Top 10 Reissues of the year
10. Husker Du - Savage Young Du (Numero)
9. V/A - Tumba Rumba Volume 3 (University of Vice)
8. Cosey Fanni Tutti - Time To Tell (Conspiracy International)
7. V/A - Murder By Contract (Aziza Disques)
6. Suicide - First Rehearsal Tape (Superior Viaduct)
5. Neil Young - Hitchhiker (Reprsie)
4. Jacqueline Taieb (Merlin’s Nose)
3. Lynn Castle - Rose Colored Corner (Numero)
2. T.J. Hustler Metaphysical Synthesized Orchestra - Age Of Individualism (Companion)
1. Johnson Family Singers - Don’t Let the Devil Ride (Detroit Gospel Reissue Project)
MODERN COMPOSERS / AMBIENT / WHATEVER...
William Basinski - A Shadow In Time (Temporary Residence)
Heinali - Anthem(Injazero)
Steve Gibbs - Adrift (Injazero)
Matt Emery - Empire (Injazero) - label of the year!
Laraaji - Sun Gong (All Saints)
Laraaji - Bring On The Sun (All Saints)
Lawrence English - Cruel Optimism (Room 40)
Joshua Sabin - Terminus Drift (Subtext)
Ellen Arkbro - For Organ And Brass (Subtext)
Yair Elazar Glotman - Compound (Subtext) - always a reliable label...
Hauschka - What If (City Slang)
Hauschka - Substantial (Karaoke Kalk) - reissue
Valgeir Sigurosson - Dissonance (Bedroom Community)
Biosphere - Shenzhou (Biophon) reissue
ELECTRONICA / DANCE / BASS / WHATEVER...
Shackleton - Sferic Ghost Transmits (Honest Jons) - artist of the year!
Shackleton - Behind The Glass (Woe To The Septic Heart)
Sherwood & Pinch - Man vs Sofa (On-U Sound / Tectonic) - album title of the year!
Scuba Death - The Worm At The Core (Further)
Abul Mogard - All This Has Passed Forever" (Ecstatic) - mystery man of the year!
Constantine - Hades" (Bedouin)
Sigha- Metabolism (Token)
GAS - Narkopop (Kompakt) - comeback of the year!
Porter Ricks - Anguilla Electrica (Tresor)
Akkord - RCVR / XMTR (Houndstooth) - slays!
Roots In Heaven - Petites Madeleines (Zehnin)
Pessimist - s/t (Blackest Ever Black)
Function - Recompiled I / II (A-Ton)
Function - Recompiled II / II (A-Ton)
Four Tet - New Energy (Text)
AND - Social Decay (Electric Deluxe) - brutal!
ART / FART / WHATEVER...
Tony Conrad - Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain (Superior Viaduct)
Croww - Prosthetics (The Death Of Rave) - amazing!!!
Jan Jelinek - Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records (Faitiche) - reissue - outstanding!!!
Cosey Fanni Tutti - Time To Tell (Conspiracy International) - reissue
NOISE / WHATEVER...
Skullflower - The Spirals Of Great Harm (Cold Spring)
Skullflower - The Black Iron That Has Fell From The Stars, To Dwell Within (Bear It Or Be It) (Nashazphone)
ROCK / RAWK / WHATEVER...
Faust - Fresh Air (Bureau B) - like a breath of fresh air...
The Fall - New Facts Emerge (Cherry Red) - indeed!
The Fall - Perverted By Language (Superior Viaduct) - reissue
The Fall - Singles 1978 - 2016 (Cherry Red) - essential!!!
The Lyres - Lucky 7" (Munster)
Califone - Quicksand / Cradlesnakes (Dead Oceans) - reissue
Califone - King Heron Blues (Dead Oceans) - reissue
Brian Eno (first 4 albums) (Virgin EMI) - spectacular 45rpm half-speed masters reissue
Ramones - Leave Home (Rhino / Sire) - 40th anniversary deluxe reissue
Ramones - Rocket To Russia (Rhino / Sire) - 40th anniversary deluxe reissue
ROOTS / DUB / WHATEVER...
