It’s somewhat cliché to do a best of what ever year that flew by so here I am doing just that. This year was great in music I discovered a lot of new artists and I just want to share my discoveries. There’s no category I’m just breaking it down to you.
- King Khan and the Shrines / The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines
My top 2008 would not be completed without King Khan and the Shirines with The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines. Mix some classic 1960s-style garage-rock/psychedelic sounds, jumping James Brown funk/soul on crack, and more than a little James Chance & the Contortions' edgy avant-jazz/punk/funk. Then put a Canada-born, Germany-based fireball of Indian heritage up front, and you've got King Khan & the Shrines. Their first album for U.S. hipster-indie label Vice finds the band pumping out high-energy rock & soul on all cylinders. Guitars awash in fuzz and wah-wah compete with bleating horns, frenetic drumming, and, of course, King Khan's impassioned, larger-than-life delivery on an album you can't help but dance to.
- Illa J/Yancey Boys
I got into Illa J late in 2008 and the album is simply sublime. It seems that these tracks we're left overs from J Dilla and Illa J reworked them threw some melodic lyricism and there you have it. Yancey Boys is in my best albums of 2008 (that I will eventually post). I hope to see more releases from Illa because so far, so dammmn good ! (
-Seu Jorge/América Brasil O Disco
The raspy voiced Brazilian is back with America Brazil and this album is his most complete yet. It’s a mixture of Funk, Rock, Samba the album is colorful, sometimes energetic and sometimes mellow but always on point. The whole album is in Portuguese so I couldn’t understand the lyrics but I was able to feel the warmth of the album as I was drawn to authenticity of the Brazilian sounds I just wished that I was there. This album is easy to absorb but we still notice the subtleties in every song.
She might have remained a bit player but for a double-sided single unveiled late last year. 'Creator'/ 'L. E. S. Artistes' was a scintillating double-whammy of electronic pop music. The raucous 'Creator' marked Santogold as a worthy successor to dancehall polemicist MIA, with the added allure of being able to hold a tune. 'L. E. S. Artistes' compounded the thrill with an indie power ballad harbouring a little homage to New Order's 'Blue Monday'. Pop music has been stretched in all sorts of contradictory directions before, but Santogold's fluency with her diverse source material - dub reggae, the Go-Go's, hip hop, sucked-cheek pop - was seriously intriguing. Add to this a slew of ultra-hip collaborators - Diplo, Switch, Spank Rock and more - and Santogold was shaping up to be one of the debuts of the year.
-Q-Tip / The Renaissance
"The Renaissance," which in itself is a comment on the current rebirth of hip-hop, also serves as a rebirth for Q-Tip, whose last album, "Amplified," was released nearly 10 years ago. And as he has fallen out of the public eye, some may wonder if he still has what it takes. Well, let it be known - this "Renaissance" is a work of art. Each track is crafted differently, yet, at the same time, seems to fit hand-in-hand with the next. Top-notch beats, all of which were produced by Q-Tip with the exception of one, flow seamlessly from start to finish over the album's 13 tracks, creating a soundtrack for lovers of hip-hop as well as casual listeners to appreciate.
-Elzhi / The Preface
It’s much harder for me to write a review about something I genuinely like, mostly because my sense of humour revolves around deconstructing things in a cynical manner. This album isn’t overly innovative, but it’s effortlessly executed, tasteful and has a unique, upbeat but still aggresive attitude that weaves the whole album into a cohesive piece, something that a lot of rappers making the leap to a solo album fail to do.
The lyrical themes range from colours to guessing games to free association, something also refreshing compared to other Detroit rappers such as Frank ‘n Dank and Guilty Simpson. 2 stand-out tracks are definitely Motown 25 (feat. Royce Da 5′9″) and D.E.M.O.N.S. which are both produced by Black Milk and featured on his ELEC mixtape, leading up to his recently release The Tronic, If you give The Preface a listen without expecting something life changing, it’s difficult to fault.
-Padmo / Change The Channel
As a big fan of the 40 Winks crew I recommend this beattape, Padmo' made this for fun. It's kind of a beattape with some older material. Each beat symbolises a tv-channel and each channel has a different vibe Change The Channel is a nice instrumental ride, each track is seasoned to perfection but has an individual feel. I got that early 2008 and I’m still bumbin’ it on the regular. Think of early Herbaliser fused with DJ Shadow.
I hope you enjoyed my late best of 2008 post and I will keep doing my thang for 2009.
Peace & I'm out !