"It's Fat Roland here. There has been a terrible administration error."
Okay. How can I help fix it?
"Why have you left Four Tet out of the Top 25? Four Tet is meant to be in the Top 25."
It's not an error. It's just that there were so many good albums, and it got squeezed out.
"This is unacceptable. You cannot leave Four Tet out of the Top 25. You're sacked."
What? You can't...
"Clean out your desk. Gross dismissal. Never darken my doors again."
But I'm you. You're sacking yourself. You've just lost your own job working for you.
"Er... Forget I said that. Here, have a promotion. Excellent work, Fat Roland."
Thanks, Fat Roland.
I did feel bad for only including Four Tet's Sixteen Oceans (Text Records) in my special mentions section, but that's how my sorting hat sorted things when compiling my final list. I loved this album: so many zippy earworms and such glistening oomph. I've not had a chance to listen to the two (two!) albums he dropped over Christmas, Parallel (Text Records) and 871 (Text Records).
Here are even more special mentions, referred to as "perky" in my notebook.
In Electronic Sound (yeah, I mention them a lot), I praised Moses Boyd for Dark Matter (Exodus Records) as he "pinballs around his ever-present drum kit like an oiled whippet". Kruder & Dorfmeister finally released their debut album 1995 (G-Stone Recordings), originally scheduled to be released in the year 1995 then, er, slightly delayed. The trip hop comeback you never knew you were waiting for.
You want the best? You want the pin-sharp house energy of Omar S's You Want (FXHE Records): sassy, straightforward, and superbly executed, despite that overused sample. Improvised in a cave, Capitol K's mini-album Birdtrapper (Faith And Industry) was a delightfully curious mix of driving organic rhythms and bamboo. Wajatta released second album Don't Let Get You Down (Brainfeeder), with the irrepressible Reggie Watts performing vocal acrobatics (and whistling) over John Tejada's fast and funky house.
Finally for this section, Black Nationalist Sonic Weaponry (Planet Mu), released under DeForrest Brown Jr's Speaker Music alias, sounded like the fierce heart of BlacKkKlansman pulsing to the rhythm of distended and shattered jazzy percussion experiments. An important album, but I've no idea why it's in this section: it's anything but "perky". Stupid notebook.