It is hard to believe that it is
December already almost January. It is even harder to believe that I had to scrape sleet off my windshield today last week in the middle of Texas.
This year saw some big changes:
1. I now live in TX.
2. I now have a regular job. I am not self employed so I have to wear pants and talk to people.
3. I ditched that horrible razr. iPhone, baby!
4. I bought a house.
OK, enough chitchat. On to the music… my favorites from this past year in no particular order:
For a new artist it must be great to be selected as soundtrack to a beer commercial. Unbelievable amounts of exposure can be a double-edged sword, though. Personally, I had no faith that anyone that everyone is talking about could be any good. Happily, Santogold delivers beyond my initial sounds-like-M.I.A impression. Good stuff.
Flying Lotus — Los Angeles
This artist is habit forming. Another case where my initial hesitation was unfounded (see Santogold). My first impression of FlyLo was that he was just a J Dilla imitator. Clipped and filtered snares/hand claps and loosely off-time kicks definitely nod to that Detroit sound but here they are wedded to a hazy static-filled atmosphere which elevates the whole bumping shuffling thing.
Roberta Flack (feat. Dolly)
The Bug — London Zoo
After a few killer singles on Hyperdub, The Bug released a full length on Ninja Tune that expanded on the mutant dancehall and grime styles that have been his trademark since 2003’s Pressure. Highlights are too numerous to list but includes Jah War, which made my list last year. Check out the samples.
Skeng feat. Killa P & Flowdan
Skream — Skreamizm Vol: 4
The steady stream of anthems keeps coming from this guy. He’s already on Volume 5. I’m looking forward to following his career if he keeps up this quality. I always download his sets from the rinse.fm podcast, too.
Some noteworthy listening material that doesn’t fall into the “new in 2008” category. Mp3 blogs, podcasts, etc.
A Closet of Curiosities — Out of print avant garde and modern classical albums. Minimalism, early electronics, electroacoustic, as well as international selections of interest to fans of said styles.
Awesome Tapes from Africa — Cassette tapes from Africa that are awesome.
Music from the Third Floor — Bollywood soundtracks from the 60s and 70s, ripped from vinyl. Artwork usually included.
Magic of Juju — From Indian classical LPs to LaMonte Young to Jamaican 7-inch singles. This is a treasure trove of great music.
If you are actually interested in what I listened to besides just 2008 releases you can check my Last.fm charts for the last 12 months.