Last year I chose twelve album releases that stood out throughout the year of 2012, which turned into thirteen before it was over. This year I can’t do that. I have too many to choose from.
2013 saw a lot of excellent albums from a variety of music genres. I couldn’t cut it down to twelve or thirteen, so hang in there as I go over the top album releases of 2013. Also keep in mind that this is not in any order like a scale of what I like least to what I like the most, this is important to understand.
Back when I was still one of the equal owners of Generation Bass I befriended an excellent producer, writer and musician named Matthew Shell. Ever since we connected I have discovered some of the best music I’ve ever heard as well as having been introduced to many brilliant and talented musicians.
Matthew Shell – Victorious
Here are some tracks from Victorious along with extras.
DJ Negro Dub ELECTRO/CUMBIA/DUB EP
One of the biggest impacts The Global Bass Experience made online this year was due to working with DJ Negro Dub. He produced a new EP for us to publish. So far it is only available to listen to online but will be hitting our digital store.
Our digital storefronts are actually another interesting deal TGBE made with Boom One Records. Our partnership with BOR is going to be huge. I love the guys who run the label and feel much enthusiasm developing a brand alongside them.
DJ Negro Dub delivered too though. His EP has been met with a lot of positive reviews and many downloads. We are more than proud of our friendship with DJ Negro Dub and the support of our dear readers.
Cybernetiko – Genetiko
The first EP released under The Global Bass Experience was one of the best EP’s I’ve ever heard and was proud to be involved with. People weren’t expecting a Cybernetiko EP release, but with “Gentiko,” those who didn’t know him at the time became huge fans, and those who did know received a great gift.
Calavera Calavera – Aleister Crowley
I have been a die hard fan of Calavera Calavera ever since I first heard their “The Fearless Vampire Killers” LP. Their approach to Global Bass mixing Dubstep and Moombahton among many others, is impressive. They have some of the most moving melodies amidst the hardest beats.
Aleister Crowley was a brilliant follow up. It delivered on all fronts.
Wara – Leave To Remain
London-based Latin music band Wara released their excellent album “Leave To Remain” this past year featuring hot new and original songs featuring a variety of their influential genres like Salsa, Cumbia, Hip Hop, Jazz and Reggae. This album turned heads and heated up the London Town with fiery Latin sounds.
Oye!Simpson – Corbeau EP
We just released this beauty from our good friend Oye!Simpson a couple of weeks ago to a warm reception. This three track EP is the best way for The Global Bass Experience to leave the year on. It is brilliant and loved by many already.
Afrolicious – Pleasure Power
With the help of Thievery Corporation’s amazing sax player Frank Mitchell, this EP was too damn funky to be missed and one of the more lively EP’s of the year.
Dubconscious – Inna Different Light EP and Remixes
This is a two parter, the first being the absolutely gorgeous EP “Inna Different Light” along with a compilation of remixes. I took part in producing a remix myself and I must admit that it was my favorite remix I produced all year. It was pure joy and allowed my imagination to expand and explore.
Philthy Dronez – Wepa Life
TGBE was also excited and proud to be a part of Philthy Dronez EP release for “Wepa Life.” These three tracks featured new Cumbia music performed on instruments by Philthy Dronez with vocals by Jazzy Drone and Beatinum on the decks.
Harking back to the playful Cumbias of Fito Olivares, this EP was a real gem.
La Misa Negra – Misa De Medianoche
Oakland-based live Cumbia band La Misa Negra recorded and then set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund their mastering. The Kickstarter campaign was a huge success. The music was released and the world listened.
La Misa Negra embodies the classic Cumbia live band spirit and brings new flavors to the music. They introduce the genre to new audiences and please old Cumbiero fans.
Rhythmstar – True Love (Debut LP)
The first time I heard Rhythmstar I was floored. I downloaded as much of his music as I could and put them in as many mixes as I could. When True Love came out it blew me away. I am a true fan and was pleasantly surprised.
Culture Prophet – Warlock
Culture Prophet’s PR agent hit me up and I took my sweet time to get around to listening to what they sent me. They sent me this more than brilliant dark synth-pop EP that sends me back in time to the early days of synth music.
Pops Jabu – Jabulani
Urban World Records continued releasing outstanding material in 2013. One of their acts was Pops Jabu, an African singer from Zimbabwe. The album was eclectic and powerful full of social and political messages.
Paceña Tropical – Cumbia EP
My first EP when I was with Generation Bass was with Paceña Tropical from Bolivia. Everyone, and I mean everyone was all into this EP. Produced by the Oi Mas Bass players Alejandro Cassis and Villa Victoria Soundsystem and mastered by Ninho Noir, Paceña Tropical is innovative and represents the future of Latin music.
Tremor – Proa
This was a pleasant and beautiful EP release by this talented trio. I had much pleasure promoting the release of this EP with a series of teasers and music videos. Definitely one EP to remember is Proa.
