The Fashionably Late Top 101 of 2018: Boy Azooga

2018. What is there to say? It was another year full of terrible, horrible things on a grand scale. But as with 2017, which was also a year full of terrible, horrible things, there seemed to be an abundance of really, really good music. And thank the heavens for that.

This year I had an even harder time coming up with my list than I did for the 2017 version of the list, which is probably obvious given there's 101 records in this year's batch (and that's after whittling about 30 off that total). But I just couldn't leave any of these hundred and one records off my list.

As with my 2017 picks, I've gone in alpha order from A-Z and nothing has a number ranking. Partially, that's because I'm pretty indecisive and it also just feels wrong to do anything other than just share the love equally. 101 ways. As always, the list ended up surprising me. Some records I thought might end up on my list are absent, and happily there were quite a few previously unknown bands that ended up stealing my heart and getting themselves in on the list. I truly hope you'll be reminded of some music you enjoyed last year, and I also hope you'll perhaps find new favorites to swoon over from here on out. My sincere and endless thanks to each and every band/artist on the list, because thanks to them 2018 was a little less insane.

Who: Boy Azooga

What: 1, 2 Kung Fu

When: June 2018

Where: Heavenly Recordings

Why: 1, 2 Kung Fu has to be one of the most dynamic, not to mention kookiest, records of all of 2018. This new sound of Cardiff's Boy Azooga's is deeply rooted in vintage vibes, but the kraut-funk-psych-get down pop spacecakery on this record is nothing if not right this minute. Or maybe it's ahead of its time. Either way, "I love the way it feels/when nothing seems quite real" is a lyric from the record that might as well be applied to the record from which it comes - on 1, 2 Kung Fu the Boy Azooga braintrust offers more sonic twists and turns than you might know what to do with. But with two of the damned catchiest songs I've ever heard ("Loner Boogie" and "Face Behind Her Cigarette") lurking amidst this heady, quirky cocktail, this is a fantastical technicolor dreamcoat of a record.

[posted 3.2.19]


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