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Best releases of 2015 - so far


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I love lists, reading them, making them, ignoring them! Was pretty bored at work so decided to tot up all the albums i've enjoyed so far this year. Anyone else want to throw some recommendations up?

Jim O'Rourke - Simple Songs

Jim O'Rourke puts out a lot of material, a lot. His back catalogue is slightly overwhelming mixture of avant-garde rock, experimental jazz and noise records. Sprinkled through his releases are his 'pop' albums. Usually released on Drag City records and always excellent. Simple Songs carries the tradition forward.

Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor.

A grown up Brian Warner. Sounds like a solo album that he's been trying to make for a while. He's got too much baggage for most people to give him a try, especially new listeners. His vocals are unmistakable so its hard not to listen to this without prejudice, but its definitely worth a spin.

Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too

Not heard of these guys before catching them on TV playing at Glastonbury. Mesmerising performance. Album doesn't quite catch the magic that they seem to have playing live, but it is still an amazing album.


Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside

I'm a hip-hop dabbler. I dabbled with this, I love it.

Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire

You know what its going to sound like before you even press play. Yet you still play it, and you still enjoy scrambling your brains to it.

Czarface - Every Hero Needs a Villain

More hip-hop dabbling!

Metal favourites - Going through my lists, 2015 has been pretty slim pickings for me.

Tribulation - The Children of the Night

Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction

Enslaved - In Times

Napalm Death - Apex Predator - Easy Meat

Visigoth - Visigoth


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Been listening to a lot of techno/slow disco this year. Particularly stuff from the likes of Lokier, Morgan Hammer & Zombies in Miami. Outstanding and will link it up, and maybe my other choices, later.




Album wise -

Spectres - Dying https://open.spotify.com/album/585XMqqA5bWf7ei4OZXS3i

Viet Cong - Viet Cong https://open.spotify.com/album/63GwqLuSzZnAQpd1JBQKLT

Algiers - Algiers https://open.spotify.com/album/24hXu3nSvxjwfYbbJIG3U0

Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too https://open.spotify.com/album/3xtwcBeltPMO0I4PnDfV0k

Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl https://open.spotify.com/album/3AeAZfwBgnhmbNEowNFvcB

Metz - II https://open.spotify.com/album/71mxAD3v99FAFyx4Vyzl7c

A couple of excellent compilations :-

Blindetonation Compilation 01 https://open.spotify.com/album/4gjygtgoBPOvZ26b5fdb8j

Kollektion 04 - Bureau B compiled by Richard Fearless (this is exemplary) https://open.spotify.com/album/1ks5ceNrmJNSxPTgB86FWW

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Good stuff - second some of the above (really like the Jim O'Rouke album and my discovery of Young Fathers was exactly the same, watched the Glastonbury set and then bought everything they've released).

Other stuff I've liked this year that hasn't been listed yet:

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit

BADBADNOTGOOD and Ghostface Killah - Sour Soul

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

Polar Bear - Same as you

Edit - aha, and Public Service Broadcasting. Only just discovered them.

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Top 3:

Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl

Holly Herndon - Platform

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

But also:

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

Jlin - Dark Energy

Ela Orleans - Upper Hell

Four Tet - Morning/Evening

Colleen - Captain of None

John T. Gast - Excerpts

Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

And lots I've listened to once and will come back to later.

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+1's for Richie's Baltang Arg post - he had a similar setup when I saw him in May. ^_^ I think Exjag Nives is still my favourite from that album. Other highlights of 2015...

Leftfield - Alternative Light Source

Favourite track: Bilocation

Crisp beats, awesome bleeps and lovely vocals have made this a continuous earworm for me :)

Prodigy - TDIME

Favourtie track: Wild Frontier

No you fuck off :P It may be a bit "Omen v2" but there's so much energy in this and other TDIME tracks that I can't help but listen to it a bunch

EDIT: oh, and Major Lazer's latest has some nice feelgood poppy stuff that I keep coming back to - "Lean On" and "Light It Up" are particular guilty pleasures. :D

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My favourites this year fall firmly into my most listened to genres of pop and dance:

Roisin Murphy - Hairless Toys

Probably the album I was most excited to hear. Incredibly arty pop with a sophistication and obsessive coherence to everything. Utterly brilliant.

