Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Best of 2006

The top 20 albums of 2006:

20. Soul Position - Things Go Better With Rj And Al (Hiphop)
19. Sufjan Stevens - Avalanche (Illinois B-sides) (Indie Folk Rock)
18. Thom Yorke - Eraser (Electronic Post Rock)
17. Dj Andy Smith - Freestyle Mix (Funky Electronic)
16. Ray LaMontagne - Till The Sun Turns Black (Folk Rock)
15. Tool - 10,000 Days (Dark Progressive Hard Rock)
14. Quantic - An Announcement To Answer (Electronic Downtempo Soul)
13. Gotan Project - Lunatico (Electronic Downtempo Jazz Tango)
12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones (Minimalist Raw Rock)
11. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Rodrigo Y Gabriela (Instrumental Guitar Duo)
10. Nightmares On Wax - In A Space Outta Sound (Electronic Downtempo Funk)
9. Murs (With 9th Wonder) - Murray's Revenge (Hiphop)
8. Muse - Black Holes And Revelations (Electronic Rock)
7. Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope (Eclectic Punk Folk)
6. Alice Russell - Under The Munka Moon II (Downtempo Electronic Soul)
5. Incubus - Light Grenades (Electronic Rock)
4. Philippians - Goodnite Life (Indie Electronic Rock)
3. Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence (Downtempo Folk Rock)
2. Ratatat - Classics (and 9 Beats)(Indie Eclectic Rock)
1. Kid Koala - Your Mom's Favorite Dj (Turntablism)
The next ten (21-30):
Lone Wolf And Cub - Wonder, Is Ground On Frost (Post Rock)
Ellen Allien And Apparat - Orchestra Of Bubbles (Electro)
Hybrid - I Choose Noise (Symphonic Breakbeat)
BT - This Binary Universe (5.1 DTS Symphonic Electronica)
Zero 7 - The Garden (Downtempo Electronic)
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (Gospel Rock Hiphop)
Black Grass - A Hundred Days In One (Hiphop)
Booka Shade - Movements (Smooth Progressive House)
Tiny - Starring: Someone Like You (Symphonic Post Rock)
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped (Indie Rock)
The next ten (31-40):
Joanna Newsom - YS (Folk Rock)
Matisyahu - Youth (Reggae Rock)
Bonobo - Days To Come (Downtempo Electronic)
Broken Keys - Gravity (Indie Funk Rock)
Audioslave - Revelations (Hard Rock)
Mono - You Are There (Downtempo Electronic Post Rock)
Jedi Mind Tricks - Servants In Heaven, Kings In Hell (Hiphop)
Quantic - One Offs And B-sides (Electronic Downtempo Funk)
Junkie XL - Today (Electronic)
Beck - The Information (Indie Rock)
The next ten (41-50):
Foo Fighters - Skin And Bones (Acoustic Rock)
Faithless - To All New Arrivals (Triphop)
Beck - Guerolito (Indie Rock)
John Mayer - Continuum (Pop Rock)
King Biscuit Time - Black Gold (Rock Fusion)
Sergio Mendes (With Will.I.Am) - Timeless (Hiphop Bossa Nova)
Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire (Pop Rock)
Beth Orton - Comfort Of Strangers (Folk Rock)
Placebo - Meds (Brit Rock)
Grizlly Bears (Downtempo Folk Rock)
Other albums of note: TM Juke - Forward, Lily Allen - Alright Still, Dub Tribute To Radiohead - I'm Not The Only Record For You, Easy Star All Stars - Radiodread, Ben Harper - Both Sides Of The Gun, Black Crowes - Lost Crowes, Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam, Neil Young - Living With War, Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium, Jack Johnson - Curious George Soundtrack, Cut Chemist - The Audience's Listening, Jurassic 5 - Feedback, Aceyalone And RJD2 - Magnificent City, Triforce Omega - Triforce Omega, Roots Manuva - Alternately Deep, Dr. Octagon - The Return, Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55, Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae, Teddybears - Soft Machine, Zero DB - Bongos Beats And Basslines, Freddie Cruger - Soul Search, Plan B - Who Needs Actions When You've Got Words, Dj Logic - Zen Logic

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Parov Stelar - Makes stellar music

Marcus Furder (Parov Stelar) makes some great downtempo music. He's not afraid to chop up his smooth jazz tones and kicking drum beat with the occasional record scratch, all while never bringing it beyond the realm of the downtempo. Think of it as Groove Armada removed from the British electronica scene, or a jazzier version of Zero 7 without Sia's amazing vocals.

Marcus has released two albums under the moniker Parov Stelar (Rough Cuts, Seven and Storm). He heads up the label you will find his records on, Etage Noir, though there doesn't seem to be much output from the rest of the label roster outside of him.

What I find most amazing about this artist is the seeming contradictions in his music. It seems minimalist and simple, yet engaging and subtly complex. It doesn't fall into the droning monotony of many of the other artist who fall into the downtempo field. His music never seems anxious, yet never seems to stand still, once again drawing references in my mind to Zero 7. Anyway, sorry about being away for so long. I'll try to get myself back into this. Comments and page hits will always encourage.

Parov Stelar - Charade
Parov Stelar - Phong Temp
Parov Stelar - Wintersun

Parov Stelar - Seven And Storm
Parov Stelar - Rough Cuts