The year rolls round and another selection of great records are added to the collection. Overall this year hasn't been quite as exciting as previous ones when it comes to top record lists. There were not as many apparent contenders, so it was an easier pick but the quality always emerges and this year has been marked by the trend of brief records. Short and sweet is a lasting formula when done right, six of the records in the list are under thirty minutes and have been the most returned to! I'm personally hoping this trend for curation continues, more of less and less of more!
(10) Zeal And Ardor "Stranger Fruit" link
A highly anticipated released that time will tell us of its greatness. Their new take on Black Metal is fresh and exciting and this new album builds on their notorious entrance onto the scene, becoming a bands band in the space of a few years. Its a mighty piece of music but one that still suggests their are places to groom and grow while in other cracks and avenues it firmly reaches musical peaks.
(9) Kanye West "Ye" link
Kanye leaves his mark on this year with three records in my top list. All of them needed time to grow on me. I liked them all to begin with but Ye took the longest. Its precisely what I prefer from artists of his stature, introspection and of the moment lyrics. It just took me a while to digest them fully but with that time I grew a lot of fondness for the vulnerability and honesty he showed in his words.
(8) Ho99o9 "Cyber Cop" link
Cyber Cop has the advantage of being in recent memory but since inception it has forged an unstoppable riot of frenetic energy within my mind. This is my workout music! It never fails to get me pumped up and enthusiastic. Unfortunately with any adrenaline fueling music that spell needs more absence to recharge but of the weeks I've binged on its chaotic Punk attitude I am yet to feel any tiredness to its charm.
(7) Pusha T "Daytona" link
At first I found Pusha T's plain tone and clear pronunciation a little dull but with every listen, and those beyond my initial post, I found myself myself being pulled in closer to his craft and growing a true appreciation for the record. His verses are concise and condensed, a series of firm statements and narratives that took me time to chew thru. It also helps to have a banger, What Would Meek Do, to pull you back in again from time to time! I need to check out more of this guy.
(6) Irreversible Mechanism "Immersion" link
I think I should schedule regular returns to this record. Its so dense and loaded with complexity, a beast to digest and talk about in my post. Whenever I return to it I am still overwhelmed with that dazzling feel of being mesmerized in its presence. Its truly a marvel of extremity and aesthetic, a reminder that there is always room to push further in the world of Extreme music. It will take many more spins to really wrap my head around. So much of it still takes me by surprise.
(5) C418 "Excursions" link
Its probably both a blessing and a curse to have your musical career kick started by a cultural phenomenon in the form of a video game. Anyone with a keen ear for music will know their is magic in the Minecraft soundtrack that goes beyond the game but that extends to C418's stand alone records too. This beastly one hundred minutes of new music felt like an exceptional stride forward from the strengths already established in his sound that may go unfortunately overlooked by the broader musical community. Its his best to date, a truly indulgent set of songs.
(4) Plini "Sunhead" link
This short twenty minute release is a fine example of curation at its best. With this cut Plini has delivered a gorgeous aesthetic treat of gleaming melodies spliced with chunks of groove and spicy instrumentation on all fronts that makes every second a delight to indulge in. Admittedly it slipped my mind however giving it another spin I hear that wonder and bliss is still firmly intact and charming.
(3) Ghost "Prequle" link
Ghost are one of my favorite modern Metal bands. With this release they flex their musicality into interesting avenues diverging from their roots and they do so with that brilliant ear for song writing at the core. They set them selves up for a great future with this album while simultaneously loading it with unforgettable songs to grace many future set lists. A lot of infectious choruses and grooves laden throughout.
(2) Turnstile "Space & Time" link
Turnstile have captivated me so much this year with their breed of Hardcore that seems to step out of the limitation of the genre while simultaneously maximizing its best attributes. Every time I put this record I find myself pumping fists, singing along infectiously and giving myself a potential case of whiplash! I cannot expressive enough how wonderful these short and animated songs are. Everything this band do just seems to be bordering perfection. Most the songs of this record is gem after gem.
(1) Kids See Ghosts "Kids See Ghosts" link
Guess what baby... I AM FREEEEE!!!!! Hahaha, It was a tough choice but Kanye and Kid Cudi take the top spot. Kids See Ghosts is a stunning collaboration where the two artists get the best from one another. Its sometimes psychedelic and exotic vibes are a refresher and much of what it offers feels like a river gushing creativity. Every track has its flavor and the seven play stunningly together. Its been one Ive gone back to over and over. It still sounds utterly fantastic and thus takes the top spot!