So here’s a little secret: this was actually posted on December 29, 2010. Here’s the thing: I totally meant to finish this in 2009 and continue the yearly streak of music year-in-reviews, but I kinda’ never finished. Thus, this list is mostly without commentary, but I wanted to get it posted before I posted 2010’s.

(See also: 2008 and 2007.)

Everything’s sorted in alphabetical order.

The Best of 2009

  • Ancient Astronauts: We Are To Answer – Bad assness from German production duo.
  • Bad Luck: Bad Luck – Neil Welch’s latest.
  • Del and Tame One: Parallel Uni-verses – Two of the nicest join forces for one of the year’s nicest.
  • Dollabin: Styles You Can’t Afford
  • Fire!: You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago – EP of Swedish Psych-jazz.
  • JS-1: Ground Original 2
  • Erin McKeown: Hundreds of Lions – Album of the year? Possibly.
  • MF Woolly: Chrome and Ivory
  • OSTR: O.C.B.
  • Ras Luta: Jesli Slyszysz – Positive (I assume), upbeat reggae. Ras Luta sounds like a Polish Jr. Gong.
  • Souls of Mischief: Montezuma’s Revenge
  • Spinach Prince: Spinach Prince – Live instruments treated like samplers.
  • Sunny Tuff: Tuff Luff (EP) – My mellow my man!
  • Tame One: Acid Tab Vocab
  • The Unknown and DJ Ragz: DC Airways – Beats made on battery power in airports and on planes.
  • Wszystkie Wschody Slonca: Japonski Rezyser – Polish reggae/dub
  • Wu-Tang remixes/covers (El Michels, vs King Tubby) – Favorite: “Money Rules Everything Around Me” (CREAM & Horace Andy)
  • Various Artists: Kind of Bloop – 8-bit covers of Kind of Blue
  • Various Artists: Polska Rootz – “Future folk” is an apt description.

The Best of Stuff from 2008 that I Discovered Late, in 2009

The Almost Best of 2009

(alphabetical; and this is where I get lazy about linking)

  • Brother Ali: Us (love that combatting homophobia in hip-hop is becoming the thing to do)
  • Brownbird Rudy Relic/Orb Mellon: The Juke Shall Rise Again EP
  • Chip-Fu: Jungle Rock Jr. Stop Playing mixtape
  • DMV hip-hop from yU (Before Taxes), dumhi (3!), Diamond District, Oddisee (x2)
  • Elzhi: Leftovers mixtape
  • Kam Moye: Splitting Image (Best verse of the year: final verse on “Stars”)
  • Matisyahu: Light
  • Mos Def: The Ecstatic
  • Q-Tip: Kamaal The Abstract (rec. 2001, rel. 2009)
  • Sadat X: Brand New Bein’
  • ST/MiC: Honest Music
  • Aly Tadros: Things Worth Keeping (really liked “Linger”)

Other stuff worthy of mention, crammed into a small space.

Aarophat & Illastrate As Black Noise,
The ARE: IRAN,
Blu: Open,
Built By Snow: Mega,
Chris Read’s stuff (The Little Brother Show, The Diary volume 1.5),
Common Market: The Winter’s End EP,
Thaione Davis: Still Hear,
Deeskee: Audiobiograffiti,
Esoteric: Serve or Suffer,
Fashawn: Boy Meets World,
Avram Fefer Trio: Ritual,
Finale: Pipe Dream and a Promise,
Mr. Lif: I Heard It Today,
N.A.S.A.: The Spirit of Apollo,
Sage Francis: Sick of Wasting…,
Sleep: Hesitation Wounds,
DJ Spooky: The Secret Song