Some picks of 2008
Radiohead - In Rainbows - Radiohead is a band who's releases continue to remain solid throughout over a decade of songwriting. While other bands dwindle in their creativity, they keep it up with every album. In Rainbows has uptempo guitar songs and moody acoustic ballads, full of headphone-tweaking sound effects.
Vivian Girls - (st) - The recording quality on their debut album is admirably scuzzy; the drums sound like somebody's banging a cereal box on the floor, which is part of the immediate charm.
Shawn Lee and Clutchy Hopkins - Clutch of the Tiger - It's dusty and mysterious junkyard jazz that's powered by sly beats and other-worldly funk.
Flying Lotus - Los Angeles - Flying Lotus has an amazing ability to create thick, rolling beats that pop and crack over smoked out basslines that evoke the 8-bit classics, but they're drenched in swirling synth lines and chopped apart beyond recognition. Highly recommended.
Black Mountain - In the future - An album filled with experimentation, hard rock and psychedelic blues.
Dungen - 4 - I don't understand how this band continues to make the most genuinely great psychedelic revivalist music and still seems relatively unnoticed.
Dead Meadow - Old Growth - vintage hard rock, tinged with some bluesy psychedelica, metal and stoner riffs, with the occasional ballad, and striking lyrics with a sense of fantasy.
The Organ - Thieves - 80s-influenced melancholy pop tones. Sadly their last and final release.
King Khan and his Shrines - The Supreme Genius of King Khan and his Shrines - a 60's garage record steeped in 70's R&B and Soul.
Jay Reatard - The Matador Singles - The simplicity is evident throughout this collection, if you added any more to any of these songs it would almost certainly ruin them. All that is really needed is a reliable verse and a chorus that practically screams "genius". Each of these songs is a perfectly crafted chunk of pop perfection, and in this case, it would not be a mistake to go the full Reatard.
Favorites of 2008
Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling into Place
Vivian Girls - Tell the World
Shawn Lee and Clutchy Hopkins - Bill Blows it
Flying Lotus - Beginners Falafel
Black Mountain - Wucan
Favorites of 2008
Dungen - Samtigidt 2
Dead Meadow - I'm Gone
The Organ - Let the Bells Ring
King Khan and his Shrines - I Wanna be a Girl
Jay Reatard - See Saw
Beats Broke's second release, also marks the first record ever available from Arts The Beatdoctor from the Netherlands in North America. Progressions is a double seven-inch (2x7") vinyl EP, limited to 500 numbered copies.
Tobacco - Truck Sweat recorded Fucked Up Friends using analog synths and tape machines, which gives his work a timeless distance from digital pop music at large. His tracks evoke sonar, mellotrons and deteriorating cassette tapes.
G.E.D. Soul Records has been recording deep fried southern funk and soul since late 2007. This Tennessee label is debuting there second release with DeRoberts & The Half-Truths that gives you a straight up and step by step instructions to "Stay on Point" on the flip side.
Funky drums and flute with a quirky flawless execution come together on "Voodoo", almost a mix of deep funk and soundtrack styles from the 60s. Natural Yogurt Band are one of the few contemporary acts to record for Jazzman but they've got a great style that certainly fits the older vibe of the label
A very interesting 12" from Finland's Clouds on the consistently excellent Ramp recordings. With Ras G of Ninja Tune and Plug Research fame providing a killer wonky instro-hiphop mix with rude soundsystem vibes plugged in.
This 10-inch EP by MRR-ADM featuring Malcolm Catto is full of hard hitting funky drums, percussion and fuzzy analog synth grooves. There's no track list and no words just raw sounds.
Chimpo steps out for MRK1's Contagious crew again with "Children Of Israel". The flip side track that is a dancehall stromer. Far outshadowing it's more popular counterpart with proper subbass drops and a far more wholesome vibe.
Madvillainy 2 - Pow! (intro) This album is a complete remix of their highly-acclaimed debut album Madvillainy. According to Stone Throw Records, Madlib could not wait for the official sequel of Madvillainy to be released, so he choose to remix their debut album completely
After the release of their full length in march 2008 this Brighton-based combo is back firing on all cylinders with their second single from their critically acclaimed debut album. The flip "Jackson Fingers" has more of a crime flick feel to it with wordless vocals and some soild drumwork.
The Grits are as gritty as ever, "Mwwauu" a cut that begins with a massive drum break for afew bars, then opens up with a wicked moogy keyboard mixed with organ and guitar.
The Fantasy Funk Band 45 is an excellent release brought about after listeners to BBC radio's Funk and Soul Show voted for their all time favorite artists. Smoove and Dr. Rubberfunk provide the crucial edits on this super limited special edition 7" vinyl, serving up a heavy JB's backing with Nina Simone vocals layered on top.
Truth & Soul, in conjunction with Candela Records present the first full-length from New York’s premier latin-soul band, Bronx River Parkway. With their first LP, “San Sebastian 152”. Bronx River Parkway delivers an exceptional and completely fresh take on music inspired by groups like The Lebron Brothers, Apollo Sound, and Ocho.
It's those Brooklyn boys, Monk One and E's E, back with another sweaty Latin slumper for the dancefloors. "Salsa Verde" starts nice enough, all crisp percussion and steady horns and electric piano, but when Antibalas' Victor Axelrod (aka Ticklah) comes in with the Eddie Palmieri-style retardo organ solo, it's a wrap.
For this album, Karl Hector is teamed up with Jay Whitefield (producer and guitarist for the Poets of Rhythm and the Whitefield Brothers, and founder of the now defunct Hotpie & Candy Records) and Thomas Myland and Zdenko Curlija, founders of The Malcouns. Together they make Sahara Swing a percussive excursions into the astral realms of psychedelia with an album of Afro-tinged funk music.
Analog Africa does it again with African Sceam Contest - Raw & Psychedelic Afro sound from Benin & Togo 70s. Napo De Mi Amor & The Black Devils - Leki Santchi was first recorded in early 1975. For this track Napo De Mi Amor used a rhythm called Crougnima, which is commonly played during rituals in the central regoin of Bassar. Only 200 copies were pressed and distributed in Lome.
An unexpectedly upful, shuffling, percussive rug-cutter, with the Light Of Saba veteran bringing a little go-go to the groundation, and a deft, lovely dub mixed by Moritz von Oswald.
Most Listen To 2008
Arts The Beatdoctor - Progressions
Tabacco - Truck Sweat
DeRoberts & The Half-Truths - Stay on Point
Natural Yoghurt Band - Voodoo
Ras G - Timekeeper (remix)
MRR-ADM - Track 3
Chimpo - Children of Isreal
Madvillany 2 - Pow! (intro)
Baby Charles - Jackson Fingers
Grits - MMWAUU
Dr Rubberfunk - Dr Rubberfunk's Fantasy Soul Band
Bronx River Parkway - Song for Ray
Green Rhythm Coalition - Salsa Verde
Karl Hector & The Malcouns - Followed Path
Napo De Mi Amor Et Ses Black Devil - Leki Santchi
Wareika Hill Sound - Proverbs Dub