This past year has been without a doubt a terrific year for exceptional artists in spite of the fact of it being crowded in a vast pool of not-so exceptional ones. Now at the year's end and after spending hours sifting through playlists and releases, I've finally managed to narrow it down to my top picks in each of these ten following categories below.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Sepalcure
These guys (Machinedrum and Braille) can do no wrong. Of everything in my entire playlist in the past year, these guys have been played and overplayed. See their Fleur EP and debut self-titled album, and you'll see exactly why they made Sandy Tea's 'Artist of The Year'!
ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Self-Titled – SBTRKT
If there's one worn out album in my playlist in this past year that I may or may not have played over 2347987 times, it sure is SBTRKT's. From the collaborations with the likes of Sampha, Jessie Ware, and Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano, I have yet to get weary of this release.
SONG OF THE YEAR: Myrtle Avenue - Floating Points
God knows how ADD I can get, so for me to pick the longest track in my entire collection as 'Song of The Year' - almost 10 minutes - is quite astounding. The flow evolution and progress of this piece is just absolutely brilliant and captivating.
BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Knxwledge
I can't front a guy who averages a monthly 2.5 quality beat tapes for the last 6 months. You could pick any of his 15 EPs arbitrarily and I guarantee you'll be blown away. Watch out for this one 2012!
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Lezgo (Original Mix) - Justin Martin & Ardalan
Inspired by 80's retro arcade games, this video is just downright silly and fun. Not to mention that this may be one of my favourite House collabos of the year, Luc Gut did an amazing job of marrying music, graphics, and humour all in one - now this is entertainment!
COMEBACK OF THE YEAR: Monkeytown – Modeselektor
While it was cool that they experimented with Apparat in forming Moderat 2 years ago, it has been a couple of years since their own full release. As anticipated, Monkeytown was worth the wait!
PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: MUTEK 2011 - Jacques Greene x Ango
An entire live set. No laptops. Hardware exclusive. From scratch.
LETDOWN OF THE YEAR: Thursday - The Weeknd
Kudos on bringing in a new facet to R&B, but enough with the 'OooOoOoooOuuUh'. An artist with potential who has reached a plateau: not good, not bad, but very forgettable.
REMIX OF THE YEAR: Into The Valley (Julio Bashmore Remix) – Classixx
I could have featured any of the remixes from the long list I have drafted, but one name that seemed to pop up frequently was Julio Bashmore. A dancefloor classic and a 2011 favourite, I could not pass this one up!
MEMORABLE MOMENT OF THE YEAR: DâM-FunK & Master Blazter
A personal favourite memorable moment of 2011 with lots of sentimental value, not to mention an amazing show featuring the complete Dâm-FunK band. This was also the last time drummer J-1 had the chance to play in Montréal before passing away a month later. Rest in peace.