Reader Best of 2010: Ian of Different Kitchen

Name: Ian
Location: Toronto, Canada
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Art of Fresh – When the Night Comes In (album)

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Produced by underrated beatsmith and BBE records artist, Slakah the Beatchild, this full-length collab project with fellow Toronto MC, D.O. Gibson is a soulful rejoinder to the barrage of electro-flavored, hipster club rap that has flooded the market in the past few years. This is hip-house for deep house holdouts!

N*E*R*D – Nothing (album)

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A lot of my friends say their previous ‘Seeing Sounds’ album was better but to my ears, this album was fantastic. Unfortunately the former sentiment seems to be in greater supply and has led many to sleep on this album.
I know on some level, Pharrell wants N*E*R*D to be as big as the B.E.P. but he may have to settle for being the urban alternative Brian Jonestown Massacre to’s Dandy Warhols (except with a side-career as one of pop music’s top producers and hit-makers to make up for it instead of the the crushing drug and self-sabotage issues that BJM’s Anton Newcombe was saddled with!)

Arthur Lewis – If We Were (EP)

I discovered this one completely by accident but I’m glad I did: this is some incredibly beautiful and well-produced alternative soul music, if I’m forced to put a label on it. Is it possible for music to feel both lo-fi  & intimate and lush & deep at the same time? If this doesn’t move you on some level, I don’t even know what to say!

Opolopo – Voltage Controlled Feelings (album)

Voltage Controlled Feelings by opolopo

Incredibly well-produced, seriously funky 80’s throwback style electro jazz-funk sounds for those who dig such stuff. If you think Chromeo is the the last word in this sound, you’re just being lazy! RayBans and espadrilles optional while listening to this one…..

Massive Attack –  Heligoland (album)

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I’d kind of written off Massive Attack as past their prime with the last album but this was a total return to form. Not ground-breaking by any stretch but the group’s been so far ahead of everyone else for so long that, now they’re fully comfortable in their own skin, they have perfected their dark, beat-driven sound, laying out a template and setting an incredibly high standard for those who will invariably aspire to follow them in the future.