Culture is, of course, in a constant state of churn, with artists revisiting, reinterpreting and sometimes rehabilitating moments from the past. From "Stranger Things" to, well, mashups, artistic meaning is forever in flux; even the very notions of what’s good and what’s bad seem to tip over each other endlessly, with new context or framing. There’s a certain joy in the disorientation: I find my own cultural touchstones, long-disavowed favorites from childhood or awkward teens, baffled 20s or overworked 30s reappearing over and over in new and fascinating ways. Things I once liked, then decided were dumb, or just forgot, are picked up by adventurous, unashamed artists and given new life, new purpose. Nostalgia in the rediscovery is of course a core part of the enjoyment; and I’d hypothesize that the ethos of electronic music, maybe more than most genres, foregrounds with honesty these endless layers of quotation.
What a joy, then, to see Norwegian artist Jenny Hval, whose 2016 album Blood Bitch ended up in my top ten of that year, turn towards the guilty pleasure of, well, mid-’90s trance music. I know, I know. While I’d say that some have overstated the sonic contrast between Practice of Love and her previous work—"Conceptual Romance" has an clear element of major chord lightness—Hval made her intentions explicit in interviews, stating her goals were clarity, elevation, and transcendence. It also happens to result in an album which seems to balance pop and the avant garde effortlessly, both accessible and adventurous.
Part of that balance is of course its subject matter, an often heartwrenching and often delightful exploration of, well, love, and all that means, returning over and over to reproduction, intimacy, identity. The album’s credits are all apparently female, and topics are sometimes female-centric in a way that still feels radical. The title track with its layers of spoken word hones in on the notion that a woman without a child has to accept that she’s not the "main character" of the human story, and "Red Cannas" travels through history to evoke Georgia O’Keefe and Amelia Earheart. But the breadth of subject matter, from birth to death, evokes not so much a "feminist" work but more that of a bemused alien looking down to write an anthropology of our strange species. Track one, "Lions," even seems to make this explicit, opening the album with an invitation to study every detail of our planet; grass, clouds, raindrops on leaves, the existence of God.
More about the soaring “Accident” below, but the notions of identity and purpose explored on Practice are both female-centered and universal, making it feel like an absolutely essential statement in 2019. All of it, naturally, floats over a hyperspeed beat and flanged arpeggios, offering a joyous sense of wonder to permeate the album. The final track, “Ordinary,” celebrates “giving in” to ordinariness, cliches of sunlight, marriage, the curves of a face. But of course there’s nothing ordinary about each of our loves and sorrows, mothers and daughters, lives and deaths. For those of us who have felt excluded, marginalized, or unworthy, however, witnessing ourselves and our stories made ordinary, given the space to think of ourselves as protagonists of humanity, is both profoundly moving and necessary, and a joy to behold.
While some calledANIMA a tough album to consider as a whole due to "Dawn Chorus" at its center, a song which had reached near mythical status among Radiohead fans, I think the album's structure allows the it to be more like a solar system rotating around a dark star, each planet fascinating in its own right.
Yorke’s third solo effort seems to benefit from fewer cooks in the kitchen, a collaboration mostly with longtime producer Nigel Godrich, inspired partially by Flying Lotus’ use of loops and improvisation, and evoking contemporary cutting-edge electronica from James Holden to Floating Points. Of course, thematically, it’s not going to land far from Radiohead, and the album is suffused with what we all know and love about those guys: darkness, longing, grief, cries of anguish at both macro and micro scale injustices. But the sonic focus means that ANIMA, for really the first time in Yorke’s career, stands apart from Radiohead as a clear statement of purpose as a solo artist.
Like ANIMA, Magdalene has a masterpiece of a song in “Cellophane,” whose devastating pleas evoke heartbreak both simply and profoundly. But its sonic palette is far more restrained than Yorke's adventurousness. While twigs’ work has often confounded critics (and she herself has noted how her genre “assignment” seemed to change when her racial identity was revealed), Magdalene seems to have reached a kind of tipping point, where a crowd of electronic producers from Skrillex to Oneohtrix Point Never managed to combine forces under her leadership into something truly uncategorizable: a kind of cosmic future ambient opera. This starkness allows twigs’ voice to take center stage, and she lays bare truly biblical trauma, both emotional and physical. While critics compare twigs’ singular vision and expressive voice to Kate Bush and Bjork, her ability to operate authentically in the spaces of contemporary hip hop and R&B means the album never seems to lose focus and listenability, and makes Magdalene something wholly unique.
