Archive for December, 2011

#BestOf 2011 : Top 50 Albums Of The Year

PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
1-PJ HARVEY
Let England Shake
(Island)
Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
2-BON IVER
Bon Iver
(Jagjaguwar)
Shabazz Palaces - Black Up
3-SHABAZZ PALACES
Black Up
(Sub Pop)
4-THE WEEKND
House Of Balloons/Thursday
(Self-Released)
Download
Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise
5-NICOLAS JAAR
Space Is Only Noise
(Circus)
James Blake - James Blake
6-JAMES BLAKE
James Blake
(Atlas)
Destroyer - Kaputt
7-DESTROYER
Kaputt
(Merge)
tUnE-yArDs - w h o k i l l
8-tUnE-yArDs
w h o k i l l
(4AD)
St. Vincent - Strange Mercy
9-ST. VINCENT
Strange Mercy
(4AD)
Real Estate - Days
10-REAL ESTATE
Days
(Domino)
Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.
11-FRANK OCEAN
Nostalgia, U L T R A
(Odd Future)
Download
SBTRKT - SBTRKT
12-SBTRKT
SBTRKT
(Young Turks)
Panda Bear - Tomboy
13-PANDA BEAR
Tomboy
(Paw Tracks)
John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
14-JOHN MAUS
We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
(Upset The Rhythm)
Gang Gang Dance - Eye Contact
15-GANG GANG DANCE
Eye Contact
(4AD)
Clams Casino - Instrumentals
16-CLAMS CASINO
Instrumentals
(Tri Angle)
Download
Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch the Throne
17-KANYE WEST & JAY-Z
Watch The Throne
(Roc-A-Fella)
Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow
18-KATE BUSH
50 Words For Snow
(Fish People)
Tim Hecker - Ravedeath, 1972
19-TIM HECKER
Ravedeath, 1972
(Kranky)
Tom Waits - Bad As Me
20-TOM WAITS
Bad As Me
(Anti)
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We're New Here
21-GIL SCOTT-HERON & JAMIE XX
We're New Here
(XL)
Neon Indian - Era extraña
22-NEON INDIAN
Era Extraña
(Mum + Pap)
The Antlers - Burst Apart
23-THE ANTLERS
Burst Apart
(Frenchkiss)
Fucked Up - David Comes to Life
24-FUCKED UP
David Comes To Life
(Matador)
EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints
25-EMA
Past Life Martyred Saints
(Souterrain Transmissions)
Toro Y Moi - Underneath the Pine
26-TORO Y MOI
Underneath The Pine
(Carpark)
Metronomy - The English Riviera
27-METRONOMY
The English Riviera
(Because)
ASAP Rocky - LiveLoveA$AP
28-A$AP ROCKY
LiveLoveA$ap
(Self-Released)
Download
Kendrick Lamar - Section.80
29-KENDRICK LAMAR
Section.80
(Top Dawg)
Zomby - Dedication
30-ZOMBY
Dedication
(4AD)
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
31-FLEET FOXES
Helplessness Blues
(Bella Union)
Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls
32-VERONICA FALLS
Veronica Falls
(Bella Union)
Dum Dum Girls - Only in Dreams
33-DUM DUM GIRLS
Only In Dreams
(Sub Pop)
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
34-LYKKE LI
Wounded Rhymes
(Atlantic)
Gillian Welch - The Harrow & the Harvest
35-GILLIAN WELCH
The Harrow & The Harvest
(Acony)
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
36-COLIN STETSON
New Story Warfare Vol 2: Judges
(Constellation)
The Men - Leave Home
37-THE MEN
Leave Home
(Sacred Bones)
Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
38-SMITH WESTERNS
Dye It Blonde
(Fat Possum)
Thundercat - The Golden Age of Apocalypse
39-THUNDERCAT
The Golden Age Of Apocalypse
(Brainfeeder)
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo
40-KURT VILE
Smoke Ring For My Halo
(Matador)
Peaking Lights - 936
41-PEAKING LIGHTS
936
(Not Not Fun)
Andy Stott - We Stay Together
42-ANDY STOTT
We Stay Together/Passed Me By EP
(Modern Love)
Cass McCombs - Wit's End
43-CASS MCCOMBS
Wit's End/Humor Risk
(Domino)
Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
44-ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER
Replica
(Software)
The Field - Looping State of Mind
45-THE FIELD
Looping State Of mind
(Kompakt)
Dirty Beaches - Badlands
46-DIRTY BEACHES
Badlands
(Mum + Pap)
Death Grips - Exmilitary
47-DEATH GRIPS
Ex Military
(Third Worlds)
Download
Low - C'mon
48-LOW
C'mon
(Sub Pop)
Drake - Take Care
49-DRAKE
Take Care
(Young Money)
Katy B - On a Mission
50-KATY B
On A Mission
(Sony)

