• The Bug – Black Wasp
• Fatima Al Qadiri – Shanghai Freeway
• Rome Fortune – One Time For (Produced by Four Tet)
• Little Dragon - Klapp Klapp (Nosaj Thing remix, feat. Future)
• Thom Yorke – The is No Ice (For My Drink)
• FKA Twigs – Two Weeks
• Jamie xx - Sleep Sound
• letthemusicplay Feat. Kate Tempest - Our Town (Joe Goddard Dub)
• Morgan Zarate - Sticks & Stones (feat. Eska & Ghostface Killah)
• Bilal - SIRENS II (Produced by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad)
• Snow Ghosts - Secret Garden (Matthew Herbert's Wash It All Away Remix)
• Shabazz Palaces - Forerunner Foray
• Martyn & copeland - Love Of Pleasure
• Kode9 & The Spaceape - The Devil Is A Liar.
• Andy Stott - Violence
The slightly scruzzier kid sister to Angels opener Void. Kevin Martin and Liz Grouper are potent combo leading you down a late night alleyway where the shimmer of neon on wet brickwork puts the summer sun to shame.
Fatima Al Qadiri – Shanghai Freeway
Even though some of the aesthetics of that made Al Qadiri a revelation have been adopted and repurposed by some of the new breed grime producers, her tracks still sound like nothing else out there. This is world building through sound design.
Rome Fortune – One Time For (Produced by Four Tet)
I’m not so sure about some of the lyrics (why is a b*tch or two cool even revelatory in a party banger, but slow things down to an introspective tone and I cringe). But Four Tet’s beat coupled with Fortune’s mellow hypnotic delivery is just too enchanting to put down.
Little Dragon - Klapp Klapp (Nosaj Thing remix, feat. Future)
Nothing against Little Dragon but I find them best consumed via remixes. I’m not sure this is technically the best of the lot from their new LP, but it has just enough warmth and percussive drive to get the job done and rewards repeat listening.
Thom Yorke – There is No Ice (For My Drink)
Is it just me or can you perfectly picture a forlorn, pre-dawn Yorke staring down at a room temperature gin & tonic with all the disappointment and loss of an eight year old standing over his dead puppy? I feel you Thom, I do.
FKA Twigs – Two Weeks
In which our heroine levels-up to the big time pop star game and manages to keep most of what was originally intriguing about her work intact
Jamie xx - Sleep Sound
A touch disappointing at first listen, but man is this one a grower, rapturous in a dark club but also perfect for a mediative bus ride on a rainy afternoon.
letthemusicplay Feat. Kate Tempest - Our Town (Joe Goddard Dub)
A favorite of Mr. xx’s DJ sets this year. I loved it when I first heard it last winter, then forgot about it for a minute, then heard it again in a sunny field on the outskirts of Amsterdam and it was like bumping into an old friend while thousands of miles from home.
Morgan Zarate - Sticks & Stones (feat. Eska & Ghostface Killah)
For long time Benji B listeners this was one of the great lost dubs. Doing the rounds at least as far back as 2009, this stone cold slab of soul finally got a proper release this year on the Hyperdub 5.2 comp and still sounds unquestionably fresh.
Bilal - SIRENS II (Produced by Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad)
If this is a sign of the LP to come, 2015 is going to be a big year for Bilal. My only gripe is that it’s too short. I usually find myself looping it three and four times in a row until I get my fix.
Snow Ghosts - Secret Garden (Matthew Herbert's Wash It All Away Remix)
The vocals and keys here are so fucking inviting. Set them against percussion wound up with just the right amount of potential chaos and throw in a judicious amount of low end drive and sway and I am all in.
Shabazz Palaces - Forerunner Foray
Shabazz Palaces are absolutely on their own cosmic level. Thank the stars they’ve manage to send transmissions back from there back to us earthbound mortals.
Martyn & copeland - Love Of Pleasure
Has Martyn ever sounded this filthy? Not that this is not a Martyn track, his production chops are all still here, but copeland’s sweet/cold vocals free him up to push all the levels into the red and revel in the distortion and feedback. I do with an full LP of this.
Kode9 & The Spaceape - The Devil Is A Liar
A powerful swan song for one of my favorite vocalists/poets. RIP Spaceape.
Andy Stott - Violence
If I had to choose just one track of the year it would be this one. Simultaneously beautiful and terrifying, the track seductively lures you into its embrace and then, just as you’ve lost sight of the exits, it begins to tear itself apart, threatening to take your mind apart in the process. If you listen to it three times in a row on your way to work, you may have an out of body experience, or so I’ve heard.