Okay, sure, to paraphrase the (lovingly?) mocking criticism of "Black Mirror," "what if phones but too much," this album can easily be caricatured as "what if progressive house but no beats." It’s not a new idea, dropping the omnipresent kick drum from dance music to see what remains, but it’s explored on Utility in a way that feels both new and richly rewarding. The Berlin producer and Leisure System resident doesn’t let the lack of an insistent, body-moving thud let the music slither off into ambience or noodly chaos; on the contrary, there’s a laser focus on uplift and movement, with gorgeous tones reverberating ecstatically amongst twinkling pads. The "utility" of the title seems to lay clear a goal as a piece of art to be used, not just appreciated; the album's staccato chords and spaciousness reminds me of one of my very first favorite albums, Individual Choice by French artist Jean-Luc Ponty, which had a similar effect. I brought a cassette of Choice along on a school trip when I was 14, and when a friend felt nauseous from the back-and-forth of the bus ride, I had the idea to offer her my Walkman with the Ponty cassette within. An hour later, she thanked me, as the album’s hypnotic atmosphere helped calm her without being somnolescent, stimulating without being aggressive. While I haven’t tested Utility in a similar fashion, it's a good bet it could bring a similar calm, despite any twists and turns.
Tapped to open for The xx on tour in 2017, the British musician (and neuroscientist!) stripped down his performance gear to just a drum machine and a Buchla synthesizer, playing mostly improvisational solo sets for the crowds. Returning to the studio, this setup remained the core of his production gear for Crush (although additional gear and a string section filled things out sonically). While I appreciated his 2015 album Elaenia, Crush is both more aggressive and, oddly, more lovely. Moments of Aphex Twin-esque intensity are balanced by interludes of serenity, and dark, stormy Burial-like moods give way to straight up bangers like “LesAlpx.” It’s the sound of a producer operating at the peak of his powers, confidently asserting a unique and compelling vision.
Tyler, the Creator
While the SoCal artist has long been associated with the winking antics of Odd Future, on the sprawling IGOR he successfully incorporates his prankster and emotional sides in an album that reorients contemporary genres around itself. Let's be clear, Tyler has never said words like “I’m gay,” but there’s an unmissable and honest queerness around the album’s desperate heartbreak, the impact of which is somehow only enhanced by Jerrod Carmichael’s intermittent narration. Sonically, the album is a raucous mishmash, with thrilling twists and turns, from the throwback hip hop of "EARFQUAKE" to the dirty vinyl disco of "I THINK" to the album’s centerpiece, the wonky "GONE, GONE / THANK YOU," whose six minutes trip from "Hey Ya" doubletime to blippy future bass. It’s all both surreal and eminently relateable, expressing how the pain of longing can make us feel deformed and monstrous.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Devastating grief can pick you up and drop you in a faraway land. You come to, alone, on a parched, windswept plain, dark mountains in the distance, and the only solution is to get up and start walking, to find your way back, carrying with you tales and myths to comfort and guide you on the way. Nick Cave’s 18th album is his first fully written and recorded after the 2015 death of his 15-year-old son, and this unimaginable loss finds Cave in an entirely new place, a land of devastating pain and soaring beauty. Traditional instrumentation has been abandoned, and the ambient soundscapes give backdrop to varying fantasias of the afterlife, “madnesses," as he called them in an open letter to a fan, "that we in our anguish will into existence." As an open-eyed journey into grief, it’s almost unbearably painful, but its sheer beauty, and even, at times, whimsy, helps show a path back from devastation, and in its uniqueness, it feels, strangely, like the purest distillation of Cave’s work yet.
The British-African producer has produced two well-received albums before this one, but with its all-caps exclamation of his own Ugandan last name, his third is his most confident and purposeful. Incorporating classic soul, afrobeat and lush psychedelia, the sound feels timeless, of a piece with both Curtis Mayfield and Tame Implala. While the album lays bare his personal struggles (and recent uncertainty about even continuing with music), it’s historically aware, with tracks like “Hero” and “Another Human Bring” nodding to ongoing civil rights struggles. Amazingly, what emerges is hopeful and energized, with album closer “Light” announcing “All of my fears are gone, baby, gone.”
I was entranced by Muzi’s single “Stimela SeGolide” when it came out in May (more about that track below), but it’s a tribute to the South African artist’s productivity that his subsequent album doesn’t even need that track and it’s still great. There are nods across Zeno (named after his first born son) to African genres like kwaito and maskandi, but whatever Muzi touches bubbles with brightness and wonder. Like an African Kaytranada, Muzi has an instinctive touch with hypnotic, beguiling chords, whether mellow (“Let Me Build”) or funky (“A Day In Paris”). Album centerpiece “Mncane” (“Young”) features a thrilling four chord pattern that sends shivers up the spine, under gentle exhortations to (according to Google Translate) “love the child/to grow up and become beautiful.”
As I write this, news has just broken that Paul Woolford has just released his fourth album under the Special Request name this year, and I’d like to apologize for writing and posting this dumb list instead of listening to it. Woolford’s prolific release schedule is extreme, but less unusual than it used to be: streaming’s endless playlist churn (sorry!) has led some artists and labels (not naming names) to seemingly throw buckets of releases every week at the wall, in the hope that something sticks. However, a few artists like Woolford have flowered in this reality, allowing them to explore their multiple, varied creative impulses and take us along for the thrilling ride. Woolford himself has called Offworld “softer” than his sometimes blistering output, but there’s still an exquisite tension across the album’s mostly freestyle-esque, syncopated beats. It’s all a bit like the chill of Gus Gus vs. T-World meets the outer space themes (and humor) of The Orb. More on album opener “237,000 Miles” below, but no track I heard out this year caused more crowd ecstasy.
