One big feature of this decade has been African music. No, not Vampire Weekend and young white boys with highly-strung guitars. Actual music from Africa, by African people. Maybe I was too trapped in a hermetically-sealed indie world to notice before, but it seems that the last ten years have seen much more coverage of music that wouldn't have normally featured in the rock press. Quite right too. I've only dipped a toe in the vast ocean of awesome African music out there, but the little exposure I've had has expanded my tiny mind.
Probably my favourite African album of the decade is Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate's In The Heart of the Moon, a gorgeous album featuring mostly nothing but Toure's guitar and Diabate's kora, recorded without rehersal in a hotel in Mali. It's effortlessly beautiful, and culminates in Hawa Dolo, a track that's amazing enough on its own, but hearing it as the climax to all that comes before, it's breathtaking. There are few songs I've heard this decade that are quite so simple and devastating.
[Album: In The Heart Of The Moon]