The 00s have certainly been a turbulent decade for the music industry, from the rise and fall of Napster, through the MP3 and iPod revolution and on to the reality TV dominated close of the decade.
Drum and bass infiltrated pop music so throughly that it's now just part of the furniture, while Hip Hop blew up to dominate the US charts, nabbing a guest spot on dozens of chart toppers.
Filtering through the hundreds of albums released in the decade is no mean feat, so we've kept our final list strictly democratic - with the top 10 derived from those albums most nominated by our reviewers.
Read the top 10 here - but if that's not enough, here's a lazy, sprawling list of 82 others that come very highly recommended, in no particular order:
Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
Killer track: PDA. More New York cool, a 'go-to' album for so many occasions
TV On The Radio - Dear Science
Pearl Jam - Riot Act
Doves - Kingdom Of Rust
At the Drive In - Relationship of Command
Killer Track: Enfilade. A welcome dose of anger after the fallow years of the late 90s. Added bonus that it was released on the soon to be bust Grand Royal label.
Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Santogold - Santogold
Smog - Dongs Of Sevotion
Cornelius - Point
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Mugison - Lonely Mountain
Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther
Electralane - The Power Out
Radiohead - Amnesiac
Beth Gibbons & Rustin' Man - Out Of Season
PJ Harvey - Stories From The City
Caribou - The Milk Of Human Kindness
Pearl Jam - Bearoya Hall
Unusual in that it's a live album, this double acoustic set pulls together all that's great about the much-maligned grungers. Spine tingling.
Fugazi - The Argument
Not their best, but still one of the best
Low - The Great Destroyer
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days
Killer track: Passing Afternoon. We live in noisy times, everyone should have an album like this to retreat to now and again
Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
The only artist capable of an appropriate 9/11 album.
Blond Redhead - 23
Grandaddy - Software Slump
John Frusciante - Shadows Collide With People
The Early Years - Early Years
Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
Killer track: Fast Blood. One of those albums that just clicks straight away, some brutally honest songs but never a hard listen
The National - Alligator
Jay-Z - The Blueprint
Despite his fame, his only album that's solid throughout.
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
Portishead - Third
Spoon - Girls Can Tell
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga
Spoon - Kill The Moonlight
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Yes, we like Spoon.
Stephen Malkmus - Pig Lib
Elbow - Leaders Of The Free World
CJ: Their strongest album from a solid bunch of releases.
Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
7 minute opener followed by track after track.
Electrelane - No Shouts, No Calls
Johanna Newsom - Y's
Band Of Horses - Cease To Begin
Radiohead - Hail To The Thief
Buck 65 - Talking Honky Blues
Common - Like Water For Chocolate
Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
David Berman finally made sense.
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Guided By Voices - Human Amusement at Hourly Rates
Finally a solid album from GBV. One of the best best ofs going - up there with Neil Young's Decade.
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
The Good The Bad And The Queen - The Good The Bad And The Queen
Another surprising side-project from Damon Albarn
TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
Red Hot Chilli Peppers - By The Way
Titus Andronicus - The Airing Of Grievances
No Age - Nouns
Jay-Z - The Black Album
The Wedding Present - Take Fountain
An awesome return for the Indie legends, embracing a move to the US for Uncle Gedge
Kanye West - College Dropout
John Frusciante - To Record Only Water For 10 Days
Paving the way for Frusciante's magnificent return to form.
The Cave Singers - Welcome Joy
Low - The Great Destroyer
Catfish Haven - Devastator
The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth
The Invisible - The Invisible
Lightning Dust - Infinite Light
The Decemberists - Picaresque
The Coral - Magic And Medicine
Killer track: Liezah. Some strictly Liverpool uncool. A Coral album is a comforting thing.
Beirut - The Flying Club Cup
Radiohead - Kid A
Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein
DJ Shadow - The Private Press
Great at home or on the dance floor.
