8. Thomas Adès – Asyla: 1: ‘Ecstasio’ (Daniel Barenboim; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra)
Asyla’s opening movement is named after the rave culture’s drug of choice, and its house beat harks back to Adès’ experience of London clubs at the turn of the decade. Understandably, he worried he “might never be taken seriously again” by the classical establishment.
9. Final Fantasy – ‘Song Song Song’
Another compositional prodigy, Owen Pallett was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons to produce chamber indie record He Poos Clouds. Memorable live, ‘Song Song Song’ builds up from a percussive opening – built around wood-knocked violin strings – to a melodic close.
10. Deerhoof – ‘Panda Panda Panda’
The California-based art punks fire songs out like a piece of training equipment fires out tennis balls: at all angles and with minimal uniformity. Greg Saunier and wife Satomi Matsuzaki serve up eccentric drums and vocals in this ursine cut from 2003’s Apple O’.
11. Björk ft. Timbaland – ‘Innocence’
One of Björk’s less likely collaborations, ‘Innocence’ is a collision of her unique vision with mainstream production values. Bleeping synths and soaring vocals combine with a sampled grunt to provide an archetype for the Psych-Haka subgenre of Icelandic avant-pop.
12. The Knife – ‘One Hit’
The half-alien, half-Swedish pair shun the spotlight, but came to minor prominence after José González’s cover of their song ‘Heartbeats’ went global. An idiosyncratic electro track about repression, the likes of ‘One Hit’ keep them at a safe distance from commercial radio.
13. Midlake – ‘Branches’
Considering Midlake was formed by a quintet of jazz students based in Texas, you wouldn’t expect them to produce songs of Fleetwood Mac-informed folk. Still, they did, and ‘Branches’ is at the charming, restrained heart of 2006’s The Trials of Van Occupanther.
14. Deerhunter – ‘Earthquake’
The stoned toast of Pitchfork hipsters for some time, the spaced out opener from Deerhunter’s latest justifies the hype. Bradford Cox sings beneath a lazy beat, while ebbing and flowing guitar effects lead the track. You’ll wonder where the five minutes went.
*tracks missing on we7.