Best Music from 2018

Like every year this is my selection of the best music i have heard from last year. Spotify says i have heard 1542 songs, 10222 minutes of music (26% more than last year), i don’t know if it’s a lot though, but, who cares!

In my opinion 2017 was better in terms of excellent works, but obviously also this past year had some amazing albums out.

Rock/Indie Rock

9. Interpol – Marauder

After Our Love to Admire i think they didn’t go to the next step, but they are always pleasant and raw.

8. Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage

After their first album with the amazing collaboration of Tame Impala’s singer, they are back with a great work, still on the notes of ‘ethereal’ rock.

7. Mogwai – Kin Soundtrack

Mogwai are Mogwai whatever they do, it can be an album, EP or soundtrack.

6. Jack White – Boarding House Reach

Rock poet, pure talent, always great works.

5. The Good, The Bad & the Queen – Merrie Land

Side Damon Albarn’s project is back after several years of their previous -and only- LP.

4. Muse – Simulation Theory

It’s true, they evolved a lot over the years but it’s incredible their ability to create hits on every work they do. Always more ‘futuristic’ rock.

3. The Breeders – All Nerve

Probably the only female rock bands coming from the amazing 90’s. Elegant as usual.

2. Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

Quiet album comparing to their previous works but Alex Turner’s voice seems to be even more confident on these notes, for sure more remarkable.

1. Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending

I would never think in my life of putting them as my favorite album of the year but after having seen their concert, i appreciate them much more. Their style is always the same, simple, direct and easy to enjoy.

Here is the playlist.

Electronic/Indie Electronic

12. Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love

New discover for me, but easily to appreciate like everything published on Warp Records.

11. Autechre – NTS Session 2

Do we have Acid Electronic still? yes and thanks to them that over the years they keep their style.

10. Helena Hauff  – Qualm

German, electronic performer, she doesn’t need any other reference i think.

9. The Prodigy – No Tourists

Finally back to their energy that characterized the beginning of their career.

8. Maya Jane Coles – Waves & Whirlwinds EP

Her talent came out few years ago and never stopped. It can be a DJ set (i still remember her set in 2013 at Sonar Festival) or EP like this.

7. Thievery Corporation – Treasures from the Temple

Finally becoming more productive in the last years, their mix of styles and genres are always amazing.

6. Siriusmo – Zeit EP

He published this cool EP at the very end of the year just to be sure he could get in the chart!

5. Soulwax – Essential

What can be more essential that calling all the songs with numbers from 1 to 12?

4. Against All Logic – 2012-2017

Side project for Nicolas Jaar, one of the greatest talent nowadays.

3. Aphex Twin – Collapse EP

Still making masterpieces, great artwork and having a low profile.

2. Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch

Kind of EP (6 songs) but fantastic work despite some critics for the small format.

1. Daniel Avery – Song for Alpha

Fantastic work, perfect sequence of songs starting from lower vibe then increasing til the fantastic Diminuendo, then slowing down again til the end with the great hits Slow Fade and Glitter.

Hope you will enjoy these songs or that you will discover some new artist you didn’t know before. Happy 2019 (always with headset)!

Playlist here.

 

 

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Top 5 2016 Albums.

Another year passed by and many interesting works were released. This year, more than others, will be more remembered for very important music artists lost…David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince and yesterday George Michael. Personally i don’t feel very affected because their music don’t represent my style but they made history so respect for them and for what they achieved in their lives. By the way, music industry -as well as life- doesn’t stop and we have to move forward instead of crying about the past.

In this (almost) past year i appreciated many works, but, choosing only 5, my favorite ones are:

5. The Orb – COW/Chill Out World (Electronic, Ambient)

Not an usual work for the english duo, but following the line of previous work Moonbuilding 2703 AD. This work seems a ‘new age’ work, very relaxing and peaceful, perfect as a background while you are doing something else.

4. M.I.A. – AIM (Alternative Dance, Alternative Rap)

I really like this artist, one of the most influent artists nowadays. I love her style of music made of many contaminations (never forgetting her indian origins) plus her way to give ‘take home messages’ to our generation. It’s not casual the award she has got from her video ‘Borders’ dedicated to Syria refugees crisis.

3. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (Alternative/Indie Rock)

Amazing work after 5 years of silence. I wouldn’t say they did something ‘really new’ from their previous works, but always a pleasant work, pure Radiohead style. As usual they also did very nice music videos directed by famous directors and visual artists.

2. Swans – The Glowing Man (Noise Rock, Experimental Rock)

Listening to Swans is always an ‘experience’. They started to play in the early 80’s and they still are amazing on stage. You have to be ready to long songs (some around 10 minutes), deep vocals and a lot of noise (many instruments)! In some songs it seems there are 3 different ones inside, starts in a way and ends in another one. This last work is a masterpiece.

