Part 4: the final chapter…
Top 5 R&B/Reggae/Electronica Albums 2019
“Ventura” is Anderson .Paak’s most R&B-ish album to date. Not everybody loved it („too slow“ or a lack of „hit material“ is what I’ve heard people complain about), but there’s no doubt that this is a great album. I would even go so far as to say that it’s a sonic masterpiece! The mixing and mastering on this album is second to none. Of course most people these days don’t appreciate quality sound anymore, since most people these days are streaming music on shitty speakers – even more important to point out how incredible this album sounds. Not only sonically, but also stylistically. Quality old school R&B is what I would call it.
Two-step to this.
Jacques Greene’s sophomore album is an absolute gem. Its musical soundscape is located somewhere between Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers, Burial and Jamie xx. The way the Canadian producer stitched all kinds of different elements and emotions together is phenomenal. It probably also helped that Jacques collaborated with a wide range of musicians: the album contains additional production from film composer Brian Reitzell (“Lost In Translation”) and producer legends like Machinedrum and Clams Casino + vocal contributions from ambient artist Julianna Barwick, rapper Cadence Weapon, and singers Rochelle Jordan and Ebhoni.
Grab your headphones and get in the zone. The perfect late night/after-club soundtrack.
“Flamagra” sounds like a proper FlyLo album. I’m not saying that I didn’t love “You’re Dead!”, because I did, it was an amazing album. But it felt more like an instrumental Captain Murphy (his rapping alter ego) rather than a Flying Lotus album. “Flamagra” also marks his longest LP to date, with a running time of 60+ minutes. Enough time to let guests like Denzel Curry, Tierra Whack, Solange, Anderson .Paak, Little Dragon, Thundercat, Toro y Moi, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and even living legends like George Clinton and David Lynch (!) shine on his trademark jazz-funk/hip-hop/electronic compositions.
As usual, Steve keeps pushing the envelope.
In 2018, multi-talented actor, producer, rapper and DJ Idris Elba made his directorial debut with “Yardie”, a film based on the 1992 novel by Victor Headley. So it was only right that he’d take care of the musical side as well, compiling his personal “Yardie Mixtape”. As the title already implies, it’s a reggae-heavy affair: from roots reggae to ragga to ska to modern dancehall to hip-hop – the whole soundtrack is a vibe. Besides Mr. Elba himself, the mixtape features heavy-hitters such as Cadenza (son of David Rodigan), Toddla T, Chip, Newham Generals, Kranium, Zed Bias, and Dennis Bovell.
Nuh sleep pan dis.
After a 6-year hiatus, producer extraordinaries Hudson Mohawke and Lunice aka TNGHT have made a triumphant return.
The music on “II” is not quite what the people (or I) had expected: It’s less club-oriented (in fact, I’ve read the term „anti-club songs“ before, which makes sense), and more experimental and playful than their debut project. Odd grooves, weird vocal samples – it’s obvious that HudMo and Lunice had no intentions of just continuing their 2012 sound (the sound that almost accidentally birthed „EDM trap“). Definitely not for everyone, but I’m desperate for more – maybe a tiny little bit less left-field next time.
30 Projects From 2019 I Couldn’t Get To Yet
- Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Bandana”
- YG – “4Real 4Real”
- Pete Rock – “Return Of The SP1200”
- Gang Starr – “One Of The Best Yet”
- Big K.R.I.T. – “KRIT Iz Here”
- 2 Chainz – “Rap Or Go To The League”
- Maxo Kream – “Brandon Banks”
- Tuxedo – “III”
- Kaytranada – “Bubba”
- The Game – “Born 2 Rap”
- Yelawolf – “Ghetto Cowboy”
- Devin The Dude – “(Still Rollin’ Up) Somethin To Ride With”
- Stromzy – “Heavy Is The Head”
- Ocean Wisdom – “Big Talk Vol. 1”
- Action Bronson & Alchemist – “Lamb Over Rice” (EP)
- Styles P – “S.P. The G.O.A.T.” / “Pressence”
- Conway The Machine – “Look What I Became”
- Trae – “Exhale”
- Jidenna – “85 To Africa”
- Jeezy – “TM104: Legend Of The Snowman”
- Statik Selektah & Paul Wall – “Give Thanks” (EP)
- Clams Casino – “Moon Trip Radio”
- SiR – “Chasing Summer”
- Swindle – “No More Normal”
- Skepta – “Ignorance Is Bliss”
- Young Thug – “So Much Fun”
- ScHoolboy Q – “Crash Talk”
- RJmrLA – “On God”
- Rapsody – “EVE”
- Mac Ayres – “Juicebox”