2019: My Year In Music
I’ve been a regular cloudcaster at the lovely Mixcloud platform since 2010. Starting December 2014 it has become a tradition to usher in Christmas with a mix featuring my absolute favorites from the past year. 2019 is no different. I have selected 30 of the most memorable albums released on CD in 2019. One track out of each is included in a harmonic mix. Below I’ll introduce the tracklist :)
Notable In Nineteen | Everyear 2019
One track each from 30 of the most memorable albums released in 2019. Created using Audacity software.
01. Apollo Brown — The Backbone (feat. Fat Ray, Guilty Simpson, Melanie Rutherford) [mello]
0:00:00 | The mix sets off with a soulful hip-hop track from one of the masters in the game: Apollo Brown. The album ‘Sincerely, Detroit’ portrays the motor city in beats and rhymes. I’ve picked ‘The Backbone’ that features the caramel voice of Guilty Simpson.
02. Madonna — Killers Who Are Partying [boy toy]
0:03:23 | Next up is the queen of pop, Madonna. I admire the way she re-invents herself for each album. ‘Madame X’ features a wide range of musical styles. I’m particularly impressed by the tracks that feature Portuguese fado music, like the political pamflet ‘Killers Who Are Partying’.
03. Marina — Karma [atlantic]
0:08:33 | I had never heard of Welsh singer-songwriter Marina (a.k.a. Marina and the Diamonds) before this year. Her pop album ‘Love + Fear’ balances between cheesy and cheeky. The Greek sounding ‘Karma’ is at the right side and has become a sing-along in our family.
04. Lafawndah — Ancestor Boy [concordia]
0:11:53 | NY-based Yasmin Dubois, better known as Lafawndah, has performed in Amsterdam this year at the Mixcloud Future Rising event, where digital and physical worlds collide. Part of her 2019 album ‘Ancestor Boy’ was co-produced by Kingdom, like the dark and exciting title track.
05. Blackbear — Sick Of It All [alamo]
0:15:22 | Once a rocker, Matthew Musto has reinvented himself as a trap artist under his Blackbear alias. Lots of references to drug abuse and sexual addiction, so certainly no family affair, but I have become addicted to his beats and robotic voice. From ‘Anonymous’’, I chose ‘Sick Of It All’.
06. Meat Beat Manifesto — Bolinas [flexidisc]
0:18:06 | Jack Dangers has been releasing music since 1989. Electronic Body Music was practically defined by his group Meat Beat Manifesto. 2019 saw the release of a beautiful and varied album ‘Opaque Couché’. Detroit techno ‘Agelast’ didn’t fit into the set; the atmospheric ‘Bolinas’ is a great alternative.
07. Cassius — Don’t Let Me Be [love supreme]
0:20:49 | Heroes of French disco house Cassius have demonstrated this year they can still create fresh sounds, 20 years after their debut. The album ‘Dreems’ is a playful and danceable affair. ‘Don’t Let Me Be’ is an instant classic accompanied by a funny video. RIP Philippe Zdar; you will be missed.
08. Will Saul — Freya’s Theme [aus]
0:24:17 | Simple Records label owner Will Saul’s first album in 14 years ‘Open Too Close’ is an adventure with many faces. Quality house music in different shapes and sizes. For this year’s mix, I have selected the deep and bassy opening track ‘Freya’s Theme’.
09. Sudan Archives — Down On Me [stones throw]
0:28:37 | This year violinist and vocalist Brittney Denise Parks, better known as Sudan Archives, has released her thrilling r&b debut album entitled ‘Athena’. Don’t miss the bellydance funk of ‘Glorious’. The powerful ‘Down On Me’ has made it into the set.
10. Loyle Carner & Jordan Rakei — Ottolenghi [amf]
0:32:32 | 2019 saw UK rapper and singer Loyle Carner introduce his second album, ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’. The artwork shows pictures from his youth. It is indeed a personal album with a mix of old-school hip-hop and neo soul. ‘Ottolenghi’, a collaboration with Ninja Tune’s Jordan Rakei, features.
11. Maggie Rogers — Give A Little [capitol]
0:35:03 | The first time I heard of Maggie Rogers was when someone sent me this video where a shy yet self assured lady hypnotizes Pharrell with her music. Maggie’s debut album ‘Love You For A Long Time’ reveals a talented songwriter with a unique sound. ‘Give A Little’ is my favorite song.
12. DjeuhDjoah & Lieutenant Nicholson — Fontaine [hot casa]
0:38:39 | It doesn’t happen often that I buy an entire album for just one track. DjDj & LtN are the exception. I just had to have ‘Soleil Au Réveil’ from their 2015 debut. In 2019 they have returned with ‘Aimez Ces Airs’. This time I love more than just one track! Such as ‘Fontaine’. Positive, funky, and playful.
13. Post Malone — Wow. [republic]
0:42:10 | Perhaps Austin Richard Post’s skin color has raised even more debate than his music. Post Malone is a white guy, successful in a predominantly black culture. Catchy hip-hop including the less pleasant aspects, especially for a feminist like me. Call it a guilty pleasure. ‘Wow.’
14. Chali 2Na & Krafty Kuts — Black Vapor [manphibian]
0:44:34 | This year I learnt to appreciate the baritone voice of rapper Charles Stewart — Chali 2Na. Together with turntablist Krafty Kuts the former Jurassic 5 frontman has created the thematic album ‘Adventures Of A Reluctant Superhero’. Lots of tunes to pick from. ‘Black Vapor’ fitted best.