Flight of the Conchords - Flight of the Conchords
It shouldn't work, but it does. Comedy genius.
Interpol - Antics
Take you on a cruise. Awesome
The Walkmen - You & Me
Killer track: In the New Year. Band of the decade for Chimpovich.
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Why? - Alopicia
Weird indie hip-hop that just works.
Ladyhawk - Shots
My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
White Denim - Workout Holiday
Killer track: Lets Talk About It. Chaotic, energetic, sounds like a good time was had making it.
Taking it's lead from the Blues, Mugison's third album finds him re-working many well-travelled lyrics (shaking hips, making sweet love) and giving them a new, Icelandic twist. The signs of a transition away from the bedroom electronics of earlier records had started to appear on 2004's Mugimama Is This Monkey Music, with the awesome highlight track Murr Murr - and here that sound has grown even bigger, enlisting a full band to enhance the quirky front man's bone crushing cacaphony.
With his departure from Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records, the transition to fully fledged rockstar is complete - the crunching guitars and hammond organ of title track Mugiboogie, the dirty guitar solos, the handpicked sound of The Pathetic Anthem - this is an album that is much more organic than his previous work, electric, rather than electronic, raw and energetic. Mugison's status has also grown considerably since the last album, releasing records through Mike Patton's Ipecac label in the US and touring with the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age. Even the cover has a rock star touch, embossed in gold over faux leather.
While in some ways things are more straightforward here than his previous efforts, to a newcomer this will still undoubtedly seem eclectic and unhinged. The schizophrenic Death Metal of Two Thumb Sucking On A Boyo is a little hard to deal with and the hopolong country of The Pathetic Anthem drags on a bit. Harry Nillson meets Napalm Death might not sound like a recommendation, but there's plenty to write home about. The Great Unrest is a particluarly moving highlight, while Deep Breathing is reminiscent of another Mugimama stand-out, 2Birds.
I insist that you make the effort to see Mugison live, as more than anything his recorded work serves as an exhillerating document of his enthraling live shows, joyfully reminiscing over all of the captivating highlights.Read more 3 star reviews
been a while since we caught our favourite non-Sigur Ros/Bjork Icelander Mugison - he's back in London this Wednesday at the Corsica Studios, should be good - here's a clip from last time, hilariously distorted, but you get the idea
nice run of gigs from Chimpomatic's favourite M's - Mugi and Mara...
5th Nov - Mara Carlyle is headlining at the Green Note in Camden
then Mugison is on tour in Iceland playing
6 Nov Ísafjörður - Edinborgarhúsið
8 Nov Akureyri - Græni Hatturinn
9 Nov Vestmanneyjar - í Vélasalnum
10 Nov Hafnafjörður - Bæjarbíó
11 Nov Reykjavík - Nasa;
crossing over to Scandinavia
14 Nov Den 11. time - TV stuff
16 Nov Voxhall / Århus
17 Nov Vega / Copenhagen
18 November Skråen / Ålborg -
25 Nov Berlin, Nordwind Festival with Ghostigital and HöH/Steindór Andersen
27th Nov - Mara's curating a night at St Barnabas featuring Circulus's Michael Tyack, Luca, Mugison and Max de Wardener
28th Nov - Mugison's headlining at the Luminaire in Kilburn with support from Mara and fellow Icelandic rocker Pétur Ben
Then Mugi's playing 29 Nov Liverpool - Barfly
1 Dec Paris - La Fleche D’Or
5th Dec - Mara's playing the Arctic Circle Christmas at the Union Chapel
busy people, all should be great going on previous outings
it's out at last! new Mugison album Mugiboogie is here: you buy the CD (free shipping) and you get the album as hardcopy and also as a digital download (320kbps MP3 and AAC, DRM free). Clips on the site, sounds pretty tough so far
ah, i knew something was missing in chimp HQ - some new mugisongs. check this festival outing with his storming band: Go Blind, Mugiboogie, I Want You, and Murr Murr I didn't think that could get much better... really hanging out for the new album now
A couple of labels are going with a lucky dip to clear stocks after Christmas. Accidental (Herbert, Mugison etc.) are offering 3 CDs for £10 and Track & Field (Broken Family Band) are offering 6 CDs for £10.
