Albums of the Year 2002

6.0



Tricky Mickey´s MusicCentral has not been updated since February 2002 due to travels and lots of work hours. Still, I have had time to listen to music and I want to share some of the good stuff that has been on my decks during the year.

Year 2002 has been a great year for all kinds of music and I have continued to explore house music and techno but I have also started catching up on jazz music.


                                                                          23rd of December 2002

                                                 Albums




1.
METRO AREA

Metro Area



Environ Recordings

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Metro Area is the brainchild of veteran producer Morgan Geist and his partner Darshan Jesrani, both of whom consistently explore new frontiers while maintaining their unique vibe, melding a distinct sonic signature with a refusal to repeat what's already been done.

For this long-awaited album release, Metro Area compiled new edits of their four 12" singles with fresh new jams. Newcomers and connoisseurs alike will revel in the ultra-wide sound spectrum that both sums up the last three years for the duo and hints towards their future sonic horizons.

Metro Area brings back the soulful experimentation of the early club classics, mixing live and electronic instruments. Simultaneously, the mood and minimalism of more recent dance music forms creep into the mix: Detroit's cold futurism, Chicago's abstract track-modes, and the warmth of New York and New Jersey's deep house.

Metro Area was born out of the duo's somewhat dichotomous love for both the old moods of R&B, disco and boogie as well as the more cutting-edge sound of innovative house and techno.




2.
MISSY ELLIOT

Under Construction



EastWest

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This album is a Missy´s fourth album and without doubt her best effort yet. The album has got the slamming single Work It, and the rest of the album is just as funky.




3.
TIEFSCHWARZ

Ral9001



Classic

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Ral 9005 is Ali and Basti Schwarz´s debut album after a string of 12´s with essential and unusual house music.




4.
ABRAHAM

Blue For The Most



V2

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Blue For The Most is Abraham´s second album and comes across as more structured and with stronger songs compared to On The Surface from 2001, which nevertheless was a grower of an album with smoky vocals and odd electronics.

Blue For The Most is a deliciously cool album with superb vocals and atmospheric music. The album also contains the single Magpie, which comes with cool remix work by Morgan Geist off Metro Area fame.

Abraham´s Rachel Cunningham challenges Beth Orthon for her folk and chill out crown and turnes out to be the winner this year.




5.
LAYO & BUSHWACKA!

Night Works



XL, UK

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Layo & Bushwacka!´s second album sounds perfect in the early hours with its blend of tech-house and house with nods to ambient and techno.




6.
NORAH JONES

Come Away With Me



Blue Note

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These kind of lists should only contain the most played records of the year and when it comes down to it: Norah Jones´ album is one of the records I have returned to most frequently since I picked it up in April. It has had extensive radio and TV display but I consider it to be a well crafted jazz-pop album well worth to investigate, even though you probably think that you have had more than your share of Come Away With Me. Somehow I think Come Away With Me might prove to be timeless stuff.




7.
RECLOOSE

Cardiology



Planet E

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Cardiology is the highly-anticipated album from Matt Chicoine a.k.a Recloose, one of the hottest producers in the industry. With two EPs, two singles, one mix CD and numerous remixes. Recloose's well-received releases have made him one of Detroit's signature artists.

Recloose describes his sound and style best as shape-shifting, an amorphous aesthetic that mixes samples, chopped beats and lots of rhythms predicated on tweaks and abstractions of sound.

That his album is called Cardiology is intended to mean that it is music not intended to be dissected and deconstructed but rather, felt. "I was trying to create music from the heart," he describes. "Less with my brain and more with my innards." And that has never been so true as it is with this incredible album.




8.
SUSUMU YOKOTA

The Boy And The Tree



Leaf/Skintone

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Susumu Yokota is one of those artists who cannot be pinned down to one genre or style. He has released different projects that expertly covered experimental electronica, deep house and a garage album. On this album he is focusing on ambient and atmospheric grooves, soft beats, drama and hymns of love. Not a weak track and very beautiful music.




9.
16B

How To Live 100 Years



Hooj Chroons

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The opener Between Your Choice hooks you in immediately with its stunning and melodic soundscapes. The album is united by a rich musicality that runs throughout. The production is silky smooth, but not at the sacrifice of substance.




