The Justice League of 2009

Before we kick off our Top 20 of the year, let us first state that such a task as to dilute a year in this way is actually impossible. However, we stayed away from the tune round up, that would have been a headache more painful than a New Year hangover and stuck with 20 or so artists that have in some way touched our ears and hearts this year. This should in no way be viewed as the definitive 20, well ok maybe it should seeing as we've said it is but before you go shouting and screaming about those we left behind, know one thing... we don't really give a shit. Nobody knows better than us the wealth of talent that should have made it's way into the chart type post but that's just the way the cookie has crumbled this time and these are the chocolate chips that fell out. It's also a great excuse to get up some tracks we never got round to and revisit some classics. So in no particular order let us begin...


Hudson Mohawke

Following up excellent definitive 2008 album releases from Harmonic 313 and Flying Lotus, Warp continued to invite post Hip-hop producers into their indie electronic world this year. But perhaps surprisingly it wasn't the album from the greater established Prefuse 73, good as it was, that got us most excited but rather the first offical solo album from HudMo, half of the Heralds Of Change with the equally as endearing Mike Slott, who would have joined his LuckyMe bredren with perhaps Rustie and Dema also if they had been just a touch more prolific this year or we could be bothered to do a top 30 instead.

Download: Crookers Feat. Kardinal Offishall And Carla Marie - Put Your Hands On Me (Hudson Mohawke Remix) / alt link


Foreign Beggars

After a good few years trying to drag the dying UK Hip-hop scene into the now, looks like Foreign Beggars became one of the few to finally make it to the other side, and we're so glad they did. With rhyme skills galore, a VIP guest list that includes the likes of Dubbledge, Kyza, Badness, Ben Sharpa and Guilty Simpson, plus a perfecty tuned ear for a quality beat their United Colours of Beggatron album was truly, in the words of Dead Prez, 'bigger than...'

Video: Foreign Beggars & Noisia - Contact


Stagga & Monkey

Yes we realise that we're highly biased in this what with them being family but we aren't giving them undue props, they've both earned more than enough stripes this year with some truly killer releases. Both have developed different styles and sounds with equal power in neighbouring arenas but we still can't seperate the two in our heads, even with them now residing in completely different countries. Luckily they have been working on new material together so watch out for that in the new year.

MONKEY & STAGGA - ORIGINAL MISTY by Chrome Kids


Bassnectar

Whilst there are now artists adding Dubstep elements to Hip-hop, Bassnectar kinda got it arse backwards, or perhaps visionarily forwards, he was making stomping bass heavy digital Hip-hop beats first then realised that his style was equally suited to making dirty jump up dubz. When we half jokingly refer to Hulk Hop, it's primarily his bulky, mean and bouncing beats that we have in mind.

Download: Groove Armada - Superstylin (Bassnectar's Superstylin Smashup) / alt link


Joker

When gypsy punk Gogol Bordello sang Start Wearing Purple, he was reffering to a certain crazy woman's choice of clothing, Prince is perhaps the most famous purple fanatic and as well as being a touch eccentric himself he does make some incredible funk, or did at least. So it seems only right that the crazy deep digital funk of Joker's dubz is reffered to as the 'purple sound' right? We're pretty sure that's not the reason, we're just rambling lyrical but either way, already with a heavy artillery of tunes under his belt, this year saw the young Bristollian step up yet another gear to become one of the scene's most wanted artists, and rightly so too.

Download: Sean Paul - So Fine (Joker Remix) / alt link


Spoek

Not so much an emcee as a beat seeking missile, Mr Mathambo has been on a round the world trip of dope producers sampling every bass heavy flavour out there. Already in our high esteems due to his groundbreaking work with Sibot as Playdoe, 'the post-apartheid, post-hip hop, poster boy' has truly helped to push forwards the African scene this year and has also been as prolific on his blog as he has on the mic.

Download: Ed Orable feat Spoek - Dance No More (Monkey Safari Remix) / alt link


Mumdance

After catching our ear with his B'more style Evil 9 remix, Jack Adams proceeded to kill it on every level. With a slew of remixes that largely featured Jammer and / or Badness on extra vocals he went on to become the collaboration king sharing the boards with Brodinski, AC Slater, Toy Selectah and Drums Of Death amongst others, adding a touch of Grime soaked South East UK Tropical flavour to everything in his reach.


High Rankin

Known to us for his big, dark and brutal remixes that not so much rocked dancefloors as picked them up and shook the living shit out of them, yet his No Money For Guns EP on Hervé's Cheap Thrills label showed a refreshing diversity that we believe is set to spread out even further. Although everything he does is still pretty huge, mind you he is a big lad.

Download: Daedelus - For Withered Friends (Mumdance & High Rankin Remix) / alt link


Mochipet

Arguably the king of crunked up digitally mutated music, yet shockingly overlooked on MAH's West Coast Rocks programme, the Godzilla suited don of Daly City has also helped to pave the way for such Chrome Kids favourites as Flying Skulls and...


Th' Mole

Made up the bulk of the year's Fre-Releases along with his alter ego DJ 0.000001 (one millionth) and produced some monstrous beats in the process. His DIY ethos, nursery rhyme style delivery and madcap musical adventures make him difficult to fit into the accepted boxes but that's just why we love him so much.

