2017 Best of Lists: Reckless Employees


Philip Cerza
My favorite album of 2017 is The Navigator by Hurray For The Riff Raff. My favorite EP is Harmony of Difference by Kamasi Washington. Best 7″ is Superchunk’s “I Got Cut” b/w “Up Against The Wall.” Song of the year and the decade is “Bodak Yellow”

More music from this year I’ll love forever:
Everybody Works – Jay Som
HEAVN – Jamila Woods
Laila’s Wisdom – Rapsody
Ctrl – SZA
Silver Haze – Aye Nako
Uyai – Ibibio Sound Machine
The Ride – Nelly Furtado
What Now – Sylvan Esso
Pleasure – Feist
Antisocialites – Alvvays
Tourist In This Town – Allison Crutchfield
Out In The Storm – Waxahatchee
Created In The Image of Suffering – King Woman
Hiss Spun – Chelsea Wolfe
Nightmare Logic – Power Trip
Prisoner – Ryan Adams
4:44 – JAY-Z
DAMN – Kendrick Lamar
Brick Body Kids Still Daydream – Open Mike Eagle
“Slide” – Calvin Harris, Migos, & Frank Ocean
“Love Yourself” – Mary J. Blige & Kanye West
“I’m Better” – Missy Elliott
“Green Light” – Lorde
“Cut To The Feeling” – Carly Rae Jepsen
“Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)”

Jamie Drier
Loke Rahbek – City of Women (Editions Mego)
Bjork – Utopia (One Little Indian)
Cosey Fanni Tutti – Time to Tell (Conspiracy International)
Rafael Anton Irisarri – The Shameless Years (Umor-Rex)
Max Richter – Three Worlds: Music From Woolf Works (Deutsche Grammophon)
Shit & Shine – Some People Really Know How To Live (Editions Mego)
Dion – Kickin’ Child: Lost Album 1965 (Norton Records)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Kid (Western Vinyl)
Ennio Morricone – Un Uomo Da Rispettare (Superior Viaduct)
JK Flesh – Suicide Estate – (Hospital Productions)

Benjamin Hegy
Creation- action painting [numero]
Midori Takada- through the looking glass [wrwtfww]
Arthur Russell- instrumentals [audika]
Other People Place- lifestyles of the laptop cafe [warp]
Various- outro tempo: electronic and contemporary music from brazil 1978-1992 [music from memory]
Gaussian Curve- distance [music from memory]
Julie Byrne- not even happiness [ba da bing!]
Le Car- auto-reverse [clone classic cuts]
Jaimie Branch- fly or die [international anthem]
Slowdive- s/t [dead oceans]
Drexciya- grava 4 [clone]
Alice Coltrane- the ecstatic music of alice coltrane turiyasangitananda [luaka bop]
Bill Orcutt- s/t [palilalia]
War On Drugs- a deeper understanding [atlantic]
Sza- ctrl [top dawg entertainment]
Neil Young- hitchhiker [reprise]
Kurt Vile & Courtney Barnett- lotta sea lice [matador]
Patrick Cowley- afternooners [dark entries]
Various- space, energy & light (experimental electronic and acoustic soundscapes 1961-88) [soul jazz]
Kelela- take me apart [warp]
Richard Horowitz- eros in arabia [freedom to spend]
Makaya McCraven- highly rare [international anthem]

