Best Albums of 2018
selected by 21 Belgian critics

BeraadGeslagen <BR> “Duizeldorp”


BeraadGeslagen is some kind of super group consisting of only two members, Fulco Ottervanger from De Beren Gieren and Lander Gyselinck from Stuff.. The two take us along a path that zigzags from subdued to hyperkinetic and from radio friendly to highly adventurous and back. These two manage to reach audiences that would not spontaneously listen to electronic jazz, so their top 20 spot does not come as a surprise.

♪♫ Listen: “Isabellade” + album stream

BeraadGeslagen on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Frank Vander Linden <BR> “Nachtwerk”

Frank Vander Linden

Frank Vander Linden is one of the oldest artists in this list, and one of the only ones singing in Dutch. He started making music in 1992 with a band called De Mens, and every now and then he also releases solo albums. ‘Nachtwerk’ is a break up record, and its strength is that you don’t need to understand the words to be able to feel the sadness, the despair and the nostalgia in every bone.

♪♫ Listen: “Verdwenen vrienden” + album stream

Frank Vander Linden on Soundcloud, Facebook, www.

Asa Moto <BR> “Playtime”

Asa Moto

Belgium has a great tradition when it comes to electronic music. The New Beat of the late eighties was even a dominating genre that had a huge worldwide impact. Nevertheless dance records rarely end up in traditional year lists, maybe also because dance acts rather release ep’s than albums. ‘Playtime’ by Asa Moto happens to be the exceptional and stands for 32 minutes of top class house and techno music, and much more than that.

♪♫ Listen: “Kifesh” + album stream

Asa Moto on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Flying Horseman <BR> “Rooms / Ruins”

Flying Horseman
“Rooms / Ruins”

Flying Horseman is one of the veterans in this list, and the founder of the band, Bert Dockx, remains one of the busiest bees in the Belgian scene. This album is yet another demonstration of the unpredictability that has characterized Flying Horseman from the beginning. The feelings range from completely zen to extremely confused or paranoid. The music can be very melodic or utterly confusing, but it’s always adventurous.

♪♫ Listen: “Deep Earth” + album stream

Flying Horseman on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Crayon Sun <BR> “Crayon Sun”

Crayon Sun
“Crayon Sun”

What does it say about you if you release a debut album when you’re fifty? Then you’re either Seasick Steve 2.0, or you can already look back at a whole musical career. In the case of Crayon Sun, we’re in the second situation. Aldo Struyf already appeared on Beehype in 2015 with Creature With The Atom Brain. His new project Crayon Sun sounds quieter and more psychedelic and was received very enthusiastically.

♪♫ Listen: “Find Love and Let it Kill You” + album stream

Crayon Sun on Facebook, www.

El Yunque <BR> “O Hi Mark”

El Yunque
“O Hi Mark”

6 songs for 43 minutes. When you read this, you realise that El Yunque is not your traditional pop or rock band. Before we simplify it to “experimental” we’ll try to explain that the band evolved from noise rock to a broad range of sounds, maybe best illustrated by the trilogy ‘Siri, Please (I, II & III). There are impressive instrumental parts, different kinds of singing, electronics, lots of despair and even more room for interpretation.

♪♫ Listen: “Googol” + album stream

El Yunque on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Slow Crush <BR> “Aurora”

Slow Crush

If you want to get famous in Belgium, shoegaze is not really the genre you have to play. Luckily music is not always about becoming famous, and there’s a whole world outside Belgium too. Therefore we may declare ourselves happy that Slow Crush do what they like, and even though they do not add any new elements to any album released by other shoegaze artists in the past, ‘Aurora’ definitely deserves its spot in this top 20.

♪♫ Listen: “Glow” + album stream

Slow Crush on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Veence Hanao x Le Motel <BR> “BODIE”

Veence Hanao x Le Motel

This album is a collaboration of two big names from the French-speaking Belgian hip-hop scene. Veence Hanao is a prominent rapper, while Le Motel has been in the spotlight several times in recent years as a brilliant beat maker through collaborations with Roméo Elvis and YellowStraps. On ‘BODIE’ this results in masterpieces in every area. After having appeared in this list with Roméo Elvis in 2017, that’s two in a row for Le Motel.

♪♫ Listen: “La Jungle” + album stream

Veence Hanao on Facebook, Instagram.
Le Motel on Soundcloud, Bandcamp.

It It Anita <BR> “Laurent”

It It Anita

With noisy guitar rock full of unexpected hooks, It It Anita have been paving the way from small clubs to bigger venues during the past four or five years. Energy remains the key word also in 2018, even though the melodies seem to get a bigger role on this new record, compared with previous releases. The guys from It It Anita are also the driving forces behind the magnificent Luik Records, one of the best labels in Belgium.

♪♫ Listen: “User Guide” + album stream

It It Anita on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Phoenician Drive <BR> “Phoenician Drive”

Phoenician Drive
“Phoenician Drive”

If you manage to describe the sound of Phoenician Drive in one sentence, you are a world class talent. You could call it global, but that’s too easy, isn’t it? Western guitars meet a whole range of far and near eastern instruments, creating an intriguing mix of European and Asian sounds. It is hard to create an original sound nowadays, but we can arguably state that Phoenician Drive managed to do so.