Download: Narch - Chained Up (Mochipet Remix feat Eazy E) / alt link

Download: Th' Mole feat Warrior Queen - Jump Jack / alt link


Robot Koch

The chirpy Berlin based beat freak has always been light years ahead of his time it seems, his crew Jahcoozi were making 'now' music a good few years back and his work with RQM and Cerebral Vortex helped to prove that at least some emcees weren't being left behind. With a fantastic full length release in the shape of Death Star Droid and large selection of singles, mixtapes, remixes and exclusives all assaulting our eardrums from every direction in such an enlightening way, it has most definitely been good to have Robot Koch firmly on our radar this year.

Download: Robot Koch - Gotom Sen (Shlomo Remix) via XLR8R / alt link


Raffertie

Another big lad who doesn't exactly make small and subtle music, infact his tracks are possibly as large as it gets with skull ripping basslines, the kind of drops that would give an acrophobiac a heart attack and enough dirt to keep an allotment going for a year. We've had a taste of his leanings towards the Hip-hop side too with his Foamo remix and we are eager beavers gnawing at our nutsacks waiting for more.

Download: Foamo - Wardance (Raffertie Remix feat Shiftee Moova) / alt link


Mix N Blend

South Africa and Cape Town in particular has given us some of our favourite music of the year and Mix N Blend are a shining example of how their scene have got it so right. Dubstep without a hint of pretension that still manages to drop as heavy as anything else, plus their album on African Dope showcased a variety of styles that certainly do the name justice yet never gets lost amongst the madness.

Download: Mix n Blend feat. EJ Von Lyrik & SFR - Tantrum / alt link


George Lenton

It kind of feels like Mr Lenton has came out of nowhere and with a noticeably low number of 'official' releases to his name his inclusion here might seem a tad premature but regardless he has still managed to unleash some of the best tracks of the year. Although Troll carried the same Network sample as a few other tunes his version seeme to be the definitive summing up of the mood of the nation and kicked off our Pimp My Tour Bus mix perfectly. His blurring of boundaries between Dubstep and 'Hulk Hop' or even pop and underground sits perfectly with our point of view also.

Download: Erik Hassle - Hurtful (George Lenton Remix) / alt link


Troublemaker

One of those artists who manages to keep a big profile whilst remaining just under the radar. Some might say this is a perfect position for an artist but we can't help but feel the whole world needs to recognise the skills of Hollyrock's finest. Tracks ranging from 130bpm Dubstep style tracks (why aren't even more artists doing this?) to big and beefy Hip-hop via the occasional Electro Pop tune. His diversity might be confusing to some but it's certainly endearing to us here.

Download: Big B - Sinner (Troublemaker Remix)


Akira Kiteshi

Originally a duo of Steven Hyslop and Tommy Forrest (still alive under the name AK Kids) Akira Kiteshi stomped many a speaker with their no holds barred beats, and as a solo warrior Forrest has in no way lost any of the projects power, infact he goes from strength to strength. With so much hype surrounding Glasgow it's good to see somebody holding the corner for the Scottish capital of Edinburgh hard and with a number of releases on labels such as Black Acre and Muti Music cementing credibility there's no sign of this ronin needing to commit seppuku anytime soon. For more information check out his interview over at BwompBeats.

Download: DZ - Just Rollin' (Akira Kiteshi Remix) via BwompBeats


Elucid

When we first caught him rhyming over a Kode 9 beat it was so refreshing to hear a New York rapper approaching Dubstep in a different way, and then we discovered his Police and Thieves album. What one of the best albums of the year was doing just sitting there as a free download on his MySpace is anybody's guess but we're so glad it was. The follow up Sub Bass Diet gave Elucid a firm spot on this Top 20 and a VIP pass card to the Chrome Mansions stereo. The fact that he included our good friend Metabeats (don't worry he'll certainly be in next years chart!) on the album was extra icing for a hella tasty cake indeed.

Download: Elucid - By The Block (Child Of The Sun) / alt link


The xx

Undoubtedly an inclusion on many a blog round up this year and not without reason. There were many pretenders to the coolest band crown this year but none quite got the level of straight up sonic sexual healing that oozed out of their self produced debut album. Inspired some fantastic remixes from the likes of Lunice and Nosaj Thing as well.


Renaissance Man

We have to thank Pelski above all other blogs for properly introducing us to the new wave of minimal tech artists that have a decidedly tropical leaning. We could have picked any one of the Sound Pellegrino roster to represent but as Renaissance Man was our first proper hit, we'll include them as the definitive door to our new addiction.

Download: Florence & The Machine - You've Got The Love (The xx Remix / Renaissance Man Edit) / alt link


Don Diablo / Chew Fu

It may be cheating to have a joint place but we honestly can't choose between these two Saturday night dancefloor favourites. Don Diablo not only makes the best all out new skool Disco about but has managed to help turn Example from a Hip-hop try hard to a rallying voice for the party generation. Chew Fu on the other hand has been relentlessly adding his golden touch to a number of bootleg hits this year that have gradually seen him move further into the official arena and up in the size of dancefloors he fills. They've perhaps got a little too big for our tastes lately but there's no doubting his latest hit with Wiley is a beast that isn't just tearing up the charts but ripping it a new hole that Chew Fu will be more than capable of filling.

Download: Don Diablo feat Example - Pussycat / alt link

Download: Chew Fu & Steve Clisby - Purple Rain / alt link

And to help us round up the year completely, here's the MP3 of that Mystro track we posted as a video yesterday.

Download: Mystro - 2009 UK Rap Up / alt link

That's it for us this year, we shall be out and about New Years Eve so hopefully catch you then, otherwise see you in 2010 mofos.

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3 Responses to The Justice League of 2009

Pelski said...

yo thanks for the shout out guys, great list. can't get enough of this blog these days

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