Jake Lingan
Oren Ambarchi & Crys Cole- “Hotel Record” (Black Truffle)
Ariel Pink- “Dedicated To Bobby Jameson” (Mexican Summer)
Felicia Atkinson- “Hand In Hand” (Shelter Press)
Ka Baird- “Sapropelic Pycnic (Drag City)
William Basinski- “A Shadow In Time” (Temporary Residence)
Billington/ Shippy/ Wyche- “Billington/ Shippy/ Wyche” (Astral Spirits)
David Bowie- “New Career In A New Town” (Parlophone)
Brother Ah- “Divine Music” (Manufactured Recordings)
Bucket Brigade- “Frozen Flags” (No Index) & “Mnemosyne” (Love All Day)
B12- “Electro-Soma” reissue (Warp)
Alice Coltrane- “World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane” (Luaka Bop)
Tony Conrad- “Ten Years Alive On The Infinite Plain” (Superior Viaduct)
Dead Rider- “Crew Licks” (Drag City)
Aaron Dilloway- “The Gag File” (Dais)
Crazy Doberman- “Hell Is Within Us” (Castle Bravo)
Dub Syndicate reissues (On-U Sound)
John Duncan- “Klaar” reissue (Black Truffle)
Ian Dury- “New Boots And Panties!!” reissue (Edsel)
Charles Duvelle & Hisham Mayet- “The Photographs of Charles Duvelle” (Sublime Frequencies)
Luc Ferrari- “Heterozygote/ Petite Symphonie” (Recollection GRM)
Gas- “Narkopop” (Kompakt)
Keiji Haino- “Watashi Dake?” (Black Editions)
Laurel Halo- “Dust” (Hyperdub)
Jon Hassell- “Dream Theory In Malaya Fourth World Music” reissue (Glitterbeat)
Joe Henderson with Alice Coltrane- “The Elements” reissue (Milestone)
Husker Du- “Savage Young Du” (Numero)
Irreversible Entanglements- “Irreversible Entanglements” (International Anthem)
Mary Jane Leach- “Pipe Dreams” (Blume)
Arto Lindsay- “Cuidado Madame” (Northern Spy)
Makaya McCraven- “Highly Rare” (International Anthem)
Roscoe Mitchell- “Bells For The South Side” (ECM)
Mukqs- “11,666,666,666,666,666,666” (Midwich)
Oneohtrix Point Never- “Good Time” Soundtrack (Warp)
Yoko Ono- “Fly”/ “Approximately Infinite Universe” reissues (Chimera)
Bill Orcutt- “Bill Orcutt” (Palilalia)
Giusto Pio- “Motore Immobile” reissue (Soave)
Plastic Crimewave Syndicate- “Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom” (Eye Vybe)
Prince & The Revolution- “Purple Rain Deluxe (Expanded Edition” (NPG)
Steve Roach- “Structures From Silence” reissue (Telephone Explosion)
Sampha- “Process” (Young Turks)
Pharoah Sanders- “Izipho Zam (My Gifts)” reissue (Everland/ Strata East)
Yasuaki Shimizu- “Kakashi” reissue (Palto Flats)
Shit & Shine- “Some People Really Know How To Live” (Editions Mego)
Sleaford Mods- “English Tapas” (Rough Trade)
Pauline Anna Strom- “Trans-Millenia Music” (Rvng Intl)
Midori Takada- “Through The Looking Glass” reissue (Palto Flats)
Norm Talley- “Norm-A-Lize” (FXHE)
TALsounds- “Love Sick” (Ba Da Bing!)
Thundercat- “Drunk” (Brainfeeder)
Cosey Fanni Tutti- “Time To Tell” reissue (Conspiracy International)
Jaap Vink- “Jaap Vink” (Recollection GRM)
Wolf Eyes- “Undertow” (Lower Level)
Danny Wolfers- “Unfolding The Future With Amateur Space Jazz” (Nightwind)
ZRL- “ZRL” (No Index)
V/A- “Tokyo Flashback” (Black Editions)
V/A- “Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil – 1978-1992” (Music From Memory)

Gary Errera
Top 3 Releases(Couldn’t come up with 10 to save my life)
Kedr Livanskiy – Ariadna ()
This is my number one for the whole year. Just listen to it.
Slowdive – Slowdive
Fine addition to their discography.
Death Grips – That first song on the new one
That first song is kinda ok, if you can put aside the large 12 year old hater fanbase.

Top 3 Reissues
John Frusciante – Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt
Finally on vinyl, about flippin time.
Throbbing Gristle – The Taste of TG
Arguably better than Greatest Hits, a fine primer for the TG illiterate.
The Replacements – For Sale: Live at Maxwells 1986
Awesome of them to release a show superfans have had for years. Demand
for the cutouts continues.

Jacob Kart
Laraaji – Celestial Vibration – soul jazz
Brett Naucke – Multiple Hallucinations – Hausu Mountain
Gel set- Body Copy – 2MR
Tal Sounds – Love Sick – Ba Da Bing
Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die – International Anthem
Matthew Lux’s communication arts quartet- contra-fact – Astral Spirits
Bitchin Bajas- Bajas Fresh – Drag City
駄女神 – Mukqs – Hausu Mountain
Visible Cloaks- Reassemblage – RVNG International
Laurel Halo- Dust – Hyperdub

Dave Hofer

2016 Late Additions
Invisibl Skratch Piklz – The 13th Floor
First proper album of turntable wizardry from this legendary crew. Three guys, three mixers, three turntables.
Run the Jewels – RTJ3
The best hip-hop group in some time keeps their momentum pushing forward with El-P’s production anchoring some serious lyrical fire.

