Dec 27, 2009

Top ten best electronica albums of 2009: part two of three

This is part two.   
For part one, click here
For part three, click here


5 - DâM-FunK - Toeachizown

80s boogie anyone? See if you can guess why I never featured this album on my blog before: he was a Warren G session musician, his album is full of smooth chord changes and all-out soul, and he runs nights in California called Funkmosphere (!).

So why number five? It's an electronic album that gets under your skin. The insistent boss drum, the spiralling synth themes, the genius tweaking of a filter here, the acid flare-up there. It's got a simple funk veneer, but scrape that away and you have an album of staggering inventiveness, bustling with analogue synths and vintage drum machines.

Quality *and* quantity... and it's a debut album. Listen to this YouTube sampler.  Buy the album from Bleep or Boomkat or Piccadilly.


4 - Hudson Mohawke - Butter

Turntablist-turned-aquacrunker Hudson Mohawke had one of the most anticipated releases of the year when Butter came out in October. But even though I said it would be "massive than a horse explosion", it seems the preceding Polyfolk Dance EP got more plaudits in 2009.

Butter was a dizzying mix of the low-fi and the futuristic, taking something as old fashioned as turntablism and making it sound synthetic, forced but accessible. Was it rave? Was it hip hop? Was that Prince?! No-one knows, but there was no doubt this was the defining sound of electronica in 2009.

Wrap your ears around ZOo00OOm. Buy the album from Bleep or Boomkat or Piccadilly.


3 - Dan Deacon - Bromst

Bromst was Dan Deacon's umpteenth album but only his second professionally released on Carpark Records. It's probably not bleepy enough for this blog, but it didn't stop me calling Bromst a cacophonous bliss in April.

I might have overstated the brilliance of the album back then, but hark ye at the frantic arpeggios of Red F, the stamping over Susumu Yokota's legacy with the woodwind backing in Paddling Ghost, and the hypnotic, shimmering Surprise Stefani. It's a perfect companion to that Animal Collective album you've no doubt got.

Simply glorious. Listen to Paddling Ghost. Buy it from Bleep or Boomkat or Piccadilly.


2 - Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue

Pull up a campfire and marvel at this stunning debut for Warp Records. Bibio's summery rustic guitars could have sat firmly in the folktronica camp, something I'm not a huge fan of, but instead it ran hurtling around the borders of techno and produced the mind-blowing Ambivalence Avenue.

If you don't buy this, you are stupid, You should know that, because I told you in June. The pop psychedelia of Jealous Of Roses or the delightfully catchy refrain of Haikuesque (When She Laughs) was enough for a great album, but then you get the Prefuse 73-friendly beats of Fire Ant or the kick drum of Sugarette punching holes in your record decks.

I cannot praise this album enough: it has been a very good friend to me since the summer. Listen to Fire Ant. Buy it from Bleep or Boomkat or Piccadilly.


Not quite in the top ten (part two)

Why I chose a top ten rather than a top 97, I don't know. But it does mean that some musickers didn't reach the dizzying heights of my top ten, despite deserving plaudits.

Moderat, the hugely impressive collaboration between Apparat and Modeselektor, didn't quite punch me in the face enough. Neither did Prodigy's Invaders Must Die, which blew the speakers but not my mind. And Jega's Variance, with all its Aphexisms, wasn't quite enough either. The spacey IDM of Nosaj Thing's Drift is definitely worth a look in too, despite being missed off.

This is only an album top ten, so the following artists missed out on a technicality: Floating Points produced some gorgeous EPs, while Bullion's Young Heartache EP took Hudson Mohawke's cut-up style to a new level - and what a shame not to include the eminently loveable track Until There is No End by Lorn.

This is part two.   
For part one, click here.
For part three, click here

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