Best 2015 Albums

records

It’s always difficult to decide which is the best album of the year, considering also different styles of music. Even more difficult because i wasn’t able to follow monthly best releases as i was used to last years.

My choice is, for some of you not italian, unknown but really deserved (and i only them as italian band and italian music, usually too pop for me). 2015 was the year of big returns to the scene, some really  unexpected. Hope you agree with my chart.

15. Mogwai – Central Belter (Post-Rock)

It’s actually  a compilation that summarize their fantastic career, so if you don’t know them, that’s a good start.

14. The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn (Alternative/Indie Rock)

After 5 years of their previous work, another reunion for this ‘super band’ leaded by Jack White, including members from The Kills, Queens of the Stone Age and The Raconteurs. If you like Jack White you like whatever he does, style doesn’t change much from their previous works, but power of voices and instruments make this LP very pleasant.

13. Roisin Murphy – Hairless Toys (Indie Electronic)

Ex Moloko’s leader, she comes back on the scene after a looong silence. And she does in her style, soft but scratching. Overall not a ‘Wow’ LP but it’s a pleasure to listen her voice again.

12. !!! – As If (Dance-Punk)

Very good work for !!! (called Chk Chk Chk), they published a record closer to their first albums. Last two were nice but not excellent.

11. Blur – The Magic Whip (Britpop, Alternative/Indie Rock)

I was very curious about their return, especially because Damon Albarn in the last years – but also in the last Blur works- turned their style from pure britpop to electronic sounds. Actually it didn’t evolve in a clear electronic direction (like Radiohead for example) but came back in a pop style, still nice because they are Blur, but probably not what i was expecting!

10. Squarepusher – Damogen Furies (Drum’n’Bass, Experimental Electronic)

If you followed me a little you know i love this artist. I had the pleasure to see his fantastic show at Coachella last year. Sometimes he goes too extreme as sounds but his talent is clear and  finally recognized.

9. AFX – Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 (Experimental Electronic, Experimental Techno, Acid Techno)

Father of experimental electronic music, AFX aka Aphex Twin aka Richard James, made this collection of songs never published or reedited. Last year his last official album won the award ( a Grammy if i remember well) for best electronic album. Not many words to add.

8. Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down (Alternative/Indie Rock)

They sadly became famous for the recent tragedy at their concert in Paris, but EODM is one of the best bands in their genre. The fact that Josh Homme (leader of Queens of the Stone Age) is in the project is not casual.

7. Bjork – Vulnicura (Electronic, Pop Rock)

What to say about one of the most influent artists in the last 20 years? nothing new. This album is not great if you listen once, you have to go carefully and slowly into it and it will hug you.

6. Hot Chip – Why Make Sense? (Indie Rock, Indie Electronic)

Talking about amazing return on the scene, Hot Chip album was surely one of the most exciting ones. A -usual- mix of different styles, acceleration and slowing down, everything dressed with different instruments and sounds.

5. Battles – La Di Da Di (Experimental Rock, Indie Rock)

One of the most creative new bands coming out in the recent past. They confirm their creativity in this last work (not easy after the fabulous Gloss Drop) and also in the graphic -food related- part.

4. Metz – II (Indie Rock, Punk Revival)

Fantastic job for this Canadian trio published by historical record label SubPop! When you first listen to it you think, it’s done already? let ‘s listen again! no sophistications, just pure rock!

3. Tame Impala – Currents (Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock)

How to make a fantastic album after 2 amazing ones? If you are Tame Impala you easily can. It also seems that they are getting better and better and it’s really though considering the masterpiece ‘lonerism’. Better for us! I also recommend to go see them live, they are amazing.

2. Muse – Drones (Indie Rock, Neo-Progressive Rock)

Their perfection in whatever they do (album, concert) is worldwide recognized. Every work is perfect, Bellamy’s voice is amazingly mixed with instruments and rhythms. I never have a disappointment when i listen to them, almost frustrating! I also appreciate their dedication to some causes inside their songs (like Massive Attack), it’s not only music but also a message to open our minds.

