PRINT December 2010

Music: Best of 2010

Gudrun Gut

Cover art for Four Tet’s There Is Love in You (Domino, 2010).

1 Four Tet, There Is Love in You (Domino) With great production and sensitive programming/writing, this album is a must. The sound repetition used here reminds me of the Swedish band the Field (in a good way). I had the record playing nonstop all summer.

2 Thomas Fehlmann, Gute Luft (Kompakt) In 2008, eighty camera teams set out to film Berlin, following all kinds of people for twenty-four hours straight. This past September, director Volker Heise’s resulting 24h Berlin was broadcast, uninterrupted, on German TV. Thomas Fehlmann scored parts of the documentary and compiled for this Kompakt release many of the tracks from the film, along with several others that never made the cut. As a record, it’s very good daytime listening—not just “good air,” but Gute Berliner Luft!

3 Jackmate & the Missing Linkx, “Täterätä,” Discodisco2 (Pampa) The best bass line I’ve heard this year is my two little cats, Moon and Caruso, purring away on my lap. But the one on this track is pretty great, too.

4 Wolfgang Voigt, Freiland Klaviermusik (Profan) I love Wolfgang’s courage and have been following his work since he started Gas (which sounds like glam-rock Wagner). True to Kraftwerk’s motto Musik als Träger von Ideen (Music as a transporter of ideas), this new electronic piano-based record pushes into even more remote territory.

5 Natalie Beridze Ambient, elegant, brilliantly melancholic, Natalie Beridze, aka TBA, aka Tusia Beridze is an exceptional artist from Tbilisi, Georgia. In 2003, the German techno label Max Ernst released her first full-length album and from her work with Goslab (a Tbilisi-based arts collective) to the tracks she put out on volume 1 of 4 Women No Cry (Monika, 2005) to her recent collaboration with experimental pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto, I love everything she’s done.

Gonjasufi, Mojave Desert outside Las Vegas, 2010. Photo: Tomas Muscionico.

6 Harmonious Thelonious, Talking (Italic) Here, electro mastermind and cofounder of Italic Recordings Stefan Schwander (aka Antonelli) carries the serial minimalist tradition of Kraut/NEU! forward with an Afro-industrial-infused sense of the contemporary—and it’s refreshingly good.

7 Delia Derbyshire Early electronic composer and musician Derbyshire was the subject of a major BBC Radio 4 documentary this past spring following the recent reissue of her 1971 BBC Radiophonic Music. I came across her work via YouTube a few years ago and am glad she’s back in the public consciousness.

8 White Noise, An Electric Storm (Island) The rediscovery of the year for me. Although this record was recorded by Derbyshire and fellow BBC Radiophonic Workshop composer Brian Hodgson (and produced by David Vorhaus) in 1968, it sounds anything but old or out of sync. Fresh, sexy, chaotic, and wild, and using one of the very first synths, it goes really well with all of the new stuff coming out of LA right now.

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9 Dublab in Los Angeles I love the Los Angeles music scene—especially radio and the Plug Research label crew. It’s full of so many free-minded, inventive people making great music, like Dntel, Daedelus, and Flying Lotus. What counts here is more their attitude than any specific sound—and one that’s far away from Hollywood fake. Check out Gonjasufi’s A Sufi and a Killer (Warp, 2010).

10 Klaus Weber and Martin Ebner, Eyetree, 2010 (UM Festival 2010, Sternhagen Gut, Germany) Taking place every other year, this art/music/literature/film event is set in the countryside about an hour’s drive northeast of Berlin. It’s wonderful to see culture mixing with the trees and meadows, and this work by Weber and Ebner—two big metal eyes suspended from branches, lost in a weeping willow—couldn’t have been better sited. Fantastic!

Gudrun Gut is a composer and a founding member of experimental punk/techno bands Mania D, Malaria!, and Matador. Creator of the German record label Monika Enterprise, she also heads the Berlin-based collective and new-music radio show Ocean Club (Radioeins, 95.8 FM). Greie Gut Fraktion, her new project with Antye Greie/AGF, released Baustelle (construction site) on Monika this past summer.

For Bjorn Copeland, Masami Akita, and Eszter Balint's music picks of 2010, pick up the December issue of Artforum.