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WATMM Album of the Year 2017 Nominations

Rubin Farr

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Now that bleep, Norman, Boomkat etc. are playing this game, what say you are your favorites this year?  There have been some excellent LPs for sure.  IMO:


AFX - London 03.06.17 [field day]

Alessandro Cortini - AVANTI

Polypores - The Impossibility

FSOL - Archived : Environmental : Views

FSOL - 2017 Calendar Album

The Eyes and The Mistoids - MECHA

Carbon Based Lifeforms - Derelicts

Aleksi Perala - Simulation

Jon Brooks - Autres Directions

Folklore Tapes - The Folklore of Plants

Daphni - FABRICLIVE 93

Radiophonic Workshop - Burial in Several Earths

Children of Alice - S/T

Nmesh - Pharma

The Voyager Golden Record Box Set

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I always feel disappointed with end of year lists, because in black and white they look so dull and boring, yet I've discovered so much great music over the last 12 months (in my own private time traveling machine)


If I had to choose from Rubins' list I'd choose my version of AFX Field Day (a few tracks deleted from the running order). In fact reading that list and a few others appearing it shows how little new music I've even bothered with. 

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Kangding Ray - Hyper Opal Mantis

Wiley - Godfather

Julie Byrne - Not even happiness

Daphni - Joli Mai

John Maus - Screen Memories

Lau Nau - Poseidon

Msafari Zawose - Uhamiaji

Grizzly Bear - Painted Ruins

Phonophani - Animal Imagination

Glenn Astro & Ajnascent - Even

Kondi Band - Salone

Slowdive - Slowdive

Kelly Lee Owens - Kelly Lee Owens

Kariem Riggings - Headnod Suite

Yussef Kamaal - Black Focus

Naka Naka - Mundo Harsh



Various Artists - Mono No Aware



Ivy Lab - Peninsula EP

Ariel Pink & Weyes Blood - Myths 002

Lanark Artefax - Whities 11

Lake People - Break the pattern


Too much stuff I haven't had time to listen to properly or forgotten, I'm sure.

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Gorillaz - Humanz

Iglooghost - Neo Wax Bloom

Oneohtrix Point Never - Good Time


These are the only 2017 releases I can put off the top of my head right now, all great imho

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I'm old, so I usually use lists like this to find "new" music, but here's mine.


Aphex new bleep store tracks
AFX - Field Day
Kendrick - DAMN.
Thundercat - Drunk
Sakamoto - Async
Ariel Pink - Dedicated to Bobby Jameson
Slowdive - Slowdive
Johnny Jewel - Windswept
LCD Soundsystem - American Dream
Angel Olsen - Phases
Yaeji - EP2
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In no particular order, this is what I've got so far. There's some stuff from this year I haven't yet bought/fully digested and may need to add on to this list later.


Actress - AZD

Rime Trails - Solstice

Smackos - A Vampire Goes West

Lee Gamble - Mnestic Pressure

Claude Speeed - Infinity Ultra

Nathan Fake - Providence

Pausal - Avifaunal



S Olbricht - Purpleblue

Lorn - A/D

exm - ineSix/Cider

Acrelid - Things That Aren't There

Ruby My Dear - Basic

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#1 Qebrus - 




#2 Fever Ray - Plunge


#3 Thundercat - Drunk


#4 Jonwayne - Rap Album Two


#5 Grandaddy - Last Place

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I've listened to nothing this year 

Arca - Arca

Bedwetter - Volume 1. Flick Your Tongue Against Your Teeth and Describe the Present
Freddie Gibbs - You Only Live 2wice
M.E.S.H. - Hesaitix

Rolando Simmons - World Building

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some of my longtime faves released this year so it's been good for me.


The Bug + Earth - Concrete Desert

Fret - Over Depth

Godflesh - Post-Self

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Partial list for me but...

zvλd ‎- Baklava

Hello Spiral - Detached Objects

Rolando Simmons - World Building

Siriusmo - Comic

wAgAwAgA - Totangled

Aleksi Perala - Simulation

AFX - London/Field Day LP

Com Truise - Iteration

Tsrono - Erythric Limnes

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1) rolando simmons - bridgeland pt 303



vince staples - big fish theory

rolando simmons - world building

john maus - screen memories

deepchord - auratones

angel olsen - phases


+the vast majority of the "new" afx from the blerpstore

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Mount Eerie


Blanck Mass

The National

The War on Drugs

Perfume Genious



Four Tet



war on drugs is an excellent very very well produced album....i'd also add the new broken social scene to that...didn't really get into the new national though

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I'm still finding stuff from this year and there's a bunch of stuff that I know I want to hear but haven't yet, but these are the ten that were the biggest for me


