Tag Archives: Ryan Porter

The Best Albums of 2018: #20 – 1

best of 2018 20-1Let’s be honest for a second: No one clicks on these lists for the introduction. I don’t blame them! This is usually just the place where some routine throat-clearing goes, before we get to the main event. It’s also the place where I confess to the amount of anxiety involved with putting together a list like this—last year, I said, “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.” Guess what? That’s still true in 2018. That said, the albums that made the cut, to us, represent the breadth and scope of the many worlds available to discover on Bandcamp, and feel like the best musical summation of the last 12 months. When we make this list, we’re not only trying to assess the year’s best music, we’re also trying to tell the story of 2018, album by album, song by song. As always, being a part of Bandcamp Daily in 2018 was a true joy; we took a look at Extratone, the world’s fastest musical genre, got familiar with the New Face of Death Metal, and spent time with artists like Yugen Blakrok, Suzanne Ciani, and Kamaal Williams. Once again, the world of music is bigger than any one list can possibly contain, so consider this a starting point on the neverending journey to discovering new sounds, new scenes, and new voices. Alright, that’s enough throat-clearing. Let’s get to the list.

—J. Edward Keyes, Editorial Director

Best of 2018 Schedule:
December 10: #100 – 81
December 11: #80 – 61
December 12: #60 – 41
December 13: #40 – 21
December 14: #20 – 1

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The Best Albums of Winter 2018

quarterly report

The first three months of the year have already given us an abundance of great records—arguably more than one roundup can possibly include. The 25 albums on this list contain a whole universe of sounds, from pummelling drone to rollicking indie rock, from thought-provoking hip-hop to Spanish synthwave. These are the Best Albums of Winter 2018.

Read last year’s edition of “Best Albums of the Winter”

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Jazz, Shoegaze, Gqom, and More

7 essential

Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums that were released in the last seven days, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Album of the Day: Ryan Porter, “The Optimist”

Back in 2008, the names Ryan Porter and Kamasi Washington didn’t ring bells with the general public. They performed jazz when the genre wasn’t as popular, seven years before Kendrick Lamar’s avant-rap opus To Pimp A Butterfly helped make it trendy again. Two months after that album’s release, Washington—a Lamar collaborator—dropped his own ambitious project, a triple LP called The Epic, on which the saxophonist explored gospel, soul, and funk in a whopping 173 minutes. It was an immediate hit, and in the years since its release, Washington has become the world’s foremost purveyor of big band, spiritual jazz. Yet 10 years ago, he and Porter were simply trying to make it, and the music collected for Porter’s new album—The Optimist—represents that moment in time.

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Trombonist Ryan Porter is For the Children

Ryan Porter

Photo by Ruff Draft.

The West Coast Get Down’s month-long recording session in 2012 is already the stuff of jazz legend. Inspired by their packed-house jam sessions at the Piano Bar in West Hollywood, California’s premiere jazz ensemble pooled their money together and rented out a Los Angeles studio for 30 days. Some of the results became iconic jazz records (Kamasi Washington’s The Epic), others more modest, still exhilarating additions to the canon (bassist Miles Mosley’s Uprising). The latest album from Ryan Porter, trombonist in the West Coast Get Down, is also a result of that fruitful month. But when it came time for his contribution to the Get Down canon, Porter had something different in mind. Ryan Porter wanted to make a children’s record.

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