10.
DAVID ALVARDO

Mayasongs



Peacefrog

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The debut album from David Alvarado, LA's veteran DJ/producer who's profile has increased to new heights over the past two years.

With over ten years of producing for labels such as Strictly Rhythm, Deep Dish's Yoshitoshi and Peacefrog, David Alvarado has cultivated a massive following amongst lovers of quality house music as well as making a cross over into the Broken Beat/Alternative Techno market.

Mayasongs represents David's uncompromising love for quality music. With deep grooves and chunkiness, it fills both the dancefloor and the head with many live elements making it a hypnotic and lush work.









                                                  Compilations
                                                  


1.
VARIOUS ARTISTS

Modern Soul
Livin' for the weekend



Irma

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A compilation from Stefano Oggiano and Michele Boeri, the guys behind the great and informative website at http://www.lapellenera.com/

This is a neverseen opportunity to get a whole bunch of Northern soul classics all at once. All of them have been remastered, so the sound quality is far ahead. I will give you the whole tracklisting right now, so that you can see, what you would let slip, if you don't save a copy of this bomb:

Jeff Perry - Love Don't Come No Stronger (Than Yours And Mine)
Big track from 1975, that as I recall was quite big at the time coming out on a 12". Good to see it being picked up. Seems that nearly everything under the name of Perry has a pretty reasonable chance of being pretty darn good.

Bottom And Co - Gonna Find A True Love
One of the biggest Crossover sounds of recent years, rare motown and a big big sound.

Smokey Robinson - Ever Had A Dream
Didn't know this and it is a fine choice from a 1979 album, unmistakably Smokey and this eases along in a nice midtempo danceable groove.

Brown Sugar - The Game Is Over (What's The Matter With You)
Brilliant 70's Philly from the pen and control of Vince Montana Junior, and great to see this getting a release. Massive and in demand.

Temptations - Aiming At Your Heart
Nice selection from the Temptations and produced by the great Thom Bell.

Gloria Gaynor - This Love Affair
Disco diva.

Cornelius Brothers &Amp; Sisters Rose - Big Time Lover
The lead voice is certainly one that hits and the harmonies and catchiness takes this home. It is instantly likeable, but enduringly likeable I'm not so sure.

Esther Phillips - Changin'
One of the voices!

Dells - Don't Want Nobody
The awesome and unmistakable Dells whose quality and longevity cuts it in any era.

General Johnson - Don't Walk Away
Another one with a distinctive voice and one who can come up with enjoyable and popular dancers, there is in fact a new album by his Chairmen of the Boards getting plays and accolades right now. This one is a solo outing from 1976.

Originals - Good lovin is just a dime away
Lamont Dozier produced in 1975. A top cut indeed that goes down well anywhere, anytime.

Gloria Scott - What Am I Gonna Do
Lots going for this at the time of release off Casablanca label big at the time, Barry White production. 'A case of too much lovemaking' has been so big in recent years to the point of being over done perhaps. This one for me however is a better track, nice groove, nice voice.

Tata Vega - I Need You Now
1978 Motown, Brian and Eddie Holland penned, Good production , good groove. I can not stop playing this tune. Works all the time.

Eugene Record - Overdose Of Joy
Unmistakeable vocals, easy soulful groove and a top sound in many of the disparate sub genres that make up the UK Soul Scene. Hey it's just Soul!

Dynamic Superiors - One Nighter
Brilliant cut from an underrated group. Ashford Simpson written, produced and quality stamp. Slow introduction but when the song proper kicks in - wow!

Bobby Womack - How Could You Break My Heart
Another unmistakable voice of Soul. Great to see this included - but although this wouldd be great by any other person's standards it doesn't hit Bobby's highest peaks

All in all this is an excellent album oozing with quality, easy, midtempo and classy soul sounds.




2.
VARIOUS ARTISTS

Hustle
Reggae Disco



V2

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A collection of hard to get reggae disco classics. Unmixed 12" versions with dubs. Party starters and floor fillers.









