It's August: a good time to take a breath - now that everything is slowing down (fewer announcements, fewer releases, all ready for the most important part of the year – September, October and November) - and take the opportunity to think about what 2011 has brought us so far. For example, if the year ended now, which albums would be the best ones? And which EPs? And what about the videos? The songs?
Without wanting to claim definitiveness, in the coming days we'll be giving you an overview of the best of this year so far. They will be lists in alphabetical or chronological order (there will be no number ones until December) that will allow for some order in the chaos of releases and ideas. It will be like stock market index: a clue as to what is working well, without the guarantee that those values will remain unchanged until the end of the year. A few of the records may burn up before that and other, better records will be released. Today we'll start with the albums PlayGround likes the most, in chronological order. As said, this is today's index; it might all be different four months from now.
Tennis: “Cape Dory” (Fat Possum)
Destroyer: “Kaputt” (Merge)
James Blake: “James Blake” (Atlas-A&M-Universal)
Ghostpoet: “Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam” (Brownswood)
PJ Harvey: “Let England Shake” (Island-Universal)
Nicolas Jaar: “Space Is Only Noise” (Circus Company)
Peaking Lights: “936” (Not Not Fun)
Tim Hecker: “Ravedeath 1972” (Kranky)
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX: “We’re New Here” (XL Recordings)
Siriusmo: “Mosaik” (Monkeytown)
Julianna Barwick: “The Magic Place” (Asthmatic Kitty)
Toro y Moi: “Underneath The Pine” (Carpark Records)
Dustin O’Halloran: “Lumiere” (Fat Cat)
Lykke Li: “Wounded Rhymes” (LL Records-Atlantic)
Cyclo.: “id” (Raster-Noton)
Egyptrixx: “Bible Eyes” (Night Slugs)
FaltyDL: “You Stand Uncertain” (Planet Mu)
Hype Williams: “One Nation” (Hippos In Tanks)
The Weeknd: “House Of Balloons” (Self-Released)
Frank Ocean: “Nostalgia.Ultra” (Self-Released)
Dirty Beaches: “Badlands” (Zoo Music)
Britney Spears: “Femme Fatale” (Jive)
Metronomy: “The English Riviera” (Because Music)
Panda Bear: “Tomboy” (Paw Tracks)
Grouper: “A I A: Dream Loss / A I A: Alien Observer” (Yellow Electric)
Kode9 & The Spaceape: “Black Sun” (Hyperdub)
tUnE-yArDs: “w h o k i l l” (4AD)
Robag Wruhme: “Thora Vukk” (Pampa Recordings)
Hyetal: “Broadcast” (Black Acre)
Fleet Foxes: “Helpnessless Blues” (Sub Pop)
Gang Gang Dance: “Eye Contact” (4AD)
Mountains: “Air Museum” (Thrill Jockey)
Tyler, The Creator: “Goblin” (XL Recordings)
EMA: “Past Life Martyred Saints” (Souterrain Transmissions)
The Caretaker: “An Empty Bliss Beyond This World” (History Always Favours The Winners)
Dalglish: “Benacah Drann Dreachd” (Highpoint Lowlife)
Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto: “Summvs” (Raster-Noton)
Kreng: “Grimoire” (Miasmah)
Fasenuova: “A La Quinta Hoguera” (Discos Humeantes)
Surgeon: “Breaking The Frame” (Dynamic Tension)
AraabMuzik: “Electronic Dream” (Duke Productions)
Bon Iver: “Bon Iver” (Jagjaguwar-4AD)
John Maus: “We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves”
Motion Sickness Of Time Travel: “Luminaries & Synastry” (Digitalis)
Biosphere: “N-Plants” (Touch)
Lil B: “I’m Gay (I’m Happy)” (BasedWorld)
The Advisory Circle: “As The Crow Flies” (Ghost Box)
Washed Out: “Within & Without” (Weird World-Domino)
Prurient: “Bermuda Drain” (Hydra Head)
Machinedrum: “Room(s)” (Planet Mu)
At this time of year, it's a good point to take a breath and reflect on what this season has brought us so far. Today, we list the best albums, according to PlayGround.
“Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam”
"Let England Shake"
"Space Is Only Noise"
"We’re New Here"
"The Magic Place"
"Underneath The Pine"
"House Of Balloons"
"The English Riviera"
"A I A: Dream Loss / A I A: Alien Observer"
"Past Life Martyred Saints"
"A La Quinta Hoguera"