- Gonjasufi – A Sufi and a Killer LP (Warp)
Psychedelic tribal music for the new age, Gonjasufi’s A Sufi and A Killer (produced by Los Angeles-based, Low End Theory cohort The Gaslamp Killer) surprised just about everyone in the office. With the album’s production firmly rooted in hip-hop, Gonja’s vocals (at times raps, at times chants, at times hymns and at other times drip-drops of spoken words) are hypnosis inducing, but with a tint of violence in them – something of a Sufi but with a killer instinct. Think of The Doors meets Ravi Shankar meets Cannibal Ox.
Tweets at @GONJASUFI
2. Drums of Death – Generation Hexed LP (Greco Roman)
If you’ve been following our Tweets, you’ll know that Drums of Death’s debut LP, Generation Hexed, has infected Word radio waves of late. A nostalgic mash up of 90s memories, the London-based singer-songwriter-producer has managed to create an album rich in club references – erratic synth rhythms, rave horns and throbbing bass lines – whilst at the same time producing an emotionally-tinted album. With several collaborative side projects set to hit the street this year (the first of which, Mums of Death produced together with Mumdance, came out two weeks ago), expect to hear more from Mr Death in 2011.
Tweets at @drumsofdeath
3. Matthew Dear – Black City LP (Ghostly International)
The sexy, suggestive and sugar-coated sound of Matthew Dear took a turn for the better in 2010, with the release of his third LP, Black City. A multi-faceted piece of work (the album goes from deep house and electro dance floor anthems to soulful love songs and hard-edged new-age pop), it really is Dear’s baritone voice which draws you in, turning you into something of a loyal follower of the music world’s latest cult. The overall sound is dark, yes, but rays of sunshine appear here and there, essentially in Dear’s production and choice of subject matter (sexuality, love lost and new beginnings). Beyond his own work, make sure to follow Ghostly International and Spectral Sound’s (two labels which Dear co-founded) trials and tribulations this year, as their stable of artists (Gold Panda, Michna, Bodycode and School of Seven Bells to name but a few) keep on releasing ever stronger material.
Tweets at @matthewdear