Tag Archives: Nnamdi Ogbonnaya

Biggest Ups: Over 40 Artists Share Their Favorite Albums of 2017

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Bandcamp artists pick their favorite albums of the year.

One of the features on Bandcamp Daily that generates the greatest amount of enthusiasm is Big Ups. The concept is simple: we ask artists who used Bandcamp to recommend their favorite Bandcamp discoveries. So, in honor of our Best of 2017 coverage, we decided to take Big Ups and super-size it. Here, more than 40 artists to tell us their favorite albums of the year.

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The Best Albums of 2017: #60 – 41

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We’ll be revealing the full list, 20 albums at a time, this whole week.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding. These are the Best Albums on Bandcamp in 2017.

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The Best Albums of Winter 2017

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Welcome to the first of our seasonal round-ups of the best albums on Bandcamp! Every three months, the Bandcamp Daily editorial staff will be combing through the stacks to present our favorite records of the year to date. This inaugural installment of our Quarterly Report also kicks off a new feature on Bandcamp Daily: 7 Essential Releases. Every Friday, we’ll highlight six albums we loved from the previous week, plus one older record you might have missed. And so, without further ado, here are our picks for the Best Albums of the Winter.

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The Compulsive Weirdness of Chicago Rapper Nnamdi Ogbonnaya

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For Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, being a creative weirdo is not so much defiance as it is compulsion. The Nigerian-American Chicago native has played in over a dozen bands ranging from jazz-fusion ensembles to math rock synapse-twisters, and that’s before you get to his equally omnivorous solo material. On previous releases, he made up absurd sex jokes in one breath and spit heartbreaking stories about interpersonal racism in the next, all with sonics that turned boundaries into bridges at each turn.

On DROOL, Ogbonnaya approaches his inscrutability with renewed focus, seamlessly layering a chorus of influences onto verses that match Chance the Rapper’s exuberance with Danny Brown’s oddball production. That focus pays off on offbeat bangers like “let gO of my egO” just as readily as it does on the snappy synth-soul of “nO drOOl.”  Throughout DROOL, Ogbonnaya’s relentless heterogeny serves as an embodiment of the first-generation creative’s experience. When one is constantly jostled between cultural worlds on a dime, merging those worlds through art is the creative’s way of forming a new equilibrium. Equilibrium rarely sounds as fun as it does on DROOL. We caught up with him to discuss the personal growth, humor, and cultural tensions that drive his creativity.

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