Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Toby Buckland

Already established as the production brains behind The xx and with a rapidly growing reputation as a master disc spinner, Jamie 'xx' Smith has created a remix record for Gil Scott-Heron's 2010 'I'm New Here' album (entitled, in remixed form, 'We're New Here'), due for release in February. I'm not sure what kind of rubbery gold he's crafted the beat to the above track from, but I am sure that it's already likely to feature highly in next year's favourite songs list.

Returning to this year's list, though, and it would appear that 'The Man' is doing his very best to curb the snowballing influence of this blog. Having already frozen both my financial and physical assets (my hands are currently being stored in cryogenic tanks in northern Kyrgyzstan, meaning that I'm having to write this using a Twiglet that I've taped to my tongue), I received an e-mail the other day from the blogging site informing me that my previous post had been taken down due to a copyright claim. When I investigated further, some of the download links to the higher profile artists had been deleted. I've replaced those with links to YouTube and re-upped the post, but - in an attempt to boost exposure for lesser-known producers by offering a solitary track as a sampler - I'll try and maintain download links for as many tracks as possible. Hopefully if you enjoy a song that you download from here you might buy the EP/LP it's from, or pay money to go and see that particular band/DJ live, and most of the songs that'd get me in to trouble will be ones that you'd probably know/own already anyway.

So with that in mind as we continue the Top 50 songs countdown, the more commercially heavyweight songs that feature on the list will just link to YouTube videos, as I'm presuming that download links would just get taken down anyway before too long.

30. Rudi Zygadlo - Resealable Friendship

One man's love for all things horse tranquilliser, squeezed in to a shivering and shuddering synthetic ode.

29. Tinie Tempah - Pass Out

Tinie Tempah's triumphant début single was one of those great pop music moments where everything just fitted together perfectly - the charmingly naff lyrics, the rolling swagger of the bassline, and, of course, that glorious drum 'n' bass finale.

28. xxxy - This Much

From the ever-increasingly difficult to define genre that spans dubstep, garage, 2-step and techno, this expansive, heartfelt offering from Manchester's xxxy is as much a treat for the mind as it is for the feet.

27. Crystal Castles - Baptism

While Crystal Castles' follow-up album didn't exactly explore any new territory, neither did it fail to live up to the high expectations surrounding it, and 'Baptism' is as good as anything in their back catalogue.

26. Kele - Tenderoni

Bloc Party's front-man decided to further explore his dance leanings with his first solo record, and this is as euphorically great as the world of pop has reached in the past few years.

25. Daedelus - You've Heard

A rollicking, triumphant offering from the Ninja Tune/Brainfeeder stalwart's split EP with Teebs, as part of the LA Series set of releases.

24. Submerse - Hold It Down

A sublime slice of forward-thinking garage, combining an exquisite backdrop of strings with a brilliant R&B-tinged vocal (I think I read somewhere it samples Brandy). This is UK bass music at its deepest, emotional best.

23. Katy B - Katy On A Mission

Benga's decision to haul his track 'Man On A Mission' out of the archives and combine with established Rinse FM sweetheart Katy B to create this crossover gem goes some way to atone for much of the tat that he's been pumping out as part of Magnetic Man. 'I Need Air' may have paved the way for "dubstep" (I Need Air ain't dubstep, love) to stumble in to the mainstream, but 'Katy On A Mission' has been the real success story this year.

22. Gonjasufi - Ancestors

The highlight from his Gaslamp Killer-produced 'A Sufi and A Killer' album, this combines Gonjasufi's softly abstract twang poured over GLK's beat-laden world of haze. I think a doobie-spliff or two might have been passed around whilst they were making this.

21. Addison Groove - Footcrab

Insane-Insane-Insane-Insane. Footcrab-Footcrab-Footcrab-Footcrab. Makes perfect sense, no? Well maybe not on paper, but when you listen to established dubstep producer Headhunter's first release under his Addison Groove alias you'll find that, even though almost no other song like it has ever existed, 'Footcrab' just makes a whole lotta sense. Taking inspiration and characteristics from the juke scene in Chicago, Addison Groove has created one of the most fascinatingly unprecedented tunes of, well, the past decade. An instant, genre-defining classic akin to 'Hyph Mngo' or 'Aidys Girl's A Computer', this is a moment of individual brilliance that will stand alone for quite some time.

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