Best Albums of 2017
Mutoid Man – War Moans
How this band isn’t huge is beyond me. Members of Cave In and Converge as a power three-piece with riffs, riffs and more riffs. Stephen Brodsky can sing/scream his ass off and they have to be one of the tightest live bands I’ve ever seen. My favorite album of 2017.
Artificial Brain – Infrared Horizon
Outer space death metal with subliminal melodies amidst the blasting and guttural vocals.
All Pigs Must Die – Hostage Animal
Ex and current members of the Hope Conspiracy and Converge deliver another batch of what can only be described as pure, pissed off hardcore. Plenty of riffage, no clean singing.
Cannibal Corpse – Red Before Black
A more straightforward effort from the established splatter-death masters.
Death Toll 80K – Step Down
Their 2011 LP “Harsh Realities” took me by surprise so I was looking forward to this one. Another super-late 2017 release. Absolutely pulverizing grindcore. Near-constant blasting and the usual, but very well done, guttural/crazed-scream vocals. Relentless.
DJ Rude One – ONEderful
Former Chicago DJ/producer finally dropped his album. Boom-bap fans need look no further. Hard as hell.
El Michels Affair – Return to the 37th Chamber
Second batch of live-instrument arrangements of classic Wu-Tang instrumentals. Funky!
Eradicator – Eradicator
Quirky & deceptively complex punk rock from this high-concept Chicago/Milwaukee band.
Friendship – Hatred
Powerful and creative hardcore/grind from Japan.
Full of Hell – Trumpeting Ecstasy
This band has evolved into a unique, experimental grindcore beast. 23 minutes of brain-warping grind.
Goatwhore – Vengeful Ascension
The perfect blend of thrash, death and black metal, once again. One of the most crushing live bands going.
Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry
Excellent follow-up to their breakthrough The Tyranny of Will LP. You want circle pit riffs? Look no further.
Mellow Harsher/Invertebrate – Split 7”
I love Mellow Harsher. Live, they’re really fun, but their music on its own is serious, chaotic-but-airtight grind. Invertebrate closes their side with Infest and Suppression covers, so what does that tell ya? Hearty grind with a side of sludge.
Morbid Angel – Kingdoms Disdained
Steve Tucker returns to the fold for a solid batch of twisted, Sumerian-happy death metal.
Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Brainiac EP
Initially a digital-only release, this EP got a late-2017 vinyl release! eXquire’s delivery & voice are instantly recognizable, his lyrics twisting & turning in ways unexpected. Some real head-nod shit, right here.
Perceptionists – Resolution
Mr. Lif continues his re-storming of the hip-hop world by getting back with Akrobatik and spitting some serious shit.
Phobia – Lifeless God
Pure grindcore from this long-running band. Very intense stuff for speed-freaks only!!
River Black – River Black
Basically this is Burnt By The Sun Part 2; mid-tempo groove with only one misstep: a clean-vocal part late in the album. Great otherwise.

Best Shows of 2017
Mutoid Man at Subterranean
So tight, so heavy . . . this band should be taking over the world any minute now . . .
Code Orange/Dying Fetus/Hatebreed at Metro
AKA The Night of 1,000 Breakdowns.
Run the Jewels at the Aragon & Lollapalooza
The bigger the system, the better those beats sound.
Rude One & Skepta at North Coast Fest
Not performing together, sadly, but Rude One closed out the DJ tent and then Skepta brought his grimey hip-hop to a bunch of stoned people in Union Park.
Mellow Harsher & Pyrrhon at the Empty Bottle
Pure Comedy Grind and free jazz death metal in one night! What more could you ask for?
Iron Reagan at Reggie’s
Their crossover is most potent in a live setting. Very fun, high-energy show.
Goatwhore at House of Blues & Reggie’s
These guys are the masters of crushing tone in a live setting. They’re also a touring machine, and their insanely tight live show is evidence of that. Plus, at least two members are usually wearing spikes onstage.
Weekend Nachos & Mellow Harsher at Subterranean
This was part of the two-night, Weekend Nachos final-shows extravaganza. A fine night of blast beats.

Best Pro-Wrestling Shows (and a must-see match)
AAW: Hell Hath No Fury (Michael Elgin vs. Shane Strickland)
AAW: Unstoppable (ACH vs. Sammy Guevara)
Ring of Honor/New Japan: Global Wars Chicago (Will Osperay vs. Flip Gordon or Marty Scurll vs. Hiromu Takahashi)

Beth Klacko

2017 Releases & Reissues that piqued my interest:

– Gaussian Curve – The Distance
– Laraaji – Celestial Vibration
– War On Drugs – A Deeper Understanding
– Woo – A La Luna
– Pauline Anna Strom – Trans-Millenia Music
– Colleen – A Flame My Love, a Frequency
– Metro Area – Metro Area
– Jun Fukamachi – Nicole(86 Spring & Summer Collection Instrumental Images)
– Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – Ambient Black Magic
– Gel Set – Body Copy
– Various Artists – Seafaring Strangers / Private Yacht
– Bjorn Torske & Prins Thomas – Square One
– Julia Holter – In The Same Room
– Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Simultonality
– Ka Baird – Sapropelic Pycnic
– Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness
– Slowdive – Slowdive
– Gas – Narkopop

