As we approach thee end of 2010, we open the gun locker, gaffer tape a flashlight to our pump action shotgun and slide into the vietcong tunnels of what went on this year. There be monsters there.
Being the all encompassing unstandardised weirdoes that we are, we make no attempt at ranking our choices, or to classify them by format. We just about manage to drop them into different buckets which aren’t quite genres, but a chromatic scale of the kirlian aura colours that they impressed upon us.
Let’s begin with black. Things that go slash in the night.
Chris Carter – The Space Between: Optimo music present to us a resurrected artefact from the dawn of our current philosophies. Instrumental sides to the freestyle battles of Gods.
Cold Waves and Minimal Electronics Vol. 1.: An urban survival guide for the modern existential hero. Can be read as a cyberpunk anthology, or as a collection of fashion tips for the cavalcade of the damned.
Florene – Homemade Extacy. Those blips you see breaking the speed limit in your radar, lt. Strumpf, as you swig on your hip flask behind a battered roadside advert in the scorching Texan night, they aren’t your average joy riders. No, they are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they are looking for a rave.
Gatekeeper: Giza.Herr Mannheim, I think that upgrading the operating system of our robotic assembly line with a code sequence downloaded from an anonymous source located somewhere in the sidereal voids wasn’t such a hot idea.
Indian Jewelry: Totaled. Dorothy is bored in her house in the middle of the desert. A whirlwind takes her to a world of impossible colour . She jacks a pickup truck and storms down the yellow paths with her gang of metal men and talking beasts, under a black cloud of flying monkeys. Oz is toppled and anarchy ensues.
Liars: Sisterworld. This is the sort of pop music that fills the airwaves in those desolate places where prepubescent worshippers of a pagan cult slaughtered all the adults.
Married in Berdichev: Readying. Walking down the private collection of the Hunterian museum at night, where beauty stands still, preserved in aspic.
Model Man – Shouldn’t I be Dead by Now? Dry ice and airbrushed laser beams thunder over a brutal coastline as Tron’s less binary characters engage in fatalistic plans for their escape.
Mueran Humanos: S/T. The dead are not quiet in Mueran Humanos’ album. Within, walls continue upright, bricks meet, floors are firm, and doors are sensibly shut. Silence lies steadily against the wood and stone. And we who walk here… walk alone.
Psychic Ills- FRKWYS 4: Doomsday ragas kinaesthetically synchronised with the infra-red output of the Predator’s mask, while manhunting in the Arabian desert.
Puerto Rico Flowers: 4. Me and Bauhaus getting it on in the abandoned abattoir (a love story).
Salem – King Night: Filling 20JFG’s lungs with bewitching dreams since 2008, Salem deliver the album that brushes past any middling concerns of genre partisans. Exquisite beauty lurking beneath waves of delay and syrup.
Scorpion Violente: Uberschleiss. The Gabber Meinhof aren’t a wild bunch of decadent noisemongers hellbent on collapsing society by industrial means. No, they are the research & development department of the survivalist massive, prototyping sonic armaments to be deployed against the undead hordes crawling from an oversubscribed hell.
Teeth of the Sea: Your Mercury. Sexual transcendence you achieve while your flesh dissolves under the leathery wings of the bat people of The Beastmaster.
Xander Harris – Urban Gothic Synth drenched ode to Brian Keene. A mix tape of all our favourite horror scores ripped to shreds and assembled into terrifyingly catchy shapes.