What a year to round up! Busy and hard, but also packed with fantastic music and here’s my fave 19 moments from it.
P.S. Guys, I feel Krossfingers needs some change, how do you want me to change it in 2020? Leave your feedback in the comments 🙂
19. Lucas Croon – Ascona
A year ago, Arne “Rearview Radio” closed his podcast with this record. Distinct and clean sound, comfort house and frisky downtempo makes this record a standout in the Themes Of Great Cities’ catalog.
18. Volodymyr Bystriakov – Alice Through the Looking Glass, 1982
Excited about this beautifully packaged release curated by my Kyiv friends: music for the animated television film ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, which has never been released before, it was recorded in 1981 and the film was broadcasted on Soviet television in 1982. Mind-blowing library music that you should listen.
17. Odopt – Sociopath
Brutality and intelligence meet in this classic Odopt fashion, this year on the Barcelona-based Hivern Discs imprint. Played ‘A49’ a couple of times and am super impressed with its effect on the crowd.
16. Ihor Okuniev – Roots
A meditative musical ode to Ukrainian landscapes. ‘Roots’ is a debut album by Kyiv-based multimedia artist Ihor Okuniev who is fascinated with his motherland’s nature, customs and traditions.
15. Shakti – Verboden Dromen
Marvelous how this band combines dark Western disco with Eastern instruments and traditions. Dancing with your eyes closed.
14. Philipp Otterbach – The Rest is Bliss
Salon Des Amateurs resident and crazy DJ, Philipp took my heart with ‘The Weak Song’ here. The otherworldly beauty is conveyed through cinematic, pulsating soundscapes, where contextually sampled and poly-rhythmically designed, electronic percussion generates impulsive rhythms.
13. Patrick Michaud – Synthétiseurs, Samplers & Polarweiss
An exciting compilation of unreleased work of Patrick Michaud recorded at his home studio (thanks to his mom for equipping it) between 1988 and 1992. A soundtrack to the 80s TV show or imaginary movies where the hero dramatically dies in the end. Patrick’s recreation of his beloved music of Jean-Michel Jarre. “Generic John Carpenter, 8-bit melodramas, the anticipation of what will later be the success of Boards of Canada, everything is there, delivered late in a beautiful gift package”
12. Golden Ivy – Kläppen
Country music met sampler: ‘Kläppen’ is an epic mellow experience for both the body and the mind. An almost family friendly record for the home stereo system, and yet quietly but daringly explorative of the avant-garde terrain.
11. Toshifumi Hinata – Broken Belief
An essential release – Chee Shimizu selected ten tracks from Toshifumi Hinata’s catalogue for this compilation on Amsterdam label. The vibe here really feels the same like on the earliest MFM records. Very dramatic, beautiful sounds, memorable pieces played in a lot of mixes by the likes Young Marco, Chris Kontos and many others, finally on one record. Love it!
10. Bliss Inc. – Radiant Reality
One of my fave dance moments this year, found during one of the rare visit to Phonica website, it captivated my eye with the vintage looking cover. Futuristic breakbeat and house, it has all the right elements in the right places.
9. Various Artists – Series One Compilation Vol.2
A packed comp from Banned In Vegas homies. This label cultivates its own artists and their collective sound feels special: experimental, edgy and emotional.
8. CZ Wang, Neo Image – Just Off Wave
Definitely, this was one of the most played tracks this year. Heard it for the first time in the Pender Street Steppers set on Brave! Factory festival and ‘Just Off Wave’ was a pure magic.
7. Organizatsiya – Strane Lezioni
A debut EP from the French collective switches with ease between ambient, dub and ethno-electronic styles, linking past influences and contemporary affinities. A space where bass, voice and guitar -melted through a cheap yet connoted mix, warm and raw reminding 80’s productions- speak with more actual instruments.
6. Prins Emanuel – Okända Skä
Fasaan boss delivered the second 7″ on Rick Shiver label. The sound of friction of two stones with flanger effect on top – this is an impression from the first track. The music here is aloof, strange and magnetic.
5. Venderstrooik – Crustacean
This trio is one of the most inventive producers out there. ‘Crustacean’ is the first Venderstrooik concept album, and showcases their musical depth – from future electroclash classics via experimental acid techno to melodic sensitive moments. Also, ‘Maison de Prostitution’ is one of the best tracks of this year.
4. Various Artists – Proper Sunburn: Forgotten Sunscreen Applied by Basso
The Growing Bin boss and diggers’ digger, Basso, continued Music For Dreams’ collector’s compilation series in a breathtaking way. It’s an ingeniuos journey from the sun-drenched AOR to percussive downtempo, from the ultra rare German streetsoul to heavenly jazz-funk opus played entirely on synth. Just wow!
3. Aki Aki – Dishjockey
An aperitif, local products, puree, caramelized onion and fresh chili in the culinary masterpiece from Aki The Chef.
2. Benjamin Lew – Le personnage principal est un peuple isolé
In Ziggy’s words, why he wanted to release music of Benjamin:
“a) his music is unreal and did so much good on a personal level when things were not always ok, personally.
b) his music acted as glue between most of the day 1 Stroom radio people
c) Jan Van den Broeke wrote a song about him “A la recherche de B.L.” that was featured on STRLP-005.
d) he is a great guy!”
Don’t want to rewrite the liner notes from the album, just read stories about this unique musician and human being here.
1. Yu Su – Roll With The Punches
A complex and beautiful EP from the rising star of the Vancouver scene. A deep sunrise music for your next retreat. Mindblowing.
Texts Sasha Tessio