holy fuck

The Obligatory Best of 2010 List - Part One

Another year has past and so bloggers and the music press the world over feel the need to try and convince you of the best albums of the past twelve months. And so as much in an attempt to fill our pages in a quite spell as convince you of anything here are not so much the best, but our most enjoyed albums of 2010.

Not a top ten, or a top 50 even, but a good old honest top 18. Because that's how many albums we really liked this year.  Part one will cover the bottom nine - come back for the rest soon.


18. There Is Love In You - Four Tet

On which Keiran Hebden stopped trying to revolutionise with every record and instead brought everything together to create something which feels a bit like a best-of approach to Four Tet. It lacked the standout moments of the classic Rounds but besides that it is his most focused work.


17. Wave and Cloud - The Whiskey Priest

Unnoticed by the press but don't let that put you off, Wave and Cloud's obscurity only serves to make it even more deserving of your time. A frail and honest record that relies on songs and little more. The coupling of the weatherworn 'A Seafarer's Lament' and the heartfelt and beautiful 'If a Train Was a Doctor Was a Song' remains on of this year's best album openings.


16. Latin - Holy Fuck

Another album that appears to have been forgotten... Latin may not have garnered the praise heaped on previous album LP, but it demonstrates Holy Fuck's ability to continue to innovate. 'P.I.G.S.' remains one of the ill-est sounding joints we heard all year.


15. Swim - Caribou

The first Caribou release to really capture BlackPlastic's attention, Swim, along with Matthew Dear's Black City, was 2010's most danceable record for people that like to think. Simultaneously organic sounding and strangely electronic this is an album that felt more like a collaboration than an album by one artist ever normally could - one moment subtle and understated and the next needy and epic.

14. Real Life Is No Cool - Lindstrøm & Christabelle

Almost not on the list because we heard it in 2009 it makes it here on a technicality - it wasn't officially released until 2010. It's sun-drenched cosmic disco sound is also staggering - this is the sound of taking a dip in the 40 degree heat. By adding in Christabelle, Lindstrøm went and made his best album.


13. The Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens

Prolific and at times frankly unfocused, Stevens only seems to release two types of record - challenging and flawed or challenging and fantastic. The Age of Adz is undoubtedly the latter, from the delicate opening of 'Futile Devices' through to the 25-minute-plus 'Impossible Soul' this is the sound of Stevens tearing up the few rules he had previously adhered to. At its best, on the furious and rapid 'I Want To Be Well', complete with it's repeated "I'm not fucking around" chorus, Sufjan sounds more vital than ever.


12. Contra - Vampire Weekend

It seems that everyone but BlackPlastic loved Vampire Weekend's debut. By rights, this - the follow up to a smash record we passed up on - should have been of little interest. And yet something in Contra really captures the listener. Whether on the tight upbeat pop of 'Run' or 'Giving Up The Gun' or the slow and considered numbers that just sparkle as on 'I Think Ur A Contra' this was pretty much the perfect pop record.


11. Subiza - Delorean

In a year when BlackPlastic returned to the White Isle nothing encapsulated the feeling of basking in the Balearic sunshine quite like Delorean's debut... If one band lead the Chill Wave movement for us then it's Delorean. A bit like Animal Collective mixed with a beach, some house vibes and quite a lot of ecstasy Subiza is just too hot and sunny to resist, particularly with songs as beautiful as 'Real Love'.


10. Causers of This - Toro y Moi

Causers of This is one of 2010's sleepers for BlackPlastic - so much so that we haven't mentioned it before now. The problem is that it is flawed, if only mildly so, in that a number of it's charms are hidden away in the latter half. 'Blessa' starts things off in a pleasant but slightly uninspiring manner but there are some of 2010's best moments here - just check the snappy, funky closing couplet in the form of 'Low Shoulders' and the title track. One of this year's most promising debuts, Causers of This is the heart broken record you can dance to.

BP x

Album Review: Latin - Holy Fuck

The start of Holy Fuck's new album sounds like big things happening. '1MD' opens the album on a building crescendo of distorted melodies. It is initially calm but it quickly becomes apparent that this is merely the calm before the storm.

And a storm it is: 'Red Lights' barrel-rolls in like a professional hit man, slinky bass lines and snappy drums painting the sky. And it's obvious that Holy Fuck continue to create a kind of music that many try to make but few succeed in delivering.

There are echoes of Gang Gang Dance, !!! and others here but no-one manages to create quite the same psychedelic acid trip and make it sound so real. Latin is an album that builds to a fever pitch - midpoint track 'Silva & Grimes' is rabid driving music for thunderstorms, incessant and rapid fire and faster than anything that precedes it. It feels like a kind of climax on first listen but that's only because you don't know what is still to come.

'SHT MTN' is low-slung, squealing and industrial and then 'Stilettos' is pedal-to-the-metal-with-the-top-down. Closing on 'P.I.G.S.' only increases the sense of bewilderment. This is mechanical art-rock for destroying cities. A solid groove builds and eventually hits a melodic breakdown midway through before heading stratospheric. This is music for space, not puny-Earth - it sounds like an ode to the majestically uncontrollable power of the Saturn V. This is being strapped to five-megatons of explosives and flicking the match.

Latin is not just a selection of fantastic tunes, it's a epic journey sandwiched into 40-minutes.

BP x

Latin is out now, available from Amazon.co.uk on CD, LP and MP3 [affiliate links].