There's been A TON of amazing music that's come out this past year from all over the world and I've been fortunate enough to share as much I could of it on One World. As 2012 comes to a close, I wanted to round out some of my favorite releases that I played a lot of as a result. This is in no particular order!
Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia (Luaka Bop)
Hands down, one of the best compilations to come out from Luaka Bop. The Brazilian soul funk godfather Tim Maia finally gets recognized after being an underrated musical gem in the DJ world.
Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (Soundway)
Soundway is a beast for this one. It's a collaboration project been the multi-faceted William Holland aka Quantic and Colombian musician's Mario Galeano's band Frente Cumbiero. As quoted by the label, this one is a definite "modern classic".
Amazonico Gravitante - Mati Zundel (ZZK)
It's amazing to see the small Argentinian-based label ZZK make such a huge impact on innovating the iconic sound of cumbia. Making it all the more future in a digital sense, this album takes a modern approach on traditional sounds.
La Bala - Ana Tijoux (Nacional)
One of the most talented female MCs from Chile came out with a landmark album this past year full of mesmerizing prose coupled with some fine production. Girl can also sing!
The Echocentrics - Echoland: A Tribute To Timbaland (Ubiquity)
This tribute rules so hard largely in part of my love for Tita Lima's vocal work. The way they flipped the late Aaliyah's "We Need A Resolution" sealed the deal for me on how amazing this release is. The Echocentrics never let you down!
Débruit - From The Horizon (Civil Music)
A French producer borrowing from traditional Northern African rhythms truly cultivates his own sound that's heavy on the synths and drum samples. Exploring a wide range of styles, this album definitely stands out relative to the instrumental beat producers of a similar vein.
Domenico - Cine Privê (Plug Research)
Even though this came out recently, I honestly think it's one of the best albums that came out in 2012. I first heard "Os Pinguinhos" on a Plug Research compilation earlier this year and knew Domenico was gonna bring it with his album. Sure enough, the incredible organic-sounding production and masterful songwriting have made this album a superb one.
Antibalas - Antibalas (Daptone)
Straight out of Brooklyn and Spanish for "bulletproof", the rawness that is Antibalas finally came out with their first album this year and it did not disappoint. Long burners like "The Rat Catcher" clearly set the precedent for what makes this album great.
Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Bárbaro - Look Around The Corner (Tru Thoughts)
Obviously I'm a Quantic fanboy if two of my favorite releases this past year involve his production talents. Paired up with the British soul songstress Alice Russell and backed up by Colombian outfit Combo Bárbaro, this release truly has an organic and timeless sound.
Curumin - Arrocha (Six Degrees)
Another Brazilian songwriter that loves to take it higher, his second album of his career definitely went unnoticed. Dreamy, soulful all the while beat-laden, this release exemplified the extraordinary sound coming out of Brazil these days.
Sofrito: International Soundclash (Strut)
Another favorite compilation of mine that came out this year from the lovely Strut Records that has so many rare gems! Strut never disappoints on sharing the wealth of slept on tunes from around the world.
Prince Fatty Presents Hollie Cook In Dub (Mr Bongo)
Daughter of Sex Pistols' drummer Paul Cook and follow up to her debut album last year, Prince Fatty does his thing on this one for all the selectors. You can never go wrong with dub!