Its that time of year where everything in the world runs their best of the year lists and this blog is no different, so here are my best albums, tracks and remixes (there all my own personal opinion)
Every year you get amazing albums and this year we got some brilliant ones from debuts to comeback albums so here is my top 20 albums of the year.
20. Metronomy ‘Love Letters’
In 2013 we found out that Metronomy would be releasing their 4th record ‘Love Letters’ and the fact we had to wait until March to hear it felt to long, but by the time it came around Joseph Mounts dance project took a new direction and left you wondering whats coming next.
Key Tracks: ‘The Upsetter’ ‘I’m Aquarius’ and ‘Reservoir’
19. Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra ‘When The World Was One’
Manchester Jazz trumpeter Matthew Halsall latest was brilliant. Why try and fix something when its not broken? Why not just stay the the classic Jazz style and add a few world music touches? So he did just that.
Key Tracks: ‘Listen as one piece’
18. FKA Twigs ‘LP1’
Avant-Garde, RnB, Electronic Soul artist FKA Twigs debut left everyone a little speechless with amazing live performances and videos and I was really glad I gave it a listen.
Key Tracks: ‘Lights On’ and ‘Two Weeks’
17. The Black Keys ‘Turn Blue’
The Black Keys 8th album ‘Turn Blue’ takes them back a step from there more catchy releases and back to their earlier albums and eight albums you’d think they’d be stuck but there not. (Driving through Texas listening to ‘Weight Of Love’ is something everyone should do)
Key Tracks: ‘Weight Of Love’ and ‘Fever’
16. Flight Facilities ‘Down To Earth’
The album no one thought would happen, happened and it was brilliant. With amazing guest vocalists including Kylie Minogue! Shame its not summer in England so I could enjoy it a little bit more.
Key Tracks: ‘Stand Still’ ‘Claire de Lune’ and ‘Crave You’
15. Jamie T ‘Carry On The Grudge’
An unexpected album this year was the return of Jamie T, some people even thought he had died! But his 3rd album (my personal favourite) felt that he had matured in his time away the ablum is full of amazing production and lyrics. I’ve now seen him which is also a plus!
Key Tracks: ‘Don’t You Find’ ‘Rabbit Hole’
14. Flying Lotus ‘You’re Dead’
While its the album I didn’t want, it’s still bloody good! Packed with Acid Jazz, Herbie Hancock oh and Kendrick Lamar. The album just flows effortlessly into FlyLo’s mind and its a beautiful one at that.
Key Tracks: ‘Never Catch Me’ and ‘Coronus, The Terminator’
13. Jungle ‘Jungle’
Jungle’s album was another amazing debut of the year. XL Recordings just wont stop until they’ve taken over the world. I thought it wasn’t going to be out until next year….how wrong was I. Packed with amazing singles and even better production, it was just a bit of a shame as i’d heard most of the tracks already on the record before its release.
Key Tracks: ‘The Heat’ ‘Time’ and ‘Julia’
12. Ben Howard ‘I Forget Where We Where’
Miles better than his first, the album feels like there is quite a long gap between ‘Every Kingdom’ but theres not. It just grows and is full of climactic moments. Getting better with every listen and I can’t wait to hear whats next from Mr Howard.
Key Tracks: ‘End Of The Affair’
11. BadBadNotGood ‘III’
Hip-Hop, Jazz group BadBadNotGood’s 3rd album (I see it as their 1st because the other two are just covers) ‘III’ was something I was very excited for as it wasn’t going to be full of covers, not saying covers bad, I just wanted to hear some of their own material. It didn’t disappoint, the album is full of these lovely jazzy Hip-Hop creations, but what would you expect from a group working with Odd Future and now some of Wu Tang Clan.
Key Tracks: ‘Confessions’ and ‘Hedron’
10. Kelis ‘Food’
I’ve been a fan of Kelis for years now and her music has always excited me from here RnB days of ‘Tasty’ to more dance stuff of ‘Flesh Tone’ so when I found out she had signed to Ninja Tune (something no one would expect) to release ‘Food’ I knew it was going to be good. ‘Food’ turned RnB, Dance diva into a Soul queen.
Key Tracks: ‘Jerk Ribs’ ‘Friday Fish Fry’ and ‘Rumble’
9. Aphex Twin ‘Syro’
‘Syro’ Aphex Twin’s return after 13 years was another unexpected thing, until that massive blimp went up then everyone knew something was coming, and its good, its another journey into his electronic soundscapes and ambient works the album just takes you this is journey, listen to on big speakers or headphones.
Key Tracks: ‘Listen to as one piece’ (You should with every album really)
8. Leon Vynehall ‘Music For The Uninvited’
While its not a full album but a mini album, which is still an album. ‘Music For The Uninvited’ is just an amazing piece of work from influences and references from many things from The Legend Of Zelda, The Streets and J Dilla. It worked so so well and every track its good. I think George Fitzgerald is going to open on ‘Inside The Deku Tree’ forever now, and rightly so its a beautiful string and synth filled track which I could easily have on repeat for weeks. One of the best dance records of the year, but you can still play it at home.
