The 50 Best Albums Of The Year 2019 - part 2 - Lists - Mixmag

Giant Swan ‘Giant Swan’ (Keck)

A full showcase of Giant Swan's unconventional techno with a punk edge. Unmissable.

Galcher Lustwerk ‘Information’ (Ghostly International)

The New York producer is back with this deep house banger. A jazzy undertone runs throughout and adds charisma and warmth to his lights-low jams, complete with enigmatic vocals.

Thom Yorke ‘Anima’ (XL)

Possibly the icon’s most ambitious solo project yet, this album was accompanied by a beautifully accomplished short film that’s a must-see.

Chase And Status ‘Return II jungle’ (EMI)

The duo head back to their roots in order to bring jungle into the future.

Flying Lotus ‘Flamagra’ (Warp Records)

Flying Lotus' bouncing take on jazz and funk feels limitless and takes you into a cosmic universe. 'Flamagra' is his latest epic.

Paranoid London ‘PL’ (PL Records)

This epic acid house album will keep you going for hours. Paranoid London's superb formula is sleek and sensual while taking you on an electric trip.

Special Request ‘Offworld’ (Houndstooth)

Special Request shows how adaptable he has become in this futuristic album. The diverse range of tracks showcase his immense energy.

O’Flynn ‘Aletheia’ (Silver Bear Recordings)

The London-based producer O’Flynn broke onto the electronic music scene in 2015. In this unconventional album he brings his euphoric rhythmic influences into play with animated drum work and feverish rhythms.

Kano ‘Hoodies All Summer’ (Parlophone)

A captivating full length from grime OG Kano commentating on the UK's broken society. The rapper is one of the few keeping it old-skool in the evolving world of grime.

Hot Chip ‘A Bath Full Of Ecstasy’ (Domino)

It doesn’t seem like Hot Chip will ever go out of fashion. This album brings us alternative synth bangers that leave us wondering if the band will ever disappoint us.

Skepta ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ (Boy Better Know)

Skepta had a lot to live up to on this one and did not disappoint. ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ is inventive and features collabs with the likes of J Hus and the rest of the BBK crew.

Erika de Casier ‘Essentials’ (Independent Jeep Music)

Erika de Casier demonstrates her 90s nostalgia in this trendy soulful house album. Hypnotic to say the least.

Little Simz ‘Grey Area’ (AGE 101)

The actor and musician granted us her unapologetic third album in 2019 which showcases her unmatched style and presence.

Nathan Micay ‘Blue Spring’ (LuckyMe)

Nathan Micay presents an unmissable and trippy journey on this impressive nine-track album.

​The Comet Is Coming ‘Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery’ (Impulsive!)

The London-based band are known for blending jazz, electronica, funk and psychedelic rock to create an astral fusion. ‘Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery’ brings an otherworldly atmosphere throughout.

Special Request 'Vortex' (Houndstooth)

Paul Woolford’s Special Request alias returned with a number of releases this year. This was the pick of the bunch, a dense and eclectic trip through acid, techno, UK funky and his staple breakbeat sound.

Moodymann 'Sinner' (KDJ Records)

Five years after his last proper album, Kenny Dixon Jr’s latest arrived with little fanfare (he first sold a few copies by hand in Detroit) but plenty of acclaim for the resonant and moodily funky groove it maintained.

Shanti Celeste 'Tangerine' (Peach Discs)

Shanti Celeste’s debut album drew on Detroit techno, the soundsystem culture of Bristol and the sound of the kalimba – recorded at her father’s home in Chile – to create a diverse listening experience.

The Chemical Brothers 'No Geography' (Virgin EMI / Astralwerks)

Undercutting the predictable excellence of The Chems’ rave, soul, big beat and techno was a sense of euphoric internationalism designed to smash the political crap we’ve all had to bear this year.

Jayda G 'Significant Changes' (Ninja Tune)

Having built a name with euphoric sets of pure disco and house, Canada-via-Berlin’s Jayda Guy wrong-footed everyone with a debut on Ninja Tune which forged a soulful but tech-heavy third way between both styles.

Kornél Kovács 'Stockholm Marathon' (Studio Barnhus)

From tender lullaby ‘Purple Skies’ to the playful jazz melody of ‘Szombat’ and ‘Ducks’ light house groove, Kovács’ second record is a proper album, a well-constructed whole that was more than the sum of its parts.

Loraine James 'For You And I' (Hyperdub)

The Hyperdub debut of Enfield raised producer Loraine James was of its time, taking influence from growing up queer and working class on a multicultural London estate, drawing on jazz and electronica, grime and drill.

Octo Octa 'Resonant Body' (T4T LUV NRG)

If Octo Octa's third album 'Where Are We Going?' reflected her arrival in public as a trans woman, the exuberant house and blissed-out ambient of 'Resonant Body' spoke of a spirit at ease.

Floating Points 'Crush' (Ninja Tune)

Polymath, pianist and Eglo Records boss Sam Shepherd returned with an album as eclectic as his CV for the follow-up to 2015’s debut ‘Elaenia’, taking in house, garage, ambient and minimalist orchestration.

Barker 'Utility' (Ostgut Ton)

A decade after he co-founded Berlin’s Leisure System party – and subsequently label – as a home for what it called “modern electronic music for dancing”, Sam Barker emerged with a release that captured the harmony in eclecticism that had made LS such a success. That record, 2018’s ‘Debiasing’ EP, brought gorgeous, infectious techno, yet did so very overtly without resorting to the use of a kick-drum throughout. It was a conceptual warm-up – alongside the white label release of BARKER 001 in June of this year – for the unleashing of his debut album, which follows a similar format. Released on Ostgut Ton, ‘Utility’ is a record which sparkles rather than explodes into life through the constellation of looping, descending notes and magnetic cloud synthesiser hiss of ‘Paradise Engineering’ and into the scything bullet train song of ‘Experience Machines’; the dream-like evocation of a club heard from the other end of a rain-soaked street at midnight that is ‘Gradients of Bliss’; the tentative groove of the title track and the nine-minute machine epic ‘Die-Hards Of The Darwinian Order’. Across nine songs made of what has been described as a fusion of “experimentation and dancefloor pragmatism”, and partly composed on instruments built by Barker himself, this is techno which subtly dispenses with the genre’s standard elements to create a new evolution in the style; music made for the club but repurposed as an exercise in ambient self-care. It’s a beautiful algorithmic head trip, and the electronic sound of 2019.

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