Staff Lists

What has 2019 brought us? For the Crack Magazine team, there were some defining moments, and lessons learnt along the way

Eris Drew and Octo Octa © Kasia Zacharko

Rachel Grace Almeida

Deputy Editor

Top 10 Albums
1. Erika de Casier – Essentials
2. Kano – Hoodies All Summer
3. Anthony Naples – Fog FM
4. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
5. DJ Python – Derretirse
6. Squid – Town Centre
7. Bat for Lashes – Lost Girls
8. FKA twigs – MAGDALENE
9. Julia Jacklin – Crushing
10. Ms Nina – Perreando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro

So, my home country is on fire.
Not only in the physical sense – parts of Venezuela’s Amazon Rainforest are burning too – but in a deeply spiritual sense. In 2019, the country that holds my family, my fondest memories and my very identity plunged further into its biggest-ever sociopolitical crisis, worsening with each passing day, as I watch on helplessly. Innocent people living in Venezuela – like my dad, my little sister, and my grandparents – are subject to military violence, extreme poverty and dwindling medical supplies. It has, in simple terms, broken my spirit.

This year, all I could do was cling onto the comforting beauty of home. I began cooking traditional Venezuelan food, almost every day. I listened to salsa, joropo and reggaeton day and night. I checked in with my family daily over a shoddy WhatsApp connection – a moment of respite in the perpetual nightmare. My dad, a keen salsero (or, salsa musician) began to send me new songs he’d been writing. Sometimes he’d even sing them to me over a voice note, his palpable joy emitting through the phone. It reminded me of the carefree, resilient spirit of our people. My 2019 was soundtracked by Si No La Vuelvo a Ver by Daniel Almeida. From now, until forever.

Bakar © Machine Operated

Ben Brook

Head of Video Production

Top 10 Albums
1. Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
2. Dave – Psychodrama
3. 100 Gecs – 1000 gecs
4. YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy
5. Kano – Hoodies All Summer
6. Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
7. Charli XCX – Charli
8. Lil Tjay – True to Myself
9. Bon Iver – i,i
10. slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain

Tierra Whack © Nwaka Okparaeke

Theo Kotz

Audio Editor

Top 10 Albums
1. Ossia – Devil’s Dance
2. Vegyn – Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds
3. Various Artists – 4 Down
4. Big Thief – U.F.O.F.
5. Loraine James – For You and I
6. Erika de Casier – Essentials
7. Various Artists – The Sound of Love International #002 – Beautiful Swimmers
8. Headie One – Music x Road
9. Carla dal Forno – Look Up Sharp
10. Leif – Loom Dream

In February, freshly landed in New York City…
I sought out a band I had wanted to see for months at the Market Hotel in Bushwick. That band, Deli Girls, were as incendiary, uncompromising and brilliant as I’d hoped but the act that followed, Dreamcrusher, blew my head off in a way I’ll never forget.

The show is simply them, alone, bathed in incessant strobe lighting while they call down an almighty squall of screaming hardcore and serrated electronic noise. They spent about 90% of that show crowdsurfing and everyone went home with sweat-drenched clothes and their synapses rewired.

New York City’s experimental noise and hardcore scene is amazing at the minute, and special shouts go to Eartheater, Show Me the Body and several others I don’t have space to mention that I also caught on that trip, but if you can get to NYC then make sure you see Dreamcrusher. Better yet, if you’re into putting on events, plug together with some friends and fly them out to your city for a show. You won’t regret it and the people of your town will thank you.

Julianna Huxtable © Vitali Gelwich

Femke Campbell

Graphic Designer

Top 10 Tracks
1. FKA twigs – Home With You
2. Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Oumou Sangaré – Mood 4 Eva
3. Steve Lacy – N Side
4. Jessica Pratt – This Time Around
5. Frank Ocean – In My Room
6. Sharon Van Etten – Jupiter 4
7. Brockhampton – Sugar
8. Erika de Casier – Little Bit (Sydlandsmix)
9. Doja Cat, Rico Nasty – Tia Tamera
10. Megan Thee Stallion – Hot Girl Summer

FKA twigs © Justin French

Louise Brailey


Top 10 Albums:
1. Sun Runners – Lust for Life
2. Loraine James – For You and I
3. Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
4. Kano – Hoodies All Summer
5. FKA twigs – MAGDALENE
6. Oli XL – Rogue Intruder, Soul Enhancer
7. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
8. Carter Tutti Void – Triumvirate
9. Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
10. Headie One – Music x Road

In my end of year roundup last year…
I said I hoped 2019 would bring some much needed clarity. I didn’t get that, but I did get Avalon Emerson dropping the Elissa Suckdog edit of King Princess during her set at Simple Things. Each part of that sentence sparks joy for me. Proof that the universe doesn’t furnish you with what you want, but what you need.

