Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top 20 of 2008: 1-20

No one really gives and a damn and I'm not going to take the time to write and format like the bottom 30, so here goes. Sorry for the anticlimax.

1. Sam Amidon - All Is Well
beautiful (not for everyone) renditions of classic american folk songs. leaked fall 2007 but still sticks with me as one of the most striking things i've heard this decade.

2. Q-Tip - The Renaissance
Maybe too feel good or obvious, but through and through the most enjoyable hip hop album i've heard all year.

3. Fennesz - The Black Sea
Something about this record just strikes me. The sound wraps around my body, enters it and just sits there. I am taken with every listen.

4. Ulaan Khol - I and II
Steven R. Smith's newest project finds him strapping on more distortion and heaviness than ever before. Two albums of awesome feedback drenched guitar wankery

5. Cadence Weapon - Afterparty Babies
The world forgot about this record. I guess Rollie raps too much like a nerd or something, but it's some of the freshest, most inventive dance music and hip hop and should really be bigger.

6. Shed - Shedding The Past
Minimal techno that doesn't lull you to sleep. There was a slew of good minimal releases but the drums especially in this one really just kick your ass. Amazing record.

7. Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It
Yea yeah, was claimed to be my favorite album, then I overplayed it and realized it's not nearly as strong as I thought. Some cheesy tracks, but overall some great throwback soul.

8. Small Sur - We Live In Houses Made Of Wood
Low-key, quiet folk that was my go-to record for sleeping this year. Pretty harmonizing vocals but sort of a unique sound anyway.

9. Possessed By Paul James - Cold & Blind
Crazy lo-fi banjo/bluegrass/guitar/folk/country mashup of greatness. Longer songs than usual for this kind of stuff, but really pretty dark and awesome.

10. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Vol. 1: 4th World War
Perhaps the most psychedelic record on the list. All sorts of black power vocal samples, crazy beats and Erykah's alien voice floating all around the tracks.

11. Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Leucocyte
Awesome progressive jazz from the European master. RIP. Album was uploaded on here back in September, so get it.

12. Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna
Was not expecting this record to kick so much ass. Total art/hip/tribal/dance/experimental weird shit. A real fun listen for the paranoid.

13. Ellen Allien - Sool
Actually deleted this album like 5 times earlier in the year because it's REAL minimal but then in the fall i came back around and it connected. Sounds bad, but is perfect background music. Minimal techno that emphasizes the minimal.

14. The Dodos - Visiter
One of the more exciting new acts in indie rock. At least of those who received a decent amount of hype. Love the combination of styles they incorporate in their sound.

15. Charlie Haden - Family & Friends: Rambling Boy
Legendary jazz bassist recruits his family and friends to sing traditional bluegrass and mountain music. Just a classic sound and beautiful vocalists and musicians.

16. Marilyn Mazur & Jan Garbarek - Elixir
Two jazz semi-legends get together and create one of the coolest jazz albums i heard this year. The emphasis is on the amazing percussion, but the minimal saxophone and other music creates a nice package.

17. Nico Muhly - Mothertongue
I'm pretty sure Nico Muhly is the same age as me, which is really depressing. Out of all the new school of modern pop classical composers (Ricther, Johannson, etc.) Muhly might be the most exciting, or at least this album is. A wholly original sound broken into 3 different mini-suites.

18. Gentleman Jesse & His Men - S/T
Perhaps the best power pop record since the death of the Exploding Hearts.

19. Blueprint - Blueprint Vs. Funkadelic
Awesome underground hip hop producer/rapper released this bootleg on his website early in the year. All the music is Funkadelic samples and there are lots of sound bytes of people talking about Clinton and Co. Real psychedelic. For fans of Edan's Beauty & The Beat

20. Paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
Bizarre finnish neo-folk stuff that has cranked up the doom (and volume) and even started to use percussion to create near dance-like songs. Beautiful and serene but haunting and frightful as well.


Sam said...

that q-tip album is beautiful!

Searcher said...

no one even cares... fuck off.

gang gang DANCE.