Our Top 20 Albums Of 2019

By Amy Jayne

2019 has been a landmark year for all of us here at Shogun Audio HQ. We have released more music than ever before, hosted events all over the world and celebrated the label and the music that we love with our 15 Years Of Shogun Audio album and campaign.

With 2020 just over the horizon it's time to sit back and reflect on what has been another huge year for D&B and music as a whole. Below are our picks for the top 20 albums of the year to add to your collection... if you don't know then get to know!

20 | Abnormal Sleepz - Kaleidoscope

Manchester's Abnormal Sleepz stepped up to deliver his debut album in September on Lenzman's imprint The North Quarter. 'Kaleidoscope' has such a varied and unique sound to it and continues to show why Manchester is such an important hub for underground music.

19 | Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

Lizzo has stormed through 2019 grabbing our attention and our hearts with her tongue in cheek lyrics and energetic, full sass performances. Pulling together a string of stellar singles from 'Truth Hurts', to 'Boys' and 'Juice' - this album and her unapologetic body positivity promote confidence-building messages which everyone can relate to. 

18 | Denham Audio - The Breakbeat Compendium

Denham Audio's latest release features a diverse mix of deep and dark influences from a range of genres such as techno, garage, breakbeat and D&B. This album features amazing production across 12 tracks on a great underground label - one for the heads.

17 | DJ Shadow - Our Pathetic Age

It's great to see DJ Shadow back - we all know and love his older work and it was exciting to hear what he has to offer now. It sounds really fresh and incorporates unique production with a taste of his original sampling style. 

16 | Flying Lotus - Flamagra

An ambitious yet cohesive album hosting 27 tracks oozing with jazz-funk flavours. Flying Lotus's latest LP is home to a broad range of sonics and themes throughout, creating an exhilarating journey for the listener from top to bottom.

15 | S.P.Y - Dubplate Style

Brazilian badman S.P.Y delivered 'Dubplate Style' in March - a concept LP that shows why albums are such an important format in D&B. Inspired by the vibe of jungle and early rave music, this 15-track collection demonstrates why S.P.Y is a beloved figure in our scene. 

14 | Dave - Psychodrama

UK hip-hop for 2019. Dave showing us how it's done, powerful songs with something to say and a brilliant concept behind the album. Amazing to watch the rise of Dave this year topped with his performance at Glastonbury in the summer.

 13 | Ram Trilogy - Molten Beats: The Remasters

20 years on and remastered for 2019 this is a MUST listen for any serious D&B fan. 12 classic tunes from Ant Miles, Andy C and Shimon under their 'Ram Trilogy' guise at the very peak of their powers.

12 | Kimyan Law - Yonda

From top to bottom this LP is a masterclass in genre-bending sonics. In 'Yonda', Kimyan Law takes you on a musical journey through varying tempos, styles and influences while still allowing each experimental track to blend perfectly into the next. 

11 | Gang Starr - One Of The Best Yet

'One Of The Best Yet' is a very special moment for hip-hop. 30 years after they originally formed and 9 years after the passing of the late Guru, Gang Starr returned with their seventh studio album - and it doesn't disappoint.

10 | The Cinematic Orchestra - To Believe

'To Believe' is an unbelievable comeback album from DJ Jason Swinscoe and long-term collaborator Dominic Smith. Dripping with emotion, this album takes the sombre mood of today's arguably angry world and translates it into downtempo music that's both refreshing and thought-provoking.

9 | O'Flynn - Alethia

'Alethia' features a smooth blend of afro disco and acid house that rounded off summer 2019 in some serious style. O'Flynn's debut LP dropped in September and is one for both the dancefloor and home sound-systems alike, creating a truly unique listening experience.  

8 | LSB & DRS - The Blue Hour

LSB & DRS, a collaboration that's up there amongst the best in D&B, linked up for a full 14-track album in November which more than lived up to expectations. Rich, deep and soulful - 'The Blue Hour' is a masterpiece that pushes outside of D&B tempos and sonics. 

7 | Shy FX - Raggamuffin SoundTape

D&B and jungle pioneer Shy FX delivered an LP covering musical spectrums ranging from D&B, to dancehall, to R&B and beyond. Tracks such as 'Roll The Dice' featuring Lily Allen and Stamina MC dominated the club circuit throughout 2019, and it's easy to see why. 

6 | Lenzman - Bobby

Lenzman returned to Metalheadz with a 16-track collection of D&B dynamite. Featuring collaborations with DRS, Children Of Zeus, LSB and more, this LP showcased the broad dynamics Lenzman offers in his stunning and soulful productions.

5 | Floating Points - Crush

The second album from Floating Points, Manchester-born Sam Shephard, is a display of futuristic sonics and a masterclass in attention to detail. Melodic and often beautiful at times, this varied LP carries a cinematic vibe that still translates onto the dancefloor. 

4 | Jordan Rakei - Origin

A brilliant lyrical display and a journey from start to finish, 'Origin' is Jordan Rakei's most refined and complete album yet. Featuring clean production throughout, topics vary from politics to climate change to technology and more. 

3 | Slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain

Political, aggressive and intelligent - 'Nothing Great About Britain' is an incredibly powerful body of work, shining a light on modern-day politics in devastating fashion. 'T N Biscuits' is a future grime classic.

2 | Chase & Status - RTRN II JUNGLE

Chase & Status can do no wrong in our eyes. 'RTRN II JUNGLE' features massive tunes with a retro feel and a big nod to the golden era where jungle reigned supreme. This is the Chase & Status album that many had been waiting to hear for a long time, and it doesn't disappoint. 

1 | Loyle Carner - Not Waving, But Drowning

Honest, emotional and brilliant. Loyle Carner tops our list and continues to impress with his second LP, this time round featuring collaborations with Jorja Smith, Jordan Rakei and Tom Misch, to name a few. A stunning piece of work with a carefully considered vibe throughout.
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