Albums of 2015 (1-35)

In keeping with tradition for my blog, January call on time to reflect on what albums have been on loop during the year just past. I also know there are some people like myself who simply can’t resist ‘albums of the year’ lists with Inverted Audio, Mixmag and Pitchfork a few choice lists for me, and I like the grouped lists Exclaim has (unlike mine, which has a wide range of styles in the one list…).  So here goes:

1: Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell.  Despite discovering that I like Nick Cave during 2015 (courtesy of an Alex Smoke XLR8R podcast), Sufjan Stevens album made up the bulk of my melancholy listening throughout the year. A stunning album which tells a personal tale with sublime production…

 

2: Vessels – Dilate. This is Vessels’ 3rd album, but the first I’d heard of them but I couldn’t stop listening to Dilate for months. I’m still gutted about missing their tour swing by Glasgow last March – hopefully they will visit again during 2016…

3: Four Tet – Morning / Evening. 2 tracks, >40mins of bliss from Four Tet, with a healthy nod to his Indian roots. His 2 hour Dekmantel podcast is well worth checking too…

4: Gonno – Remember the Life is Beautiful. This album needs listened to again and again – on first listen I thought it was good, but the more I got into it the more its beauty shone through… the Soundcloud link gives a sample, but if you like electronic music I can’t recommend its entirty this highly enough.  (As an aside, Gonno’s DJ set at Optimo in the Sub Club was a clubbing highlight of 2015 too)…

5: Fat Freddy’s Drop –  Bays. One of my all time favourite live bands – sadly their 2015 tour didn’t swing by Scotland, but their 4th studio album is the most solid yet…

 

6: Stephan Bodzin – Powers of Ten. It was Stephan Bodzin’s outstanding XLR8R podcast that alerted me to his new album. I loved his last album Liebe ist, this one is even better… (his live Boiler Room performance is also a highlight of the year for me)

7: Floating Points – Elaenia. Sadly Floating Points live performance at the opening of Dimensions festival was broadcast on Boiler Room but sadly doesn’t seem to be available any more… The genius that this guy possesses is unbelievable (but worth reading about).  Oh, and there’s also his DJ mix with Four Tet which is class.

8: St Germain – St Germain. St Germain’s albums Boulevard and Tourist are two of my favourite albums… this is another superb mix of Jazz, World Music and House.

9: Julio Bashmore – Knockin’ Boots. Any time I’ve felt like creating instant party in my head recently, I stuck on the Julio Bashmore album.

10: DJ Richard – Grind. Lush electronic sounds…

11: Jamie XX – In Colours. An outstanding album, even though it features ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)’ which is the worst song I heard during 2015.

12: !!! – As If. As if a new album from Chk Chk Chk (!!!) would be anything but awesome…

13: Nitin Sawhney – Dystopian Dream. Another musician with incredible talent – his  TED Talks at CERN on Quantum music and Einstein, Tagore & music are well worth a watch and this album is right up there with Beyond Skin, Prophesy & Human which are all classics in my book.

14: The Orb – Moonbuilding 2703 AD. The Orb’s outstanding back catalog got even better during 2015. Releasing a totally fresh techno album 24 years after their first release is no mean feat…

15: Dave DK – Val Maira.  Kompakt records – no more words needed…

16: BadBadNotGood and Ghostface Killah – Sour Soul. Hip-hop instrumentalists BadBadNotGood teamed up with my favourite Wu Tang rapper, and I liked it!

17: Junior Loves and Scientific Dreamz of U – The Dreamcode. I’m not sure why these 2 artists combined to share half an album each, but it works! And is worthy of 2 links…

18: Leftfield – Alternative Light Source. A man down, but still class…

19: Roots Manuva – Bleeds. Best album to date from Roots Manuva…

20: Tropics – Rapture.  I thought I was a fan of this album, but then I read this review and realised that anything I wrote would sell it short…

21: George FitzGerald – Fading Love. In many ways, this album reminds me of Maya Jane Coles album Comfort.

22: Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons – Message From The Other Side. Quality electronic sounds. Damian Lazarus’s Essential Mix shows he is still a top DJ too…

23: Khruangbin – The Universe Smiles Upon You. Good music from Houston, Texas – who knew!? Press play and you’ll instantly feel groovy.

24: Laurent Garnier – La HOME Box. Laurent Garnier’s album doesn’t have any stand-out moments like Crispy Bacon or The Man With The Red Face, but it is still solid. His 3 hour Boiler Room DJ set is well worth a listen also…

25: Terranova – Restless. More Kompakt:

26: Jamie Woon – Making Time. Sharp R&B:

27: Steve Hauschildt – Where All is Fled. Ambient electronic sounds:

28: Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra – Into Forever. Similarish sound to The Cinematic Orchestra (high praise!):

29: Bjork – Vulnicura. It gets a bit too abstract at times, but for the most part this album is sublime:

30: Max Richter – Sleep. With the arrival of twins at the end of 2015, Sleep is an concept that has radically changed for me. I’ll have more waking hours to listed to Max Richter’s 8 hour album now though…

31: Errors – Lease of Life. I’ve been listening to this album all through the year and never thought to compare it to the Pet Shop Boys, but this review does just that.

32: The Internet – Ego Death. The production on this whole album is perfect. Top quality R&B:

33: Tame Impala – Currents. Psychedelic rock, inspired by Caribou

34:Tomas Barford – Glory. A relatively simple album to be honest, which seemed to draw me to it repeatedly…

35: Hunee – Hunch Music. Quality House album… Hunee knows his music, and likes it (as broadcast by Boiler Room from Dekmantel)

And finally: My favourite mix of the year has to go to Nina Kraviz’s Boiler Room from Edinburgh… sums up techno perfectly for me – amazing energy from her and the dancefloor:

About stuartmdarling

I live in Motherwell & work in Edinburgh in the Oil & Gas sector, which has been taking me around the world for 14 years now. My passion for politics and music go with me every step of the journey...
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One Response to Albums of 2015 (1-35)

  1. eddie says:

    this is great man..been looking for some new stuff to listen to!!! Stuart Darling, the gatekeeper to the portal of aural dimensions!!

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