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∴

Favourites Of 2017

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∴

It doesn't seem like five minutes since I contributed to 2016's list of favourites, but here we are once again at the arse end of the year. Before we watch the crumbling remains of 2017 topple over like a house of cards, let's take a few minutes to remember our favourite albums and EPs from the past 12 months. I am aware there are three weeks left, but if something does come out before January that blows you away, I won't bite your nose off for changing your mind. That's the beauty of preferences, boys and girls.

 

If you want to be a bit of a show-off (like me), feel free to use this site to create a collage of your picks. I actively encourage you to talk a little bit about why you like it - I'm not expecting essays here, this isn't Princeton, I just think it would be nice to know why you liked it before you slap your choices on the table for us all to gawp at. I know the website gives you a lot of squares but you can fiddle with the options to make a top 10/15/however many you want to talk about. I'd say stick with 10 though, seems easier that way.

 

I'll post mine soon because I'm at work at the moment, I just thought I'd get the ball rolling.

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sivispacem

In terms of albums that punched me in the f*cking face without any warning, Akercocke's "Renaissance in Extremis" is right up there. Splendid slab of progressive death metal with a smattering of folk, Middle Eastern and black metal influences.

 

But without a doubt the best album released this year is Havukruunu's "Kelle Surut Soi". Mid-period Bathory channelled via Moonsorrow and Ulver, sung in Finnish and delightfully atmospheric. Eight months down the line and I'm still listening to it in a daily basis.

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Matrelith

This has been a good year in terms of music for me, with great material of artists I was already following and with the discovery of a ton of new artists. I'll probably add more to the list later, but for now;

 

As a huge synthwave fan (and fellow Dutchman), I feel obliged to mention Lovers Part II by Timecop1983. Pretty much everything TC83 produces is gold in my book. His ability to perfectly capture that 80's feel is what made me listen to his albums on repeat a lot this past year. The new album that was released this year also did not disappoint.

 

Besides that Flamingosis deserves a mention as well. A bunch of his albums are posted in full on Youtube and it's by accident that I discovered him, but holy hell does he have a nice sound. The mixture of R&B/Soul with electronic music is a match made in heaven if you ask me. I had a few of his songs on my phone already, but it's really these last few months that I've been listening to his albums as a whole and it's just amazing background music. A Groovy Thing was released this year and it is a great addition to an already great portfolio.

 

Lastly I feel I need to mention Humanz by Gorillaz. A new album by a legendary band after a hiatus of seven years, the expectations were skyhigh and you'd think the album could only disappoint. While it certainly isn't a Demon Days or Plastic Beach, the album still features enough songs to make someone who's been a fan of the Gorillaz from a young age very happy.

Edited by Matrelith

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Blondie

When 2016 ended, I was looking forward to listen to the new album of 2017. And so many beautiful and amazing albums have been released this this year. My favorite albums are CTRL by SZA, it's a very nice album. SZA's voice is beautiful and just a lot of great songs. My favorite songs are Supermodel, Love Galore, Drew Barrymore, The Weekend, Go Gina, Garden and Pretty Little Birds. Dua Lipa by Dua Lipa, I was actually in a city where I found a poster of Dua Lipa's debut album and I gave it to an Instagram friend because he's a fan. After a while I started listening to her album and I thought it was a very, very good pop album. It was something I really needed. Dua Lipa is a new fresh wind in pop music. Something we really needed since the current state of pop music (especially with female pop artists) is just terrible. Melodrama by Lorde, what can I say about this album? It's just great. The whole Melodrama aesthetic was AMAZING, the album, the tour, everything. Melodrama was just perfect. I wanted to go to her concert in Tilburg but I was planning to go to Lady Gaga's concert, and Lorde's concert was just one day after Lady Gaga's concert. The concert was postponed and after seeing pictures on Instagram, I really felt sad that I couldn't attend the concert. David Bowie was right about her. She's the future of music. I also liked listening to Björk's recent album release Utopia, but I prefer her older albums, Debut, Post, Homogenic, et cetera.

Edited by Blondie

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Mister Pink

I've really been slow with music this year. Haven't been obsessively listening to it as much as I used to. However, I have been making my own music again. It probably helps that I'm not consuming too much when it comes to production.

 

I'll certainly pop back in and use this topic for inspiration on what to listen to and try catch up. Interesting to see your choices, Craig.

