Assume most of us here decide on an official AOTY each year. How has time treated them?
2010: Eleven Tigers - Clouds are Mountains
I still love this to bits and it’s top 5 of the decade right now for me. It sounds very much of its time with the massive nods to Burial but, while the prevailing trends in what might loosely fall under IDM have moved on, I think this has aged very well. Still AOTY.
2011: Active Child - You Are All I See
Eesh. This album has not had staying power, although I still really enjoy the opening two tracks. I think partly tainted by the astounding drop in the quality of his subsequent output, which has been saccharine guff. Wouldn’t make a top 10 of 2011 these days for me.
2012: Shackleton - Music For The Quiet Hour
Shackleton has that thing Aphex does where his sound seems to be totally unique and immediately identifiable. Still bung this on once every couple of months and it’s only grown in stature over the years. Monumentally good. Still AOTY.
2013: Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest
Now the dust has settled, I’d call this a solid 9/10. Definitely still among my favourite releases of the year, but there’s other records I’d put above it in retrospect. Not AOTY, but probs top 5.
2014: Aphex Twin - Syro
Listening to the opening moments of Syro and getting that reminder that no one else can do what he does is one of the most brilliant non-gig musical memories for me. Like with BoC, it’s taken a while to separate the thrill of a new release from a quasi-objective subjective assessment. Still think it’s a masterpiece and AOTY.
2015: Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
It’s lost some of its impact over the 2 years, but it’s still beautiful when I’m in the right mood for it, and no other album has touched me emotionally like this did at the time. In retrospect, it’s been surpassed by the Everythings for 2015, but is top 10 of the decade for sure.
2016: Hammock - Everything & Nothing
Still my AOTY for 2016, but a record I probably overplayed at the time and have burned out a bit on recently. Imagine I’ll rediscover it in 2018 at some point and remember how wonderful it is.