The Middle Eastern music scene is taken by storm every year with new, shapeshifting, waves of sounds, helmed by progressive artists who fearlessly subvert the past, to transpire the future. While nitpicking these releases to compile our annual list is getting harder by the year, it's still an honorable, fascinating process putting together all these groundbreaking works of musical expression into one list. From the dominating trap current that has experienced its own regional transformation, to the post shaabi wave where the influential genre has seeped into a multitude of musical spheres, to the avant-garde electronica that couldn't care less about your opinion and to the genre-bending inbetweens blurring the lines, it's safe to say it's been an excellent year for the Middle East scene. Here are the top 50 albums, in no particular order, that have high-handedly broken waves and equally induced us multiple ear worms throughout the year. Dive in to find out who made it to the list and click on the titles below to listen, and find out more about each release.

Shabjdeed & AlNather - Sindibad El Ward

Carl Gari & Abdullah Miniawy - The Act of Falling from the 8th Floor

Yunis + Ibrahim X - Kafr ElDauwar (Ya Khal)
[Kafr ElDauwar]

Jowan Safadi - Stay Away From the Mid-Evil East and Sing for it

NAAR - Safar
[Barclay/Def Jam]

ABOsahar - The Caveman

De.Ville - Sables

Land of Kush - Sand Enigma

Aghane Servicet - Al Hajj Transportation

Ritza - Shoofi

Kosh - Keep Hope Alive
[Casa Voyager]

MSYLMA - Dhil-un Taht Shajarat Al-Zaqum
[Halcyon Veil]

Abyusif - Tamam

Bader Azem - 12:00 AM

Maurice Louca - Elephantine
[Northern Spy/Sub Rosa]


Sotusura - Saleh Alalhan

Nass El Hal - Quand comprendras-tu? (Remixes)
[Sans Commentaire]

Ousso Loutfy - Khashab W Kahraba

Yazan Sarayrah - Sharq Ettabana

Galaxy Juice - Pantagonia

Various Artists - Dar Disku 001
[Dar Disku]

Islam Chipsy & EEK - Kahraman

Rational Soul - RS1
[Rational Soul]

Lege-Cy - 181-191

Various Artists - Cairo Concepts by Phil Battiekh

J!N - pink stm & wite ptl

Various Artists - Under Frustration Vol. 2 by Arabstazy

Papa Soul - Moody Type Love

Various Artists - Kombile 002

Issam Hajali - Mouasalat Ila Jacad El Ard
[Habibi Funk]

Acid Arab - JDID
[Crammed Discs]

Grup Ses & Elektro Hafiza - Varyete
[Zel Zele]

The Maghreban - Islands

Malik Polo - JOMO
[Abu Recordings]

fuzzylittlebrain - fuzzylittlebrain

Polyswitch - Feverish Cuts Vol. 2

El Rass - يمكنك دائماً أن تموت أكثر

Various Artists - Yalla SDR Volume One
[Salaam Dance Rally]

Bellakoud - The 8 Ways Album

El Wali - Tiris
[Sahel Sounds]

Wegz - Geziret ElBatal

Yazz Ahmed - Polyhymnia

DJ Haram - Grace

4LFA - Age Began Counting (ABC)

Bergsonist - ض

The C!rcle - A 249 Experience Vol. 1

Prince Tut - Purple Sun

R3 - حاجات متقالتش فى وقتها

ILLIAM - Before Bed