11. Solange - When I Get Home(Columbia)
12. Sage Caswell - Evil Twin (2mr)
13. Angel Olsen - All Mirrors(Jagjaguwar)
14. Bjarki - Happy Earthday (!K7)
15. Tourist - Everyday (Monday)
16. Holly Herndon - PROTO(4AD)
17. Max Cooper - Yearning for the Infinite(Phases)
18. Fennesz - Agora(Touch)
19. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana (RCA)
20. Moodymann - SINNER(KDJ)
21. Galcher Lustwerk - Information(Ghostly)
22. Helado Negro - This is How You Smile(RVNG)
23. TOOL - Fear Inoculum (Volcano)
24. TR/ST - The Destroyer - 2(House Arrest)
25. Hot Chip - A Bath Full of Ecstatsy(Domino)
26. Toro y Moi - Outer Peace(Carpark)
27. Nils Frahm - All Encores(Erased Tapes)
28. The Comet Is Coming - Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery (Impulse)
29. Luttrell - Into Clouds(Anjunabeats)
30. Jayda G - Significant Changes(Ninja Tune)
31. Hiro Kone - A Fossil Begins to Bray(Dai)
32. The Chemical Brothers - No Geography(Virgin)
33. Weval -The Weight (Kompakt)
34. Com Truise - Persuasion System(Ghostly)
35. Oliver Dollar - Another Day Another Dollar(Classic)
36. Fennesz - Agora (Touch)
37. Robag Wruhme - Venq Tolep(Pampa)
38. Swervedriver - Future Ruins(Rock Action)
39. Efdemin - New Atlantis (Ostgut Ton)
40. Stereotyp - Look Things (seagrave)
41. Flume - Hi This is Flume (Future Classic)
42. Kim Gordon - No Home Record (Matador)
43. Jacques Greene - Dawn Chorus(LuckyMe)
44. DIIV - Deceiver (Captured Tracks)
45. Leif - Loom Dream(Whities)
Like a lot of artists these days, it’s impossible to separate twigs’ musical output from her extra-musical output. Iit’s something twigs does share with common critical connections Bjork and Kate Bush (despite the otherwise inaptness of those comparisons): their videos, especially, but also their dancing, their swan dresses, and their lives were all part of the art. In my mind, admittedly, “cellophane” is forever colored by the gold and clay tints of the video with its moving evocation of loss and healing, and twigs' almost inhuman skills at movement and dance. But the song itself is a masterpiece of restraint, opening with the simplest of piano notes and one of the most heartrending lines in recent memory: “didn’t I do it for you?” The track transforms midway (okay, another Bjork comparison, this time to Joga, which is also half intro) when a thumping beat finally arrives, but there's no real "drop"—"cellophane" never really rises above a whisper. This discipline makes its devastation all the more palpable, and its catharsis all the more affecting.
"About Work the Dancefloor"
As we approach 2020, many critics’ “best of the decade” lists have slotted Robyn’s 2010 masterpiece “Dancing On My Own” in at #1, and that's a pretty good choice. (I couldn't tell you what mine would be—"Dance Yrself Clean?" I'm such a cliche). Here in 2019, UK artist Georgia’s propulsive “Dancefloor” seems to bracket the decade, which began with Robyn’s lovelorn statement of independence and now ends with a track that’s similarly electro-inspired but recovers from heartbreak with an anthem on the dance floor's power to bring people together. The lyrics wield eternal come-on lines, ("I don’t have much in terms of money now") and a simple request to just share a moment, but the insistent beat and aggressive synth line make the approach throb with excitement and pound with ecstasy. But Georgia isn't just about pure sugary pleasure: similarly to her great 2018 track “Started Out,” whose shrill “I don’t wanna lose you” line acts as a counterpoint to the smooth rhythm, the distorted repetition of the awkward title here seems to dirty up the vibe, preventing the track from sinking into pop cliche. Like great club-inspired music from Donna Summer to New Order, “Dancefloor” melds machine to the heart.
I was adopted by my parents when I was about 20 days old. My adoptive parents were, to their great credit, always open with me about where I came from, and I’ve had a good relationship with my birth mother since my teens. I feel like I can say with some confidence that I’ve always felt well-adjusted about the issue, and have strived to normalize what I understand was, at the time of my birth, something that was still considered shameful. But on hearing Hval’s first single from her stellar The Practice of Love, I was struck by how I’d never really considered, never internalized, my own status as a big ole "whoopsidoodle" of a person. Like the album as a whole, "Accident" focuses on stories of motherhood, or lack thereof, telling the tale of a woman both heartsick over and bemused by childlessness, but the chorus returns to the author's self-declaration, a bold and straightforward statement I find myself repeating: "I was an accident." Instead of feeling like a negative, the track emboldens the word with a sense of magic, and shame falls away.