Shamir - Rachet

This should be all accounts annoy me, but for some reason it doesn't. Just felt very fresh.

Herbert - The Shakes

Herbert going back to the best part of his career - when he was making percussion-heavy house with some modicum of pop sensibilities

Lianne La Havas - Blood

Thought her debut was a disappointment that lacked the punch that "Forget" had - thankfully not the case here. Again, a really nice short album that feels really well put together and designed for the LP format.

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Actually the best pop album this year, is definitely Say Lou Lou - Lucid Dreaming. It's like a checklist of everything I like:

Scandinavian? CHECK. Female Duo? CHECK. Lindstrom? CHECK. Link to 80's Australian bands? Both are daughters of Steve Kilbey - lead singer from The Church (!) CHECK Hannah Robinson and Richard X? CHECK




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BIt of a slow year so far, but still looking forward to albums by Beach House and Foals

So far...

The Fall "Sub Lingual Tablet"

Kendrick Lamar "To Pimp a butterfly"

ASAP Rocky "At long last"


Sleater Kinney "Cities to love"

BadBadnotgood "Stone Sour"

Jamie xx "In colour"

Slaves "Are you satisfied"

Godspeed you black emperor "asunder.."

Squarepusher "Damogen Furies"

Sleaford Mods "Key Markets"

The only album I bought I didn't really rate was Tame Impala "Currents", which I thought had x2 decent E.P.'s worth of tracks, otherwise very bland and same-y.

And although I enjoy electronic music, I have no real interest in Richard D Jame's works any more. I feel I should but I just can't get enthused about them like I did when I heard him originally back in the 90's. I feel there are better artists out there doing far more interesting works. Posting some old cassette outtake from 1991 by him in a thread about new music in 2015 strikes me as odd.

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Definitely a few I've enjoyed this year:

Lonelady - Hinterland

East India Youth - Culture of Volume

Boxer In - Boxed In

Django Django - Born Under Saturn

Make the Girl Dance - Extraball

Always love these threads - some of my favourite albums have come from reading people's opinions here. Keep 'em coming!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been having a really shit time at the moment, the good side of that is I've listened to a lot of music this year. Here's my list of my favourites thus far, some stuff I'll be listening to for years to come.

Venetian Snares - Your Face

The first of his stuff I'd really heard, and after delving into his back-catalogue you can see that this is a mature work with lots of melody, very well produced and not too many mental breakbeats.

Mark Fell & Gabor Lazar - The Neurobiology of Moral Decision Making

Austere explorations of what can be done with a few sounds from a drum machine. Has some wonderfully evocative coming up sounds and whilst a technical listen, it still pulls to the club, just about.

Squarepusher - Damogen Furies

Absolute return to form and his best since Ultravisitor, my 2nd favourite Squarepusher album now and absolutely incredible live at Dekmantel.

Alva Noto - Xerrox 3

The most emotional electronic album on my list, the sound of a planet dying.

Prurient - Frozen Niagara Falls

Was surprised by the amount of melody on this, it's a very wide-spanning, mature work, Jester in Agony in particular is incredible. The synth bits are tghe best.

Tengui - Transference (don't sleep on this get the tape!!)

Longform droney stuff, queasy music for the wee hours.


Aleksi Perälä - Colundi Sequence

He's churning them out a bit fast, but using his own microtonal scale has paid dividends, especially moving away from pure electronics to Jamaican steel drums of all things.


Aurora Halal - Shapeshifter EP

Best pure techno EP I've heard this year, it has a female sound to it in terms of sound depth and emotional content (that isn't meant to be an insult).

Cat's Eyes - Duke of Burgundy OST

Glorious, melodramatic, like something Sebastien Tellier could have had his hand in. It's a really beautiful soundtrack, with reoccuring melodies and themes that justify their existence.