1. Death in Vegas – Transmission (Electronic)

Like Radiohead, we had to wait 5 years to listen another work from them. Fortunately Richard Fearless didn’t leave us alone and we had the chance to listen many dj-sets and remixes. You will probably remember them for their famous Levi’s advertising song called Dirge. Despite their beginning (more guitars but always with an electric touch), over the years they became more and more electronic but -as well- more charming. Few songs were written (obviously by Richard Fearless) with ex pornstar Sasha Grey who also sings in ‘You disco i freak’ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-nlvSKFLs8). Highly recommended. I’m gonna share my two favorite songs of this work.

 

 

January-February Best Releases

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Winter is almost over! We are going towards outdoor concerts and festivals, pretty excited about that! Winter in Rome, musically speaking, is not memorable and this last one wasn’t an exception. Many new works from California these months, good weather is inspiring apparently.

BECK – Morning Phase (Indie Rock)

We had to wait six long years for a new work and finally we can join! One page is not enough to describe this superb -eclectic- artist, poet, song and music writer. Every little book u can find in his CDs is very well made and it’s worth buying it.  Freewheeling.

MOGWAI – Rave Tapes (Indie Rock, Post Rock)

12th LP for this amazing scottish band! I personally admire who is able to be so creative with instruments only, very difficult (the song i’m posting have words actually). They always are able to make great works (at least for me!). Also in this album you can find mellow songs mixed with more noisy ones and ballads. Visceral.

XIU XIU – Angel Guts: Red Classroom (Experimental Rock, Synth-Pop, Indie Electronic)

Very particular band coming from California formed around 10 years ago. This last work have some more dark influences that, mixed with Jamie Stewart’s (particular) voice, make an interesting combination. Theatrical.

THE NOTWIST – Close To the Glass (Indie Rock, Indie Electronic)

German post-hardcore band originally, they shifted toward electronic influences during their career. Also this work, after 5 years of silence, shows that they have consolidated into electronic. Detached. 

CIBO MATTO – Hotel Valentine (Indie Rock)

How i can describe a japanese band relocated in NYC with an italian name? Well, not easy especially because their style is not easy to define. After their last work, 8 years passed by but the long waiting didn’t affect their talent. Organic.

PLANNINGTOROCK – All Love’s Legal (Indie Electronic)

Interesting work from this extrovert artist (Janine Rostron is also programmer and videographer) coming from UK but musically formed in Berlin. Glam rock mixed with electronic influences. Playful.

WARPAINT – Warpaint (Indie Rock, New Wave)

Not a long career (yet) as the previous artists above, but promising perspectives for this band coming from LA. This self titled work comes after their debut LP in 2010 and is very pleasant (reminding me of Blonde Redhead). Artwork LP is cared by Chris Cunningham. Ethereal.

Best May Releases

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After an amazing April (talking about new LP) and a very interesting June about to come, May is a transition month! Not many releases kept my attentions, those are my choices:

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Electronic)

We had to wait 8 years waiting a new album, but it worthed! Ok, they published 3 years ago Tron Soundtrack and it was great, but LP is different. Their first song published (with Pharrell Williams) is already an international success. Also Julian Casablancas (The Strokes frontman) and Panda Bear appear in this amazing work. Exuberant.

Tricky – False Idols (Trip Hop)

This LP is a perfect combination between first and last works of this incredible artist! So both if you like most his first period or the last you will wnjoy for sure. You will enjoy the beautiful italian voice of Francesca Belmonte in many songs of this nice album. Enigmatic.

The Fall – Re-Mit (Alternative/Indie Rock)

How is possible to talk about a band that published already something like 30 LPs? Many pages of my blog probably would be necessary but i’m not interested into (and i think you as well). So i just say that it’s always great to listen an ‘old’ band still creating music and feeling inspired! Sarcastic.

ATOM – The Eccentric Electrics of Atom & Friends (Electronic, Experimental Techno)

Collection of songs composed over the years (from 1998 til 2011) from this amazing electro artist (real name Uwe Schmidt). You can listen quite but also intense (pure Atom style, like the example below) songs in this LP. Atmospheric.

CocoRosie – Tales of a GrossWidow (Indie Rock, Indie Electronic)

If you don’t know this amazing and fresh french duo (actually they are sisters), you missed a lot. Their style is unique and it’s very difficult in a time where everything is already done basically. Hypnotic.

Oblivians – Desperation (Garage Punk, Indie Rock)

Coming from the ’90s this american band from Memphis will surprise you with their guitars. To those who likes more scratching guitars than ‘chic’ and sophisticated riffs. Visceral.

Bibio – Silver Wilkinson (Indie Electronic, Electro-Acoustic)

English composer Stephen Wilkinson published this new album on the fascinating Warp Records. Recommended if you like to relax and dream about a far away place (while you are stuck at work in a rainy day). Ethereal.

See you next month guys! Be ready to amazing new releases coming in June!

Best February releases

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Atoms for Peace –> Amok (Indie Electronic)

New project for Thom Yorke (Radiohead, i have to specify that?) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers). If you like Radiohead in their latest years, u won’t be disappointed. Meditative.

Darkstar –> News from Nowhere (Indie Electronic)

Published by great Warp record label, this second work of this UK trio is very interesting (as well as this video). Difficult to categorize in 1 music style. Daydreaming.