Listen Of Best Albums 2011 Playlist in Spotify

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#BestOf 2011: Special Mentions – Blog Rock

And to close our extensive special mentions section, a look at those blog darling whose latest works we’ve been enjoying, but remained at the gates of our Top 50. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf 2011: Special Mentions – Spanish

Not a particularly good period for pop music in Spanish, LatinAmerica in general and new sonic goldmine Chile in particular kept a low profile during 2011. Back in Spain, well established favorites of the likes of Nacho Vegas or Christina Rosenvinge delivered once again some of the most remarkable works. The main discovery though, Guadalupe Plata, revitalized garage rock from a small Andalusian village. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf 2011 : Special Mention – Electronica

The world of electronica went through a continuation year with not significant new trend emerging. The multiple projects of producer Travis Stewart (Machinedrum; Sepalcure); two members of Emeralds (Mark McGuire; Steve Hauschildt) gone solo; the first full-lenght debut of Glaswegian Rustie and the assault on 90′s trance by US hip-hop producer araabMUZIK were some of the year’s highlights. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf 2011: Special Mention – Urban Sounds

The Odd Future collective dominated the hip-hop world with Tyler, The Creator taking the lead on their assault over the mainstream, but its their R&B counterpart Frank Ocean the one destined for big things next year. Many other new rappers mastering the art of the mixtape, began to generate a big buzz (Danny Brown, Big K.R.I.T and Lil B among others), stealing a big part of the spotlight from more senior colleagues such as The Roots or DJ Quik. In more conventional waters, retro Soul was still going strong with both new discoveries (Charles Bradley) and veteran artists (Raphael Saadiq) jumping into the bandwagon. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 : Special Mentions – Reissues

The market of remasters, reissues, deluxe and anniversary edition remained buoyant, sometimes focusing more on the artist’s merchandising than in the music itself. Among this year’s most notorious ones we found timeless classics by Marvin Gaye, Can and Sebadoh, as well as partial or total discographies from the likes of The Books, Throbbing Gristle or Suede. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 : Special Mentions – Compilations

Among the many excellent compilations of the past twelve months, the one that stole the show by putting together all the takes in the recording process of rock history’s most legendary lost classic, was the ‘Smile Sessions’ by The Beach Boys. It also got all the headlines thanks to the recent announcement of the band getting together for a tour in 2012. Notable Box-sets by This Mortal Coil; The Smiths and Neutral Milk Hotel; plus collected EP’s of British innovators such as Disco Inferno or Demdike Stare also count among the best releases of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 : Special Mentions – Veterans

The Beastie Boys and The Feelies were two of the most awaited comebacks of the year. The live circuit kept on revitalizing the careers of veteran acts from past decades, finding some of them in good shape (Thurston Moore; Stephen Malkmus; Wilco) and some others beginning new ventures (Eleanor Friedberger; Damon Albarn with his Congolese project FDRC Music). But the most suprising return was prompted by Mary Timony from Helium and Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney joining forces again under the new moniker of Wild Flag. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 : Special Mentions – Songwriters

A mix of the old and the new shapes our selection of songwriters. Debuts by Anna Calvi and The Civil Wars go back to back with the latest offerings by Bill Callahan or Feist. Joining them, the former lead singer from Lift To Expecience, Josh T. Pearson, who began this year a promising solo career. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 : Special Mentions – Experimental

