10. Julian Lynch – Rat’s Spit
The Madison via New York ethnomusicologist offers his first solo work since joining Real Estate. The new role brings clarity to his music not found in previous records.
9. Elephant9 – Psychedelic Backfire II
Demonstrating the once lost art of the live album is indeed not dead, these Scandinavian jazz rockers bring in Dungen’s guitarist with enthralling results.
8. That Dog – Old LP
The band fronted by the sister of superstar drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms for Peace, R.E.M.) comes back from the dead with this raw and emotional record exploring ageing love.
7. Altın Gün – Gece
Proving the power and popularity of psychedelia in contemporary music, these Turkish/Danish rockers meld middle eastern music with popular sounds to create an exotic end product.
6. Matmos – Plastic Anniversary
The Baltimore electronic duo present a commentary on the dangers of plastic, which has become a major environmental concern as more debris pollutes the world’s oceans. To that end, all of the music on the album was created by sampling the sounds of plastic items. In addition, the album celebrates the duo’s 25 years of creative and romantic partnership.
5. Earth – Full Upon Her Burning Lips
The metal drone masters strip their lineup to just drummer and guitarist. Hypnotic as ever, the band’s country meets doom riffs are turned up to 11. It is a celebration of the band’s 30th anniversary and percussionist Adrienne Davies.
4. Baroness – Gold and Grey
Post-metal masters Baroness wrote a monster of an album that finds newcomer Gina Gleason fitting in alongside the crew that includes Trans Am’s drummer, Sebastian Thomson. Only Blue Record may have a chance of topping the feat of the music here.
3. The Mattson Two – Paradise
The twin brothers expertly distill and hone their experimental jazz craft on this project. Californian to the bone, blissful beach ready melodies swirl in vintage fashion. A perfect album for summer nights.
2. Fly Pam Am – C’est ça
It is a wholly avant-garde album with layers of noise, shoegaze and krautrock that fuse in remarkable ways. The offering is the group’s first release in fifteen years; it is yet another notch in Constellation Records’ already impressive belt. One can only provide total obeisance for the label at this point.
1. Dexter Story – Bahir
A remarkable virtuosic work, the album draws in inspiration from African ancestral music, electronica and jazz. It plays as a merging of Mulatu Astatke and Flying Lotus. It is proof that even the oldest of institutions can use updating from time to time; a genuine afflatus.