1. Verdena – Endkadenz vol.1-2 (Alternative/Indie Rock)

As i said before, their are the only italian musicians i can listen to. They remind me of Nirvana and probably this is the main reason why i like them. The amazing voice of Alberto Ferrari (leader, singer, author and guitarist) and sounds that extend from pure rock to ballads with piano make this band unique in italian scenario. Probably some of you never heard about them but i suggest to do it (and then let me know what do you think).

If you wanna listen what i wrote about, i created a playlist. Hope you will enjoy! Till the next time!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLaz_km7cZTWdZNx1SP3U_9OURldbPhZkb&hl=en_US

 

Summer-Autumn concerts!

Long time not ‘hearing’ from me but doctor’s life sometimes doesn’t let me to have all free time that i want.

Anyway i just wanted to share with you all the interesting concerts i have seen recently.

Rome is very good for  concerts in the summer especially, during the year not much happens (at least for the music i like).

Main festival is called Rock in Rome, not only rock music as you can get from the name, but different styles and artists performing. Over the years i have got the chance to see many fantastic musicians, from Radiohead to Arctic Monkeys passing through Deadmau5, Metallica and many others.

Other than that festival, Auditorium ‘Luglio suona bene’ review (translation is July sounds good) also is interesting and the location is great (open air amphitheatre in the big music complex built by the famous architect Renzo Piano) and Villa Ada Festival (music in a park) are also interesting events over the summer going from classic til very alternative music.

Last summer i have got to see Verdena (Rock in Roma Festival), the only italian music i’m able to listen. They reminds me of Nirvana, for the style and for the singer’s scratching voice. I do enjoy their way to play live and -in general- their way to play instruments together, in particular i like the piano. Here they are the 3 videos i have made.

2015-07-14 22.22.20

In the same festival, after few days, i have seen Muse concert. Not many words can describe their perfection in the show, visually and musically speaking. I have to admit that their concert here 2 years ago in the olimpic stadium was magnificent, like 2 hours and a half literally flown away. But it was recorded to make a DVD so it was a different thing than a normal concert. By the way they are always fantastic, is a pleasure to see them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll2gdYwam9M&list=PLaz_km7cZTWciZ6kzdVv_EAGDPRghLQ-K  (3 videos)

2015-07-18 22.41.47

I moved then to Villa Ada to see The Swans and the talent of the frontman Michael Gira. I’ve seen them also at Coachella last April when they were able to play in the last hour of Day2 (very good hour though). They are the kings of noise so if you go to see them you have to be prepared to listen very long song, repetitive riffs and few words. They played over 2 hours, very intense as they are used to do.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWdmAwUGwQkrdNwB5yFpTPrR (4 videos)2015-07-15 22.51.20

I moved to Auditorium to see the Princess Bjork. Second time i see her live (in the same location) and always positive vibes. Concert is usually short (1 hour 15 min) but the quality makes the difference. Very good visual effects, sophisticated dress and voice that is like a caress to your soul. 360 degrees artist, always quality time.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWdB6hb-w2FF-IC37RzSN5sL (3 videos)

2015-07-29 21.08.34

Going back to Rock in Rome, i was able to see -also second time after Coachella- Tame Impala. Despite the not very smart date (mid-end August when mostly romans are on vacation) it was one of the greatest concerts i have seen! Simple but very involving, they are great live (they also made a good job with a bigger crowd at Coachella). They made us move our bodies all the time. They will become bigger and bigger i’m sure.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWecjyiopEI7Pji4qY0FnehA (3 videos)

2015-08-26 22.19.47

In the autumn i managed to see Apparat (still at Auditorium but not open air anymore) and his orchestra. Very interesting his evolution from being a pure DJ to an electronic performer + orchestra (not a REAL orchestra but many different instruments). I always like when artists evolve in different projects whatever if i like or not (i like his evolution by the way). Highly recommended.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWcta9JA-oZAzZmdcPYH5ebI (2 videos)2015-10-02 22.36.50

Last act was Robot Festival in Bologna. This Festival is probably the best for electronic music in the italian scenario. It’s divided in different locations (including a castle) and it runs over a weekend. I was able to go only to the last act of this festival but i really enjoyed seeing the performances of James Holden, Siriusmodeselektor, Trentemoller, Clark, Tiga and The Martinez Brothers.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaz_km7cZTWe2lRB77sOShCFknu8YkrTi (6 videos)


  
 See You Next time guys. Hope i can write more often.

