A good end of te year list should be varied and should read like a story, and that’s why we’ve yet again attempted to distill our story of 2019 in music through a diverse selection of records and commentaries from IDIOTEQ related bands and artists from all over the world. We’ve just started and already got a bunch of great guests on deck. Today, to highlight the most arresting moments in music releases this year, we have teamed up with one of our favorite alternative post punk / dark wave band SOFT KILL, who summed up the 2019 for us with a short commentary and full ‘best records and shows of the year’ list below!
This year had little to no breathing room. Downtime was desired, talked about but never granted. Just tour after tour after tour with recording sessions and mailorder in between. Somehow, someway I had time to seek out new inspiration through art and music that felt far more plentiful than years prior.
Ramleh – “The Great Unlearning” LP
The heart of one of the dopest collectives of experimental insanity did their pop record. Don’t see it that? I don’t care!
Benny The Butcher – “The Plugs I Met” LP
Ask anyone what’s good, your band mate, the clerk at the local bodega, your weed man, and they’ll say “Griselda Records”. A handful of forward thinking personalities who seemingly piled what’s great about 90’s NY rap into a delorean and teleported it to the future. Not only do they have the best merch in the game but they brought back the era of sitting and waiting for the next punch line. The goosebumps you got from Nas, Mobb Deep, Clipse and the Roots at their most basement gutter re-emerge and while the whole camp dropped a pile of worthy projects for this slot, “the Plugs I Met” got the most spins from my camp. “WWCD” is a definite runner up though, where Conway in particular shows he’s out to steal my vote for greatest MC alive.
Kanye West – “Jesus is King” + Record release & Sunday Service
I drank the Kool-Ye’d forever ago, and admitting such these days can clear a room ASAP but I digress, While hipsters will flood Mississippi Records for compiled collections of lofi gospel culled from dusty master tapes found in a Mississippi barn, if Kanye drops an album channeling his perception of “God’s word” then the results must be laughable at best. How I feel about the record isn’t important, but instead what moved me the most was standing ten feet from the “most hated” man in music and watching him celebrate something he’s undeniably proud of, free for one night from the criticisms of the music industry who’s loved to spit in his face ever since his first melt down. It felt empowering and I walked away with a new understanding of how this shit can work and how to keep the world from fucking up your head space.
Michael Kiwanuka – “Kiwanuka” LP
I’m not opposed to believing the hype and this record is beyond worthy of it. The production is flawless and the lyrics are pure gold.
Darkthrone – “Old Star” LP
This band changed my young teenage life, but it usually surprises people when I say “Goatlord” was the record that did it for me first. The combination of old school death metal with black metal vocals blew my mind. That mid paced vibe that isn’t found on a lot of their more celebrated works is brought back with “Old Star” but with a serious nod to NWOBHM riffage that I love. Every song crushes. Also; Blood Incantation and Cattle Decapitation both put out perfect albums that boggle my mind, and collectively those three kinda filled that void for me since I do tend to listen to a lot of abrasive, fucked up shit.
A.A. Bondy – “Enderness” LP
We listened to this for the first time on our way to a show in Atlanta. “Fentanyl Freddy” felt like it was written about me, but in a sense it was written about everyone with the disease of addiction. The entire record is a pure mood but that song in particular was my favorite of the year.
Kevin Gates – “I’m Him” LP
Gates is my favorite song writer and this record had me scared that he wouldn’t be able to channel past magic. I was wrong, but what’s great is that he came with a back to basics track listing of hard hitting, to the point bangers. Still forward thinking but without over analyzing the content.
Weyes Blood – “Titanic Rising” LP
Once in a while someone you knew reinvents what they do to such an extreme and ends up blowing the world to pieces in the process with their brilliance and you just sit back speechless.
Portrayal of Guilt
Live and on record, the only band doing this shit right and Matt is my number one competitor in the field of saying fucked up, petty shit on the net and I love him for it. True freaks.