J Hus

Duncan Harrison

Creative Projects Manager

Top 10 Albums
1. Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
2. Beyoncé – Homecoming: The Live Album
3. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
4. Quelle Chris – Guns
5. Kano – Hoodies All Summer
6. Florist – Emily Alone
7. Little Simz – GREY Area
8. Shanti Celeste – Tangerine
9. FKA twigs – MAGDALENE
10. Taylor Swift – Lover

Ade Udoma & Michelle Helena Janssen

Art Direction

Top 10 Albums
1. Burna Boy – African Giant
2. Little Simz – GREY area
3. JPEGMAFIA – All My Heroes Are Cornballs
4. Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
5. Summer Walker – Over It
6. Young Thug – So Much Fun
7. Baby Keem – Die for My Bitch
8. Gucci Mane – Woptober II
9. 03 Greedo & Kenny Beats – Netflix & Deal
10. Sheff G – The Unluccy Luccy Kid

This was the year African music truly shined through…
… on an international level. Artists such as Burna Boy, Naira Marley, Santi and Zlatan influenced an array of global artists – from Beyoncé to Skepta.

slowthai © Joshua Gordon

Oscar Mason

Marketing Assistant

Top 10 Tracks
1. OFB – Ambush
2. K-Lone – Sine Language
3. Erika de Casier – Do My Thing
4. Murlo – End of the Road
5. M Huncho – Ocho Cinco
6. Homeshake – Just Like My (TAYE//PAL Remix)
7. Anunaku – Forgotten Tales
8. Mani Festo ‎– Hold the Line
9. Special Request – A Gargantuan Melting Face Floating Effortlessly Through the Stratosphere
10. Nilüfer Yanya – In Your Head

My laptop died in the middle of 2019.
Whilst I’m generally pretty organised in my life (so my mum says) when it came to backing up and being organised with my music this year I lacked the basics of organisation, formatting and storage. I spent many wide-eyed nights awake at 3am trying to recover over 10 years of tunes from the abyss of my hard-drive. With the rise of streaming services and the death of iTunes this year, some would laugh at this attempt to recover music. Understandably I was preoccupied with life to worry about backing up and formatting stuff to Rekordbox correctly, including graduating from University, dealing with personal relationships and work.

After facing defeat, I spent my savings and the little money I had on some new records and financed a new laptop. A few months later whilst lounging in my room I heard the startup chime coming from my deceased 2010 MacBook. Thankfully, I was able to recover my decade-defining mp3s and WAVs. This memory will stay with me for the next decade and hopefully so will all the amazing music that is yet to be discovered. The moral of the story is: don’t be an idiot and back up your tunes. Here’s to 2020.

Luke Sutton


Top 10 Tracks
1. Normani – Motivation
2. Lana Del Rey – Happiness is a butterfly
3. Charli XCX – I Don’t Wanna Know
4. Caroline Polachek – Caroline Shut Up
5. Ariana Grande – ghostin
6. Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
7. SebastiAn ft. Syd – Doorman
8. Kim Petras – All I Do Is Cry
9. SASAMI – Turned Out I Was Everyone
10. Hatchie – Her Own Heart

A$AP Ferg

Jerry Dobson

Video Production

Top 10 Albums
1. Stenny – Stress Test
2. Anthony Naples – Fog FM
3. Clairo – Immunity
4. Walton – Depth Charge (ITXO15)
5. Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
6. slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
7. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
8. DJ Python – Derretirse
9. Skee Mask – ISS004
10. James Blake – Assume Form

Raphaël Top Secret (Live at Dekmantel Festival 2019)
At this year’s Dekmantel Festival, Raphaël Top Secret supplied a masterclass two hours of feel-good house, disco and boogie. Although it’s hard to choose an outright music highlight from the year, thinking back to this set never fails to give me a warm feeling of joy.