Key Tracks: ‘Inside The Deku Tree’ and ‘It’s Just (House Of Dupree)’
7. Royal Blood ‘Royal Blood’
Again another brilliant debut, from a band I didn’t expect to get number 1 in the charts, but it seems people still love heavy hard blues rock, and royal blood certainly know how to do it. Their album is all killer, riff after riff its like a greatest hits, its going to stay with people for a while. People who I would think like it, like it and thats saying something and I still need to see them!
Key Tracks: ‘You Can Be So Cruel’ and ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’
6. Lone ‘Reality Testing’
Lone’s 6th album ‘Reality Testing’ was something I had to hear after his release of ‘Airglow Fires’ back last year. The album was meant to come out last year too, but didn’t. So I found myself constantly checking everywhere for new music from Matt Cutler (Lone) and just found little snips on Instagram they had to do, then he announced it and I was really happy the album didn’t upset me ether, it went to his early days of more Hip-Hop and House like based productions compared to the more acid warehouse rave stuff he had been doing previously. The live show to match is something everyone should see to the visuals are brilliant and of course so is the music. (if you don’t like Jaded’s dreamy glowy synths and hip-hop drums something is wrong)
Key Tracks: ‘Aurora Northern Quarter’ ‘Airglow Fires’ and ‘Jaded’
5. Taylor McFerrin ‘Early Riser’
This year has seen a lot, and I mean a lot of really good electronic music and amazing debuts and this is another one Taylor McFerrin’s (son of Bobby McFerrin) ‘Early Riser’ signed to Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder and rightly so. The second I heard track ‘Antidote’ I was hooked and wanted to hear the full record it just takes you a lazy journey of electronic music with guests appearances from Nai Palm, Thundercat, Robert Glasper and Bobby. It’s perfect for a Sunday morning.
Key Tracks: ‘Antidote’ ‘Decisions’ and ‘Invisible/Visible’
4. Caribou ‘Our Love’
Caribou’s return this year was something everyone loved, the second he announced his ‘Our Love’ I wanted it straight away but had to wait until October. But he put out ‘Can’t Do Without You’ and it filled festivals and dancefloors everywhere with it’s looping vocals and long build it was just the ultimate summer hit! and the album on a whole is just as good with Dan Snaith (Caribou) taking his music in a more dance direction yet still retaining the sounds everybody loves, its just a really good record!
3. Warpaint ‘Warpaint’
Almost 4 years we waited for Warpaint to release there 2nd album and after constantly listening to their first I felt that somedays they weren’t going to release another one. But then late last year they announced it and about time! ‘Warpaint’ see’s the Californian 4 piece come back into there own and they didn’t upset, the record is amazing its better than their first with more really tight use of synths and better drumming which I didn’t think was possible. It’s just more dreamy more desert like and is just better! But I really hope it doesn’t take them another 4 years to make their next record.
Key Tracks: ‘Biggy’ ‘Disco/Very’ and ‘Son’
2. Damon Albarn ‘Everyday Robots’
It’s hard to think that Damon Albarn only just released his solo album this year, with the man who’s already done so much was there any need? And it seemed so. ‘Everyday Robots’ is a deeply personal record with songs about the use of technology and upset it’s cold and slow and for me these are the best records. Because they mean the most and they’ve had the most thought put into them but most of all they stay with you. The more I listen to it the better it gets
We are everyday robots on our phones, in the process of getting old.
Key Tracks: ‘Everyday Robots’ ‘Lonely Press Play’ and ‘The Selfish Giant’
1. Illum Sphere ‘Ghosts Of Now And Then’
My number 1 album of the year is Illum Sphere’s debut ‘Ghosts Of Now And Then’ I first heard about the release because it was going to be on Ninja Tune and I’m always excited by acts they sign. Some tracks on the records have become very personal to me now and will stay with me forever. The album itself its a beautiful record of dense electronic soundscapes what just evolve into amazing tracks they give you space to just get lost into. The instruments used are amazing from organs to violins and more I listen the more I pick out on each track. It should be listened to in one sitting preferable on vinyl (like all music should be) just don’t listen to it on laptop speakers. Its just really really good!
Key Tracks: ‘Love Theme From Foreverness’ and ‘Embryonic’
As well as amazing albums you also get amazing tracks and again this year has been good.
20. Tom Vek ‘Sherman’
It’s just a really good catchy single, for me his albums aren’t as good as his first, but his singles are just quality!
19. Pearson Sounds ‘Raindrops’
It moved away from his more bass based production into this ambient haze
18. Ten Walls ‘Walking With Elephants’
Still an amazing tune it got into the charts! People are finally getting it, it even got picked up by Atlantic
17. Moodyman ‘Lyk U Used 2’
16. Nao ‘So Good’
With Jai Paul’s brother on the track it was bound to be good.
15. Ben Khan ‘Savage’
It came out on Soundcloud last year, but its official release was this year and boy is it good horns and silky guitar licks just flow throughout.
