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Mr Bongo's Best Of The Year 2023


1) Sven Wunder - Late Again

Piano Piano 

Sven Wunder - Late Again

Sven Wunder's output is selective and always on point. One of the cream of the crop when it comes to contemporary composers, he has struck gold with 'Late Again'. The album features the 2021 track 'Snowdrops', which is easily one of the most beautifully composed songs in recent years. Taking a slightly more jazz-tinged angle than previous albums, 'Late Again' is about as glorious and sublime as it gets.


2) Ana Frango Elétrico - Me Chama De Gato Qeu Eu Sou Sua

Mr Bongo

Ana Frango Elétrico - Me Chama De Gato Qeu Eu Sou Sua

A catalyst and dynamo of the contemporary Brazilian scene, Ana has crafted an album of punchy perfection which gets better the further you dive in. Boogie, pop, and heartfelt MPB are all covered in this gem of an album, by one of the most unique artists out there.


3) Dina Ögon - Oas

Playground Music

The second album from Stockholm in the top ten! The follow-up album from the amazing Dina Ögon (whose members collaborate with Sven Wunder) is slightly more pop than their debut, but still rides the funky Scandi psych-folk vibes, with heavy hip hop-esque drums. One of the best live bands we have seen in ages.


4) Asha Puthli - Space Talk

Naya Beat 

They say don't meet your idols, but Asha proved this statement wrong when we met up with her in London this summer. A true legend, inspiration, and force of nature. Filip Nikolic and Raghav Mani's Naya Beat Records have taken Asha's classics and let a selection of some of the best producers in the game, such as Maurice Fulton and Psychemagik, put their trademark spin on proceedings.


5) Bala Desejo - Sim Sim Sim

Mr Bongo

This could easily be number one, but technically the digital album was out in 2022, with the vinyl release dropping in 2023. A tour de force of a supergroup, paving the way for the obscenely talented world of Brazil musicians to follow with their live show through Europe and Japan. Jamz and Sam also gave their song 'Baile De Máscaras' an electronic dancefloor club makeover to round off a stellar year.


6) Bay Bryan - The Meadow

Bay Bryan Music

We discovered Bay Bryan thanks to a Luke Una tip. Bay's stunning debut album grows with every listen, hooking you in ever deeper the more you get lost within it. An intimate, tender album that takes you on a ride of emotion. Bay is an artist to keep your eye on.


7) Rogê - Curyman

Diamond West

2023 has been strong for Brazilian albums. Rogê's 'Curyman' features string arrangements by Arthur Verocai and is produced by Tommy Brenneck of Menahan Street Band fame. Released on Tommy's own Diamond West label, this is a truly superb album.


8) Resavoir - Resavoir

International Anthem Recording Company

We have to admit, we love the Chicago record label, International Anthem Recording Company, but for some reason hadn't checked Resavoir's music properly. A project led by producer/composer Will Miller and friends, Resavoir's new album is a true delight. Not stuck in one genre the record floats and evolves from ambient, to jazz, r&b and hip-hop beat compositions in a relaxed, effortless way.


9) Melodiesinfonie - Softboi


We accidentally came across the Swiss producer, Melodiesinfonie, on Bandcamp, but it has become one of our favourite albums of the year. A superb mix of styles, from lush soul and downtempo joints to the guitar-led cinematic funk of 'Stay Soft' and the contemporary Brazilian sounds of 'Água Salgada'. The latter features Pedro Mizutani, which fans of Sessa will dig.


10) Dora Morelenbaum - Vento De Beirada

 Mr Bongo

We must have listened to this EP more than any other record this year. Dora's sublime 'Vento De Beirada' EP takes you on a trip into the sensuous sounds of her world. On first hearing Dora’s music, we were reminded of the transformational moment when we first discovered the Brazilian singer-songwriter, Joyce. The music is completely new to you, yet instantly familiar, like rediscovering a past love.


11) Various Artists - Hidden Waters: Strange and Sublime Sounds of Rio de Janeiro – Vinyl 2LP/CD


12) Daniel Ögren - Fastingen-92 – Vinyl LP/CD


13) SAULT 11 – Vinyl LP/CD


14) Sholto - The Changing Tides Of Dreams – Vinyl LP


15) Jalen Ngonda - Come Around And Love Me – Vinyl LP


16) Various Artists - Luke Una Presents É Soul Cultura Vol.2 – Vinyl 2LP/CD


17) Various Artists With Love: Volume 2 - Compiled By miche – Vinyl 2LP/CD/Cassette


18) Pharoah Sanders – Pharoah – Vinyl boxset 2LP


19) Wax Machine - The Sky Unfurls, The Dance Goes On – Vinyl LP


20) Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti - Deja Vu – Vinyl LP


21) Various Artists Mr Bongo Record Club - Volume Six – Vinyl 2LP/CD


22) Various Artists - Sonhos Secretos: Brazilian Private Press & Independent Productions on 7" (1980-1985) – Vinyl 2LP


23) Don Blackman - Say You'll Be Mine / Your Love Makes Me Crazy - Vinyl 7"


24) Various Artists - Coco María Presents Club Coco ¡Ahora! The Latin Sound Of Now – Vinyl LP


25) Misha Panfilov - Atlântico – Vinyl LP


26) Laihonen & Salmi - Rauhan ja nautinnon puutarhassa – Vinyl LP


27) Sadar Bahar & Marc Davis Disco Gospel – Vinyl 12"


28) Grupo Los Yoyi - Yoyi – Vinyl LP/CD


29) John Haycock - Dorian Portrait


30) Cinnamon Soulettes - I'll Show You How / Wishing On A Wishing Well – Vinyl 7"


31) Various Artists - Just A Touch – Vinyl 2LP


32) Alain Goraguer - La Planète Sauvage (Expanded Original Soundtrack) – Vinyl LP


33) Yussef Dayes - Black Classical Music – Vinyl 2LP


34) Rival Self - Rival Self – Vinyl LP


35) Little Simz - No Thank You – Vinyl LP


36) Witch Zango – Vinyl LP


37) Mac Demarco - Five Easy Hot Dogs – Vinyl LP


38) G.C. Cameron - Live For Love – Vinyl 12"


39) Kieran Hebden & William Tyler - Darkness, Darkness / No Services – Vinyl EP


40) Minas - Num Dia Azul – Vinyl LP/CD


41) El Michels Affair & Black - Thought Glorious Game – Vinyl LP


42) Benaddict, Slim. & Ella Mae Benaddict, Slim. & Ella Mae – Cerulean (Blue vinyl) – Vinyl LP


43) Zé Rodrix E A Agência De Mágicos - O Esquadrão Da Morte – Vinyl LP/CD


44) Flammer Dance Band - Dedikasjon Til Inspirasjon – Vinyl 2LP


45) Felbm - cycli infini – Vinyl LP


 46) Abderraouf B Grissa & Dan Drohan - RBGxDD – Vinyl LP


47) JIM - Love Makes Magic – Vinyl LP


48) Nick Walters - Marine Moods – Vinyl LP


49) Mali Obomsawin - Sweet Tooth – Vinyl LP


50) Cato - The Wind That Was Blown – Vinyl LP