2011: The Bluefat Aesthetic

You hate lists / you love lists? Well, here誷 The List: Call it A Lot of Great Music of 2011. You will notice that this particular list is not broken down into categories; we did that on purpose. The idea is, again and again, we誶e past all that genre-fication of music. A lot of people can誸 seem to get beyond that; increasingly, though, a lot more people can and won誸 have a problem with mishmashing all this excellent art together in their daily immersion in sound.

Friends, isn誸 the world entirely made of blue fat? Here is a list of significant (high quality, adventurous) music we heard this year. Seek them out, be curious, you stand a good chance of liking them 行 and if not, well, it誷 not the end of the world.

Or is it?

行 John Payne

400 BlowsSickness and Health (Original Recordings Group)

13 & GodOwn Your Ghost (Anticon)

Absolute Fusioon (Finders Keepers / B-Music)

Adam Rudolph, Go Organic OrchestraCan You Imagine the Sound of a Dream (Meta)

Alexander TuckerDorwytch (Thrill Jockey)

Allen KarpinskiRed Echo (VDSQ)

AM & Shawn LeeCelestial Electric (ESL)

Amir el Saffar Two Rivers Ensemble Anana (PI)

Amon TobinSurge (Ninja Tune)

AncestorsInvisible White EP (Teepee)

Andre WilliamsCan You Deal With It (Bloodshot)

Anika (Stones Throw)

Anna Netrebko, Marianna PizzolatoStabat Mater: A Tribute to Pergolesi (Deutsche Grammophon)

Anthony BraxtonTrillium E (Braxton House)

Arbouretum The Gathering (Thrill Jockey)

Arrica Rose & the ...'s Let Alone Sea (192)

Augustin Hadelich, Robert KulekEchoes of Paris (Avie)

Azalia SnailCelestial Respect (Silber)

AzitaDisturbing the Air (Drag City)

Baby DeeRegifted (Drag City)

BalojiKinchasa Succursale (Crammed Disques)

BeepCity of the Future (Third Culture)

Berne Black & ClineThe Veil (Cryptogramophone)

BlackfieldWelcome to My DNA (Kscope)

The Bo-KeysGot to Get Back (Electraphonic)

BombinoAgadez (Cumbancha)

The Book of KnotsGarden of Fainting Stars (Ipecac)

Boots ElectricHonkey Kong (Dangerbird)

BorisHeavy Rocks and Attention Please (Sargent House)

Boston SpaceshipsLet It Beard (Guided by Voices)

Caithlin de MarraisRed Coats (End Up)

Can Tago Mago 40th anniversary edition (Spoon)

Carlos ParedesGuitarra Portuguesa (Drag City)

CasiokidsAabenbaringen Over Asskammen (Polyvinyl)

Charles Lloyd, Maria FarentouriAthens Concert (ECM)

Chiara String Quartet + MatmosJefferson Friedman Quartets (New Amsterdam)

Chick Corea, Stefano BollaniOrvieto (ECM)

Chico HamiltonRevelation (JS)

Choo Young-WukOldboy soundtrack (Milan)

Christine OwmanThrowing Knives (River Jones)

The Claudia Quintet + 1What Is the Beautiful? (Cuneiform)

Cliffie SwanMemories Come True (Drag City)

ClusterCuriosum (Sky / Bureau B)

Colin Vallon TrioRruga (ECM)

Connie ConverseHow Sad How Lovely (Lau Derette)

CorridorReal Late (Manimal)

Craig TabornAvenging Angel (ECM)

D. Charles Speer & The HelixLeaving the Commonwealth (Thrill Jockey)

DaedelusBespoke (Ninja Tune)

Damon & NaomiFalse Beats and True Hearts (20/20/20)

Daniele LuppiMalos Habitos (Ipecac)

David Kilgour and the Heavy EightsLeft by Soft (Merge)

David Lynch Crazy Clown Time (Play It Again Sam)

Declaime (Dudley Perkins) 行 Self Study (Someothaship)

Deerhoof vs. Evil (Polyvinyl)

Delicate SteveWondervisions (Luaka Bop)

Dengue FeverCannibal Courtship (Concord)

Dennis Coffey (Strut)

Derek SherinianOceana (Music Theories)

DeruSay Goodbye to Useless (Mush)

DessaCastor, The Twin (Doomtree)

DimliteGrimm Reality and My Human Wears Acedia Shreds (Now-Again)

Dino Saluzzi, Anja Lechner, Felix SaluzziNavidad de Los Andes (ECM)

Dirty Projectors and Bj歳kMount Wittenberg Orca (Domino)

Don GereWerewolves on Wheels soundtrack (Finder誷 Keeper誷 / B-Music)

DosDos y Dos (Clenchedwrench)

DunyaA Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul (Dunya, Inc.)