1. Laurel Halo - Dust
2. Jürg Frey - L'ame est sans retenue I
3. Jaap Vink - Jaap Vink
4. Sote - Sacred Horror In Design
5. Felicia Atkinson - Hand In Hand
6. Brother Ah - Searching
7. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Kid
8. Bhob Rainey - From Null Lands Led, Starrily
9. Visible Cloaks - Reassemblage
10. Taiwan Housing Project - Veblen Death Mask
and here's some words on each one of those
1. Laurel Halo - Dust
There's just so much going on here, there's that weird sort of sterile hyperreal sort of sound that is very contemporary, but it's tweaked to feel more subdued/monochrome which is totally contradictory.  And then there's the contradiction of the strict quantized stock drum sound tracks vs the spacier stuff with Eli Keszler drumming.  I don't understand why this works for me so well but it all cohered into this one whole thing that left a big impression on me this year.
2. Jürg Frey - L'ame est sans retenue I
This is a six hour album that is mostly silence.  Absolute, null value silence.  The rest is recordings from a park, essentially recordings of air that occasionally have music intruding in them off in the distance.  I know, this probably sounds incredibly pretentious.  But there is something very special to the way this album purely works with the barest materials to play with the perception of time.  I think it's fair to treat this like a psychedelic experience, like you set out to listen to this and that's the thing that you're going to do today.  A lot of people may think it's a waste of time and that's their right but if you're interested and really commit to it I think this has something very special to offer.
3. Jaap Vink - Jaap Vink
I haven't heard the giant Roland Kayn thing that came out recently, but from what I understand this is similar territory.  This is music generated by elaborate electronic systems, without human intervention outside of the curation of the material and creation of the system as far as I understand (it gets very complicated though so I may be misunderstanding). There is something very human and composed about this material to me though.  The drifting sheets of sound are right up my alley on the aesthetic taste side of things, and while I did use the word "drift" just now, the music still feels like it builds to moments with a sense of purpose.  Basically if you like ambient or drone type of stuff, I'd strongly recommend this one to you.
4. Sote - Sacred Horror In Design
You may know this guy from his old Warp 12" or releases in the past few years on Morphine or Record Label Records, but this new one isn't really on the IDM side of things.  I've been into those recent albums a lot, there's something about his approach to synthesis that captures this feeling of hyperbole for me that I can't get enough of.  On this album, he takes that hyperbole to electroacoustic music that incorporates traditional instruments and tuning from Persian culture.  I've seen comparisons to Dariush Dolat-Shahi's classic Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar, but that album had the electronics and traditional instruments coexisting separately in space.  But on this Sote album, the traditional instruments wear the electronics, and they get exaggerated with this hyperbolic sound and it's really incredible.  The last track flips the script and goes into extended technique with the traditional instruments and throws in some Serge from EMS and it is an incredibly satisfying conclusion.
5. Felicia Atkinson - Hand In Hand
I wasn't clued in on Atkinson's stuff before 2015's A Readymade Ceremony, but from what I understand that album marked a large change in how she operates.  I guess she was on that ambient drone sort of thing, but A Readymade Ceremony was more like this sort of prosumer lofi computer music where it doesn't exactly sound lofi because it's made with prosumer equipment but there's an exploitation of the weird dryness and usage of intentional clipping.  This album is much more refined, and a huge step up as far as I'm concerned.  It's a very particular sort of computer music that feels like it could only be made now, but with a drab sort of quality to the sound that flies in the face of so much of what's going on right now.  That drabness may read as boring but I found that getting on its wavelength to lead to a really engaging experience.  And it is relatively accessible in the way the songs incorporate rhythm and pretty clear forms with a sense of development, you shouldn't have to try too hard if it's something you'd be into.
6. Brother Ah - Searching
This was part of a 3 disc set of unreleased archival material from Brother Ah, but I wasn't so into the first two discs.  The first one had vocals that I could not get past, and the second one just didn't seem all that striking.  But this disc is really something.  Super 80s synths stretching out into a beautiful new age tomorrow with some trumpet, flute, and of course some fucking conch shell.  Gotta have my conch.  This is good Sunday music.
7. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - The Kid
So I know that Smith's stuff may be too soft for some of you guys, but I've been on board with her stuff since Euclid, and one of the many satisfying musical threads of this decade has been seeing her continuing to step up her game.  The sound keeps getting richer and the songwriting is moving away from the mantra type of stuff into something more dynamic.  I'm into it.
8. Bhob Rainey - From Null Lands Led, Starrily
Here's one for any of you all who are into the old academic electronic stuff, this is an excellent sound adventure in that mold.  The middle track slows things down and rides the consistency, but the bread on this sandwich has that whole thing with the longform progression of sound objects and phrases.  I have a weakness for that sort of thing but I feel like Rainey brings a special dose of personality to the proceedings, and the structures seem to take advantage of the extreme clarity that is available in musical production today to create a feeling of chaotic activity but with a lot of breathing room to it.
9. Visible Cloaks - Reassemblage
Here is another album which just on a superficial level I love because it sounds very good.  I'm glad it's been getting some recognition from publications, this one really deserves it.  That moment around 1:30 in Terrazzo (Ft. Motion Graphics), where this really sharp sound pops in after some flute and synth doodling, and everything all snaps into focus and primes you for when the synths really start descending in a few moments.  That shit is really great.  There's a lot of stuff on this album that is really satisfying in how it's put together.
10. Taiwan Housing Project - Veblen Death Mask
This is great rock music.
Sorry for the massive amount of text, I tried to spoiler it but it wasn't working.
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Artificial Brain - Infrared Horizon

Clark - Death Peak

Godflesh - Post Self

Wolves in the Throne Room - Thrice Woven

Laurel Halo - Dust

Dauwd - Theory of Colors

Altarage - Endinghent

Patricia - Several Shades of the Same Color

36 - Black Soma

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LPs :


AFX - London field day LP


Iglooghost - Neo wax bloom


Aleksi Perala - Simulation


EPs :


EOD - Swurlk


Lanark artefax - whities 011


Lorenzo Senni : XallegroX/The shape of trance to come

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Bibio - Phantom brickworks

Mount Kimbie - Love What Survives

King Krule - The Ooz

Garrett - Private Time

DJ Python - Dulce Compania

Visible Cloaks - Reassemblage




Cloudface - Super You

Patricia - Autonomy

Neo Image - MH017

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