Underground & Black’s Favorite Records of 2K19

In 2020 I’d like to see some major improvements in diversity in dance music journalism, and I plan to be contributing to the cause.

Well folks, it looks like we finally made it through another year. As always, I’ll be taking some time to talk about some of my favorite tunes that came out over the past 12 months. Most of the “EOY” lists that I’ve already skimmed over feel quite un-relatable, which is one of the reasons why I started doing my own list a couple years back. I do realize that what people like in terms of music is extremely subjective, so no shade to anyone. It’s actually been great seeing different artists and DJ’s listing some of their favorite music of the year as well. What I will say though, is that it appears (to me) that many of the people writing, reviewing, and talking about dance music on these larger platforms are NOT black. In 2020 I’d like to see some major improvements in diversity in dance music journalism, and I plan to be contributing to the cause. There are still so many of us who’s voices should and need to be heard. Never bitter, yet simply motived to make positive change. In closing, I just want to say thank you to all of you for taking the time to read and support this blog, it means a lot. Also, a big thank you to all of the talented people who create this powerful music that is telling the story of my existence- you are appreciated!

  1. Stefan Ringer- SO

Stefan Ringer came out with the second release on his Atlanta based label “FWM Entertainment” in May 2019. The EP includes 3 original tracks with “SO” being the standout track of the release- I can’t even begin to count the number of times I heard this track played throughout the course of the year, and each time a crowd favorite. This is one of those magical tracks that must be played in full and has been described as “instantly exciting”.

2. Theo Parrish feat. Maurissa Rose- This is for You

In late 2019 Parrish dropped “This is For You” on his “Sound Signature” imprint, and some are already calling it his best work to date. The single features Detroit based vocalist Maurissa Rose, who’s warm vocals accompany the track effortlessly. “This is for You” showcases the evolving instrumentation that Parrish can be known for, and paired with the almost lullaby like vocals from Rose you’re in for a real treat- this one is an instant classic.

3. Patrick Gibin- Cloud Nine feat. Mdcl & Javonntte

Italian DJ and Producer Patrick Gibin started off the new year right with “Eglo’s” first release of 2019. The EP titled “Cloud 9” showcases those warm and soulful sounds that are somewhat synonymous with my personal sound as a DJ. With Mark de Clive-Lowe on keys, and Detroit hero Jovonntte on vocals, there’s not much more soul one could ask for! This one got a lot of play out of me this year.

4. The Vision feat. Andreya Triana- Heaven (Danny Krivit Edit)

Danny Krivit’s edit of ‘Heaven” by The Vision was an instant summer hit, interweaving a funky baseline with Andreya Triana’s powerful vocals. I heard this track first on a recent Boiler Room performance by Joe Clausell and knew instantly I needed this one in the collection. The EP also features another edit by Krivit for The DangerFeel Newbies “What am I here for, Original NDATL Vocal”, which was a hit here in Atlanta and beyond.

5. Ed Nine- Deep Concentration

The Chicago based producer showcases the sound he does best; deep. The 3 track EP dropped on “NDATL” in late December and rounds up a year of impeccable releases from the Atlanta based label.

6. Lady Alma and The Rainmakers – Let it Fall (DJ Spinna Galactic Soul Remix)

Honestly, who doesn’t love a “Galactic Soul” remix from Spinna? The Brooklyn legend put his signature twist on the anthemic “Let it Fall” by songstress Lady Alma and the outcome was magic. For a better showcase of his work on the key’s check out the instrumental version. The vinyl is unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) SOLD OUT via his Bandcamp, but you can easily grab the digital via Traxsource or Beatport.

7. Waajeed feat. Ideeyah, DeSean Jones & Khristian Foreman- Let Your Love

Waajeed doesn’t seem to rest when it comes to putting out new and quality music, and the “Hocus Pocus EP” is by far some of my favorite work of his to date. The 4 track EP came out on London based “Deviation Music” in October and has been getting its fair share of play worldwide. One of my favorites on the EP is “Let Your Love” where fellow Detroiter Ideeyah contributes the vocals.

8. DJ Kemit, Carl McIntosh, Kai Alce- Digital Love (Remix)

A personal favorite that I played many times this year, “Digital Love Remix” came out on “Sound Signature” in May and showcases soulful sounds and vocals complied by DJ Kemit, Kai Alce, and Carl McIntosh.

9. Acemo feat John F.M.- Where They At???

A crowd favorite and club banger, Acemo dropped “Where They At???” featuring John F.M. on his release “All My Life” that dropped early in the year. With John F.M. on MC duties, he shouts out everyone from single mothers to the big girls- and who couldn’t love with a track that features one of House Music’s most classic baselines; 1993’s “Show Me Love” by Robin.

10. LadyMonix- Track 39

Ladymonix did it again this year, dropping the second release on her “Frizner Eletric” Detroit based label that she founded in 2018. Far from a stranger to U&B’s top pics, the 4-track release titled “Track 39 EP” invites us to dance-floor with sassy vocals and house beats reminiscent of Strictly Rhythm in its heyday, yet with a modern twist. Continue to keep an eye on this Detroit via Baltimore queen in 2020!


Author: Ash Lauryn

Ash Lauryn is a DJ, Writer, and Radio Host from Detroit, currently based in Atlanta.

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