Best of 2019 | Aeron Premo
Artist of the Year
Jayda G. has had a truly stellar year. She released an incredibly strong debut record (Significant Changes), utilized her background in environmental science to launch a series of academic talks (JMG Talks), and continued spreading her disco-fueled sound to the masses. She is a fascinating and well-rounded talent who will no doubt continue to be a success in the music industry.
Natasha Kitty Katt
Best New Artist
I fell in love with the soulful sounds of this house duo on first listen after their track “Reggie Fox” was covered in our Feedback Friday segment. They released some fantastic singles this year on Exploited, True Romance and Tilly Jam and I can’t wait to hear more from them in 2020 and beyond!
Track of the Year
Róisín Murphy “Incapable”
The dream team of Róisín Murphy and Richard Barratt made musical magic once again this year with a pair of disco heaters in “Incapable” and “Narcissus”, but it is the former track that really stood out for me. With a heartfelt lyric, gorgeous vocals, and a funky hook, the light intensity kept me on my toes in a good way and built up into a glorious crescendo when the euphoria hit around 2:50. The remixes by Aeroplane + Dimitri from Paris and Cinthie are also worth a listen.
Horse Meat Disco feat. Kathy Sledge “Falling Deep In Love”
Kousto “The Old Days”
Mix & Fairbanks “Shergar’s Revenge”
Remix of the Year
Lisa Frank and Rez Ekbatan “Whisper” (Outputmessage Remix)
The debut release from DC’s ROAMANCE label featured remixes from top city talent and the cream of the crop was courtesy of artist/producer/dancer Outputmessage. This was a firm favorite of mine due to its come hither vocals, dark atmosphere and stellar production.
Christine and the Queens “Comme Si” (Honey Dijon Remix)
Georgia “About Work The Dancefloor” (The Black Madonna Remix)
Gavin Turek “Whitney” (LUXXURY Remix)
Pacific Coliseum “Beach Runner” (Manuel Darquart Balearic Remix)
Lauer “Topo Chico” (Tribute Mix)
Album of the Year
Moonchild – Little Ghost
Moonchild just keeps getting better and better with every record, which makes Little Ghost their best release yet. Amber Navran’s voice fits the arrangements like a glove and the songwriting, musical and production instincts of Navran, Max Bryk and Andris Mattson are second to none, giving way to some wonderful experiments. The trio are masters of creating a vibe. They are also taking the opportunity on the tour for this record to highlight organizations that advocate for people of color, which is a wonderful effort.
Marcos Valle – Sempre
Devin Morrison – Bussin’
Monogem – So Many Ways
The APX – Amplified Experiment
Faye Webster – Atlanta Millionaires Club
Compilation/Reissue of the Year
Various Artists – Night City Life
This compilation comes courtesy of Spacetalk Music and is curated by London selector Ilan Pdahtzur. Featuring a carefully selected collection of 80s rarities that range from Italo disco, electro-funk, and boogie, the tracks here are made to be listened to in a particular moment, obviously for an adventure in the city at night. Compilations should be curated for an experience, and this one does just that.
Various Artists – The Sound of Love International #002 – Beautiful Swimmers
Rebles “Sweetest Taboo (Soca)” [single]
Free Youth “We Can Move” [single]
Various Artists – Soul Clap Records Presents Italo Funk
Various Artists – Pacific Breeze: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1976-1986
Favorite Show of the Year
Tie: Josey Rebelle @ 9:30 Club for Blisspop Disco Fest [September 27, 2019] and Dâm-Funk at @ 9:30 Club for Blisspop Disco Fest [September 28, 2019]
The lineup for this year’s Blisspop Disco Fest [full disclosure: I was on the festival lineup] was an epic one, featuring both upcoming talent and established legends. Two performances for me took top honors, and they came courtesy of Josey Rebelle and Dâm-Funk. I was completely in awe of Josey’s technical skill and track selection – the mixing in her set was FLAWLESS! And while she is not normally known for disco sets, she definitely knows and loves the music and should be performing them more often. Dâm-Funk had some technical difficulties in his set due to playing on vinyl but his positive attitude shone throughout – he would reach in his crate, hold up the record sleeves and dance, saying “this is what happens when you spin vinyl”. But in the end, track selection triumphed over technical ability, and when he dropped The Rah Band’s “Messages From The Stars”, the euphoria in the room was a sight to behold, and you knew the world was a good place at that moment.
Disqo Volante @ Wonderland Ballroom [February 14, 2019]
Natasha Kitty Katt @ Loves Me Not [March 9, 2019]
Melvo Baptiste @ Backbar [June 29, 2019]
The Black Madonna @ 9:30 Club for Blisspop Disco Fest [September 27, 2019]
Moonchild @ 9:30 Club [October 16, 2019]
Label of the Year:
Classic Music Company
The team over at Classic Music Company should be proud of themselves for releasing an amazing crop of tracks in 2019. The house and disco energy that radiated from their catalog provided a wonderful listening and dancing experience, with standouts including “I Don’t Have a Drum Machine” by Yuksek, “Play The Game” by Kenny Hawkes feat. Louise Carver, “Walking Away” by Loods, “Powerdance” by Powerdance, and this gem from Eli Escobar and Nomi Ruiz.
DC Artist to Watch
Matthew Booth, better known as Disqo Volante, is off-the-charts talented as a musician, producer, and performer. He has been spreading his signature innovative “technojazz” sound across DC to great success and is a sight to behold live. Big things are and should be headed his way.
April + VISTA
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