Favourite songs of 2011: 20-11

20. Rustie - Globes

I like a lot of the more lively parts of Glass Swords as well, but I found that this glowing sunrise of an interlude builds the endorphin rush better than the singles material.

19. Ke$ha - Shots On The Hood Of My Car

Going down and out while burning bright and happy... When last call feels like the apocalypse. Simon Reynolds will be able to bring in Bataille here, if he hasn't already. Someone needs to give me a proper copy so I can hear the twinkling synths actually twinkle.

18. Trim - I Am (Preditah Remix)

The Wire thought this version was too poppy. As opposed to Skipping Rope? Idiots.

17. dom - Burn Bridges

Chillwave that kept the drums

16. Burial - NYC

A.k.a Fostercare Part 2. Vocals clearer than ever before. ‘Didn't you know this is love when I'm around you... Now I see... Leave me... No.’ Burial reaching beyond London? I can't hear it, apart from a sample of what sounds like Method Man at the end.

15. Blawan - Getting Me Down

Blawan's version of chopped r&b uk dance is predictably awesome. A track built on the dual meaning of getting and being ‘down’. ‘Maybe all you need’s a shoulder to cry on’... the club providing that shoulder. The uncomfortable bass grinding underneath the dance, pain not completely numbed, remaining when the night is over. A shame the guy dropped the ball a bit at the end of the year.

14. Damu - Be Free

The hiccups that accent the end of each 'just let go don't be shy' -- the music demanding a transport to arpeggiating kaleidoscopic bliss, the dancers panting, stumbling along, trying to keep up.

13. James Blake - Unluck

Didn't have the patience for the whole album, I'm afraid. Apparently, this started off as more of a club-oriented track, and I wonder if there’s something left there which makes it a standout. As with his other songs, there are only a few endlessly repeated lines, but the song's shifting elements, builds and drops, ensure they never get boring. The words themselves are difficult to distinguish, and may perhaps shift as well, but 'care for me' and 'playing, falling, there' are clear enough: the freedom of childhood, under the protective care of family, now lost.

12. Rival feat. Discarda, Jammin, Nasty Jack, Kozzie, Badness, Merky ACE, Sharky Major, Danny D, Kwam, Big Narstie, Blacks, Dark Boi, Ego, Diesel, Jammer, Jamakabi - Lock Off The Rave 8 Bar Remix

Darq E Freaker unleashes a migraine-inducing barrage of clanging, while Discarda, Merky Ace, Big Narstie, Dark Boi and Jammer provide the lyrical peaks. Rival and Jamakabi wrap up the whole thing nicely. Unevenness is inevitable with so many MCs, but when it hits, it hits harrrd.

11. Azealia Banks - 212

This year's Like A G6, with any justice. Ribald, irreverent, irresponsible, bitchy, self-obsessed. ‘I’MA RUIN YOU CUNT!’ Ms Banks sounds like she might be insufferable in real life, but she also sounds like a really great time.


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