Jan 1, 2010

Fat Roland's 2010 electronica preview, part one: or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Instead Develop A Festering Hatred For Anything On The Wrong Side Of Easy Listening

This is part one of two 2010 preview posts. Here is the link to part two.

Welcome to my ball-bursting, clown-punching, thigh-nuzzling preview of what to expect from electronic music in 2010.

I cannot claim this to be comprehensive, nor even accurate, and I am likely to veer off the rails to feature music I wouldn’t normally be too bothered with on this purist blog. But if it goes “bleep”, then it’s probably registered on my radar at some point, even if it didn’t make the final edit.

Where shall we start? I know...

January: "it sounds exactly like La Bloody Roux"

Beth Ditto will be shouting her massive gob all over the radio again, this time on Simian Mobile Disco’s Cruel Intentions. It will be massive? Why? Because it sounds exactly like La Bloody Roux. To counter that, why not bring things down with noise experimentalist Merzbow, who will complete his massive but quite unlistenable Japanese Birds series with the final two albums in January and February. (See my original, bird-filled post on that series here.)

Manchester glorious bleep poppers Delphic will channel the spirit of New Order when they drop their Acolyte album in mid-January.

See him mashing up the beats and then serving them with peas and a steaming pork joint? That's Bullion. Already known for filtering the sixties through his turntablism sensibilities, his Say Goodbye To What single is described as having a “magical Boards of Canada-visit-Studio 54 feel”.

Howse about a big name for 2010? Croydon mailboy Peter O’Grady will have a great time as Joy Orbison. He is also working on tracks on Four Tet’s fifth album - and their first for four years: There Is Love In You is out towards the end of the month.

Also look out for Miike Snow's Silvia: there's something I like about that guy, despite his unkept hair. Keep one eye out for the Super 8 Bit Brothers, if only to distract you from the energy-sapping truth that William Orbit is releasing a whole box set ('Odyssey') of his pleasing, populist electronica.

Oh and if there isn't enough brainless acid mentalism in January, Mike Dred's got new material out.

February: "an ill-fated 22-track concept album"

February is an absolutely massive month for dance music fans. And no, I'm not referring to Josh Wink's Airplane Electronique or Groove Armada's no-doubt snoozesome Black Light album. Nor do I mean The Streets' Computers And Blues, or indeed Fatboy Slim and David Byrne's ill-fated 22-track concept album about Imelda Marcos.

No, the 'massive' refers to the return of Massive Attack with what is only their fifth studio album in a billion years. Heligoland will be released exactly seven years after 100th Window, and promises treats in the shape of Guy Garvey, Martina Topley-Bird, the guitarist from Portishead AND a seriously exciting remix project from dubstep king Burial.

Speaking of Bristol musicians, production mad skills for 2010 will go to Joker - watch out for his various mixes sprinkling the record shelves throughout the year.

Oh and speaking of dubstep, this slightly jaded sub-genre could go go seriously mainstream in 2010. The main contender could be Benga and DJ Zinc when they collaborate with Ms Dynamite in February. Look out for La Roux remixer Skream too.

Or maybe the battle for the mainstream will be won by Philadelphia’s Diplo, who has teamed up with chart-topper Robyn (the Swedish Kate Bush, anyone?) – although following the pair’s studio sessions, Diplo admitted “I think we broke dubstep.” Silly Diplo.

Hot Chip will make a welcome return in February. Their new long-player One Life Stand will include 70s rock legend, This Heat drummer Charles Hayward. No, me neither.

The Album Leaf will present A Chorus Of Storytellers. mixed by a member of Sigur Ros which gives you an idea of the direction of the album, while Flying Lotus will appear on Muhsinah's single Always / Lose My Fuse. Also watch out for FlyLo's other projects this year: his work with Samiyam under the name FLYamSAM and an inevitably stupendous DJ Kicks album.

If there isn't enough brainless acid mentalism in February, Ceephax Acid Crew has got a new one out ('United Acid Emirates' - genius).

Members of !!! and LCD Soundsystem will guest on electro producer Pantha Du Prince's Black Noise album in February. LCD themselves will release an album in March, although with its rock and disco influences, don’t expect it to feature too heavily on this blog. Which brings us neatly to...

March: "hear it on a BBC ident near you"

Cartoon popstars the Gorillaz have signed up very real, uncartoony versions of Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed and, um, Barry Gibb for their third LP Plastic Beach. Expect it to arrive before Easter.

Electronic breaks / trance duo Hybrid have promised an orchestra on their new album Disappear Here in March or April. I don’t think it’ll be very interesting, but do expect to hear it in a BBC ident near you.

For the less commercially-minded, there's Gonja Sufi's essential new album A Sufi And A Killer. There is also Plaid's "experimental Ambisonic piece" Nord Rute based on recordings taken with reindeer herders. Expect a launch event with Luke Vibert in March.

Autechre will feature on the same bill as Salt N Pepa at Bloc 2010 (mentioned here in November). I cannot write that enough. Autechre will feature on the same bill as Salt N Pepa at Bloc 2010. If you think about it, what's the difference? Really?

Tim Simenon will revive his Bomb The Bass moniker with LP Back To Light, while Dan Le Sac and his quick-tongued chum Scroobius Pip will try to revive the good old days of 2007 - they will start March with a single called Get Better and follow it with album Logic Of Chance a couple of weeks later.

Does It Offend You, Yeah? have the most nauseating album title of the year. Don't Say We Didn't Warn You will complete their final metamorphosis into being a slightly synthier Muse.

Ooo, I nearly forgot Goldfrapp. Head First will be preceded by single Rocket. I have something scribbled here about Tyondai Braxton, but I'm not sure what it means. Hopefullly he will take time out from his fancy classical music commissions to produde a new Battles album.

Finally in March, To Rococo Rot (they of big beat fame) promise their new album Speculation will be "measured" and "restrained". If you want to be as adventurous as Keane, what's the point? And Starkey will follow his 2009 single OK Luv with some more bad boy bleeps on his album Ear Drums and Black Holes, due out at the end of the month.

Sadly, there isn't enough brainless acid mentalism in March.

This is part one of two 2010 preview posts. Here is the link to part two.

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