Maxo Kream – WEIGHT OF THE WORLD
Simply put, Maxo Kream released his best project to date by a long mile. And his last project was great, but he eclipsde that with an album that is personal, emotionally poignant yet catchy and engaging. WEIGHT OF THE WORLD has tonnes of character, as we learn more about Maxo’s family and struggles growing up. It’s an artistic victory lap, a triumphant body of work that captures his talents as an incredible storyteller and songwriter. He’s undeniably one of the most exciting emcees of this generation, and this album is proof of his greatness.
JPEGMAFIA – LP!
Every JPEGMAFIA album release feels like a huge moment for music. His penchant for bold, abrasive soundscapes is also felt on this year’s album LP!, a varied, soulful yet disorienting album that left me feeling lost upon first listen. The more I listened to it, the more I warmed to the weird, synth-heavy and more melodic sound, and it’s now one of my most listened to albums of the year. The way he samples his beats on this album is crazy to me, and his pen game has improved with this album too. Overall, it’s one of the most memorable releases of the year to me, and it will be an album I will be replaying for years to come.
Dean Blunt – BLACK METAL 2
This has been my soundtrack this autumn. The perfect, moody and hypnotic guitar-driven compositions from London-based producer Dean Blunt has been on rotation, and BLACK METAL 2 showcases the extent of his talents, with an incredibly textured and meandering body of work. His monotonous singing style is contrasted with dense guitar and synth-led melodies that are just absolutely sublime. It’s truly an incredible body of work.
Mansur Brown – Heiwa
Mansur Brown’s Heiwa is an immersive trip down a soundscape full of groovy guitar-driven melodies, atmospheric synths and punchy drums, all of which make for an enthralling listen. He channels this Prince-like funk with ethereal synth leads, trap-influenced beats and spacious production, all of which compliment yet contrast each other beautifully throughout. It’s an astonishing album that sounds so ahead of its time.
Nala Sinephro – Space 1.8
London-based composer Nala Sinephro released a stunning body of work this year. The compositions on Space 1.8 are just breathtaking, with piano-led pieces, swirling and emphatic synth leads, as well as incredible jazz improvisations that are just incredible in every sense of the word. The percussion throughout is just incredible, and the punchiness of her music makes it such a meditative and immersive listen.