The groundbreaking and experimental was one of the most fluorishing musical areas of 2011 with projects of such caliber as Ricardo Villalobos & Max Loderbauer’s reworking of selected pieces from the avant-jazz label ECR; Matthew Herbert sampling the life of a pig from birth to plate – much better than it sounds – or Hauschka making classical piano and house music collide. Our Top 10 Experimental honorable mentions after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 : Special Mentions – Hard Sounds

Metal continued its comeback to the front stage, aided by the stagnation of normally trendier genres. Blogs expanded their coverage of the genre and even Pitchfork began embracing its many fields. Elsewere, a few established artist from the fields of hardcore, garage and noise rock delivered notable returns to form (Mogwai, Wooden Shjips..) or even career best works (Thee Oh Sees). Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011: Special Mention – In The Charts

We’ve tried to compiled most of the albums that deserved our attention, but didn’t make our final Top 50, in this Special Mention section; beginning with a look at those artist who provided a bit of relief to the much maligned; reality TV and pop minions infected mainstream charts. Among them, the biggest selling album of the century is, here too, at number one; followed by a popular R&B superstar who finally delivered a whole good album that sadly didn’t generate any smashes; as well as farewells to the tragically deceased Amy Winehouse and to the most universal band that ever came from Athens, Georgia, who after three decades in business decided to put an end to their career. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 Music: Disappointments Of The Year

With LMFAO celebrating that their party rocking is the most downloaded track of the year and the charts conquered by Adele; the 90’s retro sounds of Guetta-like productions and Michael Bublé crooning his way to the biggest sales figures this Christmas, it is safe to assume 2011 won’t go into history books as a year of musical excellence. A new generation of bands revisiting the sounds of 90’s indie rock and grunge has failed so far to produce any outstanding work. While individual tracks remained the king, with the EP still strengthening as a favoured format for new acts to deliver their songs, all of which underlines a growing lack of remarkable full-length efforts. Only our album of the year can be unanimously claimed as a true classic. The rest of the lot paled in comparison.

However, not everything is lost, and even when the indie, electronica and alt-folk scenes were giving signs of exhaustion, salvation came in the most unexpected of shapes, from the world of R&B with a new batch of producers and artists ready to challenge the genre and move forward towards more interesting shores; blurring the boundaries between indie shoegaze, hip-hop and R&B, past and present, into a new brand of urban sounds that’s taking the world by storm, helped by the fact that some of them offered their music for free. The Odd Future collective has crashed into the rap scene with rising stars such as Tyler, The Creator; Mellowhype or the soulful vocalist, bound to be the most popular of the lot, Frank Ocean. Canadian producer Abel Tesfaye, under his The Weeknd moniker, delivered his albums as mixtapes available for all to download, which in turn saw his profile boosted as one of the most in demand remixers of the planet –everyone from his pal Drake to Lady Gaga demanding his services.

Some long awaited sophomore efforts broke up the curse of that difficult second album. Bon Iver; Real Estate and tUnE-yArDs, among many others, made the art of following up a successful debut look easy. Veteran favourites (Tom Waits; Gillian Welch Kate Bush and the late Gil-Scott Heron, reworked by Jamie XX) delivered notable records. It was also a good year for those who enjoy a foray into experimental grounds with Tim Hecker; Colin Stetson or Andy Stott bringing some ground-breaking pieces of work.

Before revealing our Top 50 albums of the year, we’ll go through some Honorary Mentions, divided by genre. But let’s get the bad news out of the way first with the annual black list of those greatly anticipated albums that failed to impress. Keep reading for the most disappointing records of 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

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#BestOf2011 : Top 100 Tracks (25-1)

25-GIL SCOTT-HERON & JAMIE XX-I’ll Take Care Of You (XL)

The remix collaboration between Jamie XX and the late Gil-Scott Heron served unexpectedly as a tribute to the legendary Afroamericah poet and it leads us now into the final part of our top tracks. Among them, a remarkably high number of newcomers, as well as female solo artists; plus a double helping of the most awarded act in the story of the Rober Awards, whom in 2011 reached a new career high. Read the rest of this entry »

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