wedding singer ever came to town this year. It wasn’t so much his ability to work the crowd into a frenzy, rather it was his synth guy Rizan’s amazing Syrian techno. Absolute Joy. Check the track from the Northcote Social Club.

Blanck Mass – Blanck Mass (Rock Action)
Funck the Buttons, these icy metallic field recordings, like caverns of pipes in a bleak industrial complex sound like a bastard child of Phillip Jeck and a pre singing Eluvium, perhaps even Jean Michel Jarre if he chose to crank out the distortion from time to time.

Tinariwen – Tassili (V2)
A few albums in and these incredible Toureg’s keep things interesting by roping in the dude from TV on the Radio, Nels Cline and New Orleans Brass Band, creating some really interesting fusions of styles and ideas whilst still keeping their unique identity.

The Leafs – Space Elevator (Flaming Snake Records)
8 songs in 13 minutes = pure pop genius without the fat. Or anything else that could get in the way.

Constant Light – Observations 1 (Second Language)
Providing dreamy, krautrock influenced, repetitive and mostly instrumental washes of sound, with drum machines and droning synths, bubbling atmospheres and elongated loops, you can hear elements of everyone from Budd and Eno to Vangelis in these sounds if you wish to. I wished to.

Orchestra Peter Thomas – Orion 2000 (Omni)
Obscure lost library record from legendary German composer. It’s an attempt to return to the space theme of Rampatrouille with bigger brass, a chugging rock beat and out there studio effects. They don’t make em like this anymore. What a shame.

Pimmon – The Oansome Orbit (Room40)
Whimsical and melodic, yet it also develops into roaring, ferocious and aggressive crescendos. It’s complex, even the gentle moments are highly textural with multiple strange layers of sonics, bubbling around. words can do it justice.


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