Monday, December 12, 2005

Number 23: Kompakt Records

If Kompakt Records and it's roster did not exist someone in Germany would've had to invent it. It's the Mowtown of modern glitchy German techno. Some say placing a label on a list of artists and bands is unseemly. I disagree to a point. Surely to put any number of effective but not entirely well defined indie labels would be inadvisable. What Kompakt has is a stuborn sort of cohesion amongst it's artists each different and special, but also each pushing and pulling at the same musical ideas.

Kompakt' Total 6 was the electronic album of the year. Minimal and dancey with a depth that is hard to really find but is harder still to ignore. Kompakt are effectively carrying on for the Kraftwerks and Morodors of our past. They are also amongst the only straight electronic operations still making strikingly relavent always forward looking music.

Number 24: Ghostface

Ghostface spent much of this year planting seeds for new collaborations and greener solo pastures. He also established himself as the only person on Def Jam willing to mine the deep underground. Sure Kanye West gave the universally renowned Common som beats but it was Ghostface who tapped the underground's top mic slayer to make him some beats.

It was also Ghostface keeping the Wu Tang's chaotic spirit alive as shows decended into near riots. Ghostface could have bought in and sold out years ago. He hasn't. He could exploit the Def Jam promotional budget make a couple of songs with Ashanti singing the hook and buy himself a small yacht. He hasn't. But any day now the mainstream is going to find Ghostface in a possition where they are willing to accept him and when that happens we'll all join hands nad sing... "Run, If you sell drugs ina school zone..."