10. Caribou – Swim [City Slang]
With the aim of making music that sounds like it’s underwater, Caribou succeeded in composing a tight set of blissful electronic excursions. Swim has a warm pulsating heart that bubbles in the excitement of creation and pleasure of knowing just how wonderful it really is.
9. Big Boi – Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty [Def Jam]
In another year of stagnant lifeless hip-hop, only a few artists (The Roots, Drake, Black Milk) dared to push the envelope. Outkast’s Big Boi shined bright with a vibrant set of jams showcasing his jaw-droppingly dope flow over fresh canvasses of juicy, colourful booty-shaking funk.
8. Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner [Ghostly International/Notown]
Very special debut from Mr Panda defying genre classification and rich in glowing textures, live instrumentation and global influences. With echoes of Four Tet, Lucky Shiner is organic, soulful and sublime.
7. Janelle Monae – The Archandroid [Bad Boy]
With unparalleled vision and courage, Ms Monae marched soul music into the future whilst dipping her toes into just about every sound and style of the past. Highly original and gorgeously addictive, Janelle’s voice is a weapon!
6. Darkstar – North [Hyperdub]
Surprising everyone, Darkstar pulled a massive 360 and abandoned their dubstep trappings with a mesmerising set of synth-pop on Kode9’s brilliant Hyperdub label. North captures the strange, shimmering melancholic beauty of a robotic world.
5. ASC – Nothing Is Certain [NonPlus+]
Alongside amazing albums from Sabre, Sunchase and Craggz + Parallel, ASC led the charge for the d‘n’b resurgence in 2010 with his debut LP, dropping minimal half-time two-step rhythms over icy electronics and deeeeeep subs.
4. Actress – Splazsh [Honest Jons]
Strange and ambitious, Splazsh shows no regard for genre labelling, song structure or conventional rhythm with Actress chopping and splicing beats and samples into strange musical algorithms. Absolutely incredible.
3. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy [Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella]
With hands gripping his balls and a middle finger in the air, Yeezy silences the haters by taking a good long hard look at himself and the price fame has brought him. A crazed opus from one of the world’s most interesting performers.
2. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma [Warp]
The Brainfeeder don and leader of the LA beat scene delivered his sophomore set of broken soul, sending his sound shooting into a psychedelic jazz-fuelled stratosphere.
1. Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers [Hotflush]
Short, sweet and perfect, Crooks & Lovers exemplifies all there is to be excited about creative modern bass music. Released on Scuba’s Hotflush, the London duo intertwine organic field recordings, moments of bittersweet beauty, subtle clicking riddims and rumbling sub-bass, sounding like no one else as they morph, twist and redefine the boundaries of dubstep.