Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Best of 2012: Electronica/Hip Hop

Seems like there is a growing number of people that aren't into the whole best of the year list thing.  Personally, I like reflecting on the year and showcasing the best that was offered up.  So, yeah, I am going to do it again this year.  I am going to kick things off with the Electronica/Hip Hop section because it is the shortest list and therefore the least time consuming.  Also, I kind of want to revisit the best of 2011 as well eventually because I think after a year of reflection, things may look a lot different.

Couple stipulations: 1) I try to avoid including bands I directly release material for just to be unbiased (so samplers are excluded), 2) I try to only use material that was posted on here, but sometimes there is stuff that is too good to not include, 3) Some really good albums may not make the list just due to time constraints and I am not familiar enough with them.  Consequentially, 4) there will be far less material represented than last year, seeing that there are about half as many albums featured this year compared to last.

5. Koda Vista by Joywave

That's a dad if I ever saw one.
This little EP is catchy as all get out, and I liked it after one listen.  It is the definition of short and sweet.  Not neccesarily ground breaking but I can't deny the amount of time I have listened to this and the waves of joy that went through me each time.  HUZZAH!

Badbadnotgood surfaced in 2011 with really smart music, and some great throwbacks to the music that influenced them.  Jamming out popular music from a different perspective connected people with their album, and it made our best of list for that year.  They continued with a similar approach on their latest album from this year; they remodeled popular material but had enough original material to confirm how legit they were.  In a lot of ways, this release is the complete opposite of the Joywave release.  Instead of a simple approach, these guys have so much technical skill and thrive off intricate compositions.

There is so much to like about the airy and smooth attitude that FlyLo has in each of his albums.  After watching the short video for "Putty Boy Strut", I was hooked.

My love for Benn Jordan and all of his musical endeavors is pretty well-documented, so it should come as no surprise that his latest made it up here.  The only thing holding this one back for me is the length and amount of ambiance that could be argued is just "filler".  Other than that, this one is a trip.

1. Keys to the Kuffs by JJ Doom

My love for DOOM is also very documented very well.  It's amazing though how much this one has grown on me.  This collaboration between Jneiro Jarel and DOOM didn't impress me right off the bat, but the weird beats grew on me.  DOOM has been kind of surrounded in controversy; the latest is his exile in England.  All of the outside stuff aside, it will be nice to see what he does once he gets settled back home.  Until then, this collaboration is somthing to groove to, which I have been listening to much more lately than when it initially came out.  Not only do you get some classic verses from DOOM, but JJ flexes his skill as a producer of many varieties.

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