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Reckless Records Employee Best of 2023 Lists

Yo La Tengo / Wednesday / Kara Jackson
Ratboys / a.s.o. / Laurel Halo
Tirzah / Hotline TNT / Feeble Little Horse



(Wicker Park)

FAVORITES OF 2023 (in no particular order)

  1. Like..? by Ice Spice
    Pure, raw talent. She also hung out with Kim Kardash
  2. Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) by Yves Tumor
    Fun and exciting experimental pop!
  3. Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd by Lana Del Rey
    Y’all may not know butttt…this is my girl. My day one. She gets better and better! This record is insightful, dynamic, and just real. Listen if you haven’t yet!!!
  4. With a Hammer by Yaeji
    Awesome pop record, cool unique sounds.
  5. Rat Saw God by Wednesday
    Did I hear someone say they like y’all-ternative…
  6. Everyone’s Crushed by Water From Your Eyes
    ATTENTION: Chicago/Brooklyn group on Matador!
  7. Super Snooper by Snooper
    Young punks from Nashville
  8. Blackbox Life Recorder 21f / in a room7 F760 by Aphex Twin
    You know what it sounds like…but it’s still awesome!!
  9. Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You by Bonnie “Prince” Billy
    Comfy and cozy with this record, nice for fall and winter I would say!
  10. Javelin by Sufjan Stevens
    If you know how I feel about Sufjan Stevens you’d know not to ask me a single thing about this record…I would not shut up for at least 10 minutes. That being said, it’s amazing!
  11. Lemon Lights by Seablite
    Blah blah shoegaze… IT’S GOOD!!!
  12. Tracey Denim by bar italia
    They’re British AND they put out two really good records this year. Can you believe it?!
  13. Girl With Fish by Feeble Little Horse
    Adorable Pittsburgh band, awesome Sophomore album. Doesn’t get better
  14. Several Songs About Fire by A. Savage
    I was so excited for this release and it did NOT disappoint! Fans of Parquet Courts and the like should check it out.
  15. HONORABLE MENTION (we haven’t gotten it in the store yet): Sugar World by Jonatan Leandoer96


(Wicker Park)

All That was East is West of Me Now // Glen Hansard // Favorite track: “The Feast of St. John”
The Ballad of Darren // Blur // Favorite track: “The Narcissist” 
Black Rainbows // Corinne Bailey Rae // Favorite track: “Erasure”
Bless This Mess // U.S. Girls // Favorite track: “Futures Bet”
Careful! // Deeper // Favorite track: “Build a Bridge”
Cartwheel // Hotline TNT // Favorite tracks: “Protocol,” “Spot Me 100”
Change the Way You Think About Pain // Incendiary // Favorite track:
“Echo of Nothing”
Cousin // Wilco // Favorite track: “Evicted”
Dead Meat // The Tubs // Favorite tracks: “Sniveller,” “Round the Bend”
Desolation’s Flower // Ragana // Favorite track: “Pain”
Diagnosis // Sen Morimoto // Favorite track: “Pressure on the Pulse”
Domino // Diners // Favorite track: “The Power”
The Enduring Spirit // Tomb Mold // Favorite track: “Will of Whispers”
Hard Light // Drop Nineteens // Favorite track: “Scapa Flow”
The Holey Bible // Florry // Favorite track: “From Where You Are”
I Inside the Old Year Dying // PJ Harvey // Favorite track: “A Child’s Question, August”
Last Day of Sun // Fuming Mouth // Favorite track: “The Silence Beyond Life”
Life Under the Gun // Militarie Gun // Favorite tracks: “Do it Faster,” “Never Fucked Up Once”
Lucky for You // Bully // Favorite track: “Lose You”
No Thank You // Little Simz // Favorite track: “Gorilla”
Quaranta // Danny Brown // Favorite track: “Ain’t My Concern”
Rat Saw God // Wednesday // Favorite tracks: “Bull Believer,” “Chosen to Deserve”
The Record // Boygenius // Favorite tracks: “True Blue,” “Not Strong Enough”
Safe to Run // Esther Rose // Favorite track: “Safe to Run”
SAVED! // Reverend Kristin Michael Hayter // Favorite track: 
Secret Stratosphere // William Tyler & The Impossible Truth // Favorite track:
“We Can’t Go Home Again”
This Stupid World // Yo La Tengo // Favorite track: “Fallout”
Time Ain’t Accidental // Jess Williamson // Favorite track: “Hunter”
Water Made Us // Jamila Woods // Favorite track: “Practice”
Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love? // Kara Jackson // Favorite tracks:
“no fun/ party,” “pawnshop”
The Window // Ratboys // Favorite tracks: “The Window,” “Black Earth, WI,” “It’s Alive”


(Wicker Park & Belmont)

top 10 in no particular order:

   1. red moon in venus by kali uchis
   2. the enduring spirit by tomb mold
   3. a.s.o. by a.s.o.
   4. madres by sofia kourtesis
   5. spirits by the circling sun
   6. let’s start here by lil yachty
   7. call me if you get lost: the estate sale by tyler the creator
   8. ooh i rap ya by george clanton
   9. a new tomorrow by zulu
   10. genesis by peso pluma



Here’s my “Best of 2023”. Kept it short n sweet. All stuff that Reckless carried this year…

@ – Mind Palace Music (Carpark)
AKASHA SYSTEM – Phytopia (100% Silk)
A.S.O. – a.s.o. (Low Lying)
DEAD TIMES – Dead Times (Thrill Jockey)
DORISBURG & EFRAIM KENT – Further (Boss Musik)
LAUREL HALO – Atlas (Awe)
SOFIA KOURTESIS – Madres (Ninja Tune)
MARTINOU – Chiral (Nous’klaer)
NATURAL WONDER BEAUTY CONCEPT – Natural Wonder Beauty Concept (Mexican Summer)
PROTOMARTYR – Formal Growth in the Desert (Domino)
PURELINK – Signs (Peak Oil)
A. SAVAGE – Several Songs About Fire (Rough Trade)
MASAHIRO TAKAHASHI – Humid Sun (Telephone Explosion)
TIRZAH – trip9love…? (Domino)
DANIEL VILLARREAL – Lados B (International Anthem)

ACETONE – I’m Still Waiting. (New West)
JON HASSELL – Further Fictions (Ndeya)
HYDROPLANE – Selected Songs 1997-2003 (World of Echo)
LUSH – Spooky / Split / Lovelife (4AD)
STEVE MONITE – Only You (Soundway)
ARTHUR RUSSELL – Picture of Bunny Rabbit (Audika)
PHAROAH SANDERS – Pharoah (Luaka Bop)
LORI VAMBE – Space-Time Dreamtime (Strut)
v/a – Perú Selvático: Sonic Expedition Into the Peruvian Amazon 1972-1986 (Analog Africa)


PJ Harvey / Sufjan Stevens / Tomb Mold


(Wicker Park)

Full Body 2 – infinity signature
Halloween – Self Titled
Blimp – Egg
Feeble Little Horse – Girl With Fish
Unrecovery – It’s Agreed, My Willing Test
Narrow Head – Moments of Clarity
38KEA – the hawk and the nightingale
Bar Italia – Tracey Denim
Liv.e – Girl in the Half Pearl
Luster – Dopamine Loop
Welp! – Welp!
Sideshow – JAM
Na-kel Smith – FREE POPS FR


(Wicker Park)

R.B. – B14



1. Laurel Halo – Atlas
2. Ryuichi Sakamoto – 12
3. Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World
4. Kate NV – Wow
5. Deerhoof – Miracle-Level
6. Everything but the Girl – Fuse
7. Sparks – The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte
8. Actress – LXXXVIII
9. Pylon – Chomp (repress)
10. Anatomy of a Fall (movie)


(Wicker Park & Belmont)

i think i missed a lot of good music this year but i did find time to listen to some Albums.
asterisk means we carry/carried it here at the shop

→ Here are the ones i listened to “A Lot”:
*Various – Spirit Cry Flutes and Bamboo Jews Harps from Papua New Guinea (Ideologic Organ) – spent alot of 2023 with bad tinnitus and this was the only music i found soothing at all. Half of the tracks is just dudes going “boing boing boing” on a mouth harp and then the other half is chirruping bamboo flutes. It’s seriously something else. Anyone interested in hearing something they’ve never heard before must cop
*The Tubs – Dead Meat (Trouble…) – “ex Joanna Gruesome” always makes the year end list
*Laurel Halo – Atlas (Awe) – i think i would call this “Ambient Plus”
*Ratboys – The Window (Topshelf) – “The Gang Makes An Album With Chris Walla”
*Various – Canto A Lo Divino (Mississippi) – gorgeous billion string guitar music. Probably all about Jesus but guess what so are Sufjan Stevens albums
*Asher White – New Excellent Woman (Ba Da Bing) – kind of elephant six-y textures married to really rich harmonies and lyrics
*Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World – Gods favorite band
Curling – No Guitar – this band is sick as hell
*Hydroplane – Selected Songs 1997-2003 (World Of Echo) – great retrospective from ex-Cat’s Miaow members thats somewhere between clasico indie pop and trip-hop.Thank you World of Echo, very cool!
*Erik Hall – Canto Ostinato (Western Vinyl) – this piece by Simeon Ten Holt has been recorded 1,0000 times but this version really takes it all the way into “library-based period drama soundtrack” territory
Frog – GROG – Frog’s back

→ Special award for great albums by local bands
You Are The Garden – Six Leaf Clover
Prathloons – Live Loons: The Bronze 8.4.23
*Ok Cool – Fawn – ive never felt older than when i saw this band live and they covered “A-Punk”
Model Living – Alignment
Doom Flower – Limestone Ritual (Record Label)
Half Gringa – Ancestral Home
*Tom Musick – The Many Moods of… – see you at Weegees

→ Here are albums i liked in theory and listened to a couple times and now theyre on this list:
// “normal person” category
*Subsonic Eye – All Around You (Topshelf, natürlich) – what’s going on in Singapore??
*@ – Mind Palace Music (Carpark) – new innovations in ungoogleability
*En Attendant Ana – Principia (Trouble in Mind)
*Black Country New Road – Live at Bush Hall (Ninja Tune) – i will NOT put the comma in this band name. do not ever ask me to do that
*L’Rain – I Killed Your Dog (Mexican Summer)
*Julie Byrne – The Greater Wings (Ghostly)

 // “record store employee” category
*Masahiro Takahashi – Humid Sun (Telephone Explosion)
*Martinou – Chiral (Nousklaer) – fell off the dance music train in 2023. I will do better next year
*American Analog Set – For Forever (Darla) – strips away the gauzy production & showcases the evil side of what many people are calling “Death Cab for people still renting in their 30s”
*Mike Cooper – Life & Death in Paradise (Reissue)
*Drop Nineteens – Hard Light (Wharf Cat)
*Beau Wanzer + Champagne Mirrors – Gub (Sophomore Lounge)


Tim Hecker / Drop Nineteens / The Tubs



If I Promise – On Departure (self-released)
Model/Actriz – Dogsbody (True Panther)
Cicada – Seeking the Sources of Streams (flau)
Tim Hecker – No Highs (Kranky)
Parannoul – After the Magic (Topshelf)
Lia Kohl – The Ceiling Reposes (American Dreams)
Mu tate – They’re With You Always (3XL)
Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World (Matador)
The Necks – Travel (Northern Spy)
Flooding – Silhouette Machine (Ghost Is Clear)
Purelink – Signs (Peak Oil)
Infant – Sigla, Sone (Warm Winters)
Wednesday – Rat Saw God (Dead Oceans)
Euclid C Finder – The Mirror, My Weapon, I Love You (Dark Trail)
Billy Woods & Kenny Segal – Maps (Backwoodz)
Rolin/ Pulice/ Powers – Prism (Cached)
Diles Que No Me Maten – Obrigaggi (Come Algo)
Sundae Painters – Sundae Painters (Leather Jacket)
Hashirat – A Place To Myself (self-released)
Asha Sheshadri – Whiplash (Recital)
Bar Italia – Tracey Denim (Matador)
Sprain – The Lamb as Effigy (The Flenser)
Erik Hall/ Simeon ten Holt – Canto Ostinato (Western Vinyl)
Great Falls – Objects Without Pain (Neurot)
Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, & Shahzad Ismaily – Love in Exile (Verve)
Gridlink – Coronet Jupiter (Willowtip)
Onewaymirror – Onewaymirror (Zegema Beach)
Approaching Mountains – Ley (self-released)
herlovebeheadsdaisies – carving initials (self-released)
Feeble Little Horse – Girl With Fish (Saddle Creek)
Hysterical Love Project – Lashes (Motion Ward)
iANO – What Will We See (Dismiss Yourself)
Gia Margaret – Romantic Piano (Jagjaguwar)
Oldstar – On the Run (Rope Bridge)
Martyna Basta – Slowly Forgetting, Barely Remembering (Warm Winters)
Zorn – Zorn (Furo Bungy)
Ex Pilots – Ex Pilots (Smoking Room)
Voice Actor – Fake Sleep (Stroom)
Arthur Russell – Picture of Bunny Rabbit (Audika) *archival
7038634357 – Neo Seven (Blank Forms)
Old Saw – Sewn the Name (Lobby Art)
Raphael Roginski – Talan (Instant Classic)
The Motifs – I’m the Only One You Love… (Daisart) *archival
Gigi Masin/ Rod Modell – Red Hair Girl at Lighthouse Beach (13)
Kitchen – Breath Too Long (okwhatever)
Masahiro Takahashi – Humid Sun (Telephone Explosion)
Alice Phoebe Lou – Shelter (self-released)
what is your name? – My Name Is… (5am)



-replacements – tim (let it bleed edition)
–yeah not a new lp but hearing this incredible new mix from ed stasium, it might as well be.

-yeule – softscars
–such well crafted, intricately produced and personal music. As catchy as it is great headphone music.

-a.s.o – a.s.o.
–if u dig on trip-hop, u dig on this new duo out of berlin.

-hotline tnt – cartwheel
–sick guitar driven lp out on third man records. like blown out teenage fanclub. sugary melodies/scuzzed out production.

-caroline polachek – desire, i want to turn into you
–scratches my frou frou/imogen heap pop itch. probably the best vocalist in the game.

-bully – lucky for you
–her 4th lp might be her best yet. emotional and sooo hooky. the kind of record that makes u immediately check for tour dates.

-pinkpantheress – heaven knows
–great debut of bedroom dnb pop tunes. simultaneously feels nostalgic and like the future.

-grian chattan – chaos for the fly
 –poetic and intimate solo offering from fontaines dc frontman. engaging on a totally different level but just as excellent.

-anohni & the johnsons – my back was a bridge for you to cross
–i feel this is her most accessible and moving lp yet which i think is saying a lot! as haunting as it is uplifting.

-vyva melinkolya – unbecoming
–best shoegaze release of the year, all enveloping, comforting and heavy.



In 2023 I found these things worth discussing or recommending to other peoples:
Don’t miss the opening/ support acts. I finally got to see the Smoking Popes featuring one former co-worker (Hi Eli!), & a few bands I hadn’t really heard before, including Teenage Halloween (from New Jersey), who absolutely killed during their set, so much so, I went & bought a shirt. If you like power-pop like Pup, but with a little more Punk influence, you’ll love Teen Ween’s 2023 record Til You Return.
The best beat boxer I’ve ever seen live plays bass for Phum Viphurit. This is probably hyperbole, I’ve seen both Doug E. Fresh & Rahzel, but during Phum’s set at the House of Blues this unassuming but awesome bassist took center stage while Phum & the rest of the band took a break. Pom Tanapon picked up a mic & for 4 or 5 minutes the whole crowd sat transfixed as we saw the worldwide appeal of hip-hop music. It was such a cool little scene, a massive departure from the band’s normal psychedelic, summery, soul-adjacent guitar music, which you can hear on the record Viphurit dropped earlier this year on The Greng Jai Piece.
50 years in Hip Hop keeps growing & expanding. Some of the best rapping I heard all year came fromwomen. Big Boss Vette on Resilience, KenTheMan on Back to 304’n, Chika on Samson, & Flyana Boss on Hello Christ…; all of these sets have incredible performances on the mic. We also got some great “grown man raps” from acts that I really love to hear from: Black Milk dropped Everybody Good, Black Thought teamed up with El Michels Affair for Glorious Game, Oddisee gave us To What End, & Open Mike Eagle’s another triumph… all took approaches that we don’t always get to see in hip hop. We also got some excellent documentation, May the Lord Watch from Rap Portraits & What Had Happened Was season 4 from Stony Island Audio.
This was a pretty good year for R&B & Soul music. I went looking for good R&B this year, & boy howdy did I find it. Victoria Monet with Jaguar II, Jordan Ward with Forward, & Leon Thomas with Electric Dusk. And those are just the 3 I liked best. Each has a different vibe, each has a different approach, but they make you want to move, to feel & sing along.
We were due for a ska revival & I think it’s here! I for one welcome this development. It’s a good time for Bad Times Records who put a tour on with Kill Lincoln, We Are the Union, Catbite, & J. Navarro & the Traitors this year & also released Flying Racoon Suit Moonflower. We also got an ep from Fishbone, & a ripper of a record from ska-adjacent Jeff Rosenstock with Hellmode. There’s a lot of DIY pop music happening out there right now & I’m glad people are still making fun music for fun’s sake.
I’m sure I missed something, but that’s what I remember from this year… Cheers!


Parannoul / Bully / Vanishing Twin



Hole Dweller – “Crossroads” (Dungeons Deep)
Death’s Dynamic Shroud – “After Angel” (Ghost Diamond)
Parannoul – “After The Magic” (Topshelf)
Oneohtrix Point Never – “Again” (Warp)
Bell Witch – “Future’s Shadow Part 1: The Clandestine Gate” (Profound Lore)
Fucked Up – “One Day” (Merge)
Asian Glow & Sonhos Tomam Conta – “Dreamglow” (Longinus Recordings)
Oozing Wound – “We Cater To Cowards” (Thrill Jockey)
En Attendant Ana – “Principia” (Trouble In Mind)
Sadness & Abriction – “Sadness // Abriction” (Canti Erectici Productions)
Squid – “O Monolith” (Warp)
Time Is Away [Various Artists] – “Searchlight Moonbeam” (Efficient Space)
Quest Master – “Sword & Circuitry” (Out Of Season)
Caroline Polachek – “Desire, I Want To Turn Into You” (Perpetual Novice)
Sufjan Stevens – “Javelin” (Asthmatic Kitty)
The Armed – “Perfect Saviors” (Sargent House)
Mort Garson – “Journey To The Moon & Beyond” (Sacred Bones)
Ratboys – “The Window” (Topshelf)
Tim Hecker – “No Highs” (Kranky)

Honorable Mention: Miserable People – “Miserable EP” (Rat’s Pizza) [This is my band’s tape and I’m using my year-end list to advertise it to you, dear reader. I do think it’s pretty good though.]



