Five songs of the year

It's practically 2010 so it's well and truly time to wrap up our final 2008 lists with possibly the most fun one to put together... Our favourite songs:


5. Ice Cream - Muscles

Ice Cream, as a food, is not big and it's not really particularly clever. However, it is a lovely instant pick me up that melts in your mouth all too quickly. Seriously, everyone loves Ice Cream right? Same goes for this song: from the opening "wooh... ahhh" refrain through to the closing yelps ("I don't need your number, I just want to dance with my shirt off!") no other song acted quite so much like a security blanket for BlackPlastic this year. It's disposable and trivial but it's also gorgeous and super lovely: Ice Cream is gonna save the day. Again.


4. So Haunted (Knightlife's Sun-Soaked Reprise) - Cut Copy

Cut Copy's In Ghost Colours is just too right as a body of work for us to strip one track from it for "best song" honours so we will kind of cheat and go with a remix. Ever since the So Cosmic mix hit everyone has wanted this: the glorious italo-enthused re-imagining of So Haunted. The guitars have gone but otherwise this is a remarkably respectful re-edit. What makes it so great is that little freestyle bit at the end: it's like a five-minute holiday romance.


3. Space and the Woods - Late Of The Pier

Space and the woods still sounds just as good as it did when we first heard it, its raucous synths impervious to ageing: the sound of a fist fight with aliens whilst floating in space in a foil suit. Without doubt the highlight of one of our albums of the year, it demonstrates so much in such a short space of time that experiencing it should be considered homework.


2. Paris - Friendly Fires

We have gone on about it again and again and again (and, ahem... again... sorry). It still makes us go all gooey. The drums and cowbells are still lush, the synths still cosy, the fact it was self-produced astounding. France's capital may be over-priced and lack good restaurants or it may be the capital of romance and passion. Either way it has a song better than it deserves.


1. L.E.S Artistes (xxxchange Remix) - Santogold

BlackPlastic has listened to this song so much, put it on so many mix CDs, told so many people about it that it doesn't seem believable that it came out in 2008. Yet it did, and thank heavens for that. Spank Rock's xxxchange delivers a truly stellar remix again, discarding the fuzzy guitars of the original in favour of skyscraper levelling basslines. This version of 'L.E.S Artistes' retains 100% emotional punch but comes off more like the soundtrack to some Terminator war of the future. It ditches all the elements that potentially caused Santogold's début album to be overlooked - "I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up" indeed - an album of tunes like this one would have been a glorious thing.


BP x

Five compilations of the year

Third of four in BlackPlastic's lists of 2008 and the focus for this one is on the best compilations and mixes of the year.


5. Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub

Diplo and Santogold's Top Ranking managed to do them both a disservice as it took Santogold's LP proper (produced by Diplo) and nabbed the best bits then pissed all over what remained. It was a trawl through some of the most exciting tracks of the past couple of years combined with some classics. Panda Bear AND Devo's 'Get Stiff' in the same mix? Yes please.


4. So Cosmic

2008 was all about the free online mix and by far the best of these was Cut Copy's So Cosmic. Okay, so technically this first hit the streets in 07 and we are beginning to sound like a broken record but it didn't appear online until 2008 and it is just. too. good. to. overlook. Beautiful.  And available here.


3. Cosmic Disco?! Cosmic Rock!!!

A big two-fingered salute to the myriad of Italo / Cosmic disco compilations out this year from Eskimo Recordings with Daniele Baldelli and Marco Dionig, Cosmic Rock was the real deal - a mix by someone that was there, unfettered by the desire to recontextual everything through modern eyes. Sure, at times it may have been cheesy but it was never anything other than awesome.


2. Fabric 41 mixed by Luciano

Sure, it may be little more than a Luciano DJ set commuted to CD but when the material an mixing is this good, who cares? The sublime breakdown into M83's 'Church' remains a highpoint of the year.


1. Notwave

Following the two remixes discs and a quiet period Notwace was a breath of fresh air from DFA. the concept itself was good - imagine what New York's experimental No Wave scene would have sounded like if it had never gone away - but the tunes were what made it. Every one not just different to anything else you'll hear on a compilation released in 2008 but sufficiently different from the rest of the album to make listening a joy.


BP x