Loney, Dear is the brain child of Sweden's Emil Svanangen and this outfit is often described as the one man band with nine members. Whatever that means is a mystery but it does go some way to describe the sound of Sologne. Loney, Dear's blend of DIY indie-pop and lo-fi folk brings to mind solo artists like Stina Nordenstam or Mugison, but the rich tapestry of sounds that is woven around his most delicate of lyrics could be compared to experimental indie kids Grandaddy. All of these comparisons only go a fraction of the way to describe the originality and arresting beauty of this album.
From the first two songs you would be forgiven for thinking that this was yet another record of oh-so-chart friendly, run of the mill, male singer/songwriter crap but wait until you hear The City, The Airport and if you have any heart at all you will reevaluate your earlier judgments, discard your heavy robes of cynicism and jump head first into Sologne's warm waters. It starts of with a cheap casio synth beat overlaid with Svanangen's musings of "the city, I don't want another life that's killing me," then expands like a great bird into a cacophony of instruments, backing vocals, wails, shouts, you name it. It's the childlike equivalent of Radiohead's Let Down and rises and rises with such effortless grace that you want it to go higher and higher. And from here on in it's pure quality. Le Fever is a lonely, melancholic tale but continues the swell of emotion with increasing instrumental textures. Come to think of it, they all do. Songs like In With The Arms creep in with gentle folk sadness then slowly rise to a tearful euphoria with lines like, "Off with the boards, off with what's keeping you down, in with the arms." It's quite exhausting as each song starts you low then lifts you up. We get a little break with the Money Mark style instrumental organ ditty of Grekerna, then the final euphoric blow is dealt in the form of I Lose It All. It's a shame this doesn't end the album as it reaches heights way higher than any thing else as it ticks along at a steady pace then eventually explodes into a piano heavy, drum pounding, Rocky running up the steps glorious piece of crescendo magic that will leave you hands in the air and eyes to the sky wasted.
I do hope I'm not building this up too much but it's just such an honest piece of music akin in charm and emotion to Sunset Rubdown's Shut Up I Am Dreaming and each song on Sologne could be the closing soundtrack to a desperately sad film but as you dry your eyes it's genuine beauty reassures you that everything's gonna be alright. If last year was the year to look to Canada for the best in indie music then in 2006 Sweden is launching a typically Scandinavian counter attack. It's restrained, measured yet unfathomable in its quality and creativity. My only fear is that this quality could easily be undone by a Vodafone advert and then I would have to disown this album. Providing this doesn't happen, Sologne may just make my 'best of 2006' list.
yes, it's nearly over. time to get the annual chimpomatic best of underway ...we'll get the official list up once we've had a night in, but in the meantime, nominations are welcome… seems to have been the year of dylan in chimp towers, with louis xiv, mugison (of course), stephen malkmus, QOTSA, my morning jacket etc etc all strong contenders ...but what have we missed?
chimp fave mugison's finished another album, don't know when it's out, but really looking forward to hearing some new stuff - maybe this will be the new band sound? who knows
if you head over there quick, there's a taster track to download, "go blind"
trailer up for Screaming Masterpiece, doc about the icelandic music scene, with mugison, bjork, mum, sigur ros etc and loads more dudes with hard to pronounce names…
the chimp towers hip hop radar isn't as finely tuned as it once was, so it's nice to report on a new (to me) uk dude who supported mugison (yet another killer set) at the spitz last night. beat guys in pokemon suits, main man IF in an insane safari suit/wig/stocking face mask combo, singing about lactating men. all v good, got the bush meat album from him afterwards, stands up on first listen(z)
mugison's playing a few more UK shows this week - Wednesday 5th - Brighton - The Concord 2 with Emilianna Torrini and Adem; Thursday 6th - London - The Spitz; Friday 7th - Bristol - The Cube Cinema. He's getting a band after this, so it's your last chance to see his laptop crashing
mugison rocking the house at this year's
Conway Hall, London
mugison ruled as usual, pulling someone on stage to help with the projector for 2 birds, doing a rare live version of the night is limping, getting muddled after 2 hours sleep and a gig in iceland the night before
lau nau was ok, nice use of tape machines, but a bit meandering.
