A group of music friends and I put out top releases of the year each year-end. I put up my picks from last year, instead of through email format, here on my blog with media attached (unlike the others, who just had text; one had a podcast)! This year was a bit different as my favorite finds were not necessarily new releases. Here are my picks of favorite new music from this last year.
As always, I start off with local musicians like myself; we all had a great year and more people should be talking about the great scene we have in the Denver/Boulder area!
Acidbat. The Magician.
There aren’t many artists in the area focusing on acid music, but there is one band I can always count on for straight up acid, and that is Acidbat. I had the opportunity to play a gig with him this year as well. This album is on the Cyberdyne label on limited cassette format limited to 15 (there are a few left, grab the media while you can!). http://acidbat.bandcamp.com. This album is a wonderful acid excursion through various techno styles. World-class acid from a local artist! Awesome!
Symbols + Translations
Not quite local, this Austin Texas resident co-manages the Obsolete Future record label which has strong local ties. This release is their first foray into acid music and it is a great one! Many moods and melodies tag along with the consistent acid lines weaving throughout the mix. My personal favorite is “How long is the coast of Britian” which starts off the b-side of this cassette release. Limited edition to 100 on cassette, still available if you’re fast.
This is a great local band who I hope to see much more out of them in the future! They did a lathe cut 7″ single and have this album available for free digitally on band camp! Cheers! Melodies and vocals are addictive, great tracks!
Now onto the other non-local artists and bands that I picked up in 2015!
MAKiNA GiRGiR – Torment
Coming out of France, on La Forme Lente Records out of Belgium, this amazing cold wave album came out in 2013 but I have searched for the limited edition silkscreened cover to no success; so I purchased this digital only (sad, but true) in 2015. This album is amazing; for any fan of synth-based alternative, cold wave, dark wave, new wave, etc. Cold, female vocals; stunning lead synth lines, and groovy tracks all the way through!
Solvent – C for Comfort
Solvent goes way back into the last 90s with his label Suction Records. Jason Amm is a purveyor of synth leads and melodies. This is his own creation with tribute to the classic composers of the new wave synth gods — Depeche Mode, Human League, Visage, Ultravox, etc. This 6-track cassette release is rock solid synth instrumentals all the way through. So happy to see Suction Records back in business, releasing very strong releases! Released in 2014, I rediscovered this label and placed an order for many awesome releases in early 2015!
Mark Van Hoen – The Worcester Tapes 1983 – 1987
I’m a huge Mark Van Hoen fan, synth/sampler aficionado! In case you are having problems recognizing the name, think Seefeel, Scala, Locust among other projects. The Tapeworm presents… put together his original demo tape from early works from the artist. Beautiful piano and reverb dosed synth pads on this cassette-only release of 150. Appreciate The Tapeworm going out of their way and putting this out there! Beautiful Eno-esque ambient music!
Mark McGuire – Beyond Belief
Mark McGuire has had a big year; starting a family and continuing to press new age style music. Definitely different than his prior band Emeralds, this contains beats, guitar and even some vocals. Still, wonderfully looped melodies as only Mark McGuire can do. This double orange swirl colored vinyl came with a bonus cassette release of remixes and a poster. Beautiful release!
New Order – Western Works Demos
Limited edition of 50, this grey swirl vinyl was released containing the Sheffield based Western Works Studio demo masters of New Order’s first tracks after the death of Ian Curtis. 6 tracks on this one, recorded on July 9, 1980. The demos are what you would think they would sound like–Joy Division still in shock from the loss of their front man…with all the emotion and rawness that would bring to the sessions. Dreams Never End (Mix #1 and #2), Homage, Ceremony, Truth and Are You Ready? All very different versions from other recordings. This is an amazing find!
Various – Something Cold
With my discovery of Suction Records releasing material again, I also discovered they are also distributing likeminded music. This album is one I purchased in my order with Suction in 2015. This is great coldwave tunes; every track is awesome! Several dance floor tracks too…well worth a listen! Vinyl is sold out, but I suspect you can find copies around…
Miss Kittin & The Hacker – Lost Tracks Vol. 1
Dark Entries Records out of San Francisco is on fire; releasing great gems old and new. This is true to the coldwave/demos I have spoken about in the last few highlighted releases, the original demo from 97-99 from this dynamic duo! Leather Forever is a club classic! Electro and cold wave! Think Drexciya or Dopplereffekt style electro!
Luke Vibert – Halloween Part 1
Looking to get part 2, this is a classic acid record like only Luke Vibert can put together. Halloween is a spooky acid anthem that would rock any dance floor. Jack U Whole is classic Chicago style acid house.
Acid Pauli & Nancy – iBang
Had this as a favorite like on Soundcloud for a while, but Katermukke decided to produce 4x 12″ singles with their favorite tracks, one of which is my favorite track from the label. I also like Animal Trainer and the other Acid Pauli tracks too. This is a fun dance floor remake using the classic Nancy Sinatra vocals.
AtomTM – Riding The Void EP
These took a while to get; I’m assuming due to excessively long pressing times for vinyl, but it was worth the wait. Atom TM remixes of Riding the Void from the HD album. I still haven’t gotten the HD video, I can’t seem to make myself purchase a low-fi DVD on an album called HD. Bluray only Uwe, that is the only acceptable format other than perhaps 16mm. These are wonderfully produced dance tunes.
Mato – All About That Bass
Believe it or not this was the first version of this track that I heard. I bought it on a whim because of the title; but this is a wonderful 7″ Reggae plate remaking of the classic pop song. All the right junk in all the right places…
Leon Switch featuring Alys Be – Make Your Move
Been listening to a lot of bass music from the UK, sub genres of dub step called Dungeon / 140. Slow, heavy bass dub. This track I heard on a London radio show by a guest mix from Leon Switch, who plays dub plates of his own works. Love the pop vocals on this cool dub / bass track. Finally released in December with a bunch of remixes by another artist Markee Ledge, but the original Leon Switch mix is the best. Digging other similar modern “pop” tracks in this style.
Flexi Picture Records
Hasenbart Zeotrope Flexi-disc
As many of you know, I’m a huge flexi record collector. This I found by Hasenbart Records out of Germany, simply a beautiful Christmas picture record that is lathe cut. Get one while you can, good luck!
Acidbat – Autumn Mourning
Extremely limited edition of hand made double-sided flexis from a 1940s lathe. Wonderful acid tracks by Denver’s premiere acid scout! Available for free in digital download, check out Autumn Mourning now!
The Beatles – All You Need Is Love
This is a Polish bootleg flexi-record postcard from the 70’s. The premise is they would take postcards and press music on them and distribute them throughout Poland where there wasn’t proper music distribution. I have six different, equally cool (by the same artist) postcards with this same song.