December 23rd, 2011
There were a lot of great albums released by Philadelphia musicians this year, but these are my personal favorites. While I didn’t intentionally make a diverse list, I think these selections represent the diversity of Philly’s music scene (with the exception of things that fit easily into the “indie” category). What am I missing? What were your faves?
1. Meek Mill – Dreamchasers (DatPiff DL) Taking Philly’s strong street-rap tradition into the future and onto the airwaves, where his Rick Ross collab “Ima Boss” blazed all year-long. WATCH: “House Party”
2. +HIRS+ - Worship (Self-Released): An especially vile one sided 7-inch with 9 satanic/kill tracks. You can listen to the whole thing six times in under 30 minutes. STREAM: Worship.
3. Satanized – Technical Virginity (Skin Graft): Heavy, noisy, treble-wielding and highly confrontational rawkus-prone outfit that made me feel like I was being buried alive each time I saw them play. STREAM: “Arnaud de Verniolle”
4. Orrin Evans – Captain Black Big Band (Posi-Tone): The most talented jazz composer-performer from Philly in recent years brought together a massive group of Philly and NYC sluggers for the large ensemble dates captured here. WATCH: “Big Jimmy”
5. Inzinzac – Inzinzac (High Two): Forty-eight minutes of brutal (but thoughtful) power-jazz skronk on this young trio’s debut album that wonderfully articulates Philly’s strange out-jazz/metal crossover phenom. STREAM: “71”
6. Lantern – Stranger I Come, Stranger I Leave (Night People): Rabid, gut-punching punk-rock with traces of psych fresh outta the bowels of wherever that sorta stuff comes from. WATCH: “I Don’t Know”
7. Lushlife – No More Golden Days (Bandcamp DL): It’s all sharp spit and smooooothed-out cloud production on the latest mixtape by this South Philly MC/Producer who’s destined for much bigger stages. STREAM: No More Golden Days.
8. On The Water - Anchor (Bandcamp DL): A gnarly West Philly lo-fi folk album packed with celebratory sing-along burners that’ll have you reaching for whiskey and a warm body simultaneously. STREAM: Anchor.
9. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian) The most important rock-n-roll band in the United States Of America. Yeah, I said it. WATCH: “Baby Missiles”
10. Young Chris – The Revival (DatPiff DL): The State Property/Young Gunz veteran reconfirms he’s one of the finest, fiercest MCs the city’s ever produced. STREAM: “D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival)“