After being schooled in every genre of electronic music since Wednesday, my friends and I had reached the final day. Seeking some respite from the mesmerising main stage, bouncing Boiler Room stage or the depths of both UFO stages, we found ourselves at the Selector’s stage – which provided the perfect lighter escape from the muscular techno and bass we’d endured over the previous two days.

The set was perfect from start to finish. A journey through pumping house, disco and downtempo funk. Raphaël provided the entire dancefloor with a new lease of energy just in time for the final night in Amsterdamse Bos. The French DJ’s selections ran seamless to provide one of the best set’s of the festival – which was certainly a near perfect weekend of music.

LSDXOXO Aesthetic portrait

Oscar Henson

Marketing Assistant

Top 10 Albums
1. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
2. Big Thief – U.F.O.F. / Two Hands
3. Oso Oso – basking in the glow
4. Polo G – Die a Legend
5. Kedr Livanskiy – Your Need
6. Leif – Loom Dream
7. Max D – Many Any
8. (Sandy) Alex G – House of Sugar
9. Efdemin – New Atlantis
10. Complete Walkthru – Scrolls

FKA twigs © Justin French

Vivian Yeung

Deputy Online Editor

Top 10 Albums
1. DJ Python – Derretirse
2. FKA twigs – MAGDALENE
3. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
4. Octo Octa – Resonant Body
5. Kedr Livanskiy – Your Need
6. 33EMYBW – Arthropods
7. Leif – Loom Dream
8. Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs
9. Oso Oso – basking in the glow
10. Doja Cat – Hot Pink

Summer is simply the best season.
And this year, the virality of Meg’s “Hot Girl Summer” was a reminder for us to live our best lives – however that may look like. While, sadly, mine didn’t come to be defined by selfies in the sea (somehow, I didn’t find the time), I found myself – in true Pisces fashion – returning to something softer. DJ Python’s Derretirse EP was played repeatedly, and the track Cuando sounds like the transition into summer; of dreary-looking England finally getting its glo-up. Walks around the city were joyful, and everything felt golden. Hot Girl Summer is what you make of it – and Cuando defined mine.

Jack Wells

Senior Graphic Designer

Top 10 Albums
1. Kano – Hoodies All Summer
2. JME – Grime MC
3. M Huncho – Utopia
4. slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
5. Giggs – Big Bad
6. P Money – Money Over Everyone 3
7. Ocean Wisdom – Big Talk Vol. 1
8. Stormzy – Heavy Is the Head
9. AJ Tracey – AJ Tracey
10. Devlin – The Outcast

Mike Vinti

Online Editor

Top 10 Tracks
1. The Comet Is Coming – Summon the Fire
2. Caroline Polachek – Door
3. Tyler the Creator – Earfquake
4. EarthGang & Young Thug – Proud of U
5. 100 gecs – Money Machine
6. ShooterGang Kony – Charlie
7. Oso Oso – basking in the glow
8. Kano ft. Ghetts & D Double E – Class of Deja
9. PUP – Morbid Stuff
10. Injury Reserve ft. Amine – Jailbreak the Tesla

Murlo at the IMAX, Simple Things
Six months ago I moved to Bristol to start work at Crack. Other than my future bosses who I’d met during the interview process, I didn’t really know anyone in the city. It was like starting a new school, where everyone already has friendship groups and favourite pubs. By the time Simple Things rolled around in October, I felt a little bit more like a Bristolian. Murlo’s show at the IMAX during the festival – where gunfingers were shot at the screen and people danced in the aisles – felt like final confirmation, if any was needed, that I was in the right place.

Saul Martin

Senior Developer

Top 10 Albums
1. (Sandy) Alex G – House of Sugar
2. Mannequin Pussy – Patience
3. PUP – Morbid Stuff
4. Big Thief – U.F.O.F.
5. 100 Gecs – 1000 gecs
6. Oso Oso – basking in the glow
7. JPEGMAFIA – All My Heroes Are Cornballs
8. slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
9. American Football – American Football (LP3)
10. Danny Brown – uknowwhatimsayin¿