Last Step - Lost Sleep

Venetian Snares acid workout, surprisingly gentle and soothing.

Varg - Ursviken

From the Northern Electronics crew, stark melodic techno that sounds like icebergs groaning and tearing apart.


Psychick Warriors of Gaia - 1989 (re-release)

Never heard of this Dutch crew before but these longform proto-techno workouts are fucking blinding and left me with a big ravey grin.

El Topo/Holy Mountain OSTs on Finders Keepers

Melodramatic cod-western, quasi-philosophical insanity.

Polar Inertia - Kinematic Optics EP

Special EP, especially for the live 40 minute ambient cut, deep, dark techno.


Four Tet - Morning/Evening

Life-affirming. Track of the summer.


Alex Cobb - Chantepleure

Ambient pastel colours in grey and blue.


FIS - The Blue Quicksand is Going Now

Could have been seen as an exercise in sound-engineering, which it is to an extent, but really fascinating release and you can just about hold on to the remnants of drum n bass in it.


Second Moon of Winter - One for Sorrow, Two for Joy

Local group from Cork releasing on Denovali, operatic, string based, dark drone. Very strong.


Rrose - Having Never Written a Note for Percussion

This kept me sane for a while, meditative and it's fascinating to hear the variation comparing the studio to live version.


Donato Dozzy & Anna Caragnano - Sintetizzatrice

Beautiful release, Donato brings a surprising lightness of touch away from his headfuck techno to create something very joyous, working with the human voice to create something magical and timeless.


Roslyn Steer - Still Moving (this is a tape by a friend, https://kantcope.bandcamp.com)

She plays in Morning Veils and this is her first solo release, layers of fuzz and an epic drone piece on the first side are worth the price of admission, plus she's a pal :)

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Good post Richie, I've only heard a few of the releases on that list so I'm looking forward to working my way through the rest.

I'm listening almost exclusively to electronic music at the moment and it's all starting to feel a bit homogenous, I need to diversify.

But before I do here's some stuff I've been enjoying this week!

Karen Gwyer - Bouloman EP

Helena Hauff - Discreet Desires

James Place - Living on Superstition

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

A top 20.

20 - Prurient - Frozen Niagara Falls
19 - Jac Berrocal, David Fenech, Vincent Epplay ‎– Antigravity
18 - Destruction Unit - Negative Feedback Resistor
17 - Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION
16 - Abra - Rose
15 - Charli XCX - Sucker
14 - Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
13 - Helena Hauff - Discreet Desires
12 - Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh
11 - Arca - Mutant
10 - Joanna Newsom - Divers
09 - Lil Ugly Mane - THIRD SIDE OF TAPE
08 - Four Tet - Morning/Evening
07 - Jlin - Dark Energy
06 - U.S. Girls - Half Free
05 - Holly Herndon - Platform
04 - Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl
03 - Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
02 - Grimes - Art Angels
01 - Julia Holter - Have You in My Wilderness

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Clutch - Psychic Warfare


Deafheaven - New Bermuda

Excellent follow-up to 2013's excellent Sunbather

Baroness - Chlorine & Wine

Single from the imminent album (out on the 18th December)

Refused - Freedom

Great album from the band after such a long absence. Energetic, inventive, aggressive, mature.

Ghost - Meliora

I can't love this album enough. Hail Satan.


Another vote for Cattle Decapitation too. Awesome stuff.

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Marilyn Manson - The Pale Emperor.

A grown up Brian Warner. Sounds like a solo album that he's been trying to make for a while. He's got too much baggage for most people to give him a try, especially new listeners. His vocals are unmistakable so its hard not to listen to this without prejudice, but its definitely worth a spin.

I'd never really given MM much of a shout in the past, but I really liked Killing Strangers when I heard it in John Wick, so I checked out the rest of the album and owned it soon after that. Definitely a break from his past, but what a break, tracks like Deep Six carry a melodic power which stand up to any mainstream hooks of the year, and the outrageously smooth Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge really seals the deal.

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