2017 has been a great year in music for me. Some might argue otherwise, but I’d reply that they simply didn’t look hard enough. That’s because most of the gems that came out didn’t get the full attention they deserve, and were somewhat far from the spotlight. Here, I’ll gather a few of the names that resonate with me still, now at the end of the year. Here we go!
I’ve written my thoughts on this album at least twice already here, so let me just reiterate briefly. The Ariadne duo cranked up their creativity to 111, and has released a fifty-minute, twenty-part piece of experimental electronic music of vocal plunderphonics led by the angelic voice of the band’s highly talented singer. On top of that, they’ve released an interactive, tridimensional app on their website, which makes this a true multimedia and embracing experience. Really, give this one a thorough listen.
直線移動 (Chokusen idō)
Rémi Gallego’s side project Boucle infinie was an utter surprise. This album blends the feel of post-rock with synthwave with many a retro aesthetic that gives it a real nostalgic feeling. It’s quite soft and slowly moving, but moving it is, and now I only secretly hope that this project becomes permanent!
Everything We Touch Turns to Dust
(Ghost)’s album, as the project’s name implies, is ghostly. The electronic album has an ethereal feeling to it that’s really fascinating and hauntingly touching. Is this some sort of minimalistic, atmospheric IDM music? I honestly couldn’t tell, partly because of my limited knowledge of electronic music subgenres. Nevertheless, EWTTTD is an entrancing release that will give you chills.
While this release veers into the vaporwave genus quite a bit, it’s highly experimental and somewhat abstract. Those attributes make this one a very unique experience. Perhaps not one that will be easy to access and enjoy, but, if you give it the chance, might just turn your expectations on their heads, and subvert your views on music ever so slightly.
Electronic. Cinematic. Drone… Those are the tags describing this release on Bandcamp. While they may not give us a lot of insight into the album, they give us a vague sense of what to expect from it. It’s melancholic and meditative, heart-wrenching at times where the two saxophones interplaying amidst the sea of synthesized samples join and diverge and cross paths again in a lamenting duet that seems neverending. A shockingly beautiful album that you would regret overlooking.
Phuture Doom’s second full-length is more of the same kind of black metal-inspired electronic music that made their debut so memorable in the first place. Choirs sing to the beat of drums, as we wait for the impending release of the saw blades coming out of the gates of the apocalypse. This album is heavy and malignant, and a peerless release in the electronic music spectrum.
I’ll repeat as many times as it’ll take: I think this album is Qebrus at its best! It’s a very abstract and surreal album that will take you through alien landscapes. You can, and it’s encourage to enjoy the journey during your travel. This album is contemplative and quite relaxed – a novelty for the French experimenter, and one that pays off very well, in my opinion.
Yes for all the experimental IDM and breakcore that make this album more than interesting. Each composition on Balaklavskiy prospex hits unexpected turns and sways every which way into the unknown, like a blind tentacle controlled by a far-removed brain. The result is unexpectedly poignant and truly absorbing. Despite its uncontrollable behaviour, the album in general is quite soft and rarely becomes overwhelming.
Of course, I couldn’t go without mentioning Sevish’s incredible microtonal drum and bass soundtrack. Musicians out there, it’s relatively easy to make microtonal music on a computer, whereas actual instruments need an investment of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Listen to this, and take in as much as you can the odd beauties of microtonal music, and go out there, make your own, embed it into your music! Go!