29 December 2007

Best of.. 007.

The end of the year is here again. Gosh, it’s been a peculiar year but I suppose that’s the least we have grown to expect during these times of the ever changing world. People getting hyper about things like global warming. Can you see their worrying look while they are cruising their 4X4 to the corner shop to get organic food and beer and somehow all this is meant to save our planet? I am not sure whether the planet will be saved but the time still flies. It’d December again. I am fast becoming a cliché of a blogger. Having a blog and updating it only in the end of the year while I invite you, the dear reader of this text to give a toss about which records made me feel good in double-o-seven… gosh, the agent year is almost done.

So here we go. It’s been such a good year for music. I have enjoyed so many records, played them in my radio show and recommended them to my friends while at it. Few notes again for the list. Passi blew me away this year. That record is such a cool combination of streets; very grim at times and more mainstream appeal beats including even a guest appearance from Wyclef. Well, that’s not the song that stands out for me but it’s still a good one. New Public Enemy record was also brilliant. As a lifelong fan it’s hard to rate these purely because the experience of a new PE record is completely different to any other record. It puts a smile on my face in a very different way. The feeling when I hear the first sounds of the first song is like nothing else. Well, like nothing else to me. So It’s difficult to compare them with any other releases purely because my experience of them is very different and therefore it’s not always easy to say which is better.

Also, and I suppose this is important note, the EP from Nthabi is an EP. I am not a music industry ignoramus who wouldn’t understand the difference between an EP and a full-length record, but most of all, I have no intentions to devalue anyone’s debut album by calling it a follow up to an EP. In my books, by the way, it must be said that giving this EP out online for free is one of the best moves in SA Hip Hop this year. It’s one of those mad modern things... or actually not at all new, but still seems to surprise many. First people need to hear your music, only then they can like it and proceed giving money to you (if you have more interest in how the music industry has, is and will be changing then you can always check the blog of my old university lecturer who knows his stuff). Finally, Promoe’s Standard Bearer is actually a DVD but I am referring to the CD that comes with it. I am a big fan of CD’s that come with DVD and vice versa. It seems to be something that small labels understand – give the customer; the fan, something extra so he/she doesn’t feel that the Euros, Pounds or Rands were wasted on something that really wasn’t worth it.

But before I lose myself even further to the business side of things let me return to the culture. The sonic pleasures I have been forward selling to you for a while without yet getting into them (it’s because of my past in commercial radio that I don’t see a problem if I ask you to wait for a 45 minutes to hear a song.. not even a bad one, but these are good).

So here it is. If you have a lot of money in your pockets then go and cop these when you see them in a shop and if not then try to find alternative ways to get them. I am not your guardian so if this involves some “illegal” activities then don’t blame me.

1. Passi – Revolution
2. Public Enemy – How You Sell Soul to the Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul
3. Klashnekoff – Lionheart: Tussle With the Beast
4. Blue Scholars – Bayani
5. IAM – Saison 5
6. Wiley – Playtime is Over
7. Promoe – Standard Bearer (DVD/CD)
8. Nthabi – From the Streets to the Lab EP
9. Pioneer Unit – Planetary Assault
10. Dizzee Rascal – Maths & English
11. The Lost Generation – The Infinite Potential
12. Pete Philly & Perquisite – Mystery Repeats
13. Underclassmen – Underclassic
14. Kano – London Town
15. La Rumeur - Du Coeur A L'outrage
16. El Matador – Parti de Rien
17. KRS- One & Marley Marl – Hip Hop Lives
18. Pete Philly & Perquisite – Remindstate
19. Tuomo – My Thing
20. Arts the Beatdoctor – Transitions
21. X- Clan – Return From Mecca