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Reckless Records 2018 Best of Lists

Jim Magas

DJ Fett Burger & Stiletti Ana – 358 Men 2LP (Freakout Cult)
Hogg – Self-Extinguishing Emission LP (Scrapes)
Ectomorph – Stalker 2LP (Interdimensional Transmissions)
DJ Nigga Fox – Cranio LP (Warp)
DJ Lilocox – Paz & Amour LP (Principe)
Niagara – Apologia LP (Principe)
Donato Dozzy – Filo Loves the Acid 2LP (Tresor)
Shinichi Atobe – Heat 2LP (DDS)
Joan of Arc – 1984 LP (Joyful Noise)
ADULT. – This Behavior LP (Dais)
HIDE – Castration Anxiety LP (Dais)
Mutant Beat Dance LP boxed set (Rush Hour)
Mark Morgan – Department of Heraldry LP (Open Mouth)
EP-4 – Lingua Franca LP (WRWTFWW)
Mukqs – 起き上がりcassette (Doom Trip)
Sarah Davachi – Gave In Rest LP (Ba Da Bing)
Demdike Stare – Passion 2LP (Modern Love)
Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt – Brace Up! (Palilalila)
Teeth Agency – Outhouse Book/USB credit card (Teeth Agency)
Teeth Agency – Lizards Garden Book/USB credit card (Teeth Agency)
Jeff Mills – Waveform Transmissions 2LP (Tresor) reissue
Brett Naucke – The Mansion LP (Spectrum Spools)
Beau Wanzer – Beau Wanzer 12” (L.I.E.S.)
Steve Hauschildt – Dissolvi LP (Ghostly)

Philip Cerza
What A Time To Be Alive – Superchunk
All Nerve – The Breeders
Be The Cowboy – Mitski
Black Panther – Kendrick Lamar
Bought To Rot – Laura Jane Grace
Devotion – Tirzah
Dirty Computer – Janelle Monae
Double Negative – Low
Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves
Hell-On – Neko Case
Historian – Lucy Dacus
Hive Mind – The Internet
Honey – Robyn
Lush – Snail Mail
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love – Deafheaven
Parts – Ohmme
Sweetener/ “thank u, next” – Ariana Grande
Swimming – Mac Miller
There’s A Riot Going On – Yo La Tengo
Transangelic Exodus – Ezra Furman
You’re Not Alone – Andrew W.K.

Luke Dahlgren
Shared Album of the Year:
– Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings (International Anthem)
– Parquet Courts – Wide Awaaaaake! (Rough Trade)

Best of the Rest:

Beak> – >>> (Temporary Residence Ltd.)
IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance (Partisan)
The Internet – Hive Mind (Columbia)
Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples (Guru Guru Brain)
Mourn – Sorpresa Familia (Captured Tracks)
Sandro Perri – In Another Life (Constellation)
serpentwithfeet – soil (Secretly Canadian)
Shopping – The Official Body (FatCat)
Tirzah – Devotion (Domino)
U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited (4AD)
v/a – Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop from Europe 1980-1991 (Music From Memory)
v/a – Venezuela 70, Vol II: Cosmic Visions of a Latin American Earth (Soul Jazz)
[reissue] Gene Clark – Gene Clark Sings For You (Omnivore)
[reissue] The Dylan II – Kinou no Omoide ni Wakare o Tsugerundamono (Pony Canyon)
[reissue] Happy End – Happy End & Kazemachi Roman (Pony Canyon)
[reissue] High Rise – II (Black Editions)
[reissue] Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes – No. 2, Ame Debout, & Paix

Idris Ackamoor & the Pyramids – An Angel Fell (Strut)
Ben LaMar Gay – Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun (International Anthem)
Mako Sica & Hamid Drake – Ronda (Feeding Tube)
Javier Santiago – Phoenix (RopeADope)
Kamasi Washington – Heaven and Earth (Young Turks)
v/a – Soul of a Nation, Vol II: Jazz is the Teacher, Funk is the Preacher (Soul Jazz)
[reissue] The Art Ensemble of Chicago – Les Stances a Sophie (Soul Jazz)
[reissue] John Coltrane – Both Directions at Once (Impulse!)
Joseph Shabason – _Anne_ (Western Vinyl)

A.A.L (Against All Logic) – 2012-2017 (Other People)
Daniel Avery – Song For Alpha (Mute)
DJ Sotofett & Vera Dvale – Detour Dub / To Want You 12” (Wania)
Essaie Pas – New Path (DFA)
Jon Hopkins – Singularity (Domino)
Niagara – Apologia (Principe) Person of Interest – In Vitro 12” (L.I.E.S.)
Wareika – Water, Sky, Sun, Wood (Mule Musiq)
v/a – Welcome to Paradise, Vol. III: Italian Dream House 90-94 (Safe Trip)
[reissue] ESG – Come Away With ESG (Fire)

Black Milk – Fever (Mass Appeal)
Roc Marciano – Behold a Dark Horse (Fat Beats) <<< minus the homophobia
Saba – Care For Me (Saba Pivot)
Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs (Columbia)

The Body – I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer (Thrill Jockey)
Green Druid – Ashen Blood (Earache)
Sleep – The Sciences (Third Man)
Thou – Magus (Sacred Bones)
YOB – Our Raw Heart (Relapse)

Andrew Bernstein – An Exploded View of Time (Hausu Mountain)
Egyptology – Sur les autres mondes (Hands In The Dark)
Laurel Halo – Raw Silk Uncut Wood (Latency)
Jon Hassell – Listening to Pictures: Pentimento Vol. I (Ndeya)
Sarah Louise – Deeper Woods (Thrill Jockey)
Saloli – The Deep End (Kranky)
Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love (Warp)
v/a – Switched-On Eugene (Numero)
[reissue] Heldon – Heldon.6. Interface & Stand By (SouffleContinu)
[reissue] Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton – The Music and Poetry of the Kesh (RVNG Int’l)
[reissue] Michele Mercure – Beside Herself (RVNG Int’l)
[reissue] This Heat – Made Available, Repeat / Metal, & Live 80-81 (Modern Classics)

Zack Caputo
Top 10 Of 2018:

1: You Won’t Get What You Want by Daughters [post-punk/noise rock]
In a comeback to go down in history, Daughters returned from an 8 year slumber to release this monster of a record. These 10 songs are air-tight, consisting of beautiful & arresting lyrical imagery paired perfectly with some of the most alarming & straight up terrifying songwriting I’ve ever heard. Add some fantastic production and brilliant pacing and it all adds up to an unbelievably brutal record about losing your sense of self to the anxiety of our modern times. This isn’t just one of the best albums of the year, but this is easily one of the best noise rock albums of all time.

2: Year Of The Snitch by Death Grips [experimental hip-hop]
When I first heard Death Grips in 2012, they confused me and I (eventually) loved it. Now, in 2018, they continue to leave me scratching my head wondering how they still can make music this boundary pushing and yet stay so good. Despite throwing as many genres at the wall as they can over 13 tracks, almost every single experiment pans out beautifully, creating the most dense but rewarding record they’ve ever released. It might not be the easiest entry point in their prolific portfolio, but it’s a sign that Death Grips is still broadcasting from light years ahead of us all.

3: Veteran – JPEGMAFIA [experimental hip-hop]
JPEGMAFIA dropped Veteran at the beginning of the year and almost made me finish this list right then and there. It’s a head-spinning mix of beautifully left-field sample choices, an endless barrage of satirical yet powerful bars, and some of the most intense performances & flows of the year. Top to bottom, it’s an amazing stroke of twisted genius that shouldn’t be missed.

