Every year is a great year for music, because even if there isn't a lot interesting going on (not the case) there is an enormous ocean of the past gone by to wade through. As always I love to find new artists to listen to alongside the new records coming out from the ones I know. As well as countless good records Ive seen Meshuggah, Korn, Slipknot, Shikari, Devin Townsend, Nas playing Illmatic AGAIN! Download festival was a blast and in the summer caught Cypress Hill, Snoop Dogg, Napalm Death, Death and Opeth! Later in the year Killing Joke, Manson, Deep Purple and Public Enemy! Its been one heck of a year! for my top 10 records released this year click here.
Truly an artist of the internet era, with instant access to a vast depth of music, IGORRR's music draws from many obscure niches of Death Metal, Glitch and Baroque to collide in a frenetic maelstrom of noise assault. Perfect for my taste in aggressive oddities.
Biro initially came across as a Nujabes clone but has managed to define his own style and sound across the course of a few records. Being a fan of Nujabes I obviously liked this from the get go, but it was great to hear Biro develop into its own brand of instrumental Jazz Hop.
My exploration of Southern Hip Hop hasn't led me to too many gems, but there's something to B.G's flow and laid back persona that really works, and when paired up with the right beats he makes a reputable impression.
(7) King Crimson
Their debut is a celebrated classic and having finally gotten around to giving it a listen I understand what the fuss is about and can't help but feel there is more on offer in their discography I wish to dive into soon.
(6) The Beach Boys
All I knew of this band were the Surf Rock numbers like "Surfin USA" which I had little interest in. Had no idea there was another side to the band, or more so Brian Wilson who composed the entirety of this record which I have fallen in love with.
(5) Master P
Master P was a name I knew of in the rap world, but this year I learned the story of his entrepreneurship with No Limit records and of the short lived success his label went through between 97 and 99. I wouldn't say he is one of the greats, but his style, the UGH and the crew he brought together he has definitely been responsible for a lot of enjoyable music that has satisfied my craving for more Hip Hop.
(4) Dead Kennedys
I've known about the legendary Punk group Dead Kennedys for years, but finally cracked the case this year with Frankenchrist which really struck a nerve with me. Although its significantly different from there other records its opened the door for me and I hope I'll get into their other records soon.
(3) Killing Joke
What a tough choice the top three has been, at third its Killing Joke, a band who I've heard of many times as an important influence on bands like Ministry, Korn and Godflesh I finally understand their importance and have grown ever so fond of their first two records, however the rest of their discography is proving to be rather patchy. I like their style, their identity which is very niche, a mix of Post-Punk and Industrial Rock with a charismatic voice.
Its not strictly the year that Ive I learned about Kraftwerk's legacy and contribution to electronic music but it has been the year Ive really gotten to grips with their music and whats so fantastic and amazing about it. They had the vision to write emotional and imaginative songs at a time when electronic music was still seen as a novelty. The set the foundation for an explosion of synth pop in the 80s and subsequently everything else that followed. What's best of all is their music is fully realized and stands the test of time.
I have a soft spot for Hip Hop, so its no wonder to see Outkast here. Growing up I remember hearing B.O.B and Miss Jackson on MTV and this year decided to listen to their discography sequentially. Ive followed the journey of these two talented and articulate individuals who have crafted some of the finest Hip Hop records id never heard... or was waiting to hear? This is why I seek out new music, Outkast are one of Hip Hops greatest acts with a unique and defined sound that fit right into the vibe of the 90s. It was capable of pushing boundaries and I'm shocked its taken me so long to get around to that southern playalistic duo from my youth.