                                                  Retro
                                                  




1.
MANUEL GOTTSCHING

E2-E4



Racket

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E2-E4 is the first solo album by Ash Ra Tempel's Manuel Gottsching to be issued under his own name, recorded in 1981, but not released on LP until 1984. One 60 minute instrumental piece of hypnotic electronics with his trademark guitar laid on top. It has an early minimalistic techno feel.

This is in fact now considered a seminal tract and a allegedly a big influence on legendary Detroit techno heads like Derrick May and Carl Craig. This is a historical and musical masterpiece.









                                                  Always - Jazz
                                                  




1.
WYNTON KELLY

Kelly Blue



Riverside

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One of Wynton Kelly's greatest albums, and an all-star session that includes Nat Adderley, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb on all tracks. With additional contributions from Benny Golson and Bobby Jaspar.

Kelly's piano is warm and relaxed. The tracks are nearly all long, with very open room for soloing, and nice catchy hooks. There are a couple of Kelly originals as well as standards like Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, On Green Dolphin St and Willow Weep For Me. Don´t miss out!




2.
ESBJORN SVENSSON TRION

Good Morning Susie Soho



Sony

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Esbjorn with friends has made a magic contemporary jazz album without a hint of being retro and yet constantly acknowledging the inspirations of Thelonius Monk and Keith Jarrett. This set has been a staple in my discman on all trips far and close.




3.
ED KELLY AND PHAROAH SANDERS

Ed Kelly And Friend



Evidence

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A great record. Not so much for Kelly's keyboards, but for some killer sax work by Pharoah Sanders, who's the "friend" listed in the title. A few cuts are going for a smoother funky sound, but the record has a great version of You´ve Got To Have Freedom that is done at a different pace than the one on Pharoah's Journey To The One album loping and modal, warm and soulful, and very spiritual. Other tunes are pretty nice too: Newborn, Rainbow Song, and Pippin. Plus, the CD features two bonus cuts recorded by Kelly and tenorist Robert Stewart: Song For The Street People and West Oakland Strut and three more that are just solo piano tracks by Kelly.




4.
YUSEF LATEEF

Eastern Sounds



Riverside

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The title says it all. As Lateef works here in that wonderful mixture of hardbop, soul jazz, and Eastern stylings that he brought to all of his best early sessions as a leader. Lateef himself is playing tenor, flute, and oboe which he uses to craft these eerie snake charmer lines that work perfectly with the modal grooves of the tracks. The rest of the group features pianist Barry Harris, drummer Lex Humphries, and bassist Ernie Farrow, who also plays a strange instrument called a rabat. In my opinion this is by far the best of Yusef Lateef´s many albums.




5.
VARIOUS

Jazz In Paris -
Jazz and Cinema vol.4



Gitanes

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The package is the 4th in this excellent Jazz et Cinema series within the larger Jazz In Paris line and it is actually the rarest of the bunch, with work that we have never heard before on CD. All of them made for French films of the New Wave era, and rarely, if ever, reissued before.

Most tunes were originally issued only as singles or 7" EPs, a common format for French soundtracks, and the reason that many of them were rarely issued as albums. Although the sources are different, there is a really unified feel to the material.

A wonderful collection of some very cool jazz recordings.





                                                  Best Single
                                                   of the Year


1.
ROBERT HOOD

Who Taught You Math



Peacefrog

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2.
RHYTHM and SOUND with SHALOM

We Been Troddin



Burial Mix

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3.
TIGA and ZYNTHERIUS

Sunglasses At Night



City Rockers

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4.
ALTON MILLER

Soundscapes & Vibes



Moods&Grooves

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5.
BUS

Western



~Scape

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6.
CALM
Between EP



White

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7.
JEFF BENNET

Nudle Attack



Kung Fu Dub Recordings

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8.
LOS LADRONES

Mi Amore Es



White

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9.
CAJMERE

Sometimes I Do



Cajual Music

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10.
GRUPO-X

X-Perience


Kudos

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11.
AFRICANISM

Baleric



Yellow Productions

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12.
CHRIS LUMD
Broken Heartbear



Siesta

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13.
KELLY POLAR QUARTET

Audition EP



Environ

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14.
DAVID ALVARDO

Polygons/Auburns



Ovum

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15.
LISA SHAW

Tellin´ On Me



Sirkkus

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