We’ve spent the last month or two here at Crack Magazine trawling through everything we’ve listened to this year and working out what stuck. Mixes, EPs, singles, albums, reissues and compilations that we felt deserved some extra shine before the year’s out. Frankly, we are now sick of our own voices.
We asked 10 artists with great taste to pick out something they’ve discovered this year that they think will stay with them long after 2018. Here’s 10 gems you might have missed, handpicked by those in the know.
DonChristian's Where There's SmokePicked by Wolfgang Tillmans
DonChristian – type it in without space between the Don and the Christian – is a New York based rapper who released his first album this year titled Where There’s Smoke. A captivating performer and outstanding lyricist, DonChristian is a shining example of USAmerica’s power and willingness to fight back. It became a staple on my playlist this summer and autumn and I hope it will reach more ears in the years to come.
The Marsha's Plate podcastPicked by Lotic
I’d love to give a shout out to the podcast Marsha’s Plate! I found out about it through another podcast I love called The Read and it has really helped ease a lot of my anxieties about transitioning while black in Europe. Though the Marsha’s Plate hosts are based in the States (in Houston!), it has been a huge help to hear their perspectives, especially since they live in the South and are still alive and thriving. Being able to discuss a lot of these issues just isn’t possible for me at the moment in my daily life, at least not with any black trans sisters (where y’all at?!), so this podcast keeps me grounded and centered while giving me a lot to consider and reconsider, and also really appreciate, about how all aspects of my identity will affect my life.
Leon Bridges' Bad Bad NewsPicked by Sasha Keable
Leon Bridges’ Bad Bad News has 100% been my track of the year, every time I’ve felt small or not worth enough I’ve put it on and it’s given me a boost of energy and reminded me how strong I am, the lyrics speak to me so much “They tell me I was born to lose, but I made a good good thing out of bad bad news”
Jenny Hval's SpellsPicked by Stella Donnelly
The best thing I discovered this year was a song called Spells by Jenny Hval. I have listened to it more than a thousand times since I heard it for the first time in September. I even put it on repeat on a long haul flight from Perth to New York and never got sick of it. To me it’s the best song ever written and it led me to read Hval’s new book Paradise Rot which is one of my favourite reads of 2018 so there we go!
Teto Preto's Pedra PretaPicked by Valesuchi
This year I felt deeply moved and empowered by the delicious album Pedra Preta from the Brazilians Teto Preto, who I consider the most relevant electronic music band in the world right now. They’re defying fear and intolerance with their unique sound and performative irony, in a moment where young Brazilians need a lot of strength and love.
The Twinkle Brothers' Get Behind Me SatanPicked by Bruce
This year I really got into collecting dub/digi. Whether it was down to going to a couple of Teachings nights or just generally smoking more, I found the sound to fit really well in a techno/club environment. One tune that has given me great memories and probably has more to come is The Twinkle Brothers’ Get Behind Me Satan. Out to Percy Irie for the tip!