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Albums of the Year 2017

It’s that time again.

Top Albums Top Reissues Bestsellers Top Stiffers Near Misses

Reissue of the Year 2017

Bark Psychosis - Hex

Bark Psychosis - Hex

A classic example of how some music takes time, Bark Psychosis's 1994 opus 'Hex' has gradually seeped into the consciousness of those in the know over a 25-year gestation period.

The missing link between late period Talk Talk and the post-rock of the likes of Mogwai, the album is a classic of its genre and as a result of this pristine re-master wins our Reissue of the Year.

Buy it now
2.

Coil
Time Machines

Originally issued back in 1998 on Coil’s own Eskaton label and credited to Time Machines, this stone cold classic album has now been credited to Coil and remastered and reissued on DAIS Records. Jhon Balance, Peter Christopherson and Drew McDowall ripped a hole through the fabr...view item »
3.

The Other People Place
Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café

Finally re-pressed after its original release back in 2001, there’s gonna be a lot of very happy folks out there -- now that they don’t have to auction off a semi-vital organ in order to purchase an original copy. ‘Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café’ is of course, one of Drexciya’s &...view item »
4.

Hood
The Cycle of Days and Seasons

Hood's fourth full-length album and their second for Domino Records. This one sees them deconstructing their songwriting with a dub-inflected sound incorporating decaying tape loops, found samples and half-speed beats alongside their usual gentle guitars and hushed vocals. Co-produced by Matt Elliott (Third Eye Foundatio...view item »
5.

Kenji Kawai
Ghost In The Shell (Original Soundtrack)

OK I might as well admit it now and get your moans out of the way - I haven’t seen Ghost in the Shell. Oh I know, I can hear your cries of “you haven’t seen Ghost in the Shell??1111?!11” across time and space. To be honest I’d much rather not listen to the soundtrack to such a legendary sci-fi film with som...view item »
6.

Disco Inferno
In Debt

Ok this isn't going to be a fair review. Reviewing this album is somewhat like reviewing my own mother - it's been so familiar from such a young age that there's no way I'm going to be impartial. If you only know Disco Inferno from their later innovative sample based pop then wipe your slate clean and let's start again. Initially they were ...view item »
7.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi
Akira: Symphonic Suite

Based on his 1982 manga, Katsuhiro Otomo's seminal anime 'Akira' is a Japanese science fiction classic. It's cult status among anime fans only rivalled by Ghost In The Shell. Geinoh Yamashirogumi's dramatic Symphoinc Suite was key to the films epic futuristic aesthetic and has been out of print on vinyl for many years. Now Milan present an ...view item »
8.

Midori Takada
Through The Looking Glass (2017 Re-Edition)

Much needed reissue of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada’s first album - originally issued back in 1983 on RCA Red Seal and now faithfully reproduced by We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records and Palto Flats. This music has been unavailable for a very long time so it’s great to see this become widely available. This ...view item »
9.

Radiohead
OK Computer - OKNOTOK 1997-2017

If you happen to be a fan of this album then here’s something you might want to get your mitts on. The whole album remastered plus the B sides from the singles of the time plus the holy grail for Radiohead fans,  three unreleased and long sought after tracks dug out of the vaults. All formats have all the b...view item »
10.

Alice Coltrane
World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda

World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitandanda contains some of the material that Alice Coltrane released in later life, as an aspect of her spiritual experience. Gospel and Indian devotional traditions mix with Alice’s own inspiration. Originally only avai...view item »
11.

Billy Mackenzie
Beyond The Sun

The problem with the later career of the Associates maverick Billy McKenzie was that while he thought he should be making forward thinking electronic dance music, his record companies tended to think he was better off writing torch songs. It therefore took a posthumous release when he wasn't able to put his u...view item »
12.

Tony Conrad
Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain

The music of the warm and wonderful Tony Conrad has enjoyed a renaissance in the last few years, in part due to people finally coming into Outside of the Dream Syndicate -- his drone rock lock-in with Faust -- and in partnership with the excellent Completely in the Present, a biopic focusing on the multi-disciplinary artist&rsq...view item »
13.

