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2017 record picks

Written by: 10 March 2018 One Comment

Some sites start their best of’s in November. Some like to leave it to January. Mick, to his credit, came through with some picks in January. I’m fitting to top them all by finally revealing some of my favourite records.

Last year went by in a fugue of work, study and personal life but amidst it all I somehow still amassed music. Judicious use of juno’s email reminders, bandcamp wantlists, and the discogs app have seen me in a constant state of purchasing. For simplicities sake I’m sticking to things released in 2017 that I actually got on vinyl. Consequently no hiphop although I listened to kendrick lamar a bit, and no king krule which I like a lot but didn’t buy yet.

Here’s a few wonky things that nevertheless stick to a rhythmic blueprint of sorts:

“The Mystic Jungle Tribe – Live in Napoli” is a trio of Italians on the excellent going good label. Spaced out synth squelches and a rough and raw feeling are the appeal for me.

Don’t Dj – “Hyperspace is No Place” comes from Don’t Dj who does wonky experimental techno popular with your more experimental Ben Ufo type djs. This EP is a bit magical and I highly recommend it.

Indoor Plants – “Udacha 15” is Russian electronica with again a raw,hazy feel to it that I like. Is it mysterious because it’s Russian or genuinely mysterious? I don’t know but been enjoying Russian stuff on Udacha and the (possibly quite hipstery) Gost Zvuk recordings.

Lord of the Isles – “Parabolas of Neon” is a bit conventional compared to my other picks, but great nonetheless. Straight up on the A1 you have an understated but anthemic deep house groover that I could see remaining fresh and playable indefinitely. Alongside that you have a couple of other beat based things along with some beautiful ambient tracks. Nice cover too as Firecracker usually do.

De-Bons-en-Pierre – ‘Crepes’ is allegedly the product of a frenzied days work in Brussels in 2016. Dark Entries is always worth checking but I associate them more with reissues than new music. This particular record is a particularly filthy EBM/electro machine freakout, in my imaginary Berghain dj set I’d be smashing stuff like this together. I left this record in Mick’s safekeeping so hopefully I won’t be invited to dj at Berghain before I get my hands on it again.

Various – “Weightless Volume 2”

Have to tip my hat to Mumdance who somehow curated 40 radio shows with a huge range of special guests yet kept the quality consistent throughout. Big fan of the “weightless” grime genre he’s associated with, and this 12″ collected a few of these artists together. NZ’s FIS who is probably my favourite NZ musician working today is included. Play at volume for full effect.

Going fully into the ambient rabbit hole, and I’d have to draw for Pan’s – “Mono no Aware” comp. Drawing together a range of Pan artists this really showcased some experimental, varied and interesting ambient work. The pan label had a really good year, and I also picked up their releases from Konrad Sperger and M.E.S.H.

Morphosis’ Morphine records doesn’t release a lot but is always one I check and Tarawangsawelas – “Wanci” was well worth a check. It’s seemingly traditional Indonesian music (not sure if Morphosis actually contributes any music to the record). I don’t know anything about it but it’s a great listen, and this taken alongside Senyawa’s work for Morphine make me want to find more Indonesian music.

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – “Ambient Black Magic” offers more in the way of exotic (albeit more manufactured) sounds. Mick said this was a bit too yoga studio sounding for his taste, and I know what he means, but nevertheless this record offers much in the way of humid atmospheres and bass pulses to enjoy.

Further humid atmospheres came through in the form of Ramzi’s – “Phobiza Noite Vol 2”. I didn’t know much about it when I grabbed it (Ramzi has subsequently had a good Resident Advisor profile, and a sold out super quick record on 12th Isle). This is a very nice deep and relaxing melodic record. A regular visitor to my turntable.

Gotta include The Necks – “Unfold”, four lengthy pieces from the Necks who are one of my favourite Jazz groups. They don’t always put out vinyl records so it was great to grab this, which somehow is very calming despite the clattering percussion. Definitely worth a check even if you dislike traditional jazz.

Doesn’t fit particularly with the other selections but I’d also include another Australian in the form of Carla dal Forno – “The Garden”. I’m always checking Blackest Ever Black’s releases and really enjoy the drony post punk influenced records from Dal Forno. “The Garden” takes an obvious cue from Einst├╝rzende Neubauten and adds Carla’s shimmering vocals and production. A great EP which joins Carla’s group ‘F Ingers’ in a strong showing for the Aussies on Blackest Ever Black last year, looking forward to further works from them and the label this year.

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One Comment »

  • Bob Daktari said:

    bloody hell I had to get past the neckbeardy jazz to get to The Garden… sublime!

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