Gilles Peterson's Best of 2008

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For quite some time, BBC DJ Gilles Peterson has been holding it down for soulful music in the UK -- from hip-hop to new soul to broken jazz to afrobeat to whatever. His remarkable show Gilles Peterson Worldwide is the nexus for an international community of people making soul music of every stripe.

His taste, like that of his peer KCRW DJ Garth Trinidad, can sometimes run a bit loungey for me, but only sometimes. He's usually right on point, and has championed artists I really care about, like Bilal and Sa-Ra Creative Partners. Peterson also podcasts occasionally, with interviews, performances and mini-documentaries from his show.

Below is his "Best of 2008" list, which is an amazing source for great music with a different perspective (and features Seun Kuti, who was on TSOYA last year, right near the top of the list). I've been listening to an artist on Peterson's own label, Jose James, for the last 20 minutes and am absolutely loving his soulful, Gil Scott-Heron-esque jazz vocals.

Albums of the Year 2008
20) James Pants – ‘Cosmic Rapp’ (Stones Throw) LP: Welcome
19) Cool Kids – ‘Mikey Rocks’ (XL) LP: The Bake Sale
18) Eric Lau ft Rahel – ‘Let It Out’ (Ubiquity Records) LP: New Territories
17) Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Hercules’ Theme’ (DFA) LP: Hercules & Love Affair
16) Leila – ‘Little Acorns’ (Warp) LP: Blood Looms & Blooms
15) Jamie Lidell – ‘Rope Of Sand’ (Warp) LP: Jim
14) Trus’me – ‘Working Nights’ (Fat City) LP: Working Nights
13) TV On The Radio – ‘Love Dog’ (Interscope) LP: Dear Science
12) Portishead – ‘Machine Gun’ (Universal) LP: Third
11) Menahan Street Band – Karina (Dunham) LP: Make The Road By Walking
10) Roots Manuva – ‘Let The Spirit’ (Big Dada) LP: Slime & Reason
9) Raphael Saadiq – ‘100 Yard Dash’ (Columbia) LP: The Way I See It
8) IG Culture – ‘Girl You Need a Change Of Mind’ (Freedom School) LP: Zen Badizm
7) Flying Lotus ft Dolly – ‘RobertaFlack’ (Warp) LP: Los Angeles
6) Quiet Village – ‘Pacific Rhythm’ (K7) LP: Silent Movie
5) Benga – ‘Pleasure’ (Tempa) LP: Diaries Of An Afro-Warrior
Bed: Mama Milk – 'The Moon'
4) Jose James – ‘Winterwind’ (Brownswood) LP: The Dreamer
3) Seun Kuti + Egypt 80 – ‘Think Africa’ (tôt ou tard) LP: Think Africa
2) Q-Tip – ‘Work It Out’ (Universal Motown) LP: The Renaissance

Album of the Year:
1) Erykah Badu – ‘Soldier’ (Universal Motown) LP: New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War)

Tracks of the Year 2008
20. Geeneus – 'Yellow Tail' (Rinse)
19. Sun-Ra – 'I’ll Wait For You' (Floating Points Remix) (Test)
18. Kid Cudi – 'Day & Nite' (Fool’s Gold Records)
17. Kjell – 'Dunnshine' (Creative Source)
16. Tribe – 'Livin’ In A New Day' (Planet E)
15. Italo Boyz vs John Coltrane – 'Bahia' (Mothership)
14. Robert Mitchell Trio – 'Teardrop' (33)
13. Katalyst – 'How Bout Us' (BBE)
12. Lil Wayne – 'A Milli' (Universal Motown)
11. Aaron Parks – 'Nemesis' (Blue Note
10. Henrik Schwarz & Amampondo – 'I Exist Because Of You' (Dixon’s Stripped Down Version) (Innervisions) 9. Jose James – 'Desire' (Moodymann Remix) (Brownswood)
8. Lizz Wright – 'This Is' (Verve)
7. LCD Soundsystem – 'Lies' (Theo Parrish Remix) (Test)
6. Erykah Badu – 'The Healer' (Universal Motown)
5. Stacy Epps – 'Floatin' (Japanubiamusik)
4. Morgan Zarate Ft Eska & Ghostface Killah– 'Sticks & Stones' (Test)
3. Afefe Iku – 'Mirror Dance' (Yoruba)
2. Black Pocket – 'You’re A Star' (Martyn Remix) (Fat City)

Track of the Year:
1. Q-Tip ft Norah Jones – 'Life Is Better' (Universal Motown)

Comments

I was a little bit disappointed with the 2008 GP list (Erykah #1? Really?), but you can at least count on Gilles to make some interesting picks - especially on the singles side.And just to give GP even more props: that he's been doing this for "quite some time" is very true - it's been roughly 20 years since I first heard of him, back in the late eighties when he, Norman Jay et al revitalized the UK jazz dance scene and practically invented the rare groove movement, which led to among many other things the founding of his record label Talkin' Loud.

I love listening to his show. Gilles really knows what's up. Glad to see Mr. Pants made the list. Now get him on TSOYA!