Albums I Liked in 2023 (No Particular Order)
Maps – Kenny Segal and Billy Woods
Am I Good Enough – Jabee
2MM Don’t Just Stand There – Sideshow
A.S.O – A.S.O
tracey denim – Bar Italia
Call Me if You Get Lost: The Estate Sale – Tyler, the Creator
Skinemaxxx – Fly Anakin
Saturday nights – Carrtoons
Swinging Stars – Mapache
Ways of Knowing – Navy Blue
Voir Dire – Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist
Faith is A Rock – MIKE and Wiki
Snaxxx – Mndsgn
PS: I had the pleasure of working on one of my favorite albums of this year POTE BABY By Devin. It’s a shameless self-promo, but so much of my year was spent with some of my best friends making some music that we are incredibly proud of. Please check it out if you want.

EPs/Singles I Liked this Year (No Particular Order)
Flying High – The Alchemist
18 Tons – Smut
Scaring the Hoes: DLC Pack – JPEGMAFIA
New Heart Designs – Turnstile and BADBADNOTGOOD
Crush on You – Madlib
I Want More (Telemakus Remixes) – Sons of the James
Do you? But it’s only the best part – Marigold
Igy – Dj Harrison
Human Nature – Saba



THE ACTION Rolled Gold (Guerssen LP)
BUTCHER’S DOG Age Of Inversion (Violent Pest 7″)
THE DAMNED Darkadelic (Ear Music LP)
MORT GARSON Journey To The Moon And Beyond (Sacred Bones LP)
LIFE SENTENCE Demos (Alonas Dream 7″)
KURT MICHAELS Stones From The Garden (Melodic Revolution CD)
SUPERCHUNK Everything Hurts / Making A Break (Merge 7″)
VANISHING TWIN Afternoon X (Fire LP)



Sit Down For Dinner– Blonde Redhead
This Stupid World– Yo La Tengo
Welshpool Frillies– Guided By Voices
Everything is alive– Slowdive
Black Duck– Black Duck
C- Rex (reissue)
In Ribbons– Pale Saints (reissue)
Gasms– Smokey Robinson
Mogwai reissues (namely Young Team, Come On Die Young, and Government Commissions)
Happiness– Fridge (reissue)





Bar Italia / Slowdive / Niecy Blues


(Wicker Park)

André 3000 New Blue Sun
Ellen Arkbro Sounds While Waiting
A.S.O. A.S.O.
Meg Baird Furling
Björk & Rosalia Oral
Black Sun Ensemble Black Sun Ensemble reissue
Blonde Redhead Sit Down For Dinner
Blood Incantation Luminescent Bridge
Bar italia Tracey Denim
Lucinda Chua Yian
Shana Cleveland Manzanita
John Coltrane & Eric Dolphy Evenings At the Village Gate
Depeche Mode Memento Mori
Drop Nineteens Hard Light
Enslaved Heimdal
FACS Still Life In Decay
Laurel Halo Atlas
PJ Harvey I Inside the Old Year Dying
Horrendous Ontological Mysterium
Nabihah Iqbal Dreamer
Mag-Amplitude Wizards of Today
Midwife & Vyva Melinolya Orbweaving
Minor Threat Out of Step Outtakes
Mortuary Drape Black Mirror
Niecy Blues Exit Simulation
Nighttime Keeper Is the Heart
Arvo Pärt Tractus
Shizuka Heavenly Persona reissue
Slowdive Everything Is Alive
Stella Kola Stella Kola
Tirzah Trip9love…???
Tomb Mold Enduring Spirit
The Tubs Dead Meat
The Who Who’s Next / Life House: Super Deluxe Edition
Worm Gloomlord reissue
Neil Young Chrome Dreams
Neil Young Somewhere Under the Rainbow


(Wicker Park)

A.S.O. – A.S.O.
7038634357 – Neo Seven
Tirzah – Trip9love…???
Gia Margaret – Romantic Piano
JK Flesh – No Exits
Zaumne – Parfum
Julie Byrne – The Greater Wings
Immediate Proximity – IMPROX 1+2
Hollie Kenniff – We All Have Places That We Miss
Suchi – Birdy Bell
Ciel – Orlando
Tzusing – Invincible East
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Blonde (soundtrack)
YoshimiOizumikiYoshiduO – To The Forest To Live A Truer Life
V/Z – Suouno Assente
Hilary Woods – Acts Of Light
Niecy Blues – Exit Simulation
KMRU – Dissolution Grip
Svitlana Nianio – Transilvania Smile, 1994
BCMC – Foreign Smokes
Paavoharju – Yon Mustia Kukkia
Flora Yin-Wong – Cold Reading
Martinou – Chiral
Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya – Orbweaving
Romance – Fade Into You


(Belmont & The Salt Shed)

 In no particular order, just some albums I really liked:
Yves Tumor: Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume
Skrillex: Quest For Fire
JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown: Scaring The Hoes
100 Gecs: 10,000 Gecs
Magdalena Bay: Mini Mix Vol. 3
Gel: Only Constant
Militarie Gun: Life Under The Gun
Model/ Actriz: Dogsbody
Uniform & Boris: Bright New Disease
White Reaper: Asking For A Ride  


<< BEN HEGY >>
(Wicker Park & Metric Coffee)

Eddie Chacon- sundown [stones throw]
Anna Meike- theatre [nettwerk]
Tirzah- trip9love…??? [domino]
Roselit Bone- ofrenda [get loud]
Slowdive- everything is alive [dead oceans]
Blue Lake- sun arcs [tonal union records]
Laurel Halo- atlas [awe]
Mandy, Indiana- i’ve seen a way [fire talk]
Kara Jackson- why does the earth give us people to love? [september]
Nourished by Time- erotic probiotic 2 [scenic route]
u-ziq- 1977 [balmat]
Kelela- raven [warp]
Gia Margaret- romantic piano [jagjaguwar]



(Writer for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver and Vulture)

Beyoncé – Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé (IMAX)
Miley Cyrus – Endless Summer Vacation
Kara Jackson – Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love?
Kylie Minogue – Tension
Janelle Monáe – The Age of Pleasure
Olivia Rodrigo – Guts
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense (IMAX)
Jessie Ware – That! Feels Good!
Various Artists – Barbie: The Album
: Seasons 1-9 (Netflix)


(Chicago musician & Reckless alum)

Dina Ögon Oas (Playground Music)
Natural Information Society Since Time Is Gravity (Eremite)
Sluice Radial Gate (Ruination)
ÆON FLUX boxset (Waxwork)
Angel Olsen Forever Means (Jagjaguwar)
PJ Harvey I Inside the Old Year Dying (Partisan)
Fielded Plus One (Backwoodz Studioz)
Dream Sitch, Michael Nau, Floating Action Long Rattle (Airloom)
Rahill Flowers At Your Feet (Big Dada)
Josiah Steinbrick For Anyone That Knows You (Unseen Worlds)
Tirzah trip9love…??? (Domino)
V/A Blacklips Bar: Androgyns & Deviants – Industrial Romance for Bruised and Battered Angels, 1992–1995 (Anthology)
Alice Phoebe Lou Shelter (self)
BC Camplight The Last Rotation of Earth (Bella Union)
Youth Lagoon Heaven Is A Junkyard (Fat Possum)
Spencer Cullum Coin Collection 2 (Full Time Hobby)
Feist Multitudes (Polydor)
Fantasy Dub & Sofia Bolt “Rendez-vous”
Sven Wunder Late Again (Piano Piano)
Dim s/t EP (Physical Medium)
Mac DeMarco Five Easy Hot Dogs & One Wayne G (MRL)
Yo La Tengo This Stupid World (Matador)
Peel Dream Magazine Magic Is Pocketed (Slumberland)
Grupo Frontera y Bad Bunny “un x100tu” (Rimas)
Mapache Swinging Stars (Innovative Leisure)
Danava Nothing But Nothing (Tee Pee)
V/A All Micro Ambient Music: Tribute to Ryuichi Sakamoto (Micro Ambient Music)
Now And Blue Space Is Burning Noon (Sloth Mate)
FURZE “Foresee His Infernal Rites” (self)
Conrad Clipper 降雨 / Rainfall (self) 2022
Dick Stusso S.P. (Hardly Art)
Daniel Lanois Belladonna (MNRK)
Duster Remote Echoes (Numero)
Voice Actor Fake Sleep (Stroom)
Jonathan Wilson Eat the Worm (self)
Niecy Blues Exit Simulation (Kranky)
Lou Tides Infinite Loop EP (self)
Charles Curtis Performances & Recordings 1998-2018 (Saltern)
Purelink Signs (Peak Oil)
Chatham Rise “Splinter” (self)

Bruce Adams You’re With Stupid (University of Texas Press) 2022 Book

Bowery Electric Beat (Kranky)
Michael Hurley Sweetkorn (Mississippi)
Manuel Göttsching Inventions For Electric Guitar (MG Art)
Tresa Leigh I Remember (Efficient Space)
Alain Goraguer La Planéte Sauvage (C.A.M.)
Kuku Sebsibe s/t (Little Axe)
Julee Cruise Floating Into the Night (Sacred Bones)

Mdou Moctar, Brunswick Ballroom
Bikini Kill, Golden Plains Festival
Crumb, Nine Lives Festival
Caroline Rose, The Fonda
Sofia Bolt, Gold Diggers
The Cure, Hollywood Bowl
Amyl & The Sniffers, Rock en Seine
The Strokes, Forest Hills Stadium
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, All Points East
Erin Rae, Tee Gee
Kara Jackson, Regency Ballroom
Cass McCombs, End of the Road
Angel Olsen, Hollywood Forever
Project Pat, Zebulon
Natural Information Society, Thalia Hall


Mandy, Indiana / Caroline Polachek / Yves Tumor


(Chicago film critic/writer at, The Playlist and more)

100 gecs – 10,000 gecs
Beach House – Become
Blur – The Ballad of Darren
Bob Dylan – Shadow Kingdom
Caroline Polachek – Desire, I Want To Turn Into You
Iggy Pop – Every Loser
Janelle Monáe – The Age of Pleasure
Kelela – Raven
Kara Jackson – Why Does the Earth Give Us People To Love?
Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd
Mandy, Indiana – I’ve Seen A Way
Mitski – The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We
Neil Young and Crazy Horse – All Roads Lead Home
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Council Skies
Olivia Rodrigo – Guts
Ryuichi Sakamoto – 12
Sigur Rós – Átta
Sufjan Stevens – Javelin
Willie Nelson – I Don’t Know a Thing About Love
Yo La Tengo – This Stupid World
Youth Lagoon – Heaven Is A Junkyard


<< ED HYNDS >>
(Matador Direct)

Here are my top picks for ’23:
Jonnine – Maritz
MC Yallah – Yallah Beibe
WaqWaq Kingdom – Hot Pot Totto
Spivak – You Win Again
Saeko Killy – Morphing Polaroids
Fever Ray – Radical Romantics
Tirzah – Trip9love
The Umlauts – Slags
Tkay Maidza – Sweet Justice
Stinky Jim – Social Awareness – The Remixes
Sampha – LAHAI
Nervous Gender – Music From Hell (reissue)


(Matador Direct)

Suishou No Fune – The wind is spring. There is a rainbow in the sky. Love is hiding in the waves.
Vanishing Twin – Afternoon X
Wolf Eyes and Model Home – More Difficult
S*Glass – Cesspool of the Angels
Nakibembe Embaire Group – Nakibembe Embaire Group
Emahoy Tsege-Mariam Gebru – Jerusalem
Shizuka – Heavenly Persona
Pharoah Sanders – Pharoah
Kali Malone – Does Spring Hide Its Joy
Ryuichi Sakamoto –12
John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy – Evenings At The Village Gate
Sarah Davachi – Long Gradus
Les Rallizes Denudes – CITTA’ ‘93
Milford Graves with Arthur Doyle & Hugh Glover – Children Of The Forest
Reverend Kristin Hayter – Saved!
Clara! – Pulso
Spiral Dub – Spiral Dub
Dorothy Ashby – With Strings Attached
Augustus Pablo – Roots, Rockers, & Dub
Tyvek – Overground
Tozibabe – Discography 1984-1986
Rrose- Please Touch
Sonic Youth – Live In Brooklyn 2011


(Supporter of Record Stores/ Tour Manager for hire)

Thee Retail Simps – Live on Cool Street – Total Punk
Cheater Slicks – Ill Fated Cusses – In The Red
Divine Horsemen – Bitter End Of A Sweet Night – In The Red
Lewsberg – Out And About – 12XU
Tyvek – Overground – Ginko
Lankum – False Lankum – Rough Trade
Facs – Still Life In Decay – Trouble In Mind
Sundae Painters – S/T – Leather Jacket
Meg Baird – Furling – Drag City
Lifeguard – Dressed In Trenches / Crowd Can Talk – Matador
Star/Time – Like An Owl Exploding – Means Of Production
CIA Debutante – Down Willow – Siltbreeze
Barbara Manning – Charm of Yesterday…Convenience of Tomorrow – Ba Da Bing
Lower Plenty – No Poets – Bedroom Suck
XV – On The Creek Beds On The Thrones – Ginko
Rocket 808 – House of Jackpots – 12XU
The Native Cats – The Way On Is The Way Off – Chapter Music
Famous Mammals – Instant Pop Expressionism Now – Siltbreeze
Cindy – Why Not Now? – Mt. St. Mtn. / Tough Love
Emily Robb – If I Am Misery Then Give Me Affection – Petty Bunco
Mary Lattimore – Goodbye Hotel Arkada – Ghostly
Armand Hammer – We Buy Diabetic Test Strips – Fat Possum
Natural Information Society – Since Time Is Gravity – Eremite
Xylouris White – The Forest In Me – Drag City
Son of Dribble – Son Of Dribble Against The Wind – Minimum Table Stacks
Sharp Pins – Turtle Rock – Tall Texan
Feeling Figures – Migration Magic – Perennial / K Records
Fastbacks – Z2 – No Threes
Dippers – Clastic Rock – Goner Records
Fairytale – Shooting Star – Toxic State
Civic – Taken By Force – ATO Records
Billy Woods & Kenny Segal – Maps – Backwoodz Studios

Weak Signal – War & War – 12XU
High Rise – III – Black Editions
Sonic Youth – Live in Brooklyn – Silver Current Records
White Heaven – Strange Bedfellow – Black Editions
Gee Gee Decorator- S/T – Coq Au Vinyl
INU – Don’t Eat Food – Mesh Key
Peter Gutteridge – Pure – Superior Viaduct
Graeme Jefferies – I’m Not Listening To Your Station – Cakekitchen Records
Tolerance – Divin & Anonym – Mesh Key
Peter Jefferies – Closed Circuit – Grapefruit
Dream Syndicate – Days of Wine and Roses box – Fire
Violin Sect – Vile Insect – Minimum Table Stacks
Zyklon B Zombies – Skull – Minimum Table Stacks
Francisca Griffin – The Spaces Between – CocoMuse
Bettie Serveert – Palomine – Matador
Playthings – S/T – Leather Jacket
Tyvek – Blunt Instrumentals – Ginko
The Sheaves – Excess Death Cult Time – Minimum Table Stacks
Da Slyme – If There’s No Rubble, You Haven’t Played – Celluloid Lunch
Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner – XL Recordings
V/A – If There’s Hell Below – Numero Group
My Dad Is Dead – Pow! / Peace Love & Murder – Scat
Shizuka – Heavenly Persona / III – Black Editions / Concentric Circles
PG Six – Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites – Amish
Mag-Amplitude – Wizards Of Today – Zaius Tapes

Blast – Damned Flame b/w Hope – Ancient Grease
Married FM – EP – Self Released
Body/Head – Come On – Open Mouth / Three Lobed
Non-Plus Temps – Dark On Harmon – Self Released
CIA Debutante – The Punch b/w The Garden – Digital Regress
Thee Retail Simps – Rubble – Goodbye Boozy
Rat Nip – My Pillow – Song Book Records
Drain Brugs – Elevator b/w Nitghsifth (Mikey Young Remix) – Cannery Records
Secretors – Comparing Missile Size Vol. 1 – Roach Leg
Fastbacks – A Quiet Night – No Threes


If you bought music from us or spent any time in our shops this year, we appreciate your support so much.
See you in 2024! — Reckless Records

Posted on

Reckless Records Employee Best of 2022 Lists

Angel Olsen / The Smile / Chat Pile /
Horsegirl / Makaya McCraven / Danger Mouse & Black Thought /
Alvvays / Kendrick Lamar / Weyes Blood




New Releases in 2022:
Smut – How The Light Felt (Bayonet)
Oort Smog – Every Motherfucker Is Your Brother (AKP Recordings)
Lou Reed – Words and Music, May 1965 (Light in the Attic)

New Reissues in 2022:
Liars – They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top (Mute)
Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking (Survival Research)
Strawberry Switchblade – 1982 4-Piece Demo (Night School)

New to Me in 2022:
Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel III aka “Melt” (Geffen)

Movies I’ve Been Too Into in 2022:
The Reflecting Skin (1990, dir. Philip Ridley)
Брат or “Brother” (1997, dir. Aleksei Balabanov)

Concerts of 2022:
of Montreal – Lincoln Hall 10/14

(I went to one concert this year, my first since the shutdown, and it was joyful and jubilant)



  • A Light for Attracting Attention // The Smile
  • All of Us Flames // Ezra Furman
  • And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow // Weyes Blood
  • Big Time // Angel Olsen
  • Bleed Out // The Mountain Goats
  • Blue Rev // Alvvays
  • Boat Songs // MJ Lenderman
  • Cheat Codes // Danger Mouse & Black Thought
  • Cool It Down // Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Easy Listening // 2nd Grade
  • Fall in Love Not in Line // Kids On A Crime Spree
  • Farm to Table // Bartees Strange
  • God Get Me the Fuck Out of Here // Cold Gawd
  • God’s Country // Chat Pile
  • I Walked With You a Ways // Plains
  • In These Times // Makaya McCraven
  • It Was a Home // Kaina
  • It’s Almost Dry // Pusha T
  • Life on Earth // Hurray For The Riff Raff
  • Lucifer on the Sofa // Spoon
  • Mondays… // Jeff Parker ETA IVtet
  • PAINLESS // Nilüfer Yanya
  • SICK! // Earl Sweatshirt
  • Squeeze // Sasami
  • You Belong There // Daniel Rossen
  • “Do You Really Know How I Feel” // Jimmie & Vella
  • “Little Things” // Big Thief
  • “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” // Wilco
  • “That’s the Way of the World” // Charles Stepney
  • “When Something is Wrong With My Baby” // Sam & Dave




Lots of music I enjoyed this year. I tried to narrow it to fifteen releases but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

HIRO AMA – Animal Emotions (PRAH)

  • Jazzy, organic, not really meant for the dancefloor; this is moreso “morning coffee house music”.

