Simon Grigg drops his list of records he liked in 2011...
"... Almost no records make every list. In 1979 when I was a kid, Talking Head’s Fear of Music, Gang of 4’s Entertainment, Armed Forces, London Calling, Setting Sons and about a dozen other albums made every single end of year summation.
That was it unless you niched yourself in jazz, classical or country.
No longer – there are literally hundreds of records that are now amongst the best of 2011, and that’s a mighty thing. No longer are a few scribes and a few content-creating corporations defining what we like or should like. There is no need to feel insecure because you simply don’t get the widely touted top album. Or know who they are.
Now you make your own list and the rest be damned."
So... here goes. This is the album list - there's a ton of music I got this year that was digital singles and random stuff. I kinda stopped paying attention to albums.
Charles Bradley - No time for dreaming. Gorgeous soul album that manages to be utterly contemporary in its subject matter. Bradley is playing live in Oz in March, I hope some clever promoter brings him over here. He would kill it.
African Head Charge - Voodoo of the Godsent. AHC reunite with Adrian Sherwood for a cracking good album, with a Dave Dobbyn reference thrown in.
Lee Scratch Perry - Nu sound and version. Mr Perry remixed by contemporary dance producers - Kode9, Congo Natty, Moody boyz. Mala etc. Like AFC, another new release from On U Sound, celebrating 30 years of shaking bassbins across the globe. Long may they continue.
Ikebe shakedown - Tasty self titled debut from Brooklyn afro funk ensemble.
After Hours collection - so much great Northern Soul. 3 CDs of gems
Mr Chop - Switched on - modern moog funk. Dirty filthy grooves. Covers of the JBs, Can, Jimmy Smith and more.
The Yoots - Sing along with the Yoots. Absolutely charming record, reworking well-known Maori tunes as ska and calypso grooves. Not hard to see why this was named as Amplifier's joint Album Of The Year. As Amplifier says "I started smiling when I first heard Sing Along With the Yoots, and now, if I'm feeling a bit blue, or the stresses of running a music retailer in a declining market get to me, I put this album on and for nearly 44 minutes the rest of the world doesn't exist."
Grace Jones - Hurricane dub. Splendid reworking of her most recent album, 2008's Hurricane. Sounds very reminiscent of her work with Sly n Robbie.