4: Bad Witch by Nine Inch Nails [industrial/experimental rock]
While the previous two EPs Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross have put out in this trilogy were great, they did carry a melancholy feeling of nostalgia. Bad Witch, however, see the duo fearlessly pushing forward in a way that was sorely missed. While only 6 songs, the truncated format plays in their favor, stripping any filler for a straight and impactful shot of jazz-by-way-of-Blackstar-tinged industrial rock. It’s a beautiful oddity in the NIN discography and one of the best albums they’ve ever done.

5: Scholarz Mate by Chessmastaz [hip-hop]
At only 27 minutes, Scholarz Mate is a jaw-dropping exercise in the power of straight, no chaser hip-hop. Chessmastaz forgo any and all excess, throwing the listener straight through the ringer with 12 songs of non-stop flows where almost every single line is a quotable. Add their mystifying production and you have a powerful example of pure hip-hop. While there will always be a place for grandiose musical statements, this album cuts out all the extraneous outside stimuli and does what most artists can’t: speak straight to your soul.

6: I’ll Tell You What! by RP Boo [footwork]
RP Boo has always captivated me with how minimal their production is and I’ll Tell You What! is no different, its 12 tracks acting as a lesson in minimalist perfection. But it’s not all just that classic RP Boo sound, with many songs featuring surprisingly lush synth-tones & even some incredibly beautiful melodies. But don’t worry, because no matter the melody, every single moment of this record is backed by absolutely devastating grooves. Over two decades into his career, RP Boo still is putting out forward thinking music, truly earning as his status as a Chicago legend.

7: You’re Not Alone by Andrew W.K. [PARTY]
The prodigal son of party finally returns with a beautiful, kaleidoscopic creation. Embedded with all of the little facets of Andrew W.K. that make him the one-of-a-kind figure he is, You’re Not Alone splits its runtime between upbeat powerhouses, heartfelt ballads, zippo-worthy slow jams, & insightful but idiosyncratic spoken word interludes. The party god has never sounded so honest and truthful before, stripping the violent or cryptic lyrics of previous releases for introspective & uplifting mantras, which results in his most consistent and powerful record. The party never dies, and with Andrew W.K., it just keeps getting better and better.

8: OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES by SOPHIE [dance/experimental]
OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES shows SOPHIE stripping back her viciously guarded anonymity for an album that’s as important lyrically as it is musically, combining incredibly stank-face-inducing dance production & beautiful ambient sound design with heartfelt but cryptic lyricism about gender politics in our current, terrifying climate. In a time where governments, corporations, & entire cultures are actively working towards stripping away the rights the LGBTQ+ community has spent centuries fighting for, SOPHIE translates not only the terror of that looming threat, but the beauty of the community & love shared in the face of it.

9: Collapse EP by Aphex Twin [braindance]
Aphex Twin is a bonafide legend for a reason. The albums he released 20 years ago still sound as if they were made today & his output since his triumphant comeback Syro in 2014 may have eased up on the frantic production, but is no less detailed & virtuosic. But, then he releases the Collapse EP. In the mere 4 songs (5 if you use the download card in your LP!), you can hear the calm, measured approach of Syro melt away almost immediately. Showcasing a sound that harkens back to a more intense, impenetrable Aphex Twin without sounding nostalgic or redundant, Collapse EP is yet another brilliant addition to the insanely large RDJ discography with a sound all its own.

10: soil by serpentwithfeet [experimental gospel-pop]
Anyone with a Bjork cosign is worth paying attention to, of course, but serpentwithfeet stands out for their haunting blend of experimental pop and gospel elements. The 11 track soil is almost uncomfortably intimate, with absolutely gorgeous vocal performances over spacious production, all held together by gospel inspired melodies that give the 40 minutes you spend with this record a pathway straight to your heart. It’s topped off with top notch lyricism, depicting relationships ending with a unique, sometimes unnerving honesty & the struggle of trying to stay spiritual in a world filled with so much hate. It’s an arresting, beautiful listen best experienced in the dark, just you and Josiah.

Honorable Mentions:
The Sciences by Sleep [stoner metal]
Daytona by Pusha A [rap]
Platinum Flame by Lil B [rap]
3rd Ward Bounce by Big Freedia [bounce]
Streams Of Thought Vol. 1 by Black Thought [hip-hop]
Panic Blooms by Black Moth Super Rainbow [psych-hop]
Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt [rap]

Matt Jencik
Asylum Party Borderline LP reissue
Daniel Avery Song For Alpha
Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore Ghost Forests
The Beatles Esher Demos
Casino Versus Japan Suicide By Sun
Oliver Coates Shelley’s on Zenn​-​La
John Coltrane Both Directions at Once
Cosmic Invention Help Your Satori Mind LP reissue
Dedekind Cut Tahoe
Disco Inferno D.I. Go Pop LP reissue
Drudkh They Often See Dreams About the Spring
Bob Dylan More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14
GAS Rausch
Facs Negative Houses
Steve Hauschildt Dissolvi
Index Originals Vol. 1 1967-1968
Jóhann Jóhannsson Mandy soundtrack
Khruangbin Con Todo El Mundo
Low Double Negative
Mako Sica & Hamid Drake Ronda
Mayerling Roche
C. Memi Heavenly Peace 12” reissue
Michele Mercure Beside Herself
Nocturnal Projections Complete Studio Recordings
Nocturnal Projections Inmates in Images
Papa M Broke Moon Rises
Paysage d’Hiver Die Festung LP reissue
Primitive Knot Decanting the Dream-Gore
Mark Renner Few Traces
Happy Rhodes Ectotrophia
Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes LP reissues
Saloli The Deep End
Sleep The Sciences
Spiritualized And Nothing Hurt
David Sylvian & Holger Czukay Plight & Premonition/ Flux &     
This Heat LP reissues
Tribulation Down Below
Thom Yorke Suspiria soundtrack
Neil Young Roxy: Tonight’s the Night Live
Neil Young Songs For Judy
V/A A Totally New Sound
V/A Midday Moon: Ambient & Experimental Music From Australia & New
Zealand 1980-1995

V/A Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights
V/A Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe: 1980-1991

Def Leppard @ Wrigley Field
Dødheimsgard/ Bölzer @ Reggie’s
Enslaved @ Metro
GAS @ Art Institute of Chicago
Hot Snakes @ Thalia Hall
Kikagaku Moyo @ Thalia Hall
Kranky 25 @ Rockefeller Chapel
Matchess @ International Museum of Surgical Science
Mdou Moctar @ Reckless Records
Minibeast/Insect Factory @ The Hideout
Janelle Monae @ Chicago Theater
My Bloody Valentine @ The Riviera
Public Image Limited @ Thalia Hall
Quintron & Miss Pussycat @ Spellcaster Lodge
Radiohead @ United Center
Simple Minds @ Chicago Theater
Sleep/Dylan Carlson & Riviera
Southern Lord 20th @ Echoplex
Midori Takada @Art Institute of Chicago
This Is Not This Heat @Pitchfork
Träd, Gräs och Stenar/Endless Boogie @ Hideout
Thom Yorke/Olive Coates @ Chicago Theater
Neil Young @ Auditorium Theater

Jacob Kart
Carl Stone – Electronic Music From the 80’s and 90’s
Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance
Autechre – NTS Sessions
John Coltrane – Both Directions at Once
Kurt Vile – Bottle It In
Lala Lala – The Lamb
Aphex Twin – Collapse EP
Sarah Davachi – Let Night Come On Bells End The Day
Eiko Ishibashi – The Dream My Bones Dream
Ben Lamar Gay – Downtown Castles Can Never Hide The Sun