Matt Jencik
Arca S/T
Bell Witch Mirror Reaper
Bjork Utopia
Black Cilice Banished From Time
Bölzer Hero (late 2016 release I missed)
John Carpenter Christine (Original Motion Picture Score) reissue
Brian Case Spirit Design
Circuit Des Yeux Reaching For Indigo
Alice Coltrane Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane
Demen Nektyr
Bill Dixon Orchestra Intents & Purposes LP reissue
Emptiness Not For Music
Enslaved E
Gel Set Body Copy
Grouper Paradise Valley single
Husker Du Savage Young Du
Rafael Anton Irisarri Shameless Years
Johann Johannsson Orphee
Lifelover Pulver reissue
Kedr Livanskiy Ariadna
Look Blue Go Purple Still Bewitched
Lorn Arrayed Claws
Metallica “Master of Puppets” demo from the Deluxe Edition
Modern Art Underwater Kites & Oriental Towers reissues
Charlemagne Palestine Strumming Music LP reissue
Arvo Part Fur Alina LP
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement Ambient Black Magic
Replacements For Sale: Live at Maxwell’s 1986
Steve Roach Structures From Silence LP reissue
Slowdive S/T
TALsounds Love sick
Time Machines (Coil) S/T reissue
Twin Peaks soundtracks
Venenum Trance of Death
Justin Walter Unseen Forces
Lal & Mike Waterson Bright Phoebus LP reissue
Gillian Welch Harrow & the Harvest LP
Witch of 1692 Impious Mysterial Hymn
Hiroshi Yoshimura Music for Nine Postcards reissue
Neil Young Hitchhiker
V/A Paul Major: Feel the Music
V/A Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares

John Carpenter @ Aragon Ballroom
Circuit Des Yeux performing Nico’s “Chelsea Girl” w/ Laraaji
@Bohemian National Cemetery
Cropped Out Fest in Louisville, KY
Heron Oblivion @Empty Bottle
Jesus Lizard @ Metro
Kikagaku Moyo @ Empty Bottle
Matchess multiple shows
Mayhem playing De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas @ Metro
Nadja multiple shows
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds @ Auditorium Theater
PJ Harvey @ Pitchfork Music Festival
Psychedelic Furs @ Thalia Hall
Raime @Impetus Festival
Slowdive @ The Vic
TALsounds multiple shows

Twin Peaks: The Return
Blade Runner 2049

Chelsea Welch
2017 ~ The Best Things I Heard~
Jacob Kart – Frozen Flags – No Index
Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die – IARC
Gel Set – Body Copy – 2MR
Circuit Des Yeux – Reaching For Indigo – Drag City
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda – Luaka bop
Outro Tempo Compilation – (Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992) – Music From Memory
Jamila Woods – Heavn – Jagjaguwar
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Kid – Western Vinyl
Disco Inferno – 5 EPs – One Little Indian
Kelela – Take Me Apart- Warp
Patrick Cowley – Afternooners – Dark Entries
Slowdive – Self Titled – Captured Tracks
Sean Nicholas Savage – Yummycoma – Arbutus Records
Laraaji – Bring On the Sun – All Saints
Weather Station – Self Titled – Paradise of Bachelor
Yasuaki Shimizu -Music For Commercials (Reissue) – Crammed Discs
Henry Flynt – You Are My Everlovin (Reissue) – Superior Viaduct

Perry Ryan

Richard Dawson – Peasant (Weird World/Domino) [Avant-folk]
Feist – Pleasure (Interscope) [Sparse singer-songwriter]
Sheer Mag – Compilation LP (Wilsuns RC) [Lo-fi power pop]
Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy (Odd Future/Columbia) [Neo-soul-rap]
Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound (Carpark) [Hooks on hooks]
Yucky Duster – Duster’s Lament EP (Infinity Cat) [Twee, but in a good way]
Kirin J. Callinan – Bravado (Terrible) [Pop art]
Dirty Projectors – Dirty Projectors (Domino) [Art pop]
Alex Cameron – Forced Witness (Secretly Canadian) [Alex Cameron]
Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream (Mello Music Group) [Art rap]


Mike Krol – Mike Krol Is Never Dead: The First Two Records (Merge) [Slop pop]
The Replacements – For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986 (Rhino) [No description necessary]

Ethan D’Ercole

Dylan Sowle
My favorite releases of the year, in no particular order:

LCD Soundsystem- American Dream (DFA)
Flaming Lips- Oczy Mlody (Warner Bros.)
Surfbort- Bort To Death (Hozac)
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard- Murder Of The Universe (Flightless)
Kamasi Washington- Harmony Of Difference (Young Turks)
Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats- Vol. 1 (Rise Above Records)
Various Artists- Hero Of Time (Music From “The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time”) (Materia Collective/Iam8bit)
Black Lips- Satan’s Graffiti Or God’s Art? (Vice)
Melkbelly- Nothing Valley (Wax Nine)
Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch- Blade Runner 2049 OST (Epic)
Oh Sees- Orc (Castle Face)
Guantanamo Baywatch- Desert Center (Suicide Squeeze)
Mike Krol- Mike Krol Is Never Dead: The First Two Records (Merge)

Zachary Caputo
Some of these items were released digitally last year, but their physical release graced my weary record store hands this year. We’ll just say we’re all the class of 2017.

