2015 was dark, for me. And you should probably know up front this list is not for the faint of heart. Almost every album that I’ve been obsessed with this year whether it’s a classic or a new release has a dark side. Maybe the reason is because I have been getting more and more into Electronic/drone and Industrial music. In this article I will start by listing albums I rediscovered in 2015.
I had been listening repeatedly to Boards of Canada’s 2002 masterpiece Geogaddi, the band’s darkest album, tracks like 1969 accompanied by alien-like looped vocals and Sunshine Recorder are just so good to be real.
Geogaddi – Boards of Canada
The way ahead of its time My Life in The Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne a follow up of Talking Heads’ LP Remain in Light those albums had a lot of new waves sound that wasn’t used until later, also they experimented a lot with loops and repeating riffs over and over again, maybe those albums are the first to ever use samples, tracks like Mea Culpa and Number 8 Mix are huge examples for it, oddly enough I hadn’t heard of the album until this year, I just couldn’t believe it was made in the 80’s, but then again, we’re talking about two geniuses here.
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts – Brian Eno and David Byrne
Another album that comes to mind here is Tom Recchion’s Chaotica, an avant-grande album that came out in 1996. There are so many moments in this album where I was literally mindblown, tracks like Enormous Horses and A complex Shape in the Sky are so melancholic, weird, and powerful and definitely sound ahead of its time. I’d recommend Recchion’s work for fans of Oneohtrix Point Never specifically because I have always gotten his vibes listening to OPN’s stuff.
Chaotica – Tom Recchion
I rediscovered Swans, they have always been one of my favorite bands but for some reason I didn’t give Soundtracks for the Blind much attention except this year, and I’m glad I did, it became one of my all time favorite albums, it has many of Swans best tracks, like Helpless Child and I Was a Prisoner in Your Skull, The whole album is an intense experience from start to finish, and it was the main reason I got so much into industrial music and discovered bands like Vatican Shadow, Muslimgauze, November Novelet, rediscovered A U R O R A by Ben Frost that has a lot of heavy industrial moments Nolan and Venter are mindblowing, intense, and absolutely emotional. I knew Frost is a huge fan of Micheal Gira and became very interested in his music, and coincidentally I had watched Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972) at about the same time, and was searching for the original score when I found an album dedicated for the movie by Frost and Daníel Bjarnason, all I have to say about it that it’s out of this world, a perfect album for a perfect movie, also there is By The Throat that Tim Hecker named his favorite album of 2009’s this is the strangest Frost album I have heard and could be my favorite. Anyway that brings me to Hecker I’ve been listening his music since 2013, got so much into it in 2014 when I heard Ravedeath 72, I was in awe. Not only the music haunted me but also something about the album art is haunting to, I remember I searched for the original Piano drop picture to use it as my facebook cover. I call him a sound artist because the art he creates is far beyond just music, he uses white noise, glitch textures, and air wave structures, sounds of what I can only describe as drones shattering. From My Love is Rotten to the Core to Harmony in Ultra violet, An Imaginary Country, Ravedeath, 72, and Virgins, what’s not to love? Tracks like Whitecaps of White Noise, Hatred of Music, They Call me Jimmy.. etc are impossible, he is one of a kind artist, and as a self-taught /freelance graphic designer I get so much inspiration listening to his music, hell, I’m forever hooked.
I also have been listening more and more to Fennesz’s Venice, such a beautiful atmospheric and emotional album, I even like it more than his most famous album Endless Summer which is great too but I prefer Venice. I started listening to him after he released his LP Becs, I was instantly in love with it specially the track by the same name, it’s unfucking real. Favorite tracks are; City of Light, The Point of It All and Rivers of Sand. Fennesz beautiful melodies that are pushed through a wall of noise and glitches are definitely worth your check.
I must not forget Kangding Ray’s Solens Arc, which I haven’t really rediscovered. I just discovered it this year, and damn! I am obsessed with it, it’s smart, intense and fresh. Not a single track was weak. A friend of mine recommended to me in August and kept listening to it till the end of the year.
Soundtracks for the Blind – Swans
A U R O R A – Ben Frost
Harmony in Ultraviolet – Tim Hecker
Few more albums I have been obsessed by this year are A.I.A Series by Grouper, and Going Places by Yellow Swans those 3 albums are kinda similar in the atmosphere and ethereal noise they have you are literally Going Places listening to this music.
Tri Repetae by Autechre my favorite album by the stunning due along with LP5 which I don’t know why they don’t get much praise like the rest of their albums.
Does it look like I’m here? by Emeralds that contains mix of tracks previously released as singles.
Soaked by Jacob Kirkegaard who’s known for his abstract scientific approach and Philip Jeck who studied visual arts and later began composing using record players and electronics, I appreciate his work specially An Ark For The Listener it’s an avant album that I find very interesting.
I have to mention A New History Warfare Vo1: Judges by Collin Stetson a freaking genius whose music ranges from an avant-grande jazz to experimental, a great example is From No Part of Me Could I Summon a Voice, that you have to check out, it makes me feel strangely sad an not at ease, I feel like it’s what anxiety sounds like.
Also an interesting record that I came across lately is Essays in Idleness by Christopher Bissonnette some synthesizer music shimmering with riveting sounds and beautiful glitches a great track and my favorite off the record is Delusions and another record that I’d recommend listening to it after you have finished Essays would be Constants by Chris Herbert, both albums are released by Kranky one of my favorite labels ever.
Early Works by Lorenzo Senni where he uses different kind of real-time digital sound synthesis combined with old evergreen software from the 70’s and 80’s of which he produces abstract streams of radical computer music.
A.I.A Dream Loss – Grouper
Going Places – Yellow Swans
Tri Repetae – Autechre
Soaked – Jacob Kirkegaard / Philip Jeck
New History Warfare: Judges – Colin Stetson
Essays in Idleness – Christopher Bissonnette