Electronic music is a huge tent with so many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers, and a host of women changing the old boy's club of electronic music.
Folk in 2019 is an image of inclusivity and unity in the face of international political upheaval. It's most captivating in its moments of sheer, heart-bearing authenticity and ensnares with new musical bearings introduced by some of its foremost innovators and newcomers to the scene.
In an age when the personal is political feels as necessary as ever, we identify most with experimenters who transcend the throwing-shit-at-a-wall, banging-on-pots-and-cans approach. These artists occupy the earthly just as much as they occupy the mechanical and the celestial.
Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.
From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.
The year in R&B and soul brought brilliant returns from music legends alongside artists pushing the boundaries of R&B past any limits. It's a genre where retro and futurism nestle cozily side by side. Here are the 15 best.
Southern Houston rappers put a twist on old blues musicians' mix of cough syrup and booze and stirred it up into a more dangerous concoction. Here are 10 rappers who took the brew from their double-cups and dropped the purple drank / sizzurp / Texas tea / "lean" into their lyrics to mixed effect.
Classic films never before available in such spectacular shape comprise these ten recommended Blu-rays. They are but the tip of the year's big Blu iceberg, if you will, but they're an excellent starting point for your deep dive into the best classic films available.
Synthwave began as something of a retro gumbo, pulling from modern house and nu disco music and piling in influences from vintage genres like Euro disco and the original sounds of electro. Enjoy Preston Cram's, aka "Iron Skullet" list of some of the most standout examples of synthwaves' reach into virtually every entertainment medium today.
In our era of relentless "noise", if you will, there's a growing appreciation for silent film, as seen in the rise of festivals and the flourishing availability of silent film on Blu-ray. Fans and initiates are certain to enjoy Michael Barrett's 10 best silent films released on Blu-ray this year.
Step back 10 years when we presented our 20 best re-issues of 2009, highlighted by the long overdue remastering of the Beatles oeuvre, a number of '80s and '90s classics, and one of the most storied catalogues in electronic music.
This week we have hyperactive indie pop from Novacub, Infectious alt-rock from Johnny Kills, apocalyptic disco-punk from See Thru Hands, the superbly articulate lyricism of Brooke Bentham, and the stunning debut from Søren Lorensen.