Earlier today, I posted a list of 20 new records that have really impressed me in 2012. I recommend all of them, and you should definitely check them out.

But these three albums stand head and shoulders above all the other new music I’ve listened to this year. They have just completely blown me away and all for totally different reasons. These are not just excellent records – they’re astonishingly great.

I have thrashed these and I have not tired of them. They are all very, very different, and they are my albums of the year.

Not recommended – compulsory. Enjoy.

TrioVD – Maze

The BBC says “Fashioned from the mangled debris from a high-speed and head-on collision between rock and jazz, Maze is ingeniously fashioned. It’s an exotic hybrid vehicle fearlessly veering into strange and unfamiliar neighbourhoods at a velocity that’s not for the faint-hearted.”

I say more music (and certainly more jazz) should be like this. More and faster.

Get it here.


Ondatrópica – Ondatrópica

Amazing collaboration between Will Holland (Quantic), Mario Galeano (Frente Cumbiero) and a range of fantastic Colombian musicians old and new. Amazingly fresh and hip while containing a whole lot of what makes the Colombian cumbia and salsa music just so great. Deserves to be bigger than Buena Vista.

Get it here.


B Dolan – House of Bees Vol. 2

Far be it from me to decide what rap should be about. But if you’re going to be strident about something, and you decide it’s going to be this stuff, then you have my attention. Besides, this is just a very, very good hip hop album/mixtape. House of Bees Vol. 2 is a manifesto for better politics, more equality, more accountability and better hip hop.

What – are YOU going to argue with him?

Get it here.

Bonus video: Film the Police

20 more records I liked in 2012