Eels –> Wonderful, Glorious  (Alternative/Indie Rock)  

13th work from this american band. Always looking for new sounds, but also linked with their simple, involving and scratching style, this is a very pleasant LP. Cathartic.

My Bloody Valentine –> m b v (Alternative Rock)

Probably you don’t know this band because their short -but intense- career started in 1985 and finished in 1991, but you should know that they influenced many other bands in the following years. Welcome back! Ethereal.

Apparat –> Krieg Und Frieden (Music for Theatre) (Experimental, Ambient)

New experimental project for Apparat, who originally is a techno DJ but lately likes to explore new instrumental sounds. Before this, he published a very interesting album with a real band. Atmospheric.

Ellen Allien –> Lism (Electronic, Techno)

Not many words to describe well this german amazing artist. Her LPs usually are more electronic than techno, enchanting and captivating style. This following video is not from the last album since there are not videos available on youtube yet. Hypnotic.

Mogwai –> Les Revenants (Post Rock)

From Scotland, 11th LP from this instrumental sophisticated band. I really suggest to see them ‘live’, if you already didn’t, you will thank me after, i’m sure. But in the meanwhile listen their works, you will thank me as well! Reflective.

Iceage –> You’re Nothing (Hardcore Punk, New Wave)

From Denmark (yes Denmark) second work for this very young punk band. They have to grow, musically speaking, but they have got some talent. Harsh.

January Releases (new & revisited ideas)

I can say that January won’t be remembered as a memorable month for new releases but, as every month, something interesting always come out…

In this first section there are some comments about:

Alternative, Indie, Experimental Rock (Section 1)

Rage Against the Machine → Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

For the nostalgic fans of RATM (i am one of those) here is the last live concert and some original riffs. Rough.

Can → Landed

One of the most important and original alternative rock bands in the 70’s, which inspired many following bands (Sonic Youth are one of those). Dreamlike.

Ra Ra Riot → Beta Love

Third work for this american indie rock band. Recommended for a sunny sunday. Easy.

Yo La Tengo → Fade

Not properly a brand new band (13th LP) but they always like to change their style. Eclectic.

Blood Red Shoes → The Water EP

From UK, faster and involving rock. Scratched.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp4jU3WepFU

Green Day → Uno…Dos…Tre

They are not anymore the punk band which exploded in the 90’s turning more into a wide commercial rock. Some songs are cute but nothing more. Commercial.

Experimental Electronic, Trip-Hop, Indie Elctronic, Techno  (Section 2)

Pillowfight → Pillowfight

Trip-hop band that you should listen if you like Massive Attack, Portishead, Morcheeba or Zero 7 since it’s a mix of all of those. Atmospheric.

Gold Panda → Trust EP

A combination of DJ Shadow and Four Tet for this great artist coming from UK. Soothing.

Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laborathory→ Elements of Light

New project for this german techno producer, which left his draker sounds to collaborate with The Bell Laboratory in a more instrumental sound (reminding of Battles). Shimmering.

Orbital → Pusher OST

Cool soundtrack made by english Orbital. Didn’t watch the movie but enjoyed this LP. Pulsing.

Dubfire → A Transmission

Double LP collection from DJs of Dubfire’s record label (SCI+TEC). Elegant.

Deadmau5 → At Play vol.4

Fourth chapter of the compilation At Play of this great canadian artist. Intense.

Paco Osuna → Amigos Pt.2 EP

Spanish DJ, resident of Barcelona’s Club4, internationally known. Cool EP with good collaborations (like Sinisa Tamamovic). Minimaltech.

Best 15 2012 releases!

So finally i have decide to share with you the LPs that i enjoyed most in this intense 2012!

It will be a list, not a chart, so #1 is not the best 2012 album in my opinion, it’s just a number! Sorry in advance for some advertisement before a couple of videos, but it’s worth to wait! 

# 15 Flying Lotus (USA) – Until The Quiet Comes – # soft experimental electronic 

 

# 14 The Horrors (UK) – Skying – # garage rock # alternative-indie

# 13 Hot Chip (UK) – In Our Heads – # indie-electronic

# 12 Muse (UK) – The 2nd Law – # alternative-rock # neo prog.

# 11 The Hives (SWE) – Lex Hives – # alternative-indie # garage-punk

# 10 The Gossip (UK) – A Joyful Noise – # indie-rock

(skip the intro-interview)

# 9 Swans (USA) – The Seer – # garage underground # post punk # esperimental rock

# 8 Jack White (USA) – Blunderbuss – # indie rock # punk blues

# 7 Squarepusher (UK) – Ufabulum – # acid electro # jungle drum’n bass

# 6 The XX (UK) – Coexist – # indie electronic

# 5 Smashing Pumpkins (USA) – Oceania – # grunge # indie rock # alternative rock

# 4 Divine Fits (UK-USA) – A Thing Called Divine Fits – # alternative indie 

# 3 Tame Impala (AUS) – Lonerism – # alternative indie rock # neo-psychedelia

# 2 Soundgarden (USA) – King Animal – # grunge # alternative rock

# 1 Vitalic (FRA) – Rave Age – # electro 

See you in 2013! Stay Tuned!