Yer Mam!'s Top 100 Tunes Of 2008: 90-81
One of those you can file under 'shouldn't work, but it does', Wild Rumpus is a startlingly good collaboration between Bitches Brew head, DJ Cosmo and former Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band guitarist, Gary Lucas. Wild Rumpus make wonderful music, however, that touches on dub, country, surf and disco and 'Purple Somersault' is their outlandish zenith to-date. Essentially an ostentatious guitar freakout, complete with a drum solo (*fist pump*), 'Purple Somersault' eskimo-rolls onto the dancefloor with grace and effortless good-time verve. A balearic classic in the making. Um... gnarly, dude.
89. Kode9 Vs. LD - Bad (Hyperdub)
In which Kode9 drops The Spaceape, hooks up with LD from Transition and gets on the funky bandwagon. Well, that last part is maybe a little wide of the mark as this is still definably dubstep in nature, but there's no doubting that the soca-fied percussion is a nod to the year's most oddly successful mini-genre. This is a pretty big step outside of the comfort zone for Kode9 but upfront and clubby fits him like a glove. A bit different from his usual half-stepping darkness then but as a marker of the scene's healthy diversification these past twelve months, it's blinding.
88. The Dirtbombs - La Fin Du Monde (In The Red)
To be honest, I thought that We Have You Surrounded, Dirtbombs' latest full-length, was a little of a disappointment. A fun disappointment, but a letdown all the same. Every time they bring out a new album it seems, they get more polished and further away from what made them great in the first place (for the record, my favourite Dirtbombs album is their singles collection, If You Don't Already Have A Look, which probably speaks volumes). However, there are always one or two great moments on a Dirtbombs release and this French-sung closer is as bright and vivacious, yet rueful and apocalyptic as they've ever sounded. A full album of songs like 'La Fin Du Monde' every two years wouldn't be too much to ask would it?
Bonus: 'Wreck My Flow' live in Philly.
87. Fulgeance - Revenge Of The Nerd (All City)
Parisian beatmaster, Fulgeance has emerged, for me, as one of the most exciting purveyors of head-nod glitch around. His Low Club mini-album is on heavy, heavy, heavy rotation 'round these parts but the best track he's put out in 2008 is still this bumptious little beauty, which headed his installment in the magnificent All City beatstrumental 7" series. Skippy as fuck, with about eight different hooks all vying for headspace at the same time, this is attention-deficient future funk at its most fun and lively. Watch this guy take over your headphones in '09.
86. The Night Marchers - In Dead Sleep (I Snore ZZZZ) (Vagrant)
One of the more unfettered joys of rock 'n' roll is John 'Speedo' Reis Jr. in full flow and this turbocharged rocker from his new band, The Night Marchers finds him in full-on, petrol-gargling, knife-fighting mood. The guitars sound as murderous as ever, while cascading, hard-hitting drums batter away in the background. It's not got a hell of a lot to say but music like this doesn't have to. It's bludgeoning, careening, violent punk-rock at its thrilling best.
The Night Marchers - In Dead Sleep (I Snore ZZZZ) (mp3)
Bonus: 'In Dead Sleep' live in a parking lot.
Russel Whyte, aka Rustie, has already coined a rather apt term for the music he creates, with 'aquacrunk', as 'Zig-Zag' is a slathering, submerged future-funk beast. This is the kind of music Timbaland would be making if he wasn't to busy manning the boards for AOR dross-peddlers like One Republic. It's about time someone picked up the torch and ran with it and the lusty, frenzied synths and acid lines, coupled with tempo-changing r'n'b beats of 'Zig-Zag' show that it's safe in Rustie's hands.
Rustie - Zig-Zag (mp3)
Bonus: Pivot - In The Blood (Rustie Remix) (mp3)
A gloriously scruffy cover of The End's classic bubblegum-punk anthem from Tennessee's Cheap Time here. I try not to put cover versions on this list but this good-time thrill ride is too good not to include. The sound of young, alcohol-fuelled misadventures in little over two minutes. So mood-elevating, they should sell it in pill form, 'People Talk' is a fuckin' riot.
Cheap Time - People Talk (mp3)
Bonus: 'People Talk' live in Arizona.
Ah, piano house. Earlier in the year, I tipped the black-and-whites to make an allcomer-smashing return to the genre. It didn't really happen, but a few hardy souls decided to bring the ebony and ivory back in play in the field of four-to-the-floor. L.S.B.'s Pete Herbert and BabyG Fernandez weld a maddeningly upfront piano lick to one of the toughest kick and snare combinations this year. Add in the lairy horns and it's a White Island tour de force. Bring back the summer of love.
L.S.B. - Loco Motion (mp3)
Bonus: Chic - NY Attitude (L.S.B. Edit) (mp3)
Killer Mike doesn't do subtle. 'God In The Building' is a powerhouse slab of prime braggadocio (the 'God' of the title is Mike, himself, of course) with choral moans, explosive Dirty South beats and some of the finest MC-ing of 2008 that make Mike's messianic boasts seem not too far off the mark. The top dog in (righteously) independent rap today just got that little bit more fierce.
Killer Mike - God In The Building (mp3)
Bonus: Read a fantastic interview with the man himself over at Hip Hop DX.
From Scotland, via Detroit comes this Moodymann-like piece of modern deep house. Prime Numbers have released some of the classiest, most soulful house music of the last year and this ecstatic little groover is the best thing they've put out yet. Much like their label head and kindred spirit, Trus'me, Linkwood breathe life into a genre that's been missing, presumed done for the most part recently. Deep, but not at all stupor-inducing, house music is in good health north of the border.
Linkwood - R.I.P. (mp3)
Bonus: Linkwood - Hear The Sun (mp3)