It was a crazy year-in-music for me. Took a ton of turns to unexpected places I didn't know existed. I spent wayyyy too much money on records from DNT, but it was all well worth it. Night People and NNF had some of my favorite releases and Charles Hamilton absolutely demolished the rap mixtape game. If anything, it proved that you can't predict what's going to happen or try to command the future, you just have to take it as it comes and get excited as fuck when cool shit comes to your attention.
Ducktails - II
Horse Steppin!!!!!!!!!!! Album sounds how album looks. Sun Araw had a pretty decent year, eh?
Sun Araw - Beach Head
Magic Lantern - High Beams
Killer Mike is maybe the best of the good rap group's crew of friends best rapper group of rappers. Starting with a good verse on Stankonia that he wrongly and unapologetically called 'a classic,' and having the second best verse on "The Whole World," KM has been putting in work. I am the kind of person that believes the Dungeon Family album is a classic, and Andre3k's verson on Slimm Calhoun's first single is one of the better stylistically-executed of his career, and that Goodie Mob is gravely underrated, and highly enjoyed the Purple Ribbon albums... Basically I'm a big fan of anything that comes out from under the OutKast umbrella. Mike has a knack for picking beats that his Red Bull'd flow and gravely voice legos perfectly on. Here he sounds like a man desperate to get a point across, as if he knows fewer and fewer people are listening to him the more diluted Outkast becomes as a product, and is doing everything to stay afloat, and this kind of mirrors his message for his fans. It makes for honesty. That should be the movement.
Killer Mike - I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II
Growing - All The Way
I don't know. They had a string of pretty good stuff this year, but I'm still of the ilk that you should tone down the amount of releases in favor of only the really good stuff. It's all good though. This is their supposed dub album, with Bobb Bruno on percussion.
Pocahaunted - Island Diamonds (CD Reissue w/Extra tracks)
This really came out of nowhere for me, and I don't like to travel into the metal section at our store. The word metal... the sort of darkness implied by the genre admittedly scares me off. This is really good, though. Plodding through your ears, there are parts that remind me of a slightly harder version of White Magic. Earth is good for really any situation other than clubbing. And I don't club, so it's always good for me.
Earth - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull
Teeth Mountain - Teeth Mountain
Sean McCann - Sway
Crystal Stilts - Crystal Stilts
High Places - High Places
He murdered the rap game this year. Get on this shit now, I promise you, before he turns into shit and gets killed by television. I went into the second half of this year convinced that Lil Wayne (which would be in my top 15, but you can find that link anywhere, so it'd be redundant) had done everything a flow could do. That sort of heroin silk sheet on a clothes line riding the wind style of rap. Hamilton has all that on an appeal that seems to be more broad, as he also plays several instruments as well as all that rap crap. It's 2009. Can we finally lose that argument about whether rap is a legit genre now? Serious.
Charles Hamilton - Outside Looking In
Also, check out his website here. It has this, along with, iirc, 7 other free mixtapes that he put out this year as a marketing ploy for a real full length. Goooooood. (looks like there may be a screw up with the new year on those clocks... if those don't get fixed, I'm re-uping the discog, no worries)
Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna
I really like Miller's guitar work, and the b-side here is a perfect example, where 7 minutes seems like 3 and you want that 3 to go on for 15. Thank God for the repeat function!
Evan Miller - S/T C16
Not only did he put out what is probably my 3rd or 4th favorite album of the year, he responded within 5 minutes to a myspace I sent him (no, I'm not that guy... this is really the only time I've done that). Will let him speak for himself:
thanks for the great letter, i will try and answer these questions. Snail's Pace is really kind of a homage to Azalia Snail (hence the title). On her album "Deep Motif", the opener "Aero Sets Me Free" has a section near the end where the entire mix of the song just changes (an edit i think) but anyway, it's one of the ghosts i will forever be chasing because to me, it is just so perfect sounding and wonderful. So for Snail's Pace, i recorded the first half, ran it thru an amp simulator effect (some crappy preset in the recorder i use), then did the second half with a different amp simulator preset, and the running the final mix thru a phasor setting. so just lts of fx on top of more fx etc. all from the ancient Boss BR8 zip disc recorder i use. I do like the first boards of canada lp, but early autechre is more of an influence. and yeah d.o.c. and dre. amazing. 2nd best ruthless release behind straight outta compton and followed by ATL's "Living Like Hustlers" or the first Bone Thugs. hope this was informative. take care-bobb
Bobb Bruno - Clown's Castle