♪♫ Listen: “Almadraba” + album stream

Phoenician Drive on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Teen Creeps <BR> “Birthmarks”

Teen Creeps

Teen Creeps was founded in 2013, and took their time to build up a solid live reputation and write a debut album they can be proud of. With guitar rock inspired by the 90s, Teen Creeps manage to create a sound that continues to be appreciated by many music fans in times when festival promoters increasingly tend to switch towards beats instead of guitars.

♪♫ Listen: “Hindsight” + album stream

Teen Creeps on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, www.

Rumours <BR> “Megamix”


In 2017 Rumours surprised quite a few people with the almost joyous feel of their single ‘Ibiza’. The artwork and album title of ‘Megamix’ could suggest more happy electronics, but fans may have been delighted to find out that the debut album of Rumours was a dark trip filled with the kind of mysterious electronics that granted the band such a great live reputation.

♪♫ Listen: “Somebody” + album stream

Rumours on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

Baloji <BR> “137 Avenue Kaniama”

“137 Avenue Kaniama”

Baloji does not release many albums. There is an eight years’ gap between ‘137 Avenue Kaniama’ and predecessor ‘Kinshasa Succursale’. ‘137 Avenue Kaniama’ got released internationally via Bella Union, spreading Baloji’s smooth urban sounds throughout Europe and the rest of the world. If we have to wait for another eight years, at least we have some great songs to kill the time with.

♪♫ Listen: “Peau de chagrin / Bleu de nuit” + album stream

Baloji on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Angèle <BR> “Brol”


In 2017 we had Roméo Elvis at number 7 in our list of best albums, in 2018 his sister Angèle claims exactly the same spot. After having appeared from out of nowhere with the single ‘La loi de Murphy’ in 2017, Angèle recorded an album full of perfect pop tunes. On one of the songs, ‘Tout oublier’, Roméo Elvis is joining her. This young lady’s career is one of the fastest growing in Belgium, and the end is not in sight.

♪♫ Listen: “Tout oublier” + album stream

Angèle on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.

Tamino <BR> “Amir”


‘Amir’ is probably the Belgian album that gained most international attention in 2018. Tamino’s voice has an almost unseen reach which skyrocketed him to the top of the Belgian music scene in 2018, selling out the legendary Ancienne Belgique three days in a row. Subtlety is the keyword in virtually every Tamino song. The way this young Belgo-Egyptian singer plays with dynamics is stunning.

♪♫ Listen: “Tummy” + album stream

Tamino on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

dirk. <BR> “Album”


Also in 2018 quality keeps on beating quantity. Their noisy melodic rock yielded dirk. the bronze medal in Humo’s Rock Rally 2016, and takes them to the fifth place in our list of best albums from 2018. Simplicity is one of the keywords, hence the album title ‘Album’. Solid guitars, catchy vocals, some healthy lyrical and melodic madness and tons of energy are all dirk. needs to please fans and critics.

♪♫ Listen: “Sick ‘n Tired” + album stream

dirk. on Facebook, Instagram.

Stikstof <BR> “Overlast”


Stikstof has taken the Brussels hip-hop scene by force some years ago, and released three excellent albums every two years since 2014. ‘Overlast’, their third album, lives up to the great expectations and is popular all over our country, which is rather exceptional because the lyrics are in Dutch. Apparently the language of raw beats and rhymes is universal, and energy makes dictionaries obsolete sometimes.

♪♫ Listen: “FRONTAL” + album stream

Stikstof on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

The Bony King Of Nowhere <BR> “Silent Days”

The Bony King Of Nowhere
“Silent Days”

The Bony King Of Nowhere arguably is the best singer-songwriter from Belgium, so it’s no surprise that his new album was very well received by critics and music fans. ‘Silent Days’ is his fifth full-length album, or even his sixth if we take the soundtrack of ‘Les Géants’ into account. Time and again The Bony King pleases us with a wonderful voice and delicious melodies.

♪♫ Listen: “Silent Days” + album stream

The Bony King Of Nowhere on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Shht <BR> “Love Love Love”

“Love Love Love”

Why call your band Crazy if you can name it Shht? These five lads describe their music as space rock for the new generation, or The Beatles featuring Kanye West, and whatever we could invent to describe them, would not come closer than this definition. ‘Love Love Love’ is their debut album, and if you like this, make sure you go and see a live show for exponential madness.

♪♫ Listen: “Masterpiece” + album stream

Shht on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Whispering Sons <BR> “Image”

Whispering Sons

After having won Humo’s Rock Rally in 2016 Whispering Sons toured all over Europe almost uninterruptedly for two years. In 2018 the post-punk outfit, that does not imitate the 80s but rather sounds like it could have had an added value even back then, gave birth to their long awaited debut album. It resulted in two nominations for the MIA’s, the Flemish Grammy Awards, and will lead the band to Eurosonic and many other festivals in 2019.

♪♫ Listen: “Alone” + album stream

Whispering Sons on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.