BIG THIEF – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You Boycott Divestment Sanctions That’s My Grandma (4AD)

  • Yes the Tel Aviv show/Instagram defense debacle was a disappointment but the record is undeniable. Adrianne Lenker is probably indie rock’s  best melody songwriter, and the band navigates the tight-loose spectrum masterfully. As Roland Barthes once said, “Nobody’s perfect.”

JEREMIAH CHIU & MARIA SOFIA HONER – Recordings from the Åland Islands (International Anthem)

  • Even as a fan of ambient music I have limited patience for music that emphasizes ~field recordings~. I endorse this album as an exception that proves the rule.

EMISSIVE – City of Rooms (Telephone Explosion)

  • When they talk about “liquid” synth sounds, this is what they mean. 

FELBM – Elements of Nature (Soundway)

  • I don’t know if it’s better or worse that the artist’s name came from a faulty auto-correct. Regardless, this album scratched the classical minimalism itch. Like children’s music from a place that doesn’t exist.

HORSE LORDS – Comradely Objects (RVNG Intl.)

  • Turning a big dial that says “Dissonance” on it and constantly looking back at the audience for approval like a contestant on The Price is Right

TIM JACKIW – Sunset Over Saturn (Offworld)

  • Timmy J understands that the best dance music is incredibly corny. “Full Moon” is Song of the Year.

NU GENEA – Bar Mediterraneo (NG)

  • Everytime I listen to Khruangbin, I’m a little disappointed they don’t sound more like this record.

PHOTAY & CARLOS NIÑO – An Offering (International Anthem)

  • Another Int’l Anthem ambient record, and this one is a bit more “cosmic new age”. If not for luck and circumstance I feel as though I’d have been more susceptible than most to the influence of a charismatic midcentury guru.

PRATHLOONS – The Kansas Wind (Septic Jukebox)

  • Forget what I said about “Full Moon”. “Chagrin” is Song of the Year.


  • I was kinda iffy on Second Line, but I absolutely loved this one. More music should embrace a misty, extraterrestrial atmosphere.

GEORGE RILEY – Running in Waves (PLZ Make It Ruins)

  • This plus her drum-n-bass mix Interest Rates, A Tape make her the official 2022 Heatseeker of the Year.

SESSA – Estrela Acesa (Mexican Summer)

  • New bossa nova/MPB that’s neither too loungy nor too indebted to the past. Perfect music for staring longingly into the eyes of your lover.

SOICHI TERADA – Asakusa Light (Rush Hour)

  • Terada is a master. Some of the brightest, most purely enjoyable music I heard all year.

ELI WINTER – Eli Winter (Three Lobed)

  • I’m an absolute sucker for pretty acoustic guitar, and this does a great job of striking a balance between pastoral Daniel Hecht-sounding stuff and more knotty Gastr del Sol-ish stuff (which makes sense with David Grubbs making an appearance)


TIA BLAKE & HER FOLK-GROUP – Folksongs & Ballads (Ici Bientôt)
PATRICK COWLEY – Malebox (Dark Entries)
WILLIAM DOYLE – The Dream Derealised / Lightnesses I & II / Near Future Residence (Tough Love)
CHARLES STEPNEY – Step on Step (International Anthem)
NORMA TANEGA – I’m the Sky: Studio & Demo Recordings 1964-1971 (Anthology)
V/A – Padang Moonrise: The Birth of the Modern Indonesian Recording Industry 1955-69 (Soundway)


CHET BAKER – Chet Baker Sings
GARY BARTZ NTU TROOP – Harlem Bush Music: Uhuru
HUERCO S – Colonial Patterns / For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)
JEFFREE – Jeffree
LAOURA – The Sexotic Laoura Sings
TRIO IRAKITAN – As Vozes E O Ritmo Do Trio Irakitan
V/A – Do You Believe It?: American Soul Music 1960-1972
V/A – Night City Life



  1. Fontaines DC – Skinty Fia
  2. Just Mustard – Heart Under
  3. Momma – Household Name
  4. Yard Act – The Overload
  5. Rosalía – Motomami
  6. Pretty Sick – Makes Me Sick Makes Me Smile
  7. Alvvays – Blue Rev
  8. Jockstrap – I Love You Jennifer B
  9. Yeule – Glitch Princess
  10. Horsegirl – Versions of Modern Performance



Southeast of Saturn Vol. 2
S – They are gutting a body of water
Luv 4 Rent – Smino
Voces de Ultratumba – Voces de Ultratumba
Ghost Stories – Phantasia
Roach Friends – Melaina Kol
Flooding Cities – Junk DNA
Working Title for the Album Secret Waters – Cities Aviv
Volume 1 – So Klarity
God Get Me The Fuck Out Of Here – Cold Gawd
Candy Suck – Idi Et Amin
Freestyles (SS22) – Dean Blunt
Man Plays the Horn – Cities Aviv
I Can’t Die As Well – Fire-Toolz
Purest Hell – P.H.F.
Easy Weapons (reissue) – Public Acid



*in no particular order

Manisdron – Body Of Void
DJ Stingray – F.T.N.W.O.
Worm – Bluenothing
Mutant Beat Dance – No Comfort For Control
Siobhan – Body Double
Dalibor Cruz – Deviance EP
Boy Harsher – The Runner OST
DJ Overdose – Deal Breaker
Rabit – 4am Richmond ave
Bourbonese Qualk – The Spike REISSUE
HVAD – Yug
The Lord – Forest Nocturne 
Reinhaudt – ST
Darkthrone – Astral Fortress
Folie 2 – ST



sorry for typos i just love albums so much!!!!

Always – Blue Rev (Polyvinyl) / what dyou say? i think this record owns. so does everybody else. big whoop.

Emperor X – The Lakes of Zone B & C / another gotta-hear-it-to-believe-it banger from our man in berlin. EX makes everybody else singing about politics look like Bono promoting his book at Davos. now with more piano ballads & we love to see it

Soichi Terada – Asakusa Light (Rush Hour) / consummate perfection. i rung in my 30th birthday on an airplane to LA, listening to this album and drinking a tiny airplane bottle of vodka. doesnt get better than that

Mister Goblin – Bunny / mr goblin does the hard work of being in indiana so you don’t have to. no working songwriter understands america as well and even if they did they wouldn’t have the tunes, the riffs, the extended harmony, the lapel-grapping guts. Damn

Smut – How the Light Felt (Bayonet) / year of pop songs. “after silver leaves”? 10/10 italian_chef_kiss.jpg

Friendship – Love the Stranger (Merge) / yknow how you keep saying you’re going to make it out to the beach this summer but then it’s october all of a sudden, year after year after–? uh oh. dont cry buddy. be cool. youre in a store

Oren Ambarchi – Shebang (Drag City) / dope that this record seemed to break through to the p4k set a little. reminds me of watching a rainstorm start to happen. incredible

1975 – Being Funny in a Foreign Language / why is this bull shit on here? am i doing a bit? is this band actually good or do they suck ass? is the pastiche hilarious or irritating? i truly dont know folx. all i know is if you are reading this AND you like this band YOU MUST GO LISTEN TO THE BLUE NILE & PREFAB SPROUT. thats a direct order from your superior officer

Ex-Void – Bigger than Before (Don Giovanni) / like i said: year of pop songs

special categories ——-

Richard Dawson – the Ruby Cord / I will probably only ever listen to this twice but holy hell it’s wild, disquieting, etc. if you know you know

Prathloons – The Kansas Wind / Yes ….these are my “buds” But Also this album whips. midwest slow cigarette vibe is back and its better than ever. clarinets? They’re Back Too. thank you for your compliance with this aesthetic

the Beths — Expert in a Dying Field (carpark)


The World Without Parking Lots – You’ll Have To Take My Word For It / lovely (and, i believe, local?) wintertime singer-songwriter record, really genuinely clever and moving tunes

Shinichi Atobe – Love of Plastic (DDS) / bobbing my head til it falls off

Bats – Blue Cabinet

Tall Dwarfs — Unravelled ’81-’02 (Merge)
Charles Stepney — Step on Step (Int’l Anthem)
Hypnotic Guitar of John Ondalo (Mississippi)
Go Sailor – s/t reissue (Slumberland)

fav songs:
Big Thief – “Little Things” – in the end the LP didnt work for me (take no pleasure in reporting this etc etc) but this is one of the best songs i’ve ever heard
Caroline No – “Anna’s on the Radio” from s/t album (Grapefruit)
Empath – “Born 100 Times” from Visitor (Fat Possum)
song of da year: “Freeway in Heaven” by Emperor X i think

a few notable shows:
Stereolab + Fievel Is Glauque @ the riv. listen to fievel is glauque!!!!!
Emperor X @ mustache
The Chills @ sleeping village
friendship / tenci / advance base @ hideout
beth orton @ irish american community center

that’s it for me thanks


<< BEN HEGY >>

record releases- 2022

Tom Carruthers- non stop rhythms [L.I.E.S.]
Legowelt- tips for life [nightwind records]
Immanuel Wilkins- 7th hand [blue note]
Saba- few good things [pivot gang]
VR SEX- rough dimension [dais]
Josephine Foster- godmother [fire records]
Cate Le Bon- pompeii [mexican summer]
Makaya McCraven- in these times [international anthem recording company]
Sarah Davachi- two sisters [late music]
Horsegirl- versions of modern performance [matador]
Dj Overdose- deal breaker [L.I.E.S.]
Anteloper- pink dolphins [international anthem recording company]
Tony Price- ibm contra [L.I.E.S.]
James Marlon Magas- confusion is my name [midwich]
Anthony Moore- flying doesn’t help [drag city]
Broadcast- maida vale sessions [warp]
Lucrecia Dalt- ¡ay! [rvng intl.]
Cheb Terro vs DJ Die Soon- s/t [drownedbylocals]
Carla dal Forno- come around [kallista records]
Weak Signal- war&war [colonel records]
Nik Colk Void- bucked up space [editions mego]
Ron Trent- what do the stars say to you [night time stories]
Working Men’s Club- fear fear [heavenly]
Eric Chenaux- say laura [constellation]
Porridge Radio- waterslide diving board, ladder to the sky [secretly canadian]



Best Albums of 2022 (In no particular order)

  • Beyoncé “Renaissance”
  • Soft Moon “Exister” 
  • Dehd “Blue Skies”
  • Mitski “Laurel Hell” 
  • The Garden “Horseshit on Route 66”
  • Blood Incantation “Timewave Zero”
  • Just Mustard “Heart Under”
  • Horsegirl “Versions of Modern Performance”
  • Chat Pile “God’s Country”
  • Weyes Blood “And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow”
  • Perfume Genius “Ugly Season”
  • Yasuaki Shimizu “Kiren”



Best of 2022
Pan Daijing – Tissues (Pan)
JK Flesh – New Religions Old Rules (Avalanche)
Nik Colk Void – Bucked Up Space (Editions Mego)
Moor Mother – Jazz Codes (Anti)
Kali Malone – Living Torch (Portraits GRM)
E-Saggila – Blaze (Northern Electronics)
Shit & Shine – New Confusion (Rocket Recordings)
Tony Price – IBM Contra (L.I.E.S.)
Lucrecia Dalt – The Seed (Original Score) (Invada)
City Of Caterpillar – Mystic Sisters (Relapse)
700 Bliss – Nothing To Declare (Hyperdub)
Björk – Fossora (One Little Independent)



Here are my 10 favorite releases from 2022 in no particular order:
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava
Horse Lords – Comradely Objects
Charley Crockett – The Man From Waco
Yeule – Glitch Princess
The Chats – Get Fucked
Sam Prekop & John McEntire – Sons Of
The Garden – Horse Shit on Route 66
Vieux Farka Toure & Khruangbin – Ali
Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Omnium Gatherum



  • Raum – Daughter (Yellowelectric)
  • The Smile – A Light for Attracting Attention (XL)
  • Alvvays – Blue Rev (Polyvinyl)
  • MJ Lenderman – Boat Songs (Dear Life)
  • Perfume Genius – Ugly Season (Matador)
  • Chat Pile – God’s Country (Flenser)
  • Guided By Voices – Scalping the Guru (Guided By Voices Inc.) *archival
  • Florist – Florist (Double Double Whammy)
  • Alex G – God Save the Animals (Domino)
  • Lucrecia Dalt – ¡Ay! (Rvng)
  • Horse Lords – Comradely Objects (Rvng)
  • Skullcrusher – Quiet the Room (Secretly Canadian)
  • Oren Ambarchi/ Johan Berthling/ Andreas Werliin – Ghosted (Drag City)
  • supernowhere – Skinless Takes a Flight (Topshelf)
  • Black Country New Road – Ants From Up There (Ninja Tune)
  • Sessa – Estrela Acesa (Mexican Summer)
  • Imprecation – In Nomine Diaboli (Dark Descent)
  • Patrick Cowley – Malebox (Dark Entries) *archival
  • Mabe Fratti – Se ve desde aquí (Unheard Of Hope)
  • Richard Dawson – The Ruby Cord (Domino)

and the rest that we haven’t seen or don’t have a physical release (yet)…

  • Francis Harris – Thresholds (Scissor or Thread)
  • Park Jiha – The Gleam (tak:til)
  • Knifeplay – Animal Drowning (Topshelf)
  • Kraus – Eye Escapes (Mutual Skies)
  • Scarcity – Aveilut (Flenser)
  • Blindgirls – The Weight of Everything (Zegema Beach)
  • Sirom – The Liquefied Throne of Simplicity (tak:til)
  • Anadol – Felicita (Pingipung)
  • Croatian Amor – Remember Rainbow Bridge (Posh Isolation)
  • Asian Glow & Weatherday – Weatherglow EP (Longinus)
  • Post Office Winter – Music Box (Hallogallo)
  • Mildred – Pt. 2 (self-released)
  • maya is dead soon – s/t (self-released)
  • Natalia Lafourcade – De todas las flores (Sony)
  • Ulla – Hope Sonata EP (Longform)
  • CS + Kreme – Orange (Trilogy Tapes)
  • Pontiac Streator – Sone Glo (West Mineral)
  • Fievel Is Glauque – Flaming Swords (La Loi)
  • Emperor X – The Lakes of Zones B and C (self-released)
  • Zguba – Znoj (Loza)
  • Head In Hand – Unnatural Providence (Mutual Aid)
  • Puce Mary – You Must Have Been Dreaming (self-released)



Ibibio Sound Machine – Electricity
Cola – Deep In View
The Smile – Light for Attracting Attention
Horsegirl – Versions of Modern Performance
Cate Le Bon – Pompeii
Angel Olsen – Big Time
Khruangbin – Texas Moon
Sofia Bolt – Soft Like a Peach
Dehd – Blue Skies
Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers

Special Mention: Neil Young’s Harvest Time



2022 has been the longest year of my life & these were the records I caught that I wanted to recommend to other people in no particular order…

  • Gianni Brezzo “Tutto Passa” – There’s something so amazingly relaxing about this record. It’s the sonic equivalent of a Hot Toddy. It’s warm, & comforting, & sophisticated. The feeling of a new favorite place; something you discovered by chance but feels like home…
  • Saba “Few Good Things” – There aren’t many MCs who can channel nostalgia the way that Saba can. On Few Good Things, we get to see Saba challenge, change, & interrogate the ways his success has interacted with the tragedies he & his have experienced over the last few years… The productions here are always soulful, with deep harmonies & even on the hardest songs here, the grooves are creative & enveloping.
  • Danger Mouse & Black Thought “Cheat Codes” – I’ll admit at first, I was a little disappointed that this record wasn’t the Tariq Trotter show. This is the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to a solo full-length from the Roots front man & I was kinda hoping for an hour of Black Thought rapping over straight breakbeats… But this is a collaboration, & the beats that Danger Mouse provides are perfect reminders that Thought can rap over ANYTHING! The rhymes are on point, & the guests are amazing, & it might not be the album I was waiting for, but it is everything I wanted.
  • J.I.D. “Forever Story” – J.I.D. is a Musician. The Rapper/ Singer is on a mission to make sure you know it. Opening the record with a recorded count-in & bringing a beat switch to almost every track on the record, the record is consistently displaying the care taken to make a piece of art that will stand the test of time… Also… Jiddy can RAP. Non-stop flows, metaphors, similes, imagery, rhymes… magnificent.
  • The Plosivs “Plosivs” – There’s not a whole lot to say about this album. It’s just good. Swami John Reis (Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, RftC), & Rob Crow (Pinback) got together with some friends & wrote some rocking, guitar heavy songs & recorded them. 33 minutes of fast, powerful, Pop songs, heavy on the melody, with driving propulsive Rock n’ Roll attitude.
  • Ogi “Monologues EP”
  • Open Mike Eagle “Component System With the Auto Reverse”
  • Umi “Forest in the City”
  • Lucky Daye “Candy Drip”
  • Dezron Douglas “Atalaya”
  • Samm Henshaw “Untidy Soul”
  • Vic Spenser & Small Pro “Mudslide”
  • Earthgang “Ghetto Gods”
  • Cecile Mclorin Salvant “Ghost Song”
  • Smut “How the Light Felt”