15. Daniel Haaksman — La Añoranza (feat. Coco Maria, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Ori Kaplan) [man]
0:47:16 | DJ Daniel Haaksman is famous for mixing world music with electronica. His third studio album ‘With Love, From Berlin’ centers around the globalization of the German capital. It seems fitting Daniel has collaborated with many international artists for this album, such as Peruvian Dengue Dengue Dengue on the magical ‘La Añoranza’.
16. Gang Starr — Bad Name [gang starr]
0:50:56 | There is a long and painful legal story behind the final release of a new Gang Starr album in 16 years, 9 years after Guru has died of cancer. Focusing on the music (‘One Of The Best Yet’) rather than the hassle, the new album by the legendary hip-hop formation does not dissappoint. ‘Bad Name’ is a convincing track with a message about a current theme: fame.
17. DAM — Dathiruni [cooking vinyl]
0:53:00 | DAM is the first Palestinian hip-hop crew and among the first to rap in Arabic. They are all about emancipation, bringing serious messages through a powerful mix of Arabic and western sounds. Their 2019 album ‘Ben Haana Wa Maana’ is a family favorite. “When will you get married?” My year mix includes ‘Dathiruni’: a plea for LGBTI rights.
18. Mabel — Stckhlm Syndrome [polydor]
0:56:07 | Being the daughter of two musicians (rapper Neneh Cherry and Massive Attack’s Cameron McVey), Mabel was probably destined for a musical career from birth. Her debut album ‘High Expectations’ is a catchy blend of pop and R&B. I use the interlude ‘Stckhlm Syndrome’ full-fledge.
19. Rhi — Swagger [tru thoughts]
0:58:26 | Rhiannon Bouvier — Rhi for short — does everything herself: writing, producing, singing. Her cocktail of bass heavy sounds and romantic lyrics has attracted my attention. This year’s ‘The Pale Queen’ is arguably even better than her debut ‘Reverie’. I picked the first TPQ single, ‘Swagger’.
20. Inspectah Deck — What It Be Like [urban icon]
1:00:50 | From the Wu Tang family, Inspectah Deck has been releasing hip-hop under his solo guise since 1999. The 2019 album ‘Chamber №9’ features old-school hip-hop that hasn’t lost its glamor. ‘What It Be Like’ fit best into this set.
21. Jamila Woods — Betty [jagjaguwar]
1:03:39 | Jamila Woods’ album ‘Legacy! Legacy’ can be called an ode to influential black people. Woods is a true poet with a timeless voice. ‘Betty’ is my pick. The original album track that is. I really had to resist the temptation to include the boogie version that is sure to set the dancefloor on fire!
22. Chris Brown — Back To Love [rca]
1:06:48 | You either love him or hate him. There is something admittently annoying about Chris Brown’s auto tune vocals. But the music is just so damn danceable. Many of the 32 (!) tracks from this year’s ‘Indigo’ album are NSFW. This one is: ‘Back To Love’.
23. Kornél Kovács — Baltzar [barnhus]
1:10:11 | How to describe Kornél Kovács’ music? The Swedish producer and label owner mashes pop music, r&b, and house in a refreshing way. I could have included every track from ‘Stockholm Marathon’. In the end, ‘Baltzar’ blended in nicely.
24. Friendly Fires — Cry Wolf [polydor]
1:13:39 | British indie band Friendly Fires this year released their first album in eight years: ‘Inflorescent’. A pleasant surprise. After having played punk and rock, ‘Inflorescent’ is a disco affair. On repeat in the family car! The year mix needed ‘Cry Wolf’.
25. Toro Y Moi — New House [carpark]
1:17:18 | Chaz Bear’s sixth studio album ‘Outer Peace’ (under his Toro Y Moi alias) has received some mixed reviews. “Boring synthpop with too much auto tune.” I couldn’t disagree more. ‘Baby Drive It Down’ is a truly emotional track for me. ‘New House’ is another beauty that seemed to fit into the set more.
26. Flavia Coelho — Página [pias]
1:19:48 | In 2019 Brazilian-turned-French Flavia Coelho presented a crossover record that convincingly combines pop with musical styles from South America, the Caribbean, and the West: ‘DNA’. ‘Página’ is the stand-out track for me.
27. Ed Sheeran & Travis Scott — Antisocial [warner]
1:23:00 | I knew Ed Sheeran from the radio, like anyone else. But I had never thought of buying his music until ‘№6 Collaborations Project’ appeared. What happens when grown-up artists meet this young slick singer? Well, Travis Scott for instance has managed to make Ed swear a little in ‘Antisocial’.
28. S.P.Y. — Breathing Underwater [hospital]
1:25:33 | Hospital Records has been my favorite drum & bass label for a couple of years now. In 2019 Brazilian born Carlos Lima, best known as S.P.Y., has released an amazing double album bringing back the jungle sounds from the early 1990s. Almost every track on ‘Dubplate Style’ makes me move. ‘Breathing Underwater’ is a great example.
29. Klute — Flesh Eaters [commercial suicide]
1:30:27 | Best drum & bass producer ever? Goldie? Or Tom Withers (Klute)? Impossible choice. Klute is a different animal. Tom creates some of the most emotional d&b out there, but his techno is equally convincing. As demonstrated again on ‘Whatever It Takes’. ‘Flesh Eaters’ stars.
30. Hugh Hardie — Offshore [hospital]
1:34:55 | After going through my 2019 purchases and sets on Mixcloud again, I discovered I didn’t use a single track from Hugh Hardie’s ‘Offshore’ album in any of my mixes published this year. A wrong that needed to be set right. ‘Offshore’ is an energetic way to end my year-in-review.