We welcome new CDM contributor Matt Earp (Kid Kameleon) with a look back at tracks of 2011 you can queue up now, in 2012. Photo (CC-BY-SA) – and shot at – The Global Lives Project.

Make a New Year’s Resolution you can keep: listen to great music every day. After all, providing creative input to yourself is a big part of your role as an artist.

We’re joined by San Francisco’s Kid Kameleon, who’s both one of our favorite artists and one of our favorite music journalists, for a look back at music from 2011 with not one but two mixes. Here, Kid Kameleon, aka Matt Earp, shares his top picks alongside some of the reasons he selected it. We’re at a New Year’s Eve of a different kind – this time in mid-January is always a time at which we’re inundated with new gear.

Amidst that tidal wave of gear lust, it’s worth taking a step back to remind ourselves of the real goal, music making. From the shores of California to music makers all around the globe, this Kid covers all the bases of electronic sound production. Enjoy.

Now, as many of us return to the work grind, it’s a chance to give our ears some fresh inspiration.

2011 Albums

ShigetoFull Circle Remixes (Ghostly)
Stellar remixes from the best of the best of the beats.

They LiveCancel Standard (Exit)
Spooky abstract drumstep from Consequence and Joe Seven. Best DnB album in years.

LV feat. Joshua IdehenRoutes (Keysound)
The master thinkers of dubstep with the voice of the streets of London.

Long ArmThe Branches (Project: Mooncircle)
DJ Cam for 2011 – Russian prodigy blending jazz and beats.

Africa HiTech93 Million Miles (Warp)
Juke from Outaspace – Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek shine together.

fLakoMesektet (Project: Mooncircle)
Best beat tape of the year – Germany’s soul producer hits just right.

Com TruiseGalactic Melt (Ghostly)
Melting VHS tapes, 80s fuzz and big snares from Ghostly’s other prodigy.

BaobingaJoint Venture (Build)
Best dance album of the year in the UK funky vein – each track is a collab with the best of the best in the UK Funky world.

Alva NotoUnivrs (Raster Noton)
The master raster blaster.

BytoneSymeta (Raster Noton)
The other master raster blaster.

Surreal Estate Compilation (Frite Nite)
Best comp of the year — Paul Salva collects 17 stellar tracks from the West Coast and beyond. Proud this came out of California.


IndigoZero Point (On The Edge)
Pure liquid bliss at all tempos from Manchester’s genius.

Easy & Center of the UniversePythagoras Falafel Calamity (Harmonia)
Squeee gets lost in Turkey. Ed.: My album title of the year, easy.

Moa PillarThe Moon and Thunder Dance (G5)
Over-the-top beats from Russia.

EloqGalactic Neckbreaks (Hobby Industries)
Rubbery, silly and crackin’, from Denmark.

SinesHater Blockas (B.Yrslf Division)
Sines is the most creative dance music producer in dubstep/footwork at the moment.

WaltonAggy EP (Hyperdub)
Marrying UK Funky with 90’s Sheffield Bleep techno.

Christopher BissonnetteThe Banal and the Profound (Chat Blanc)
Pure ambient bliss. His best release yet.

Hatti VattiYou (New Moon)
Like Indigo, but Polish – pure genius. Soul-touching.

Rain DogSee Hear (Cut)
Best release from DFRNT’s Cut label. Lush beats for the ears.

RandomerObstuse (Super)
Best of many superb EPs from the man with a golden ear for drums.

NguzunguzuTimesup (Fade To Mind)
The weirdos at their best and most minimal and synthy – first release on Kingdom’s label.

FedbymachinesUndertow (Broken Bubble)
Beautiful release from a stellar dutch musician – one to watch.

KuhnSlime Beach (Civil)
A madman prankster from NYC taking both sidechaining and beats to a new level.

1000namesMachine City (Svetlana Industries)
Svetlana’s AND 1000names’ best release yet – complex, thoughtful beats.

AbjoSankofa (Self-Released)
West Coast soul soldier at his most creative.

