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.
Shigeto – Full Circle Remixes (Ghostly)
Stellar remixes from the best of the best of the beats.
They Live – Cancel Standard (Exit)
Spooky abstract drumstep from Consequence and Joe Seven. Best DnB album in years.
LV feat. Joshua Idehen – Routes (Keysound)
The master thinkers of dubstep with the voice of the streets of London.
Long Arm – The Branches (Project: Mooncircle)
DJ Cam for 2011 – Russian prodigy blending jazz and beats.
Africa HiTech – 93 Million Miles (Warp)
Juke from Outaspace – Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek shine together.
fLako – Mesektet (Project: Mooncircle)
Best beat tape of the year – Germany’s soul producer hits just right.
Com Truise – Galactic Melt (Ghostly)
Melting VHS tapes, 80s fuzz and big snares from Ghostly’s other prodigy.
Baobinga – Joint 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 Noto – Univrs (Raster Noton)
The master raster blaster.
Bytone – Symeta (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.
Indigo – Zero Point (On The Edge)
Pure liquid bliss at all tempos from Manchester’s genius.
Easy & Center of the Universe – Pythagoras Falafel Calamity (Harmonia)
Squeee gets lost in Turkey. Ed.: My album title of the year, easy.
Moa Pillar – The Moon and Thunder Dance (G5)
Over-the-top beats from Russia.
Eloq – Galactic Neckbreaks (Hobby Industries)
Rubbery, silly and crackin’, from Denmark.
Sines – Hater Blockas (B.Yrslf Division)
Sines is the most creative dance music producer in dubstep/footwork at the moment.
Walton – Aggy EP (Hyperdub)
Marrying UK Funky with 90’s Sheffield Bleep techno.
Christopher Bissonnette – The Banal and the Profound (Chat Blanc)
Pure ambient bliss. His best release yet.
Hatti Vatti – You (New Moon)
Like Indigo, but Polish – pure genius. Soul-touching.
Rain Dog – See Hear (Cut)
Best release from DFRNT’s Cut label. Lush beats for the ears.
Randomer – Obstuse (Super)
Best of many superb EPs from the man with a golden ear for drums.
Nguzunguzu – Timesup (Fade To Mind)
The weirdos at their best and most minimal and synthy – first release on Kingdom’s label.
Fedbymachines – Undertow (Broken Bubble)
Beautiful release from a stellar dutch musician – one to watch.
Kuhn – Slime Beach (Civil)
A madman prankster from NYC taking both sidechaining and beats to a new level.
1000names – Machine City (Svetlana Industries)
Svetlana’s AND 1000names’ best release yet – complex, thoughtful beats.
Abjo – Sankofa (Self-Released)
West Coast soul soldier at his most creative.
Kouta – Orinda (Self-Released)
Bay Area local who I know little about, but sounds as close to Agraph as anyone I’ve heard.
El Kid – Hypnonis (Left Blank)
Complex and beguiling, an artist very much on his own tip.
DJ Rum – Mountains (2nd Drop)
Mysterious artist with a super solid grasp of dub for 2011.
Baconhead – Astrosludge (eat Concrete)
More pranksters with four stellar beat/dance tracks. The world will know their name.
Wheez-ie – Keep Yer Chin Up (Embassy)
Stellar year for Wheezie – non-chicago-ians taking Footwork in all sorts of awesome directions
Orphan101 – Propa / Dissemble
Superb cross of techno and dubstep on one of the year’s best labels.
Brokenchord – A Girl of 13 Summers / Orion (Team Acre)
Lithuanian beat wonderkid who caught Radiohead’s ears.
Objekt – The Goose That got Away / Tinderbox (White)
The mysterious king of the techno/dubstep crossover’s debut.
Addison Groove – This 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.
Kahn – Illy / Tehran (Punch Drunk)
Mysterious, rich, thick dance music — both tracks awesome.
Arkist – Fill Your Coffee / Rendezvous (Applepips)
Impossible not to love these tracks for their gorgeous switch-ups.
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’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.
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.