Mm. Welcome back to in love with these times, in spite of these times, the fanzine that prefers Biggie Smalls to Bertie Smalls (your crew run run run, your crew run run).
91. Samuel L Session “Blitz” (Wall Music)
92. Mark Rogan “Dark Nights” (Electrax Music)
93. Logotech “LSD” (Ketra)
94. YGG “Don’t Talk Like That” (YGG)
95. Nancy Sin “Room For Rent” (Where It’s At Is Where You Are)
96. Konsumer “Clandestine” (Darknet)
97. MSDMNR “Black Hole Titanic” (MSDMNR)
98. P Money “Stereotype” (Originators)
99. Benji303 and the Welsh Connektion "Fight Against The System (Tories Are Scum!)" (Flatlife Records)
100. Krag “Black Walls” (Sick Weird Rough)
Don’t think we don’t know how arbitrary a “singles of the year” list is. For a start, some of the best songs of the year weren’t singles: “How Is This A Cure?”, “Coastal California 1985”, “The Comedians”, “Blockhead Fuck Off” (and we’re only half-joking on the last one).
Plus, the nature of these things means that even if you’re anoraky enough to compile a top 100, there are plenty of top-notch singles that won’t make the cut, and this year for us those included platters from TMSV, Manhattan Love Suicides, Justin Timberlake, Eastone, Matthew Bomb, Jaydan, the Last Skeptik, Northern Exchange, Yumi Yumi Hip Hop, Heist & Pleasure, the high-cheekboned English-tinged pop of the Holiday Crowd, a brace on High Beats from Desi Klakar and Jyoti Hussainpuriya, Curtis Mack, Ruff Sqwad (well, the remix anyway), Fudz, Snowy Danger, a couple from Flowdan, our man Sceptical C, a number of OddBoxers, Massive Attack, Chase & Status (don’t panic - it was C&S featuring Novelist), two from Darmec, AJ Tracey, about twelve from Corvum, Stephen’s Store, Seafang, Ghetts x Rude Kid, Hard Left, Avgusto, Gabeen, the Haywains doing Xmas, Milkplant, Sopik, Grebenstein and what should have been the dream team of Newham Generals vs Wiley.
Turning, then, to the giddy heights of the 91-100 slot, the only non-European tune in the batch is Nancy Sin’s mid-fi “Velocity Girl”-length “Room For Rent”, which bounces off the slower-burn melodo-jangle of it’s B-side, “Again And Again”, to nicely charming / chiming effect. Elsewhere here, charming chimes are elbowed out of the way by room-shivering bass frequencies and layered subterranean synth, not least with Italian master Logotech BACK at the controls and for some reason rolling about 20bpm higher than usual, whilst composing ditties with titles like “Lisergic Sound Dimension”. No matter: as you’d expect, his EP is highly acidised techno, great for rolling about on the floor to when you feel like rejecting all things alkaline. Nearly as frenetic is Benji303 and the Welsh Connektion’s entertainingly ace "Fight Against The System”, much as the subtitle to it makes us want to ruffle their hair a bit and coo “Aw, bless…”
The rest of this batch shines with slightly less mayhemic outings from Swede Samuel L Session (a blue riband early hours club tune on Berlin’s Wall Music), Belfast’s coming-up-on-the-rails Mark Rogan, Frankfurt’s MSDMNR aka Miro Pajic (who devotes some 13 minutes of his “Black Hole Titanic” EP to the title track), the mysterious Konsumer (who is, in the way of such things, apparently the alter ego of somebody whom we might possibly have heard of), and the ultra-mysterious Krag (“ultra” meaning that we’re not even sure whether [s]he is an alias at all). And just to make sure we’ve covered everyone, London's bright young grime things YGG and prime Rinser P Money get a look-in, too. The latter’s “Stereotype” suggests, as it oscillates between anger and thoughtfulness, that the way the Met treat young black men hasn’t really moved on since Smiley Culture’s “Police Officer”: given that was well over 30 years ago, there’s reason for us all to be fairly ashamed.