ALTHEA & DONNA Uptown Top Ranking (Survival Research LP)
ARTIFICIAL PEACE Live At The Wilson Center 1982 (Alona’s Dream LP)
COLIN BLUNSTONE One Year (Sundazed 2LP)
BODY CAM Body Cam (Violent Pest flexi
BROADCAST Microtonics Vols 1 & 2 (Warp LPs)
ELVIS COSTELLO The Boy Named If (Capitol LP)
TOM DAWES Elusive: The Tom Dawes Jingle Workshop (Modern Harmonic LP)
DUNGUN En Är För Mycket Och Tusen Aldrig Nog (Mexican Summer LP)
ELLA FITZGERALD  Ella At The Hollywood Bowl: The Irving Berlin Songbook (Verve LP)
FLY-BI-NITES Found Love (Hyperloop 45)
DANA GILLESPIE Foolish Seasons (Decca LP)
GUIDED BY VOICES Tremblers And Goggles By Rank (GBVi LP)
HARLOTS OF 42ND STREET Refuse To Be Misused (Sundazed LP)
HANY MEHANNA Music For Airplanes (Souma 2LP)
MELODY’S ECHO CHAMBER Emotional Eternal (Domino LP)
MONOPHONICS Sage Motel (Colemine LP)
ENNIO MORRICONE Sans Mobile Apparent OST (Wewantsounds LP)
KEITH PAPWORTH Hard Hitter (Music De Wolfe LP)
SCOTT PLANT Alone / With Us (Ordinary Weirdos 12″)
PREACHERS Stay Out Of My World (Beatrocket LP)
TEENAGE FANCLUB Bandwagonesque (Sony LP)
TINTERN ABBEY Beeside: The Complete Recordings (Real Gone Music 2LP)
VARIOUS Saturno 2000: La Rebajada De Los Sonideros 1962-1983 (Analog Africa 2LP)

JIM RULAN Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise and Fall of SST Records (Hachette Books)
DAVE SCOTT SCHWARTZMAN If It’s Tuesday This Must Be Walla Walla: The Wacky History of Adrenalin O.D. (DiWulf Publishing)



1. Meshuggah “Immutable”

2. Jóhann Jóhannsson “Drone Mass”

3. Jeff Parker “Forfolks”

4. Makaya McCraven “In These Times”

5. Sam Prekop & John McEntire “Sons of”

666. Bill Callahan & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy “Blind Date Party”



Andy Bell Flicker
Big Thief Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Björk Fossora
Tia Blake Folksongs & Ballads reissue
Anna Butterss Activities
Codeine Dessau
Carla Dal Forno Come Around
Darkthrone Astral Fortress
Stella Donnelly Flood
Dream Unending Song of Salvation
Hammered Hulls Careening
jennylee Heart Tax
Jóhann Jóhannsson Drone Mass
Leslie Keffer Perceive
Këkht Aräkh Pale Swordsman & Night of Love reissues
Cate Le Bon Pompeii
James Marlon Magas Confusion Is My Name
Kali Malone Living Torch
Branko Mataja Over Fields & Mountains
Makaya McCraven In These Times
Bill Nace Through a Room
Rachika Nayar Heaven Come Crashing
Angel Olsen Big Time
Bill Orcutt Music for Four Guitars
Jeff Parker Mondays at the Enfield Tennis Academy
Raum Daughter
Lou Reed I’m So Free: the 1971 RCA Demos
Max Roach We Insist! reissue
The Smile A Light For Attracting Attention
Sonic Youth In/Out/In
Phuong Tam Magical Nights: Saigon Surf, Twist & Soul 1964-66
Norma Tanega I’m the Sky: Studio & Demo Recordings 1964-1971
Undeath It’s Time…To Rise From the Grave
Christina Vanztou, Michael Harrison & John Also Bennet Christina Vanztou, Michael Harrison &  
    John Also Bennet

V/A Ghost Riders
Voivod Angel Rat reissue
Voivod Synchro Anarchy
Weyes Blood And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow!
Worm Bluenothing
You’ll Never Get to Heaven Wave Your Moonlight Hat for the Snowfall Train
Neil Young Citizen Kane Jr Blues 1974
Neil Young & Crazy Horse Toast



BLADEE & ECCO2K – CREST [Year0001]

Duster – Together [Numero]

Other Favorites (in somewhat of an order)
DJ Speedsick – Midwest Death Trance [Techno Is The Devil’s Music]
Grivo – Omit [Church Road]
Boy Harsher – The Runner [Nude Club]
Dance Gavin Dance – Jackpot Juicer [Rise]
DJ Headwound – Xpiritual [self]
Sadness – Tortuga [self]
Kali Malone – Living Torch [Portraits GRM]
Sarah Davachi – Two Sisters [Late]
Artificial Brain – S/T [Profound Lore]
Mutant Beat Dance – No Comfort for Control [Nation]
Vermin Womb – Retaliation [Closed Casket Activities]
Codeine – Dessau [Numero]
Alex G – God Save the Animals [Domino]
Grave Upheaval / The Funeral Orchestra – Inexistentia [Parasitic]
Kittin & The Hacker – Third Album [Nobody’s Bizzness]
Vatican Shadow – Coast Guard Gulf of Blood [Hospital]
Raum – Daughter [Yellowelectric]
Matchess – Sonescent [Drag City]
Ojerum – Reversed Cathedral [Cyclic Law]
Purity Filter – Immortal Spirit [Dismiss Yourself]
Holy Fawn – Dimensional Bleed [Wax Bodega]
Julien Andreas – Bottomfeeder [Magdalena’s Apathy]
Astrophysics – Selected & Tragic [self]
Woe Bather – May Loneliness Consume You [self]
deathcrash – Return [Untitled]
Izthmi – Leaving This World, Leaving It All Behind [Satanik Royalty]
Fret – Only for the Weak [L.I.E.S.]
Whatever the Weather – S/T [Ghostly]
Windowshopping – Andromeda [No Agreements]
Rapoon – Can You Hear That Rain [Ultra Gash]
Lilien Rosarian – Every Flower In My Garden [self]
Wiegedood – There’s Always Blood at the End of the Road [Century]
Primitive Man – Insurmountable [Closed Casket Activities]
Sarin – S/T [self]
Ekin Fil – Dora Agora [Helen Scarsdale]

Makaya McCraven – In These Times [International Anthem]



Albums I liked from this year:

  • Parannoul/ Asian Glow – “Paraglow” (Longinus)
  • Yasuaki Shimizu – “Kiren” (Palto Flats)
  • Various Artists – “Valley Of The Sun: Field Guide To Inner Harmony” (Numero Group)
  • Chat Pile – “God’s Country” (Flenser)
  • Black Country, New Road – “Ants From Up There” (Ninja Tune)
  • Big Thief – “Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You” (4AD)
  • Parannoul – “White Ceiling/ Black Dots Wandering Around” (Longinus)
  • Drift Heaven – “Final Lap” (Equip’s Picks)
  • Japanese Breakfast – “Sable” (Dead Oceans)
  • Blood Incantation – “Timewave Zero” (Century Media)
  • Asian Glow & Weatherday – “Weatherglow” (Longinus)
  • Wet Leg – “Wet Leg” (Domino)
  • Spiritualized – “Everything Was Beautiful” (Fat Possum)
  • Horsegirl – “Versions Of Modern Performance” (Matador)
  • Danger Mouse & Black Thought – “Cheat Codes” (BMG)
  • Nouns – “While Of Unsound Mind” (Self-Released)
  • The Hated – “Best Piece Of Shit Vol. 4” (Numero Group)
  • Richard Dawson – “The Ruby Cord” (Weird World)
  • Hole Dweller – “Another Chance At Peace” (Dungeons Deep)

Albums I liked from last year, that I didn’t find out about until this year:

  • Deerhoof – “Actually, You Can” (Joyful Noise)
  • You’ll Never Get To Heaven – “Wave Your Moonlight Hat For The Snowfall Train” (Seance Centre)
  • Kekht Arakh – “Pale Swordsman” (Sacred Bones)

I don’t usually like podcasts, but here is one really good one you should check out:

uswithoutThem – Discussing mewithoutYou songs, track by track & album by album



Get on the Otherside by Bobby Oroza
Soul Sold Separately by Freddie Gibbs
Tunic (Original Soundtrack) by Lifeformed x Janice Kwan
Diaspora Problems by Soul Glo
Dawn FM by The Weeknd
Few Good Things by Saba
Pathos by Conjurer
Live in LA by Equip
Motomami by Rosalia
False Light by White Ward
AKUMA 3 by Alex & Tokyo Rose
Melt My Eyez See Your Future by Denzel Curry
Reborn by Kavinsky
Vapor Sessions 1 & 2 by OSC
Loud Arriver by Sonja
Ramona Park Broke My Heart by Vince Staples
The Forever Story by JID
Sentimental by Miami Nights 1984




Writer for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver; Contributor to

  • Beyoncé – Renaissance
  • Charli XCX – Crash
  • Florence + The Machine – Dance Fever
  • Harry Styles – Harry’s House
  • Jessie Ware – “Free Yourself”
  • Lizzo – Special
  • Megan Thee Stallion & Dua Lipa – “Sweetest Pie”
  • Rina Sawayama – Hold The Girl
  • Rosalía – MOTOMAMI
  • Trixie Mattel – The Blonde & Pink Albums



Love Lion Releases

Angel Olsen Big Time (Jagjaguwar)
Jeff Parker ETA IVtet Mondays at The ETA (Eremite)
Les Rallizes Dénudés The OZ Tapes (Temporal Drift)
Ernest Hood Back To The Woodlands (Freedom To Spend)
Gewgawly I & Thou NORCO Original Game Soundtrack (Sacred Bones)
Sofia Bolt Soft Like a Peach (self)
Marina Allen Centrifics (Fire)
Andy Bell Flicker (Sonic Cathedral)
Sun’s Signature s/t (Partisan)
GOON Hour of Green Evening (Démodé)
The Smile A Light For Attracting Attention (Self Help Tapes)
Steve Gunn Nakama (Matador)
Cloakroom Dissolution Wave (Relapse)
Aldous Harding Warm Chris (4AD)
Daniel Bachman Lonesome Weary Blues (Three Lobed)
Fievel Is Glauque Flaming Swords (Math Interactive)
Steve Gunn Nakama (Matador)
Kendrick Lamar Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers (Aftermath/Interscope)
Elvis Costello & The Imposters The Boy Named If (EMI Capital)
Earthen Sea Ghost Poems (Kranky)
Hurray for the Riff Raff Life on Earth (Nonesuch)
Keeley Forsyth Limbs (Leaf)
Eiko Ishibashi For McCoy (Black Truffle)
Broadcast Maida Vale Sessions (Warp)
v/a I Had the Craziest Dream: Modern Jazz & Hard-Bop in Post War London Vol. 1 & 2 (Death Is Not The End)
v/a Pure Wicked Tune: Rare Groove Blues Dances & House Parties 1985-1992 (Death Is Not The End)
Sault Air (Forever Living Originals)
Sam Burton “Leaving Here Still”
John McGuire Pulse Music (Unseen Worlds)
Luis 057 (Schwyn) (AD93)
Charles Stepney Step on Step (International Anthem)
The Orielles Tableau (Heavenly)
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek “Darıldım Darıldım” (Bongo Joe)
Voice Actor Sent From My Telephone (Stroom)
Widowspeak The Jacket (Captured Tracks)
Salamanda ashbalkum (Human Pitch)

Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man Out of Season (Go Beat)
Alice In Chains Dirt (Sony)
ONO Kate Cincinnati (American Dreams)
v/a Tender Rhythms And Songs Of Love (Paxico)
Polvo In Prism (Merge)
MAGMA Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh (Music On Vinyl)
Bill Fay Still Some Light (Dead Oceans)
Duster Stratosphere & Contemporary Movement (Numero)
Thomas Leer Contradictions (Spittle)
Ruth Polaroid/Roman/Photo (Born Bad)
Carlos Niño & Friends Assortment for Susan’s (Leaving)



Chicago film critic; Contributor to, The Playlist and more

Here are my favorite new albums of the year, some impressive reissues, plus some albums I listened to with my boyfriend that he really loved (listed in release order):

  • Dawn FM by The Weeknd
  • Ágætis Byrjun by Sigur Rós (repressing)
  • Brightside by The Lumineers
  • Laurel Hell by Mitski
  • Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You by Big Thief
  • Few Good Things by Saba
  • Once Twice Melody by Beach House
  • Aaliyah by Aaliyah (repressing)
  • Tilt by Confidence Man
  • The Other Side of Make-Believe by Interpol
  • Midnights by Taylor Swift
  • The Car by Arctic Monkeys
  • And I Have Been by Benjamin Clementine
  • Only the Strong Survive by Bruce Springsteen 
  • Babylon score album by Justin Hurwitz



Beggars Group

Naujawanan Baider – Khedmat Be Khalq (Radio Khiyaban)
Vivid Oblivion – The Graphic Cabinet (Downwards)
Brannten Schnüre – Das Glück Vermeiden (Quirlschlängle)
Dale Cornish – Traditional Music of South London (The Death of Rave)
The Bug – Absent Riddim (Pressure)
Sarah Davachi – Two Sisters (Late Music)
Girlsperm – Return to Girlsperm (Thrilling Living)
Oren Ambarchi – Shebang (Drag City)
Kali Malone – Living Torch (Portraits GRM)
Valentina Magaletti – La Tempesta Colorata (A Colorful Storm)
V/A – Music From Saharan WhatsApp (Sahel Sounds)
Pan Daijing- Tissues (Pan)
Nový Svět – Desde Infiernos De Flores (Quirlschlängle)
Freundliche Kreisel – Freundliche Kreisel (

V/A – The Buntingford Long Playing Album (Siltbreeze)
Ruby Johnson – Ruby Johnson (Mississippi)
Space Machine – Space Tuning Box (Urashima)
Valentina Goncharova – Ocean: Symphony For Electric Violin and Other
Instruments in Ten Parts
(Hidden Harmony)
Albert Ayler – Revelations – The Complete ORTF 1970 Fondation Maeght
(INA, Elemental Music)
V/A – Studio One Music Lab (Soul Jazz)
Sidney Sager – Children of the Stones (Trunk Records)
Ornette Coleman – Genesis of Genius (Craft Recordings, Contemporary Records)
Patrick Cowley – Malebox (Dark Entries)
Alice Coltrane – Ptah, the El Daoud (Verve)
Count Ossie And The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – Grounation (Soul Jazz)
Drexciya – Neptune’s Lair (Tresor Records)
Smelly Feet – Smelly Neu Pollution (Minimum Table Stacks)



Third Man Records Nashville

2022 Music Does Rock List (in no particular order / singles, EPs, albums and reissues)

– Gee Tee “Rock Phone”
– Chronophage “Chronophage”
– Straw Man Army “SOS”
– Panda Bear & Sonic Boom “Reset”
– Ginger Root “Loneliness”
– Total Wife “A Blip”
– Black Thought & Danger Mouse “Cheat Codes”
– Jockstrap “Glasgow”
– 1-800-Mikey “Pressure”
– Cobra Man “Cool, Nice.”
– Guerilla Toss “Famously Alive”
– No windows “Shout (Red Song)”
– MJ Lenderman “Boat Songs”
– Ex Pilots “Too Far”
– Hotline TNT “When You Find Out”
– Broadcast “Maida Vale Sessions”
– The Cat’s Miaow “Hollow Inside”
– The Web of Lies “Receiver”
– RMFC “Access”
– Peace de Resistance “Bits and Pieces”
– Rich Ruth “I Survived, It’s Over”


Here’s a playlist collecting our favorite tracks from some of these releases:

If you bought music from us or spent some time in our shops this year, we appreciate your support so much.

We’ll see you all again in 2023! — Reckless Records

Posted on

Reckless Records 2021 Employee Best Of Lists

Another weird year is in the books. Thankfully there was a ton of great music to help us make our way through it. Hoping for brighter days ahead for us all…


Here are some new releases, new reissues, and just things I picked up this year that I really loved

  • Shintaro Sakamoto – The Feeling Of Love
  • Strum and Thrum: The American Jangle Underground
  • Alan Vega – After Dark
  • The Clean – Boodle Boodle Boodle
  • The Cure – Disintegration
  • Goblin – Suspiria OST
  • Curtis Mayfield – Curtis (expanded edition)
  • Screamers – Demo Hollywood 1977
  • The Sound – Jeopardy
  • Suburban Lawns – S/T


My favorite albums of 2021 are Sweep It Into Space by Dinosaur Jr and Superwolves by Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Matt Sweeney. Here are some other projects and records from this past year I loved:

  • Admonitions // Endless Boogie
  • Afrique Victime // Mdou Moctar
  • Comfort To Me // Amyl & The Sniffers
  • Happier Than Ever // Billie Eilish
  • Haram // Armand Hammer & The Alchemist
  • Harmonizer // Ty Segall
  • Hey What // Low
  • If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power // Halsey
  • Jubilee // Japanese Breakfast
  • Like A Stone // Remember Sports
  • Ma Délire // Myriam Gendron
  • McCartney III // Paul McCartney
  • New Long Leg // Dry Cleaning
  • No Medium // Rosali
  • Path of Wellness // Sleater-Kinney
  • Pick A Day To Die // Sunburned Hand of the Man
  • Pressure Machine // The Killers
  • Shadow I Remember // Cloud Nothings 
  • Sound Ancestors // Madlib
  • Star-Crossed // Kacey Musgraves
  • Things Take Time, Take Time // Courtney Barnett
  • Two Saviors // Buck Meek
  • El Último Tour Del Mundo // Bad Bunny
  • Ultrapop // The Armed
  • Urban Driftwood // Yasmin Williams
  • “Stoned At The Nail Salon” // Lorde
  • “Soul Love” // Jeff & Ruby Parker
  • “Like I Used To” // Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen
  • “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” // Taylor Swift


  • The Bug – Fire (Ninja Tune)
  • Max Richter – Voices 2 (Decca)
  • Pan Daijing – Jade (Pan)
  • Loraine James – Reflection (Hyperdub)
  • Tirzah – Colourgrade (Domino)
  • Charles – Let’s Start A Family Tonight (Babe City Records)
  • Teste – Graphic Depictions (L.I.E.S.)
  • Ploy – Unlit Signals (L.I.E.S.)
  • Jeff Parker – JP’s Myspace Beats (International Anthem)
  • Hiro Kone – Silvercoat The Throng (Dais)
  • Space Afrika – Honest Labour (Dais)
  • Aaron Dilloway & Lucrecia Dalt – Lucy & Aaron (Hanson)
  • Chynna – Drug Opera (Twin)
  • Various Artists – Paura (A Collection of Italian Horror Sounds
  • From The Cam Sugar Archive) (Decca / Cam Sugar)


This year was thoroughly exhausting. These are the records that I think most helped me through the longest of the days.

