Trav15’s Top 15 of 2008

30 12 2008

Ah yes, time for the year in review. 2008 was a good year for music. Lots of good shit, lots of letdowns, but a fun one nonetheless. I hope 2009 to be even better. The new MicroKorg XL coming soon to the US too. Let’s hope that new Sade album drops soon! It’ll be nine years since Lovers Rock. Big baby Jesus, I can’t wait. Alright let’s get into my top 15 records of this 808 year of ’08 with the longest post ever:

15. DJ Packo – Mosquito Diesel (self-released)

Coming in at the 11th hour of 2008, Hawaii’s very own DJ Packo drops his new mixtape, Mosquito Diesel – The Glitchtape. Friend of the show, the Pacster spun live not too long ago in support of the mix. Look out for the Re-Percussions archive coming soon. Listen to what Packo listens to by picking up the CD around town at select shops. Hit the website over at

14. Hot Chip – Made In The Dark (Astralwerks)

This record almost made it to #10 but I kicked it down since it wasn’t all thaaat great of an album, at least to me, in 2008. Wrestlers is good and so is the titular track and Ready For The Floor, but I like Little Boot’s version a little better:

13. Dam Funk – Rhythm Trax vol. IV (Stones Throw)

The fourth in Stones Throw’s Rhythm Trax series, Dam Funk (like Damon Funk, but not Aaron Funk) gives us eight beats of electro boogie funk magic. Drum machines and synth sounds are like music to to me ears, literally. Another late entry for 2008, Sunset (appropriately) is my favorite track so far, a nice way to end the year. Check for info and downloads.

12. Q-Tip – The Renaissance (Universal Motown)

Q-Tip is back with his latest solo-release. Nicely done with the production including one by Dilla. Great album to rock back and forth. He did a free show with Dig Lifestyles and MySpace at Pipeline and it was awesome. It was like a non-stop banger after banger of ATCQ and new stuff mix. It was great to hear all the classics and he even did some of Phife’s rhymes.

11. Michna – Magic Monday (Ghostly International)

10. Girl Talk – Feed The Animals (Illegal Art)

Girl Talk’s follow-up to the loaded Night Ripper, Feed The Animals takes things to another level. It sounds slightly different from Night Ripper (not as crystal clear and densely packed?), but it’s got a lot of great mashes. Some of my faves are “Girl/Boy Song” backing some raps and Mary J Blige’s “Real Love” with “These Eyes” and extra drums by GT. I like whoever did these vids:

You can still download the album for how ever much you want to pay.

9. Autechre – Quaristice (Warp Records)

Number nine, number nine, number nine. Yeah, Sean and Rob have made nine albums as Autechre. This time they went way overboard with the tracks having a second disc for the physical release and then with the Quadrange EP’s with alternate versions of tracks. Let’s go AE!

8. Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold (Rhymesayers)

Continuing with the duos, Slug and Ant are back with the full-length follow up to the Sad Clown Bad season EP’s. I like that Ant used a lot of live instrumentation for this one. Slugs rhymes are Slug rhymes and they fit with Ant’s production.  I’m bummed I missed the sold-out show at Pipeline, but the live disc on the limited book edition was aight. Good to see Ant playing along, cutting wax, playing keys, and smoking cigarettes.

7. Koushik – Out My Window (Stones Throw)

I really liked this album when it first came out. I was listening to it so much and almost even singing along to whatever Koushik is saying. Now I don’t really want to listen to it. Nice production on this one with stoney, ghostly, psychedellic stuff going on. Lots of solid beats but I’m bummed that he included a lot of tracks from his older EP’s, but I guess they fit well with the LP as a whole. Although I’m sick of it now, it is a great monument to that pysch-beat style.

6. Take – Forward Motion From Behind Tall Weeds [EP] (Poo-Bah Records)


5. Tommy Guerrero – Return of The Bastard (Galaxia)

Skateboarder and musician, Tommy Guerrero brought the follow up to Loose Grooves & Bastard Blues to the US this year. It came out in Japan in summer of 2007 but dropped in the US early in 2008. It’s a great chill record with nice guitar work and drums breaks and drum machine. Different than his other stuff, I really enjoyed this album as a whole.

4. James Pants – Welcome (Stones Throw)

Mr. Pantsu-san. From Stones Throw intern to the next big thing, James fulfilled the dream with his full-length, Welcome. Lots of great jams here, definitely worth the hype that surrounded the Pants.

I want to see him perform live like this. He looks like he could be a sexy McPoyle, if that’s even possible.

3. She & Him – Volume One (Merge)

The first song I heard off this was their cover of “You Really Got A Hold On Me” (thanks <3) and I really liked the part at the end where it goes from “you really got a hold on me” to “hoooold meeee”. Nice for when it’s rainy inside. Other highlights are their Hawaiian-ish, pedal steel infused cover of The Beatles’ “I Should’ve Known Better”, and the too short “Black Hole”. Where’s volume 2?

2. DJ Frane – Journey To The Planet of Birds or Beats To Blaze To vol.3 (self-released)

I dunno about volume 2 for She & Him, but here’s volume 3, the third and final edition of Frane’s Beats To Blaze To series. This time Frane released it himself but it doesn’t suffer one bit. The tracks on here are Frane-tastic, so definitely check it out it you like stoney beats, nice scratching, and Frane-o. Check out my previous post and the archived interview in mp3 form.

1. Flying Lotus – Los Angeles (Warp Records)

Coming in at #1 is none other than Flying Lotus. Los Angeles is his second LP but the first off Warp. At first I wasn’t sure why Warp picked him up as I didn’t really like 1983, even though Warp went downhill after getting !!! and the Battles. The Reset EP was really great and the perfect prelude for this full-length.  I don’t know what it is about FlyLo’s production style other than it’s gritty and includes lots of synthetic goodness and dark beats. This record has a ton of great beats that all flow into one another, that is with the aid of crackles and white noise. The LA EP 1×3 and 2×3 are dope too, waiting for 3×3. Flying Lotus did a ton of stuff this year including a bunch of remixes of Lil Wayne, Radiohead, Woebegone, Mia Doi Todd, Nobody’s Blank Blue, and Kanyeezee. Ichiban headphone music.




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