Terry Riley
Persian Surgery Dervishes

We live in the age of the vinyl reissue. It can be overwhelming trying to process the amount of stuff being given a new lease of life via the trusty, age old format beloved to music freaks. And yet so much of it is utter shite and totally unnecessary. I find it astonishing that it’s taken a total classic lik...view item »
14.

A Middle Sex
Soul Sways West

A little history. The sadly defunct A Middle Sex - Karl Sveinsson and Matthew Ashworth with Phil Sykes on drums originally replaced by Edwin Stevens - first came to our attention way back in 2009 on their split LP with Temperatures on the Carnivals label. They were then responsible for releasing the first ...view item »
15.

Ragnar Grippe
Sand

I was still hanging out in Bardo, waiting for my parent's cells to come together and give me a body when this came out on the legendary Shandar imprint back in 1977. Shandar was home to the likes of Terry Riley, Albert Ayler, ...view item »
16.

Angelo Badalamenti
Blue Velvet (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The soundtrack to David Lynch’s 1986 movie ‘Blue Velvet’ perfectly suits the edgy film noir feel of the now classic film. It mixes original compositions from long term Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti with the sort of originals that would suit the jukebox of any any shadowy dive ba...view item »
17.

The Orchids
Who Needs Tomorrow… A 30 Year Retrospective

I'm so sorry that I forgot about the Orchids. I used to like them a lot back in the day but never really gave them a second thought after they split. This all changed when I saw then 'in concert' last year in the glamorous surroundings of Preston. The gig was triumphant  - they may have looked like a convention of sprightly grandfathers had...view item »
18.

Eno
Another Green World

Another Green World is Brian Eno's third solo album and marks the beginning of his move from rock-based compositions to the ambient work he pursued in the late '70s. It contains some of his best known tracks such as St Elmo's Fire and the beautiful title track and is notable for guest spots from Robert Frip...view item »
19.

Lift To Experience
The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads

I’d love to sit here and listen to ‘The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads’ back to front right now, but considering it takes about twenty days to listen to, I’d probably be fired for Norman malpractice. Back in 2001, Lift to Experience made alt-rock’s ultimate behemoth, a concept album about the second coming of Christ spr...view item »
20.

Moondog
Moondog

Reissue of avant-garde pioneer Moondog’s self-titled album from 1969, It hasn’t been available on vinyl since 2003. Moondog’s unique approach to composition was revered by Phillip Glass and Steve Reich and is heavily sampled across multiple genres Including ...view item »
21.

Unwound
Fake Train

This is the record seminal noise rock uber-darlings made when they were toddlers -- kicking and screaming they went against the world, making angular punk music like kids sent to their room over a tantrum. The feedback was meaner, the endlessly repeating riffs more pronounced in their grinding distaste, and Justin Trosper actually screamed. A lo...view item »
22.

Maggi Payne
Crystal

First ever, and much needed vinyl reissue of Maggi Payne’s classic first album, 1986’s ‘Crystal’. Originally issued on Mimi Johnson’s legendary New York imprint Lovely Music, Ltd. which was home to Robert Ashley, ...view item »
23.

Pastor T.L. Barrett and The Youth For Christ Choir
Like a Ship... (Without a Sail)

An LP that had been on the 'list' for some time LITA is such a great label. Sunday night's are pretty much wind down and i clicked on to a friends radio show and the first track on was 'Like a Ship' pure Gospel Soul you dont need a second invitation once your ears have heard the opening notes. Sure enough i logged on Norman had it in i ordered i...view item »
24.

Game Theory
2 Steps From The Middle Ages

I'm sat here feeling really depressed because I just read that another member of this wonderful group - possibly my favourite group ever  - has passed away. Drummer Gil Ray follows genius lead singer Scott Miller up to power pop heaven where I hope they can meet and recreate these marvellous songs and I hope both once again have the amazing...view item »
25.

Portishead
Third

I have to say I was mightily impressed by that Portishead single. So much so I couldn't wait for the album. Here's their imaginatively 3rd album called 'Third' which is available on CD, 2LP and special box set thing including the double LP, a P shaped USB stick with the album on, videos and other shite, the machine Gun 12" and an art print. All wra...view item »
26.

