2015: Music

This year, 25 albums I liked a lot, or didn’t understand but felt like i was supposed to like to look clever. Then, 25 more I also liked a lot, but either didn’t like quite as much, haven’t yet listened to enough, didn’t connect with as personally, or weren’t intelligent enough to fully appreciate. In both lists, an incidental preference for the first half of the alphabet. Artists beginning with J, 2015 you did it.

Little bit of a boring 25, despite it being a good year for albums. Seems like theres quite a bit of consensus in all of the EoY lists, which is a little depressing. Good number on here that you’ll see on all of the lists, which is fine as I don’t know anything about music and no one is paying me to do this, but from those being paid for their opinionship a little bit more diversity would have been chill. A few less ‘club-deconstructions,’ a little more sad_raves.

Ambling Preface #1 - things that don’t fit into ‘album-format’ but are definitely cool: the reissue of Mariah’s Utakata No Hibi that sold out immediately and I’ve had ordered on Amazon who keep, and will continue to keep, delaying the order each time the supposed restock comes in, Soichi Terada’s Sounds From the Far East compilation, which was easier to get, the Masi Asakawa retrospective thing I haven’t got yet but will have soon, a bunch of the bandcampy stuff that i’m not supposed to like because appropriation but still enjoyed walking around the city to (giant claw, death’s dynamic shroud.wmv, 2 8 1 4, t e l e p a t h etc.) everything Honest Jons puts out, the Omar S cassette mixCall Super for Blowing Up The WorkshopDredd D, Jon E Cash, AJ Tracey JammzKuedo for TruantsNidia Minaj Dazed, this Japanese Boogie mixfinal Plastic People, and especially all the Yamaneko mixes.

Ambling Preface #2 - Live things: Lawrence English, Rafael Anton Irisarri & John Chantler at Cafe Oto for Room40′s 15 year Birthday. Rafael Anton Irisarri’s setup failing mid set and him deciding well thats the end of that then. Lawrence English’s massive, body-drenching, soul-enriching drones. The feeling of skin vibrated fully out, all nerves standing on end. Earthly IV, with the incense, tunes, vibrance and feelings. A mix of really happy people dancing excitedly, and serious bros in hood2air crossed armed swaying in a cold room, smoke blowing through their crisp fades. Then a couple of Jam City shows to follow, of dubious technical quality but high meaningfulness value. Most importantly, Surprise Kanye at KOKO. Akash’s calm call, and my frantic, desperate ticket-booking-on-phone-in-sainsburys after. Queueing ‘til 1am to get in, then the gates getting rushed to the sound of ‘running thru the six with my WOES.’ The event itself, and Akash’s thoughts-breakdown after. All of it. Then, the BRIT AwardsGlastonbury and Armenia. Lastly, more wintry feelings at Grouper at St. Johns church, and Ryoji Ikeda performing his sonic-visual barrage Supercodex at Village Underground.


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Shortlist 25

  • Acronym - June

  • Arca - Mutant

  • CFCF - The Colours Of Life / Reliance & Submission (+ BUTW 48)

  • Dawn Richard - Blackheart

  • Dr. Yen Lo - Days With Dr. Yen Lo

  • Fis - The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now

  • Future - Dirty Sprite 2 (+ Beast Mode & 56 Nights)

  • Grimes - Art Angels

  • Holly Herndon - Platform

  • Hunee - Hunch Music

  • Ian William Craig - Cradle for the Wanting

  • Jlin - Dark Energy

  • Jam City - Dream A Garden

  • Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - A Year With 13 Moons

  • Joanna Newsom - Divers

  • Joanne Robertson - Black Moon Days

  • Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly

  • Levantis - Romantic Psychology 1

  • Levon Vincent - Levon Vincent

  • M.E.S.H - Piteous Gate

  • Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete 

  • Prurient - Frozen Niagara Falls

  • Rabit - Communion (+ Rabit & Chino Amobi - The Great Game)

  • Rafael Anton Irisarri - A Fragile Geography

  • Young Thug - Barter 6 (+ Slime Season 1 & 2)

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Longlist 25

  • Alex Cobb - Chantepleure

  • Acre - Better Strangers

  • Beatrice Dillon & Robert Clervaux - Studies I-XVII for Samples and Percussion

  • Bjork - Vulnicura

  • Container - LP

  • DJ Richard - Grind

  • DJ Sotafett - Drippin’ For A Tripp (Tripp-A-Dubb-Mix)

  • Domenique Dumont - Comme Ca

  • Elysia Crampton - American Drift

  • Floating Points - Elaenia 

  • Gaussian Curve - Clouds

  • Hieroglyphic Being - We Are Not The First

  • Helm - Olympic Mess

  • Jeremih - Late Nights: The Album

  • Jim Rourke - Simple Songs

  • John Chantler - Still Light, Outside

  • Julia Holter - Have You In My Wilderness

  • Linkwood - Expressions

  • Majical Cloudz - Are You Alone?

  • Matana Roberts - COIN COIN Chapter Three, Run River Thee

  • Sarah Davachi - Baron’s Court

  • Sean McCann - A Castle Popping / Ten Impressions For Piano & Strings

  • Steve Hauschildt - Where All Is Fled

  • Suzanne Kraft - Talk From Home

  • Talbot Fade - November Versions