LA Exes “Get Some”
I love things that can contain a multitude of emotions in a single space & “Get Some” does that better than most records. It’s a sobering record sometimes, full of upbeat, sunshine-y pop tunes that often as not are about heart-break; Not in a depressing oh-my-gosh-it’s-all-terrible-and-I-wanna-die way, but in a more subtle “I wouldn’t mind disappearing for a while, a Temporary Goodbye” kinda way. In fact, one of my favorite things about this record is the humor with which they tackle the subject matter, even the stuff that really might make you sad if you think about it too hard.

Melanie Charles “Y’all Don’t (Really) Care About Black Women”
Melanie Charles as a musician & producer is at times incredibly challenging for me. On this Verve Remixed project, each song is originally performed by another great woman in jazz & soul, but Charles takes them in incredibly diverse directions. The way that Charles manipulates & interpolates the original tracks is creative & adventurous, & I haven’t even mentioned the beautiful way she uses her voice. This record exemplifies fearlessness.

Skyzoo “All the Brilliant Things”
If what you want from your Rap music is very good rapping & very good beats, it’s difficult to overlook Skyzoo. Prolific & brilliant, there aren’t many pens in the world that can match Sky’s & the layered entendres that populate the whole of “All the Brilliant Things” require listen upon listen.  The thing is, what you get with Skyzoo is consistency. Each track will be well crafted, with impeccable lyrical delivery & beats that knock. This is dope beats, dope rhymes… what more could y’all want.

Silk Sonic “An Evening with Silk Sonic”
I don’t know how to talk about this record without hyperbole. I don’t know what hasn’t been said about it since it came out. I don’t even know where to begin with this partnership between Anderson .Paak & Bruno Mars. All I can say is it’s a throwback R&B record with smooth, clean, crystal clear production. It’s pure ear-candy. It sounds great & it feels great. I know there’s a lot of criticism to be had about originality or lack there-of, but baby… who cares!? This record is groovy as hell & sometimes that’s all that matters.

A couple more from this year:

  • We Are the Union “Ordinary Life”
  • Rosemarie “Sinnergy”
  • Mac Ayres “Magic 8Ball”
  • Beach Bunny “Blame Game EP”
  • CJ Fly “The Way I (H)ear It Vol. 1”
  • Arlo Parks “Collapsed in Sunbeams”
  • Adrian Younge “The American Negro”
  • Sam Dew “Moonlit Fools”
  • Chika “Once Upon a Time EP”
  • Kota the Friend & Statik Selektah “To Kill A Sunrise”
  • Olivia Rodrigo “Sour”
  • Tyler the Creator “Call Me If You Get Lost”
  • Leon Bridges “Gold-Diggers Sound”
  • Meet Me @ the Altar “Model Citizen EP”
  • Little Simz “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert”
  • Kacey Musgraves “Star-Crossed”
  • Tasha “Tell Me What You Miss the Most”
  • Men I Trust “Untourable Album”


BEST OF 2021

Best Albums:

1. Parannoul – “To See The Next Part Of The Dream” (Longinus Recordings)
South Korean shoegaze/emo hybrid, all made by one dude using digital instruments, yet sounds as full and lush as if a full band had been present in the studio. Will make you nostalgic for experiences you’ve never had, and places you’ve never been. Unfortunately this has only received very limited pressings, as the label it’s on is run out of a dorm room where I went to college. Without a doubt the greatest thing I’ve heard all year.

2. The Killers – “Pressure Machine” (Island)
The Killers were my all time favorite band in middle school and high school, but every album after Day & Age has sounded like increasingly bloated arena rock. The turnaround on this record completely took me by surprise, even if it’s just complete Springsteen worship. Feels like a return to Sam’s Town, and an album where they finally take their foot off the pedal and allow their songwriting to breathe. Beautiful American music.

3. Richard Dawson & Circle – “Henki” (Domino)
I only just listened to this record, so it almost seems unfair to list it this high, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I really have no history with either Richard Dawson or Circle, so this came out of left field for me and I’m not sure how to talk about it yet?? It feels epic, ancient, psychedelic, and weaving a wild tale for you to chase after. I can’t wait to listen to this over and over again.

A Bunch Of Other Really Great Albums:

  • Galdre Visions – “Galdre Visions” (Leaving Records)
  • Freak Genes – “Power Station” (Feel It Records)
  • Luca Yupanqui – “Sounds of the Unborn” (Sacred Bones)
  • Dry Cleaning – “New Long Leg” (4AD)
  • Jeff Rosenstock – “Ska Dream” (Polyvinyl/ Quote Unquote Records)
  • Squid – “Bright Green Field” (Warp)
  • Chai – “Wink” (Sub Pop)
  • Snow Ellet – “Suburban Indie Rockstar” (Self Released)
  • Bo Burnham – “Inside (The Songs)” (Imperial Distribution)
  • Iron Maiden – “Senjutsu” (Parlophone)
  • Guided By Voices – “Styles We Paid For” (Guided By Voices, Inc.)
  • The Armed – “Ultrapop” (Sargent House)
  • Olivia Rodrigo – “Sour” (Geffen)
  • Silicone Prairie – “My Life On The Silicone Prairie” (Feel It Records)
  • Fire-Toolz – “Eternal Home” (Hausu Mountain)
  • Natalie Bergman – “Mercy” (Third Man)
  • Anika – “Change” (Sacred Bones)
  • Torres – “Thirstier” (Merge)
  • Marissa Nadler – “The Path of the Clouds” (Sacred Bones)
  • Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – “Carnage” (Goliath)
  • Silk Sonic – “An Evening With Silk Sonic” (Aftermath Entertainment)
  • Orwell – “Orwell 1995” (Expert Work Records)
  • ABBA – “Voyage” (Polar)
  • Andrew W.K. – “God Is Partying” (Napalm Records)

Best Compilations:

  • Various Artists – “Heisei No Oto: Japanese Left-Field Pop From The CD Age, 1989-1996” (Music From Memory)
  • Various Artists – “Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds of Japan 1980-1988” (Light In The Attic)
  • Various Artists – “Virtual Dreams: Ambient Explorations in the House & Techno Age, 1993-1997” (Music From Memory)
  • Various Artists – “Numero 95” (Numero Group)
  • Various Artists – “The World’s Most Precious Cows” (The World’s Most Precious Cows)
  • Cheeky – “Freaky Deaky: The Cheeky Discography” (Quote Unquote Records)
  • Various Artists – “Intermission” (Ghost Box)
  • Parannoul/ Asian Glow/ sonhos tomam conta – “Downfall of the Neon Youth” (Longinus Recordings)
  • Tangled Shoelace – “Turn My Dial: M Squared Recordings and More, 1981-84” (Chapter Music)

Best Singles & Reissues:

  • Andrew W.K. – “Babalon” (Napalm Records) [single]
  • A.r.t. Wilson – “Overworld” (Numero Group) [reissue]
  • Dramarama – “Cinema Verite” (Pasadena Records) [reissue]
  • Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – “Like I Used To” (Jagjaguwar) [single]
  • ABBA – “I Still Have Faith In You” (Polar) [single]
  • Hole Dweller – “Flies The Coop” (Dungeons Deep) [reissue]
  • LCD Soundsystem – “Christmas Will Break Your Heart” (DFA) [single, reissue]

Great Stuff From Last Year That I Missed:

  • Feminazgul – “No Dawn For Men” (Tridroid) [released December 2020]
  • Heather Trost – “Petrichor” (Third Man) [released November 2020]
  • Logic System – “Venus” (Wewantsounds) [2020 reissue]


Charlie’s Top 10 Albums of 2021 In Alphabetical Order

*Courtney Barnett – Things Take Time, Take Time
The Australian singer’s third album impresses with a relaxed thoughtfulness that makes it stand out from the frantic anxiety of her first two.

*Beach Bunny – Blame Game
Beach Bunny’s second EP continues to deliver a bubbly sound with gut wrenching lyrics

*Girl In Red – If I Could Make It Go Quiet
Hey, do you listen to Girl In Red? Even if you don’t, you should listen to her debut album if you have ever dealt with anxiety or depression.

*IDLES – Crawler
I would never call an IDLES album soft, but if you ever want to feel angsty but not, like, their usual full blown Bristol post-punk angsty, this is a good starting point.

*Maneskin – Teatro d’ira: Vol. I
This album sounds like glitter and sweat and I wouldn’t have asked for anything else from the Italian rock band.

*PinkPanthress – To Hell With It
Her debut mixtape is only 20 minutes because if it was any longer it would be too powerful. Hyperpop excellence.

*Poppy – Flux
Poppy continues to reclaim her sound in this broadly rock, fully awesome and worth your time album.

*Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version)
If you can’t appreciate a single song on this two hour album then you must have never been wronged by a man, and I envy you for that.

*Hayley Williams – Flowers for Vases
Hayley Williams of Paramore’s second solo album proves her talent as a vocalist and songwriter in a deep exploration into herself.

*WILLOW – Lately I Feel Everything
I pray to God for a pop punk resurgence. In Travis Barker’s name I pray, Amen.


-i laughed, i cried, i googled “pedagogically”

-“I’ve been thinking about eating that hot dog for hours, Kiss me”

-I’m 9 and my dad is playing limewire mp3s in the g-force visualizer

-The racer x of south korean lofi bedroom indie emo shoegaze noise pop

-putting phoebe and taylor together is targeted advertising

-The only band having fun in 2021

-the transition from track 4-5 is worth your time alone

-her best since “MOOO!”

-the background vocals on “posing in bondgae” give big ghost in the shell vibes

-for fans of the saxophone




  • LUIS BACALOV La Strega In Amore OST (CAM Sugar LP)
  • BEVIS FROND Little Eden (Fire 2LP)
  • CHEAP TRICK In Another World (BMG LP)
  • CLINIC Fantasy Island (Domino LP)
  • ALICE COOPER Detroit Stories (Ear Music LP,
  • DORIS Did You Give The World Some Love Today, Baby? (Mr Bongo LP)
  • EL MICHELS AFFAIR Yeti Season (Big Crown LP)
  • FLEUR DE LYS Circles: The Ultimate (Countdown 2LP)
  • BOBBIE GENTRY The Windows Of The World (UMC LP)
  • BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND Keyboard Fantasies (Transgressive LP)
  • TOM JONES Surrounded By Time (EMI LP)
  • KHRUANGBIN Mordechai (Dead Oceans LP)
  • KISS Destroyer 45th Anniversary Edition (UMG 2LP)
  • BRIJ BHUSHAN KABRA Lure Of The Desert (EMI LP)
  • LA LUZ La Luz (Hardly Art LP)
  • MENAHAN STREET BAND The Exciting Sounds of Menahan Street Band (Daptone LP)
  • HAILU MERGIA Tezeta (Awesome Tapes From Africa LP)
  • MONKEES Missing Links Volume 2 (Friday Music LP)
  • ENNIO MORRICONE I Malamondo (CAM Sugar 2LP)
  • PATCHWORK Mean & Dirty (De Wolfe LP)
  • PERSONALITY CRISIS Creatures For Awhile (Porterhouse LP)
  • POETS OF RHYTHM Discern/Define (Daptone LP)
  • RAMONES Triple J Live At The Wireless  (Sire LP)
  • RUDIMENTARY PENI Great War (Sealed LP)
  • SHANNON & THE CLAMS Year Of The Spider (Easy Eye Sound LP)
  • SLADE Old New Borrowed & Blue (BMG LP)
  • SWELL MAPS Mayday Signals (Easy Action LP)
  • VANISHING TWIN Ookii Gekkou (Fire LP)
  • SVEN WUNDER Natura Morta (Piano Piano LP)
  • VARIOUS Punks In Peoria (Alonas Dream LP)
  • VARIOUS Underground Mood (Holy Basil LP)


  • richard dawson & circle – henki
  • parannoul – to see the next part of the dream
  • erika de casier – sensational
  • memo boy – songs & demos (2015-2017)
  • floating points/pharoah sanders – promises
  • irini – lost in dreams
  • julie – pushing daisies ep
  • mj lenderman and wednesday – guttering
  • little simz – sometimes i might be introvert
  • landowner – consultant
  • claire rousay – a softer focus
  • skee mask – pool
  • sofa – source crossfire
  • sweet trip – a tiny house…
  • various – heisei no oto
  • various – la ola interior
  • knocked loose – at tear in the fabric of life ep
  • bye2 – teeth restoration
  • dj sabrina the teenage dj – the makin magick II album
  • kayo dot – moss grew on the swords and plowshares alike
  • golden boy – i never meant for this to happen
  • naked flames – it is what it is
  • dj camgirl – cannon
  • aaron dilloway/lucrecia dalt – lucy & aaron
  • steve summers – generation loss


new music from the Reckless shelves!…

  • Auf Togo – Movements (SaS)
  • Black Dice – Mod Prog Sic (FourFour)
  • The Body – I’ve Seen All That I Need to See (Thrill Jockey)
  • Damiana – Vines (Hausu Mountain)
  • Erika de Casier – Sensational (4AD)
  • Floating Points / Pharoah Sanders / London S.O. – Promises (Luaka Bop)
  • Myriam Gendron – Ma délire: Songs of Love Lost & Found (Feeding Tube)
  • Helado Negro – Far In (4AD)
  • Sofia Kourtesis – Fresia Magdalena (Technicolor)
  • Ruth Mascelli – A Night at the Baths (Disciples)
  • Parquet Courts – Sympathy for Life (Rough Trade)
  • Joseph Shabason – The Fellowship (Western Vinyl)
  • Ryan Sullivan – Utility [self-released]
  • Steve Summers – Generation Loss (L.I.E.S.)
  • Tirzah – Colourgrade (Domino)
  • Vanishing Twin – Ookii Gekkou (Fire)
  • Leon Vynehall – Rare, Forever (Ninja Tune)

…plus some compilations!

  • v/a – 10 Years of Acid Test (Acid Test)
  • v/a – Alan Lomax’s American Patchwork: Field Recordings 1978-1983 (Mississippi)
  • v/a – Essiebons Special 1973-1984: Ghana Music Power House (Analog Africa)
  • v/a – Heisei No Oto: Japanese Leftfield Pop From the CD Age, 1989-1996 (Music From Memory)
  • v/a – Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds of Japan, 1980-1988 (Light in the Attic)
  • v/a – Two Synths, A Guitar (and) a Drum Machine: Post-Punk Dance #1 (Soul Jazz)
  • v/a – Virtual Dreams: Ambient Explorations in the House & Techno Age, 1993-1997 (Music From Memory)

(also check out these Bandcamp & Soundcloud picks!)

  • AceMo – Unreleased Trax Vol. 1 [self-released]
  • Kareem Ali – Getting Through [self-released]
  • Body-San – Reborn While Shopping (Noumenal Loom)
  • Chaos in the CBD – Brainstorm EP (In Dust We Trust)
  • DK – The Ancient Kingdom (Good Morning Tapes)
  • Facta – Blush (Wisdom Teeth)
  • Hidden Sequence – Intimate Disco (Piston Recordings)
  • Irini – Lost in Dreams (Planet Uterus) 
  • N0V3L – NON-FICTION (Flemish Eye)
  • Saphileaum – Transpersonal Experience (Good Morning Tapes)
  • Tristan Arp – Alternate Looking Glass (Eternal Ocean)
  • Ulla – Limitless Frame (Motion Ward)
  • yes/and – yes/and (Driftless)
  • Yu Su – Yellow River Blue (Beijing Cultural Communication Co.)


Record Releases- 2021

  • Elori Saxl- blue of distance [western vinyl]
  • Dry Cleaning- new long leg [4ad]
  • Moontype- bodies of water [born yesterday records]
  • Linda Smith- till another time: 1988-1996 [captured tracks]
  • Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy- superwolves [drag city]
  • Chai- wink [sub pop]
  • Dame Area- ondas tribales [mannequin]
  • Nana Yamato- before sunrise [dull tools]
  • Yu Su- yellow river blue [music from memory]
  • Madlib- sound ancestors [madlib invasion]
  • Legowelt- pancakes with mist [nightwind records]
  • Charlotte Greve- sediments we move [new amsterdam records]
  • Tirzah- colourgrade [domino]
  • Ydegirl- s/t [escho]
  • Makaya McCraven- deciphering the message [blue note]
  • N-ter- détroit on my mind EP [electro records]
  • Apoc Krysis X Jupiluxe- set up [780845 records dk]
  • Grouper- shade [kranky]
  • Circuit Des Yeux- -io {matador]
  • Dos Santos- city of mirrors [international anthem recording company]
  • Jeff Parker- jp’s myspace beats [international anthem recording company]
  • Jeff Parker- forfolks [international anthem recording company]
  • Amyl & the Sniffers- comfort to me [ato]
  • Macie Stewart- mouth full of glass [orindal]
  • Alleged Witches- work after machinery [natural sciences]

Times are strange, music is weird, lower your blood pressure.

The plural of vinyl is vinyl.


I listened to probably 75% of all wide-released indie rock albums this year. I gained nothing by this experience, and furthermore it liquefied my brain. 

10 LPs/activities I enjoyed, available at reckless:

-katy kirby / cool dry place (keeled scales) — arbitrary AOTY pick

-the ophelias / crocus (joyful noise) —the kind of record where you hear the sound of an ambulance going by in the vocal mic. perfect median between 2021-style confessional songwriting + Yo La Tengo in their chamber pop mode. someday this will soundtrack a Bloomsday-style tour of Cincinnati where I rank the public libraries by “vibe” and point out various places I was hit by cars

-raiding the New Age CD section — great gift idea for the broke: these bad boys start at only $3.99! if you must have it on wax check out Numero’s excellent Numero 95 comp (Numero). either way this is the year to give that special himbo/thembo in your life the gift that keeps on giving: New Age Music

-japanese breakfast / jubilee (dead oceans) — I saw this band live and they sounded exactly like Wilco to me. Or maybe I’d just had a few too many NEW ENGLAND STYLE IPAS????

