1. Will C. "Evil In The Mirror" (Brick Records) Hands down as one of the records that regained my confidence in rap music. Sonically, one of the best productions of the year. Did I mention that Will is about 22 years old and has crazy rap knowledge?
2. Subway Art: 25th Anniversary Edition - Martha Cooper & Henry Chalfant (Chronicle Books) Some view this book as a real time capsule for the graffiti world, and that, it is. It's also one of the most visually striking collections of graffiti I've ever looked at. Now expanded to giant person size!
3. 13th Floor Elevators "Sign Of The 3 Eyed Men" (International Artists Records) I'm not one to buy something on impulse, however there was a video online that showed everything in this collection with a button that said "click to buy". At 2 in the morning, I was the proud owner of this amazing archived bundle of greatness. I'm sure whoever put this together is now in a retirement home.
4. Bernard Purdie "Soul Drums" (Greenstreets Entertainment) I've always been a fan of Bernard "Pretty" Purdie and when I got the chance to produce the re-issue of his first album I jumped at the opportunity. Going through photo archives and talking to people who have worked with him was a highlight to say the least.
5. Daniel Joseph "Pretty / Ugly" (High Water Music) I first met Daniel Joseph when he was going by the name Espee and was in the group Bully Mouth. They were one of my favorite groups and he was one of my favorite people. He recently joined the Coffee 2 Go podcast which is another reason for him to be on my top 10, then he released an incredible solo project. Look for this artist, he has a bright future!
Continue reading Noah's top ten below and check out other DJ top ten lists here.
6. Edan "Echo Party" (Five Day Weekend) Matt Welch at Five Day Weekend was telling me about this for months and months before it came out, maybe even as far back as over a year ago. Regardless, it was well worth the wait. Hands down, best of the year. Why aren't more "mix cds" like this? Second contender for best mix cd, would have to be Peanut Butter Wolf's "45 Live: A Classic Rap Mix".
7. MC Esoteric "Saving Seamus Ryan (Fly Casual) Eso should be on all "best producers" list from now on! Last year he delivered a great record, this year, another solid plate of audio food! Apparently he's been working on this project for years and it's based on some dream he had. My only problem is that the track "Selling Spidey" isn't long enough! We need a remix or an extended version maybe with MF Doom, RZA & Masta Killa. I don't know why but I thought those other 3 would sound nice on this beat..Eso, can you hook it up? I'll trade you some rare Marvel Treasury Editions I have......
8. Mos Def "The Ecstatic" (Downtown Records) This might be one of the biggest surprises for me this year, I was expecting a lack luster release from Mos, but he dropped probably one of the best albums of the year. Some of it was produced by Madlib and Oh No and damn it's good! Stop reading this and go buy it!
9. Boogie Down Productions "Criminal Minded" USB Gun (Traffic Entertainment) Old record but now it's a USB and in the shape of a gun! How effin' cool?! Includes a bunch of bonus material as well!
10. Psych-Funk 101 - Various (World Psychedelic) Psychedelic Funk groove from Turkey, South Korea, Nigeria, Iran and other spots around the globe. Most of the tunes are from the late 60's through the 80's. Beautiful 36 page booklet with photos, cover art and notes included! Get it get it!!