Ebo TaylorLife Stories, Highlife and Afrobeat Classics 1973-80 (Strut)

Eleanor FriedbergerLast Summer (Merge)

Emperor XWestern Transport (Bar None)

Enrico Rava QuintetTribe (ECM)

Eternal Tapestry & Sun ArawNight Gallery (Thrill Jockey)

Father誷 ChildrenWho誷 Gonna Save the World (Numero)

Faust Something Dirty (Bureau B)

Fergus & Geronimo Unlearn (Hardly Art)

Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop)

Fool誷 GoldLeave No Trace (I Am Sound)

Ford & LapotinChannel Pressure (Mexican Summer)

Francis CouturierTarkovsky Quartet (ECM)

Frank FairfieldOut on the Open West (Tompkins Square)

The Galactic Cowboy OrchestraAll Out of Peaches (New Folk)

Gary LucasThe Ordeal of Civility (Knitting Factory)

Gidon Kremer, Giedre Dirvanauskaite 行 Kissine/Tchaikovsky Piano Trios (ECM)

Gilad AtzmonThe Tide Has Changed (World Village)

Girl in a ComaExits & All the Rest (Blackheart)

Giya KancheliThemes From the Songbook (ECM)

Glenn JonesThe Wanting (Thrill Jockey)

The Goldberg Sisters (PIAS)

Googoosh (Finder誷 Keepers / B Music)

Graham ReynoldsThe Difference Engine (Innova)

Greg Ward誷 Phonic Juggernaut (Thirsty Ear)

Gregory SpearsRequiem (New Amsterdam)

GrimesHalifaxa (Arbutus)

Gruff RhysHotel Shampoo (Wichita)

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble, Levon EskenianMusic of Georges I. Gurdjieff (ECM)

Hanni el KhatibWill the Guns Come Out (Innovative Leisure)

Hazmat ModineCicada (Barbes)

Heinz Holliger, Erich Hobarth, Camerata Bern 行 Bach Concertos and Sinfonias for Oboe (ECM)

The High Llamas 行 Talahomi Way (Drag City)

High PlacesOriginal Colors (Thrill Jockey)

Hilary Hahn, Valentina Lisitsa 行 Ives: Four Sonatas (Deutsche Grammophon)

Himalayan BearHard Times (Absolutely Kosher)

The Howling HexVictory Chimp and Wilson Semiconductors (Drag City)

Howlin RainThe Good Life EP (American)

Iggy PopRoadkill Rising (Shout Factory)

Ilhan Ersahin Istanbul SessionsNight Rider (Nublu)

Iro Haarla QuintetVespers (ECM)

Ivan JulianThe Naked Flame (Bloody Hotsak)

IvyAll Hours (Nettwerk)

Jakszyk, Fripp and CollinsA Scarcity of Miracles (Discipline Global Mobile)

James Elkington & Nathan SalsburgAvos (Tompkins Square)

Jean-Claude VannierElectro Rapide and Roses Rouge Sang (Finders Keepers / B-Music)

Jeremy JayDream Diary (K)

The Jigsaw SeenWinterland (Vibrophonic)

Jim WhiteSound of the Americans (Loose Music)

Joan As Police WomanThe Deep Field (PIAS)

Joe Henry 行 Reverie (Anti-)

John MartynHeaven and Earth (Hole in the Rain)

John TejadaParabolas (Kompakt)

John Wesley HardingThe Sound of His Own Voice (Yeproc)

J.RoccSome Cold Rock Stuff (Stones Throw)

Julianna Barwick The Magic Place (Asthmatic Kitty)

Junior BoysIt誷 All True (Domino)

Kashmere Stage BandTexas Thunder Soul 68-74 (Now-Again)

Kate Bush50 Words for Snow (Anti-)

