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Albums of the Year 2013

Year of the Austerity Dog. These New Puritans started over, Blixa Bargeld turned crooner, Oneohtrix Point Never invented the future, and Parquet Courts introduced themselves. Also My Bloody Valentine actually finished something.
1. Album Of The Year!

Sleaford Mods
Austerity Dogs

Austerity Dogs is the 6th album by Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods, but it’s the one that got them noticed. Since its release in 2013, the band have gone from strength to strength, being a necessary mouthpiece and cathartic outlet for many in the these austere times. They mix a punk snarl with pepped-up hip-hop beats and socially aware lyrics to make an original, energetic, angry and often witty statement that has become essential.
2.

Hookworms
Pearl Mystic

This is the 'classic' debut album Leeds psych man band Hookworms. They purvey a kind of heads down, no nonsense kraut boogie which borrows as much from Neu '3' as it does Status Quo 'On the Level'. Moving way into the modern age, it's the kind of album no Spacemen 3 fan should be without. Heavy psych wibbling for all the family.  
3.

Holden
The Inheritors

The Inheritors was (James) Holden's follow up to his much-loved 2006 debut The Idiots Are Winning. Again on Border Community it was another fruitful journey into his sound world  - an immersive swirl of sounds that takes dance music and stretches it to its outer limits. Comparisons are hard to pick out but there's something of the prism-like haze of Boards of Canada here but Holden's sound is truly all his own. 
4.

Parquet Courts
Light Up Gold

Parquet Courts back when we thought they'd only have one name and stick to it. Press release says this is their debut wikipedia says different but whatever, it was something of a revelation on release, the pre-press on What's Your Rupture gaining the band a deservedly larger fan base who quickly got sucked into their late '70s-style garage rock and new wave.  

5.

These New Puritans
Field of Reeds


6.

Thee Oh Sees
Floating Coffin

Which one is this then? It seems it was the fourteenth album from the endless splurge of creativity that comes from the noggin' of John Dwyer and his Thee Oh Sees friends. Released in 2013 the album was more of a group effort than earlier discs, heavy and dark it contained matched their garage rock racket with quieter, more reflective moments. 
7.

The Haxan Cloak
Excavation


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Tropic of Cancer
Restless Idylls


10.

Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld
Still Smiling


11.

Fuzz
Fuzz

Fuzz is the heavy rock band of Sir Ty Segall who you will know from Ty Segall and other enterprises. Alongside Charlie Moothart (guitar & vocals) and Roland Cosio (bass) the threesome live out all their hard rock dreams taking in bits of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath and spewing them back out in a fuzzed up, garaged-out racket. 
12.

Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest

I still remember the excitement in the office when the promo of this turned up and the real effort we all went into of trying not to be disappointed. It sees Boards of Canada eschewing slightly their rich and textured sound for something more cold and dystopian. To that end it slightly follows in the path of artists who were also looking back at the works of the likes of John Carpenter for inspiration. Not as warm and inviting as previous records but spin it slowly and with patience and there's a myriad of evocative high points to enjoy from these masters of their genre. 
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Factory Floor
Factory Floor

It took absolutely ages for Factory Floor to release their debut LP. Fortunately for us (and them), this thing was worth the wait. The band brought New Order into the 2010s with this thing, delivering driving house and industrial techno tracks with the raw energy of a rock group and a sternness that saw them take the place that These New Puritans were vacating at the same moment in time.
16.

My Bloody Valentine
m b v


17.

Hacker Farm
UHF


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Laurel Halo
Chance Of Rain


19.

Grouper
The Man Who Died In His Boat

Originally released in 2013, this album was recorded by Liz Harris alongside her best-known work, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill. It’s in the same stylistic ballpark - ethereal, heavily reverbed electric guitar and vocals with dark and mysterious undercurrents, sometimes swimming into clearer focus when Harris switches to acoustic. Out of print for a while and now back on CD.
20.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Push The Sky Away

You've heard him repeatedly on Peaky Blinders so if you haven't already caught up with Nick Cave's sixteen or so studio albums with his Bad Seeds then there's no time like the present. Push the Sky Away was his 2013 album which showed that time had withered none of his songwriting and arrangement skills. It's a slow moving record of stripped down songs and heartfelt paeans somewhat at odds perhaps with the more brutal landscapes of his records earlier in the decade but showcasing the more introspective side of his oeuvre.   
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Oneohtrix Point Never
R Plus Seven

‘R Plus Seven’ is Oneohtrix Point Never’s sixth studio album but the first he’s released since signing to Warp Records. Daniel Lopatin’s new surroundings suit him well, with ‘R Plus Seven’ combining his signature brand of uncanny hypnagogia with the IDM and electronica innovations of Warp luminaries like Boards Of Canada and The Black Dog. One can also detect the influence of Vangelis, Lapalux and Daedelus.
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Anthroprophh
Anthroprophh


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Autechre
Exai


27.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
II

'II' is the (you guessed it) second album from the Portland psychedelic pop group Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Their distinct sound relies on lo-fi production, alien melodies, hushed vocals, summer dreaminess and off-beat psych funk. This one contains some of their best work including 'Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)', 'From The Sun', 'Monki' and 'So Good at Being in Trouble'. This is an ideal starting point into the band as it's midway between the raw Dunedin influenced debut and the lush psychedelic soul of 'Multi-Love'.
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Machinedrum
Vapor City

This is a cracking LP from Travis Stewart aka Machinedrum. He rose to fame amongst footwork fans with the popular 'Room(s)' and then perfected his craft on this here follow-up record 'Vapor City'. An intoxicating blend of thumping house, jungle, bass music and futuristic UK garage, it's an album of incredible production featuring lovely sub-bass, mutated voices, sharp percussion and euphoric soundscapes which suits both dancefloor chaos and engaged home listens.
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Sommet
Fugitive


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The Pastels
Slow Summits

Slow Summits was the Pastels fifth and final (to date) album originally released in 2013. The gestation period between the Pastels albums seems to get longer and longer but it is worth the wait as the band are now capable of making superbly crafted lovelorn albums that take their distinctive brand of shambling indie-pop and add in jazz and folk influences. Gorgeous stuff. 
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The Oscillation
From Tomorrow


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Function
Incubation


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The Prophet Hens
Popular People Do Popular People


  • Vinyl LP (EUROPA7E0045)
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