Ben Hegy
Mark Renner- few traces [rvng intl.]
DRINKS- hippo lite [drag city]
Various Artists- uneven paths: deviant pop from europe 1980-1991
[music from memory]
Gas- rausch [kompakt]
Joan Of Arc- 1984 [joyful noise]
Pusha T- daytona [good music]
Blood Orange- black swan [domino]
Makaya McCraven- universal beings [international anthem]
Neneh Cherry- broken politics [smalltown supersound]
Eiko Ishibashi- dream my bones dream [drag city]
Princess Nokia- girl cried red [rough trade]
Shit and Shine- bad vibes [rocket recordings]
Rezzett- rezzett LP [trilogy tapes]
Aqueduct Ensemble- improvisations on an apricot [last resort]
Chris Carter- cccl volume 1 [mute]
Khruangbin- con todo el mundo [night time stories LTD.]
Laura Cannel- reckonings [brawl records]
Mutant Beat Dance- s/t [rush hour music]
Yves Tumor- safe in the hands of love [warp]
Che-Shizu- a journey [black editions]
Colored Music- s/t [wrwtfww]
EP-4- lingua franca-1 [wrwtfww]
Mkwaju Ensemble- mkwaju & ki-motion [wrwtfww]

Beth Klacko
•David Byrne & Various Artists – True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack
•Chris Carter – Chemistry Lessons Volume 1
•Sign Libra – Closer To The Equator
•Jon Hassell – Listening To Pictures
•Will Long – Long Trax 2
•Hiroshi Yoshimura – Pier & Loft (Reissue)
•Laraaji – Vision Songs Volume 1
•U.S. Girls – In A Poem, Unlimited
•Mary Lattimore – Hundreds Of Days
•Various Artist – Technicolor Paradise, Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights (Numero Group)
•MKWAJU Ensemble – KI-Motion (Reissue)
•Steve Hauschildt – Dissolvi
•Various Artists – Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop from Europe 1980-1991 (Music From Memory)
•Ben Pirani – How Do I Talk To My Brother?
•Yo La Tengo – There’s A Riot Going On
•Various Artists – Switched On Eugene (Numero Group)
•Kurt Vile – Bottle It In
•Shinichi Atobe – Heat
•EP-4 – Lingua Franca 1 (Reissue)
•Joan Of Arc – 1984

Dave Hofer
Everything Is Recorded – Everything Is Recorded (XL)
Knelt Rote – Alterity (Nuclear War Now!)
Paul White – Rejuvenate (R&S)
Tomb Mold – Manor of Infinite Forms (20 Buck Spin)
Outer Heaven – Realms of Eternal Decay (Relapse)
Turnstile – Time & Space (RoadRunner)
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Hope Downs (Sub Pop)
Sissy Spacek – Ways Of Confusion (Nuclear War Now!)
Closet Witch – Closet Witch (Halo of Flies Records, Sassbologna, Jems, Circus of the Macabre, Don’t Care Records or React With Protest Records, depending on where you live)
The Dirty Nil – Master Volume (Dine Alone)
Bloodbath – The Arrow of Satan is Drawn (Peaceville)
Homeboy Sandman & Edan- Humble Pi (Stones Throw)

Sean Rowader
1. Gigantic – Danky Muniz (Party Grunge / Punk) [Cassette on Push and Pull Records]
-This copyright infringement concept record tears up the roof of the house like Captain Crunch tears up the roof of the mouth. This was technically released at the end of 2017, but I didn’t have the pleasure of blasting it ‘til summer. Danky Muniz is full of lightning fast hooks, guttural scripture and party vibes. I highly recommend watching their one-take music video, “Skankenstein”, produced by Locke and Stache. Easily my number one!
2. IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance (Post Punk / Noise Rock) [LP on Partisan Records]
-The second LP from Bristol’s IDLES doubles down on raw post-punk grooves and tireless, melodic chants from lead singer, Joe Talbot. My favorite song is “Danny Nedelko.”
3. Death Grips – Year of the Snitch (Hip Hop / Experimental) [LP on Third Worlds / Harvest]
-A morphing, genre-contorting and hypnotic release from the greatest band of the digital era. Death Grips’ 6th studio album warrants multiple listens to pull apart the layers. . . kinda like the layers of an onion. Track 9, “Dilemma”, features the co-director of Shrek. Track 3, “Black Paint”, was named song of the summer by Rolling Stone. Some collaborators include DJ Swamp, Lucas Abela and Justin Chancellor. Should I keep going?
4. Moon Honey – Mixed Media on Woman (Peyote Dipped Cotton Candy / Art Rock) [Digital Self Release]
-Moon Honey’s long awaited second album challenges the sexualization of the female form in media, while also discussing the existential differences between meaning and value. Amidst the acrobatic vocals of Jess Joy and the fluttering guitar work of Andrew Martin, Mixed Media on Woman is intoxicating and refreshing. My favorite song is “White Satin.”
5. Tsuzing – 東方不敗 東方不敗 (Techno / EBM) [LP on L.I.E.S.]
-Tzusing released his first effort on the L.I.E.S. label in 2017, however the vinyl didn’t hit the shelves at Reckless until this past year. Tsuzing splashes industrial darkness across meditative
beats with a razor-sharp precision. My favorite song is “Post-Soviet Models.”
6. Various Artists – The Rick and Morty Soundtrack (Stage & Screen / Compilation) [2xLP on Sub Pop]
-The delicate pacing of this compilation creates a triad of laughing, facepalming and crying. If you’re not familiar with the show, know that the writers don’t mind regularly ripping your heart out, and the soundtrack is the scalpel. Features songs from Blonde Redhead, clipping, Mazzy Star, Chaos Chaos and more.
7. Yves Tumor – Safe in the Hands of Love (Abstract / Indie Pop) [2xLP on Warp Records] -This album confronts natural disorientations of existence, such as the paradox of love and torture. Tumor’s lyrics feel honest and forthcoming, while the experimental instrumentation jars you into a state of vulnerability. My favorite song is “Let the Lioness in You Flow Freely.”
8. Moon Hooch – Light It Up EP (Cave Music / Jazz Fusion) [3×7 inch EP on Hornblow Recordings]
-This band’s riotous live performances eventually got themselves banned from the Bedford Avenue subway stop in NYC. NYPD officers frantically stopped subway travellers from dancing on the edge of the platform. Since those humble beginnings in the early 2010’s, Moon Hooch evolves with the Light It Up EP, adding dynamic range and challenging scales to their dance-centered hivemind. “Growing Up” is a slammer.
9. Jack White – Boarding House Reach (Avant Garde / Blues Adjacent) [LP on Third Man]
-The third man himself put out his most bizarre release yet, Boarding House Reach. White uses uncharacteristic recording tactics such as digital instrumentation, masking his voice with a vocoder (“Get in the Mindshaft”), and tracking in quiet hotel rooms while on the road. Highly recommended to those who enjoy the strange and weird. My favorite song is “Everything You’ve Ever Learned.”
10. DZ Deathrays – Bloody Lovely (Dance Punk / Post Punk) [LP on I Oh You]
-Bloody Lovely is the pinnacle of perfect skateboard video game music. That is all.