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El Dildo

so despite some of the names we lost to old age and tragedy, 2017 has been a fabulously curious year for the evolution of popular new music in general.

they say that most big trends come and go in cycles, and as it is we're basically witnessing the resurgence of disco and funk right now. the style seems to be permeating multiple genres and it's giving birth to some tantalizing ear candy from old and new artists alike. really digging this fresh influence on groups like Portugal the Man, Beck, Gorillaz, Foster the People, JD McPherson, Spoon, Moon Taxi, Capital Cities and others. it's a sonic clash of guitars, bass, and synthesizers which gives whole new meaning to the old Spector theory of a 'wall of sound.'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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∴

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Okay, so as far as music in 2017 was concerned, I felt a little underwhelmed. A lot of artists I expected to release great albums fell far short of expectation. That left room for some surprises though, especially from artists or bands I didn't know even had projects planned. I'll go through my picks quickly, from left to right and in rows. They're not in any particular order, though I do like some more than others.

 

1. Perturbator - New Model

An exciting release from a synthwave producer still in his infancy despite an ever-growing discography. Already established with some powerful, atmospheric music, this is an exciting glimpse into what direction Perturbator is going in. This is a slight departure from some of the tropes already common in synthwave/darkwave music, and he's clearly keen to cultivate a signature sound.

 

2. Benjamin Clementine - I Tell A Fly

A satisfying blend of experimental pop and avant-garde classical, this feels worlds apart from his last studio full-length release which already set this artist apart from his contemporaries. With a voice that sounds just as versatile as any instrument, Clementine takes risk after risk on an album that shouldn't work, but does. It's far from easy listen, but the reward is an excellently produced story that only he could tell.

 

3. Blanck Mass - World Eater

Electronic music doesn't have to be so safe, as demonstrated here on Blanck Mass' third LP. Heavily layered with little in the way of subtlety, this is surprisingly playful for a such a noisy and relentless album. Hypnotic drones previously explored by Blanck Mass' Ben Power have been almost completely abandoned in favour of more rigid songs show his versatility, though there's something surprisingly upbeat at work here.

 

4. Four Tet - New Energy

The irony wasn't lost on me - this release is far from energetic. However, Four Tet's strength doesn't stem from being particularly energetic. Instead, he plays this comfortable without any of the drawbacks of being complacent. Taking advantage of some longer track lengths, this allows from some soundscapes that are balanced well with some dance influences that are barely louder than a whisper. There's no surprises here, but sometimes that's for the best.

 

5. Slowdive - Slowdive

The first comeback album in my list, I had no idea Slowdive were planning a release, and I was even less hopeful that it would even be released. Rather than build on innovation, Slowdive instead pay respects to a legacy that helped them become pioneers of a cult genre. It's a gift to fans scared that they would stray too far from what made them so well revered in the first place. This unassuming self-titled comeback points forwards just as much as it does backwards.

 

6. Clark - Death Peak

An often forgotten poster boy of electronic music, Clark has been quietly and modestly building a cult-following of his own. A very human and down to earth album, there's little here that feels quite so esoteric as earlier work that seemed determined to confuse as well as entertain. However, don't be led astray - this is aggressive techno that is well produced, well polished and deserves frequent re-listens.

 

 

7. Luke Vibert - Luke Vibert Presents UK Garave Vol. 1

An unexpected entry, I wasn't expecting much of anything from Vibert this year. Released almost without fanfare, this almost seems like a compilation rather than a studio album. However, this is more of a tribute to roots Vibert felt inspired by in the first place. An album which is just as much a gift to him as it is to us fans, this is a reminder that rave culture is far from forgotten.

 

8. At The Drive In - Inter Alia

A second comeback album I didn't expect to hear any time soon, this surprise return from workaholics behind The Mars Volta sees them revisiting an older name to present some post-hardcore in a way only they know how. Dripping with nostalgia, this serves as a fitting introduction to the genre (and the band) as much as satisfies old fans who may have grown weary of their recent output. Again, there's nothing particularly revolutionary here, but it's a welcome addition to their discography.

 

9. Full Of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy

With albums shorter than most people's showers, it's not often that grindcore makes an impact quite like Full Of Hell. With a blistering collaboration with Japanoise pioneer Merzbow rattling fans of both camps two years ago, there was a lot expected from this outfit who showed their versatility and energy. This is almost disappointingly short, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

 

10. Brockhampton - Saturation II

I was going to include their first album in the same slot as sort of a double reference, but this just about piqued it just for sheer style. This rap outfit seemed to come from nowhere, and is overflowing with talent. The second in a trilogy of albums announced, this is a hip-hop album dripping with confidence and can only spell good things for the future of the contributors in the future. Unfortunately, they're disbanding this year as quickly as they arrived on the scene, but I have a feeling we haven't heard the last of any of them.

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