And the winner for the best 2014 album goes to….

2014 is gone and it’s time to decide which is the best album of the year. Difficult to choose obviously but this is the chart of my favourite 18 LPs i have made…

18. Deadmau5 – While 1<2

Different from his previous works, his maturity album i think, faster and slower when it needs to be.

17. Mono – Rays of Darkness

Double LP, mellow and intense, instrumental always.

16. Flying Lotus – You’re Dead!

As usual an amazing mix of sounds and styles, this time a bit more jazzy in my opinion.

15. Clark – Clark

Not a very original name i admit, but a very pleasant work; it reminds me the first Squarepusher.

14. Mogwai – Rave Tapes

Probably not their best album, but in every work they create a couple of fantastic singles that you can listen over and over again.

13. Spoon – They Want My Soul

They make one of the most original style, including the amazing slightly scratching singer voice.

12. Interpol – El Pintor

Pure Interpol style, on the false line of the previous one.

11. Ok Go – Hungry Ghosts

More famous for their fantastic videos, they make good music also!

10. Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World

Short and intense LP after several years from their first and last work.

9. Thurston Moore – The Best Day

I cannot exclude one of my favourite artists ever, from Sonic Youth til today! He only know how to treat a guitar.

8. Kelis – Food

Unusual style for this chart but great work for this eclectic artist.

7. Kaiser Chiefs – Education, Education, Education & War

After their previuos worst album in their discography, a very good job!

6. Xiu Xiu – Angel Guts: Red Classroom

Talking about ecletic artists, here’s another one, dont take into accounts much song texts, they can be debatable.

5. Swans – To Be Kind

History of experimental rock, class 1982 (their first album), pure class!

4. Temples – Sun Structures

Fantastic work, MGMT style.

3. Plastikman – Ex

Side work for Richie Hawtin, after many years of silence, minimal and magnificent.

2. Aphex Twin – Syro

King of experimental electronic is back with his unique talent.

1. Liars – Mess

One of the most creative and talented bands in the past years. This LP is a bit more electronic of the previous ones but fantastic in the same way! To know more about them look for my post dedicated to them “In our lives we all are Liars”.

July-August Best Releases

july-and-august

In August i have decided to put together these two months because there weren’t SO many good releases. I was supposed to write it early september but work was so busy that i couldn’t make it before!

Plastikman – Ex (Acid Techno, Minimal Techno)

Worldwide known as Richie Hawtin, he came back to his parallel project who gave him a huge audience in the 90’s. And it seems nothing changed much from his last work as Plastikman, however there’s a more modern touch in this amazing work. Trippy.

Basement Jaxx – Junto (Club/Dance, Progressive House)

It’s really difficult to include them in some categories. Since their beginning they mixed different kind of music together in an explosive pandora’s box. Their talent is still there, but their previous LPs were unique. Anyway very enjoyable work. Hedonistic.

Chicks on Speed – Artstravaganza (Electro-Clash, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic)

One of the most influent electro-clash bands in the late 90’s came back with a new work. The style of this feminine duo is more or less the same, when you listen their songs you have the feeling of freedom, fun and happiness! Yoko Ono and Juliane Assange also appears in this work. Detached.

Spoon – They Want My Soul (Alternative/Indie Rock)

After 4 years and other side projects (like the amazing project Divine Fits), the band from Texas come back together with a very interesting work! In my opinion they are one of the best Indie Rock bands ever. Every work have a very nice touch dressed with the amazing Britt Daniel’s voice. Ironic.