Jack Curtin

Dillon Guelich

Jake Lingan
ADT- “Insecurities” (Hausu Mountain)
Acid Mothers Temple- “The Night He Fell To Us” (Eye Vybe)
Angelwings Marmalade- “Sole Window” (Eye Vybe)
Felicia Atkinson & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma- “Limpid As The Solitudes” (Shelter Press)
Autechre- “NTS Sessions 1-4” (Warp)
Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore- “Ghost Forests” (Three Lobed)
G.B. Beckers- “Walkman” reissue (Music From Memory)
Andrew Bernstein- “An Exploded View Of Time” (Hausu Mountain)
Kate Bush reissues (Parlophone)
Blood Orange- “Negro Swan” (Domino)
Dean Blunt- “Soul On Fire” (self-released)
Bucket Brigade- “Bucket Brigade” (No Index)
Celestino- “How To Cut A Thought” (Love All Day)
Cheer Accident- “Fades” (Skin Graft)
Class War- “Take A Trip With…” (self-released)
Colored Music- “Colored Music” reissue (WRWTFWW)
John Coltrane- “Both Directions At Once” (Impulse!)
Crazy Bread- “Vocoder Divorce” (Astral Spirits)
Creation Rebel- “Dub From Creation” reissue (On-U Sound)
Brian Eno Ambient reissues (Virgin)
Equip- “Synthetic Core 88” (Yetee)
Felt- “Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty”/ “Splendour of Fear” reissues (Cherry Red)
Foodman- “Aru Otoko No Densetsu” (Sun Ark)/ “Moriyama” (Palto Flats)
Gas- “Rausch” (Kompakt)
Ben Lamar Gay- “Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun” (International Anthem)
Gerrit Hatcher- “Parables For The Tenor” (Astral Spirits)
Steve Hauschildt- “Dissolvi” (Ghostly International)
TIm Hecker- “Konoyo” (Kranky)
Haruomi Hosono- “Philharmony”/ “Omni Sight Seeing” reissues (Light In The Attic)
Junegrass- “Electric Grass” (Eye Vybe)
Quin Kirchner- “The Other Side Of Time” (Astral Spirits)
Lambchop- “What Another Man Spills” reissue (Merge)
Geoffrey Landers- “1 X 1” (Music From Memory)
Laraaji- “Vision Songs Vol. 1” (Numero)
Larmschutz- “Divine Descent” (No Index)
Laurel Halo “Raw Silk Uncut Wood” (Latency)
Mary Jane Leach- “(F)lute Songs” (Modern Love)
Louise Bock- “Repetitives In Illocality” (Feeding Tube)
Mako Sica & Hamid Drake- “Ronda” (Astral Spirits/ Feeding Tube)
John Maus- “Addendum” (Ribbon Music)
Charles Mingus- “Jazz In Detroit/ Strata Concert Gallery/ 46 Selden” (180 Proof)
Mkwaju Ensemble- “Mkwaju”/ “Ki-Motion” reissues (WRWTFWW)
Frank Ocean- “Endless” (Boys Don’t Cry)
Ohmme- “Parts” (Joyful Noise)
Jim O’Rourke- “Sleep Like It’s Winter” (Newhere)
Brett Naucke- “The Mansion” (Spectrum Spools)
Molly Nilsson- “Twenty Twenty” (Night School)
Playboi Carti- “Die Lit” (Interscope)
Platformer// 204863 split (Static Switch)
Potions- “Ositano” (Hausu Mountain)
Quicksails- “The Bright” (Hausu Mountain)
Happy Rhodes- “Ectotrophia” (Numero)
Warren Sampson- “Traveller” reissue (Love All Day)
Shit And Shine- “Bad Vibes” (Rocket)
Sip- “Live On Planet Catieo” (Eye Vybe)
Carl Stone- “Electronic Music From The Eighties & Nineties” (Unseen Worlds)
William Surran- “William Surran” (Love All Day)
Kuniyuki Takahashi- “Early Tape Works 1986-1993 Vol. 1 & 2” (Music From Memory)
This Heat- “Live 80/81”, “Made Available” & “Repeat/ Metal” reissues (Modern Classics)
Throbbing Gristle- “Mission of Dead Souls”/ “Journey Through A Body” reissues (Mute)
Massimo Toniutti- “Il Museo Selvatico” reissue (Black Truffle)
20 Guilders- “Il Grande Silenzia” (Eye Vybe)
Twila Bent- “Lwas” (No Index)
Vibrating Skull Trio// Packard/Hoogland- “Seed Blunt/ AC DC” (Gilded)
Ryley Walker- “Deafman Glance” (Dead Oceans)
Beau Wanzer- “Beau Wanzer” (L.I.E.S)
Reese Williams- “Moon’s Bright Path” (Love All Day)
Akiko Yano- “Tadaima” reissue (We Want Sounds)
Yo La Tengo- “There’s A Riot Going On”/ “Summer Sun” reissue (Matador)
Neil Young- “ROXY: Tonight’s The Night Live”/ “Songs For Judy” (Reprise)
Various Artists- “Switched On Eugene” (Numero)
Various Artists- “Technicolour Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights” (Numero)
Various Artists- “Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe [1980-1991]” (Music From Memory)

Best events (ever): Merzbow in a warehouse on Goose Island at 1 AM/ Sun Ra Arkestra at the Art Institute/ “Lawrence Of Arabia” on 70mm at the Music Box.
RIP Glenn Branca, Nic Roeg & Cecil Taylor

Jamie Drier
Sophia Loizou – Irregular Territories (Cosmo Rhythmatic)
Nadine Byrne – Dreaming Remembering (iDEAL RECORDINGS)
Lucrecia Dalt – Anticlines (RVNG INTL.)
Grouper – Grid Of Points (Kranky)
Angele David-Guillou – Movements Organiques (Village Green)
Christina Vantzou – No. 4 (Kranky)
Space Afrika – Somewhere Decent To Live (Sferic)
Tirzah – Devotion (Domino)
Teresa Winter – What The Night Is For (Death Of Rave)
Bruce Gilbert – Nihilo (Editions Mego)
Facs – Negative Houses (Trouble In Mind)
Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings (International Anthem Recording Company)
Demdike Stare – Passion (Modern Love)
Penelope Trappes – Penelope Two ( Houndstooth)
Amnesia Scanner – Another Life (PAN)

Nicolette Meyer
Favorites of 2018 in no particular order except for #1:
15. Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams
14. Janelle Monae – Dirty Computer
13. Dead Can Dance – Dionysus
12. Ectomorph – Stalker
11. Robyn – Honey
10. Author and Punisher – Beastland
9. The Carters – Everything Is Love
8. Blood Orange – Negro Swan
7. Makayla McCraven – Universal Beings
6. DJ Koze – Knock Knock
5. Cult Leader – A Patient Man
4. Sleep – Sciences
3. Prince – Piano & A Microphone 1983
2. Fielded – Drip Drip
1. Rosalia – El Mar Querer

Anthony Illarde
DAMNED Evil Spirits (Spinefarm LP)
TOM DISSEVELT & KID BALTAN Electronic Music (Fantome LP)
DR. JOHN Gris Gris (Mono Mix) (Jackpot LP)
DRAGONS A Sea For Yourself Soundtrack (Modern Harmonic LP + DVD)
ETHERS Ethers (Trouble In Mind LP)
HONEYBUS Story, Recital, For Where Have You Been (Mapache LPs)
BASIL KIRCHIN I Start Counting Soundtrack (Trunk LP)
SHA LA DAS Love In The Wind (Daptone LP)
PAUL WILLIAMS Someday Man (Ship To Shore LP)
FRANK ZAPPA Lumpy Gravy Primordial (Zappa LP)
RY COODER & MANUEL GALBAN Mambo Sinuendo (Nonesuch LP)

Gary Errera
2018 Top Five

5.Nine Inch Nails – Bad Witch.
Nice Little EP from Trent.
4.Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance.
A for effort, C for Execution.
Cool to see a contemporary popular “punk” record I guess.
3.Robyn – Honey.
Solid Addition to her catalog.
2.The Smashing Pumpkins – Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past.
No Future. No Sun.
Again a nice little EP but it’s almost halfway decent.
1.Unwound – Leaves Turn Inside You (Reissue) –
Even though it’s a reissue this is the best release of 2018.

John Jackson
In no order
Ras G & The Afrikan Space Program – Stargate Music. Cosmic Hip Hop instrumentals with a spiritual vibe.

Platformer/204863 – Platformer/204863 Debut split from two experimental artists from Chicago (also Reckless employees) David Cartwright and Zachary Caputo. Platformer side is full of mystical yet danceable grooves, deep sub bass, and dreamy soundscapes. 204863 side is an experimental sound collage using drones, vocal samples, field noises, and other samples.

