Playlist 2/01/09 - Stylin Loves 2008
1. Hudson Mohawke - Overnight
2. Blue Sky Black Death - Ghosts Among Men
3. Yaw - Where Would You Be
4. Belmondo & Milton Nascimento - Berceuse Malilia
5. Lars Bartkuhn - Goodbye Dancing Hello God
6. Stacy Epps - Floatin'
7. Q-Tip - Gettin' Up
8. Kidz in the Hall - God Bless
9. Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save my Soul
10. Monica Blaire feat MJ Robinson - Computer Luv
11. Jill Scott - Whatever (Live in Paris)
12. Danny Byrd feat T-Lace - From Bath with Love
13. Jazmine Sullivan - Bust Your Windows
14. Raphael Saadiq - 100 Yard Dash
15. Bennson - Fly High
16. Ed Motta - Ikarus on the Stairs
17. Ken Ishii - Organised Green (Fabrice Lig's Live Version)
18. Pirahnahead - Music
19. Hanna feat Robin Johnson - Fear Not
20. The Rebirth - Love Issue
21. NERD - Laugh About It
22. NERD - Love Bomb
23. Hajime Yoshizawa - The Color of Peace
24. Kenny Garrett feat Pharoah Sanders - The Ring
25. Bryan Beninghove - Hear Me Now
It's great to be back on air after a nice little break which allowed me to really get close to my favourite of 2008. Thanks to Dougoudou, Solita Lovers and Salsa Kitchen Way for a great environment to do this.
Looking back over this best of 2008 selection, its interesting to see that although I love to play music from all over the world on the show, 17 of the 25 are from the US. While they are not necessarily making the hippest or the most innovative music over there, when they get it right they get it so right. At least the remaining eight tunes covered the remaining continents except Africa and Antarctica.
Here's a little commentary on the tunes. As usual they are in order of radio play, not ranking.
1. HUDSON MOHAWKE - OVERNIGHT [WARP]
The most futuristic track in Stylin Loves 2008 was produced in 2006, played on Stylin in 2007, promoed in 2008 and gets a full release in 2009. Stylin's most recent guest also left his mark on Stylin Loves 2007 with two tracks from Heralds of Change, his duo with Mike Slott.
2. BLUE SKY BLACK DEATH - GHOSTS AMONG MEN [BABYGRANDE]
Late Night Cinema was one of my favourite albums this year, one for fans of the moody hip hop soundscapes of early DJ Shadow or RJD2, but less sample-centric.
3. YAW - WHERE WOULD YOU BE [CHI SOUL]
Chicago soul is alive and well with this heartbreaking vocal from Yaw, backed by the stunning orchestrations of Khari Lemuel (who lays his own vocal on another version of this song). Recalls the early Zero 7/Mozez collaborations.
4. BELMONDO & MILTON NASCIMENTO - BERCEUSE MALILIA [B FLAT]
Keeping it orchestral with France's Belmondo brothers reworking a classical piece from Maurice Ravel, with a touch of jazz and a little help from Brasilian legend Milton Nascimento.
5. LARS BARTKUHN - GOODBYE DANCING HELLO GOD [SONAR KOLLEKTIV]
The influence of Milton Nascimento looms large on Lars Bartkuhn's latest album, but on this track there are elements of Charles Stepney too.
6. STACY EPPS - FLOATIN' [JAPANUBIA]
The choral backing vocals float and Stacy's lead vocals float like Vinia Mojica, but Apex's beats are raw, rugged and heavy on the swing.
7. Q-TIP - GETTIN' UP [MOTOWN]
It's a fly love song. Q-Tip rhymes effortlessly over a soulful midtempo groove.
8. KIDZ IN THE HALL - GOD BLESS [DUCK DOWN]
One of a bunch of great tunes from their new album which was underrated outside the hip hop scene.
9. GNARLS BARKLEY - WHO'S GONNA SAVE MY SOUL [DOWNTOWN]
I really enjoyed Portishead's return this year with 'Third' and this tune has something of that band in Danger Mouse's production. But when it comes to a duel, the pained soulful vocals of Cee-Lo are going to win it every time.
10. MONICA BLAIRE FEAT MJ ROBINSON - COMPUTER LUV [CDR]
Now that's a fresh take on the 80s revival - a nearly acappella cover of Zapp's 'Computer Love', complete with vocoder. On that note, one of this year's live highlights was Stevie Wonder doing 'People Make the World Go Round' on vocoder.
11. JILL SCOTT - WHATEVER (LIVE IN PARIS) [HIDDEN BEACH]
Last year, 'The Fact Is (I Need You) (Live in Paris)' snuck into Stylin Loves 2007 as it had been released as a bonus teaser for the 'Live in Paris' CD/DVD which came out in full this year. Once again, Jill demonstrates her dynamic range, humour and soul with great arrangements for the band on a tune that wasn't really a particular favourite of mine. Best moment is where she says 'A little role play is OK ... Do you like that Spanish lady huh baby? Anything you want OK!' before busting into a blazing latin outro.
