Porcupine Tree
KScope, Bluray

An absolute stunning live Bluray disc. Pure surround bliss, no wonder Steven Wilson was chosen by Robert Fripp to mix the King Crimson albums in surround. This is easily the best representation of live music I have heard on Bluray and the closest to capturing a live band performance in highdef ever. It was just nominated for a Grammy I believe.

Suggested by Derek J. Hunt

Girlfight Vol. 1
r0773r b0u7d3r
r0773r b0u7d3r, EP

A collaboration between chip music legend Bud Melvin and singer Jessica Billey, the EP was created to commemorate the R0773R B0U7D3R set assembled for the Thursday Night Girl Fight show at the Launchpad in Albuquerque on May 27th, 2010, which featured local acts all performing songs written by women. Bud rocks the backing tracks with LGPT (piggy tracker) and electric guitar. The album’s closer, Mistral Wind originally by Heart, is dreamy, visceral, whimsical and menacing all in one shot. I’ve never heard anything quite like it.

Suggested by B.Leo

XL Recordings, Album (full-length)

I can’t find another band out there with such a tight grasp on all aspects of creating music. Inventive sound design, exotic instrumentation, a strong sense of melody and composition, intricately layered recordings and actual musicianship. The music is more organic than it is electronic. It’s not rigidly quantized, and melody is not replaced by samples, distortion or LFOs modulating cutoff filters like so much other electronic music out there. On top of all this, the band takes a real DIY approach to recording. The two members of the band play almost all of the instruments on the album (not including the string section), and they are their own recording and mixing engineers. This doesn’t mean the music is inherently any better, but it should appeal to the readers of CDM who tend to be the musician/producer/engineer all-in-one types as well. Although they have been pretty successful so far, I still think Ratatat are criminally under-appreciated by most.

Suggested by arob

Because Maybe!
Renard Queenston, Album (full-length)

uplifitng, and lots of good albuns besides this one… and renard can indeed reach various genres with his many personas.. so for me is not about the music of the year but the musician i started to listen to this year

Suggested by —

Disaffected Suite
Rhythm In Mind
Rhythm In Mind, EP

Great orginal use of electronic & Live playing.

Suggested by Jen Silver

RJ Valeo
Io Records, Album (full-length)

Really amazing album by an inspired multi-disciplinary artist.

Suggested by Jessi Scopp

The Transactional Dharma of Roj
Ghost Box, Album (full-length)

It is informed by the pioneers of electronic music and uses tape manipulation, percussion, electronics and voice to create otherworldly music. Roj is an ex member of Broadcast.

Suggested by Simon

Midnight Club EP
Russ Chimes
Eye Industries, EP

It sounds modern and nostalgic in the same time 🙂

Suggested by Max Brannslokker

Tell Your Friends
Snarky Puppy
Ropeadope, Album (full-length)

Funky shit

Suggested by Spazmatron

independent,, Album (full-length)

I like both the songwriting and the sounddesign. Have not heard such a beauty in quite a long time. I’m completely hooked on this.

Suggested by x2mirko

sonoio, Album (full-length)

apart from the buchla gear porn side of it, its a collection of genuinely well put together, catchy but unashamedly synth-geeky music

Suggested by kathal

SONOIO, Album (full-length)

Really nice vibe of the record, composition. Liked the use of analog synths, which got me more interested in the synth music. One of the favourite releases of 2010.

Suggested by Kharlamov Dmitri

SONOIO, Album (full-length)

There’s an underlying energy in this album that translates into my mind/body/whatever else there is. The synth work is fabulous, and the challenge/delight of the writing process on the Buchla 200e is very intriguing. The SONOIO album and its coverage forced me to re-listen to Telefon Tel Aviv – Immolate Yourself, which is another analog powerhouse album. In your face and underlying energy sources coming from each track, and the album as a whole. I now have a new appreciation for Immolate Yourself, and that in turn gave me new appreciation for SONOIO. Regardless of the equipment used, the sound is amazing. Not having a piece of analog synth gear aside from my Monotron adds to what could be novelty in this album, but it’s not. It’s enlightened work.