John Hassell – Listening to Pictures Hassell’s latest album after taking a 9 year break! In typical Hassell style, this one is a blend of jazz, ambient, and electronic elements.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids – An Angel Fell This is a perfect example of where contemporary jazz is going. With a blend of spiritual elements, Afrobeat Funk, Hip Hop, and free jazz it’s hard to even classify this as any one genre.

Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings This release follows McCraven and his band to four cities Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and London. All four sides represent different flavors on the drummer’s palate.

Ben Lamar Gay – Downtown Castles Can Never Block the Sun Chicago based trumpeter releases a compilation of songs recorded over the years. Styles span from traditional to free jazz, and everything in between.

Westside Gunn – Supreme Blientel 2018 has been a good year for Westside Gunn and Griselda records. This is hardcore Hip Hop with production from the likes of Pete Rock and the Alchemist.

Krushlove & Rosewood – GXD Chicago based producer Krushlove’s collaboration with emcee Rosewood to create a Hip Hop Noir type of project.

Roc Marciano – Behold a Dark Horse Roc Marciano returns with a selection of Hip Hop tunes that evoke a blaxploitation vibe. With beats by Alchemist amongst others, and features from OG’s Busta Rhymes and Black Thought.

Czarface & MF Doom – Czarface Meets Metal Face Hardcore Hip Hop performed in a comic book style of format.

Dylan Sowle
Top 15 of 2018

15. Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo (Night Time Stores Ltd.). I’m sure this will end up on tons of year-end lists, and deservedly so. I am not good at talking about music, but this band is very good at playing music, so just go listen to it and enjoy yourself.

14. The Beths – Future Me Hates Me (Carpark). The Beths toured with Peach Kelli Pop earlier this year, which should give you an idea of what they sound like. Not as sugary sweet as PKP, but with plenty of pop hooks that will be in your head for days. This is their debut album, so we can be excited for much more in the future.

13. Fire-Toolz – Skinless X-1 (Hausu Mountain). If someone wanted me to give them just one example of the most unique, hard-working, and experimental music in Chicago, this would be it. I never know what to expect when I go to a Fire-Toolz show. Sometimes I feel like my face is being melted off, and other times I find myself lulled into a peaceful, but glitched-out dream state. This one is pretty ambient and smooth, but get yourself into a basement with Fire-Toolz some night if you want the full experience.

12. The Voidz – Virtue (RCA, Cult). A great evolution from their first album 4 years ago, Virtue goes in a million directions at once, and they all pretty much work. “Qyurryus” is THE track. Middle Eastern vocal influences, but sent into hyperdrive with auto-tune effects and lurching guitars. I still listen to this band even though my girlfriend has a crush on Julian Casablancas.

11. Shannon and the Clams – Onion (Easy Eye Sound). Shannon Shaw has never disappointed me, which is more than I can say for most things in life. Did you see these guys on Halloween at Thalia Hall? They all dressed in classic “nerd” costumes and covered Black Sabbath. So good.

10. GYMSHORTS – Knock Knock (Wallflower, Burger Records). The first LP from GYMSHORTS is finally here!! This band is so much fun! You’ll probably get to see them for like 5 bucks in some dive bar if you hurry, but they’ve been touring with Tacocat so people might wise up to how cool this band is and soon you’ll have to pay to stand in the back at the Metro or something. Just some kids who love classic rock riffs and playing ding dong ditch.

9. Liz Phair – Girly-Sound To Guyville (Matador). Technically not a new album this year, but this box set includes the essential Liz Phair album Exile In Guyville, alongside the Girly-Sound tapes which provide the foundation for her song-by-song response to the Rolling Stone’s Exile On Main Street. Liz’s album is better, by the way. Hearing these raw, early versions of songs I’ve been enjoying for years was an amazing experience, and this box set just feels so important to hold in my hands.

8. Jóhann Jóhannsson – Mandy OST (Lakeshore Records). Oh, Mandy. It’s a beautiful, psychedelic, hilarious, terrifying movie, and Jóhannsson’s score is so crucial to the entire atmosphere of the film. Those acid-eating, Slipknot-looking, demon bikers wouldn’t be quite as spooky without the tunes to back them up.

7. Yob – Our Raw Heart (Relapse). Powerful doom metal that swallows you up like a giant wave. This album has a terrifying beauty that gives one the feeling of listening in on some unknown religious ritual. Swelling riffs and vocals that will beat you down repeatedly, and you’ll like it.

6. Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams (Merge). Fucked Up is a band that continues to mystify me. How can a hardcore punk band sound like this? Can you even call this hardcore at all any more? How can they cram so many opposing styles and ideas into one record and have it sound this GOOD? I guess I don’t know and I don’t care, because this album rules.

5. Mitski – Be The Cowboy (Dead Oceans). The first time I heard Mitski was when I was watching an episode of Adventure Time where Marceline the Vampire Queen does a cover of her song “Francis Forever”. Something about the simultaneously optimistic and tragic themes of that show fit Mitski’s music perfectly. This album is painfully emotional, yet strong and stoic in a way that only she can be. We should feel lucky that this album exists.

4. Idles – Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan Records). I was late to the game on Idles, but I am so glad I got on board when I did. Working-class punk music that I didn’t know even existed in 2018. Spotify told me that not only did I listen to this band more than any other musician this year, but that this somehow contributed to me listening to “non-mainstream artists 115% more than the average user”. That’s some real street cred, dude.

3. Surfbort – Friendship Music (Cult). These guys look like they could be the house band in a John Waters movie about some dirty, yet kind-hearted punks who like to sniff glue and ride dirtbikes. Manic punk rock with some very poppy hooks. Spin this and freak out, man!

2. Andrew W.K. – You’re Not Alone (RED MUSIC). Andrew W.K. is the single most positive, thoughtful, and empowering voice in the world today, and this album is the sum of all his hard work in partying and making people feel like there is goodness left on the planet. If you still only know him because of “Party Hard”, do yourself a favor and dig deeper. Read his advice columns from the Village Voice, watch his kids’ show Destroy Build Destroy, watch YouTube videos of him talking to Larry King about drugs. I’m gonna go listen to this album in my car and cry now.

1. Car Seat Headrest – Twin Fantasy (Matador). Originally recorded in 2011, this year found Will Toledo re-recording the entire record and releasing it on Matador. This is an album that you just have to listen to all the way through. It’s a concept record that does everything right, with emotion that feels real and consistent themes that never feel overbearing. It also references John Linnell and Ray Bradbury, so I’m sold.

P.R. Ryan
MGMT – Little Dark Age (Columbia)
George Clanton – Slide (100% Electronica)
Andrew W.K. – You’re Not Alone (Sony)
Screaming Females – All At Once (Don Giovanni)
Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer (Sub Pop)
Kali Uchis – Isolation (Virgin)
Kero Kero Bonito – Time ‘n’ Place (Polyvinyl)
Superorganism – Superorganism (Domino)
Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans)

J David Cartwright
Tirzah – Devotion (Domino)
RnB with fresh, sparse arrangements and direct lyrics that cut to the bone. Gives me the shivers.
Favorite track: Guilty

Mondo Lava – Ogre Heights (Hausu Mountain)
This album is an instant morale booster. Joyful, loose jams that are very reminiscent of the Donkey Kong Country OST. Favorite track: Hippodrome (9 minutes of pure bliss)

Bergsonist – i (Self-Released)
Really well executed Icy techno/ electro. Favorite track: Bomb Silicone
The name of the EP isn’t “i”, but that is the closest character I could find.