12. DANNY BYRD FEAT T-LACE - FROM BATH WITH LOVE [HOSPITAL]
The man behind one of my all-time favourite drum & bass tunes (the 'R&B vs D&B' bootleg) dropped a quality album in 2008, with this tune in particular grabbing me with its ridiculous drum programming and 90s throwback vibe, taking me back to my days of digging for Flytronix, EZ Rollers, Pulse & Tango, Wax Doctor, Alex Reece and Justice.
13. JAZMINE SULLIVAN - BUST YOUR WINDOWS [J]
Every now and then there is a brief intersection between the Grammys and Stylin. Let's hope the 21-year old with the expressive voice can snag an award for her album or this tune.
14. RAPHAEL SAADIQ - 100 YARD DASH [COLUMBIA]
Another Grammy nominee, Raphael is without doubt one of the most important musical figures of the last two decades for me. It was tough to pick between this tune and the one featuring Stevie Wonder, and actually Raphael sounds a bit like Stevie circa '67 on this.
15. BENNSON - FLY HIGH [KNOWFOOWL/RAW FUSION]
The ex-Bamboos keyboard maestro left Melbourne for Berlin earlier this year, but not before finishing his debut album for Stockholm label Raw Fusion. There's no 'deep funk' in sight, with more of an 80s soul and boogie vibe. This cut featuring Karl Wagner was my pick of many highlights.
16. ED MOTTA - IKARUS ON THE STAIRS [TRAMA]
Mellow rhodes-soaked jazzy soul from the Brasilian giant, who usually makes the end of year list when he has a new release.
17. KEN ISHII - ORGANISED GREEN (FABRICE LIG'S LIVE VERSION) [70DRUMS]
I've been a techno fan for 20 years (longer if you count 80s electro or Kraftwerk), but in recent years it's rarely made the end of year show. So props to former Stylin guest Fabrice Lig from Belgium, who's managed to do it twice, this time with a live version of a tune he did with Japan's Ken Ishii. He's definitely caught Mad Mike Disease.
18. PIRAHNAHEAD - MUSIC [WHASDAT]
Over to Detroit itself for this house cut from soulful master Maurice Herd, coming off like a funked up Philip Glass in parts. 'Music is my life' - we're glad Maurice.
19. HANNA FEAT ROBIN JOHNSON - FEAR NOT [LITTLE ANGEL]
Warren Harris aka Hanna returns after his Time Hotel EP for Sound Signature made Stylin Loves 2005. His new album 'Portrait of Warren' is more of the same - sublime jazz house for fans of Rheji Burrell, Peter Daou and Larry Heard.
20. THE REBIRTH - LOVE ISSUE [MAHASA]
Still no new album, but what a boogie monster of a single they left for us in the meantime.
21. NERD - LAUGH ABOUT IT [STAR TRAK]
22. NERD - LOVE BOMB [STAR TRAK]
NERD's third album 'Seeing Sounds' was both a surprise (after the disappointment of Pharrell's solo album) and a confirmation of the Neptunes' genius. Two tracks made it in, but I could have just as easily played four.
23. HAJIME YOSHIZAWA - THE COLOR OF PEACE [VILLAGE AGAIN]
Sleep Walker's pianist makes it in with another Pharoah Sanders-influenced piece, with his rippling piano work in the William Henderson/John Hicks role.
24. KENNY GARRETT FEAT PHAROAH SANDERS - THE RING [MACK AVENUE]
It was a strangely good year for live albums thanks to Jill Scott, Frank McComb and this one from sax master Kenny Garrett, again teaming up with Pharoah Sanders. This tune is 14 minutes of modal fire.
25. BRYAN BENINGHOVE - HEAR ME NOW [SELF-RELEASED]
An accidental discovery that seems to have had very little attention, this is organ trio music that sounds like a lost Charles Earland session from the early 70s. More jazz than the funk-oriented revivalists that were everywhere in the 90s.
For what it's worth, here's a little list of some of my favourite albums of 2008 (in random order):
NERD - Seeing Sounds [Interscope]
Various - Spiritual Jazz [Jazzman]
Hanna - Portrait of Warren [Little Angel]
Frank McComb - Live in Atlanta Vol 1 [Village Again] (December 2007)
Blue Sky Black Death - Late Night Cinema [Babygrande]
Nation of Multiverse - Nation of Muitiverse [Pravda]
Bennson - Let the Love [Knowfoowl/Raw Fusion]
Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It [Columbia]
Kidz in the Hall - The In Crowd [Duck Down]
Erik Rico - Journey Back to Me [Lifenotes] (December 2007)
Jill Scott - Live in Paris [Hidden Beach]
Joey Negro presents the Sunburst Band - Moving with the Shakers [Z]
Foreign Exchange - Leave it All Behind [Foreign Exchange]
Portishead - Third [Island]
Kenny Garrett - Sketches of MD: Live at the Iridium [Mack Avenue]
Jazz Liberatorz - Clin D'Oeil [Kif]
Various - Brownswood Bubblers 3 [Brownswood]
Esperanza Spalding - Esperanza [Heads Up]
Erykah Badu - Nu Amerykah Part 1 [Universal]
Kaidi Tatham - In Search of Hope [Freedom School]