An article by The Silent Ballet Staff


10) Nils Frahm & Anne Müller - Let My Key Be C (Thriller Edit)
Together Nils Frahm and Anne Müller powerfully shatter all expectations with “Let My Key Be C (Thriller Edit)”, the third track from their phenomenal release, 7Fingers. The six-minute track is composed of harmonizing yet restrained instrumentation that inventively traverses a stunning range of delectable sounds. However, this range is directed purposefully and with set limitations, which demonstrates the duo’s rejection of acquiescing to crescendos. The track calmly reflects, and subsequently discards, the often chaotic and predictable nature that is inherent to post-classical works. “Let My Key Be C” is a thrilling example of clever arrangements molded from extreme talent and sincerity. (Brent Dare)

9) Maserati - Oaxaca
Maserati’s latest release, Pyramid of the Sun, is named after a massive man-made structure built in Mesoamerica. Therefore, it is appropriate that one of the record’s strongest tracks refers to an ancient city celebrated for its mystical legends and rich culture. "Oaxaca" is an epic wonder that features digitally-delayed guitars, booming bass lines, and synth-strong segments, courtesy of Steve Moore from space rock act, Zombi. The track also integrates cataclysmic drums which were modified from an original recording of the late Jerry Fuchs. "Oaxaca" is upbeat regarding tempo, and it serves as a fine illustration of the intense instrumental environment that Maserati is capable of crafting. (Brent Dare)

8) Holy Fuck - Latin America
My last.fm account tells me that this is my most played track from 2010, and I do not find that so hard to believe. “Latin America” has all the elements that make an addictive track: great musicianship combined with energy that makes the listener want to jump around throughout the track ’s length. A lot of the credit should definitely go to the intense drumming on show that blends smoothly with the delayed synth lines, pulsing keyboard chords, and an extremely groovy bass line. This is one for fans of both electronica and rock equally; both will come with totally different expectations but will leave equally pleased. (Mohammed Ashraf)

7) 80kidz - Voice
Combining the disco-heavy beats of Justice and the rhythmic sensibilities of Tom Jenkinson's (A.K.A Squarepusher) finest work is the stomping yet intricate "Voice" by Japanese trio 80kidz. Led by a decidedly grungy synth and given even more gravitas by an almost 65dos-style guitar harmony half way through, this track (a rework of which appears on the group's newest album, Weekend Warrior) will have the listener pumped and ready to move without the customary glow sticks or spiked Kool Aid. A true unheralded gem, "Voice" is a behemoth of a track by a band to watch out for in 2011. (Barry Smethurst)

6) Pantha du Prince - Welt Am Draht
With delicate hooks amidst a cathartic assortment of beautiful sounds and noises, “Welt Am Draht” creates a sonic depth all too uncommon in minimal techno. Its ethereal sounds and mesmerizing beats evolve throughout the track, enhancing its tranquil atmosphere with otherworldly grooves and beats. Pantha du Prince fashions up a marvelous collection of sounds into a spectacular whole; it is because of cuts like this that he has become one of the most talked about names in modern electronica. Cohesive, poignant, and catchy, "Welt Am Draht" never has a dull moment. (Tom Meagher)

5) Daníel Bjarnason - Sorrow Conquers Happiness
This track does not build; it attacks. A plume of strings leaves dust in its wake, and the track proceeds with a fierce momentum, like a fire rushing toward its flashpoint. Percussion pounds like precipitation on a dented roof. And yet, interspersed with the heavy rain is the light drizzle of sadness. The track contains an oppressive, violent sorrow, powerful as a phalanx stabbing at happiness' exposed heart. But when happiness falls, are we not satisfied, and if satisfied, then perhaps a bit - dare we say it - happy? In light of such transference, what was once a pyrrhic victory becomes a gleeful defeat. (Richard Allen)

4) Ous Mal - Marraskuu
For music lovers, it is very satisfying to hear that several of the year’s best albums are debuts, simply because it means things are still moving–that things are still able to surprise and inspire us. “Marraskuu” is one of these, a harmonious blend of industrial edge with soothing ambient that, for once, gives us an avant-garde musical view that is not all death and destruction. It revels in a love of the electronic that is ecologic, so to speak, in the manner everything develops at the same time, with noises and melodies growing together as one. This remarkable achievement is what makes this track great, and what makes Ous Mal one of the most promising new artists around. (David Murrieta)

3) Hammock - You Lost the Starlight in Your Eyes
Like Hammock's last entry into our top tracks list, “You Lost the Starlight in Your Eyes” sets itself apart from the majority of Hammock's oeuvre through its use of vocals, but this is where the similarities between the tracks end. “Starlight” is a shimmering, nearly mournful piece that inevitably colors the listener's understanding of the album that developed before it. Hammock's attention to detail comes into focus here: the track is gorgeous on its own, but in context, it manages to transform everything it touches. While the band always rewards the careful and compulsive listener, “Starlight” stands out as an example of the best the band can do. (Zach Mills)

2) World's End Girlfriend - Les Infant du Paradis
This single off World End Girlfriend’s latest opus got more than a few heads turning with its release and stunning accompanying video. It is all that we have come to expect from Maeda, and a little bit more. He has always pushed boundaries, mashed up genres, and consistently blown our minds, but on this track, he gets it absolutely spot on. An anime influenced guitar line and an epic string section, with over-the-top glitchy electronics, move with uninterrupted flow and confidence–making one wonder, could we really ask for more out of a track? The answer is simple: No! (Mohammed Ashraf)

1) 65daysofstatic - Tiger Girl
Throughout the band's prolific seven year life span, 65daysofstatic has created a myriad of songs that stand up as a testament to its brilliance, many of which have ended up on a previous year’s incarnation of this list. I have always found that on every 65dos release there is a defining moment, a track that captures the very essence – innovative, exciting, urgent – of the Sheffield quartet. We Were Exploding Anyway’s moment comes with its epic closing track, the ten-minute behemoth “Tiger Girl”. Beginning with a heavy bassline that harks at the band's increasing move into full-on electronica, a rising synth line pulsates to the frantic beats, before everything is melted together by a melodic, joyful guitar line. The ten minutes fly by, showcasing the grand scale of ambition that few bands could ever achieve. (James Ould)


Top Albums: 100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

Top Tracks: 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1