Lockbox – Free VDV Prayer (Hausu Mountain)
A lot of positivity in this one. Hyper-digital sounds that build and collapse in often funky rhythmic ways.
Favorite track: EEPROM4

Exhibitionist – Smoke Signals (Reserve Matinee)
Haunting broken-record-sounding loops that effectively lure me into a trance. Big on atmosphere and partially recorded at the Green Mill! Favorite track: The Big Stir

Amnesia Scanner – Another Life (Pan)
Few groups have encapsulated our modern dread like Amnesia Scanner. They take the glossy club sound, fracture it and make it metal. Favorite track: AS Too Wrong (incredible video!)

Dj Fett Burger & Stiletti Ana – 358 Men (Freakout Cult)
2 LPs of smooth, deep house jams that don’t feel over-thought or rushed. Dj Fett Burger will always have my attention. Favorite track: Men

Foodman – Aru Otoko No Densetsu (Sun Ark)
Abstract and playful, Foodman continues to push his sound to the far reaches of the mind with cartoonesque characters and deep synth tones.
Favorite track: Sauna

Chessmastaz – Scholarz Mate (Static Switch)
Old School hip-hop flavor with mindful lyrics and jagged beats. A Chicago duo that keep it real on all levels.
Favorite track: Get It

Woody – Relentless Kickdrum (Self-Released)
Pop music chopped to bits and re-purposed for bodily release on the dancefloor. Frantic and high-energy, how I want to dance off 2018. Favorite track: Hell

Wild Geese – The Wild Geese EP (was/ is)
Christoph De Babalon – If you’re into it, i’m out of it (Cross Fade Enter Tainment)

Favorite DJ mix: Ciel – Crack Mix 232

Steven Rahman
In 2018 I liked many things that I would like to share with you.

In no particular order:

– Black Thought’s continued Virtuosic dominance of the English language. –
If you are not aware of the 10 minute freestyle on Funk Flex’s radio show that started this year, you may very well have been under a rock. The never ending argument about whether or not Hip Hop has died, or whether lyricism is no longer valued might have been broken down so that it might be forever broke. After the video hit the internet, there was a whole 2 weeks of “Black Thought the GOAT” talk & I for one am here for it. Top that off with Streams of Thought Vol. 1 (produced by 9th Wonder) & Vol. 2 (produced by Salaam Remi) & The Roots front man has put together an MVP year.

– J. Cole’s guest verses. –
Cole released KOD, a very good album that continues his practice of solo albums without features., but it doesn’t quite reach the highs that Cole can reach. Something about Hip Hop requires collaboration, an almost familial community of creatives bringing the best out of their compatriots.So it’s little surprise two of Cole’s best verses this year come on the LPs of his Dreamville signees. On 6LACK’s East Atlanta Love Letter, the track “Pretty Little Fears” Cole puts on a clinic with a magnificently tender verse. He finished the year on J.I.D.’s Dicaprio 2, with Off Deez matching J.I.D. & his much quicker pace with a vibrant gratuitous braggadocio.

– The GOAT Trio & their repeated exceeding of expectations –
Noname, Saba, & Smino (& Phoelix) are the definition of a super-team. Individually talented, together they’ve put out two classic tracks. When Noname released Telefone, an incredible album which featured “Shadow Man” as a closing track I was shocked, amazed & impressed, but really the trio stepped it up to stratospheric levels with “Ace” on Room25. In addition, Saba dropped what might be my favorite single rap album of the year with Care for Me & Smino’s Noir is right up near the top with it.

– The year of radical softness & the “Alone at Last” release show at Sleeping Village –
Chicago’s poetry scene is one of my favorite things. It’s a breeding ground for great musicians & writers, & artists of all kinds. In a year where we’ve watched the world change & not always for the better, the voice of the poets is one that stands out. The singular event that I remember is this record release party with Tasha & her all femme, all-star band. I spent the next few days with the lines “Holy, holy, holy is my bed at night, alone at last with space to cry…” echoing through my days. It was an amazing, embracing show, that left me feeling gentler than I have in a while.

– Things I loved, but have fewer thoughts about –
Eve Ewing’s & Saladin Ahmed’s comics, Hanif Abdurraqib’s “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us,” Breakbeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic, Fatimah Asghar’s ‘If They Come For Us,” Steve McQueen’s “Widows,” Boots Riley’s “Sorry to Bother You,” Rafael Casal’s & Daveed Diggs’ “Blindspotting,” Big Kids Slam, Chance the Rapper’s Loosies, Anna Burch’s “Tea Soaked Letter,” Limetown’s Second Season. That’s it!

Joe Seger
Albums that came out or were reissued in 2018, in no particular order, that I enjoyed the most.

CAVERN OF ANTI-MATTER “Hormone Lemonade” (Duophonic)
RAYS “You Can Get There From Here” (Trouble In Mind)
DAVID NANCE GROUP “Peaced and Slightly Pulverized” (Trouble In Mind)
MOUNTAIN MOVERS “Pink Skies” (Trouble In Mind)
CHEAP NASTIES “Cheap Nasties” (HoZac)
NEGATIVE SCANNER “Nose Picker” (Trouble In Mind)
CARBONAS “Your Moral Superiors: Singles And Rarities” (Goner)
THE BYRDS “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo” *Reissue* – 50th Ann. Legacy Edition (Columbia)
STEREOLAB “Switched On” *Reissue* (Duophonic)
STEREOLAB “Aluminium Tunes” *Reissue* (Duophonic)
STEREOLAB “Refried Ectoplasm – Switched On Vol. II” (Duophonic)
KIKAGAKU MOYO “Masana Temples” (Guruguru Brain)
DUSK “Dusk” (Don Giovanni)
COSMIC INVENTION “Help Your Satori Mind” *Reissue* (Drag City)
MARKED MEN “On The Other Side” (Dirtnap)
DEAD MEADOW “The Nothing They Need” (Xemu)
MICHAEL NESMITH & THE FIRST NATIONAL BAND “Magnetic South” *Reissue* (Sundazed)
CHARLES BRADLEY “Black Velvet” (Daptone)
GENE CLARK “Sings Songs For You” (Omnivore)
DEAF WISH “Lithium Zion” (Sub Pop)
DEAD MOON “Dead Moon: The Book” (Mississippi)
SPECIAL INTEREST “Spiraling” (Raw Sugar)
HIGH ON FIRE “Electric Messiah” (Entertainment One)
FU MANCHU “Clone Of The Universe” (At The Dojo)
REDD KROSS “Hot Issue” *Reissue* (Merge)
UNWOUND “Leaves Turn Inside You” *Reissue* (Numero)
UNWOUND “New Plastic Ideas” *Reissue* (Numero)

Tom Walczyk
Basement Beehive — various (Numero Group)
Honeybus – Story (2018 Mapache Reissue)
Sam Gopal – Escalator (reissue) Lemmy pre Motörhead
Smoking Popes – Into the Agony (Asian Man Records)
Idles – Joy As An Act of Resistance (Parisian Records)
Breeders – All Nerve (4Ad records)
Ty Segall – All 4 records released this year
(Anticipation for his 5th CIA)
Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temple (GuruGuru Brain Records)
The Fall— Superior Viaduct Reissues
Spacemen 3 – Superior Viaduct Reissues

Kip McCabe
Things that were good about 2018

Alexandra Stréliski “INSCAPE”
Nils Frahm “Encores 1”
Saloli “Deep End”
Movies and TV
Cobra Kai – You Tube
The Expanse Season 3 – SyFy

Friends of Reckless

Emily Elhaj (Love Lion)

