51. Flying Lotus ft. Thundercat – ‘MmmHmm’
On his largely through-composed album, Cosmogramma, Steven Ellison’s glitchy IDM is at its freest and most expansive. ‘MmmHmm’ is the centrepiece, its smooth samples dragging the experience into focus after a preceding free jazz-infused section.
52. Jamie Lidell – ‘I Wanna Be Your Telephone’
Warp’s pillar of soultronica (if the world is quite ready to recognise the genre), Lidell flirted with the mainstream on 2008’s ear-friendly Jim. On this year’s return, he reverts to a harsher pairing of beats with soul vocals, shown with typical boldness here.
53. Everything Everything – ‘Photoshop Handsome’
Hyped by factions of the indie community, Everything Everything have been discarded by some critics for tacking together too many ideas in their frenetic style. They’re undeniably clever, and, with songs like ‘Photoshop Handsome’, they’ve created an album of the moment.
54. Max Tundra – ‘Will Get Fooled Again’
Not unlike Everything Everything, Tundra promotes great fun with spasmodic 21st Century synthpop. Old school keyboards mesh eccentrically with samples, the high energy track recalling Zappa in parts.
55. Spoon – ‘Who Makes Your Money’
Oregon’s premier indie-deconstructors, Spoon have spent seven albums stripping back the rock song to its bare bones. Here, a concise structure of synths, bass and beats draws the attention towards Britt Daniel’s clipped lyrics.
56. Vampire Weekend – ‘I Think UR a Contra’
Known for and generally judged on the basis of their Afrobeat-approximating pop songs, the coda of this year’s Contra album is something of a departure. Although it edges away from the tight drumming of their usual output, it’s a controlled closer.
*tracks missing on we7.