KoutaOrinda (Self-Released)
Bay Area local who I know little about, but sounds as close to Agraph as anyone I’ve heard.

El KidHypnonis (Left Blank)
Complex and beguiling, an artist very much on his own tip.

DJ RumMountains (2nd Drop)
Mysterious artist with a super solid grasp of dub for 2011.

BaconheadAstrosludge (eat Concrete)
More pranksters with four stellar beat/dance tracks. The world will know their name.

Wheez-ieKeep Yer Chin Up (Embassy)
Stellar year for Wheezie – non-chicago-ians taking Footwork in all sorts of awesome directions


Orphan101Propa / Dissemble
Superb cross of techno and dubstep on one of the year’s best labels.

BrokenchordA Girl of 13 Summers / Orion (Team Acre)
Lithuanian beat wonderkid who caught Radiohead’s ears.

ObjektThe Goose That got Away / Tinderbox (White)
The mysterious king of the techno/dubstep crossover’s debut.

Appleblim & OctoberNy Fizzzzzz / Fountains of Paradise (Schmorgasboard)
New label debut for Bristol stalwarts – dubby dance-y goodness.

Addison GrooveThis is It / Make Um Bounce (Tectonic)
808s and electro kicks from Headhunter’s alterego.

Presk – And Cut / Mold (Punch Drunk)
Another great debut crossing UK Funky and dubstep – solid and inexorable.

Om Unit vs. KromestarSolar Cycle /
(Cosmic Bridge)
Favorite Om Unit release of the year, ranks with his best.

KahnIlly / Tehran (Punch Drunk)
Mysterious, rich, thick dance music — both tracks awesome.

Dub Phizix & SkepticalMarka / Rags (Exit)
The drumstep anthem of the end of the year.

ArkistFill Your Coffee / Rendezvous (Applepips)
Impossible not to love these tracks for their gorgeous switch-ups.

Instra:Mental / dBridgeFrom The Start / Detuned Heart (Autonomic)
Set the tone for the best of the year in drumstep – floating, haunting, unique.

Bonus: Om Unit Mix

Matt also includes a special mix, exclusively composed of the work of Om Unit, whom he describes as “one of my favorite producers of 2011.” That makes this the perfect addition to the selections above. -Ed.

Om Unit 2011 Mix by kidkameleon

Om Unit’s been one of my favorite producers for the last couple years running. I thought I’d take a bunch of his tracks from this year and string them together as a sort of end of year thing. Hope you enjoy the result! Much respect to the master – let’s get him to the US in 2012!

01. Om Unit – Naiad
02. Om Unit vs. Kromestar – Merkabah
03. Krampfhaft – I Needed You (Om Unit Remix)
04. Om Unit – Fibonnaci 10
05. Comma – Mezcal Hologram (Om Unit Remix)
06. Om Unit – An Eternal Way
07. Silent Dust – The Giant (Om Unit Remix)
08. Ital Tek – War of the Ants (Om Unit Remix)
09. Arp 101 And Om Unit – Dr Funkenstein
10. Om Unit – Cold World
11. Starkey – Lost in Space (feat. Charli XCX) (Om Unit Remix)
12. Take – Juniper (Om Unit Remix)
13. Pixelord – Cybernator (Om Unit Remix)
14. Om Unit – Prawn Cocktail
15. Om Unit – The Timps (Alternative Version)
16. Om Unit x Lorn – Obsidian

Bonus! Bonus! Decarhythm Mix

Kid Kameleon this week released a terrific playlist on the Decarhythm Podcast series. It’s not strictly about 2011, but it’s good listening, so let’s keep the playlists going right through the weekend. -Ed.

Decarhythm Podcast 7 = Me! [kidkameleon.com]

In Case You Missed It:

As part of our exclusive coverage of 2011’s music exclusively by guys who are named Matt, CDM’s Matt Ganucheau also offered up a mix of music for CDM looking back at last year.