The Breeders – All Nerve (4AD)
Makaya McCraven – Universal Beings (International Anthem)
Drinks – Hippo Lite (Drag City)
Sam Gendel & Sam Wilkes – Music for Saxophone and Bass Guitar (Leaving Records)
Hailu Mergia – Lala Belu (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited (4AD)
Tirzah – Devotion (Domino)
Prophet – Wanna Be Your Man (Stones Throw)
Grid City (Love Lion)
Amen Dunes – Freedom (Sacred Bones)
Grouper – Grid Of Points (Kranky)
Wand – Perfume (Drag City)
La Luz – Floating Features (Hardly Art)
Arvo Pärt – Fur Alina (Mississippi Records)
Marisa Anderson – Cloud Corner (Thrill Jockey)
Lilac – Demo (self)
Lionlimb – Tape Recorder (Bayonet)
Khruangbin – Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans)
FACS – Negative Houses (Trouble In Mind)
Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap (Atlantic)
Kali Uchis – Isolation (Virgin EMI)
Smoke Bellow – Isolation 3000 (Ehse)
Proud Father – Creations for Electric Guitar (Reserve Matinee)
Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage (Fat Possum)
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Mandy OST (Lakeshore)
Wei Zhongle – The Operators (Self Sabotage)
Pablo’s Eye – Bardo For Pablo (Stroom)
Sam Evian – You, Forever (Saddle Creek)
Mouse On Mars – Dimensional People Part III (Thrill Jockey)
Sleep – The Sciences (Third Man)
Ben LaMar Gay – Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun (Int’l Anthem)
Yo La Tengo – There’s a Riot Going On (Matador)

Mindkiller podcast by Anya Davidson


John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album (Verve)
Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes reissues (Anthology)
Lurker of Chalice – s/t (Nuclear War Now)
Belong – October Language (Spectrum Spools)
The Nightcrawlers – The Biophonic Boombox Recordings (Anthology)
Unwound – New Plastic Ideas (Numero Group)
Wire reissues (Pink Flag)
Ted Lucas – s/t (Yoga)
Massive Attack – Mezzanine (UMC / Virgin EMI)


White Magic, Zebulon
Julianna Barwick, Bootleg
Jeff Parker Quartet, ETA
The Breeders, The Fonda
Beyonce, Coachella
Rodrigo Amarante, Zebulon
Wand, Nuerolux
Vagabon, The Getty
Pavo Paco, Moroccan Lounge
Equip, Zebulon
Beak>, Echoplex
Mikal Cronin, Gold Diggers
La Luz, The Echo
Kranky 25, First Congregational Church of L.A.

Morgan Cuinet (Hands in the Dark)
In no particular order:
Jessica Moss – Entanglement (Constellation)
FACS – Negative Houses (Trouble in Mind)
Ice Baths – Ice Baths (Blank Editions)
Michele Mercure – Beside Herself (RVNG / Freedom to Spend)
Denis Wise – Wize Music (Finders Keepers)
Razen – The Night Receptionist (Meakusma)
Jason Kolàr – Modified Perspectives (Stroom)
Bégayer – Terrain à Mire. Une Maison Rétive. Contrainte par le Toit (Les Disques Bongoe Joe)
Carl Stone – Electronic Music From the Eighties And Nineties (Unseen Worlds)
Meyers – Struggle Artist (Shelter Press)
Christina Vantzou – No.4 (Kranky)
Sarah Hennies – Embedded Environments (Blume)
Roland Kayn – Simultan (Die Schachtel)
Norberto Lobo – Estrela (Three:Four)
Good Luck in Death – They Promised Us A Bright Future, We Were Content With An Obscure Past (Nahal Recordings)

Dave Martin (Captured Tracks)

New Records
1. Shifters – A Cunning Plan – Trouble In Mind
2. Superchunk – What A Time To Be Alive – Merge
3. Low – Double Negative – Sub Pop
4. Facs – Negative Houses – Trouble In Mind
5. E – Negative Work – Thrill Jockey
6. Thalia Zedek Band – Fighting Season – Thrill Jockey
7. Lavender Flu – Mow The Glass – In The Red
8. Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – Ghost Forests – Three Lobed
9. Jon Spencer – Spencer Sings The Hits – In The Red
10. V/A Raise Your Voice Joyce – Static Shock Records
11. David Nance Group – Peaced and Slightly Pulverized – Trouble In Mind
12. Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams – Merge
13. Snake & Friends – S/T – RIP Society
14. Brian Case – Plays Paradise Official – Hands In The Dark
15. Native Cats – John Sharp Toro – RIP Society
16. Constant Mongrel – Living in Excellence – Anti Fade / La Vida Es Un Mus
17. Warm Drag – S/T – In The Red
18. BB and the Blips – Shame Job – Thrilling Living Records
19. Deaf Wish – Lithium Zion – Sub Pop
20. Special Interest – Spiraling – Raw Sugar Records
21. Terry – I’m Terry – Upset The Rhythm
22. Patois Counselors – Proper Release – Ever/Never Records
23. Tommy Jay & the General – Florida Songs – Feeding Tube Records
24. Body / Head – The Switch – Matador
25. Charnel Ground – S/T – 12XU

1. Luxurious Bags – Frayed Knots – Twisted Village
2. High Rise – II – The Black Editions
3. Cosmic Invention – Help Your Satori Mind Dbl LP – Drag City
4. Gaseneta – S/T – Full Contact / Ektro Records
5. Real Kids / Kids – Demos & Live At The Rat! LPs – Crypt
5. Carbonas – Your Moral Superiors – Goner
7. John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once – Impulse
8. Nocturnal Projections – Complete Studio Recordings & Inmates In Images – Dias Records
9. Chris Brokaw – Canaris – Omentum Records
10. V/A – Why Are We Here? – Schoolkids Records
11. Your Food – Poke It With A Stick – Drag City
12. Laughing Hyenas – Third Man / Touch And Go
13. Brown Sugar – Long Strange Drip – Loki
14. Ali Farke Toure
15. Sun Ra – Pine Street Theatre Oct. 28, 1988 – Jackpot Records
16. Simply Saucer – Cyborgs Revisited – In The Red
17. V/A – Destroy All Art Volume 2 – Rock N’ Roll Parasite Records
18. This Kind of Punishment – S/T, A Beard Of Bees – Superior Viaduct
19. Dead Moon – 2xLP + Book – Mississippi
20. Cheap Nasties – S/T – Hozac

Singles / EPs
1. Anthony – Get Over U – First Letter Press
2. Fucked Up – Raise Your Voice Joyce b/w Taken – Merge
3. Superchunk – Our Work Is Done b/w Total Eclipse – Merge
4. Bardo Pond / Major Stars – Chunklet
5. Rocket 808 – Digital Billboards b/w Mystery Train – 12XU
6. Counter Intuits – Vietnamese Lighter b/w Edge – Total Punk
7. Boss – Steel Box b/w I’m The Dog (You’re The Ball) – Goner
8. Protomartyr – Consolation – Domino
9. Shifters – Just Sat Down – Digital Regress
10. Des Demonas – Bay Of Pigs b/w Skrewz – Slovenly Recordings
11. Midnight Mines – Stations b/w Radio Dub – Disci Del Barone
12. Jellicoe & Woodbury – Fear b/w Doubt – Quality Control HQ
13. Skiftande Enheter – Mördande rutin b/w Jag har fått nog – Market Square Records
14. Jeffrey Evans & Ross Johnson – Caldonia b/w Cotton Fields – Spacecase / Selection Records
15. Crown Court – Mad In England – Goner
16. Dinosaur Jr. – Goin Down b/w Tiny – Third Man Records
17. Warthog – S/T – Toxic State
18. Richie Venus – Demetria b/w Demi Dream – Spacecase / Selection Records
19. Dark Blue – Fight To Love b/w For You – 12XU
20. Richard Papiercuts – Twisting The Night – Ever/Never Records

Cassettes / Digital jams
1. Sadie – Lost in Space
2. Long Hots – Monday Night Raw / Live at Three Lobed Jamboree
3. Painted Eyes – Demo 2018
4. Public Persona – Live! From the Student Ghetto
5. Don Howland – Endgame

