2018: Third Quarter Favorites 25 incredible music releases from the last three months

For each year's first three quarters, we celebrate by sharing a list of our favorite music releases. Unlike our year-end lists, these quarter features are casually compiled, with an aim to spotlight the underdogs and the lesser-heard among the more popular picks. More from this series


Bamba Pana

Poaa

[Nyege Nyege Tapes]

[LISTEN · READ]

The sense of ecstatic release initiated by 2017’s Sounds of Sisso continues to reverberate with Poaa, the debut full-length of key Sisso producer Bamba Pana. The broadly sketched-out hallmarks of the singeli sound — propulsive beats, warped synths, rhythmic vocals-as-samples — are all present and correct, the difference here being that Bamba Pana’s spartan-yet-dense riddims are mostly allowed to speak for themselves across two sides of wax, with just the one assist from MC Makaveli. These cuts envelop the noise and the nonsense that stands before them in just about any, and every, capacity; equally exciting in both its natural live setting and at home, all who hear this are enjoined to take full leave of their senses for moments all too fleeting. In varying extremities, then, wherein breakneck drum syncopation gives way to clipped, splayed melody and vice-versa, Poaa comes as a reminder that fwd motion really is the only answer for singeli. Don’t sleep, can’t sleep.


Amnesia Scanner

Another Life

[PAN]

[LISTEN · READ]

The light comes in the name of a voice. The name of a voice, for the light does it speak, though it renders intelligible, though it illumines. The name of a voice, for this light is an oracle, it sees. In its gaze, you are ravaged, you are ravished. The light comes AS a voice, which fucking eviscerates you in the brutality of its breath. The light of the oracle promises the unveiling of another life in this dance-floor apocalypse. Our ravishment we welcome. Dancing on the ashes of this life, we welcome our ravagement, for in the rapture that we dance, we are as AS the life that we might becomes, that other life that ruptures in the light of the voice.


Satoshi Nakamoto

dOPENet

[NYPD]

[LISTEN · READ]

“How do you feel about America?”

Times be weird. It’s hard to get a scope on things, really. The nice thing about dub is that it can sort of exaggerate the absurdities of everyday life and “the current moment,” whatever that means. You might think that silly, but we sort of engrain and entrench the absurd in our lives in accepting our supposed powerlessness. Certainly, on an individual level, that makes sense. But perhaps it’s worthy to step back from the self and observe the absurdity for what it is. “If you’re going to be arresting these kids for dancing…”

Of course, I could just be spouting nonsense at this point. But then what isn’t nonsensical in this great big modern world of ours? We entered the mirror so long ago, we forget sometimes.

“Well, I’ll tell you what! Shit…”


Upgrayedd Smurphy

#PENINSULA

[R-CH-V]

[LISTEN · READ]

#PENINSULA, Jessica Smurphy’s second full-length album as Upgrayedd Smurphy, shares a unique circumstance with Pharmakon’s Bestial Burden; both works irrupted from minds whose bodies were compromised during their conception. For Margaret Chardiet (Pharmakon), it was an emergency surgery that left her bedridden for three weeks; for Smurphy, an unexplained loss of mobility and energy. Both projects were products of alchemy that transformed motionlessness into kinetic energy, and yet two distinct streams of sparks emerged. Bestial Burden’s brooding viscerality was a sharp interrogation of a privileged notion of mind-body harmony, whereas #PENINSULA’s openness is a celebration of healing places and a statement of gratitude for our bodies that house us. What is remarkable about both works is not just how each expands space beyond its creator’s ribcage, but how powerful and charged with triumph these sounds are. #PENINSULA is a transformative work, capable of turning walls into welcome mats; transformation itself was both a catalyst and a requisite for its existence. Being moved by it confirms its creator’s refusal to stop, but crucially, its danceability doesn’t require that we stand up. This is healing music, bear witness and be.


Freddie Gibbs

Freddie

[Empire/ESGN]

[LISTEN]

The thing I love most about Freddie is the album cover, and there’s a difference between my extreme enjoyment of Freddie Gibbs 2018 music vs. Freddie Gibbs 2018 album cover: when I found out Freddie done dropped, I had the same face he does on the album cover. In relation to my poor-ass existence — and aside from all the pom-and-frill of Freddie — it’s Freddie Gibbs’s pure #BDE I reflect upon with a professionalism trapped in a SoundCloud rapper’s world. Similar to Pusha T’s Daytona, the old-head swagger that Freddie Gibbs rips into teenage 21st-century celebrity comes with pure lyrical talent, exalting beats that slap so hard you wish you been had them woofers years ago, and a tone to beckon real people; it begs all our fantasies are adrift before our very eyes. Manifest destiny is a Freddie away.

For each year's first three quarters, we celebrate by sharing a list of our favorite music releases. Unlike our year-end lists, these quarter features are casually compiled, with an aim to spotlight the underdogs and the lesser-heard among the more popular picks. More from this series


Most Read