Figaro's best of 2018: Best Album
We tapped into the wider Figaro brainfeed and got all our contributors and collaborators to lend their thoughts on the second of our best ofs recaps - best albums of the year.
Knock Knock - DJ Koze
A real all killer, no filler type of album, Knock Knock has something for everyone.
From collaborations with José González, Róisín Murphy, Mano Le Tough and Dustin Vernon, to the instant classic ‘Pick Up’ and every track in between. This album explores so many genres and spaces, listening to it in entirety is an absolute treat. Brilliant and unexpected, it has powered my 2018. - Liam Moss.
Sophie - Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides
The star of 2018 for me has got to be SOPHIE. Returning to her solo work after a year of songwriting with Vince Staples, Charlie XCX and Lunice. ‘Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides’ is just like a succulent sweet treat that you hide from your parents. Whilst SOPHIE’s story and the significance behind the record is just as intriguing, the second-to-none sound design, innovative productions and mind-bending tracks that make up the album are just unbeatable in 2018. - Hamish Williams.
Round & Around - The Soul
Round & Around - The Soul, is something like I’ve never heard before, they sound like an acid dream in an island, more over being a Sri Lankan it was amazing to see such true local legends bring out something fresh to my youth. They almost sound like a fusion between Fat Freddy’s Drop(melodic) and Pinky Floyd(lyrical). Their music travels straight to my heart and that is the soul, there state of groove was raw, earthy and unheard. Listening to them puts my mind at ease and allows me to tune into my inner zen state. - Shaki and Eren.
Toshio Maatsura Group - LOVEPLAYDANCE (8 Scenes From the Floor)
It’s too hard to narrow down just one album as our favourite, however this LP from the Toshio Maatsura Group was such a treat. Brilliant to hear phenomenal jazz interpretations of seminal dance floor cuts. This record acts as a little bit of a history lesson and a walk down memory lane.
Honourable mentions: The Internet - Hive Mind Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange Tenderlonious - The Shakedown Agar Agar - The Dog and the Future Galcher Lustwerk - 200% Galcher Waajeed - From the Dirt Jungle By Night - Livingstone Moomin - Yesterday’s tomorrow The Ocean Party - The Oddfellows’ Hall.
- House of Friends.
Noname - Room 25
The two year wait for Nonames’s ’Room 25’, felt like I was sitting on the edge of my seat for some good time, but since it’s release in September, this is a piece of work that’s copped a fair bit of personal play for me. Noname brought so much to the table here. The album is built on smartly constructed elects of silky jazz, soul, RnB, and all in a unwavering flow. The album is poetic, informative and if you listen hard enough pretty funny too. - Kristina Mastrokostas
Joy As An Act Of Resistance' Idles
A post-punk curve ball for the Finding Figaro team. Idles follow up album 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance' is a poignant and powerful album that provides intelligent, and sometimes comical, commentary on immigration and the far/alt right. Anger the neighbours and turn it up. - Quillon Simpson.
Mara - Fazer
The proverbial jazz cat is well and truly out of the bag. While perhaps rightly so, a lot of the attention has been directed towards the UK scene, this record comes from the equally productive German class. With two drummers, the music packs a bit of go, equally, it can be tenderly expressive with notes of classic, maudlin jazz.
Honourable mentions: ‘LOVEPLAYDANCE - 8 scenes from the Floor’, Toshio Matsuura Group. ‘Singularity’, Jon Hopkins. - Nico Faust.
Blue Line Steppers - A Compilation Of Leisure
“This compilation has been on endless repeat for me since its release in November. The track list tells a hopeful story of a Sydney dance scene thriving in the face of suffocating bureaucratic intervention. The Melbourne v Sydney debate will surely continue but while ever the music is this good, long live Sydney dance.” - Jess Hilton.