The task of whittling down our shortlist of favourite albums this year felt more arduous than ever; the past 12 months have seen a glut of formidable long players released, and the strength of this list is reflected by those LPs that didn’t make the cut. Our final selections were based a few important questions, most pertinently, ‘had we heard anything like this before?’ If the answer was yes, chances are it didn’t make it. The 20 long players showcased below are, in our opinion, utterly unique, crammed with enough ideas and flair to make them worthy of revisitation for years to come.
Kiran Sande’s Blackest Ever Black imprint has been instrumental in the rejuvenation of the UK’s brooding fascination with nebulous industrial music and the grey-scaled end of the dance spectrum. Within two years the label has solidified its own niche, one that’s marked with post-rock revivalism but which is equally broadening the horizons of what is considered to be dance music; a perfect balance in the eyes of Karl O’Connor aka Regis, the legendary techno pioneer who has been closely affiliated to the imprint since day one. But Sande’s project goes far beyond the resurrection of the 1980s experimental scene and has only applied its catalytic tools as a means of unearthing an ulterior perspective on the cross-pollination between industrialism, social decadency and dance culture.
Raime (pictured above), Juju & Jordash and Haxan Cloak are among the names added to the excellent looking bill for next month’s Unsound festival in Krakow, Poland.