Atropolis – Transitions
Many got involved with Atropolis’ new album “Transitions.” Lido Pimienta even loaned her voice for a more than excellent song called “Reza Por Mi.”
I recently listened to this album again the other day while I was working. Playing in the background even I remembered immediately why I love Atropolis so much.
Daboo – Bloodfyah
Daboo’s Bloodfyah has honestly brought The Global Bass Experience more traffic than any other album we reviewed and promoted by way of Google searching. I didn’t know it would make such an impact but it sure did.
Have a listen and you’ll see why it attracts so much attention.
The track Bloodfyah came out as part of a secret release by Daboo that was intended for DJ’s and Producers at first, very soon after the 180º album started gaining on interest the Bloodfyah track sprang out strongly. After it got included in rotation on radio’s in Spain and more and more DJ’s started spinning it regularly in their sets it was time to take it to the next level. Daboo asked friends to join in and rocket boost the track with individual takes on the original, out of which came a versatile remix EP that encompasses various genres. – Daboo
Haerts - Hemiplegia EP
2013 was a very busy and successful year for Indie Dream Pop band Haerts. I was mesmerized from the first listen and their grip hasn’t let off yet.
Brooklyn might be too obvious a place for such a Hipster-friendly band to come from, but who cares. Because this band writes absolutely beautiful songs.
KONN Recordings was behind the release of Mr. ToË’s self titled EP. Amazonian mysticism properly defines the euphoric sounds found within this brilliant EP.
Sembeh Ma Fa Fe – Stronghold Sound
Another surprise this year came from Stronghold Sound with their album “Sembeh Ma Fa Fe.” Many big hitters came on board to remix this album including one of my favorites Captain Planet.
Electrocachengue – Pimenton
May of 2014 saw the long awaited release of Buenos Aires-based Cumbia band Pimenton’s debut EP called “Electrocachengue.”
Full of original and lovely content, this EP put Pimenton on the map. We will hopefully see more released by them in the near future.
Boxeo Constitucion – El Remolon
Definitely by far one of the best albums we encountered this year was from El Remolon. No longer with ZZK Records, El Remolon continues to produce powerful music.
This however was quite unique as it was a soundtrack to a film.
I love every song on this soundtrack. El Remolon is going to stay on the top of my list of favorites forever.
Mon Pays (My Country) – Vieux Farka Toure
One of the most breathtaking albums this year came to us by Vieux Farka Toure. This touching album tells of the darkness of real life in modern day Mali.
Every song on this album is praise worthy and should be on top of many people’s year end lists.
Eatliz – Miserable
Eatliz came on to my radar about a month or so ago. I answer all of my emails even though sometimes it takes me a long time to get around to them. I was thoroughly impressed by Eatliz. I love their sound and would never have guessed they were from Tel Aviv, Israel.
They have a great Indie Rock sound that gives me hope for the future of Rock music. When I come across a band like Eatliz, I listen to their music over and over until I get my fill. I expect to hear a lot of much deserved hype about them in the near future. I know for sure that I will contribute to the hype.
London Grammar – If You Wait
By releasing a few EP’s London Grammar set up a lot of buzz for promoting their debut album “If You Wait.”
Released last September, the album encompasses their gorgeously interesting sound. I have the EP’s below but you can purchase the album on iTunes here.
The last two albums on my “best of 2013 list” are uncommon here on The Global Bass Experience. They are Country. I found this year that as the Rock music flame continued to burn out, Country music continued to stay strong. Their fans keep buying the albums and the artists aren’t reduced to having to mostly tour on festival circuits like Rock does.
As with all genres of music there is a mainstream and an underground. And the Country underground has won over my attention. There is a cool blog out there for those whom might be interested is Saving Country Music. It is edited by an enthusiastic writer who goes into detail with his reviews and definitely does the world a brilliant service.
High Top Mountain – Sturgill Simpson
My favorite album released this year, just by basing on how many times I’ve listened to it, is “High Top Mountain” by Sturgill Simpson. This album is a lot like the old 70′s Outlaw Country music except more honest. The lyrics are very clever and the musicians weren’t afraid to learn how to play their instruments.
Cigarettes & Truckstops – Lindi Ortega
This next one had its digital release in 2013. It comes from a wonderful new talent named Lindi Ortega. She has been compared to Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. Her music is cleverly written with intelligence and performed with great skill.
Originally from Toronto, CA, Lindi started performing in the local venues and made a name for herself. Half Mexican and half Irish, she has a unique cultural mix in her family yet the music she chooses to perform is very Americana. She moved down to Nashville after a decade of performing in Toronto and stole the city’s heart by getting a lot of attention.
So far she has released several EP’s before her two full length albums but her most recent one is “Cigarettes & Truckstops.” I listened closely to both albums and honestly feel like Cigarettes & Truckstops is a sequel to “Little Red Boots” (her first LP).
The dawn of 2014 might be upon us but the great music of 2013 is a reminder of all the unique and brilliant talent around the world. If we continue down this path I expect an amazing new year full of great music.