-wobbly / popular monitress (hausu mountain) — let’s say somehow ontological boundaries became blurred and you accidentally inhaled a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) through your nose and then looked for a tissue to try and blow it out but you don’t have any tissues because you’re a logan square band guy; but then suddenly not only can you not find a tissue but now your house is a scratched up copy of NBA 2K. Karl Malone is executing a mid-range jump shot into your kitchen sink. What are you going to do about it? this album gave me havana syndrome

moontype / bodies of water (born yesterday) —straight down the lane, we love to see it, Chicago excellence, whenever spin this I do a 2-handed Italian chef kiss. sometimes I’m on my bike and it’s very dangerous to do the chef kiss but I do it anyway

-marc riordan / life systems (sophomore lounge) —soothing and ominous, urban but also dreamily pastoral. deep breath and a can of soda

-ryley walker / course in fable (husky pants) — the year is 2035. Everything from the book “Station Eleven” has happened. Phish is cool again. your friends are trading Phish bootlegs, from the crappy years, like 2003. a copy of “Close to the Edge” on CD costs $4,000. an elite mod on has heard there’s a VG+ original copy of “In the Court of the Crimson King” buried under the ruins of Michigan Central Station in Detroit. a confidential buyer (possibly Elon Musk) has offered to pay two billion dollars for it, in specie. you’ll have to fight your way there and back through Indiana—burning scrub brush, far as the eye can see; trigger-happy militia patrols; packs of stray dogs. you’ll have to subsist on saltine crackers and pedialyte. you’ll have to fire a harpoon gun, multiple times. The task is herculean. They say it cannot be done. but many years ago, you took a stranger’s recommendation, and you listened to “Course in Fable”. and now you are ready to do what must be done

black midi live @ Sleeping Village 9/13/2021 — telling people I was in “in the pit” at this show because a tall person stepped on my foot and caused me to spill my New England Style IPA. the LP is great too

-another michael / new music + big pop (run for cover) — a handful of dynamo singles are the main attraction but the album cuts grow on you; good to see that Philly is still in the ring. go sixers

-fav label of ‘21 / Orindal, who put out great records by wednesday, macie stewart, karima walker, dan wriggins, etc.

-fav beer / New England Style IPA                       

———also liked by me, and stocked here———

records by: Adult Mom — Bad Bad Hats — Boo Hiss — Charles — DJ Black Low — Dummy — Hand Habits — Lande Hekt — Lael Neale — Carlos Niño — Spellling — Pauline Anna Strom

———bandcamp-only releases——— 

personal space / a lifetime of leisure — patricia brennan / maquishti — subtitles / commoner — chaos in the cbd / te puke thunder EP — fievel is glauque / god’s trashmen sent to right the mess, &c. — SLONK / where do you see yourself in five years? — ki oni / stay indoors and swim + indoor plant life — wombo / keesh mountain


  • The Body & Big Brave Leaving None But Small Birds
  • Can Live in Brighton 1975
  • Can Live in Stuttgart 1975
  • Cerebral Rot Excretion of Mortality
  • Lucinda Chua Antidotes
  • Circuit Des Yeux -io
  • Coldreams Crazy Night
  • Alice Coltrane Kirtan: Turiya Sings
  • John Coltrane A Love Supreme Live in Seattle
  • Crypta Echoes of the Soul
  • Sarah Davachi Antiphonals
  • Kenny Dorham Quiet Kenny reissue
  • Dramarama Cinema Verite reissue
  • Dream Unending Tide Turns Eternal
  • FACS Present Tense
  • Roger Fakhr Fine Anyway 
  • Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders w/ The London Symphony Orchestra Promises 
  • Myriam Gendron Ma Delire: Songs of Love Lost & Found
  • Grouper Shade
  • Hollie Kenniff The Quiet Drift 
  • Lamp of Murmuur Submission & Slavery
  • Kedr Livanskiy Liminal Soul
  • Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble Now
  • Mare Cognitum Solar Paroxysm
  • James McAlister Scissortail
  • Mia Joy Spirit Tamer
  • Mistreater Hell’s Fire
  • Lee Morgan Rajah: Blue Note Tone Poet Series  
  • Natural Information Society w/ Evan Parker Descension
  • Jeff Parker Forfolks
  • Qrixkuor Poison Palinopsia
  • Clara Rockmore Lost Theremin Album
  • Claire Rousay Softer Focus
  • Elori Saxl The Blue of Distance
  • Seam Headsparks reissue
  • Seth La Morsure du Christ
  • The Silver Ward of Roses
  • Linda Smith Till Another Time 1988-1996
  • Stephen Radar of Small Dogs reissue
  • Stormkeep Tales of Other Time
  • Andy Stott Never the Right Time
  • Tangerine Dream The Keep (Soundtrack) reissue
  • Tribulation Where The Gloom Becomes Sound
  • Voivod Outer Limits reissue
  • Yasmin Williams Urban Driftwood
  • Various Artists Heisei No Oto: Japanese Left-Field Pop From the CD Age 1989-1996
  • Various Artists Somewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds
  • Neil Young Carnegie Hall 1970
  • Neil Young Young Shakespeare
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse Way Down in the Rust Bucket


  • Gene Ammons Jungle Soul
  • Francoise Hardy If You Listen
  • Quincy Jones Deadly Affair (Soundtrack)
  • Oliver Nelson Skull Session
  • Popol Vuh Aguirre
  • Roedelius Jardin Au Fou
  • Steve Tibbetts Northern Song


In no particular order:

  • The Armed “Ultra Pop”
  • Doja Cat “Planet Her” 
  • Pixel Grip “Arena”
  • Turnstile “Glow On”
  • Lil Nas X “Montero”
  • Shame “Drunk Tank Pink”
  • Dry Cleaning “New Long Leg” 
  • Spirit of the Beehive “Entertainment, Death”
  • Flying Lotus “Yasuke”
  • Mannequin Pussy “Perfect EP” 
  • Olivia Rodrigo “Sour”
  • Torres “Thirstier”


(in no particular order)

1. Sometimes I Might Be Introvert // Little Simz
2. Collapsed in Sunbeams // Arlo Parks
3. Lately I Feel Everything // Willow
4. To Hell With It // PinkPanthress
5. To Enjoy Is the Only Thing // Maple Glider
6. New Long Legs // Dry Cleaning
7. Things Take Time, Take Time // Courtney Barnett
8. Go Home, Go Home, Go Home // Adelaide
9. Sol Azul // Drea C.
10. I Know I’m Funny, ha ha // Faye Webster
11. Barnyard // Good Morning
12. Get Some // LA Exes
13. Glow // Alice Phoebe Lou
14.Jubilee // Japanese Breakfast
15. Fun House // Hand Habits
16. Skin // Joy Crookes
17. Absolutely // Dijon
18. The Melodic Blue // Baby Keem
19. Turning Wheel // Spelling
20. Promises // Floating Points & Pharoah Sanders
21. Planet (i) // Squirrel Flower

2021 Reissues

Endtroducing….. // DJ Shadow
3 Feet High & Rising // De La Soul
Kid A mnesia // Radiohead
Live Evil // Miles Davis
Kirtan! Turiya Sings // Alice Coltrane
Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea // PJ Harvey
All Things Must Pass // George Harrison 


1. Deftones – Digital Bath (Telefon Tel Aviv Version) / Feiticeira (Arca Remix)2. Record Setter – I Owe You Nothing 
3. The Armed – Ultrapop4. Turnstile – Glow On
5. Spirit of the Beehive – Entertainment, Death
6. From First To Last – Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Bodycount (RSD Reissue)
7. Drug Church – Tawny
8. Equip – Cursebreaker Gaiden 
9. Sincere Engineer – Bless My Psyche
10. Hospital Bracelet – South Loop Summer






• JULIAN ANDREAS – LETHAL HARDCORE [Live Adult Entertainment]

RUNNER UP since it dropped too late to be last year’s RUNNER UP
• Playboi Carti – Whole Lotta Red [Interscope]

Other Favorites (in somewhat of an order)

  • • You’ll Never Get to Haven – Wave Your Moonlight Hat for the Snowfall Train [Mystic Roses]
  • • Paysage d’Hiver – Geister [Kunsthall]
  • • Florian T M Zeisig – Music for Parents [Metron]
  • • Sewerslvt – Skitzofrenia Simulation [self]
  • • Sewerslvt – We Had Good Times Together, Don’t Forget That [self]
  • • Deterioration – Transcending Human Confines [Shattered Dreams]
  • • DJ Speedsick – Snake Pit LSD [DNA]
  • • Anything Him Hun put on Soundcloud
  • • Sarah Davachi – Antiphonals [Late]
  • • Elori Saxl – The Blue of Distance [Western Vinyl]
  • • ojeRum – Solverhvide Skyer [Garden Portal]
  • • In Aeternam Vale – Boites [self]
  • • Picnic – s/t [Daisart]
  • • Casper McFadden – Medicalmechanica [Kitty On Fire]
  • • Fire – Toolz – Eternal Home [Hausu Mountain]
  • • Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement – Flying Fish Ambience [Hospital]
  • • Romance – A Kiss Is Just A Kiaa [Ecstatic]
  • • Nordgeist – Frostwinter [Kunsthall]
  • • Jarhead Fertilizer – Product of My Environment [Closed Casket Activities]
  • • Kjostad – Warlord [self]
  • • Lil Ugly Mane – Volcanic Bird Enemy and the Voiced Concern [self]
  • • DJ Black Low – Uwami [Awesome Tapes From Africa]
  • • Aaron Dilloway &amp; Lucrecia Dalt – Lucy &amp; Aaron [Hanson]
  • • Vatican Shadow – SR-71 Blackbird Survivors [Hospital]
  • • Ferriterium – Calvaire [Epictural]
  • • Mare Cognitum – Solar Paroxysm [I, Voidhanger]
  • • Grima – Rotten Garden [Naturmacht]
  • • Dipygus – Bushmeat [Memento Mori]
  • • Rudimentary Peni – Great War [Sealed]
  • • Fugitive Wizard – Obscuri AEternum [Grime Stone]
  • • Caveman Cult – Blood and Extinction [Nuclear War Now!]
  • • Spectral Wound – A Diabolic Thirst [Profound Lore]
  • • Max Richter – Voices 2 [Decca]
  • • Dean Blunt – Black Metal 2 [Rough Trade]
  • • Nocturnal Effigy – The Night’s Sorrow [self]
  • • Mortiferum – Preserved In Torment [Profound Lore]


 in no particular order

  • Black Monument Ensemble: “Now”
  • John DuCann: “World’s Not Big Enough”
  • Skip Tracer EP
  • Pat Campbell’s “Christian Guilt” cassette
  • Nervous Eaters “Eaterville Vol.2”
  • Krga “Moi St.”
  • Hozac Books: “Where the Wild Gigs Were” and “I Don’t Fit In”
  • Adam Roth “Down the Shore Soundtrack”
  • Jason Griff: “Fireside Chats”
  • Matt Jencik: “Matt & Lyra”
  • TAXI Season 2
  • TAXI Season 3


  • Sometimes I Might Be Introvert – Little Simz
  • Other You – Steve Gunn
  • Present Tense – FACS
  • Happier Than Ever – Billie Eilish
  • I Don’t Live Here Anymore – War On Drugs
  • Harmonizer – Ty Segall
  • Montero – Lil Nas X
  • Crawler – IDLES
  • Gold-Diggers Sound – Leon Bridges
  • Things Take Time, Take Tim – Courtney Barnett
  • Sweep It Into Space – Dinosaur Jr

EMILY ELHAJ (Love Lion Music)


  • Tirzah Colourgrade (Domino)
  • Black Angels Don’t Fall Down (LITA)
  • Gloria Ann Taylor Be Worthy (Ubiquity)
  • Pino Palladino & Blake Mills Notes With Attachments (Verve/Impulse)
  • Madalyn Merkey Standards (self)
  • Jarvis Cocker Chansons d’Ennui Tip-Top (ABKCO)
  • Zella Day & Weyes Blood “Holocene”(Concord)
  • Peacers Blexxed Rec (Drag City)
  • Circuit des Yeux io (Matador)
  • Nightshift Zöe (Trouble In Mind)
  • Beak< “Oh Know” (Invada)
  • Rodrigo Amarante Drama (Polyvinyl)
  • Sam Gendel Fresh Bread (Leaving)
  • Marisa Anderson & William Tyler Lost Futures (Thrill Jockey)
  • Sylvie EP (Terrible Records)
  • Lilac s/t (self)
  • Floating Points / Pharoah Sanders / London Symphony Promises (Luaka) 
  • Green-House Music for Living Spaces (Leaving)
  • Death Is Not The End s/t (Death Is Not The End) cass
  • Stereolab Electrically Possessed (Switched On Vol. 4) (Duophonic/Warp)
  • Mia Doi Todd Music Life (City Zen)
  • CLEATS “French Disko” (self)
  • Martin Gore The Third Chimpanzee EP (Grabbing Hands Music)
  • Becca Mancari Annie (Captured Tracks)
  • The Notwist Vertigo Days (Morr Music)
  • Grouper Shade (Kranky)
  • Sven Wunder Natura Morta (Piano Piano)
  • Michael Hurley The Time of the Foxgloves (No Quarter)
  • Tasha Tell Me What You Miss The Most (Father/Daughter)
  • Elder & Kadavar Eldovar: A Story of Darkness & Light (Robotor)
  • Alice Coltrane Kirtan: Turiya Sings (Impulse!)
  • Yes/And s/t (Driftless)
  • v/a Mary’s House (Love Lion)


  • Rich Vreeman (Disasterpeace) It Follows ost (Music On Vinyl)
  • Austin Leonard Jones The Wonder Years of Austin Leonard Jones Vol. 1 & 2 (Perpetual Doom)
  • Arthur Russell Another Thought (Be With)
  • Steve Reid Nova (Soul Jazz)
  • Beverly Glenn-Copeland Keyboard Fantasies (Glass Modern)
  • Lubomyr Melnyk KMH: Piano Music in the Continuous Mode (Unseen Worlds)
  • Slow Walkers s/t (Peak Oil)
  • The Durutti Column Another Setting (Factory Benelux)
  • The Durutti Column Dry (Spittle)
  • Omar Khorshid With Love (We Want Sounds)
  • Hailu Mergia Tezeta (Awesome Tapes From Africa)


  • Jess Cornelius, Yellow House Session
  • Mary Lattimore & Walt McClements, outside
  • Jon Natchez & Sofia Bolt, outside
  • Angel Olsen & Sharon Van Etten, “Like I Used To” on Fallon
  • Nailah Hunter, Marisa Anderson, & William Tyler, outside
  • Kim Gordon, Pitchfork
  • Cat Power, Pitchfork
  • Rodrigo Amarante e sua banda, The Ford
  • Elles font l’abstraction Exhibition, Pompidou, Paris

DAVE MARTIN (Captured Tracks/Omnian Music Distribution)

New Records

  • Chris Brokaw – Puritan (12XU)
  • Scientists – Negativity (In The Red Records)
  • Divine Horsemen – Hot Rise Of An Ice Cream Phoenix (In The Red Records)
  • FACS – Present Tense (Trouble In Mind)
  • Endless Boogie – Admonitions (No Quarter)
  • Stefan Christensen – Cheap Things (World of Echo)
  • Smoke Bellow – Open For Business (Trouble In Mind)
  • Aquarian Blood – Bending The Golden Hour (Goner)
  • Emily Robb – How To Moonwalk (Petty Bunco)
  • CIA Debutante – Dust (Siltbreeze)
  • Swansea Sound – Live At The Rum Puncheon (HHBTM)
  • Circuit Des Yeux – -io (Matador)
  • Damon & Naomi w/ Kurihara – A Sky Record (20/20/20)
  • Strapping Field Hands – Across The Susquehanna (Petty Bunco)
  • Michael Beach – Dream Violence (Goner)
  • Palberta – Palberta 5000 (Wharf Cat)
  • Astute Palate – S/T (Petty Bunco)
  • Eleventh Dream Day – Since Grazed (Comedy Minus One)
  • Mess Esque – Dream #12 (Bedroom Suck) & S/T (Drag City)
  • Body/Dilloway/Head – S/T (Three Lobed)
  • Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble – Now (International Anthem)
  • Thalia Zedek Band – Perfect Vision (Thrill Jockey)
  • Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Matador)
  • Cindy – 1:2 (Mt St Mtn)
  • Mountain Movers – World What World (Trouble In Mind)

Reissues / Archival

  • Static – Toothpaste and Pills:  Demos and Live 1978 – 1981 (Third Man)
  • V/A Cameroon Garage Funk (Analog Africa)
  • Stephen – Radar of Small Dogs (Yellow Electric)
  • The Clean – Tally Ho b/w Platypus / Boodle Boodle Boodle / Modern Rock / Mister Pop (Merge)
  • Screamers – Demo Hollywood 1977 (Superior Viaduct)
  • Come – Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (Fire)
  • Unsane – Improvised Munitions & Demo (Lamb Unlimited)
  • Zouo – Agony Remains (Relapse)
  • The Fall – Live At St. Helen’s Technical College (Castle Face)
  • Can – Live in Brighton 1975 / Live in Stuttgart 1975 (Spoon / Mute)
  • Magic Roundabout – Up (Third Man)
  • Don Cherry / Don Cherry’s New Researches – The Summer House Sessions / Organic Music Theater (Blank Forms)
  • John Coltrane – A Love Supreme Live In Seattle (Impulse)
  • Spike In Vain – Disease Is Relative / Death Drives a Cadillac (Scat)
  • The Dents – 1979-1980 (Hozac)
  • Mistreater – Hell’s Fire (On The Dole)
  • The Verlaines – Live At The Windsor Castle 1986 (Schoolkids Records)
  • Frigate – Dreams of the Deep (D.Q. Records)
  • The Offset: Spectacles – S/T (Trouble In Mind)
  • V/A Four Stars – (Swineken Recordings)
  • John Du Cann – The World’s Not Big Enough (Just Add Water)
  • Thalia Zedek – Been Here And Gone (Thrill Jockey)
  • Half Japanese – I Guess I’m Living: The Charmed Life Tapes (Fire)
  • Hawkwind – Greasy Truckers Party (Parlophone)
  • Upper Hand – Iron City Hardcore 1988/1989 (Mind Cure)

