Records I’ve Enjoyed In 2013 – Part 4 (and last!)

To the other parts: >>Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3<<

Plankton Wat/Expo70

Two fantastic musicians collaborate in a kosmish/krautish gem that really took me away on a journey. Magical and sensational. (Debacle Records)


Barn Owl – V

The new and as-always-hypnotic album by Barn Owl, is a dense, thick layered sound. Dark ambient, that sounds like it was coming from distant galaxies. The front cover looks like the land of a freezing cold lost star, and in a way, that’s how the music sounds as well. (Thrill Jockey)

Deep Space – Evil Dreams

A new cassette only release by the Austin band. They sound a bit like the Black Angels when they first started, with the obvious good TX psychedelic roots. Raw, sweaty and horny reverb soaked psychedelic garage gem.  (Self released)

ArboreaFortress Of the Sun

Buck and Shanti Curran create the magical mystical music of Arborea. Each and every album, Arborea just get better with their songwriting and production. Still minimal and humble, they are the folk group that you’d go to see in the local folk club, but you’d also expect to see in the biggest indie festival. Their new album is, as always, beautiful. I personally think they can’t go wrong.  (Arborea Music/ESP Disk)

Maston – Shadows

One of the most fun records of the year. A cheerful blend of poppy psychedelic and Italian soundtracks, Shadows is an essential album this year for fans of these styles. I wrote more about the album here (Trouble In Mind records)

Bird Names – Naming Names

He mixes all sorts of influence, Caribbean music and blues, classical music and Latin jazz. You won’t hear all these genres in the music itself, but you can tell immediately that David Lineal‘s brain is fully packed with the best ingredients that make up this brilliant album. Read more here including some words from David himself. (Self released)

Ian Holloway & Banks Bailey – Strange Pilgrim

Ian Holloway is running the awesome Wonderful Wooden Reasons website. On his new album with Banks Bailey, this one 31 minute track is a mixture of field recordings, nature at its best, with some weird oscillations and other electronic sounds. It’s a really beautiful recording, made for the particular hours of the day when you need to relax your mind but still maintain those gentle psychedelic neurons running the right direction.  (Self Released)


Rllrbll – 4 Corners

I’ve been waiting for a long time for the new Rollerball (or Rllbll as they are known now, after too many confusions with the stoner band with that name) album. This group from Portland is a personal favorite of mine. They create a nice blend of genres from free jazz to psychedelia to pop to lo-fi, and they have a very unique style of their own, the Rllbll style. With so many releases they had so far, it’s so great to listen to the new album and find that they still inspire me to search for the freedom and music. They know no boundaries and everything goes. Also don’t miss their twin band Moodring. Lots of fun.  (Self Released)

The Necks – Open

The Necks return with another stunning album. I love their epic music, cinematic moods and storytelling, but this 68 minute album was beyond expectations for me. Name another group, other maybe for the John Coltrane Quartet that can play 70 minutes of improvised music while keeping a delicate balance between the players, deep listening and unspoken understanding and just the perfect dynamics without a dull moment. The new album is just that. A masterpiece of improvised ‘jazz’ music.  (Northern Spy)

Steven R Smith/Ulaan Khol – Ending/Returning

It’s now a routine, Steven R Smith’s, under his name of any of his moniker or both, will have at least one album in my year end list. Why? Because he speaks my feelings, that’s why. (Immune Recordings)


Broadcast – Berberian Sound Studio

Broadcast’s last recording before the unfortunate death of Trish Keenan, is a beautiful soundtrack, in the Italian soundtracks style and sound. As always with Broadcast, they are very accurate with their selections of sounds, and the music is both gentle and horrific. (Warp)

Richard Thompson – Electric

The veteran singer/songwriter and guitar god is back (and he never went anywhere!) with one of his best albums since 1999’s Mock Tudor. The album title and front image don’t have much to do with the music (as he was electric before), but there’s definitely a new wind and some sort of freshness in the songs and production of this album. For fans of RT, this is really an essential album. For non-fans of RT, RT is essential for you. (New West Records/Proper Records)

Date Palms – The Dusted Sessions

Maybe the most trippy album on this list, the new Date Palms is very dear to my heart, as it resonants with a personal experience I had in the desert. The things I saw there, are very much alike what I hear in Date Palms long, almost spiritual, music.  (Thrill Jockey)

Esmerine Dalmak

Closing this list is this fascinating album by the Canadian band Esmerine . With members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, you’d expect the cinematic drams and epic compositions of postrock, but Dalmak is such a unique album that it’s hard for me to relate it to the postrock genre. Let’s call it neo-postrock. The album brings Canada and Turkey together, a blend of the drama and the Mediterranean music. East meets west without going into new age/world music, it’s such a beautiful album. (Constellation Records)

See you all next year.

>>Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3<<

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