Khatia BuniatishviliFranz Liszt (Sony)

Kid Creole & the Coconuts I Wake Up Screaming (Strut)

Kid KoalaSpace Cadet (Ninja Tune)

Kourosh YaghmaeiBack From the Brink (Now-Again)

KreidlerTank (Bureau B)

Kristjan Jarvi, Absolute EnsembleArabian Nights (Enja)

Krystian Zimerman 行 Bacewicz: Piano Sonata No. 2, Piano Quintets Nos. 1&2 (Deutsche Grammophon)

Kronos Quartet, Pohjonen/KosminenUniko (Ondine)

The Ladybug TransistorClutching Stems (Merge)

LatebirdsLast of the Good Ol Days (Second Motion)

Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden, Paul MotianLive at Birdland (ECM)

The Legendary Pink DotsThe French Collection (BRR)

Leo Brouwer, The Havana String Quartet 行 The String Quartets, String Trio (Zoho)

The Lijadu SistersDanger (Knitting Factory)

Lisa Moore & So Percussion ­行 Martin Bresnick誷 Caprichos Enf噒icos (Cantaloupe)

LiturgyAesthethica (Thrill Jockey)

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Nicholas McGegan 行 Berlioz Les nuits dété, Handel Arias (Philharmonia Baroque)

LumeriansTransmalinnia (Knitting Factory)

M.E.D.Classic (Stones Throw)

Malika ZarraBerber Taxi (Motema)

Marcin Wasilewski TrioFaithful (ECM)

Marianne FaithfullHorses and High Heels (Naive)

Marilyn MazurCelestial Circle (ECM)

Marissa Nadler (Box of Cedar)

Mathias EickSkala (ECM)

Matt HaimovitzMatteo: 270 Years of an Italian Cello (Oxingale)

Matthew BourneMontauk Variations (Leaf)

Matthew Shipp TrioElastic Aspects (Thirsty Ear)

Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Beans, HprizmKnives From Heaven (Thirsty Ear)

Mayer HawthorneImpressions: The Covers EP (Stones Throw)

Meat PuppetsLollipop (Megaforce)

MekonsAncient and Modern (Bloodshot)

MetamonoTape EP (Ho Hum)

Mia Doi Todd Cosmic Ocean Ship (City Zen)

Michael FormanekThe Rub and Spare Change (ECM)

Mighty SparrowSparrowmania! (Strut)

Mike WattHyphenated-Man (Clenchedwrench)

Moholy NagyLike Mirage (Temporary Residence)

Mungolian JetsetSchlungs (Smalltown Supersound)

Na昺 AmorSoundtracks Vol. IV (Amormusic)

The Natural Yogurt BandTuck in With (Stones Throw)

NeptuneSilent Partner (Northern Spy)

New York DollsDancing Backward in High Heels (429)

Nicholas Phan, Myra Huang 行 Britten: Winter Words: Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo (Avie)

Nick LoweThe Old Magic (Yeproc)

Night Beats (Trouble in Mind)

Nils Okland, Sigbjorn ApelandLysoen: Hommage Ole Bull (ECM)

Nous Non PlusFreudian Slip (Aeronaut)

Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael誷 Abbey 行 Gregorian Chant, Requiem (Jade)

Old CalifornioSundrunk Angels (Californio)

Omar Rodriquez LopezTelesterion (RL Productions)

The One AM RadioHeaven Is Attached by a Slender Thread (Dangerbird)

Orchestre PolyrhythmoCotonou Club (Strut)

PapercutsFading Parade (Sub Pop)

Patrick WolfLupercalia (Hideout)

Pedro Soler & Gaspar ClausBarlande (Infine)

PelicanWhat We All Come To Need (Southern Lord)

The Persuasions & FriendsPersuasions of the Dead (Zoho)

P.G. SixStarry Mind (Drag City)

Philharmonia Baroque, Nicholas McGegan 行 Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Violin Concertos (Philharmonia Baroque)

Picastro & NadjaFool, Redeemer (Alien8)

PlugBack on Time (Ninja Tune)

PriestbirdBeachcombers (Benzod)

PterodactylSpills Out (Brah)

PyrolatorNeuland (Bureau B)

Quilt (Mexican Summer)

RaffertieVisual Acuity (Ninja Tune)

