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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

BEST OF 2010 Mixtape

Here's my 100 minute comp of my favourite tunes of the last 12 months. It wasn't intentional but there's quite a lot of synths on this, from the cold and discordant to the warm and lush. Oh I do love synthesizers!


Silverclub - Your Headphones
Ben Butler & Mouse Pad - Electric Bamber-Boo
Divorce - Bloody Horn
Fox Gut Daata - Frontal Skull Jamz (Cupp Cave Remix)
Tyler The Creator - VCR/Wheels
Mungo's Hifi - Belly Ska (Dubatak Mix)
Sad City - Sister
Ben Butler & Mouse Pad ft The Niallist - Infinite Capacity (Fulgeance Remix)
Dam Mantle - Purple Arrow
Horse MacGuyver - Nod
Detachments - Flowers That Fell (Niallist ColdMixx)
Goldfrapp - Hunt
Areil Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Fright Night
Nite Funk - Am I Gonna Make It?
Space Dimension Controller - The Love Quadrant
Lindstrom & Christabelle - Baby Can't Stop (Idjut Boys Remix)
Brassica - New Jam City
LCD Soundsystem - You Wanted A Hit
Gold Blood - I Dreamed A Dream
Liberta - The Fountain

Download my BEST OF 2010 Mixtape here.

There's info and links on the tracks after the jump:

Silverclub - Your Headphones - Unreleased

As yet unreleased, but you can get the previous two Silverclub singles on iTunes now. From their debut album out 2011 on Factory Foundation, this has been on my MP3 player non-stop all year. This features lush some synths pads, which is a recurring theme on this years favourites list.

Ben Butler & Mouse Pad - Electric Bamber Boo - LOAF Records

One of the B-Sides of the first official BB&MP release on LOAF records, and he remains one of my favourite producers (despite possible claims of nepotism). it's all about the synth chords. This should have been on the soundtrack to Scott Pilgrim, for real!

Divorce - Bloody Horn - Milk/Winning Sperm Party

From their split tape with Ultimate Thrush, I was lucky enough to catch Divorce on their UK tour with Comanechi when it hit Manchester, before the departure of Sinead and Hillary from the band. Well there's a new singer now, and she's good,. This is the only song on this comp with no synths. The only one.

Fox Gut Daata - Frontal Skull Jamz (Cupp Cave Remix) - Unreleased

Another one of my favourite producers, FGD has been a bit quiet of late, but I am sure he's been beavering away on some tunes. I've seen the name Cupp Cave about a fair bit too, but dunno much about them. I guess this is a good start - boom-bap meets twisted synthcore.

Tyler The Creator
- VCR/Wheels - OFWGKTA

From the album "Bastard" (official free download here) I've been digging Tyler The Creator even though I only discovered him recently. There's some good tracks on this album, the production and his flows are nice. Well, "nice" is probably not the right word, but you know what I mean. Yes, there are some synths on there, and they are dark and luscious.

Mungo's Hi Fi - Belly Ska (Dubatak Remix) - Scotch Bonnet

Mungo's were kind enough to let us give this track away with their recent interview on Shallow Rave. Good to see Scotch Bonnet go from strength to strength - I have known these guys for years, from when they were called The Dub Dentists ("Roots Canal"). The synth action in this tune all comes from the bottom end.

Sad City - Sister - Unreleased

From Gary Caruth, a Glasgow based no-wave obsessive who's about to put out his first single on Underwater Peoples. This is available as a download on his Soundcloud, and you can hear the abstract Arthur Russell influence in the not-quite-disco beats and pulsating/scrpaing synth strings.

Ben Butler & Mouse Pad ft The Niallist - Infinite Capacity (For Love) (Fulgeance Remix) - LOAF

So, the song I sang for BB&MP was the lead track on their LOAF EP release, and this was one of the remixes. I dunno who Fulgeance is, but they did a good job! The whole EP is worth checking out in fact. Oh by the way, did I mention the word "synth"?