Facs – Elsewhere
Weather Warlock / Three Brained Robot / Quintron & Miss Pussycat – Spellcaster Lodge
Major Stars – Union Pool
Flesh Eaters – Harlows / The Independent
Superchunk – Rough Trade
Scientists – Union Pool
Warm Drag – Rec Center and Union Pool
Deaf Wish – Union Pool
David Nance Group / Mountain Movers – Union Pool
Aquarian Blood – Murphy’s
Shells – Outer Limits Lounge
Gotobeds – The Shop
Tim Kerr – Unionknott Gallery
Shit-dels – Betty’s
Dark Blue – St. Vitus

Andy Larsen (Matador Direct)
Sarah Davachi – Let Night Come On Bells End The Day (Recital) / Gave In Rest (Ba Da Bing!)
Demdike Stare – Passion (Modern Love)
Lavender Hex – Lavender Hex
Gas – Rausch (Kompakt)
Jlin – Autobiography (Music From Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography) (Planet Mu)
S.H.I.T. – What Do You Stand For? (Iron Lung Records)
Drew McDowall – The Third Helix (Dais Records)
Miss Red – K.O. (Pressure)
Vile Gash – Nightmare In A Troubled Brain (Youth Attack)
Tirzah – Devotion (Domino)
Helena Hauff – Qualm (Ninja Tune)

Happy Rhodes – Ectotrophia (Numero Group)

La Misma – Negociacoes De Pas Continuae Como Fazemas Fabulas 7″ (Toxic State Records)
Clara! – Reggaetoneras 3 mixtape (Editions Gravats)
V/A Basement Beehive (Numero Group)

Adam Bartlett (Gilead Media/Eroding Winds)

Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want (Ipecac)
This went straight to the top of my list. I’ve loved everything Daughters / As the Sun Sets related for… fuck, decades? And seeing the evolution of some of these guys into what Daughters has become has just been an absolute joy. Hell Songs and the self-titled LP were honestly enough to keep me satisfied if this band never made anything else. But then they came out of the shadows and gave us the best record of their discography. Absolute, flawless, artful brilliance. And the best live performance I saw all year. This is my #1 record of the year, everything else is in a random order.

Thou – Magus (Sacred Bones)
I can finally put a Thou full-length on my year-end list! If these guys were going to hop labels for an album, at least it was to someone like Sacred Bones. And at least I still get to do a bunch of cool stuff for them. Couldn’t be more proud of my buds in Thou and all the success they had with their art this year. Magus feels, to me, like Heathen part 2 with more dynamic stuff going on, so that’s cool by me. Good progression.

KEN Mode – Loved (Season of Mist)
Yoooooo, fuckin’ noise rock supreme. Absolutely enamored with this one. Feels like a sick companion LP to the Couch Slut record we released in 2017. Perfect tone and a perfect album duration. I cannot overstate how important it is that I am left wanting more when a record ends, this hits the mark.

Sleep – The Sciences (Third Man)
This was hands-down my album of the year until the Daughters record came out. My previous enjoyment of Sleep varied, but this record gave me an entirely new love for the band, and retroactively made me enjoy their previous records even more. The production is absolutely perfect on this, and made all the better by the fact that it was engineered by Noah Landis of Neurosis, bandmate of Sleep/Neurosis drummer Jason Roeder. This record, to me, feels like it has the huge, meditative OM vibe that I love about Al’s songwriting, just fleshed out with the insane dual solos and flawless drumming that come with metal legends like Pike and Roeder. A spotless record front to back. Despite the retail nightmare it created upon release.

Gas – Rausch (Kompakt)
Very stoked to see some new albums released from the GAS project by Wolfgang Voigt. Beautiful and enveloping ambient music, and easily some of my favorite stuff to play at home around the house on my personal time. Wish I wouldn’t have missed the Chicago performance, major failure on my part. I dug on the 2017 release, Narkopop, but Rausch just absolutely kills.

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath (Metal Blade)
I honestly have no idea what I like about this record, because this is not the type of thing I generally enjoy listening to. But here we are, as one of my most-played LPs of the year. I guess everything on this album is just so fucking tight, songwriting rules and the vocals are flawless. Plus a song about the Witcher. Okay I guess I know why I like it, but still, not usually my cup of tea. Visigoth rules.

Anna Von Hausswolff – Dead Magic (City Slang)
Great ethereal, minimalist, atmospheric, indie pop? I’m not sure how to accurately explain what’s going on here, but it fills a void I didn’t know I had, and I’m glad it’s there for me now.

Voivod – The Wake (Century Media)
How is this band so consistently this sick? I didn’t really “get” voivod until a few years ago, but tracking through everything made me a big fan. I didn’t expect this record to rip as hard as it does. I was a fool.

Judas Priest – Firepower (Columbia)
I never liked heavy metal. I don’t know if I still really do or don’t. But I grew up a hardcore kid, I got into a lot of weird shit. I was always resistant to anything remotely popular and generally accepted as “classic.” Young, foolish way of thinking. One of my pals that worked at the record shop finally turned me on to Priest, and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Fucking love this record.

Audrey Ewell (Director of Until the Light Takes Us, Memory Box, and 99%, all made with co-director Aaron Aites of the band Iran) 

There was  a lot of great music this year, from old favorites like
Tim Hecker, the Caretaker, Low, Marissa Nadler, and a great ep from
Fennesz, and new finds, like The Final Age and Anenon (and a weird
month where I couldn’t stop obsessively listening to the Oliver Coates record to the point that now I can’t at all, probably ever again), and lots more, but for me, the Lonnie Holley track “I Woke Up in A Fucked-Up America” is just 2018 encapsulated. Delicate notes are torn apart by a guttural rage, a cry of despair at the horror of modern America… and yet still, buried in there, fighting to rise above the cacophony, the sense that we are better than this, if we can just find a way to wake up from the nightmare and reclaim our humanity. It should be our new national anthem.

Brett Andrew Grossman
New things
The Orielles “Silver Dollar Moment” (Heavenly)
Yui Onodero and Stephen Vitiello “Quivers” (Mikroton Recordings)
Jenny Hval “The Long Sleep” (Sacred Bones)
Snail Mail “Lush” (Matador)
Ian William Craig “Thresholder” (130701)
Yowler “Black dog in my Path (Double Double Whammy)
Deerhunter “Double Dream of Spring” (4AD)
Papa M “A Broke Moon Rises” (Drag City)
Tim Rutili and Craig Butcher “10 Seconds to Collapse” (Jealous Butcher)
Thom Yorke (Suspira) XL Recordings
Drinks “Hippo Lite” (Drag City)
Caretaker “Everywhere at the End of Time Stage 4 and 5 (History Always Favours the Winners)
Alexander Tucker “Don’t Look Away” (Thrill Jockey)
Cucina Povera “Hilja” (Night School)
Grouper “Grid of Points” (Kranky)
Neko Case “Hell-on” (Lady Pilot)
Phew “Voice Hardcore” (Bereket)
Ty Segall “Freedom’s Goblin” (Drag City)
Julia Holter “Aviary” (Domino)
Jeff Tweedy “Warm” (dBpm records)
LaLa Lala “The Lamb” (Hardly Art)
Tim Hecker “Konoyo” (Kranky)
Post Animal “When I think of you in a Castle” (Polyvinyl)
No Age “Snares Like A Haircut” (Drag City)
The Shins Worms of Heart (Aural Apothecary Records)
Loma “Loma” (Subpop)
Mary Jane Leach “(f)lute songs) (Modern Love)

Reissues / Archival
Akira Rabelais “Eisoptrophobia” (Boomkat Editions)
Rimarimba “Below the Horizon” (Freedom to Spend)
Catherine Christer Hennix “Selected Early Keyboard Works” (Black Forms Edition)
Joanne Forman “Cave Vaults of the Moon” (Séance Center)
Mark Renner “Few Traces” (Rvng Intl)
Philip Sanderson “On one of those Bends” (Séance Center)