Various maladies and having to write many words into wee white boxes for work have delayed the end-of-year lists somewhat, but here we are, squeaking in before the annual deadline.
Continuing the trend, I'm not bothering with a separate list of albums, but instead giving the briefest of shout-outs to the lovely long-players from Machinedrum (AKA tstewart), Daphni, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kerri Chandler, Theo Kottis, Danger Mouse and Black Thought, Beyonce, Plaid and Bibio; among many others I'm sure I've forgotten.
And now, the nifty fifty, of my favourite songs from 2022:
50. Jockstrap - Greatest Hits
A weird little number I heard on Steve Lamaq's review show (neither DJ Yoda, George Fitzgerald or Trevor Horn scored it particularly highly) and has been taking up space rent free in my head ever since - particularly the melody and vocal from a minute in to about 1.30.
49. Arcade Fire - Age of Anxiety II
Another fairly average album and confirmation of Win Butler being a wrong-un' seem to have put paid to the band's future, which is a bit of a shame, as they were great live, and as this track demonstrates, still capable of making great music.
48. Sebastien Tellier - Odyssee (Soulwax remix)
One of two sterling re-rubs from the Dewaele brothers, this slinky, sexy little number is a perfect mid set/playlist suspense builder.
47. Tangerine Dream - Continuum
What a treat that these lads turned up again, and with such a stunning album to boot. This is my favourite cut of many new options which sound as good as anything they've ever done.
46. Hot Chip - Down
This ever-shapeshifting bunch of ageing hipsters have only gone and done it again. Every time I'm ready to write them off, they come back with a pop song as good as this.
45. Mitski - Love Me More
Talking of great pop music, the highlight of this year's Laurel Hell album, this is a synth and piano-driven beauty which feels like a glorious late eighties throwback.
44. Jack White and Q-Tip - Hi De Ho
Two of my favourite musicians combining perhaps could have produced even more stellar results, but to be fair they've negotiated the tricky rock/rap collab with some aplomb.
43. Metronomy - It's Good to be Back
Perennial favourites of mine, Jo Mount's gang returned in 2022 with another enjoyable record - this being my favourite.
42. Orbital - Are We Here? (Dusky remix)
I remain distinctly unimpressed by the Hartnoll brothers' recent output, but getting a bunch of new remixes of their classic work seems like a perfectly fitting way to mark 30 years in the game. This breaks-y edit is probably my pick of the bunch.
41. Trentemoller - Glow
Not a vintage album from Anders by any means, but tracks like this prove he's not lost the production chops that keep me listening to his output.
40. Unkle - Way Back Home (Ronin edit)
A perfectly passable bit of Shadow-era-sounding trip hop from one of the much-maligned genre's lynchpins.
39. Lone - Poltergeist
Clearly a fan of their output, this beautiful Boards of Canada clone is about as close as we're getting until the Sandison's pull their finger out.
38. KH - Looking at Your Pager
Deftly skirting that line between really annoying and ear-wormingly brilliant, this wee Kieran Hebden joint opens up into something really gorgeous.
37. The Smoke - The Smile
Sometimes simplicity really is the key. There's not much too this early single from the Radiohead spin-off, but what's there does more than enough.
36. Kelela - Washed Away
The album teaser was something of an event in itself, combining sumptuous visuals with her soaring voice and soothing synth pads.
35. Eris Drew - Heartbeat
This delightful single for Moxie's On Loop label exemplifies all that's great about Drew's cut and paste production style.
34. Gold Panda - I've Felt Better (Than I Do Now)
The first new music from Derwin Schlecker since 2019 - to be fair, apparently he had a brain haemorrhage at some point in the intervening years - this chopped up, loopy little bouncer was a nice précis of the album that came later in 2022.
33. Jungle - Good Times / Problemz
Even in a fallow year, Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland can still mine gold like this.
32. Leon Vynehall - Sugar Slip (The Lick)
The lead track for Vynehall’s Fabric Presents mix is a heady mix of skippy beats, sub-bass, chopped vocals and catchy melodies.
31. Ulrich Schnauss - Ascent From The Circle
As a long-time Ulrich fan, Spotify feeds me his new stuff in my Release Radar. Turns out this is reissue of a deeeep cut from 1997, but fair play to the algorithm, I wouldn't have known about it otherwise - 10 minutes of recursive joy.
30. HAAi and Jon Hopkins - Baby, We're Ascending
A match made in heaven, almost literally it feels, as this track soars to ethereal heights.
29. Joy Orbison - Pinky Ring
Joy O doing what he does best. A squelchy, seductive, low-end heater.
