Another year, another list and a chance to share what we thought were some of the highlights of 2011. Here music editor Moritz Gayard picks his five moments from a momentous year. For me this year music seemed more impossible than ever to keep up with; no matter what corner of the internet you were living in, there were always a thousand other interesting things going on you couldn’t keep tabs on. Anyway, I was digging through my music when I found these instant classics of 2011 below:
1. Julia Holter – Goddess Eyes (Leaving Records)
Julia. This is my Julia of the year. Oh Julia, you little genius. Julia’s unbelievable ‘Goddess Eyes’ track from her fantastic and overwhelming Tragedy is definitley my most played song of the year. Listen to it and discover how Julia channels her inner Laurie Anderson. Also make sure to check out the wild video for ‘Try to Make Yourself a Work of Art’ here, another highlight from the record.
2. Omar Souleyman – Haram (Sublime Frequencies)
Last week I met Omar, we had some tea and talked about everything but politics. Very refreshing. Omar Souleyman is most famous in his homeland of Syria, but went unnoticed in the international music scene until two years ago. Now he is touring the west big time: this year’s Berlin performance took place at Kesselhaus, allowing for an up-close and personal encounter with Omar as he broke into a series of techno infused Syrian folk jams that absolutely rocked the house. His music is loud and so utterly danceable. It did far more than rekindle my desire to see more live music as soon as possible – it made it a necessity. Thanks, Omar.
3. Holy Other – Know Where (Tri Angle)
Brooklyn based Tri Angle Records have proven to be one of the most interesting labels of 2011 releasing works by the likes of Clams Casino, Balam Acab and, yes: Holy Other. Their ‘Know Where’ joint is clearly one the past year’s most exciting tracks. It’s a smooth-out, downtempo track that builds around a series of dope vocal samples. Genius.
4. Grimes – Vanessa (Hippos In Tanks/Arbutus)
Out of all the new artists I encountered in 2011, Grimes became such an essential part of my music listening. From the fun of ‘Vanessa’ to the heart wrenching ‘Beast Infection’, she released music this year that covered a wide spectrum that featured her beautiful voice and indecipherable lyrics. The Darkbloom EP with D’Eon is one of my most loved albums this year while the official video to ‘Vanessa’ can be found above.
5. Mr. Oizo – France7 (Ed Banger)
Techno. Is it. Thanks to Busy P and his equipe over in Paris who let the children techno, the essential re-production of what we discovered as techno is in full effect. Le grand uncle Quentin Dupieux dropped Mr. Oizo‘s full length called Stade2 and I had to use headphones in the office, while listening to the tackiest tunes since Bruce Willis in Dead. It’s difficult with techno these days. But thank god the sound we grew up with was never really defined, so let me love the goofy french techno. Right: techno.
Published December 21, 2011.