We are proud to present our Top 10 singles from this year.
If you missed them, check them out below!
Kokoroko – Kokoroko EP (Brownswood)
“KOKOROKO, led by bandleader Sheila Maurice-Grey, are part of the thriving scene that’s grown out of London’s young, jazz-influenced musical circles.”
“The EP is the group’s first proper introduction to their sound. It follows ‘Abusey Junction’ being featured on We Out Here, the 2018 Brownswood compilation documenting London’s bright-burning, jazz-influenced musical underground, picked by Rough Trade as Compilation of the Year 2018, and praised by The Wire, Monocle and the New York Times. Writing and performing as a group since 2014, KOKOROKO have played at iconic venues like Ronnie Scott’s, performed at Afropunk Festival, and toured in Brazil, Colombia and Europe.”
Peggy Gou – Moment EP (Gudu)
‘Moment’ sees Gou continue to explore the charismatic facets of her musical and personal identity, drawing on her Korean heritage and language and her love for house & disco’s Eighties heritage, with particular nods to the output of labels such as Prelude and West End Records in the decade’s nascent years.
Gou’s own singing voice, known to so many from last year’s ‘Once’ EP, returns here to confidently guide the rhythm on ‘Starry Night’. Mixing both Korean and English vocals over a tumbling cascade of percussion and piano house keys, the track builds to incorporate layers of instrumental samples and subtle acid lines. Romantic, anthemic and timeless in its feel, it reaffirms Gou’s skill as a songwriter with appeal that resonates beyond crowded dancefloors, not to mention language barriers.
Don Blackman – Just Can’t Stay Away (Melodies International)
Don Blackman was an American pianist, singer and songwriter from Jamaica, Queens in New York. Better remembered for his seminal self titled album released in 1982 on Arista, with anthems such as Holding You, Loving You; Heart’s Desire or Never Miss A Thing, his influence stretches much further
Going through his body of work, it’s hard to tell where Blackman shines the brightest between his brilliant and heartfelt vocal performances and his virtuosity as a pianist and songwriter. Channelling jazz vocabulary into well crafted songs, he could do it all! But perhaps it’s the underlying bittersweet melancholy and his keen sense of humour that seeps through his peculiar arrangements and lyrics, that make his music so relatable and everlasting.
Vance and Suzzanne – I Can’t Get Along Without You (Kalita)
A record that deserves its space on the shelf of every collector, DJ and dance music connoisseur, and with original copies now regularly fetching triple figures, it’s time to share this masterpiece with the world once more. In addition, here Kalita accompany the release with a never-before-seen press photo and interview-based liner notes.
Originally privately released in 1980 on Vanton Records, this is the first time that both the record and the label’s story has been told. The product of two members of Crown Heights Affair (Richard Vance Turner and Eleton Johns), the label was established as a way to protect both their musical freedom and copyright that they would have lost had they signed to a major label. With Vanton, they sought to create a sound that combined Eleton’s love for Philadelphia with Richard’s love for New York-based productions.
Rupa – Disco Jazz (Numero)
Barely disco and hardly jazz, Rupa Biswas’ 1982 LP is the halfway point between Bollywood and Balearic. Tracked in Calgary’s Living Room Studios with a crack team of Indian and Canadian studio rats alike, Disco Jazz is a perfect fusion of East and West. Sarod and synthesizer intricately weaving around one another for 37 transcendent minutes, culminating in the viral hit “Aaj Shanibar.” Remastered from original analogue source material and with he permission and blessing of the producers and performers.
Joe Armon-Jones – Icy Roads (Stacked) (Brownswood)
Wildly talented keys player Joe Armon-Jones is back with new single ‘Icy Roads (Stacked)’, a head-spinning blend of luminous jazz-funk synths, off-kilter drums and a languorous, ear-worm bassline. Featuring in-demand kit man KwAkE bAsS (who’s worked with Kate Tempest, Sampha and Joey Bada$$) and bassist Mutale Chashi (part of KOKOROKO), this is a tight trio hitting all the right notes. It features killer artwork nodding to Thrust-era Herbie Hancock. Plus the vinyl comes backed with an exclusive b-side, the gloriously loose and languid ‘Aquarius’.
Benny L – Vanta Black (Metalheadz)
Set to be one of the biggest tunes of 2019, Vanta Black is a sonic statement like no other.
Headed up by the inimitable instrumental, the release also features the equally sought after Inja vocal version as a digital exclusive and a VIP of Low Blow, the original being the track that started Benny L’s Metalheadz journey almost 2 years ago.
Modeselektor Feat. Tommy Cash – Who (Monkeytown)
Rarely has a pair of tracks been more representative of their creators. „Who“ underscores their reputation as pioneers of boundary-pushing popular electronic music, keeping it real while keeping it fresh, appealing and inclusive. Featuring Estonian rapper Tommy Cash on vocals, „Who“ is a frantic and melodic tune, showing a love for the spectacular and no fear of of pop. „Else“ is the perfect atmospheric flip side, picking up similar sounds but going for subtle sonic experimentation over an emotionally charged broken beat.
It’s Modeselektor’s universe in a nutshell. Always familiar, never the same.
Willie J Healey – Hello Good Morning (Yala!)
“The prettiest people would do the ugliest things,” writes Willie J Healey himself by way of explaining his new single ‘Songs For Joanna’. It’s a terrific summation of that feeling of not quite being able to connect with mainstream society, and it’s a theme that occupies the rest of Healey’s latest four-track EP, Hello Good Morning.
Kelly Lee Owens – Let it Go / Omen (Smalltown Supersound)
Kelly Lee Owens releases a 12” featuring Let It Go, a track made for her DJ set at Fabric earlier this year and now made available through the Adult Swim Single Series. Let It Go and accompanying track Omen are released physical through Smalltown Supersound.