As 2012 comes to a close it’s time to look back at some of the albums and EP’s that we enjoyed the most this year. As with last year’s 2011’s Finest list, the releases on this list are in no particular order. Not a lot of music gets released at this time of year so it’s a perfect time to sit back and check out some of the goodies that you may have missed during the year. Hopefully you’ll find a few here. See you in 2013!
Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio
If I had to pick one album from this year I think this would be it. Released back in February, Robert Glasper set the bar for 2012 incredibly high with Black Radio, fusing jazz with hip hop and R&B to create something really special. Get it.
Robert Glasper Experiment – Move Love feat. King
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Robert-Glasper-Experiment-Move-Love-feat.-King.mp3|titles=Robert Glasper Experiment – Move Love feat. King]
Hiatus Kaiyote – Tawk Tomahawk
These guys from Melbourne seemingly came from nowhere to release one of the best albums of 2012. Tawk Tomahawk was like nothing we’d heard before and something that can’t really be explained with words. Just trust us, it’s really good. Get it.
Hiatus Kaiyote – The World It Softly Lulls
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Oddisee – People Hear What They See
This was definitely one of the best hip hop albums from this year. Oddisee took it up yet another level both with his production and vocals and created a really solid album – something that seems like a bit of a rarity in hip hop these days. Get it.
Oddisee – That Real Feat. Olivier Daysoul
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/03-That-Real-Feat.-Olivier-Daysoul-1.mp3|titles=Oddisee – That Real Feat. Olivier Daysoul]
Eric Lau – The Mission EP
English producer Eric Lau combined forces with Guilty Simpson to make The Mission EP, another hip hop release that really stood out this year. Although slightly different to anything we’ve heard Guilty Simpson on before, the beats were banging and Guilty was on top of his game. Extra vocal contributions from the lovely Fatima and Olivier Daysoul made it that little bit better. Get it.
Eric Lau – Can You Feel It – feat. Guilty Simpson & Fatima
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Can-You-Feel-It_-feat.-Guilty-Simpson-Fatima-1.mp3|titles=Eric Lau – Can You Feel It – feat. Guilty Simpson & Fatima]
Hawthorne Headhunters – Myriad of Now
Now comprised of just Black Spade and Coultrain, Hawthorne Headhunters came with their usual ear-pleasing blend of electronic hip hop, soul and some good old funk on this full length release. Definitely worth checking out. Get it.
Hawthorne Headhunters – Boats In Your Eyes feat. I Am
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/06-Boats-In-Your-Eyes-feat.-I-Am-1.mp3|titles=Hawthorne Headhunters – Boats In Your Eyes feat. I Am]
Breezy Lovejoy – O.B.E Vol. 1 & Lovejoy
One of the best discoveries we made this year was Breezy Lovejoy. First he grabbed our attention with O.B.E Vol. 1 then he gave us Lovejoy and it was all good – the drums, the bass, the synths and Breezy’s laid-back unique vocal delivery made for two very dope releases. Get O.B.E and Lovejoy
Breezy Lovejoy – D.T.B
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/08-D.T.B-1.mp3|titles=Breezy Lovejoy – D.T.B]
S3 (Miles Bonny & Brenk Sinatra) – Supa Soul Sh*t
Miles Bonny has been popping up everywhere this year collaborating with musicians all over the globe. This collaboration with Austrian Producer Brenk Sinatra was the only full length album he released though and it was quality from start to finish. Get it.
S3 – Chakal
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/03-Chakal-1.mp3|titles=S3 – Chakal]
Positive Flow – Flow Lines
This was the kind of album I had been waiting to hear. UK producer Positive Flow managed to combine soul, funk, jazz and a bit of brokenbeat to excellent effect on this release. The production was top notch as was the line up of guest vocalists. Get it.
Positive Flow – Children Of The Sun feat. Heidi Vogel
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/02-Children-Of-The-Sun-feat.-Heidi-Vogel-1.mp3|titles=Positive Flow – Children Of The Sun feat. Heidi Vogel]
Dwele – Greater Than One
Dwele is one of our favourite soul singers from recent times so we were pretty happy when we got the news that he had a new album on the way and were even happier once we actually heard the album. Greater Than One is another classic smooth Dwele album to add to his already impressive catalogue. Get it.
Dwele – Going Leaving
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/02-Going-Leaving.mp3|titles=Dwele – Going Leaving]
Tensei – Two
Influences of jazz, hip hop, afro beat, soul and electronica can all be heard on this release from Tensei and despite having such a diversity of sound, the production duo managed to create a really well-crafted and cohesive release. Get it.
Tensei – Think Twice (version) feat. Khari Lemuel
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/04-Think-Twice-version-Ft.-Khari-Lemuel.mp3|titles=Tensei – Think Twice (version) feat. Khari Lemuel]
Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes
Flying Lotus went in a different direction with this release and created a much more atmospheric and eclectic album than his previous albums. Although it was different, we thought it was dope and the kind of album that only someone as brilliant as Flying Lotus could produce. Get it.
Flying Lotus – See Thru To U feat. Erykah Badu
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/09-See-Thru-To-U-feat.-Erykah-Badu.mp3|titles=Flying Lotus – See Thru To U feat. Erykah Badu]
Union – Analogtronics
If you like synth-heavy electronic hip hop then you need to get your hands on this album because this production duo out of France do it so well. They managed to get an impressive line up of guests on the album too. Get it.
Union – Wings feat. Elzhi
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/08-Wings-Feat-Elzhi.mp3|titles=Union – Wings Feat Elzhi]
Lionel Loueke – Heritage
With a love of jazz and most African music, I think I was always going to love this album. And with musicians like Robert Glasper (production, keys), Derrick Hodge (bass) and Mark Guiliana (drums) in the mix along with Loueke’s impeccable guitar playing it’s not hard to see why this album is so good. Get it.
Lionel Loueke – Freedom Dance
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/05-Freedom-Dance.mp3|titles=Lionel Loueke – Freedom Dance]
B. Bravo & Teeko – The Starship Connection EP
This release was short but so so sweet. The San Francisco-based funksters came together to produce five of the best electro-funk tracks we heard all year. Get it.
B. Bravo & Teeko – More Than Just A Reprise
[audio:http://supersuperbmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/05-More-Than-Just-A-Reprise-feat.-Bob-Menacho-and-Daren-Grant-1.mp3|titles=B. Bravo & Teeko – More Than Just A Reprise feat. Bob Menacho and Daren Grant]
Other notable releases:
Anthony Valadez – Just Visiting
Blu & Exile – Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them
Karriem Riggins – Alone Together
Sene – Brooklyknight
Sola Rosa – Low and Behold High and Beyond
State of Zoe – Mind (Part 1) EP