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Top 10: Best Albums of 2010

A underground selection of some of 2010's most cutting edge offerings. If you don't know these, educate yourself!

So that's pretty much that then. This is nearly the year that was; 365 days all but confined to memory.

And it's been an emotional one. We started with a bang, or rather bust, all credit worries and political finger pointing. No change there then.

But elsewhere things are different. First and foremost, we've got a new soundtrack, or rather fresh tunes worthy of adding to life's score. As usual, there have been some near misses, and inaccurate stabs in the dark. But then some mighty, mighty fine albums emerged as we arrived in the new decade. So, before looking to the future, let's glance back…

Robert Hood ‘Omega' (M-Plant)

It's not even as if this collection of Deeetroit really does anything. And that's exactly why it's so good. More of a vinyl purchase than a CD essential, this is techno for the real heads, and gloriously represents all the Motor City originator's groove laden, stripped, spanking facets.

The Family Watches:


A Guy Called Gerald ‘Tronic Jazz: The Berlin Sessions' (Laboratory Instinct)

Another old skooler proving he can still cut it with the kids. Gerald Simpson returned with a chunky selection of acid tinged house that's damn near irresistible, whether it's the laidback bliss of opener People Mover, the drive of Wow Yeah or the familiarity of Pacific Blue.

People Moover:


Wbeeza ‘Void' (Third Ear)

The youngster hyped as the ‘hero of modern house' finally got his LP out this year. After keeping everyone with a mild interest in electronic music entertained for some time this lackadaisical collection of chilled grooves, hip hop and flat 4/4s well and truly put the icing on his cake.


Bot'Ox ‘Babylon By Car' (I'm A Cliché)

From the first time we heard this until, er, right now, we were near speechless. Benjamin Boguet and Julien Briffaz storm out of the stalls with the debut of 2010 debuts. Sex-droid electro-pop, ambient opiate soundscapes and chugging, low-slung tech shufflers abound.


Babylon By Car:


Peder ‘Dirt & Gold' (Fake Diamond)

When is dance music not dance music? Perhaps when it sounds like New Orleans, put through a sonic mincer with Thievery Corporation, Compost Records and DJ Shadow. Completely unique, and utterly captivating, like a smoky bar piping out downbeat for discerning ears.

Love Lost City:


Various Artists ‘Surgeon. Fabric 53' (Fabric)

When he's tearing the bassbins out of a club system, Surgeon is not the man most people would want on their home hi-fi. This mix is no less commanding, driving, industrially stepping or cutting edge than his live show. That it's universally enjoyable is, therefore, credit to the creator.

James Ruskin & Mark Broom - No Time Soon:


Various Artists ‘Joachim Spieth presents Selected 6' (Affin)

Spieth arrived on the scene around a decade ago via Germany's legendary Kompakt. Now he's in charge of Affin, which goes from strength to strength with this showcase of unmixed tracks from the likes of Tom Pooks. European dance music of the highest calibre.


Little Fritter - Googy Banter:


Various Artists ‘DJ Hell- Gigolo 12' (Gigolo)

DJ Hell's been around for years. So he should be able to put a great compilation together. Disappointment that this isn't a DJ set to one side, the sleaze of Fagget Fairys Feed The Horse, Marcasia's bumbling arena techno and DJ Linus' glitchy steps all make this a worthy investment.

Sei A - My Montage:


Various Artists ‘Deep Sensation mixed by Nick Harris' (NRK)

It's just house music, that's all. But done properly. NRK bossman Nick Harris has given the nod to every release, so it's only right he got to piece together the imprint's warm rolling past with its percussion heavy future, in a mix that's the ideal accompaniment to any warm up session.

Scope - Frequencies (Steve Bug's Flying Faders Remix)


Various Artists ‘Secret Weapons' (DJ History)

DJ History compilations are always great, and this is no exception.
Kicking off on an e-funk tip, we're taken through rare Europop, electro-house, disco and lo-fi rock from the boxes of Bill Brewster, Chris Duckenfield, Jon Marsh, Prins Thomas and a few more players besides.

Derrick Carter's Sound Patrol Orchestra - Tripping Among the Stars:


Notable mentions:

Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers (Hotflush)
DMX Krew - Wave Funk (Rephlex)
Cursor Miner - Requires Attention (Unchartered Audio)
Royksopp - Senior (Wall of Sound)
Various Artists - ‘Shackleton. Fabric 55' (Fabric)

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