Thom Holmes Top 10 albums of 2006.
Right then…favourite albums of the year. Where to start? Well actually, I know exactly where to start, but where to go with it. This year has been rich and fruitful. Lets see what I’ve been feasting my ears on this year…
What can I say? He’s all growns up. The coming of age album from Warp’s beat whiz-kid Chris Clark. Jazz fuelled rhythms, soaring synths, a plethora of live instrumentation and even snippets of vocals. One of the most emotive electronic albums you’re ever likely to hear.
2) Kode9 & Spaceape
Memories of the Future
This is the album to truly dispel any preconceptions that dubstep’s future is anything but flourishing, Here Kode9 & Spaceape take the genre back to it’s roots and create the 1st great 21th Century dub album. With basslines that are decidedly dark, but rich with a deep warmth, and vocals from Spaceape that are both chilling and intensely introspective. This is a beautifully brooding opus…effortlessly pushing boundaries.
3) Drop The Lime
We Never Sleep
What do you get when you cross a breakcore producer with the deep bass ridden demeanour of dubstep? Well, not what you’d expect. Here DTL has turned his hand, not only to his newfound dubstep obsession, but also to club heavy techno. This is an album out on its own. Tech-step bangers that could keep even the most diligent and sensible of accountants up ‘til dawn.
Ok, imagine what Squarepusher would sound like if he grew up in the middle east…and you’re about there. This is a captivating album, full of ethnic folk rhythms, and heavy electronic elements. Has to be heard to be understood.
5) Cursor Minor
After album after album of whimsical synth play and electro driven beats, Curser Minor finally puts all his cards on the table, and wins the hand in a sweeping victory. Expect dirty melodies, deep brooding bass, and beats that would make even the most seasoned electro-head wet himself.
6) London Sinfonietta
Warp Works & Twentieth Century Masters
Warp have done it again, managed to come outta leftfield, even for them. This double album sees the works of Warp heavyweights Aphex Twin and Squarepusher alongside compositions by John Cage, Steve Reich and Georgi Ligeti, all performed by the superb London Sinfonietta. A Classical album, of some of the most forward thinking aural candy ever to grace the world of music. Truly inspiring stuff.
Have It All
The Vice magazine review of this pretty much hit the spot ‘Imagine the score from We Will Rock You, remixed by Aphex Twin, with a healthy does of Kate Bush to boot. Creepy, sometimes awkward but always intriguing, this was the soundtrack to my Halloween, but it far supasses just seasonal use.
One Time For All Time
There must be nothing else to do in Sheffield, cause here comes yet another great band. Heavily industrial, electronic beats accompany melancholic piano, both droning and bouncing riffs with just a splash of synth work. This is the soundtrack to the apocalypse.
9) Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid
The Exchange Sessions 1 & 2
I know this is cheeky, cause its really 2 albums, but they were recorded at the same time, and are both an integral part of this musical phenomenon. Put a Jazz legend, and the godfather of folktronica together, and you get something really special. If you haven’t heard it, but keep cursing the lack of avant guarde jazz around today, then get this, or may god have mercy on your soul.
Saturday Night Wrist
Just when I was beginning to lose hope, these guys come back with their most faith reaffirming effort. Written and records amidst rumours of a split, tensions really are running high on this album, and whats more, you can feel it. Gelled together with the kinda in band hostility that made Korn tick on their early works.