01. Caribou-Swim

caribou, formerly manitoba, is responsible for the best album of 2010. new album, and new directions. he is evolving his sound and trying to give his songs a sort of flexible flow not often seen in dance music. stressful and stripped vocals with less reverb and special effects, a result of the collaboration with junior boys' greenspan, leads the album in a more minimalistic, early techno and electronic way. picks of the album: oddesa, an adhesive track with tremendous rhythm and recognizable vocals and bassline, sun, almost ecstatic, hannibal, floor-killer song with powerful bassline and a melody reminding paul kaklbrenner songs, and for the end, jamelia, with luke lalonde chorus vocals, an emotive and atmospheric closer. moreover, one of the best live performances of the year, full of noise, energy, mood and colors.an evolutionary songwriter and a leading artist. the most distinctive release of this year.


07. Efterklang-Magic Chairs

i haven't listened this album as i should have done. i haven't given to it the attention it deserves. all these changed after their live performance in athens. efterklang mark the start of a new chapter with their third album and first at 4AD. they are moving forward from their classical and post-rock sounds to a more pop soundscape. any narrative is fractured, the songs standalone, constructs shorn of company and context. beautifully orchestrated, with strings, guitars, bass, harp, violins, cellos, trombones, flutes,vocals and percussion, anything u can imagine, compose the new pop and more rhythmic sound. it couldn't be nothing more, after their tremendous previous album parades, an outstanding album meeting all the expectations. and if u are wondering about their live in athens: they succeeded, from a stage that couldn't fit them, to excite almost everyone. a concert that will remain in my mind for long time, for my big, awkward smile on my face and the whispering vocals on my way out. that is a musical bond, what music is all about at the end.

08. Arcade Fire-The Suburbs

there is no much to say about this band. u know the deal. they are fuckin awesome. i don't think there is even a point to write some words as everyone is talking about this album. just that in the beginning i didn't like it so much, but after some more and 'careful' plays in my list it won me. you can feel that it is just a step below their previous two releases, but it sounds like arcade fire, and fucking yeah, we do like it.. and by the way, don't even think to miss the chance to see them live. they are fantastic, one of the best bands playing live now.


09. Gonjasufi-A Sufi and A Killer

a sufi and a killer, the debut release of gonjasufi at warp records. a lot of mystery and rumors were spreading around his name on the first months of previous winter, while warp trying to promote him with an awkward way: sufi said / says / will say. production by flying lotus and gaslamp killer and expectations are rising to the highest level. eastern melodies, dub and aggressive sounds, unsound hip hop, a taste of psychedelic elements, and final his expressive and individual vocals compose his unique sound. this album has accompanied me many many times this year and if it wasn't for his shitty live at bios at athens, acting like a retarded, it would be much more higher. sufi said: in order to get the conviction behind the words, it took 30 years of a lot of frustration and despair...continual tests of faith. Day to day struggling. Bottled-up energy, then all o a sudden, the way it came out seemed perfect..it kept flowing. Continually flowing out of me." If anything I would pray that people find the ability to find themselves in the music."


10. Four Tet-There Is Love In You

after a lengthy absence of an album release, four tet is back with a great album. it is not at the same level as his previous classic albums like rounds, but it is still top class. this album works best taken whole, rather than broken into individual tracks. it's both head and physical, subtle but powerful music for thinking and moving or ideally doing both in the same time. u can come around everything in this album: metalic guitars, deep or dark melodies, bass and beats that are endlessly unfolding, kids' laughing and whatever else u can imagine as long as u are searching for it. before you notice it, this album will have come to its end, and u will need more. this is the moment you will understand that it has a lot to give you as a lot of hidden elements are waiting to unfold. it is like back then at coronet theater, when he was playing developing tracks in his set, waiting for our respond and reaction, and returned to us armed with his soundscapes and 'information'. four tet has understood the simple power of sound.


these two or three previous days, i've been totally ill, with really high fever, and that is why i couldn't update on time the top 20 list. having a break from this stuff, these are some other albums that i like for this year, but couldn't be in the list:
playground noise-playground noise/the boy-koustoumaki/these new puritans-hidden/wild nothing-gemini/tame impala-innerspeaker/matthew dear-black city/brian eno-smallon craft on a milk sea/zola jesus-stridulum II/wavves-king of the beach/no age-everything in between/belle & sebastian-write about love/keep shelly-in love with dusk/crocodiles-sleep forever/small black-new chain/girls-broken dreams club/james holden-dj kicks/apparat-dj kicks


the thing is that from here up to the top first, any ablum could have ended up in any ranking position . all of them are my favorite ones and i am emotionally connected with them. north is the debut album of darkstar and altough they are a group with a winning formula, they decided to break the mold in search of something more. and it succeeds, as all the expectations were met.. likely named on a rainier, darker day in northern england, focuses less on the rhythmic aspects of darkstar's sound, and more on the coarse synthesizers laid over its beats. distorted vocals and thick globs of synth make up the basis, with the contribution of dropout and glitches, pianos, strings, bass & guitar. and the most important element is the addition of vocalist James Buttery that adds another dimension to the group's dynamic, both sonically and lyrically. north may be gray, but it's an intense and gorgeous shade.


