The year I migrated north to Glasgow from the relatively tropical climes of Manchester. Jeez, was it that long ago.
BOLA – Fyuti (Skam)
Rumours have been heard that Darrell Fitton is reconsidering his retirement from music making, which is a good thing. Fyuti was his second Bola album, and maintained the momentum set by his debut Soup, expanding his sound into ever more lush introspection.
DEADLY AVENGER – Deep Red (Illicit)
Another case for the missing persons file. Damon Baxter released this excellent collection of filmic breakbeat electronica. Then the label went belly up, and a 2007 follow up called Blossoms and Blood never seemed to materialise. The fabulous “Lopez” was one of my tracks of the decade.
JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON – Englaborn (Touch)
Rereleased a couple of years back by 4AD, Englaborn introduced a composer who deals with a romantic minimalism that’s deeply emotional. The opening setting of a poem by the Roman Catullus is simply stunning.
MURCOF – Martres (Leaf)
The first of five albums released during the decade by Mexican laptop wizard Fernando Corona, and they’re all in my 100. Self-indulgent? Perhaps. But the man just makes brilliant records.
MAX RICHTER – Memoryhouse (BBC Late Junction)
Dusted off and reissued on Fat Cat’s 130701 imprint just last month, Memoryhouse is the perfect introduction to pianist and composer Max Richter. Wistful, nostalgic – like postcards sent from the old Europe that was torn to pieces by two world wars. A world of Kafka, Webern, Berg and expressionist cinema.
RJD2 – Deadringer (Definitive Jux)
He might have emerged from the, um, shadow of Shadow, but Ramble Jon Krohn’s debut is chock full of great moments. Sampledelic hip hop at its finest.
THE STREETS – Original Pirate Material (Locked On 679)
The Observer newspaper made this the album of the decade. I wouldn’t go that far, but I can see their point. It’s certainly one of the most influential. And it still sounds surprisingly fresh and unforced.
UNDERWORLD – A Hundred Days Off (JBO)
They took a lot more than 100 days off following this album. In many ways it looked back to Dubnobasswithmyheadman, combining energetic beats with a kind of nocturnal world-weariness.
TOM WAITS – Alice / Blood Money (Anti)
OK, they were two separate releases, but they came out the same day and as such always seemed to me as being of a pair. So, are Waits and Brennan our age’s Weill and Brecht? Discuss.
WILCO – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch)
I saw the band live around the time Summerteeth came up and thought they stank. I was a huge Uncle Tupelo fan and to see Wilco piss away their legacy as a kind of pseudo Black Crowes pissed me off big time. The records were OK, but not that inspiring. Then they delivered a record that Warners refused to release, were picked up by Nonesuch, and, crucially, replaced Jay Bennett with Nels Cline. The results are there to be heard. When I saw them live again in 2004 they were awesome!