white magic spent the whole time looking pissed off and tuning their guitars before running through dylans' 4th time around in a fairly pointless fashion.
jesca hoop was a bit too ye olde folke for me.
hot chip were ok, but felt like they were playing everything too slow. and the singer sounds a bit like the housemartins.
really enjoyed king creosote, who had james yorkston, pictish trails and some other fence collective dude playing with him.
adem himself was great, and was probably too modest to headline the night, even though his set had the most up feel to it, with an all-star backing band featuring people from the other bands.
badly drawn boy showed off a new hat.
james yorkston finished the night, another v good set, if a little quieter to finish on maybe he did get the crowd off their feet at the end though, with adem, kieran 4-Tet hebden, and other fence collectivees on stage with him. generally, a great day and it did feel like adem had hand-picked stuff he was into.
plus they had great sandwiches
mugison's playing at adem's london homefires festival - sounds good:
Saturday May 21st (doors 3pm)
James Yorkston, Adem, Badly Drawn Boy, Hot Chip (acoustic), Jesca Hoop, King Creosote, Lau Nau plus more guests and DJs along the lines of Jarvis Cocker, Bob Stanley, Beth Orton
Sunday May 22 (Doors 2pm) :-
*Very Special Secret Guests* Adem, Alasdair Roberts, Scout Niblett, Jose Gonzales, Espers, PG Six, Amina (Sigur Ros string collaborators) etc.
Mugison on storming form at the Windmill last night - sad as a truck, i'm on fire, CY all great plus an oustanding murr murr to finish and Gael Garcia Bernal in the audience… doesn't get much better
26th April @ Dempseys in Cardiff
Wednesday 27th @ Parker Place in Holborn, London with Tunng and Kid Carpet; 51 Parker St WC2 BPS. Nearest tube – Holborn, £5, Doors 7.30
Thursday 28th @ The Windmill in Brixton, London with Semi Finalists; Mugison and Semi Finalists @ The Windmill, 22 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton SW2. £3 www.windmillbrixton.co.uk, Door 8
Friday 29th @ St Brides Centre, Edinburgh with Arab Strap
Sunday 1st May @ The Tron Theatre, Glasgow with Arab Strap
plus Mugimama, Is This Monkey Music? is out on Accidental on May 2nd. First 500 come w a bonus DVD - live footage, interview, general mugistuff
some cool new footage up from niceland main man mugison murr murr sounding esp great live
good to see mugison has won four awards at the Icelandic Music Awards: go mugi!
Mugison (Famous Mexican in Foreground)
1st Jan 2005View this picture and comment at Flickr
totally digging the new mugison album - complete w chimpomatic-friendly title: Mugimama - Is This Monkey Music? only out in iceland at the moment, should be getting an accidental release in 2005
23rd September: The Accidental Power Cut @ The Union Chapel with Dani Siciliano, Matthew Herbert, John Matthias, Mara carlyle, Mugison, Max de Wardener plus special guests...
despite the usual ica queue overload and oblique bar strategies, still a great accidental broadcast on saturday - highlights for this chimp included: max de wardener's big glass jars and his booming bass; mara carlyle getting a london crowd to shut up just by asking nicely; a beautiful version of her "i blame you not"; mugison's "whoops i'm 3 hours too drunk oh well here's another blinder"; mara's voice looped into mugi's opening track. oh, and the guy who attempted to interpret mugi's "i'm on fire" through the medium of dance (aka smoking on stage in an occasionally rhythmic fashion)...