Singles / EPs / Tapes / Digital

  • Des Demonas – Cure For Love (In The Red Records)
  • Matt Jencik – Matt & Lyra (Trouble In Mind)
  • Lifeguard Receiver b/w Sun Ra Jane / Taking Radar b/w Loose Cricket (Chunklet / Self Released)
  • Headroom –  Rubber Match (Petty Bunco)
  • Rock Set – Pitea Kommun b/w Up In My Room (On The Dole)
  • Electric Chair – Social Capital (Iron Lung)
  • Blues Ambush – S/T 
  • Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments – First Avenue Minneapolis, MN 6/17/1997
  • Hypnotizing Chickens – I’m On Time (Petty Bunco)
  • Gina Birch – Feminist Song (Third Man)
  • 75 Dollar Bill – Social Music:  Live At Troost Vol 1. & 2
  • Leda – Covid “Music” I Made With My Guitar (Knotwilg)
  • Formal Wear – Classic Water EP (Self Released / Chunklet)
  • Axxe – Through The Night b/w Rock Away The City (On The Dole)
  • Magic Roundabout – Sneaky Feelin b/w Song For Gerard Langley (Third Man)
  • Classics Of Love – World Of Burning Hate
  • Brian Case – Practice Tape (Trouble In Mind)
  • Planet On A Chain – Last Word, Last Act
  • Four Plugs – Wrong Treatment b/w Biking Girl (2:13:61 / In The Red Records)
  • Vampa – Plugget (On The Dole)
  • Live Music / Rooms Full of People
  • Chris Brokaw – Record Grouch / Scott Ave Dead end / Mama Tried
  • Warthog – Thomas Street / AB Studios
  • Sweet Apple – Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
  • Yo La Tengo / Mountain Movers – Central Park Summerstage
  • Angel Bat Dawid – Herbert Von King Park
  • Sun Ra Arkestra / Sistazz Of The Nitty Gritty – Central Park Summerstage
  • Mary Lattimore – Union Pool
  • Fire Music – Film Forum
  • Dump / Sloppy Heads – Mama Tried
  • Royal Arctic Institute – 18th Ward Brewing / Berlin
  • FACS – Elsewhere / Bowery Ballroom
  • Oneida / Jamie Branch – Forest Park Bandshell
  • Velvet Underground – Film Forum
  • Mark Morgan – Record Grouch 
  • Sanhedrin – Our Wicked Lady
  • Bela Koe Krompecher – Book Bar / Record Grouch
  • 75 Dollar Bill – Columbus Park
  • Napalm Death – Irving Plaza
  • Vaccines 1 & 2 Bathgate Contract Postal Station – Bronx NY
  • Vaccine Booster – The Jefferson Brooklyn NY
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Reckless Records 2020 Employee Best of Lists

New music is truly one of the only things that kept us going in 2020. Thank you so much for supporting us this year and dealing with all of the crazy ups & downs. We hope 2021 is truly much better for everyone… 

Love – Reckless

Philip Cerza

My favorite record of 2020 is Live Forever by Bartees Strange.
Other 2020 releases I loved: 
Altar of Harmony // Luke Schneider
Always Tomorrow // Best Coast
Blue Hearts // Bob Mould
Circles // Mac Miller
Coriky // Coriky
Fantasize Your Ghost // Ohmme
Fetch The Bolt Cutters // Fiona Apple
Fine Line // Harry Styles
Folklore // Taylor Swift
Getting Into Knives // The Mountain Goats
grae // Moses Sumney
Imploding The Mirage // The Killers
Inlet // Hum
Just Look At That Sky // Ganser
Lianne La Havas // Lianne La Havas
May Our Chambers Be Full // Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou
The New Abnormal // The Strokes
NO DREAM // Jeff Rosenstock
The Passion of… // Special Interest
Punisher // Phoebe Bridgers
Reunions // Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Saint Cloud // Waxahatchee
Stay Alive // Laura Jane Grace
Suite For Max Brown // Jeff Parker
That’s How Rumors Get Started // Margo Price
Things I Never Said // Oceanator
We’re New Again // Makaya McCraven & Gil Scott-Heron
Women In Music Pt. 3 // HAIM

**Honorable mentions: Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, my girlfriend’s AOTY and a real good soundtrack for quarantine chores. David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway. Tom Petty’s Wildflowers and All The Rest. Prince’s Super Deluxe Sign O’ The Times. Wilco’s Summerteeth remasters. Sturgill Simpson’s bluegrass LP. RTJ4. Fuzz III. The Go-Go’s documentary and new song. Fountains of Wayne’s “Hackensack” with Sharon Van Etten for the Jersey 4 Jersey benefit (RIP Adam Schlesinger). The Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen records that sort of sound like goodbyes. And Michael Imperioli’s record with his band Zopa. It hasn’t gotten a physical release yet but I hope we carry it when it does because I swear it rules. Thank you for supporting Reckless this year. Black Lives Matter.































Benjamin Hegy


New Releases

Jacoti Sommes- travel time [orange milk]

Priscilla Ermel- origens da luz [music from memory]

Beatrice Dillion- workaround [pan]

phantom posse- forever underground [orchid tapes]

Jeff Parker & the New Breed- suite for max brown [int’l anthem]

Neil Young- homegrown [reprise]

Zebra Katz- less is moor [vinylfactory]

Sarah Davachi- cantus, descant [late music]

Ana Roxanne- because of a flower [kranky]

Pharaoh Overlord- 6 [rocket recordings]

Sun Ra Arkestra- swirling [strut/ art yard]

Lucrecia Dalt- no era solida [rvng intl.]

Nidia- nao fales nela que a mentes [principe]

Teleplasmiste- to kiss the earth goodbye [house of mythology]

Flaming Tunes (Gareth Williams & Mary Currie)- s/t [superior viaduct]

Label OTY: Blue Note

I’ve spent much of 2020 listening to these classic recordings at home via their ongoing “Tone Poet” & “Blue Note 80 & Classic” series. These reissues sound great and offer great value and should offer example of how reissues should look and sound.

I’d also like to formally thank my friends, coworkers and the internet for constantly providing me with music. If it weren’t for you all, I would still be at home listening to CCR, more than I still do. Also, sincere gratitude to every one of our customers that continues to support our stores, this industry and our livelihoods. 

Eternal shout outs: song writers, music makers, sound generators, home recordists, noise enthusiasts, gear geeks, two channel audio, electronics designers & engineers, global supply chains, Taylor Swift for still printing CDs, scented garbage bags full of wet DVDs, all the middle aged dudes, mental illness, everyone that’s ever worked retail or food service, YOUTUBE/discogs/Spotify, theQuietus, every record store ever and the people that go there, brick & mortar hi-fi shops, the US Postal Service, delivery drivers, digital chess, return policies, usb cables and every dog i’ve ever loved. RIP my attention span

John Massey

—10 things I liked from Reckless:

Lomelda / Hannah (Double Double Whammy) — my favorite album of 2020 sounds pleasant enough at first and then you get drawn into its urgent and oblique world: talking in circles, running up against the edges of life, like a poem or a math problem, or maybe she’s just writing about hanging out with your friends in a parking lot, I can’t really always tell, but anyway it’s a killer record

Katie Dey / mydata (Run For Cover) — the first good album ever made about going online succeeds partly because of schubert-level songcraft and partly because it sounds cool as hell. The 2020s will be the decade of MIDI strings and you can take that to the bank. Public criers beware: save this one for your room

Hum / Inlet (Earth Analog) — 2020 has been a banner year for loud snare drums. At first I loved this album but thought the snare drum was way too loud. Now to be honest I think it’s not loud enough

Shinichi Atobe / Yes (DDS) — I would love to listen to this record while standing on the moving sidewalk at a large airport

Brandee Younger + Dezron Douglas / Force Majeure (International Anthem) — probably 2020’s least “ambitious” int’l anthem release gets the nod because it’s the only thing I’ve heard this year that has managed to calm me down for more than 30 seconds at a time 

The Beths / Jump Rope Gazers (Carpark) — is there like a school that New Zealand bands go to? What’s going on down there?

Fenne Lily / Breach (Dead Oceans) — Phoebe British. Do you see what I did there

Emma Ruth Rundle + Thou / May Our Chambers Be Full (Sacred Bones) — 3 things I am legally bound to respect for all time: grunge, Louisville KY, and spelling “magical” as “magickal”

Ratboys / Printer’s Devil (Topshelf) —  E-flat Major is back baby. it’s good again. Awoouu (wolf howl)

Mike Hanapi / With Kalama’s Quartet (Mississippi) — there’s a lot of bad/corny pre-Renaissance Hawaiian music out there but this loving reissue is the real deal. Anyone with even a passing interest in Hawaiian music / Pacific music in general needs to buy two copies of this immediately

—plus a few things i liked from bandcamp:

Bats / There’s a River Up High (Citrus City)

Morhping (sic) / Distance Learning Suite (Strudelsoft)

Fennec / Free Us of This Feeling (self-released)

K-Lone / Cape Cira + the Falls EP (Wisdom Teeth)

DJ Python / Mas Amable (Incienso)

Thanya Iyer / KIND (Topshelf)

Max Gowan / Last Companion (Z Tapes)

Oldsoul / You Were Overwhelmed (Counter Intuitive)

Miserable Chillers / Audience of Summer (self-released)

Dylan Sowle

Best Albums of 2020:

1. Torres – “Silver Tongue” (Merge Records)

2. AJJ – “Good Luck Everybody” (AJJ Unlimited LTD)

3. Jeff Rosenstock – “No Dream” (Polyvinyl Record Company)

4. Bright Eyes – “Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was” (Dead Oceans)

5. The Flaming Lips – “American Head” (Warner Records)

6. Bob Dylan – “Rough And Rowdy Ways” (Columbia)

7. Melkbelly – “Pith” (Wax Nine Records)

8. Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher” (Dead Oceans)

9. The Magnetic Fields – “Quickies” (Nonesuch)

10. Fire-Toolz – “Rainbow Bridge” (Hausu Mountain)

11. Lowell Brams & Sufjan Stevens – “Aporia” (Asthmatic Kitty Records)

12. Dan Deacon – “Mystic Familiar” (Domino)

13. Omar Souleyman – “Shlon” (Mad Decent)

14. Deeper – “Auto-Pain” (Fire Talk)

15. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “Chunky Shrapnel” (Flightless)

Honorable Mentions:

1. Idles – “Ultra Mono” (Partisan Records)

2. Danzig – “Danzig Sings Elvis” (Cleopatra)

3. The Black Lips – “In A World That’s Falling Apart” (Fire Records)

4. Nick Cave – “Idiot Prayer” (Bad Seed Ltd.)

5. Wasted Shirt – “Fungus II” (Famous Class)

Best Reissues:

1. Hiroshi Yoshimura – “Green” (Light In The Attic)

2. Dear Nora – “Three States: Rarities 1997-2007” (Orindal Records)

3. The Boys Next Door – “Door, Door” (Warner Music Australia)

4. Michael Rother – “Sterntaler” (Grönland Records)

5. Fountains Of Wayne – “Welcome Interstate Managers” (Real Gone Music)

6. Jonathan Richman – “I, Jonathan” (Craft Recordings)

7. that dog. – “Totally Crushed Out!” (Third Man Records)

Luke Dahlgren


Horse Lords – The Common Task (Northern Spy)


Bergsonist – Middle Ouest (Optimo)


Civic Center – The Ground Below (American Dreams)

Couch Slut – Take a Chance on Rock ‘n’ Roll (Gilead)

Alabaster DePlume – To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 (International Anthem)

Earth To Mickey – Brace & Bit (LA Club Resource)

Green-House – Six Songs for Invisible Gardens (Leaving)

Jon Hassell – Seeing Through Sound: Pentimento Vol. 2 (Ndeya)

Military Genius – Deep Web (Tin Angel)

OOIOO – nijimusi (Thrill Jockey)

Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Light (Smalltown Supersound)

Theo Parrish – Wuddaji (Sound Signature)

Protomartyr – Ultimate Success Today (Domino)

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou – May Our Chambers be Full (Sacred Bones)

Westerman – Your Hero is Not Dead (Partisan)



Jon Hassell – Vernal Equinox (Ndeya)

Heron – Heron (Trading Places)

Miguel Noya – Canciones Intactas (Phantom Limb)

Pylon – The Pylon Box (New West)

Neil Young – Homegrown (Reprise)


BB – Hey Ladies (Puss)

D.K. – The Goddess Is Dancing (Good Morning Tapes)

E-Live – Boogie For Life  (Star Creature Universal Vibrations)

Mor Elian – Clairvoyant Frog (Visible Spectrum)

K-LONE – Cape Cira (Wisdom Teeth)

Molero – Ficciones del Trópico (Holuzam)

Significant Other – Postdrome (Well Street)

Ulla – Tumbling Towards a Wall (Experiences Ltd.)

v/a – All Welcome (Good Morning Tapes)

Lea Board

In no particular order:

Run The Jewels “Run The Jewels 4”

Phoebe Bridgers “Punisher”

The Strokes “The New Abnormal”

Molchat Doma “Monument”

Idles “Ultra Mono”

Dehd “Flower of Devotion”

Bright Eyes “Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was”

Sheet Ghosts “Did It Ever Happen?”

Mort Garson “Music From The Patch Cord Productions” (Compilation)

Tones On Tail “Pop” (Reissue)

Matt Jencik

Actress Karma & Desire

Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini Illusion of Time

Julianna Barwick Healing is a Miracle

The Bats Foothills

Bing & Ruth Species

Burial/ Four Tet/ Thom Yorke Revolution/His Rope

Brian Case Parallel Voices

Pascal Comelade Sentimientos 

Coriky Coriky

Count Ossie & the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari Grounation 

Country Westerns Country Westerns

Patrick Cowley Some Funkettes

Cryptic Shift Visitations from Encleladus 

Sarah Davachi Cantus, Descant & Bandcamp releases

Alabaster Deplume To Cy & Lee: Instrumental Vol. 1

Bob Dylan Rough & Rowdy Ways

Eluvium Virga 1

Enslaved  Utgard

FACS Void Moments

Feminazgul No Dawn for Men

Fielded Demisexual Lovelace

Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist Alfredo

Grifteskymfning Bedrövelsens Härd

Irreversible Entanglements Who Sent You?

Clarice Jensen The Experience of Repetition as Death

Katatonia Jhva Elohim Metha LP reissue

L-Seven L-Seven 

Adrianne Lenker Songs & Instrumentals

Klara Lewis Ingrid

Lurker of Chalice Tellurian Slaked Forest 

Lustre The Ashes of Light

Malokarpatan Krupinské Ohne

Gia Margaret Mia Gargaret 

The Microphones Microphones in 2020
Midwife Forever

Molchat Doma Monument

Oranssi Pazuzu Mestarin Kynsi 

Paysage d’Hiver Im Wald

Pylon Box

Ana Roxanne Because of a Flower

Mamman Sani Unreleased Tapes 1981- 1984

Skeleton Skeleton

The Stooges Live at Goose Lake August 8th, 1970

Sweven The Eternal Resonance

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings All the Good Times

Hiroshi Yoshimura Green

Neil Young Homegrown

Neil Young Archives Vol. II

Zombi 2020

Andrew Min

porridge radio – every bad

freddie gibbs/the alchemist – alfredo

gorillaz – song machine vol 1

loma – don’t shy away

bully – sugaregg

1975 – notes on a conditional form

haim – women in music pt III

hypoluxo – hypoluxo

george clanton & nick hexum – s/t

nothing – the great dismal

slowdive reissues


-blue day

-holding our breath


Jake Lingan

Actress, “Karma & Desire” (Ninja Tune)

Arthur, “Hair Of The Dog” (Honeymoon)

Autechre, “Sign” & “Plus” (Warp)

William Basinski, “Lamentations” (Temporary Residence)

David Behrman, Paul DeMarinis, Fern Friedman, Terri Hanlon & Anne Klingensmith, “She’s More Wild…” (Black Truffle)

Dean Blunt, “Roaches 2012-2019” (World Music)

Bill Callahan, “Gold Record” (Drag City)

N Chambers, “Facets” (Love All Day)

Com Truise, “In Decay, Too” (Ghostly International)

Cotton Casino, “The Reflection” (Eye Vybe)

Angel Bat Dawid And Tha Brothahood “Live”, (International Anthem)

Crazy Doberman, “Illusory Expansion” (Astral Spirits)

Deep Space Duo, “Spacetones” (Love All Day)

Deerhoof, “Future Teenage Cave Artists” (Joyful Noise)

Diamond Soul, “Maya’mi” (Orange Milk)

Beatrice Dillon, “Workaround” (PAN)

Euglossine, “Psaronius” (Orange Milk)

Fire-Toolz, “Rainbow Bridge” (Hausu Mountain)

Gerrit Hatcher & Jakob Warmenbol, “Sublime Again”

Horse Lords, “Common Task” (Northern Spy)

je’raf, “Throw Neck” (Amalgam/ No Index)

Jessy Lanza, “All The Time (Hyperdub)

Lama Lobsang Palden & Jim Becker, “Compassion” (Drag City)

Klara Lewis, “Ingrid” (Editions Mego)

Toshioki Matsumura, “A Visual Brain 1986-1993” (chOOn!!)  

Scott McGaughey, “You Don’t Need A Key To Leave” (Shmee)

Makaya McCraven, “Universal Beings E & F Sides” (International Anthem)

Brett Naucke, “EMS Hallucinations” (American Dream)

Nonlocal Forecast, “Holographic Universe(s?)! (Hausu Mountain)

Quicksails, “Blue Rise” (Hausu Mountain)

Ohmme, “Fantasize Your Ghost” (Joyful Noise)

Aki Onda, “Nam June’s Spirit Was Talking To Me” (Recital)

ONO, “Red Summer” (American Dream)

Jim O’Rourke, “Shutting Down Here” (GRM Portraits)

Ana Roxanne, “Because Of A Flower” (Kranky)

Andy Slater, “Unseen Reheard” (No Index)

Carl Stone, “Stolen Car” (Unseen Worlds)

Thundercat, “It Is What It Is” (Brainfeeder)

Michael Vallera, “Window In” (Denovali)


African Head Charge reissues (On-U Sound)

Barry Cleveland with Bob Stohl and Kat Epple, “Stones Of Precious Water” (Morning Trip)

Pedro Comelade, “Sentimientos” (Etats-Unis)

The Entourage Music & Theatre Ensemble, “The Neptune Collection” (Folkways)

Flaming Tunes, “Flaming Tunes” (Superior Viaduct)

Fluence, “Fluence” (Etats-Unis)

Motohiko Hamase reissues (WRWTFWW)  

Jon Hassell, “Vernal Equinox” (Ndeya)

Prince, “Sign ‘O’ The Times” Super Deluxe (Paisley Park

Pylon reissues (New West)

Akio Suzuki, “Analopos” (Room 40)

Hiroshi Yoshimura, “Green” (Light In The Attic)

Zoviet France reissues (Vinyl On Demand)

Jamie Drier

Surgeon – Raw Trax 2

Shitcluster – Meat Thief

E-Saggila – Dedicated to Sublimity

Beau Wanzer – Kitchen Clock

Half Waif – Caretaker

Vladislav Delay/Sly & Robbie – 500 – Push Up

Marcel Dettmann/Silent Servant/ Pye Corner Audio Issue # 2

Marie Davidson & L’oeil Nu – Renegade Breakdown

$hit & $hine – Malibu Liquor Store

Gary Errera

John Frusciante – MAYA

He continues with electronic music and this time he really hit his stride. Recalls Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Venetian Snares. Pretty amazing this same guy made Curtains, many other solo records, and wrote all the good RHCP songs back in the 90s.