Dam Mantle - Purple Arrow - Halleluwah Hits / Little Rock Records

It's been a good year for DM, with two successful single releases, loads of gigs, and a lot of hype. Purple Arrow was on his first EP, released on the Glasgow based Halleluwah Hits, but this is the version he was kind enough to give us for the FUCKNO compilation. Definitley check DM out live too, where the synths come into a world of their own thanks to engineer Callum Cunneen.

Horse MacGuyver - Nod - Disaro

I thought I would throw some witch house in here for good luck. This is off the ISVOLT album I reviewed for Lo-Quality, which is a grower. Witch house is not housey at all really, but is quite witchy, and again ticks those boxes marked "big", "synth" and "chords". Though in a more shoe-gaze meets crunk way. Think Sleigh Bells but good.

Detachments - The Flowers That Fell (Niallist ColdMixx) - Thisisnotanexit Records

So I managed to get a release on the great Thisisnotanexit Records, a remix of indie band Detachments. It's funny, I remember working on it this time last year in the same place with the same bitter weather conditions. It's sounding good now revisited after 12 months - needless to say it features big synth pads.

Goldfrapp - Hunt - Mute

Goldfrapp have grown on me a lot, as I used to dislike them back in about 2003. Their 2010 album Head First is really good, if slathered in ABBA-style 80s cheese, which actually works. But anyway I always prefer their slower moments. And the video for "Alive" is my pop video of the year. Synth.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Fright Night - Mute

One of my favourite modern acts, and the grande daddy of lo-fi. He uses some old school synths and records onto tape for added warmth. The "Before Today" album is tied as album of the year for me (I just love his sound, it's almost magical)
and I highly recommend it to everyone else to check out too. Nice vocal harmonies too.

Nite Funk - Am I Gonna Make It? - XLR8R

OK, so this came out in December 2009, but I only found it this year! It's a collab between Dam Funk and Nite Jewel, which is all you should need to know. But if you don't know, that's like a meeting of lo-fi synth minds. It's available as a free download from XLR8R. And it follows Ariel Pink as both share his haunted retro aesthetic.

Space Dimension Controller - The Love Quadrant - Kinnego

Just beautiful! Disco single of the year for me, and even better it was made by a young Irishman. Thanks to Aleks J for tipping me off to this, I will be keeping a beady eye on his stuff in the future. Again it's kind of haunted retro, but this time synth disco rather than synth funk, and it goes somewhere different with it. Lush.

Lindstrom & Christabelle - Baby Can't Stop (Idjut Boys Remix) - Smalltown Supersound

I only remembered that this album came out this year when going through some end of the year lists, it feels like this project has been on the go for so long. Another meeting of synth minds, as the Idjuts (where the hell have you been?!) turn out a luscious funk take on the original's Moroder vibe.

Brassica - New Jam City - Nocturnes

More awesome synth disco, from my main man Mike Wright. This came out this year on Nocturnes, as the flip side of the single "Varnish".. It's good to see Mike not neglecting the Brassica music what with Gold Blood getting so much attention!. More people need to be making live synth disco in a Daniel Wang style.

LCD Soundsystem - You Wanted A Hit - DFA

Yeah, tied with "Before Today" for album of the year is "This is Happening", by far the best LCD album in my opinion. There are synths, there is disco, it is lush, but it now has added emotional value and music industry commentary that both sneering AND meaningful. Excellent!

Gold Blood - I Dreamed A Dream - Unreleased

Mike Wright again. Gold Blood released their debut synth-punk EP this year on Human Shield, to much acclaim, and I was lucky to get access to some unreleased material. This is an absolute gem that will hopefully see the light of day in 2011.

Libera - The Fountain - EMI Classics

Yeah, I'm a sucker for choral music that is this well done (it's all about synching the breathing) but I guess that's a hangover from being schooled by Gregorian chanting Benedictine monks. There is a subtle synth in there too. But I defy you not to have your hairs stand on end at this. And you know your mum would probably dig it too!

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