Skatalites - Foundation Ska (Studio One) - reissue
Skatalies - Original Ska 1963 - 65 (Soul Jazz) - deeper cuts...
Lee Perry - Double Seven (Music On Vinyl) - reissue
Kingstonians - Sufferer (Music On Vinyl) - reissue
Dub Syndicate - reissue series (On-U Sound)
CAUTION: GENIUS AT WORK...
The Caretaker - Everywhere At The End Of Time - Stage 2 & 3 (History Always Favours The Winners)
Leyland Kirby - We, So Tired Of All The Darkness In Our Lives - Bandcamp download only...
Leyland Kirby- Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was - Parts 1-3 (History Always Favours The Winners) - reissue
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement - Ambient Black Magic (Hospital Productions)
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement - cassette reissues (Hospital Productions)
10. Children Of Alice - S/T (Warp)
9. Faust - Fresh Air (Bureau B)
8. Real Estate - In Time (Domino)
7. Oh Sees - Orc (Castle Face)
6. Love Theme - S/T (Alter)
5. Protomartyr - Relatives In Descent (Domino)
4. The New Year - Snow (Undertow)
3. The Caretaker - Everywhere At The End Of Time (Phase 3) (HAFTW)
2. Neil Young - Hitchhiker (Reprise)
1. Fleet Foxes - Crack-Up (Nonesuch)
10. Daniele Ciullini – Domestic Exile Collected Works 8-6 (Ecstatic)
9. Dub Syndicate - Pounding System (On-U Sound)
8. Pharoah Sanders - Izipho Zam (Everland Jazz)
7. The Kingstonians - Sufferer (Music On Vinyl)
6. Come On - S/T (Manufactured)
5. JD Emmanuel - Rain Forest Music (Aguirre)
4. Creation Rebel - Starship Africa (On-U Sound)
3. Marianne Faithfull - Rich Kid Blues (Demon)
2. T.J. Hustler Metaphysical Synthesized Orchestra - Age Of Individualism (Companion)
1. Lal And Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus (Domino)
10. Don Drummond - Don Cosmic (Studio One)
9. V/A - Studio One Rocksteady Vol. 2 (Soul Jazz)
8. V/A - Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero Group)
7. V/A - Even A Tree Can Shed Tears (Light In The Attic)
6. Stalk-Forrest Group - S/T (Blank Recording Co.)
5. The Creation - Action Painting (Numero Group)
4. V/A - Function Underground (Now-Again)
3. V/A - Air Africa / Murder By Contract (Aziza Disques)
2. V/A - Welcome To Zamrock (Now-Again)
1. Tewolde Redda - Eritrea's Guitar Pioneer (Domino Sound)
Chopped Off Dick / Genital Cancer - split cassette
Strangle And Amuse Tapes / Hijitroustyror
A triumphantly savage and noisy split tape between two insane bands. Death metal, noisecore, goregrind, harsh noise, crack, entrails and true crime novels all blended together into audio terror.
Deterioration / Hallucination Realized - split cassette
A fantastic little split tape between the veterans /GOAT, Deterioration, and the best grind band in NY, Hallucination Realized. Catchy riffs, to-the-wall brutality and extreme rage!
Sidetracked / God's America - split CD
Problems They Persist / Negative Outlook
Sidetracked, being a long time favorite of mine, do not disappoint in the slightest with some of their most intense and grindy stuff in a minute. God's America take the slow and sludgy approach and sound like legit danger. Just great!!!
Suppression / Landfill - split cassette
Chaotic Noise Productions
Suppression have been on a bender with releasing nothing but quality material. Plus they split with some of the most excellent bands in the underground, like Landfill here. Savage grind, PV and noise on both sides, 'tis a ripper!
Hypnic Jerk / Fuck, Bud! - split cassette
Craniophagus Parasiticus Productions
One of my favorite amazingly stupid noisecore releases from this year, it's just nasty. Hypnic Jerk do acoustic noisecore, Fuck, Bud! (from Canada), is knuckle-dragging vocal / drum garbage. Minch didn't release anything this year, so this takes the cake.
