Bob Marley and the Wailers, "Midnight Ravers"
By and large, I tend to prefer the early material from Marley, where there's some more ska rhythms as opposed to reggae. Of course, that doesn't mean that his later material isn't brilliant. At any rate, Catch a Fire is pretty early, his first album for Island Records, and it's the one that really put him on the map for most folks. It's a tremendous record, and probably where I'd recommend folks start with to move beyond Legend.
Mannequin Pussy, "Drunk II"
From one of the best records of last year, Mannequin Pussy have stretched out their sound a little bit, making room for more melodic tunes like this one, to great effect. There are still plenty of songs clocking in at around two minutes or less, so the punk rock isn't gone or anything.
Tricky, "Money Greedy"
Seems like just yesterday I was blabbing about trip-hop in this space (it was two days ago - ed). Anyway, by 1998, Tricky had mostly moved away from the trip-hop sound of Maxinquaye for something much murkier and darker. There are still hints of it in places on Angels With Dirty Faces, but he's really stretching into other types of rhythms on most of the songs here. I won't lie - I prefer the earlier sound.
Pitchblende, "Your Own Outro"
I'll always associate Pitchblende with Polvo, having seen them together in...1992? But they're not really the same, despite being tied together in my head. Polvo was always more math-y and more experimental, and Pitchblende had more punk in their approach. This song comes from the album Au Jus, their sophomore record, and it's a good album that probably didn't deserve to be forgotten.
Steroid Maximus, "Quilombo"
Steroid Maximus is a nom de musique of JG Thirlwell aka Foetus. Steroid Maximus is all-instrumental, and is a project where he's more or less making fictional soundtracks to movies that don't exist. This is the title track to the debut Steroid Maximus record, and one of the highlights of the album. I always kind of thought that it sounded like he was creating a resume to create scores. If so, it worked, as this more-or-less is the backbone of the score he did for the Venture Brothers.