Ralph Carney誷 Serious Jass ProjectSeriously (Smog Veil)

Ricardo Villalobos, Max LoderbauerRe ECM (ECM)

The ResidentsLonely Teenager and Dolar Generar (Cryptic Corporation)

Robert PollardLord of the Birdcage (Guided by Voices)

Roedelius/SchneiderStunden (Bureau B)

Roll the DiceIn Dust (Leaf)

Rudresh MahanthappaSamdhi (ACT)

Ry CooderPull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (Nonesuch)

Sachal Studios Orchestra, LahoreJazz Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova (Sachal)

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New YorkEto (Libra)

The Sea and CakeThe Moonlight Butterfly (Thrill Jockey)

SerengetiFamily and Friends (Anticon)

Shabazz PalacesBlack Up (Sub Pop)

Sinnika LangelandThe Land That Is Not (ECM)

Sister CrayonBellow (Manimal)

Six Organs of Admittance Asleep on the Floodplain (Drag City)

The Skull Defekts Peer Amid (Thrill Jockey)

Slide to Freedom20,000 Miles (Northern Blues)

Son LuxWe Are Rising (Anticon)

So Percussion 行 Steve Mackey: It is Time (Cantaloupe)

Social Climbers (Drag City)

Solla Solla: Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and the Electronic Pop Sound of Kollywood 1977-1983 (Finders Keepers / B-Music)

The Soundtrack of Our LivesGolden Greats No. 1 (Akashic)

Stan Getz QuintetsThe Clef & Norgran Albums (Hip-O Select/Verve)

Stefano Battaglia TrioThe River of Anyder (ECM)

The Stepkids (Stones Throw)

The War on DrugsSlave Ambient (Secretly Canadian)

Susan JamesHighways, Ghosts, Hearts and Home (SusanJamesMusic)

Tarwater Inside the Ships (Bureau B)

TecumsehReturn to Everything (Beta Lactam Ring)

The Complete Recordings of Amede Ardoin, 1929-1934 (Tompkins Square)

The Real Tuesday WeldThe Last Werewolf soundtrack (Six Degrees)

Thomas Zehetmair, Ruth KilliusManto and Madrigals (ECM)

Thurston MooreDemolished Thoughts (Matador)

Timothy YoungGravitational Lensing (self-released)

Tony MacAlpine (Sundog)

Travis & FrippLive at Coventry Cathedral (Panegyric)

Ty SegallGoodbye Bread (Drag City)

VariousBoddie Recording Co., Cleveland, Ohio (Numero)

VariousTrue Soul: Deep Sounds From the Left of Stax (Now-Again)

VariousPersian Funk (Secret Stash)

VariousThis May Be My Last Time Singing (Tompkins Square)

VariousBollywood Bloodbath (Finders Keepers / B-Music)

VariousEccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels (Numero)

VariousLife Is Dance! Plugged In Sounds of Wonder (Finders Keepers / B-Music)

VariousNigeria 70: Sweet Times (Strut)

VariousThe Illusionist soundtrack (Milan)

VariousTo What Strange Place: The Music of the Ottoman-American Diaspora, 19161929 (Tompkins Square)

VariousWhaur the Pig Gaed on the Spree: Scottish Recordings by Alan Lomax 1951-1957 (Drag City)

Vas Deferens OrganizationTranscontinental Conspiracy (Niklas)

VetiverThe Errant Charm (Sub Pop)

Vex RuffinCrash Course EP (Stones Throw)

Wadada Leo SmithHeart誷 Reflections (Cuneiform)

Willie WrightTelling the Truth (Domino)

White Hills H-p1 (Thrill Jockey)

Wolfert Brederode QuartetPost Scriptum (ECM)

YellowbirdsThe Color (Royal Potato Family)

YOYLike a Stunt Man (Bureau B)

Baby Drummer

Alexander Tucker

Baby Dee

Howard Grimes, Bo-Keys

Boots Electric

Boris

Christine Owman Colin Vallon Trio

Daedelus by Laura Darling

Ebo Taylor

Fergus & Geronimo

Joan as Police Woman

Kourash Yaghmaei

The Kronos Quartet

Liturgy

Lumerians

Papercuts

The Residents

Six Organs of Admittance

The Stepkids

Willie Wright