For some reason, I found picking my top 5 albums of the year particularly hard this time around. My long-list was 18 records long, and it was a struggle to get it down to 14, then 10, then 6. And in the end, I dropped the lovely Xerrox (Vol. 3) only because Alva Noto had made the list five years ago.
Other near misses included Zarelli’s Soft Rains (feat. Leonard Nimoy!), Andrea Taeggi’s Mama Matrix Most Mysterious, Gabriel Saloman’s Music Building Vol. 2, Ghost Harmonic’s Codex, and Ricardo Donoso’s Saravá Exu.
So, without further ado, or other such clichés, the winners are…
- Blanck Mass with the anthemic noise/pop of Dumb Flesh (CD, Sacred Bones, May)
- Blond:ish with the eclectic psychy techy house of Welcome To The Present (CD, Kompakt, October)
- Lau Nau with the evocative modern classical / ambient / Finnish folk of HEM. Någonstans (CD, Fonal, July)
- Oiseaux-Tempête with the inspired and powerful post-rock of Ütopiya? (CD, Sub Rosa, April)
- The Woodbine & Ivy Band with the eclectic (yes, again), rousing, and moving folk-ish of Sleep On Sleeping On (CD, Static Caravan, March)
Finally, my tracks of the year from records which don’t feature on those records. I’m upping this to a list of 5 as well this year (and if that’s a cheaty way of including the some of the album runner ups… well, what of it?).
- Mosillator with Mosillation from Mental Conflict (digital, Generation Bass, March)
- Gabriel Saloman with Gagaku from Music Building Vol. 2 (LP, Shelter Press, October)
- Andrea Taeggi with the title track from Mama Matrix Most Mysterious (LP, Type, September)
- Zarelli with Falling Light from Soft Rains (LP+CD, Seriés Aphonos, February)
- Ricardo Donoso with Matutinum from Saravá Exu (CD, Denovali, February)