Just to state the obvious, I only heard a small fraction of the music that came out this year but I did manage to acquire, listen to and rate 3601 songs that were released in 2011. The percentage of music that is released as albums by record labels is definitely shrinking but they still have the lion’s share, for now. Here are my favorites. I’ll also be playing my favorite songs of 2011 on my January 3rd show.

Every album listed here is either released by an independent label or by the artists themselves. Please support if and when you can.

1. Vindahl – Serendipity (Tokyo Dawn)
Release Date: October 17, 2011
Copenhagen
More Info/Support

2. Jono McCleery – There Is (Counter/Ninja Tune)
Release Date: September 27, 2011
London
More Info/Support | @JonoMcCleery

3. SBTRKT – SBTRKT (Young Turks)
Release Date: June 24, 2011
London
More Info/Support | @SBTRKT

4. B.Lewis – Science Within Reason (Self-Released)
Release Date: March 11, 2011
San Jose/San Francisco
More Info/Support | @blewis17

5. James Blake – James Blake (R & S)
Release Date: February 7, 2011
London
More Info/Support | @jamesblake

6. New Look – New Look (!K7 – only available in the UK and Germany right now)
Release Date: September 26, 2011
Brooklyn/Ontario
More Info/Support | @new_look_

7. Oscar + Martin – For You (TwoBrightLakes)
Release Date: April 15, 2011
Melbourne
More Info/Support | @Oscarandmartin

8. Toro Y Moi – Underneath The Pine (Carpark)
Release Date: February 21, 2011
Columbia, South Carolina
More Info/Support | @ToroyMoi

9. Salva – Complex Housing (FoF)
Release Date: February 5, 2011
Los Angeles
More Info/Support | @THEPROBLEMSALVA

10. Scrimshire – The Hollow (Wah Wah 45s)
Release Date: November 11, 2011
London
More Info/Support | @scrimshire

Other Excellent Projects That Came Out This Year
Bon Iver – Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar) Release Date: June 21, 2011
Minnesota, WI | More Info/Support | @boniver

Brenk – Gumbo 2: Pretty Ugly (Melting Pot) Release Date: September 23, 2011
Vienna | More Info/Support | @BrenkSinatra

Dego – A Wha’ Him Deh Pon? (2000 Black) Release Date: June 20, 2011
Brooklyn/London | More Info/Support | @2000black_dego

Elzhi – Elmatic (Self-Released) Release Date: May 10, 2011
Detroit | More Info/Support | @ELZHI

Evil Needle – Cirrostratus (Self-Released) Release Date: April 18, 2011
Strasbourg, France | More Info/Support | @itsmeneedle

Full Crate – Golden Glasses (Wonderful Ear) Release Date: October 21, 2011
Amsterdam | More Info/Support | @fullcrate

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Bulletproof Brass (Choice Cuts) Release Date: July 20, 2011
Chicago/NYC | More Info/Support | @hypnoticbrass

I, Ced – All In My Mind (Record Breakin’) Release Date: July 12, 2011
Los Angeles | More Info/Support | @i_ced

iSHÉ & Hezekiah – iSHÉ & Hezekiah Project (Self-Released) Release Date: June 1, 2011
San Diego & Philadelphia | More Info/Support | @iSHETHAiSH & @hezekiah3rd

Illvibe Collective – All Together Now (Soulspazm) Release Date: March 29, 2011
Philadelphia | More Info/Support | @illvibecrew

Jesse Boykins III – Way Of A Wayfarer (Self-Released) Release Date: June 30, 2011
Brooklyn | More Info/Support | @JB3Music

King – The Story EP (Self-Released) Release Date: March 1, 2011
Los Angeles | More Info/Support | @wearekingmusic

Krts – Hold On EP (Project Mooncircle) Release Date: September 23, 2011
Brooklyn | More Info/Support | @KrtsBrooklyn

Miles Bonny – Lumberjack Soul (Melting Pot) Release Date: June 24, 2011
Kansas City | More Info/Support | @milesbonny

Oddisee – Rock Creek Park (Mello Music Group) Release Date: August 23, 2011
Brooklyn | More Info/Support | @oddisee

Sarah White – Space Madness (Cultura Love) Release Date: October 18, 2011
Brooklyn | More Info/Support | @sarahwhiteblack

Saturn Never Sleeps – Yesterday’s Machine (Saturn Never Sleeps) Release Date: August 2, 2011
Philadelphia | More Info/Support | @satnevsleeps

Shigeto – Full Circle Remixes (Ghostly International) Release Date: February 1, 2011
Brooklyn | More Info/Support | @__SHIGETO

