Monday, 24 December 2007

Best Of 2007 (Not necessarily in the correct order)

1 Disrupt - Foundation Bit (Werk)
Digital laptop reggae made in the former East Germany! Top beats & bass action with all manner of binary code dub slop thrown on top. This is exactly what King Tubby would sound like if he was raised in the film Tron. Can you really get any better than a computerised cover version of Lee Scratch Perry's Doctor On The Go with the Bomb #20 scene from Darkstar sampled on top? The Jahtari website (Disrupts home turf) has a free download of a dub version of the International Karate + theme! Geek Dub heaven!

2 Burial - Untrue (Hyperdub)
Mysterious Dubstep/2-step producer Burials 2nd album follows on from where the 1st left off but with a little more light & shade. The vocal samples that adorn the majority of the record give it a poppier feel that never lapses into cheesey, and it still carries the Bladerunner sheen that made the first record so good. Deserves to be talked of in the same hushed reverence as 'Selected Ambient Works 85-92', 'Timeless' & 'Leftism'. Class.

3 Porn Sword Tobacco - New Exclusive Olympic Heights (City Centre Offices)
Static drenched ambience, narcotic lullabies, 70's wildlife film soundtracks. This is the sort of music that Boards of Canada used to promise in the late 90's but dont really deliver anymore. PTS's 3rd album brings equal amounts of atmosphere, melody and mischief to the table. The only problem is the very silly band name which always gets laughed at when people ask me what i'm listening to. Other than that there is plenty to recommend here (however difficult that is).

4 Ween - La Cucaracha (Rounder)
Classic Ween! All the stuff that makes Ween so great is right here. Whatever they turn their hands to comes up purest brown in the very best way. Particularly surprising is Geners cheeky English sneer on the new wave rocker Shamemaker and his Anthony & the Johnsons type croon on Lullaby. Deaner comes correct too with the balls out offensive rocker My Own Bare Hands and the sweet philly soul of Sweetheart In The Summer. (I am biased though because Ween are my favourite band in the world ever. Hail the Boognish!).

5 Ricardo Villalobos - Fabric 36 (Fabric)
Minimal Techno / Ketamine House! Not Rickys best (That honour IMO goes to 2005's Achso EP) but still offers the highest quality minimalism you can lay your hands on in 2007. Ostensibly a mix CD for the Fabric series, it actually holds all brand new Villalobos material and should be considered as his latest album. 4/4 beats with rattling, at times ethnic percussion builds to euphoric proportions without ever submitting to the bloated excesses of most modern dancefloor house.

6 Skull Disco - Soundboy Punishments Vol. 1 (Skull Disco)
The ascent of Dubstep in 2007 has thrown up some weird and wonderful styles, none more so than Shackleton & Appleblim on their own Skull Disco label. Eschewing the UK garage & D&B breakbeats of most Dubstep in favour of African styled drums & elements of dub techno, the soundboys also knock out bass drops that could fell elephants from 50 metres. This is the compilation of the 1st 4 Skull disco 12"s along with tracks for other labels and (IMO) it's a truly original psychedelic dance record that sounds like nothing else in 2007 (or any other time).

7 Stars Of The Lid - And Their Refinement Of The Decline (Kranky)
I heard one track on this album from a Kranky sampler last year and fell for Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie straight away. This double album has a majestic quality without being overbearing, too tuneful to be considered ambient but too spacious to be modern classical. Songs start and seem to hover around melodies before woodwind and brass cut through the electronic fuzz. Every melody is beautiful and never outstays its welcome & theres a deadpan sense of humour at work, exemplified by the Fulhum FC sample and title reference on Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage.

8 Various - Now We Are Ten - A Trunk Records Sampler (Trunk)
Not really much you can say about Jonny Trunks label other than its one of the the most consistent and challenging labels on earth. His amazing ability to uncover buried treasure has seen him accused of being a witch or a timetraveller! Although a bit too heavy on the flute at times, Trunk 1st cut price sampler shows the spread of music they have gifted us from weird jazz to horror soundtracks, primitive electronica to 70's kids tv folk music and a cheeky (at times filthy) sense of humour. (includes the number 27 smash hit The Ladies Bras, at 36 seconds the shortest song ever to chart!).

9 Panda Bear - Person Pitch
With a printed influence list longer than most peoples record collections, Panda Bear (Noah Lennox to his mates) could be accused of stretching himself too thin. On repeated listening however, all the distinct strands of music from 60's pop through to Berlin dub techno mesh together to make a record that is as lovely as it is (at times) disorientating. The stock comparison of "Brian Wilson with a sampler" isn't too wide of the mark especially considering how ace that would be.

10 Xela - For Frosty Mornings & Summer Nights (2007 Edition) (Type)
Recorded between 2000 & 2002 while Xela was working at Halfords then released in 2003, then re-released in 2007 with new artwork and a couple of extra tracks. Despite the years involved it still sounds remarkably fresh. Glitchy electronics and hip hop beats frame the sublime melodies but the joy here is how understated the whole lp is. The best track Bobble Hats In Summer moves at a snails pace with a drum loop that sounds like it was built from heavy machinery before a classical piano interlude sparks the song into life about 5 minutes in. Pure class from one of the best electronic artist in music today.

Honourable Mentions

11 Deepchord Presents Echospace - The Coldest Season (Modern Love)
Deep wintery dub techno.

12 Kid Acne - Romance Ain't Dead (Lex)
South Yorkshire Hip Hop!

3 comments:

Tom said...

So come on and chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self
Chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self
Yeah, come on and check yo self before you wreck yo self
[Ice] Cause shotgun bullets are bad for your health

Exclusive Music said...

Great read, i wish i could find alot of these.

Spartak Mixtapes said...

Thanks for your comment, you should be able to download most of the records on boomkat.com or find them for free through other nefarious ways.