1: Thundercat – Drunk (Zappa Soul / Jazz Rock) [Brainfeeder]
2: Death Grips – Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix) (Experimental Hip Hop / Dance) [Third Worlds]
3: Lil B – Black Ken (Hip-Hop / Based) [Basedworld Records]
4: The ILYs – Bodyguard (Garage Rock / Art Rock) [Castleface]
5: Death From Above – Outrage! Is Now (Punk Rock / Dance Rock) [Last Gang Records]
6: St. Vincent – Masseduction (Art Rock / Synth Pop) [Loma Vista]
7: Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory (Rap / Experimental Dance) [ARTium Recordings / Def Jam Records]
8: TALsounds – Lovesick (Experimental / Ambient Soundscapes) [Ba Da Bing Records]
9: Paramore – After Laughter (Pop / New Wave) [Fueled By Ramen]
10: Jlin – Black Origami (Experimental Dance / Footwork) [Planet Mu]
11: Nine Inch Nails – Not The Actual Events (Industrial Rock / Noise Rock) [Null Corporation]
12: Kendrick Lamar – DAMN. (Rap) [Top Dawg / Interscope]
13: Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfish – Blade Runner 2049 Original Soundtrack (Film Score / Ambient Electronics) [Epic Records]
14: Machine Girl – …Because I’m Young Arrogant And Hate Everything You Stand For (Digital Hardcore / Noise) [Orange Milk]
15: Run The Jewels – RTJ3 (Hip-Hop) [Run The Jewels, Inc]
16: Greg Fox – The Gradual Progression (Experimental Jazz / Ambient) [Rvng Intl.]
17: Alice Glass – Alice Glass (Noise Pop / Post-Industrial) [Loma Vista]
18: Shobaleader One (Squarepusher) – Elektrac (Jazz Fusion / Live Electronics) [Warp]
19: Gorillaz – Humanz (Dance / Rap) [Parlophone]
20: Lorde – Melodrama (Electropop) [Republic Records]

Honorable Mentions:

Kamasi Washington – Harmony Of Difference (Jazz)
Bjork – Utopia (Art Pop / Electronic)
Arca – Arca (Experimental)
Oneohtrix Point Never – Good Times Original Soundtrack (Film Score / Experimental)
Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick (Garage Rock / Punk Rock)
Jamila Woods – HEAVN (Soul / Hip-Hop)

David Cartwright
Yves Tumor “Experiencing The Deposit of Faith” self-released
Beau Wanzer “Untitled” Self-released
Laurel Halo “Dust” Hyperdub
Ramzi “Phobiza “Noite” Vol. 2″ Mood Hut
Machine Girl “Because I’m Young Arrogant & Hate Everything You Stand For” Orange Milk
Joshua Abrams “Simultonality” Eremite Records
Dj Python “Dulce Compania” Incienso
Unknown Me “Subtropics” Not Not Fun
Tony Allen “The Source” Blue Note
Lee Gamble “Mnestic Pressure” Hyperdub
Dj Seinfeld “Time Spent Away From U” Lobster Fury
Greg Fox “The Gradual Progression” Rvng Intl.
Project Pablo “Hope You’re Well” Technicolour

Adam Cavanaugh
(in no particular order)

Solid Space – Space Museum (Dark Entries)
Various Artists – Metroid Trilogy (Moonshake Records)
Slowdive – Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
Midori Takada – Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW Records)
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration (Dais Records)
Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Symphonic Suite Akira (Milan Records)
Dallas Acid – Spa Hunter (Flying Moonlight)
Ninja Gaiden The Definite Soundtrack boxset (Brave Wave Productions)
Make-Overs – Try Me (Heel Turn Records)
Stelvio Cipriani – Un’Ombra Nell’Ombra (Four Flies Records)
Ennio Morricone – Space: 1999 (Death Waltz Recording Company)
Susana Estrada – The Sexadelic Disco Funk Sounds of… (Espacial Discos)
Yuzo Koshiro – The Revenge of Shinobi (Data Discs)
Marcello Giombini – La Bestia Nello Spazia (Death Waltz Recording Company)
Protex – Tightrope (Bachelor Records)

