BSOTS top 15 of 2002

tompkins square park as seen through a magenta lens.

Not sure how many agree with us, but as far as BSOTS is concerned, 2002 was an amazing year for music. And with every year that passes by, the releases we managed to hear don't add up to all the albums, singles, and compilations that we missed out on. So much music, so little time. But if what we missed was half as good as what made our list…oh, my…

AKUFEN - My Way [Force Inc.] (Germany)
Tech house album of the year, hands down. Marc LeClair is definitely on to something. A brilliant fusion of Chicago house, German techno, John Cage, and tons of microsamples. {steve crognale}

ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM - Arrhythmia [Warp] (UK)
A high and final note for this lyrically time-travelling trio. The most experimentally bangin' rap album you will ever hear. Leaves all others light years behind. {vic feedle}

I still say that this album isn't as good as Nia (an album that people still front on), but Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel came with it for their major label debut. Lyrically and musically appealing, Blazing Arrow is one of those albums that makes you realize why you fell in love with hip-hop in the first place. {chloe knuckles}

CAURAL - Stars On My Ceiling [Chocolate Industries]
Zachary Mastoon will go unnoticed by most people, which is unfortunate. This album is one of the best surprises that 2002 had to offer. Full of wide-eyed innocence, ambitious beats, and rich compositions, this is the soundtrack for a positive outlook and big dreams. {macedonia}

CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA - Every Day [Ninja Tune] (UK)
J. Swincoe and company left us all speechless with this one. The guest vocal appearances by Fontella Bass and Roots Manuva put it over the top. Jazz so hypnotic and engaging you have to catch your breath in spots. {downtempo don}

CORNELIUS - Point [Matador]
Keigo Oyamada has got to be the master of creating pop music that doesn't insult your intelligence. Tightening up an already great sound, Point is fun and full of surprises. The meeting place for influences as opposite as The Beach Boys and Aphex Twin. {steve crognale}

Philly's renaissance man brings us the first great mix CD of 2002. A great mesh of global sounds from house and broken beats to hip-hop and glitch-ridden productions. "Brought to you by Duplaix…Vikter Duplaix." {cali ginseng}

FILA BRAZILIA - Jump Leads [Twentythreemusic] (UK)
I'm surprised I didn't burn a hole through this CD, I played it so much. A solid release from beginning to end. Funky, quirky, humorous, original…pure audio sunshine. {downtempo don}

GEEEZ 'N' GOSH - Nobody Knows… [Mille Plateaux] (Germany)
Believers from the digital domain step forth to testify. Just exactly what do you call this? Gospel glitch? Sonic spirituals? Whatever it is, it's brilliant and strangely uplifting. Only from the gloriously warped mind of Atom Heart. {steve crognale}

LAURYN HILL - MTV Unplugged 2.0 [Columbia]
Emotionally naked, brutally honest, and a daring move for this gifted singer and lyricist. On stage armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a microphone, this recording forces us to forget everything we thought we knew about Lauryn Hill. {macedonia}

JAZZANOVA - In Between [JCR] (Germany)
Took long enough for these guys to finally release their debut album, but it was worth the wait. A spirit lifting full-length with seamless sample collages, wonderful guest collaborations, and plenty of soul, hip-hop, broken beat, and jazz to spare. Plus it doesn't hurt to have artists like Vikter Duplaix and Ursula Rucker lacing tracks with their distinctive voices, either. {chloe knuckles}

METRO AREA - (self-titled) [Environ]
By respecting dance music's past and staying a step ahead of its present, Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani hold the keys to its future. The delicate balancing act that they manage to achieve between these areas in time make for an album that is timeless. Beyond simply good dance music, Metro Area is GOOD MUSIC. {cali ginseng}

PLAYGROUP - Partymix Volume One [Playgroup Recordings] (UK)
A history lesson in cool music from the '80s - over 200 tracks in under an hour. GOD BLESS TREVOR JACKSON. He is responsible for the best mix CD EVER. {chloe knuckles}

PUBLIC ENEMY - Revolverlution [Slamjamz/Koch]
Still mad as hell, still bringin' the noise, still more relevant than most rap fans care to realize. PE provides the much-needed outlet for those of us fed up with political trickery and worldwide chaos. Further proof that we need this guys around…now more than ever…{vic feedle}

RECLOOSE - Cardiology [Planet E Communications]
Electronic soul album of the year. Matthew Chicoine's versatility is amazing. The future of soul can be found in his mixture of dub, ambience, house, and jazz. Highly recommended. {macedonia}
(type "recloose" in the review search section of the Record Camp site and you'll find macedonia's review of this album.)

...and in typical BSOTS style, here are some of the releases that we wish we had gotten to this year (a number of which we're embarrassed to admit we haven't heard yet).

Boards of Canada - Geogaddi [Warp] (UK)
Cassius - Au Rêve [Astralwerks]
Cee-Lo - Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections [Arista]
A Certain Ratio - Early [Soul Jazz] (UK)
The Chemical Brothers - Come With Us [Astralwerks]
Common - The Electric Circus [MCA]
ESG - Step Off [Soul Jazz] (UK)
Vincent Gallo - Recordings of Music for Film [Warp] (UK)
Jurassic 5 - Power In Numbers [Interscope]
Nas - God's Son [Columbia]
Meshell Ndegeochello - Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape [Maverick]
Mr. Scruff - Trouser Jazz [Ninja Tune] (UK)
Negativland - Deathsentences of the Polished and Structurally Weak [Seeland]
Playgroup - (self-titled) [Astralwerks]
RJD2 - Dead Ringer [Definitive Jux]
The Roots - Phrenology [MCA]
DJ Shadow - The Private Press [MCA]
Underworld - A Hundred Days Off [V2]
V/A - Clicks & Cuts 3 [Mille Plateaux] (Germany)
V/A - In The Beginning, There Was Rhythm [Soul Jazz] (UK)
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