full accidental outing tomorrow at the ICA, with max de wardener, mara carlyle, mugison and brooks doing a kind of on-stage musical relay race
plus herbert putting on records in an orderly fashion etc...
full chimp contingent out for the last date in the matthew herbert big band tour last night... top show all-round, with visuals and magic building on the usual accidental genius... great to hear misprints live at last, with dani siciliano putting words into blair's mouth. liking the springy new balloon track a lot, hope that comes out soon.
if you're in scotland this weekend, tune in to radio accidental making its debut broadcast at the triptych festival: mugison, mara carlyle, max de wardener (enjoying his new album at the moment too) and brooks playing in a non-stop relay, plus matt djing.
radio accidental's also coming to the ica may 15
...would love this label even if they hadn't put agent blue out
another great mugison gig last night, pretty full accidental family outing too. CY as classic as ever, i'm on fire full glitch tom waits fury, beautiful new slow one and possibly the world's shortest ever encore. class. plus post gig icelandic dried fish...
he's hardcorrrrrerrrrrrrockandrrrrrrrrrrrrroll alright
heard the new max de wardener album too, which is as good as the single, looking forward to the upcoming accidental broadcasts now
14 days in on the world tour of alchohol now. Went to see Saccharine Trust last night at 93 Feet East. Not many people there, but a great show. Tonight they play at Spitz with Fugazi affiliates French Toast. Don't miss it.
Mugison is also playing at the Buffalo Bar, so don't miss that either.
2004 entry point soundtrack: all the above, dani siciliano (with mugison)... a tune for all the years
pretty full chimp contingent up and out for the accidental night on friday. mugison noising up suits is a sight to remember, with yet another great version of CY (just how many variations will there be? it's probably a maths variables question on the maths syllabus in iceland) and the 3.3 updated version of the mighty noodle-powered 8 doogymoto kicking their superfreshness. could listen to them both for days.
mugison on superb form at the london arts cafe last night. light years ahead of the pack.
lots of accidental live action coming up in the rest of november:
13 Stockton (Mugison live @ Georgian Theatre)
14 Manchester (Mugison live @ Retro Club)
17 London (Mugison live @ Arts Cafe, Shoreditch)
18 London (Matthew Herbert Big Band@Royal Festival Hall)
19 Cardiff (Mugison live @ Barfly)
20 Helsinki (Ultra Red live @ Avanto Festival)
28 London (Accidental label night featuring Mugison live, 8 doogymoto live, Matthew Herbert DJ, Dani Siciliano DJ, Raf Rundell DJ @ Neighbourhood)
29 Huddersfield (Mugison live @ Ultrasound Festival)
you are here track listing:
1. max de wardener - hundreds and thousands
2. mugison - sea y
3. john matthias - all the time in the world
4. 8 doogymoto - minimalistico
5. my robot friend - way down
6. the soft pink truth - promofunk
7. phil parnell - barcelona
8. herbert - i hadn't known...
9. international space station - rowboat
10. doctor rockit - veselka's diner
11. the matthew herbert big band - everything's changed
12. shelby gaines - aquaworld
13. agent blue - in time falls
14. ian vine - writing on water
15. pete stollery - onset offset
16. n.b. - so sound
that nice mr mugison in action at the rough trade ica festival way back in the summer when the sun was up and our server was down...
great show. don't think he's going to be lonely up in that mountain for long.
Got myself down to Aoyama-Cay last night for a showcase night featuring some of the members from the Yellow Magic Orchestra and Chimp-o-buddy Mugison. The YMO were obviously hot-shit in Japan, as the crowd went crazy for them. Mugison was on at 3.30am (waaay too late for me) and rocked the house - Iceland style.