There’s a certain specific emotional quality to some of my favorite African music that’s hard to describe, a mixture of sunniness and melancholy, a dreamy nostalgia that acknowledges deep pain but remains idealistic. Muzi embodies this state in his plaintive evocation of an agonizing moment in South Africa’s (and his own personal) history, the "gold trains" (of the song's Zulu title) that took men from their families to far off mines, where they often started new families. The lyrics are plain and straightforward, like a child’s memories: "My dad went to Johannesburg/He has not returned," and the music evokes the repetitive chug of train travel, the chord pattern never seeming to resolve. With the whistle of an engine, we’re left wondering what we all leave behind in our own lives as we strive for something better.
Tyler, the Creator
According to Wikipedia, Tyler offered this song to both Justin Bieber and Rihanna, and both turned it down. I find it completely impossible to imagine either of them coming anywhere near it, as the desperate simplicity of the chorus is so perfectly delivered by Tyler himself, raw and unpolished, goofy and sad. It’s another great heartbreak line (barely beaten out by FKA twigs for sheer emotional heft in 2019) but of course as it’s Tyler, it’s kind of hilariously pathetic, and eminently relatable. It’s also embodied by the Tim & Eric-ness of the video, with its supremely awkward, disastrous performance; those of us who have messed up and lost someone we love know all too well the feeling of being a ridiculous self parody and complete wreck, yet unable to leave the stage, as everything burns around us.
"Work It (Soulwax Remix"
While I was a big fan of Davidson’s 2018 album and its deadpan centerpiece, "Work It," leave it to the Belgian kings of strutting, wink-wink electro to rework it into something even more epic. Coming in short for a Soulwax mix at only 4:44, this is a piece of remarkable restraint; they take the original’s one-note march and bend it and distort it, creating an even more effective tease. There's a quick reference to Outlander’s 1991 classic "Vamp," plus, the bending, repeated synth line nods to the energy of industrial-strength rave anthems. But their version never overdoes it, slinking out as sneakily as it began.
While much has been made of the presence of the long-mythologized "Dawn Chorus" on ANIMA, it was "Impossible Knots" which stuck in my head all year. Weirdly, on an album full of cutting-edge electronica, "Knots" revolves around a real live bass guitar line that wouldn’t have been out of place on any Radiohead album, a hypnotic riff that transforms halfway through into an even more insistent pattern. There’s a whiff of dub reggae here, and the fizzing synth pads evoke Yorke favorite Boards of Canada. Lyrics are barely there, but insistent and vital: "I’ll take anything you got." The overall effect is one of a plea, a desperate cry for connection, for someone to come and untangle you.
"You Ain't the Problem"
A perfect update of psychedelic soul, "Problem" wields familiar tropes in new ways: a big brash opening, insistent 4/4 snare taps, thrillingly unexpected chord changes, and then really gets rolling. The musician has been honest about his alienation from the music industry and his self doubt, but the music is so assured that, amidst the swirling cacophony, you can't resist his message: "I used to hate myself/You got the key, break out the prison.”
As a producer type and longtime audio geek, I have consistently found myself appreciating music just for its sounds and totally overlook the voices; I forget song titles easily and often find myself realizing what lyrics are really about years later. So it’s a surprise to have been so affected by this vocal-centric track on Herndon’s AI-themed concept album, whose first two acapella minutes evoke nothing so much as Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. As a cry for awareness of our rapidly disintegrating ecosystem, "Frontier" has a timelessness that is profoundly moving.
"You and I"
I’m not sure where I would have read this, as a teenager, maybe in some Teen Beat or Smash Hits interview? But I have a vivid memory of reading back in the '80s that Kate Bush programmed imperfections into the drum pattern of "Running Up That Hill," a notion that staggered me at the time and is something I have never forgotten. I hear this same humanistic attention to imperfect, humanistic detail in Dan Snaith’s return to form as Caribou. "You and I"'s beat seems to step out tentatively, before breaking down into what I guess is a future bass half-time throb, and then delivering a flanged sax solo over a blistering guitar lick. But whatever mechanisms are being used, it never ceases to feel warm, organic, alive. Unlike previous lovelorn Caribou favorites, “You and I” appears to be about grief; its brief four minutes contain lifetimes.