12. Warpaint-The Fool

i've come across the all-female quartet from LA one year ago, listening their exquisite corpse ep. their debut album, the fool, lacks the ep's melodic blows, but neither does it suffer for that. hypnotic rhythms, fragile lyrics by the dreamy voice of co-leader emily kokal and majestic guitars and basses which balance somewhere between psychedelia and shoegaze. the production, some times low-fi, other moment vast and shimmering, always is submerging listener beneath surface, dragging him deep down to their mood. their music is wandering through desert plains and darkened streets. it's by no mean instant. it isn't the easiest album to listen and love. but u have to give to it a couple of listens, and then it starts to unveil in front of you. like it did to me and it climbed to the to middle of the list.


13.Beach House-Teen Dream

the third album of the dream pop duo feels like a result of thoughtful growth, new influences and rare maturity. interplay between legrand's voice and keyboards and scally's guitars is still the key element. repetitive guitar figures, double-time kick drums, crashing cymbals, soaring melodies and whispery backing vocals compose the musical form. each song has its own palette and its own path. music that feels better when u close ur eyes and start making dreams, dreams about beaches, trips, roadtrips and all the untangable dreams.a remarkable release not only because of its tremendous quality and consistency, but also in its willingness to stick with their sound, with what are most natural at doing. this band truly finds its own voice.


14. Gil-Scott Heron-I'm New Here

you don't really expect after 16 years of total decay- diseases, drugs and prison, this guy to come up with such a great album. an unlikely but triumphant return, that sounds so familiar. spoken word poetry, packed full of sadness and experience, is accompanied by deathly silence and the fragmentary presence of thudding drum sounds. his voice more age-weathered, prones to letting words melt into each other. rather than tackle big scale political issues, he focuses in his own situation. he is not apologizing, he is just explaining his stories. he continues to dissect the past and realign himself with the present throughout carefully pouring all his life experience into every syllable and drawing on the triumphs and aberrations that shaped him. it still feels honest, like something said out of necessity instead of opportunity. let the man sing/recite and follow him. he knows the way.


15. Sufjan Stevens-The Age Of Adz

after four years of his musical silence -claiming the idea of writing an album for each of the 50 america's states, abandoning this idea, questioning about the point of releasing new albums or ever writing music, eventually he does something different, something more difficult, something that other pop artists wouldn't do. he is pushing it, he is moving forward. into a more electronic way. industrials beats, minimal blips, synthesizers, distorted trombone, harps, horns, backing vocals and his bittersweet voice compose his musical path. this album requires time and devotion, but finally it will reward you. and for the finale, sufjan screaming: we can do much more together, it's not so impossible.


16. LCD Soundsystem-This is Happening

the new album of james murphy lands at the 16th place. a lot of things have been said about this album, either that it is boring and poor or that it is similar with his two previous works. its place in my top 20 could be emotional, and even if it is, i don't care. this is happening could lack previous albums' sense of mapping out new territories, but it still does it all incredibly fuckin well. it embraces a wide selection of musical directions that glance back at the past while maintaining a direct footprint in the present days. he is making music by blending the pulse of techno and energy of indie. but now more than ever, he confirms that he is a top vocalist/lyricist capable of mixing heavy, self-deprecating and meaningful lyrics. this post finds me ill, melting myself into pieces with high fever, but i am listening this track as loud as my flatmates can stand, hoping that it can be my remedy.

17. Arandel-In D

Arandel is not an artist, he is a character, ispired by Terry Rile's In C. being supremely mysterious, wanting to do it anonymously, he even performs live hidden behind a curtain. all sound sourced from real instruments, recorded by himself -so there are no samples here. he is rather an experiment in the convergence of techno and french philosophy. a hybrid of thoughtfulness classical and progressive dance floor sounds. this album is one of the most interesting releases of this year. mystical and courageous, an album that thinks for itself.


18. Archie Bronson Outfit-Run Gospel Singer

the trio's third album comes with psychedelic and garage sounds accompanied by synthesizers and dance beats. noisy riffs, thumbed circling bass, martial spatters of drums and an emotional intensive voice. hard and dirty songs that demands ur attention from the outset. overall, it's not a fantastic album, not even a very good album. maybe u can find indifferent songs. but, there are some songs, that make u dancing in ur room, singing loudly, screaming with Sam Windett, and listening to them again and again and again.. don't let yourself fall apart.


19. Emeralds-Does It Look Like I’m Here?

moving to the top 19th release, we remain at more electronical sounds, but this time more drone and experimental. in these last five years, the trio has managed to put out a seriously impressive amount of material, around 40 releases, most of them CDRs and cassettes. this one is mainly made up of shorter and more focused pieces, which tend to float u out of this world with their amazing ability to construct hypnotic tales. It is this kind of music that u are pulling back, while closing all the lights and all innumerable thoughts flood ur mind.


20. Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers

Crooks & Lovers is an album of abrupt and paradoxes, at once organic and heavily processed, drowsy and yet full of acoustically sweet and electrically charged moments. It pushes the sound into lonely, fragmented places, but locates moments of warmth. As it accompanied me in many of my summer road trips, it couldn't be out of my top 20 list. They've no idea where they're going. Either do I, but go with them. Towards their way.

news from london

hello, hello. things going very fast at London. big load of reading & coursework at my master, even days seem to be the same (sunday=monday=tuesday=...). these days are really freezing, and it's also snowing. the good thing is that i have gone or planning to go to some concerts, like flying lotus, caribou, four tet, nathan fake, darkstar, the national and arcade fire. i'll try to update the blog with some kind of news or reviews of these concerts, and also with some portfolio and videos. from today, the Blogovision of 2010 has started (greek blogers voting for top 20 albums of 2010), so until the 20th of december, u will see a daily post.