Reader Best of 2009: Tarik (aka the Architect)

by Winston "Stone" Ford


Tarik (aka The Architect) can be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee every Monday – Friday from 6 – 10PM CST.

Name: Tarik, Radio Milwaukee/Needledrop
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Websites: (relaunching in January)

La Roux – “In For The Kill (Skream’s Let Get Ravey Mix)”

La Roux had a big year after releasing their self-titled debut.  The electropop album was received very well, however it was the remixes that got me excited, especially Skream’s remix of “In For The Kill”. Skream turned the synthy poppy track in to a beautiful and haunting masterpiece.  It was definite a heavy repeat on my iPhone.

Major Lazer – “Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do”

The videos alone from Major Lazer is enough to put them in the Top 10, but this collaboration between Diplo and UK’s Switch is a reggae/dancehall/electronic masterpiece. From slow-burners like “Cash Flow” featuring Jahdan Blakkamoore to the infectious “Pon De Floor” featuring Vybz Cartel, Major Lazer introduced the sound of dancehall to a new club going crowd. Now only if Diplo can release a follow-up to his Ninja Tune release Florida, then I will be truly pleased.

Passion Pit – “Manners”

Initially, it was meant to be only about 4 songs for the Passion Pit’s frontman Michael Angelakos’ girlfriend; however, those tracks spreaded like wildfire and later became a full blown album called “Manners”.  The album became the soundtrack for my sunny, beautiful days throughout 2009.  Songs such as “Little Secrets” to “The Reeling” just puts a smile on my face.  Just simple electro-pop goodness, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Just check out this video from a show in San Francisco, and you might get why I feel this way about the album…  Also do check out the amazing The Wallpaper remix of “The Reeling”. The remix adds a nice afro-beat flavor to it.

K’Naan – “Troubadour

One of the best hip hop releases of the year, at least in my opinion.  The sophmore release from the Somali rapper was in heavy rotation.  Stand out tracks include “America” featuring Mos Def and Chali 2na, Wavin’ Flag, and Somalia.  Even Chubb Rock makes appearance on the album, and if that isn’t a reason for this album to be in your best of 2009, what the hell were you listening to?

Phoenix – “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix”

Honestly, I was trying to find a reason not to put them in my best of 2009 since everyone else was doing it. The album was just so damn good.  What helped them get into my list wasn’t just the album, but their live acoustic performance on the streets of Paris on La Blogatheque – simply gorgeous.

Other Favorites from 2009

Q-Tip – “The Renaissance”
Mos Def – “The Ecstatic”
The Raah Project – “All of Your Things” from Album Score
Mpho – “Box N Locks”
Trilogy – “Don’t Cry feat. Luce”
Joy Orbison – “Hyph Mngo”
Golden Shivers – “Arrows of Eros feat. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble”
Miike Snow – “Animal”