11. Jai Paul - "he" (XL)
12. Solange - "Almeda" (Columbia)
13. Floating Points- "LesAlpx" (Ninja Tune)
14. Hot Chip - "Hungry Child" (Domino)
15. Sampa the Great - "Freedom" (Ninja Tune)
16. Jenny Hval - "Ashes to Ashes" (Sacred Bones)
17. DIIV - "Skin Game" (Captured Tracks)
18. Thom Yorke - "Dawn Chorus" (XL)
19. Krystal Klear - "Entre Nous" (Running Back)
20. Special Request - "237,000 Miles" (Houndstooth)
21. Muzi - "Mncane" (WE.THE.BUNDU)
22. The Chemical Brothers - "Got to Keep On" (Virgin)
23. Schacke - "Kisloty People" (Kisloty)
24. Octo Octa - "I Need You" (Technicolour)
25. Kaytranada & VanJess - "Dysfunctional" (RCA)
26. Lil Nas X - "Old Town Road (Remix)" (Columbia)
27. Max Cooper - "Perpetual Motion" (Phases)
28. FKA twigs - "Sad Day" (Young Turks)
29. Holly Herndon - "Eternal" (4AD)
30. Tame Impala - "Borderline" (Modular)
31. Terr - "Energy Sync" (Phantasy Sound)
32. Burial - "Claustro" (Hyperdub)
33. Peggy Gou - "Starry Night" (Gudu)
34. Dababy - "Suge" (Interscope)
35. Nick Catchdubs - "From the Top (Tony Quattro Remix)" (Fool's Gold)
36. Clairo - "Bags" (Fader)
37. Rosalía & J Balvin - "Con Altura" (Columbia)
38. Phenomenal Handclap Band - "Jail (Marcel Vogel Remix)" (Toy Tonics)
39. The Comet Is Coming - "Summon the Fire" (Impulse!)
40. Felix Da Housecat feat. Chris Trucher - "Thee Trk!" (Founders of Filth)
41. HERO - "Stay the Night" (Fool's Gold)
42. Krystal Klear - "Euphoric Dreams" (Running Back)
43. Helado Negro - "Runnin" (RVNG)
44. Roisin Murphy - "Incapable" (Loaded)
45. Terr - "Tale of Devotion" (Phantasy Sound)
46. Toro Y Moi - "Laws of the Universe" (Carpark)
47. Tourist - "Emily" (mtheory)
48. Sebastien Leger - "Lanarka" (Lost & Found)
49. Gold Panda - "Transactional Relationship" (City Slang)
50. Chrome Sparks - "Be On Fire" (Counter)
51. Flume - "Friends" (Future Classic)
52. Kolsch & Sasha - "The Lights" (IPSO)
53. Salute - "JTS" (PIAS)
54. Little Simz - "Selfish Age" (101)
55. Bibio - "Before" (Warp)
56. Gerry Read - "It'll All Be Over (DJ Koze Remix)" (Pampa)
57. boys be kko - "Big Boys Don't Cry" (Atomnation)
58. Daphni - "If" (Jiaolong)
59. EA WAVE feat. Makadem - "Alango" (EA WAVE)
60. Makez - "Different Planets" (Heist)
61. Midland - "The Alchemy of Circumstance" (Graded)
62. (Sandy) Alex G - "Gretel" (Domino)
