10. Woven Hand-The Threshing Floor It had been years since I have heard a new record from this melancholy low voiced christ crooner. This album is unlike anything I have heard him do in years. The addition of multiple instruments, some orthodox, some eclectic, add a thickness to an artist who was already dense. The title song is amazing.
9. Pan Sonic-Gravitoni It is depressing that this is going to be the last Pan Sonic record. These guys have been a huge influence on me over the past decade. This record is a perfect swan song. They make sounds that are so deep, and so heavy that the waves create physical mass. Truly each beat is a monolith, and their songs are like mini Stonehenge clusters of frequency.
8. Swans-My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky Several months back I heard the question, “Have you heard the new Swans record?” What!?!?!? New Swans record?! I didn’t expect there were ever been another one. While different from where they left off, this record is still full of the booze, throbbing, and catholic guilt that has fueled all of the Swans records to intense highs and lows.
7. Oval-Oh/O Markus Popp is at it again. Something is different here though. Guitars and African Drums as source sounds? The resulting sound is amazing, it is mature Oval and sounds like a cross between a collection of academic compositions, and a Tortoise remix album.
5. GonjaSufi-A Sufi and a Killer This is so refreshingly oddball for an electronic record it is like a palette cleanser for the world of monotonous beats and bass lines. Very nice textures, and the way GonjaSufi sings and speaks on the record has a wonderfully smooth cadence.
4. How to Dress Well-Love Remains If you took a tape recorder to a séance and there were several mediums who specialized in invoking the spirits of ’80s and ’90s ere R&B singers, then you add some washed out fuzzes and noise, then compressed the hell out of it, then you would have this album. Oh and I like the double entendre of the title “Love Remains.”
3. Zola Jesus-Stridulum Oh god this ep is intense, and beautiful. It’s a six song ep but it feels like a double album. Zola Jesus is mainly Nika Roza Danilova. Her voice is amazing and haunting like if Siouxsie and Hope Sandoval were the same girl with a split personality that grew up listening to Harmonium, Nico’s “Desert Shore” and suspenseful film scores. The production on this album is amazing. It must have rained in the studio because there is steam on these tracks.
2. Jason Forrest-Utopia OMFG This ep snuck in at the end of 2010 and kicked me in my effin’ face. Jason Forrest/Donna Summer is no newcomer to awesome electronic music, but I had not heard from him in quite a while. It is only four tracks but stole my ears and my attention as soon as I heard it. This is part of Deathbomb Arcs digital single series and guess what, its frigging free! In full disclosure I would have paid as much for this on 12″ vinyl as I would for any other record I bought this year. Jason Forrest still knows how to rock a party. I was telling my friend just the other day that if I were to start a sexy new sports league that “Goldbluff” would play as the teams entered the field. Do yourself a favor: Utopia ep
1. Flying Lotus-Cosmogramma I cannot get enough of anything Steven Ellison touches. Cosmogramma just show that he is capable of creating some of the most creative and catchy electronic music out there. His sounds are as classic as the company he shares on Warp Records, yet none of it sounds cliche´d. The sounds involved are playful yet dancy, and feel newer than just about anything else recorded.
Honorable Mentions of 2010: the Body-All the Waters of the Earth Turn to Blood This album is crushingly heavy. Effing epic. I am so bummed they canceled their local show this fall. A. Stroud-everything. I had a unique experience of getting to hear several of the songs she worked on this year while they were still in process. Her output is high without any loss of quality and hearing her music and viewing her process was truly inspirational.
Guilty Pleasure 2010: Salem-King Night If your only knowledge of this band is their infamous SXSW performance on YouTube, or reading them in interview, then you are missing out. This album is really good.
Shameless Plug 2010: anything and everything at: soundcloud/drewrobertson