Matt’s Top 50 Albums of 2017

Some Introductory Words

There was so much good music that came out this year. After barely being able to scrape together ten good albums to make a list out of last year, 2017 redeemed my faith in music in a massive way. I shattered my personal record for new-music-listening this year, and, in the process, I discovered a ton of good, very good, and occasionally mind-blowingly good stuff in the corners and crevices – stuff that many outlets seemed to ignore. And while I admit that I have a tendency to get more excited about lesser-known artists, I assure you … Read more

Dear Apollo, Of Petra, Wvstelvnd, Insultanes, Filthy Young Impalers, Setter, Immortal Onion, Ben Reimer, and Burning Tree

Dear Apollo – Volume One

Oh, how far we’ve come, since the days of Look Right Penny! The Floridan quintet arrived on the map with their striking debut Sugar Lane, but soon disbanded. After many issues and obstacles, the “core couple” of Cotee Embry and Mariel Diaz-Carrion moved out and battled hard. Here we stand today, and the kids with high hopes come back with a new project called Dear Apollo. Cotee is now in charge of everything except the vocals and lyrics, and it transpires that he was the main brain behind Look Right Penny’s music … Read more

Weekly Release Dump

Sunday, 7 January

Mental Cruelty – Purgatorium (technical deathcore)

Of Petra – So onto Itself (symphonic prog/Canterbury prog)

Monday, 8 January

Decline – EP1 (grindcore)

Léguman – A Tribute to Jacqueline Picon (instrumental progressive metal)

Livia – Le blaireau riche (chamber pop/trip-hop)

Tuesday, 9 January

Feeding Fingers – Do Owe Harm (microtonal post-punk)

Wednesday, 10 January

Garrett Wingfield’s Octopod – Monoliths & Sepulchres (experimental jazz/free jazz)

Tuesday, 11 January

Venetian Snares – She Began to Cry Tears of Blood Which Became Little Brick Houses When They Hit the Ground (experimental breakcore)

Friday, 12 January

Kayak – Seventeen (progressive rock)


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Venetian Snares – She Began to Cry Tears of Blood Which Became Little Brick Houses When They Hit the Ground

The Music

The Thoughts

Venetian Snares is a well-known Canadian electronic music experimenter; he’s been at it since at least 1997 with Fake:Impossible. Today, with his twenty-fourth full-length studio album (from what I can gather), Aaron Funk delivers a surprising blow to the unprepared listener. Indeed, She Began to Cry Tears of Blood Which Became Little Brick Houses When They Hit the Ground is an album most hectic that seems to be unable to keep a steady focus for more than a minute.

First of all, the twelve song titles read like surrealist snippets, each creating its very own … Read more

Garrett Wingfield’s Octopod – Monoliths and Sepulchres

The Music

The Thoughts

For full disclosure, yes, I’ve backed this project on indiegogo. Nonetheless, I think this album is a really awesome one! Monoliths and Sepulchres is the debut full-length from Denton, Texas-based experimental jazz unit The Octopod. The aptly-named Octopod features eight musicians, including three horn-blowers (correction: five). As such, their music is heavily textured and rich. The album moves from free jazz during the prelude, postlude, and interludes to composed scores in the main tracks. Consequently, the result is a highly aberrant album that’s nonetheless a more than recommended listen. Its theme is to grow progressively … Read more

Jan Wouter Oostenrijk, Dios Trio, Lucky Cerruti, Léguman, Omnea, Schnack, Jonny Turner, Libera Scientia, and Estuarine

Jan Wouter OostenrijkWe Are Connected
[Listen to audio previews here.]
Dutch electric quartertone guitarist Jan Wouter Oostenrijk comes back with his fourth album, We Are Connected. This album is a bridge between Maghrebi jazz, rock music, and desert blues. It’s full of really interesting ideas, and the odd grooves – especially in 9/8 – are more than noteworthy; I can’t get the bass and drums line of “Hurriya” out of my head! Moreover, all songs are in different maqamat, which is really the centrepiece of the album.

Dios TrioII
Dios Trio is an instrumental band… Read more