2011 Mix by ganucheau

Rediscovering 2011′s Music: Ganucheau’s 2011 CDM Mix, SoundCloud-able, from the California Coast

About the Author

Kid Kameleon is a San Francisco-based DJ, promoter, writer, blogger, historian, archivist, and fan of electronic music who has over 100 mixes floating around the net. His love of beats basically knows no bounds.

  • uiuiiuiii

    Cheers for all this info! 🙂

  • z3ro

    Cheers and welcome 🙂
    Thanks for all this awesome music! 🙂

  • Cognitive Dissident

    nice thanks!

    • And how does this help your failed socratic method coggy?

      • JacksonPearson

        Coggy's torn between Socrates's and Mohammad's methods. Translated, divide and conquer, or outright mass be-headings. It's a tough decision for him to make!

  • ara

    Cancel Standard dnb album? DNB? really?

    • wndfrm

      is this super cynical response to the appreciation of a drum and bass album founded in anything concrete? it seems a rather extreme response to me, somewhat akin to saying "techno? really? or "dubstep? really?" or "witch house? really?" or "electronic music? really?" or "music? really?" .. if you catch my meaning. 

      drum and bass, as a terribly ill-defined, much-besotted, lampooned genre (like most other genres..) has given us it's share of heights and depths, inspirations, awkward moments, etc.. however, it hasn't become irrelevant or obsolete, it simply swirls around in the vast pool of pigeon-hole labels attached to particular ways of playing with drum patterns, chords, low frequencies, etc..etc..  much like every other damn style of music. 

      obviously, one does not have to 'like' DNB. but perhaps think twice about what you are communicating when you say 'DNB? really?' … because it does tend to come across as "i have no clue about the history, influence and process involved in this particular genre of electronic music, and dismiss it as obsolete and pointless in 2012. " 

      i'm sorry, i'm not flaming you in any way, i was just really surprised at what seemed like a very close-minded comment, and i thought we were way beyond stuff like that at this point in our music culture. i am assuming you meant in in a very flippant way, but nevertheless i felt it warranted a response. 


  • peterkirn

    Okay, I'm working on fixing that moderation / vote up – vote down interface real soon now. 😉

  • Yeah, Ara is definitely, I believe, saying "you consider it a DnB album?" and not "a DnB album is in this list?"

    There never has been, and there probably never will be, a genre that is more concerned with self definition than Drum and Bass (more so even than Jungle).

    Is Cancel Standard a Drum and Bass album? No freakin' way! the BPMs of the tracks on the album are, in order,
    174, 98, 122, 115, 94, 120, 110, 115, 111, 118, 170, and 135
    There are only 2 out of 12 tracks on the album that are even remotely at DnB tempo/rhythm structures and even that's a stretch, and most of it abstract noodling through a hugely diverse swath of electronic music. There's probably almost no DJ who considers themselves a Drum and Bass DJ that would play almost any of it in their sets.

    or, put another way

    Is Cancel Standard a Drum and Bass album? Are you kidding me? Of course it is!
    *The single related to the album is two tracks at 170, and falls squarely within the rhythmic experiments of the entire autonomic movement
    *They Live is a combined effort of Consequence and Joe Seven. Almost every single other tune either of them has ever put out is 100% in line with any accepted definition of Drum and Bass, minus a few ambient tracks and a few dubstep experiments. These are guys with DnB cred out the wazoo and no one would contest that.
    *It's on Exit records, one of the pillars of Drum and Bass in 2011 – which is run by dBridge, who's one of Drum and Bass's most exciting producers of DnB in 2011, and who, if we need be reminded is 1/4 of Bad Company, the biggest DnB supergroup of all time.

    So is it Drum and Bass? It's everyone's individual call, but I'd say that the very fact that I can list those two almost equally weighted options above is what makes it so freakin' brilliant, why consequence is such an incredible producer that he should be at like a trent reznor status, and just why DnB, for the first time in 8 or so years, is healthy again, because it's letting in this debate. I couldn't be happier about the ambiguity!

    On another note, I have no freakin' clue what's up with the Cognitive Dissonance thread, but in regards to the original "thanks" – "you're welcome! My pleasure."