28. Plaid - C.A.
The best thing off a bountiful new LP, this is Andy Turner and Ed Handley at their mesmeric peak.
27. Space Dimension Controller - Space Grunt
Propulsive space techno from big Jack Hamill.
26. Sault - Time is Precious
I'm starting to grow a bit weary of the whole mysterious artifice of this bunch, especially when it all goes god is love; but when the music is this good they can probably get a pass for the time being.
25. Jacques Greene - Taurus
This breakbeat beauty feels like it could have been made anytime in the last 30 years, as at home on an early Global Underground comp as it could be on some streaming radio show.
24. Daphni - Cloudy / Clavicle
Not content with his recent Caribou output and triumphant tour, Dan Snaith treated us to some club cuts under his Daphni guise.
23. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Wolf / Burning
Power pop perfection from Karen O and her crew.
22. Beyonce - Virgo's Groove / Cuff It
Much was written about Bey reinvigorating house music with some of the tracks on her new album. Obviously that's a bit rich, but I for one am very much here for the queen sprinkling some of her glitter over the genre.
Too illusive for YouTube apparently, but well worthy of inclusion on the list regardless. By this point you should know what to expect from big Phil Lauer, and this maintains his sexy signature sound.
20. Overmono - Gunk
A trippy pumper of the highest order; my only annoyance is not having heard this on a sweaty dance floor at some point.
19. Floating Points - Vocoder
Very similar vibes to the track above; a simple but brutally effective vocoder groove and speed garage backing.
18. Holy Fuck - Ninety Five
More grimy, groovy guitar music from Toronto's finest.
17. Danger Mouse and Black Thought - No Gold Teeth
There wasn't a bad track on Cheat Code - no great surprise given the quality of bars and production from these two - but this was my favourite.
16. Hudson Mohawke - Is It Supposed
Hurled into the spotlight due to that Cbat meme, at least it must have meant many more people listening to Ross' superlative new album. So many weird and wonderful tracks on there, but this one is just straightforwardly catchy and uplifting.
15. Bonobo - Shadows / ATK
Two tracks this year from Simon Green that give a good inkling of how enjoyable both his live and DJ sets can be.
14. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Blood in the Snow
The first new album from the wonderfully-named Orlando Higginbottom (could have just stuck with that rather than his daft moniker?) in more than a decade was worth the wait - with this lovely little pre-LP tipbit whetting the appetite nicely.
13. Aesop Rock - Pigs (Blockhead remix)
I'm nothing if not predictable in the artists I keep on coming back to, but I'll be the first to criticise Blockhead if he does ever drop the quality of his production.
12. !!! - Storm Around the World
Another bunch of regular end-of-year-chart-botherers, this was the highlight from a somewhat inconsistent album this year.
11. Peggy Gou - I Go (Soulwax remix)
An absolute vintage Soulwax remix here, incorporating all their favourite little samples and production techniques to absolutely devastating effect.
10. Moderat - Fast Land
The German trio have still very much got the power to please, as this atmospheric pressure builder demonstrates.
9. JB Dunckel - Corporate Sunset
One half of Air doing a presumably pretty good impression of what they might sound like, should they decide to get back together anytime soon.
8. Weval - Minute by Minute
The best thing I've heard yet from this increasingly impressive Dutch duo.
7. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Black Hot Soup (DJ Shadow re-write)
Not the combo I expected this year, but apparently the one that was required to create this funky little psych-rock/hip-hop cross-over.
6. Royksopp - Impossible
Bring on the electroclash revival I say - that is, if it's all going to sound as great as this.
5. Kendrick Lamar - The Heart Part 5
The sheer weight of (usually overwhelmingly positive) critical appraisal for anything Kendrick does these days is starting to trigger my 'default reject' response. But this early single - from what is another exceptional album - just hits right.
4. Grace Ives - Lullaby
The headline on Shaad D'Souza's Guardian article tempted me in, then I clicked the embedded video for this song, and ever since this pop nugget has taken up residence in my auditory cortex.
3. Travis Stewart - Buena
In a half-year best songs Twitter thread I think I described this EP as sounding a bit like Tycho meets Tubular Bells - which hopefully entices you as much as it pleases me.
2. Braxe and Falcon - Creative Source
The French touch is back, and better than ever. Much like any of the Monmartre classics from the late nineties, I defy you not to feel your hips moving if this comes on the sound system.
1. Kavinsky - Zenith
And just like the song before it, you could call this pastiche, but given monsieur Kavinsky is the modern master of the sound, then I'd just say this is the crystallisation of the genius we heard in Nightcall.
All of these, and some still-pretty-good filler, make up my expertly-sequenced playlist of the year, which you can find here.