Suggested by Codey Christensen

  • Wow, this has given me a lot of new, good music to sift through. Thanks!

  • I suppose I only have myself to blame for not nominating it, but I am surprised nobody else thought of Oval: O. After almost a decade from his last record, Markus Popp returns with a fantastic new sound: sharp, crystal clear, the sounds of particles ricocheting off marble surfaces. With some tasty drum breaks too 😉 Think it was produced on his custom Oval software – although I might be wrong about that…

  • Carl Lumma

    What, nobody mentioned knowsur's NANA WODORI?

  • drrn

    As much as I love Burial's "Untrue," it's from 2007 not 2010.

  • james

    Yes! Si, well fucking done.

  • strunkdts

    Sorry, no review for AlvaNoto BlixaBargeld apart from, with a pedigree like that how do you go wrong?. The sonic palette is perfect.

    Big props also to Kollektive Turmstrausse (whom i also only just discovered last year) The maighty Demdike Stare who just seem to get better, Caribou and the release from Roj. (Ghost Box is the bomb!)

    Heres looking forward to even better revelations this year.

  • What, no Shobaleader One?

  • FreakWithoutACause

    A Michael Jackson video cover with no crotch-grabbing?!?! Aren't Pomplamoose the couple from that car commercial? Anywhoo, great to see Balam Acab get a nod. Their EP is in steady rotation on my iPod.

  • pomplamoose and pendulum

    thanks for keeping your ears to the streets for me fellas

    (im just fronting though, i really had to dig to find scoffs)

  • wow thnx for demdike stare!

  • Awesome.  Bought Cosmo D and Eskimo Spy, added a few more to my Amazon list.

    I thought "Cosmo D" was a familiar name — I'm pretty sure he released a free cello sample set a couple years ago.

  • Sarah

    the new kyle bobby dunn is the most gorgeous release i've heard in 10+ years. good list. 

  • Where is Shackleton´s Fabric Mix? Forget the fact that its "fabric" or a "mix"; as a whole, its without a doubt the most engaging, organic, seductive piece of music of the last DECADE! haha… thats just my opinion.. but seriously… its futuristic, its atavistic, its structure is at first glance simple but its foundations are incredibly detailed and crafted. He´s one of the few producers in recent memory who´s music managed to become its own archetype…

  • I just want to say thank you to those of you who've taken the time to listen/download/purchase my album. A friend of mine submitted this on my behalf and I'm so pleased he has. Thanks again, Cheers!

  • If I can make this humble suggestion:

    If you fancy some psychedelic space melodies. 🙂

  • Dave Dri

    @Johan – Agreed on the Shackleton mix. I recently had a mammoth roadtrip with my editor, and somewhere between Brisbane and Sydney I was lost in a 2am-on-the-highway daze through that mix. It's pretty dense, and very interesting in the right space. I'd love to see some of the producers of this stuff in the studio. 

    As for me, my picks of 2010 are on Page 34 of 3D World's end of year issue:&nbsp ; Needless to say, I was a big fan of the new Chemical Brothers album (listening to it on high-end cans is a mind-blowing step forward in production values, and erm, invincible EMS Synthi analogue goodness), but the Gold Panda album surprised me. Unsurprisingly…. the new Bonobo album is still on high rotation. Black Sands is so good that I listen to it whole – even the intro track. 

    Final note for the dancefloor inclined? Don't miss out on Technasia's 'Central'. It is an accomplished display of "less is more" production, crafted to fit the album format like Josh Gabriel's incredible 'Eight' only a few years before. Gush, swoon and appreciate : )

  • Thanks for the nomination. Much appreciated.

  • @Crashproof,

    Cosmo D here… I did release a sample library a few years back… the Solo improvisations + Beats album is another skew of my cello explorations.  Thanks Nate C for the mention!

  • Wendell

    Slacker latecomer here, who missed the call for nominations. I'd offer Pale Sketcher's "Pale Sketches Demixed" album. Self-indulgent and sentimental in all the right ways, IMNSHO. Yet another winning project from Justin Broadrick. (Cool with this post not being approved due to late late late submission.)