Anthony Illarde
BEST OF 2017

TONY ALLEN The Source (Blue Note CD)
BEATLES Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Ringo Mix (Capitol LP)
BLONDIE Pollinator (Noble ID LP)
CHICANO BATMAN Freedom Is Free (Ato LP)
EMMA DE ANGELIS Forgiveness (Finders Keepers 45)
MELANIE DE BIASIO Lilies (Play It Again Sam LP)
ABDOU EL OMARI Nuits De Printemps (Radio Martiko LP)
GOKCEN KAYNATAN Gokcen Kaynatan (Finders Keepers LP)
GRAEME MILLER & STEVE SHILL Moomins TV Soundtrack LP (Finders Keepers)
MONKS Hamburg Recordings 1967 (Third Man LP)
NEGATIVE ELEMENT Shouts Of Rebellion (Alona’s Dream LP)
RAYMOND SCOTT Three Willow Park (Basta 3LP)
EPIC SOUNDTRACKS Change My Life (Mapache LP)
PIERO UMILIANI Grazie! (Nature Sounds 2LP)
KAMASI WASHINGTON Harmony Of Difference (Young Turks LP)
DUSTIN WONG & TAKAKO MINEKAWA Are Euphoria (Thrill Jockey LP)

Captain Fantastic: Elton John’s Stellar Trip Through The 70s – Tom Doyle (Ballantine)
Feel The Music: The Psychedelic Worlds of Paul Major (Anthology Editions)
Infinite Tuesday – Michael Nesmith (Crown Archetype)
Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol – Steve Jones (Da Capo Press)

Jim Magas
2017 Favorites

Midori Takada – Through the Looking Glass LP (WRWTFWW)
Geinoh Yamashiro – Akira soundtrack LP (Milan)
Bjorn Torske – Host (DJ Sotofett’s Stoydubb) 12” (Sex Tags Mania)
DJ Fett Burger – Pub 18 / 411 Esperanza 12” (Sex Tags UFO)
Bill Orcutt – Bill Orcutt LP (Palialalia)
Rob Noyes – Feudal Spirit LP (Poon Village)
Alexander – Alexander LP (No Label)
Quintron (w/ drawings by Miss Pussycat – Europa My Mirror book (Goner)
Bill MacKay & Ryley Walker – Spiderbeetlebee LP (Drag City)
Angelo Baroncini & Bruno D’Amario – Music For Movement LP (Sonor Music)
Errorsmith – Superlative Fatigue 2LP (Pan)
Beau Wanzer – Untitled II LP (Beau Wanzer)
Beau Wanzer – Issue N. 20 12” (Jealous God)
Not Waving – Good Luck LP (Diagonal)
Porter Ricks – Anguilla Electrica 2LP (Tresor)
Function – Recompiled I/II 2LP (Aton)
Function – Recompiled II/II 2LP (Aton)
Jlin – Dark Lotus LP (Planet Mu)
B12 – Electro Soma 2LP (Warp)
Legowelt – Legendary Freaks in the Trash of Time 2LP (Clone)
Cosey Fanni Tutti – Time to Tell LP (CTI)
B12 – Electro Soma II 2LP (Warp)
Various Artists – Tokyo Flashback 2LP (Black Editions)
Regis – Gymnastics 2LP (Downwards)
MAGAS – Explanatory Denial 12” (Midwich)
Mukqs – 11,666,666,666,666,666,666 LP (Midwich)
Aaron Dilloway – The Gag File LP (Dais)
Coil – Time Machines LP (Dais)
Norm Talley – Norm-a-lize 4LP (FXHE)
Funkadelic – Reworked by Detroiters 3LP (Westbound)
Twin Peaks – The Return tv show

Steven Rahman
Best of the Best:
P.O.S. – Chill Dummy
Oddisee – The Iceberg
Rodney Crowell – Close Ties
Kehlani – SweetSexySavage
Kendrick Lamar – Damn.
Moses Sumney – Aromanticism
Tyler the Creator – Scum F*** Flower Boy
Gabriel Garzon-Montano – Jardin
Childish Gambino – Awaken My Love

Very Very Good:
Sampha – Process
Smino – BLKSWN
J.I.D. – The Never Story
Joey Bada$$ – All Amerikkkan Bada$$
Brother Ali – All the Beauty in this Whole World
Jay-Z – 4:44
Vic Mensa – The Manuscript
Syd – Fin
2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
Kelela – Take Me Apart
Daniel Caesar – Freudian
Khalid – American Teen
Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

Luke Dahlgren
These were some of this year’s standout records for me. All titles except for the two I have starred (*) either are carried or have been carried here by Reckless.

