Albums of the Year '99

3.0



This is the third time Music Central has the privilege to present a list of musical favorites from the year. Looking back on the three years that I have maintained Mickey´s MusicCentral, it is quite obvious that my musical preferences have changed. In the first Best of List there was an emphasis on reggae and dub, during 1998 I spinned a lot of hip hop, and 1999 have been a house music year.

1999 has been a good year for music in general, with a number of good albums. Most of the albums on the list are from already established artists, but they have taken their music a step further, into something new and fresh sounding. And the ladies ruled 1999.

The single list contains many debut records and I think this is the most interesting list. The single list contains acts that are struggling to maintain their musical independence and at the same time they are stretching outside the club audience.

Last year I was having trouble to decide how large the selections of records should be. This year I have simply picked the most played records and ordered them into different categories.


                                                                                     14 of December 1999





1.
T L C

Fan Mail



LaFace/Arista

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Ultra modernist and slick soul and r&b. FanMail is an album full of pop hooks and sharp comments about the ancient games between boys and girls. TLC has proved that they are the best soul trio since... ever. Stunning.




2.
MISSY MISDEMEANOR ELLIOT

da real world



The Gold Mind/Electra

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1999 was Missy´s year. She and Timbaland were stalking out new territories of music, they produced, remixed and wrote music for almost every major act. On da real world Timbaland lays crisp and thick computer beats to Missy´s sing song rapping. The production is forwarding the next century. Cameos from rappers like Enimen and MC Solaar makes this an extraordinary gem.




3.
MARY J BLIGE

Mary



MCA

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Mary J Bliges most personal album so far. She has always managed to be a soul diva without loosing her street wise B-girl credibility.




4.
BLACKANIZED

Future Generations



Yush

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The very fact that the people behind Blacka´nized, AJ Nuttal and Joseph Malik are resident in Edinburgh, Scotland is almost impossible to comprehend. Their debut album Future Generations is as far from the Scottish moors you could ever be.

Like the name, Blacka´nized implies it is a mixture of music. The most obvious inspiration is hip hop merged into jazz, with a large shot of dub reggae, soul and Brazilian textures wowed into the music. Deep and soulful music for both the dance floor and the Walkman.




5.
NITIN SAWHNEY

Beyond Skin



Outcaste

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Strong and timeless music. It is of course not true, but Nitin Sawhney has created an album of rare beauty. It is jazz, hip hop, drum´n bass and Indian music.




6.
PRESENCE

All systems Gone



Pagan

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A title that brings David Bowie´s A Space Oddity into mind. Presence are not lost in space, their frontman Charles Webster took deep house out from the clubs and created a perfect comedown session for the sofa. A homelistening bliss from San Francisco complete with a cover version of Bodean´s Far Far Away From My Heart.




7.
DOT ALLISON

Afterglow



Heavenly

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Dot Allison off One Dove fame finally released her anticipated solo debut album. She came up with a record that is strangely out of time, and yet in total co-ordination with contemporary dance music. It is a soul record, much in the same way as Dusty Springfield made soul records. Dot Allison´s soul music has nothing to do with the soul music of the American south, or the streets of New York. This is soul music for a taxi ride on rainy and windy streets of London. Strings and snare drums with echo layered vocals´ makes it a beautiful and sometimes haunting album.




8.
ERIC BENÉT

A Day In The Life



Warner

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The soundtrack of the summer of ´99. Georgy Porgy featuring Faith Evans, nice!




9.
SUEDE

Head Music



Nude Records

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There are three rock groups worth following at the moment, Suede is one of them and they released an excellent album early 1999. They have had massive airplay of She´s In Fashion and the album is as good as the single.




10.
MACY GRAY

On How Life Is



Epic

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There are a couple of great songs on this one. Deep grooves.




11.
EXTENDED SPIRIT

Solid Water



Dialog

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All singles by Extended Spirit collected on one CD makes an indispensable album. Jazzy, Brazilian tinged house and drum´n bass from Germany. Beats and grooves does not come much better than this.




12.
UGLY DUCKLING

Fresh Mode



1500 Records

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This year´s most danceable hip hop came from Ugly Duckling. Old school and decent scratch work.





                                                                             Retro: Once Again




1.
NINA SIMONE

Sugar In My Bowl 1967-1972



RCA

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A collection of Nina Simone´s songs made during her RCA years. A true gem in the history of music. Nina Simone should never be taken lightly.




2.
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD

Dusty In Memphis



Rhino

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The classic Dusty In Memphis in an exclusive remastered reissue. The set includes the original album and 9 previously unissued tracks. Not to be missed.




3.
VARIOUS ARTISTS

Trojan Rocksteady Box Set



Trojan Records

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From the emergence of Rocksteady in 1966 until the development of reggae two years later; Rocksteady prevailed in Jamaica and it is these soulful sounds from that golden era which provide the focus of this collection. Essential and unreservedly recommended.





                                                                             Compilations of the Year




1.
ROOTDOWN 99

Compiled by Rainer Truby



Nuphonic

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The Nuphonic beats and breaks collection.




2.
NUPHONIC 02



Nuphonic

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The Nuphonic house music collection.




3.
BOSSA TRES...JAZZ

When Japan Meets Europe



Yellow Productions

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The new world jazz order by MAW, Modaji, Bob Sinclair and Kyoto Jazz Massive. It comes with Salome de Bahia´s version of Outro Lugar. Contemporary jazz music with more than a touch of Brazil. Exquisite




4.
THE LOFT

Presented by David Mancuso



Nuphonic

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The disco music collection from Nuphonic. From the days before disco became house music. Essential listening for all groovers.




5.
OUT OF SIGHT

Original Soundtrack



Jersey Records

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David Holmes wrote the score, compiled the music and cut oneliners from the dialog. Cool!





                                                  Best Single
                                                   of the Year


1.
SIMON LEE & RAY GUPTA

Azteca



Spectrum Records

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2.
ANTONIO

Happy, Joyous & Free



Tribal Winds

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3.
JOSH ABRHAMS featuring AMIEL DAEMION

Addicted To Bass



Prozaac Recordings

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4.
DAVID ALVARADO

Klugh (DJ Dazia´s Mix)



Ovum Recordings

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5.
JOE CLAUSSELL

Je Ka Jo



Ibadan

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6.
BETH ORTHON

Central Reservation (Spiritual Life/Ibadan Remix)



Heavenly Recordings

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7.
RAPHAEL SAADIQ & Q-TIP

Get Involved



Hollywood Records

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8.
WHITNEY HOUSTON

It´s Not Right, Buit It´s Alright



Arista

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9.
TQ

Westside



Epic

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10.
NEXT EVIDENCE

The Sands EP



Versatile

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Reader´s Selection:     Per Fjelland     Antonio


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