The line between mixtape and free album is a thin one. It is now harder than ever to distinguish between the two with artists creating whole projects made up of original material and releasing them for free. It used to be easier when mixtapes were made up of freestyles or cover versions of popular songs and accompanied by one or two original songs. For that reason I’ve combined the two lists (Best Mixtape 2011 and Best Free Album 2011). Click the album titles to have a listen or download the album/ mixtape.
EP’s seem to have increased in popularity with artists in
the last year or so. The majority that are released are free and many were
released this year. But it seems like many were crafted without care or were
just made up of left overs from previous projects. Fear not as I’ve taken the
care to list EP’s that will not end up wasting away occupying valuable space on your mp3
player/ hard drive. Click on the album title to hear a preview of the EP & enjoy.
In keeping with the annual tradition at Cascine Records, one of the label's artists has remixing another. This year Southern Shores have reworked Wintercoats' "Forest of Lovers" and the result is quite splendid.
A good song doesn’t make a good video and the reverse can also be true, but a good video helps. Here’s our pick of best music videos from 2011 (click the song title to watch the video) & let us know if you think we missed any gems in the comments section below: Beyonce - Run The World
Bombay Bicycle Club - Leave ItBy Ryan Hope
Cee Lo - BodiesBy Mikael Colombu
Coldplay - ParadiseBy Mat Whitecross
DJ Shadow ft Little Dragon - Scale It BackBy Ewan Jones Morris & Casey Raymond
Jay-Z & Kanye West - OtisBy Spike Jonze
"I wrote it in Minnesota after the Monster Ball on the tour bus. We recorded it in one shot. Fernando on guitar, Paul on Drum Machine. I wrote, sang it, and freestyled the last minute + a half of the song."
I tried to stick to one criteria which was no more than one song could be included by any artist excluding remixes by other artists. Click the song title to hear each song and enjoy. Let us know what your favourite song(s) were of the year too in the comments section below.
Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Jamie Xx Remix)
For my first attempt at this listing malarkey, I’m addressing the performances of the year. These were the performances that stole the show at the gig or television programme that the artist(s) appeared at/on.
This was amazing and so simple. Just Adele, a mic, a pianist & piano. You can feel all of the emotion in the song and it felt quite intimate. One of the best songs from 2011 performed beautifully in what was easily one of the performances of the year.