The Raveonettes – Pe’ahi (Indie Rock)

Another good work for this famous danish duo. In this LP sounds seems to be darker, the only limit in my opinion is their voices that seems always in the same tone. Sounds make the difference in their case. Visceral.

See you in few weeks with the amazing September releases!

June Best Releases

Heartbpm

In the best month of the year (because it’s my birthday) very interesting works came out.

JACK WHITE – Lazaretto (Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk Blues)

Second solo work for one of the best rock artists nowadays! After The White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather projects, he seems to continue by himself (and in an amazing way like everything he has done). The style is pretty much the same, but always pleasant to listen. Confident.

DEADMAU5 – While (1<2) (Electronic, House, EDM)

Very cool double LP for the canadian author/producer Joel Thomas Zimmermann (more appeal as deadmau5, right?). Comparing to official works, he remixes songs from other artists like, for example, Nine Inch Nails or How to Destroy Angels. Definitely a different and interesting way to love more the mouse (who i highly recommend to see live). Freewheeling.

KLAXONSLove Frequency (Alternative/Indie Rock)

Four years after ‘Surfing the Void’ that personally didn’t…

View original post 131 more words

May Best Releases

Heartbpm

 

I was going to put together May and June but so many good releases were published in May that i have decided to make one dedicated. Sorry for the delay, but it’s never too late to listen good music, right?

 The Horrors – Luminous (Indie Rock, Garage Rock)

Fourth work for this band coming from UK. Their style didn’t change much since their previous -fantastic- album (Strange House) but they became less ‘dark’ in my opinion. I personally enjoyed all their works, just Skying didn’t impress me much. Anyway, still a very nice work! Trippy.

Archie Bronson Outfit – Wild Crush (Garage Punk, Indie Rock)

In my opinion they are one of the greatest bands nowadays. It’s also their 4th work and i can say that making a following work after masterpiece ‘Coconut’ was not easy. But they bravely continued on the false line of it, making a…

View original post 327 more words

Best LPs Ever ! #1 In Utero – Nirvana (1993)

Image

Inspired by the 20th Kurt Cobain’s anniversary death, i introduce you to a new section where i will suggest the masterpieces you HAVE TO listen at least once (i hope you did already) and eventually collect (if you are music-sick like me).

Obviously Nevermind represents the ‘break-up’ album (it’s also a real masterpiece) and Smells Like Teen Spirit is considered their best song, since “Nirvana’s bomb” definitely exploded in the music scene with that work. Nevertheless In Utero is the perfection realized into music.

I still remember the moment i’ve listened the first song of this album “Frances Farmer will have her revenge on Seattle”, i was in my seahouse on my  bed resting in a very hot August late afternoon (i owned a yellow waterproof Sony walkman with radio at that time). First of all i was fascinated by the very simple and involving rhythm of this song, then also by the title and wanted to know more about Farmer’s history. She was a very famous actress who had a very tormented career ruined by drugs (she was sadly KC inspiration) and by psychiatrists whom practiced electro-shock therapy and -apparently- also lobotomy on her brain.

By the way this is the song:

The LP starts with the amazing “Serve the Servants”, goes through rough-on-purpose “Scentless Apprentice” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ao5Ey0SCHxo) getting to one of their most famous song (correlated with a very cool video in my opinion): “Heart Shaped Box”.

Sweet “Dumb” is followed by short-but-intense “Very Ape” until another ‘brutal’ song “Milk It”. All the album goes through strips, once you relax with a ballad, you jump right after with rough guitars!

So, “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wIqEMZKGF4) comes after the relaxing “Pennyroyal Tea” and amazingly quite “All Apologies” after super-messy “Tourette’s”.

Usually when you listen a CD several times you get tired of it, that doesn’t happens with “In Utero” and i definitely have ‘overused’ it!

It’s a pity you left us so early, Kurt, but what an amazing job in such short time! Thanks anyway!