Souldonuts best of 2011

This list comprises my favorite thought provoking, soulful, funky, afrobeat, inspirational, and or bangin’ records or reissues of the year for 2011.  I like to place records in that category into the souldonuts bin, where they usually require more personal research, long hours of exposure, and repeated play over the radio airwaves…but first these insightful words about lists from the art book Cream 3 (Phaidon Press)…

…curator Nancy Spector says”I’ve been musing over America’s mania for list-making, from People magazine’s ‘most beautiful people of the year,’ MTV’s ‘sexiest videos,’ and’s compilations of shoppers’ personal obsessions, to (on a more grave note) the FBI’s most wanted list and President Bush’s infamous ‘Axis of Evil’ inventory…Our ‘top-ten’ lists provide exposure, institutional validation and fodder for the next round of market speculators looking for the ‘new.’  But this model is not specific to Cream 3.  I suppose almost every aspect of our curatorial practice intersects with this (economic) reality.  That said, there are compelling reasons to participate in a project such as this, namely that the the Cream books reach a broad public and that hopefully more than a few members of that public will come to understand contemporary art differently-as a realm of possibility and provocation rather than an inscrutable or elitist entity.”

I would say that the same is true about so-called indie music and the relationship to pretentious hipsters.

Gilda Williams goes on to say…”Is list-making, however odious and banal or creatively approached, somehow unavoidable in the presentation of new art?  One of the ideas behind Cream is, in making it an open-ended project renewed every two to three years, to result in a kind of living, growing archive rather than a ‘definitive 100,’…”

During this season of the end-of-the-year list it is important to remember those words…and avoid the ‘definitive 100,’ approach to life.  As Ferris Bueller would say, “take time to stop and smell the roses.”

I’m just offering up the 10 best in no particular order…that’s it.  Not as over the top as some other lists.

Helado Negro-Canta Lechuza

Helado Negro-Oreja De Arena (Alternate)

Helados Negros-Calculas (Alternate)

Helado Negro-Regresa

Slim Moore and the Mar-kays-Introducing…

Slim Moore and the Markays-How Long

Slim Moore and the Markays-Is It Because I’m Black

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX-We’re New Here

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX-NY Is Killing Me

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX-My Cloud

Big K.R.I.T.-Return To 4eva/The Last King 2

Big K.R.I.T.Comin’ From (Feat. Slim Thug & J-Dawg)

Big K.R.I.T.- Dreamin’

tUnE-yArDs-Who Kill

tUnE-yArDs-You Yes You


bonus:  tUnE-yArDs-Bizness (Blackbird Blackbird Remix)

Charles Bradley and the Menahan St. Band-No Time For Dreaming

Charles Bradley and the Menahan St. Band-Heart Of Gold

Charles Bradley-In You (I Found A Love)

Charles Bradley and the Menahan St. Band-Stay Away

Toro Y Moi-Underneath the Pine

Toro Y Moi-Still Sound

Toro Y Moi-New Beat

Ocote Soul Sounds-Taurus

Ocote Soul Sounds-Pathways

Ocote Soul Sounds-STTP (Speak Truth To Power)

Holiday Shores-New Masses For Squaw Peak

Holiday Shores-Spells

Holiday Shores-Threepeat Got Old

The Stepkids-S/T

The Stepkids-Shadows on Behalf

The Stepkids-Legend in My Own Mind

…and the honorable mentions are;

Fool’s Gold-Leave No Trace

Rob-Funky Rob Way (reissue: Analog Africa)

Nicolas Jaar-Space Is Only Noise

Cities Aviv-Digital Lows

El Rego-El Rego

Mayer Hawthorne-How Do You Do

Have a great 2012 everyone!!

About spinladen

DJ at KWVA University of Oregon campus radio, record collector, artist.
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