Space Invadas – Soul:Fi (BBE) Release Date: February 21, 2011
Sydney | More Info/Support | @spaceinvadas

Submotion Orchestra – Finest Hour (Exceptional) Release Date: August 23, 2011
Leeds | More Info/Support | @Submotion

Sunclef – The Tesser∆ct (Self-Released) Release Date: April 22, 2011
Toronto | More Info/Support | @snclf

Ta-ku – DAY & NIGHT EP. (highs & lows x new balance) Release Date: April 10, 2011
Perth | More Info/Support | @TakuBeats

Ta-ku – Scraps (Self-Released) Release Date: May 31, 2011
Perth | More Info/Support | @TakuBeats

The Stuyvesants – The Finer Things Vol. 1&2 (SD) Release Date: October 17, 2011
Brooklyn | More Info/Support | @TheStuyvesants

Teeko – Light Up The Darkness (4onefunk) Release Date: February 21, 2011
San Francisco | More Info/Support | @TeekoMusic

TiRon & Ayomari – A Sucker For Pumps (The Cafeteria Line) Release Date: September 13, 2011
Los Angeles | More Info/Support | @TiRon & @ayomari

Various – The Boogie (Tokyo Dawn) Release Date: January 21, 2011
Munich | More Info/Support | @TOKYODAWN

Various – The Heart Volume 2 (Tokyo Dawn) Release Date: July 29, 2011
Munich | More Info/Support | @TOKYODAWN

When Saints Go Machine – Fail Forever EP (!K7) Release Date: February 21, 2011
Copenhagen | More Info/Support | @whensaints

Wildcookie (Freddie Cruger & Anthony Mills) – Cookie Dough (Tru Thoughts) Release Date: March 8, 2011
Stockholm | More Info/Support | @ghettotrance

Zebrahim – In My Heart I Am (Self-Released) Release Date: May 17, 2011
Paris, Vancouver | More Info/Support | @eebsofresh + @hazeldizzy

The Main Ingredient Radio Show NYC – Episode #134 (December 20, 2011)

The Main Ingredient Radio Show NYC – Episode #134 (December 20, 2011)
the twilite tone – BOY! (uno)
paper plane project – don’t lie featuring j mitchell & raashan ahmad (self-released)
fLako – shake it harder (project mooncircle)
diz gibran & moonshine – slick (self-released)
paul white – never too late (one-handed music)
jamie woon – lady luck (polydor uk)
dimlite – heroine roof (now again)
scrimshire – everything you say featuring heidi vogel (wah wah 45s)
the stepkids – shadows on behalf (stones throw)
the echocentrics – party people (ubiquity)
gRadient overlay – cosmoviolettfantompowerlift (luckyme)
new look – the ballad (!k7 germany)
robot koch – tapedeck (project mooncircle)
sina. – from love to dust (kelpe remix) (project mooncircle)
oscar + martin – party time is scary (two bright lakes)
jono mccleery – garden (ninja tune)
b.lewis – saddle up (self-released)
14kt – ain’t really that funny (janet flip) (a-side worldwide)
i, ced – flying under (record breakin)
the stuyvesants – strollin’ (self-released)
analog players society – let the music play featuring ethan white (redbud)
mecca:83 – with you (freeform)
toro y moi – freak love (freddie joachim remix) (mellow orange)
krystal klear & olivier daysoul – never thought you would go (eglo)
ta-ku & roughsoul: LoveChild – we are (self-released)
the log.os – blades (self-released)
kindness – seod (female energy)
james blake – measurements (r&s)
masterclass – survival (self-released)
duke hugh – w a v e (self-released)
sbtrkt – sanctuary (young turks)
sixtus preiss & the clonious – specimen from (affine)
fLako – i want you featuring dirg gerner (tokyo dawn)
lee fields – you’re the kind of girl (truth & soul)
b.lewis – our journey begins (self-released)
teebs – verbena tea with rebekah raff (brainfeeder)

The Main Ingredient is a weekly radio show covering brand new soulful underground music from around the world, featuring as in-studio interviews with the artists making it. New episodes can be found Wednesdays at noon at jonolivermusic.com. The show began in May 2009 as a weekly broadcast from East Village Radio’s storefront studio on 1st Ave. & 1st St. in NYC and continued there until EVR closed it doors in May 2014. This episode is from the East Village Radio Archives.

