As stupid as this might sound it initially started because I was trying to look cool. You know, all hipster style circa 2013. I found some of my dad’s old records and saw a copy of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and put it up on Instagram for the world to see how cool I was; little did I know then how quickly records would consume my daily life, from personal listening to DJing, and to my small scale record label called Dirty Disco Records.
WORDS: ZACH LEES
PHOTOGRAPHY: OLIVER KRUGER
TUXEDO – Tuxedo II
Tuxedo II is probably my most prized record in the collection. By far my favourite release from 2017, this record really just gets me in a great move. It is undeniably funky and feel-good, great for starting a day or getting a party started. I have never listened to it without a smile on my face and highly recommend that if you listen to one album from my picks that it be this one. Tuxedo II heralds in a new age of funk and disco.
CHILDISH GAMBINO – Awaken, My Love
Admittedly I couldn’t make this list without including this record. In my opinion this album is this generation’s version of Queen’s ‘A Night At The Opera’ in that it’s overall a fantastic album from top to bottom with one song (‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – or in this case ‘Redbone’) that will span generations of music listeners regardless of their preferred genre. The album is already in my best of all time (no matter how ever-changing that list is).
SADAO WTANABE – Rendevouz
This album is one I inherited from my dad. Japanese jazz is incredibly difficult to come by on wax outside of Japan and as such I’m extremely lucky to have this album. Sadao is one of the big guns in Japanese jazz and it is evident why from the production value and ‘smoothness’ that the album offers. If jazz is your thing I’d highly recommend the stuff that has come out of Japan, the quality and intricacy is incredible.
C418 – Minecraft
This is a record that reminds me of my early teenage years. Aside from the somewhat nerdy associations it has, this is seriously an amazing ambient album that helps me chill the fuck out. (Am I allowed to swear? Obviously this can be edited out if I can’t swear!)C418 is a German producer with a knack for making beautiful music and it just so happens that I think that Minecraft Alpha is his standout album. Seriously, give it a listen – it’s beautiful.
OUTKAST – Aquemini
The first hip hop album I ever picked up on wax is also an album which helped me truly grow to love and appreciate hip hop. Some of the bars and beats on this album remain my favourite of all time, especially Andre 3000’s verses on the title track and also ‘Rosa Parks.’ I cherish this album for the outlook it enabled me to have on a genre I hadn’t delved into before.
ATA KAK – ObaaSima (Limited Edition 12” Single)
Ata Kak’s sound is something else, honestly. The Ghanaian musician has this charm and allure with songs that sound like they’ve been produced on a Blackberry. ObaaSima is a great example of this bizarre production value, though it has such a phenomenal beat and groove and really wants to get you grooving. The song represents my favourite aspect of West African music – unusual beat patterns and a sound that distinguishes it from generic European material.