SWANS
The Great Annihilator

When The Great Annihilator arrived, Swans took the best qualities of their recent chamber-folk tendencies from the last two tepid albums and combined them with crushing post rock catharsis (polar opposites, it would seem), to produce a record firmly centred around the spirit and regeneration. The production is jarring...view item »
27.

Charlemagne Palestine
Strumming Music

Essential vinyl reissue of Charlemagne Palestine's seminal 1974 LP 'Strumming Music'. A mesmerising work of classic 20th Century minimalism, that originally appeared on the legendary French Shandar imprint (home to Philip Glass, Sun Ra, La Monte Young, Terry Ri...view item »
28.

Mazzy Star
So Tonight That I Might See

This is a much needed re-issue of the second album from David Roback and Hope Sandoval's dream pop/slowcore band. Originally released in 1993 this contained their superhit 'Fade Into You' which peaked at no 44 in the hot 100. One of those albums that gained momentum this is a fine addition to their small but perfectly formed set of records, &nbs...view item »
29.

World Of Pooh
The Land Of Thirst

Whilst most of the late '80s/early 90s Nuff Sed imprint concentrated on the uniquely experimental (Caroliner, Thinking Fellers etc) World of Pooh were a total anomaly in that they produced a tight and taut indie rock sound that if anything was closer to the strummy if ambitio...view item »
30.

Clipse
Hell Hath No Fury

Repress of Virginia Beach duo Clipse’s 2006 thuggy hip hop album Hell Hath No Fury. Produced by The Neptunes and featuring several tracks with Pharrell Williams as well as Slim Thug, Rosco P. Coldchain, Ab-Liva and Th...view item »
31.

Lal & Mike Waterson
Bright Phoebus

I'm probably about to receive a backlash as big as that which followed the time I said I didn't rate a the Fall album (um.. last week) but I often can't take folk seriously. I find it kind of comical - particularly the sort of knees up beer slopped jaunt that opens this record with 'Rubber Band' and Mike Waterson's...view item »
32.

The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Anniversary Edition

With everything under the sun getting re-issued it now seems to be the turn of this curio from 1967 to get the re-issue treatment. It comes here re-mastered with billions of alternative mixes and out-takes.  First up, the bass player is fucking outrageous. Throughout the album the bass seems to be making up its own tunes which sit i...view item »
33.

Cavern of Anti-Matter
Blood Drums

One of my review highlights of last week was the bargain-priced Cavern of Anti-Matter 12" on Deep Distance which features 45 minutes of freeform kosmische synth jamming from the Stereolab-related trio. Fast forward to this week and they've got two more records out on two entirely separate labels, the most exciti...view item »
34.

Laraaji
Sun Gong

Oh, how I long to be elsewhere right now. Far, far away, away from stress, the rushed world of music commerce, lying on a cloud next to a huge stereo. I’ve just popped one of Laraaji’s new meditations into the CD player and while it reads a realistic 26 minute running time, I’ll have to review it in half that time while frantic...view item »
35.

154
Strike

Originally released on Delsin back in 2004, it’s great to have this beauty of an album reissued and affordable, as original copies will set you back pure wonga. 154 and Ross 154 are lesser known aliases of Dutch producer Jochem Peteri who is most widely known as ...view item »
36.

Maximum Joy
I Can't Stand It Here On Quiet Nights: Singles 1981-82

Here's an extraordinary collection from pre Massive Attack era Bristol where the sounds of post-punk, dub, jazz and soul collided in a magnificent splash of colour for Maximum Joy. The songs here are vibrant and upbeat and remarkably experimental. It often sounds like you are standing in the middle of the str...view item »
37.

Modern Art
Stereoland

This is truly ace. It's the early '80s project of Gary Ramon who went onto be better known for his long running psych/space rock project Sun Dial. Here he makes the kind of thing that sounds like some kind of proto Sarah Records recordings full of spangling guitars, melodic bass lines and simple drum machines. On '...view item »
38.

The Necessaries
Event Horizon

All anyone will tell you about ‘Event Horizon’ and them Necessaries who made it is that Arthur Russell was involved. He played keys, he contributed songs, he brought out the cello. Why say anything else, really, when you can say that Arthur was in a punk band. Possibly the final piece of his genre-fluid puzzle, he certainly makes thi...view item »
39.

