1. Fatima - Follow You (Eglo)
Backed by Floating Points, Fatima delivers four tracks of otherworldly soul. The mysterious and subdued "Innervisions" was one of my favorite tracks of 2011.
2. Michael Kiwanaku - Tell Me A Tale (Interscope)
"Tell Me a Tale" is one of the strongest debuts I've ever heard from an artist. Soaked in the sound of late '60s soul jazz, this EP is a must for fans of Nick Drake, Terry Callier or Bill Withers.
3. Mo Kolours - Drum Talking (One Handed Music)
Interesting sounds from the half-Mauritian vocalist/percussionist. This is unlike anything else I've heard. Ethereal, forward-looking African music.
4. Major Lazer - Original Don (Mad Decent)
A blazing Balkan brass fanfare hails the return of Major Lazer, who delivers a monstrous sequel to their dance floor classic "Pon De Floor."
5. Madlib & Freddie Gibbs - Thuggin (Stones Throw)
"Thuggin" presents classic soulful hip-hop sounds from Gary, Ind.'s Gibbs and beat conductor Madlib.
6. Burial - Street Halo (Hyperdub)
The much-anticipated return of UK producer Burial doesn't disappoint. Haunting, mournful vocals spread over a distant echo of dance floor rhythms.
7. Kaleidoscope Jukebox - Rite Of Passage (self released)
This is another solid EP of global, downtempo beats from Bloomington, Ind. maestro Clint Carty.
8. Gods Robots - Stormy Weather (self released)
This is a brilliant collaboration between Sri Lankan-born producer Janaka Selekta and vocalist Taamara. Traces of Indian classical music travel alongside dubbed-out electronica.
9. Dorian Concept — Her Tears Taste Like Pears (Ninja Tune)
Dorian Concept is a big favorite of mine. The Vienna-based producer has crafted a sound quite unlike anything else in contemporary electronic music. Jazzy, elastic, pitch-bent synths sing weird melodies, while frenetic, skittering beats punch out the time.
10. The Echocentrics - Echoland: A Tribute To Timbaland (Ubiquity)
Adrian Quesada of Grupo Fantasma leads The Echocentrics through funk-drenched versions of Timbaland classics. Aaliyah's "We Need A Resolution," performed in Portuguese by Brazilian singer Tita Lima, is a standout.