14. Elder Island ‘The Big Unknown’
The first release from my friends label its good (i’m not being biased)
13. Dark Sky ‘Slient Fall’
The one of the best tracks from their debut, its just a slow moving electronic track what then takes off but its all about the vocals in this one.
12. Soulphicition ‘Mind & Body’
One of the better house tracks of the year, them vocals grab you then all that percussions just makes it better.
11. QT ‘Hey QT’
Sophie and A.G Cook’s collaboration what got signed to XL is a hyper dance pop at it best, and its really really catchy!
10. Ibeyi ‘Mama Says’
Another XL singing Ibeyi are set to make waves in 2015 and you can tell from listening to his track, its just beautiful with elements of Cuban music flowing through the track.
9. Michael Jackson ‘Love Never Felt So Good’
Still getting top 40 hits after his death, original recorded in the 70s but only out until now. Better than the Justin Timberlake one, its just slower and sounds better. (Maybe because this one was rinsed by the radio)
8. Orson Wells ‘Endless’
Innervisions just release so much and its all so good ‘Endless’ just grows and sometimes I really wish it was endless slow light drums and dreamy glowing synths its sounds like it could be used in some space age film, its just a beautiful track.
7. Daphni & Owen Pallet ‘Julia’
So much Caribou stuff this year, Owen Pallet also appears on ‘Our Love’ and ‘Julia’ the techno belter laid with strings shouldn’t work on the dance floor, but it does and its ridiculous.
6. Mac Miller ‘Diablo’
It came out on his free ‘Faces’ mixtape for free, but then got released and its so good and that Duke Ellington and John Coltrane sample is just heaven.
5. Hudson Mohawke ‘Chimes’
Originally getting paid on radio a few years ago but now with a full release ‘Chimes’ feels more grime based then trap to me. After seeing him drop it, it just went off and will continue to go off for a while.
4. Jamie xx ‘All Under One Roof Raving’
I don’t think Jamie xx can make a bad song ‘AUORR’ proves this it’s full of britishness (British dance music that is) it just killed dancefloors all over, i’m very excited for his debut album!
3. Future Island ‘Seasons’
Future Island’s ‘Seasons’ just proves that good things come to those who wait and ‘Seasons’ is that breakthrough track four albums in. It’s insanely good the vocals are some of the best i’ve heard in a while and I’ve cried sometimes while listening and if you need proving at how good it is again, just watch their Letterman performance below.
2. Caribou ‘Can’t Do Without You’
This is one of the toughest choices i’ve had to make in a while its there both so good. But second is ‘Can’t Do Without You’ its summer track of the year with everyone know knowing it, even if they don’t want to. It will continue to fill fields and clubs into next year as well!
1. Skepta feat JME ‘Thats Not Me’
NUMBER 1 had to be ‘Thats Not Me’ I mean it won a MOBO on a £60 video and its such a good track, its showed people just how good grime is again and has rekindled peoples faith in the genre. With Boy Better Know winning culture clash, then not winning it still shows just how strong grime is and with Skepta’s new album out in 2015, 2015 is the return of grime!
Remixes can sometimes be better than the original track or just make it more dance floor friendly or completely destroy a song. So my favourite remixes of the year.
10. Kelis – Jerk Ribs (Mount Kimbie Remix)
Mount Kimbie add their amazing production and make the track completely theirs.
9. Raleigh Ritchie – Stronger Than Ever (MJ Cole Remix)
MJ Cole turned the track into something else with his garagey jazzyness (both not words)
8.Myron & E – Do It Do It Disco (Tom Noble)
Nobles takes the track and yeah disco.
7. Daniel Avery – All I Need (Roman Flügel Remix)
Flügel takes Avery’s Techno production and turns it into a funky wobbly floor filler
6. Daniel Avery – Knowning We’ll Be Here (KiNK Remix)
Another Avery remix, there just so good originals and remixes and KiNK doesn’t upset he takes the track into a dreamy floaty haze.
5. Paul Woolford – Erotic Discourse (Dense & Pika Remix)
Dense and Pika took the already brilliant Erotic Discourse and made it more punch and loud, an absolute techno onslaught!
4. Oliver $ and Jimi Jules – Pushing On (Jesse Rose Remix)
Jesse Rose took the summer hit and made it a million times better, the best thing is he did it live in his villa (name could give it away) he turned the track into a long builded then laid it with a brilliant piano and 808s.
3. Laszlo Dancehall – Plimpton (George Fitzgerald Remix)
Better than the original Fitzgerald adds his almost trademark sounds to make for a really really good remix packed with winding bass and cowbells, what more do you want?
2. Detroit Swindle – 64 Ways (Kerri Chandler Remix)
silky remix production from one of the masters, soulful vocals match with catchy jazzy cords. Serious summer vibes from this one!
1. Caribou – Can’t Do Without You (Tale Of Us and Mano Le Tough Remix)
Maybe this is why I didn’t put the original at number 1 to, would it be fair, double Caribou? This remix is just insane it grows and even has lasers and seagulls in it. Its the ultimate end of night tune and hearing Tale Of Us play it at WHP was special!