D.O.C. - Parched Dredge 7"
Iron Lung Records
One of the best grindcore bands in America right now, doing their thing, how they do it best, on their own EP. Pure brutal genius, this band just gets tighter and more aggressive every record they do.
Reeking Cross / Mental Abortion - split 7"
Breathing Problem Records
Both bands here do noisecore / grind basically exactly how it should be done, and really quite astoundingly. Reeking Cross never fail at shaming most in the genre, and Mental Abortion hold their own and are equally impressive with their own style of noisecore. Great stuff!!!
Parlamentarisk Sodomi / Gynekologene - split 7"
Snack Ohm Tapes / Lukket Avdeling Records / Nuclear Alcoholocaust Records / Deaf Death Husky Records
I'm putting this one here only hearing PS's side in full, and the pure genius of it alone lands it on my list. Grindcore riff chef, Steinar, never not one to surprise us all, takes on the noisecore genre. Adding his unique signature twist of course. Amazingly performed, and composed; every time I listen to it I'm left stunned.
Brainbombs - Inferno LP
A real grower of a record from the nasty Swedes. Every time I listen to it I enjoy it more and more, and I like that about an album. Unique in it's own context, and a great album from a legendary band that's held in there.
5. Sleaford Mods - English Tapas LP
I haven't gone three years without putting a Mod's release on my year end list. The duo has done it again, in my opinion, and turned out another incredibly solid piece of work. Not without it's flaws, but the enjoyment I get out of a majority of this album surpasses my gripes. The hooks are great, the songs are great, the lyrics are wonderfully British and tense, it's just a fantastic Sleaford Mod's album. Another one in the seemingly non-halting roster.
4. Beggin For Oxys - Just Another Tired Ass Powerviolence Record 7"
BFO is one of the most exciting bands in Canada for me right now. I've heard all but legends of their sometimes disastrous, sometimes destructive, but overall incredible live shows, and their releases consistently raise the aggression bar. Blurring pure noisecore, grindcore, and powerviolence together seamlessly. This record has riffs for days, but with the frantic and free nature I love in total noise. I can't believe how angry this record sounds. Look out for this!
3. Sedem Minut Strachu - General Fucking LP
At War With False Noise Records
My favorite band had their first LP release, and as I was not surprised in the least by, it totally rips! Records like this are why they are one of the modern legends of noisecore. I don't think there's any doubt about that at this point. Front to back, it's a savage dual bass and vocal attack with some of the tightest blast beats in the genre. This band can do no wrong, I love them so much.
2. Hummingbird of Death - Forbidden Techniques LP
To Live A Lie Records
Another one of my long time favorite bands has finally put out the long awaited 3rd full-length, and it's the best thing they've ever done. This is fastcore at some of it's most inspired and excited; the Bird knows how to write a riff. Be it a metal riff, hardcore, black metal, power metal, rock n' roll, there is nothing off limits. They very obviously push themselves to perfection on this record; tightening up song writing intricacies and jaw dropping performances. Incredible record!!!
1. BxSxRx / Parlamentarisk Sodomi - split LP
Haunted Hotel Records
There was a tape release of this in Europe mid-last year, but this is the American vinyl that came out this year, and gosh darnit if I won't put it as my number one. No record has amazed me, excited me, or been on repeat more that this split. I think it's pure genius. BxSxRx is another Steinar band (a full band actually), and it's some of the most whacked out and original grindcore I've heard in a long time. Parlamentarisk Sodomi (Steinars long time solo project) gives us some of the projects most insane songs ever! A bold and different sound than we were all used to at the time from the band, but none the less it's fucking brutal! It actually ends with probably the most intense track the project ever made. I could listen to this record for days, I have for the better half of this year. Can't say enough good things about it, very deserving of the #1 slot!!!
