I don’t usually do year-end lists, but this year I decided to go full force and not only do my own, but gather a few from some esteemed musical colleagues which will be posted separately.

Beatlife Top 8 of 2008 (in no particular order)

Little Dragon – Little Dragon
I said no particular order, but if I had to pick, this would probably come out on top due to the fact that it was simply the freshest sounding album I’d heard in aaaaages, and easily traversed any labels or genres you could try and pin it down with. Read more here and here

Carlos Nino & Lil Sci – Elevation
This album was criminally slept-on but features, in my opinion, some of the best and most progressive hip-hop you’ll hear. Carlos Nino & Lil' Sci Are What's the Science? - Elevation

Buff 1 – There’s Only One
It’s no secret that I loved this album- it’s what got me re-inspired by hip-hop. Read more.

14KT – The Golden Hour
Dope production in a somewhat Flying Lotus-esque vein. The A-Side camp were on fire this year!

Wayna – Higher Ground
Wayna definitely turned some heads with this excellent indie soul album. Compelling listening from start to finish. More info.

Replife – The Unclosed Mind
This is one of the most inventive hip-hop albums you’ll ever hear, as Replife easily brings nu-jazz and soul into the fold. More info

Eric Lau – New Territories
I don’t know where this guy came from but he sneakily dropped a brilliant progressive soul album! Thanks! Eric Lau - New Territories

Sy Smith – Conflict
Well Sy is always a favorite when it comes to good soul music. Conflict is possibly her best album yet, can’t wait to see what she does next. More info

other contenders: Peter Hadar, Zach Lipkins, The Foreign Exchange, Afta 1, Slakah The Beatchild