Last year I put together a playlist of music I’d loved or first listened to in 2018 and, genre-wise, it was relatively varied. Beats, jazz-funk, rock, club heaters, hip-hop and some essential bass music. This year’s list, however, is quite different to that. It’s a playlist of songs that are mostly all the same, to be honest.

2019 has been the year of the revivalist sound, with young producers harkening back to the days of 1990s rave with pumping modern tributes. The stand-out release for me has been Soundbwoy Killah’s Halcyon Daze, an LP ‘suffused…with the heady fug of rave memories and long nights in the dance’ (as told by Bleep). They’re tunes that make you want to go raving again, even if your own halcyon days were 2006–2013, not the decade previous.

This playlist is packed with those kinds of tunes, it reeks of nostalgia.

In a way, it’s a mournful playlist. Going out these days isn’t like what it used to be (*cough* old man *cough*). In reviving the warehouse rave, clubs like Printworks have mass-marketed and stripped away the original appeal: underground folklore. It’s something Burial touches on in this interview with Wire magazine.

The UK was changing in a different direction, away from us. Maybe the feeling of the UK in clubs and stuff back then, it wasn’t as artificial, self-aware or created by the internet. It was more rumour, underground folklore. No mobile phones back then. Anyone could go into the night and they had to seek it out. Because you could see it in people, you could see it in their eyes. Those ravers were at the edge at their lives, they weren’t running ahead or falling behind, they were just right there and the tunes meant everything.

There was a time when I respected music in that way. These days I don’t give it enough dedication.

But then again, maybe it’s an optimistic playlist. The music I’ve listened to and loved in 2019 seems to be sounds of a remembered era, and I’m really keen to go out and hear music again. I miss it: the swaying, the lights, the sweat, the laughs. So 41 tracks remembering all that has sparked my keenness to get dancing again.

Anyway, that’s enough blabbering. Here’s the playlist of tracks I discovered or loved in 2019. Listen on Spotify or Bandcamp through Buy Music Club.

And here’s to getting back out there. See you in the dance, front-left.

Tracklist

# Title Artist
1 Halcyon Daze Soundbwoy Killah
2 Dream Robohands
3 Rufige Lee Gamble
4 Dreaming Jon Hassell
5 Nu Spring 30/70
6 Ai Paint Young Paint
7 Crux Sporting Life
8 Jazterpiece Dennis Bovell
9 Op Bremer/McCoy
10 BROWN PAPER BAG TOSHIO MATSUURA GROUP
11 Audi A3 L U C Y
12 Dilla Mix 1 Abstract Orchestra
13 Suite Haus Makaya McCraven
14 ザ・ワードII - Remixed by 鳥居真道 (トリプルファイヤー) セキトオ・シゲオ
15 I’m ready for dancing Ronald Langestraat
16 Mumma Don’t Tell Leifur James
17 Sète Souleance
18 Ball Duval Timothy
19 Film Score Smith & Mighty
20 Walworth Waltz Joy Orbison
21 Tumblin’ (Death March) Smith & Mighty
22 Flyby Vfr Skee Mask
23 Dial 274 Skee Mask
24 Black Balloons Reprise Flying Lotus
25 Loiner Dub Soundbwoy Killah
26 Be Ya Girl KW Griff
27 RZZ Skee Mask
28 Controlled Energy Release THUGWIDOW
29 Chiseler’s Rush Call Super & Parris
30 I Hate When People Make Tracks Like This Jimmy Edgar
31 Olbass All Bass 004 (140 BPM) Vegyn
32 iii’s Front Overmono
33 02-52-03 RP Boo
34 Under the Influence Soundbwoy Killah
35 Kotos Mala
36 Do it Again Shinichiro Yokota
37 Foxxy Cassius
38 Glass Eye Pearson Sound
39 My Future Loraine James
40 Bullseye Sully
41 It Ain’t Love Rahsaan Patterson