As 2008 winds down to a close, the homie Loco got at me about posting up my top 10 list of whatever music shit I was feeling. So after thinking carefully, here's my list in no particular order, peoples.
Otherwise known as "the Grove" in their native tongue, Dungen has always been up on that real heavy Swedish psychedelic folk rock jazz shit that just makes you feel like you're on something when you know you're not. It's like listening to an amazing acid flashback and you feel like your soul is melting from the awesomeness because they get all up inside you that well. If you haven't sat in a flower meadow outside in the middle of nowhere sober with any of their albums on your ipod, you obviously have never tripped hard enough to experience their realness.
Lil' Wayne "Tha Carter III"
Despite the fact that there's a billion and one haters out there, it's a sure sign of success for Weezy (cue "Hi Hater") because having haters has always been a sign of success. I know people are gonna hate on me for feeling his shit but I've always been a fan of Weezy ever since he used to put records out as a young 17-year-old with his daddy, Baby, on Ca$h Money Records. The production on this album is so ridiculous. I still have "Let The Beat Build" and "Mrs. Officer" on repeat more than the radio. Real talk. Haters can't deny the fact that his shit doesn't fail, even though they can try. After spinning parties for so long, he's a serial hit maker. If you know, you know.
Mr. Oizo "Lambs Anger"
While most kids are still trying to rip their latest shitty Myspace tracks of regurgitated blog house on the "oh, it's an Ed Banger exclusive" bullshit, Mr. Oizo defies the repetitive doldrums of bedroom bootleg Ableton tutorials and does his own shit. Lambs Anger keeps it electroriginal and absent of the stupid hype shit. The dude has been in this for a while and knows what's good. Find me trying to emulate the Levi's commercial where "Flat Beat" is on blast cruising down the block with Flat Eric.
I gotta give a shout out to my homegirl Kelly for putting me up on this band a while back because since then, I've been hooked. So yeah, I think it's been stated that Portland has become the new hot spot for exciting cool shit. It's cheap to live there, urban yet at the same time rural and full of up-and-coming artists and musical acts. Starfucker essentially encapsulates the beautiful flavor of Portland's sound on an organic level of wholesome nourishment that your body (and ears) need after a heavy three-day bender of legalized amphetamines and excessive malt liquor, where their savory melodies delight your senses in the same likeness of drinking citrus kombucha and devouring a grilled chicken burrito once you've officially regained consciousness. They are that good for you.
Menahan Street Band “Make The Road By Walking”
This band seriously has brought it back to the old dusty instrumental B-side gems that you'd find in the dollar bin next to outdated Barbara Streisand records and weird drugged out looking Kenny Loggins albums. Given that they're a collaborative band made of talented musicians from other widely respected acts like the Dap-Kings and El Michels Affair, it's no contest that their soul-funk sound is immensely timeless and intricately cool. DJ Soul of NYC did his own take on their sound and used it in his own trailer of the classic 1974 blaxploitation film 'Willie Dynamite' reaffirming how genuinely ageless good music from the soul can be.
J. Rawls & Middle Child "Rawls & Middle"
I'm gonna be real when I say this but J. Rawls is seriously one of the most slept-on and underrated producers out there. For the Dilla fans, I'm sure you've heard his stuff before and it's no question that this album emanates a vibe even the late Dilla would definitely appreciate. Paired up with the soulcentric singer, Middle Child, all I gotta say is that this amazing album is heavy soul food for your ears. Real talk.
Bronx River Parkway “San Sebastian 152”
For fans of the late and great Ray Barretto and epicness of the Fania label and its affiliates, Bronx River Parkway are a true reincarnation of that summer-inducing soulful Latin funk that transports you to drunkenly watching bootyful 20-something Nuyorican girls that look like Nina Sky getting’ sweaty on the dancefloor on a rooftop BBQ party somewhere in the South Bronx. The heavy percussion and jazzy piano riffs are a perfect accompaniment to that fifth serving of arroz con gandules and eighth shot of rum your desperate ego needs so you can actually say something to them (maybe in Spanish?) before their cousins come kill the game you thought you had. Pa’ que sepan.
Flying Lotus “Los Angeles”
If FlyLo had a place he went to when makes beats, it’d be on Jupiter in the future with some alien strain of weed because his shit is out of this world. I honestly think his connect either isn’t human or is best friends with Bjork’s spiritual cybernetic organism that lives in Tokyo (also in the future) because his sound is ridiculously ethereal. I don’t know how many people heard his BBC Essential Mix but that mix seriously is a drug on its own. Most people’s brains create those fun-inducing neurotransmitters to feel good; his brain, on the otherhand, creates its own THC-manufacturing ones to communicate in beats because his music speaks on wavelengths your brain didn’t know it could experience. Real talk.
Sébastien Tellier “Sexuality”
I think I understand now why the French have a separate secret language called “let's get it on” because this album is written in it. On the real, the Rosetta Stone needs this shit in their catalogue. Sébastien Tellier must be one of the leading intellectuals on it because this album makes synthesizers sound like sex toys. The soft layering of synths on top of girls’ moaning is the realest aspect of this album other than the obvious fact of the album’s title. I don’t know how much more real you can get with that one. This album is on some next level baby making music and definitely needs a warning label because of how hot it can get if you have this on in the presence of a girl. As T-Pain would say: “Fuego!”
DJ Nes' Dirty Water Jazz Mix
I don’t really know much about DJ Nes but whoever he is, he killed it because this mix was one of my all-time favorites for this year. Full of some real-deal hot jazz, cut up and mixed superbly, I think my roommates probably got annoyed with how much I played this mix around the house. For me, this mix has a sentimental embodiment of nostalgia where I can associate it with so many different good times I had this year and it’s probably something I won’t ever forget.
Gaslamp Killer versus Heliocentrics Mix for Stones Throw
The San Diego native and prolific west-side-till-I-die Turntable Lab LA affiliate named Willow seriously murdered it on this mix. I think there was a time where I listened to this mix for a week straight when I was in a hole somewhere as a result of school and stress. He’s a definite fiend for heavy drums and psychedelic trippy shit which is something he rides for as I’ve been told that his numerous crates of rare trip-hop and obscure 1970s Turkish funk can’t be fucked with. For a dude that hangs out on Jupiter with his good homie FlyLo, smoking interplanetary hydroponic curry and was probably doing acid in his mother’s womb, this mix is on a serial trip in all forms of the word. Highly recommended.