63. Ride - "Future Love" (Wichita)
64. TNGHT - "Dollaz" (Warp)
65. Four Tet - "Anna Painting" (Text)
66. Special Request - "Fahrenheit 451" (Houndstooth)
67. Konx-Om-Pax - "Magenta One" (Planet Mu)
68. Reset Robot - "Denial" (We Are The Brave)
69. Ross from Friends - "The Revolution" (Brainfeeder)
70. Lone - "Young Star Cluster" (Ancient Astronauts)
71. AceMo - "Jelly Fish Jam" (AceMo)
Click here for an Amazon Music playlist of a bunch of good 2019 songs
1. Low - Double Negative
2. DJ Koze - Knock Knock
3. Yves Tumor - Safe in the Hands of Love
4. Robyn - Honey
5. Leon Vynehall - Nothing is Still
6. Beach House - 7
7. Skee Mask - Compro
8. SOPHIE - OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES
9. Tirzah - Devotion
10. Helena Hauff - Qualm
1. DJ Koze - Pick Up
2. Childish Gambino - This is America
3. Peggy Gou - It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)
4. Tirzah - Gladly
5. Yves Tumor - Noid
6. SOPHIE - Is It Cold In the Water?
7. Bicep - Opal (Four Tet Remix)
8. Georgia - Started Out
9. Jungle - House In LA
10. Marie Davidson - Work It
1. David Bowie - Blackstar
2. Kaytranada - 99.9%
3. Leon Vynehall - Rojus (Designed to Dance)
4. Solange - A Seat at the Table
5. A Tribe Called Quest - We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service
6. Jessy Lanza - Oh No
7. ANOHNI - Hopelessness
8. Anderson .Paak - Malibu
9. Ian William Craig - Centres
10. Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
1. Drake - One Dance
2. Solange - Don't Touch My Hair
3. Kanye West - Ultralight Beam
4. David Bowie - Lazarus
5. Leon Vynehall - Midnight on Rainbow Road (Beat Edit) / Blush
6. Beyonce - Formation
7. ANOHNI - Drone Bomb Me
8. A Tribe Called Quest - We the People...
9. Jenny Hval - Conceptual Romance
10. Kaytranada - LITE SPOTS
1. Jamie xx - In Colour
2. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
3. Tame Impala - Currents
4. George FitzGerald - Fading Love
5. Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa
6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Multi-Love
7. Floating Points - Eleania
8. Bob Moses - Days Gone By
9. Grimes - Art Angels
10. Hunee - Hunch Music
1. Tame Impala - Let It Happen
2. Jamie xx - I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)
3. Grimes - Flesh Without Blood
4. Kendrick Lamar - Alright
5. Drake - Hotline Bling
6. Jamie xx - Loud Places
7. Camelphat - Constellations
8. Death Cab for Cutie - Black Sun
9. Panda Bear - Boys Latin
10. Linstrom - Home Tonight
1. Caribou - Our Love
2. FKA Twigs - LP1
3. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
4. Todd Terje - It's Album Time
5. Beck - Morning Phase
6. Little Dragon - Nabuma Rubberband
7. Perfume Genius - Too Bright
8. Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers
9. Leon Vynehall - Music for the Uninvited
10. Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
1. Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting on You)
2. Caribou - Can't Do Without You
3. FKA Twigs - Two Weeks
4. tUnE-yArDs - Water Fountain
5. Run the Jewels - Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)
6. Little Dragon - Klapp Klapp
7. Caribou - Our Love
8. Tove Lo - Habits (Stay High)
9. iLoveMakonnen - Tuesday
10. Todd Terje - Delorean Dynamite
1. Kanye West - Yeezus
2. My Bloody Valentine - m b v
3. Disclosure - Settle
4. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
5. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
6. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
7. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual
8. Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
9. Special Request - Soul Music
10. Juana Molina - Wed 21
1. Daft Punk - Get Lucky
2. Kanye West - Black Skinhead
3. The National - Sea of Love
4. Drake - Hold On, We're Going Home
5. Sophie - Bipp
6. Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge - White Noise
7. [tie] David Bowie - Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Remix by James Murphy)
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
8. Kanye West - New Slaves
9. Chris Malinchak - So Good to Me
10. DJ Rashad - I Don't Give a Fuck
1. Tame Impala - Lonerism
2. Com Truise - In Decay
3. Grimes - Visions
4. Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city
5. Beach House - In Bloom
6. Chromatics - Kill for Love
7. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Trouble
8. Allah-Las - S/T
9. Hot Chip - In Our Heads
10. Jon Talabot - fin
1. Grimes - Oblivion
2. Nas - The Don
3. Bear in Heaven - Sinful Nature
4. Julio Bashmore - Au Seve
5. Hot Chip - Motion Sickness
6. Actress - Caves of Paradise
7. Santigold - Disparate Youth
8. Tame Impala - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
9. Disclosure - Latch
10. Kendrick Lamar - Swimming Pools (Drank)
1. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
2. Little Dragon - Ritual Union
3. Com Truise - Galactic Melt
4. TV On the Radio - Nine Types of Light 5. Radiohead - The King of Limbs
6. Tycho - Dive