Protomartyr – Relatives in Descent (Domino) post-punk
The lineage of influence here can be traced closest to bands like The Fall and Pere Ubu. Each song seems to be built from the bottom up; the punchy bass & drum combo provide the songs with its initial character, which is then adorned with earworm guitar licks and tied together with grim ambience. Joe Casey’s “sing-speak” vocals ring out like a mad prophet, articulating the pain of middle-American anxiety, alienation and collapse. These songs routinely locate that rare convergence of unconventional and intuitive, making it an immediately gratifying listen.
Makaya McCraven – Highly Rare (International Anthem) avant-garde jazz
This is an improvised set recorded directly to tape live at Danny’s in Bucktown. The rhythm section led by McCraven on drums treads heavily, drawing the broad templates of each idea the band explores. The coarse audio quality really accentuates how tight the quartet plays without feeling restrictive, allowing the set to rely on the push-pull tension between its frenetic free-jazz outbursts and its deliberate groove-based segments. The resulting record is an absolute tour-de-force, making this an essential listen for anyone with an ear for avant-garde jazz.
Richard Dawson – Peasant (Weird World) freak folk
Peasant is among the more lyrically ambitious and theatrical records from this year. It’s a concept album depicting a mythic version of Dark Ages Europe, and each track is a narrative told from the perspective of a different character. The music here is dark, tactile, unhinged and marked by unconventional melody, structure, and texture (harps, horns, odd percussion) that move quickly between abrasive and pastoral. For those inclined towards its sound – and the sound of other English freak folk – Peasant is an immersive record that continues to reward with repeated plays.

OTHER NEW MUSIC (alpha by artist):
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Simultonality (Eremite) avant-garde jazz
Tony Allen – The Source (Blue Note) jazz / Afrobeat
Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die (International Anthem) avant-garde jazz
Chicano Batman – Freedom is Free (ATO) Latin soul
Destroyer – ken (Merge) synth pop
* Golden Teacher – No Luscious Life [self-released] dance / nu-disco
Guerilla Toss – GT Ultra (DFA) dance / no wave
Laurel Halo – Dust (Hyperdub) electronic / art pop
Irreversible Entanglements – s/t (International Anthem) free jazz / spoken word
Jlin – Black Origami (Planet Mu) IDM / footwork
Daniele Luppi / Parquet Courts / Karen O – MILANO (Capitol) art rock
(Thee) Oh Sees – Orc (Castle Face) psych-rock
Priests – Nothing Feels Natural (Sister Polygon) art punk
A. Savage – Thawing Dawn (Dull Tools) art rock / alt-country
Ty Segall – s/t (Drag City) psych-rock / garage
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Kid (Western Vinyl) electronic / art pop
Joni Void – Selfless (Constellation) electronic / spoken word
Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference (Young Turks) jazz
* Zimpel / Ziołek – s/t (Instant Classic) avant-folk / electronic / avant-garde jazz

COMPILATIONS & REISSUES (also alpha by artist):
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop) jazz vocal / Eastern spiritual
Steve Roach – Structures From Silence (orig. 1984 on Fortuna; reissued on Telephone Explosion) ambient
Lal & Mike Waterson – Bright Phoebus (orig. 1972 on Trailer; reissued on Domino) freak folk
Neil Young – Hitchhiker (recorded 1976; Reprise) folk / country (c’mon, it’s Neil Young)
v/a – Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 (Light in the Attic) folk / soft rock
v/a – Soul of a Nation: Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power (Soul Jazz) jazz / soul / funk / spoken word
v/a – Tokyo Flashback, Vol. 1 (orig. CD only from 1991 on PSF; LP reissue on Black Editions) psych-rock / noise
v/a – Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) hard rock / proto-metal

Lea Board
(in no particular order)
Com Truise “Iteration” (Ghostly International)
LCD Soundsystem *American Dream” (DFA)
Electric Wizard “Wizard Bloody Wizard” (Witchfinder)
Kendrick Lamar “Damn” (Interscope)
Blanck Mass “World Eater” (Sacred Bones)
King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard w/ Mild High Club “Sketches of Brunswick East” (Flightless)
Orb “Naturality” (Castleface)
Oh Sees “Orc” (Castleface)
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats “Vol. 1” Reissue (Rise Above)
Mike Krol “Mike Krol is Never Dead: The First Two Records” (Merge)
Dan Deacon “Rat Film” (Domino)
Guantanamo Baywatch “Desert Center” (Suicide Squeeze)
Rezn “Let It Burn” (Off the Record Label)
Faust “Fresh Air” (Bureau B)
Chelsea Wolfe “Hiss Spun” (Sargent House)
Black Lips “Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?” (Vice)

Benjamin Crowell

Neil Young – Hitchhiker
Bjork – Utopia
Circuit Des Yeux – Reaching For Indigo
The Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper
V/A – Twin Peaks (Limited Event Series Soundtrack)
John Carpenter – Anthology
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
Diamanda Galas – All The Way
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Gocken Kaynatan – s/t
Slowdive – s/t