The Main Ingredient Radio Show NYC – Episode #133 (December 13, 2011)

The Main Ingredient Radio Show NYC – Episode #133 (December 13, 2011)
zaki ibrahim – something in the water (motif)
the echocentrics – it’s hot (ubiquity)
james blake – love what happened here (r&s)
oOoOO – nosummr4u featuring miss lisa (self-released)
1000names – paper trip (project mooncircle)
captain planet – another dollar (bastard jazz)
samuel & the dragon – rising up (slow mix) (brownswood)
pavel dovgal – kissing purple (project mooncircle)
coultrain as seymour liberty – mutual possesion (self-release/FRSH SLCTS)
the roots – the otherside featuring bilal & greg porn (def jam)
sarah white – dance on mars (bagpack)
bairns – s-type (lucky me)
mr. scruff – bounce (ninja tune)
damu the fudgemunk – faster rhyme for self (redefinition)
full crate – qcta (wonderful ear)
allen hoist – inner city blues (soulab)
tomson & benedict – blind featuring bantu soul (opolopo remix) (tokyo dawn)
new look – relax your mind (!k7 germany)
vindahl – you know (tokyo dawn)
oddisee – glamour (mixtape)
gonjasufi – love of reign (warp)
royalty – halley’s trail (five easy peices)
georgia anne muldrow – the jump rope song (animated creatures)
dj adlib – wine featuring black spade & the primeridian (melting pot)
the stuyvesants – thorough thread thoroughbreds (sd)
tanya morgan – in the city (self-released)
mecca:83 x kano sano x buscrates – midnight kids (freeform)
sam trump – groove (self-released)
kingpin slim – sad (self-released)
tawiah – run (warner/free ep)
jono mccleery – it’s all (ninja tune)
the log.os – dunes (rebirth) (self-released)

The Main Ingredient is a weekly radio show covering brand new soulful underground music from around the world, featuring as in-studio interviews with the artists making it. New episodes can be found Wednesdays at noon at jonolivermusic.com. The show began in May 2009 as a weekly broadcast from East Village Radio’s storefront studio on 1st Ave. & 1st St. in NYC and continued there until EVR closed it doors in May 2014. This episode is from the East Village Radio Archives.

KRTS (Brooklyn) In The Studio for Episode #132 (December 6, 2011)

A photo from KRTS‘s interview and all new live set from this week’s The Main Ingredient.

My Set
the roots – kool on (def jam)
fLako – druff (project mooncircle)
oscar + martin – oyster (two bright lakes)
oscar + martin – lions heart (two bright lakes)
dirg gerner – my queen (hotep)
DRC music – hallo featuring tout puissant mukalo and nelly liyemge (warp)
coultrain as seymour liberty – morning papers (self-released/FRSH SLCTS)
common – i used to love her (tall black guy remix) (self-released)
zaki ibrahim – daylight (iqra/d6)
gonjasufi – holidays (warp)
ta-ku – poath (hw&w)

The Interview
krts – rooftop (project mooncircle)
krts – hold on (project mooncircle)
krts – hold on (pavel dovgal remix) (project mooncircle)
scarlet monk – ring (krts remix) (unreleased)

KRTS Live Set
Which defies song title categorization…

The Main Ingredient is a weekly radio show covering brand new soulful underground music from around the world, featuring as in-studio interviews with the artists making it. New episodes can be found Wednesdays at noon at jonolivermusic.com. The show began in May 2009 as a weekly broadcast from East Village Radio’s storefront studio on 1st Ave. & 1st St. in NYC and continued there until EVR closed it doors in May 2014. This episode is from the East Village Radio Archives.

Krts (Brooklyn) On The Main Ingredient 12/6!

Krts, who’s excellent Hold On EP was released on Project Mooncircle September 23rd, will join me in the studio next week to talk about the project and perform an all-new live set.

About Hold On:

Last year, Brooklyn’s Krts released Remixes for Beards and Flannels, a mix-tape of top shelf classics from hip-hop’s ‘80s and ‘90s heyday. This September, he’ll follow this with his newest and first-ever proper EP release, Hold On, on the Berlin label Project Mooncircle.

With sounds ranging from the eclectic side of Hip-Hop, Broken Beat, Downtempo, soulful Dubstep, Indie Rock, and Fusion Jazz, Krts crafts a soundtrack to an ever-changing NYC landscape, fraught with struggles and flashbacks of what-was, all while letting go of ideals in favor of a new, raw, and heartfelt future. The album’s title track, “Hold On”, concerns the battle of a fleeting love – electronic and psychedelic sounds lead to a heavy, mid-range looped chorus and a deep, rumbling dubstep-style bassline. A taste of struggle is represented in “Whatever”, with it’s 808 kicks, layered snare, eerie and rattling samples, sweeping syths, and improvised piano… all as an ode to the cluttered market of Brooklyn’s indie art scene.