7. Low - C'mon
8. SBTRKT - S/T
9. Machinedrum - Room(S)
10. The Field - Looping State of Mind
1. Gil Scott Heron & Jamie xx - I'll Take Care of You
2. PJ Harvey - Words that Maketh Murder
3. Lil Wayne - Six Foot Seven Foot
4. Julio Bashmore - Battle for Middle You
5. The Drums - Money
6. James Blake - Limit to Your Love
7. M83 - Midnight City
8. SBTRKT - Wildfire
9. Washed Out - Amor Fati
10. Jay-Z & Kanye West - N****s in Paris
1. KANYE WEST - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - This Is Happening
3. THE NATIONAL - High Violet
4. CARIBOU - Swim
5. TAME IMPALA - InnerSpeaker
6. VAMPIRE WEEKEND - Contra
7. BONOBO - Black Sands
8. ARCADE FIRE - The Suburbs
9. HOT CHIP - One Life Stand
10. GORILLAS - Plastic Beach
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Dance Yrself Clean
2. BIG BOI - Shutterbug
3. KANYE WEST - Power
4. ARCADE FIRE - The Suburbs
5. MAGNETIC MAN -
I Need Air
6. GORILLAZ - Stylo
7. TENSNAKE - Coma Cat
8. ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI - Round and Round
9. JANELLE MONAE - Tightrope
10. CARIBOU - Odessa
1. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – Merriweather Post Pavillion
2. THE XX – S/T
3. FLAMING LIPS – Embryonic
4. BIBIO– Ambivalence Avenue 5. THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART– S/T 6. BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW- Eating Us 7. BLOCKHEAD – The Music Scene 8. MOS DEF – The Ecstatic 9. BAT FOR LASHES – Two Suns 10. LITTLE DRAGON – Machine Dreams
1. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – "My Girls"
2. PHOENIX –"1901"
3. MAJOR LAZER – "Pon De Floor"
4. GRIZZLY BEAR –"Two Weeks" 5. JOY ORBISON – "Hyph Mngo" 6. MIIKE SNOW - "Animal (Fake Blood remix) 7. BAT FOR LASHES – "Daniel" 8. LA ROUX– "In For the Kill" (Skream) 9. MASSIVE ATTACK – "Psyche (Flash Treatment) 10. JAY-Z – "Empire State of Mind"
1. PORTISHEAD – Third
2. TV ON THE RADIO – Dear Science
3. LIL WAYNE – Tha Carter III
4. M83– Saturdays = Youth 5. HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR – S/T 6. THE VERY BEST -Esau Mwamwaya & Radioclit Are the Very Best 7. SANTOGOLD – S/T / SANTOGOLD VS. DIPLO – Top Ranking 8. FLYING LOTUS – Los Angeles 9. BEACH HOUSE – Devotion 10. KANYE WEST – 808s and Heartbreak
1. SANTOGOLD "L.E.S. Artistes"
2. LIL WAYNE "A Milli"
3. MGMT "Time to Pretend"
4. GLASVEGAS "Geraldine"
5. FAKE BLOOD "Mars"
6. KANYE WEST "Love Lockdown"
7. VAMPIRE WEEKEND "A-Punk"
8. DJ MUJAVA "Township Funk"
9. PORTISHEAD "Machine Gun"
10. CUT COPY "Hearts on Fire"
1. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Sound of Silver
2. RADIOHEAD In Rainbows
3. M.I.A. Kala
4. LIL WAYNE –Da Drought 3 / The Carter III 5. OF MONTREAL – Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? 6. KANYE WEST -Graduation 7. BLONDE REDHEAD – 23 8. JAY-Z – American Gangster 9. CARIBOU – Andorra 10. GUI BORATTO – Chromophobia
1. Rihanna – "Umbrella"
2. LCD Soundsystem – "All My Friends" / "Someone Great"
3. Battles – "Atlas"
4. M.I.A. – "Boyz"
5. Kanye West feat T-Pain – "Good Life"
6. UGK feat. Outkast – "Int'l Players Anthem"
7. Amy Winehouse - "Rehab"
8. Timbaland feat. Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake – "Give It To Me"
9. Justice – "D.A.N.C.E."
10. Dude N Nem – "Watch My Feet"
1. J DILLA Donuts
2. TV ON THE RADIO Return to Cookie Mountain
3. SONIC YOUTH Rather Ripped
4. BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT S/T
5. GNARLS BARKLEY St. Elsewhere
6. THOM YORKE The Eraser
7. THE FLAMING LIPS At War With the Mystics
8. GHOSTFACE KILLAH Fishscale
9. YEAH YEAH YEAHS Show Your Bones
10. THE KNIFE Silent Shout
1. GNARLS BARKLEY "Crazy"
2. HOT CHIP "Over and Over" 3. NELLY FURTADOw/ TIMBALAND "Promiscuous" 4. CHRISTINA AGUILERA "Ain't No Other Man" 5. SILVERSUN PICKUPS "Lazy Eye" 6. THE FLAMING LIPS "The W.A.N.D." 7. RIHANNA "SOS" 8. JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE "My Love" 9. JUNIOR BOYS "In the Morning" 10. THOM YORKE "Black Swan"
1. M.I.A. Arular 2. THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Twin Cinema 3. BLOC PARTY Silent Alarm 4. BECK Guero 5. ENGINEERS S/T 6. KANYE WESTLate Registration 7. TOM VEK We Have Sound 8. VITALIC OK Cowboy 9. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM S/T 10. DANGER DOOM The Mouse and the Mask SINGLES
1. GORILLAZ "Feel Good Inc."
2. (Tie) KANYE WEST "Gold Digger" / The Legendary K.O. "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People"
3. M.I.A. "Bucky Done Gun"
4. AMERIE "1 Thing"
5. TOM VEK "C-C (You Set the Fire in Me)"
6. DAVID BANNER "Play"
7. CIARA feat. LUDACRIS "Oh"
8. LADY SOVEREIGN "Random"
9. PAUL WALL feat. BIG POKEY "Sittin' Sideways"
10. KELLY CLARKSON "Since You Been Gone
1. BLONDE REDHEAD
Misery is a Butterfly 2. FRANZ FERDINAND S/T 3. KOMEDA Kokomemedada 4. AUTOLUXFuture Perfect 5. DANGER MOUSE The Grey Album 6. AIR Talkie Walkie 7. THE STREETSA Grand Don't Come for Free 8. TV ON THE RADIO Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes 9. DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979You're a Woman, I'm a Machine 10. ARCADE FIRE Funeral
