Six of our favorite web portals pick their best artists of 2008.
Cocaine Bluntson Killer Mike
"It’s almost cliché to call Mike the new Ice Cube at this point, but their shared penchant for simultaneously dropping knowledge and busting heads is undeniable. The former Outkast protégé has been quietly having the best year of his career with the I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind 2 LP and his weekly Sunday Morning Massacre internet series."
20 Jazz Funk Greatson Salem
"Salem makes the sound discovered in a spinning black prism, nestled in the shadowy basement of a lifeless church looming above the grey treetops in a quarantined forest–ethereal and nightmarish, like The Cocteau Twins spinning dubstep 12”s at the Arctic Circle. They have left us spellbound this year with the ‘Yes I Smoke Crack’ 7” on Acephale, and will continue with more dark offerings soon on Merok."
MNML SSGon Move D
"It seems strange to choose an artist who has been producing committed, sincere electronic music for longer than most of us have been listeners–D was already DJing in ’87. Move D has been with us all the way, but 2008 is his best year on record. His exceptionally diverse collaborative works, his intuitive understanding of depth, mood, and melodic restraint, and the staggeringly high quality of his thoughtful compositions make him the outstanding artist of the year."
Palms Out Soundson Zombie Disco Squad
"This London duo has managed to stay three steps ahead this past year. With their brand of bouncy, malleable house music. They delivered phenomenal remixes for Fagget Fairys, Gameboy/Gamegirl, and The Touch, released their debut 12” (the untouchable baile house track 'Vie'), and homo-eroticized Lil' Wayne on the 'Straight Boy' edit."
"Bristol producer Joker went clear in ’08 with a fresh approach to either grime, dubstep, or ruff modal p-funk, depending on your P.O.V. With detuned synths and raw street riffs, he was Kode9’s pick for the BBC’s Generation Bass show. Sell your legs: Buy 'Gully Brook Lane' and 'Holly Brook Park.'”
Austin Surrealon Bavu Blakes
"The legend of Central Texas was on his worldwide grind this year, releasing a flow a week on 08issogreat.com and flooding the streets with his Extra Plair EP. His live backing band features Brannen Temple on the drums, blind multi-instrumentalist D. Madness on keys, bass, and sometimes drums, Gary Clark Jr. on guitar, and a cadre of lovely backup singers. His dynamic live show earned him a slot on the annual ACL Festival, where he performed for 3,000 people."