Death and Vanilla
Vampyr

A prime slice of hauntology to get your teeth into here. Originally released on cassette last Halloween, this double LP features a live recording of Death And Vanilla’s soundtrack to Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 classic ,Vampyr. For the performance, the psychedelic dream pop duo expanded their line up, incorporating an...view item »
40.

Electric Sewer Age
Moon’s Milk In Final Phase

‘Moon’s Milk In Final Phase’ was originally issued in 2012 on the Divine Frequency label and is comprised of four tracks from Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and Danny Hyde’s sessions dating back to 2007. Apparently the music was originally intended to conclude Co...view item »
41.

Pere Ubu
Drive He Said 1994 - 2002

If you think I'm going to review the whole thing then you are sadly mistaken - I'm not made of ears you know. Here is another box set from marvellous art punks Pere Ubu. This time concentrating on their later less known work it's hard to fathom that this was made after their pop period ('Cloudland' etc). Obviously after appearing on late night t...view item »
42.

Nino Nardini
Musique Pour Le Future

Originally issued back in 1970 on the Neuilly label outta France, this little treasure has been pretty much unavailable since - save for a CDr edition on the saintly Creel Pone label. Now newly presented, housed in a phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark heavy sleeve via We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want -- one of th...view item »
43.

epic45
May Your Heart Be The Map

Epic 45: 'May Your Heart Be The Map' (Make Mine Music) Is an endearing collection of songs that are composed to evoke memories of a long lost childhood. This they do by combining an array of acoustic and electric guitars, samplers, drums, bass, field recordings and a collection of assorted tools. At turns pastoral, reflective and nostalgic it remin...view item »
44.

Loscil
First Narrows

I tell you what, I like that Strategy CD on Kranky. Great stuff. Here's a new one from Loscil also on Kranky who I think has something to do with Strategy. Anyway its very similar. Lovely blissed out ambient dub in your Pole, Fax, Labradford vein. Very nice indeedly-doodley....view item »
45.

Angelo Badalamenti
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me

Following on from the extremely popular Twin Peaks re-issue we now have a re-cut of Angelo Badalamenti's brooding soundtrack for 'Fire Walk With Me'. This 51 minute 2LP repress has been sourced from the original Warner Brothers archives and includes sleeve notes by Mark Kermode. Comes on 'cherry pie' coloured vinyl (natch). All audio and artwork...view item »
46.

Grandaddy
Under The Western Freeway (20th Anniversary Edition)

Under The Western Freeway was the debut album by Grandaddy. Now, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of its release it gets a double LP reboot featuring some extra tracks in the form of previously unreleased demos that fans of the band will relish. It is arguably the band’s finest work and features such classics as AM 180, Summer Here Ki...view item »
47.

Young Fathers
Tape One / Tape Two

Original reviews from way back in time. Tape One Not heard much really good on Anticon for a long while but this really eats the proverbial biscuit. A hip hop troupe straight out of the mean streets of Edinburgh these lads bring an energy and invention otherwise unse...view item »
48.

Lil Ugly Mane
Three Sided Tape Volume 1

We’re really enjoying this new thing where Hundebiss combs through Lil Ugly Mane’s digital catalogue and makes LPs happen. The beatmaking and noisetrying producer never makes the same record twice and ‘Three Sided Tape’ is another example of his rabble-rousing mixing, taking sporadic source...view item »
49.

Deathprod
Imaginary Songs From Tristan Da Cunha

Helge 'Deathprod' Sten is a patient man, sometimes creating entire soundworlds from tiny pieces of recording, slowed down and manipulated until every detail is palpable. For me his most essential piece, and the most accessible to newcomers, would be his 'Morals and Dogma' opus, which feat...view item »
50.

Ash Borer
The Irrepassable Gate

Hell! I was gonna start this review with a “hell yea!” but I think I’ll just go with hell. This record of furiously doomy, deathy black metal has gotta catch ‘em all, and may well be my favourite ever thing that the folks at Profound Lore have ever released. It’s a record of such high grandiosity that I always feel ...view item »

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