John Jackson

(in no particular order)
Declaime-Young Spirit
FourTet-New Energy
Makaya Mccraven-Highly Rare
Thavius Beck- Technol O.G.
Joshua Abrams- Simultonality
Blockhead-Funeral Balloons
Damu The Fudgemunk- Vignettes
Thievery Corporation-The Temple of I&I
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble- Book of Love
Moka Only-Concert for One

Joseph Seger
Terry – “Remember Terry” LP (Upset The Rhythm)
Parsnip – “Health” (Anti-Fade)
The Country Liners – “Mary Jane Dunphe & Chris McDonnell in The Country Liners” (Wharf Cat)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – “Find Me Finding You” (Drag City)
Bugg – “Bugg” (Pop Wig)
Kaleidoscope – “Volume 3” (Feel It
Makaya McCraven – “Highly Rare” (International Anthem)
The Cowboys – “The Cowboys” (Hozac)
Darto – “Human Giving” (Agoo)
Rays – “Rays” (Trouble In Mind)
Headroom “Head In The Clouds” (Trouble In Mind)
The Living Eyes – “Modern Living” (Anti-Fade)
Neil Young – “Hitchhiker” (Reprise)
Jackson Politick – “Paste, Vol. 1” (Neck Chop)
The World – “First World Record” (Lumpy/UTR!)
GenPop – “On the Screen” (Lumpy Records)

Kip McCabe
Run The Jewels “III”
Kamasi Washington “Harmony of Difference”
Slowdive “Slowdive”
Neil Young “Hitchhiker”
Juana Molina “Halo”
V/A “Even a Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese
Folk & Rock 1969-1973”

Molly Mobley
Man, wasn’t 2017 a trip? If you’re like me you think this year left a lot to be desired. But despite everything, there were some solid releases from this past year that deserve to be highlighted. I have made the personal choice to exclude music by cis white male solo artists, as well as bands consisting of only cis white males because I just don’t believe this particular group of ppl deserve accolades this year. So with this list, I have chosen to recognize music made by female, POC, and LGBTQ artists. Mind you that this wasn’t difficult, as almost all of my favorite music from this year was put out by artists that fall into these groups. Spotify told me in my year wrap that my favorite genres were “Post teen pop” and “art rock” and I felt seen, but I have to admit after making this list those seem incredibly accurate. In no particular order, please enjoy my 17 fav albums from 2017!

Kamasi Washington – Harmony of Difference EP.
SZA – Ctrl (Favorite song – Drew Barrymore)
Slowdive – Slowdive (Favorite song – Sugar for the Pill) –
Arca – Arca (Favorite song – Saunter) – ARCA has collaborated with big name artists such as Kanye, FKA Twigs, and most notably Bjork on her album Vulnicura. This self titled release is dark and melodic, abstract and emotional. It’s a gd work of art and a must have in any collection.
Perfume Genius – No Shape (Favorite Song – Just Like Love) Pitchfork already summed up my love for this song perfectly – “It’s the kind of song that makes rags feel like ball gowns, and should probably have been playing when Botticelli painted The Birth of Venus.”
Lorde – Melodrama (Favorite song – The Louvre) – “I overthink your p-p-punctuation use. Not my fault, just a thing that my mine do.” If that single sentence doesn’t sum up modern dating then idk what does.
Kesha – Rainbow (Favorite song – Hunt you Down / Boogie Feet)
Molly Burch – Please be Mine (Favorite song – Please be Mine)
Jamila Woods – HEAVN (Favorite song – LSD (feat. Chance the Rapper) ) – This whole album is a love letter to Chicago and everytime I listen to it I feel so proud to live here.
Princess Nokia – 1992 Deluxe (Favorite song – G.O.A.T./ Brujas)
Kelela – Take Me Apart (Favorite song – Frontline)
MUNA – About U (Favorite song – I Know A Place)
Charli XCX – While Charli XCX’s EP doesn’t necessarily make my top list, the single “Boys” was my absolute favorite song of 2017. I somehow managed to get it on all 6 of my incredibly different Spotify Daily Mixes, which I think is truly impressive.
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya – DROOL (Favorite song – hOp Off) -Nnamdi is one of the most talented musicians I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and if you are smart you will see him play in one of his many projects here in the city before he blows up
Gorillaz – HUMANZ (Favorite song – Saturnz Barz (feat. Popcaan) )
Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life (Favorite Song – Don’t Delete the Kisses)Kendrick Lamar – DAMN (Favorite song – Love feat. Zacari)

Top 6 Live Shows of the Year – (It was impossible to cut one)

Badbadnotgood – Lincoln Hall
Chicano Batman – Thalia Hall
Gorillaz – Huntington Bank Pavilion
Solange – Pitchfork Music Festival
Charles Bradley – House of Vans
Kelela – The Promontory