10. Gary Wilson & The Blind Dates - Live at CBGB (Feeding Tube)
9. Faust - Fresh Air (Bureau B)
8. Love Theme - S/T (Alter)
7. Children Of Alice - S/T (warp)
6. Joan Of Arc - He’s Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands (Joyful Noise)
5. Yair Elazar Glotman - Compound (Subtext)
4. Caretaker - Everywhere At The End Of Time (Phase Two) (History Favours The Winners)
3. Twin Peaks - Limited Event Series Soundtrack (Rhino)
2. Neil Young - Hitchhiker (Reprise)
1. The Flaming Lips - Onboard The International Space Station Concert For Peace (Warner Bros)
In 2017 The Flaming Lips released what quite possibly may go down as the worst album of their career, Oczy Mlody. It was a half-baked effort to say the least. So when an album of “newly re-imagined versions of Oczy Mlody tracks” was announced, it seemed that maybe the band realized their own errors. Cloaked as a fake live concert on an international space station, Onboard is essentially a do over, and a welcomed one at that. It is truly the next evolutionary step from the cold, morbid, almost Suicide-esqe sound developed on their last proper full-length The Terror and the following EP Peace Sword. The drugged-out analog-synth-laced space ballads truly made up for the catastrophe that was Oczy Mlody. Easily the most surprising and satisfying moment of 2017 for me.
10. Jody Reynolds - Devil Girls With Raven Hair (The Iron Mountain Analogue Research Facility)
9. Dub Syndicate Reissue Series - (On-U Sound)
8. Suicide - The First Rehearsal Tapes (Superior Viaduct)
7. Lal & Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus (Domino)
6. Bill Dixon Orchestra - Intents & Purposes (Superior Viaduct)
5. Charles Manson - LIE: Love & Terror Cult (ESP Disk)
4. Chris Bell - I Am The Cosmos (Omnivore Recordings)
3. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (Nothing)
2. Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza - Azioni/Reazioni 1967-1969
1. 2 WAY TIE: Brian Eno Half-Speed Master Series (Astralwerks) vs Big Star Complete Third (Omnivore)
If you were to tell me a year ago that in 2017 I would be getting rid of all of my Brian Eno LPs (specifically his first four solo albums), only to rebuy them, and that my stock in Big Star’s infamous Third album would multiply by 3, I wouldn’t have believed you. ENO 1-4 and Big Star’s Third are among the most important and beloved albums in my collection and in 2017, all of these perfect albums finally came into full focus.
Have you heard the 2017 Half Speed Master versions of Brian Eno's iconic first four solo albums? If the answer is no, then I am sorry to say that you've never actually heard those albums. Shocked? Disgusted? Maybe even infuriated by my bold claim? It’s understandable, but believe me when I say that these four albums have never sounded as fresh, decadent, or mesmerizing as they do now. What were all originally released as single LPs for the last 40 years were turned into double LPs at 45rpm, cut at half-speed for optimum sound quality. Here at the shop we went as far as comparing up to five different pressings of these albums from various years and countries including first press UKs, which according to vinyl folklore, should be the ultimate versions. We watched these half-speed masters crush even those most coveted copies. It's real, there's no voodoo about it. Technology has finally caught up to the vision of ENO, and it's better late than never. So when I think of comparing the truly revelatory, perhaps religious experience, I had with these ENO’s against my first listen of the Complete Big Star Third Final Masters, it’s impossible to give one a higher rank than the other.
Third is an album that has lived a life of mystery and confusion. Is this even a Big Star album? Why are there 4 different track listings that all sort of sound different? Why is it so insane? These are questions that I assumed had no answers. That is until Omnivore tirelessly, and faithfully, tracked down every single recorded moment on tape working with as many participants that are still alive, attempting a definitive version of this immaculate album. And they have succeeded. If you think of any pre-2017 versions of Third as a poem, The Complete Third turns that prose into a trilogy of feature length films. What has always seemed like a strange and sudden end to an already difficult existence is now a magnum opus full of peaks and valleys. The Complete Third is a cinematic experience where the listener becomes the proverbial fly-on-the-wall to a very frail and fruitful moment in time that almost got away from us.