best of 2010

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01 Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid [Bad Boy]
This is, without a doubt, my #1 album of the year. It is, as if it was tailored-made for my eclectic tastes. The sequencing of this album is seamless; it just flows. This is an extremely difficult task to accomplish with such different songs. Trust me, I know.

She is keeping the concept album alive. Girl Power!

02 Hans Zimmer – Inception [Reprise]
This is the album that I listened to the most last year. It always takes me to another world, and reminds me that life is just an illusion. This world is not real.

Note: I ended up not putting any songs from Inception in the actual set. It felt like blasphemy.

03 Teebs – Ardour [Brainfeeder]
I fell in Love with Teebs’ music, after seeing him open the Daedelus / Gaslamp Killer / Free the Robots and Samiyam show @ The House of Blues in Los Angeles on 11/20/2010. My first trip to Los Angeles will be forever emblazoned in my brain because of this show. I’m still thinking about it months later, and will continue to do so. I only hope that one day I can rival the energy of their performances. That show was incendiary. As a result, I want everything Teebs’, and Ardour is a must have for any music collection. It is an ALBUM. It demands to be listened to as a whole.

04 Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma [Warp]
In my opinion, this is Flying Lotus’ jazz record. The bass player on Pickled! is just mad wicked. I wish there was more electronic / live instrument fusions such as this.

05 Bilal – Airtight’s Revenge [Plug Research]
I must admit that this album has grown on me. You see I had heard Bilal perform most of these songs for over two years, and had grown to love the live arrangements. So, when I first heard the studio arrangements, they didn’t have the same vibe. However, I knew that the songs were good because I had already grown to love them.

The first time I heard Bilal perform Flying live, before the album was released, I cracked up. Only Bilal would come up with these lyrics.

He had her walking the town
Selling her a$$
They was making money 
until she broke her back 
one day
How you do that? 
Upside down on a pole when you’re smoking crack. 
Somebody yelled from the back
“Somebody get this ho up off the floor”
And Johnny called the f *cking ambulance
and now here we go…
~ Flying

He can be as ghetto as anyone, but he can also flip the script and write the most beautiful lyrics:

Sometimes, even the sun moves on.

That is why I love Bilal’s music.

06 Maddslinky – Make A Change [Tru Thoughts]
Zed Bias, need I say more. I don’t think so, but I must give mad props to Tawiah. Her vocals on Hiding Place and Further Away really takes this album to another level.

07 Miguel Atwood-Ferguson – Mochilla Presents Timeless: Suite For Ma Dukes [Mochilla]
Exquisite String Arrangements of J Dilla, enough said! Just beautiful.

08 Jammer – Jahmanji [Big Dada]
My favorite grime MC. This album contains the song that I played the most last year, Back to the 90s, produced by Toddla T!!! I still can’t stop playing it. Best lyric:

I don’t want beef with you.
Don’t act hard!
I see the weak in you!
~Don’t Play With Me


This is also the best album cover of the year.

09 Lone – Ecstasy & Friends [Werk Discs]
I’m cheating a bit, but it was released in November 2009, but I first heard the album in the summer of 2010. I ALWAYS listen to the entire album; I never single out a song.

10 Jimmy Edgar – XXX [Studio !K7]
Jimmy Edgar’s music gives me hot flashes. He knows how to bring the funk. After Jammer’s Back to the 90s, I played Function of Your Love to death last year.

Best EP of 2010James Blake – CMYK EP [R&S Records]

In a review, Jayson Greene said it better than I ever could:

James Blake is a London upstart producer who makes electronic music that sounds like it’s struggling to survive. Every sound escapes the speakers corroded, crawling towards your ears like a half-vanquished Terminator with one outstretched metal claw.

Best Remix of 2010Bird 1 (Lone Dub) & Bird 1 (Lone Remix) [Om Records]

Lone’s Dub & Remix did wonders for Underworld’s Bird 1, totally reinventing this song.

Single with the best remixes of 2010Maddslinky – Special featuring Omar [Tru Thoughts]

There are mixes by Simbad, MJ Cole, Toddla T, Chimpo, Atjazz. Nevertheless, DJ Magazine name MJ’s Cole’s version the Best Remix of 2010. Don’t get me wrong MJ Cole’s version is quite lovely, but my personal favorites are Simbad’s versions.

Best Remixer of 2010Pangaea

Again I’m cheating a little because his remix of Untold’s I Can’t Stop This Feeling came out on my birthday (Nov. 23rd) in 2009. However, we get things late over here in the states. Also, his remix of Commix’s How You Gonna Feel featuring Steve Spacek just really makes that song something special.

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