Artist: Avey Tare
Album: Down There
Animal Collective’s Dave Portner releases his first solo album as Avey Tare, a release he says may never be played live. The first track, Laughing Hieroglyphic gives an immediate indication as to why that might be. One can hardly imagine these gurgling, melancholic introspections transposing themselves well to a packed arena. Down There is not made for the dance-floor, it’s made for enhancing deep, reflective, emotional moments and thus the songs wondrously aid the listener into those moments. The album brilliantly utilizes soft vocals, repetitive rhythms and haunting harmonies to deliver a very personal album with copious complexities that will translate into longevity.
Artist: Flying Lotus
Album: Pattern + Grid World EP
This must be 2010’s most surprising release, purely because it arrives just three months after, album of the year contender, Cosmogramma. The sonic wizardry that is crafted by Steven Ellison is not for the uninitiated. Cosmogramma was as challenging as it was enjoyable and the same rule applies to this follow-up EP which revels in its own rule-breaking, dream-like misadventures, tracks that sound like they were not conceived solely by the human brain. I’m still trying to come to terms with Cosmogramma and now Elison has delivered this side dish! It’s a veritable banquet of sound I’ll be enjoying for years to come.
Artist: Mark Ronson and the Business International
Album: Record Collection
Mark Ronson has produced some big albums for contemporary pop acts, notably Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse and released his own album in 2007 containing, as guest singers, those he had helped catapult to stardom. It was shamefully pop and roundedly egotistical and of course sold a shed load. If you are not annoyed already, Ronson’s band is called the Business International which I am awarding the prize of most souless, unimiginative moniker for the next ten epochs. The content and cover of this album also suggest that Ronson has not yet realised his status as the most languid presence in modern music and will hopefully spell the death throes of his ‘solo’ career.