1. FRANZ FERDINAND "Take Me Out" 2. JAY-Z "99 Problems" 3. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM "Yeah" 4. NINA SKY "Move Your Body" 5. M.I.A. "Galang" 6. TV ON THE RADIO "Staring at the Sun" 7. SNOOP DOGG FEAT. PHARRELL "Drop it Like It's Hot" 8. FAITHLESS "Mass Destruction" 9. ELTRO "Motorboat" 10. ERIC PRYDZ "Call on Me"
1. THE WHITE STRIPES Elephant 2. NADA SURF Let Go 3. DIZZEE RASCAL Boy In Da Corner 4. THE RAVEONETTESChain Gang of Love 5. RADIOHEAD Hail to the Thief 6. LUNGFISH Love is Love 7. SOFT PINK TRUTHDo You Party? 8. YEAH YEAH YEAHSFever to Tell 9. HIDDEN CAMERASThe Smell of Our Own 10. THE STROKES Room on Fire
1. OUTKAST "Hey Ya" 2. THE WHITE STRIPES "7 Nation Army" 3. 50 CENT "In Da Club" 4. PANJABI MC "Beware of the Boys (Mundian to Bach Ke)" 5. THE CURE VS BJORK "Hidden Forest" (GordyBoy bootleg) 6. JUNIOR SENIOR "Move Your Feet" 7. LUMIDEE "Never Leave" 8. ELECTRIC SIX "Danger! High Voltage" 9. ADAM FREELAND VS. NIRVANA "Smells Like Freeland" 10. BEYONCE "Crazy In Love"
1. THE STREETS Original Pirate Material 2. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE Songs for the Deaf 3. INTERPOL Turn on the Bright Lights 4. 2MANYDJS As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2 5. DOVES Last Broadcast 6. SLEATER-KINNEY The New Beat 7. COLDPLAY A Rush of Blood to the Head 8. WILCO Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 9. DJ SHADOW The Private Press 10. FELIX DA HOUSECAT Kittenz and Thee Glitz
1. THE WHITE STRIPES "Fell in Love with a Girl" 2. FISCHER SPOONER "Emerge" 3. MISSY ELLIOTT "Work It" 4. EMINEM "Without Me" 5. THE STROKES VS. CHRISTINA AGUILERA "Stroke of Genie-us" (Freelance Hellraiser bootleg) 6. THE HIVES "Hate to Say I Told You So" 7. KHIA "My Neck My Back" 8. KYLIE MINOGUE "Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head" 9. NELLY "Hot In Herre" 10. YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Bang"
1. LowThings We Lost in the Fire 2. Spiritualized Let It Come Down 3. The Strokes Is This It 4. Beta BandHot Shots II 5. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club S/T 6. New Order Get Ready 7. Richie Hawtin DE9: Close to the Edit 8. RadioheadAmnesiac 9. Basement JaxxRooty 10. The White StripesWhite Blood Cells
1. Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On 2. Gorillaz - 19-2000 3. System of a Down - Chop Suey 4. Nelly - Ride Wit Me 4. (tie!) Jay-Z - Izzo (HOVA) 5. Groove Armada - Superstylin' 6. Madonna - Don't Tell Me 7. The Faint - Agenda Suicide 8. Tool - Schism 9. Weezer - Island in the Sun 10. Utada Hikaru - Traveling
ALBUMS 1. GRANDADDYThe Sophtware Slump 2. RADIOHEADKid A 3. GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR! Levez vos Skinny Fists Comme Antennas to Heaven! 4. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGERated R 5. PRIMAL SCREAM XTRMNTR 6. DOVESLost Souls 7. AT THE DRIVE INRelationship of Command 8. EMINEM Marshall Mathers LP 9. YO LA TENGOAnd Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out 10. OUTKAST Stankonia
1. Zombie Nation "Kernkraft 400" 2. Aaliyah "Try Again" 3. Madonna "Music" 4. Queens of the Stone Age "Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" 5. Armand van Helden "Koochy" 6. Azzido Da Bass "Dooms Night" 7. Storm "Time to Burn" 8. Belle & Sebastian "Legal Man" 9. A Perfect Circle "Judith" 10. Detroit Grand Pubahs "Sandwiches"
1. The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs
2. Sleater-Kinney The Hot Rock 3. MobyPlay 4. Death in Vegas The Contino Sessions 5. Low Secret Name 6. Queens of the Stone AgeS/T 7. Built to SpillKeep It Like a Secret 8. Godspeed You Black Emperor!Slow Riot for New Zero Canada 9. Royal TruxVeterans of Disorder 10. UnderworldBeaucoup Fish SINGLES
1. Ginuwine "What's So Different" 2. Underworld "King of Snake" 3. TLC "Silly Ho" 4. Basement Jaxx "Rendez-Vous" 5. Aphex Twin "Windowlicker" 6. The Roots w/ Erikah Badu "You Got Me" 7. 702 "Where my Girls At " 8. Len "Steal My Sunshine" 9. ODB "Gimme My Money" 10. Moby "Bodyrock"
1998 - LOST :(
1. Spiritualized Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space 2. Built to Spill Perfect from Now On 3. Pavement Brighten the Corners 4. The Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole 5. Yo La Tengo I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One 6. Radiohead OK Computer 7. Primal Scream Vanishing Point 8. Roni Size Reprazent New Forms 9. Fatboy Slim Better Living Through Chemistry 10. Dandy Warhols The Dandy Warhols Come Down SINGLES
1. The Verve "Bittersweet Symphony" 2. Blur "Song 2" 3. Roni Size / Reprazent "Share the Fall" 4. Fatboy Slim / Pierre Henry "Psyche Rock" 5. Cornershop "Brimful of Asha" 6. Oasis "D'You Know What I Mean" 7. Dandy Warhols "Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth" 8. Gus Gus "Believe" 9. Notorius B.I.G. "Hypnotize" 10. Bjork "Joga"