Dave Cartwright

*in no particular order (except for Duma, Duma wins 2020)

Duma – Duma (Nyege Nyege Nyege)

Bergsonist – Middle Earth (Optimo)

Sockethead – Harj-o-marj (Youth)

Paysage d’Hiver – Im Wald (Kunsthall)

Beau Wanzer – Busted & Bamboozled (Ophism)

Locked Club – Atom Hell EP (Tram Planet)

Playa S & Playa D – Da Summa Mix of ’97 (Tape House Chicago)

Various – Joyous Sounds! (Chicago Research)

Satoshi & Makoto – CZ – 5000 Sounds & Sequences II (Safe Trip)

Orphx – Fragmentation (Hospital Productions)

Steven Rahman

In the year 2020, I found it extremely hard to keep up with things

that were released, so this is not a list of things that were

necessarily better than the other things that came out. They are just

things that I happened to be exposed to, & that helped to lighten the


Without Further Ado:

1. Spillage Village – Spilligion

I mean… what do you do when one of the most interesting collectives

in Hip Hop drop a near perfect record? It’s a sermon & a service. It’s

the kind of rapping that my head longs for, but also a message that

resonates in my heart without ever feeling preachy. It’s so good, I

would bet good money it’s the thing I’ve come back to most over this


2. Sen Morimoto – Sen Morimoto

Sen Morimoto’s sense of self seems to be unshakeable. He bends & flips

genres & styles but, it always sounds like Sen. I was looking forward

to this record, particularly after his removal from the virtual

concerts this year, & it delivers. It’s got it’s quirks & it’s

strangenesses, but it fits together really well & I enjoy the vibe.

3. Khruangbin & Leon Bridges – Texas Sun/ Khruangbin – Mordechai

I love very little as much as I’ve come to love Khruangbin’s unique

sound. It’s just masterful what they’re able to do with what seems

like a really minimalist approach. Then if you add Leon Bridges, who

is for what little money I have one of the better writers in soul

music today, you’ll get something that not only works, but just seems


4. Open Mike Eagle – Anime, Trauma, & Divorce

Unapologetic Art Rap… but with knock. I think this is the best thing

I’ve ever heard from Mike & I don’t know that I would have believed

that was possible after Dark Comedy. It’s a serious record, but the

comic timing & absurdity is still there. It’s such a fun listen even

with the morbid subject matter.

5. Tank & the Bangas – Friend Goals

This is probably my favorite band in the world right now. They are

whimsical & joyous, & a balm in a cold world. This was done over the

course of the quarantine as they weren’t able to spend much time on

the road, & instead turned that into some really thick tunes.

A few honorable mentions:

Grip – Proboscidea, Kirby – Sis., Tayla Parx – Coping Mechanisms, Run

The Jewels – RTJ4, Kipp Stone – Homme, Nick Grant & Tae Beast – God

Bless the Child, Deante Hitchcock – Better, Emily King – Sides, Dezron

Douglass & Brandee Younger – Force Majeure

Ade Mitchell













SHARHABIL AHMED The King Of Sudanese Jazz (Habibi Funk LP)

DAVID BOWIE Metrobolist (Parlophone LP)

BUDOS BAND Long In The Tooth (Daptone LP)

CHEAP TRICK Out To Get You! Live 1977 (Legacy LP)

CHICANO BATMAN Invisible People (ATO LP)  

PASCAL COMELADE Sentimientos (Etats-Unis LP)

ELVIS COSTELLO Hey Clockface (Concord LP)

DAMNED Rockfield Files (Spinefarm LP)

NAPOLEAN DEMPS Norma Jean (Daptone 45)

DU-RITES A Funky Bad Time (Old Maid LP)  

MORT GARSON Music From Patch Cord Productions (Sacred Bones LP)

GILBERTO GIL With Os Mutantes (Audio Clarity LP)

A GIRL CALLED EDDY Been Around (Elefant LP)

GROUPIES Primitive (Beat Rocket LP) 

HELIOCENTRICS Telemetric Sounds (Madlib Invazion LP)

IVEYS Maybe Tomorrow (Audio Clarity LP)

KENNELMUS Folkstone Prism (Modern Harmonic LP)

KINKS Glenhenry Winners (Mississippi LP)

BARABARA LYNN The Atlantic Years 1968-1973 (Run Out Groove LP)

ROD McKUEN Beatsville (Modern Harmonic LP)

MONOPHONICS It’s Only Us (Colemine LP)


SLADE Cum On Feel The Hitz (BMG LP)

STRIKE UNDER Immediate Action (Wax Trax LP)

SUN RA A Fireside Chat With Lucifer (Modern Harmonic LP)

SCOTT WALKER Songs From His T.V. Series (Pleasure For Music LP)

WILD CHERRIES I’m The Sea (Just Add Water 45)

VARIOUS Beach Blvd (Radiation LP)

VARIOUS Behind The Dykes: Beat, Blues And Psychedelic Nuggets From The Lowlands 1964-1972 (Music On Vinyl LP)

VARIOUS Cleveland Confidential (Superior Viaduct LP)

VARIOUS The Land Of Sensations & Delights: The Psych Pop Sounds Of White Whale Records 1965-1970 (Craft LP)

Sean Rowader

Here are my favorite releases from 2020:

1. Dorian Electra –  My Agenda (Electronic / Futurepop) [Digitally Self-Released]

-Dive into the Sea of Electra, drown in jewelry and accessories before growing digital gills that deliver oxygen to the most neglected recesses of your being.  Abrasive, unapologetic, kind, loving, and inventive.   

Favorite track: My Agenda (ft. Village People, Pussy Riot)

2. Channel Tres –  i can’t go outside (Hip Hop / Detroit Techno) [Digital Release on GODMODE]

-Somewhere between Hip Hop and House, Channel Tres is on a couch, in a plane, in the sky.  How can something be so fire yet so chilled out?  

Favorite track: fuego (ft. Tyler, The Creator)

3. Yin Yin –  The Rabbit That Hunts Tigers (Funk / Psychedelic) [LP on Les Disques Bongo Joe]

-Nose-riding a 16 foot surfboard in the lotus flower stance, meditating on the crest of a wave that never crashes.  Time isn’t a straight line, it’s a fundamental element of limitless dimensions.

Favorite track: One-Inch Punch

4. Horse Lords –  The Common Task (Krautrock / Avante-Garde) [LP on Northern Spy]

-Carl Linveld said it best, “Horse Lords are like using a fidget spinner to map out a migraine aura.  I mean that in the best way possible.” 

Favorite track: Fanfare for Effective Freedom

5. Kid Cudi –   Man on the Moon III: The Chosen (Hip Hop / Neo-Psych) [LP on Wicked Awesome]

-Triumphantly, Scott Mescudi completes the trilogy he started 11 years ago.  Cudi voyages into new territory and production while retaining all his unique idiosyncrasies that made him so likeable in the first place.  This is like joyriding through your own neural pathways.

Favorite Track: Lovin’ Me (ft. Phoebe Bridgers)   

6. CB Radio Gorgeous –  EP (Punk / Hardcore) [7-inch on Thrilling Living]

-Fast and frenzied, glamorous and grimey, high on energy and low on fluff, and always over too soon.  The first band I would see live when shows can return. 

Favorite track: The Devil  

7. Foxy Shazam –  Burn (Glam-Rock / Hard-Rock) [LP on EEEOOOAH]

-If there was ever a year that needed Foxy’s comeback the most, it was this one.  A true test of what it means to be uplifting, undeniable, and unstoppable.  A national treasure of Smithsonian magnitude.     

Favorite track: Into the Wild

8. Yves Tumor –  Heaven to a Tortured Mind (Psych-Soul / Art-Pop) [LP on Warp]

-When I was laid up in hospital with a shattered ankle and a staph infection, isolated from my people, and disoriented from 3 surgeries worth of anesthesia, it was this album that I found most comfort in.  Thank you Yves.    

Favorite track: Gospel for a New Century

9. Luke Schneider –  Altar of Harmony (Ambient / Lap Steel) [LP on Third Man]

-A truly beautiful, honest, meditative, and mind blowing experience from one of the most legendary lap steel guitarists of our time.  This is what happens when a humble session musician finally gets the spotlight.  Prepare to catch your own jaw on its way to the floor. 

Favorite track: somnificus 

10. 100 Gecs –  1000 Gecs and the Tree of Clues (Hyperpop / Comp) [LP on Dog Show]

-Never did I think I’d be penning a remix album on my AOTY list, but here we are.  Lots of different genres, collaborators, and styles cohesively come together.    

Favorite track: gecgecgec (ft. Lil West, Tony Velour)

Honorable Mentions:

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – K.G.

Osees – Protean Threat

Idles – Ultra Mono

Hayley Williams – Petals for Armor

Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets to my Downfall

Run The Jewels – RTJ4

Ho99o9 – Blurr

Dogleg – Melee

Thundercat – It is what it is

Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts V

Kip McCabe

Kip’s “some things I liked in 2020”

Budos Band “Long in the Tooth”

Bill Callahan/Bonnie Prince Billie covers series

Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra “Dimensional Stardust”

Run The Jewels “RTJ4”

Idles “Ultra Mono”

Hum “Inlet”

Jeff Parker “Suite for Max Brown”

Tyler Lopez

Paysage D’Hiver – Im Wald [Kunsthall]

Other Favorites
DJ Akoza – Control Theory [Doom Shop]
Kjostad – Extinctionist [Chondritic Sound]
Beau Wanzer – Busted & Bamboozled [Ophism] “have you ever eaten tater tots from Skylark?…”
Of Feather & Bone – Sulfuric Disintegration [Profound Lore]
Paysage D’hiver – Im Traum (along w/ the other 4 singles released this year.) [Kunsthall]
Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri – Una Presencia En La Brisa [A Strangely Isolated Place]
THX1312 – Intentionally Decapitated Police Officer [Deathbomb]
THX1312 – This Speedcore Kills Fascists [MOBCORE CHICAGO]
Guilt Attendant – Suburban Scum [Hospital]
Michael Vallera – Window In [Denovali]
King Von – Welcome to O’Block [Empire]
Internal Rot – Grieving Birth [Iron Lung]
Old Tower – The Last Eldolon [Profound Lore]
Nonlocal Forecast – Holographic Universe(s?)! [Hausu Mountain]
Vatican Shadow – Persian Pillars Of The Gasoline Era [20 Buck Spin]
Dead C – Unknowns [Ba Da Bing!]
TrippJones x SpaceGhostPurrp x Loko Los – Gladiator Season, Vol. 2 [self]
Bing & Ruth – Species [4AD]
Container – Scramblers [Alter]
DJ Speedsick – Blood Mixed With Shit Mixed With Blood [Psychic Liberation]
Turia – Degen Van Licht [Eisenwald]
Undergang – Aldrig i livet [Me Saco Un Ojo]
Undeath – Lesions of a Different Kind [Prosthetic]
Lamp of Murmuur – Heir Of Ecliptical Romance [Death Kvlt]
William Basinski – Lamentations [Temporary Residence Limited]
Temple Nightside – Pillars of Damnation [Iron Bonehead]
Autechre – Sign [Warp]
Destruct – Echoes Of Life [Grave Mistake]
Vomir – Quarantine A-OK [Deathbed Tapes]
Microphones – Microphones In 2020 [P.W. Elvrum & Sun, Ltd.]
Ike Release – Personality Fragments [Episodes]

Bryan Smith

Bought and enjoyed in 2020

Jeff Parker : Suite for Max Brown
Cryptic Shift : Visitation from Enceladus
Daniel Avery & Mossimo Cortini : Illusion of Time
X – Alphabetland
Malokarpatan – Krupinske Ohne
Coriky – Coriky
Songhoy Blues – Optimisme
Sweven – The Eternal Resonance
Havukruunu – Uinuos Syomein Sota
Bedsore – Hypnagogic Hallucinations

Miles Davis – Double Image
Bill Evans – Some Other Time (The Lost Session From The Black Forest)
Lee Morgan – The Cooker
J* & K* – Stonebone
Various – Black Riot (Early Jungle, Rave And Hardcore)
Flaming Tunes – Flaming Tunes
Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth 2LP

Budget bin (re)discoveries:
Urban Verbs – Urban Verbs (1980)
Belfegore – Belfegore (1984)
Dave Edmunds – Repeat When Necessary (1979)
cheap classical CDs!

Friends of the store

Emily Elhaj (Reckless alum)


Lomelda – Hannah (Double Double Whammy)

SAULT – Untitled (Black Is) (Forever Living Originals)

Cindy Lee – What’s Tonight To Eternity (W. 25th)

Lambchop – TRIP (Merge)

Kacey Johansing – No Better Time (Night Bloom)

Oliver Coates – skins n slime (RVNG Intl)

Ana Roxanne – Because of a Flower (Kranky)

Tasha “But There’s Still The Moon” (Father/Daughter)

Deerhoof – Future Teenage Cave Artists (Joyful Noise)

TOPS – I Feel Alive (Musique)

U.S. Girls – Heavy Light (4AD)

Sofia Bolt – Share a Glass (self)

Chris Cohen “Physical Address” (Mexican Summer)

Gum Country – Somewhere (self)

Jeff Parker – Suite for Max Brown (Int’l Anthem)

Lucinda Williams – Good Souls Better Angels – (Highway 20/Thirty Tigers)

The Innocence Mission – See You Tomorrow (Thérèse Records)

Keeley Forsyth – Debris (The Leaf Label)

Sam Burton – I Can Go With You (Tompkins Square)

Jeremy Cunningham – The Weather Up There (Northern Spy)

Sweven – The Eternal Resonance (Ván)

Dean Blunt – Roaches 2012-2019 (World Music)

Alabaster dePlume – To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 (Int’l Anthem)

Aretha Franklin – Just For Music (JFM)

Wire – Hive Mind (pinkflag)

Damar Davids – Bronze (Maximum Exposure)

Valentina Goncharova – Recordings 1987-1991, Vol. 1 (Shukai)

Jeremiah Meece – Suffering (self)

MJ Guider – Sour Cherry Bell (Kranky)

Michael Vallera – Window In (Denovali)

Equip – “Airship Theme (Fast Air Travel)” (self)

Peel Dream Magazine –  Agitprop Alterna / Moral Panics (Slumberland)

Cut Worms – Nobody Lives Here Anymore (Jagjaguwar)

Gregor – Destiny (Chapter Music)

Country Westerns s/t (Fat Possum)

Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad – Run This Town OST (Linear Labs)

Ohbliv – Spirit Medicine B Sides (694479 Records DK)

Yebba – Distance (RCA)

Mary Lattimore & Paul Sukeena – “Dreaming of the Kelly Pool”


Solomon Ilori – African High Life (Alternative Fox)

Kraftwerk catalog (Parlophone)

Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks – Orange Crate Art (Omnivore) 

Sun Ra – Haverford College 1980 Solo Piano (Sun Ra)

Ceramic Hello – The Absence of A Canary (Ice Machine)

PJ Harvey – Dry (Too Pure)

Neil Young – Homegrown (Silver Bow)

Stephen Malinder – Pow Wow (Self)

Jonathan Richman – I, Jonathan (Craft)

Duval Timothy – Brown Loop (Carrying Colour)

Robert Wyatt – His Greatest Misses (Domino)

The London Suede (Demon Records)

Christie Coyle (Redeye Distribution)

HAIM – Women In Music Pt. III – Columbia  

Arca – KiCk i – XL

Grimes – Miss Anthropocene – 4AD

Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind – Warp

Fleet Foxes – Shore – ANTI-

NOTHING – The Great Dismal – Relapse

Tame Impala – The Slow Rush – Interscope

Arca – @@@@@ – XL

Rose City Band – Summerlong – Thrill Jockey

Adrianne Lenker – songs – 4AD 

The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You – Astralwerks 

Dave Martin (Captured Tracks)

New Records

Thurston Moore – By the Fire – Daydream Library 

Kawaguchi Masami NRS & Kryssi Battalene – S/T – C/Site

Facs – Void Moments – Trouble in Mind

Lavender Flu – Barbarian Dust / Tomorrow Cleaners – In The Red / Meds

The Silence / Masaki Batoh – Electric Meditations / Smile, Jesus Loves YOU!- Drag City

Magik Markers – 2020 – Drag City

David Nance – Staunch Honey – Trouble In Mind

Dead C – Unknowns – Ba Da Bing!

Don Howland – Endgame – In The Red

Lewsberg – In This House – 12XU

Patois Counselors – The Optimal Seat – Ever/Never

E – Complications – Silver Rocket

Bill Nace – Both – Drag City

Rubber Blanket – Our Album – Spacecase

Gunn-Truscinski Duo – Soundkeeper – Three Lobed

Chubby & the Gang – Speed Kills – Static Shock

Lifeguard – Dive – self released

Cindy – Free Advice – Paisley Shirt/Mt. St. Mtn / Tough Love

75 Dollar Bill – Live at Tubby’s – Grapefruit

Raspberry Bulbs – Before The Age of Mirrors – Relapse

Bailterspace – Concret – Self Released

The Bats – Foothills – Flying Nun

Heavy Discipline – S/T – Painkiller

Chloe Alison Escott – Stars Under Contract – Chapter Music

Brain Drugs – S/T – Self Released


Divine Horsemen – Live 1985-1987 – Feeding Tube 

Vertical Slit – Live at Browns – Siltbreeze

L Seven – Unreleased, Studio and Live – Third Man

Stooges – Live At Goose Lake August 8th, 1970 – Third Man

White Heaven – Out – Black Editions

Pylon – Box – New West

Jimi Hendrix – Live in Maui – Experience Hendrix

A Burning Bus – S/T – In The Red

Endless Boogie – The Gathered and Scattered Vol. 1-4 – No Quarter

Faith – Live at CBGB’s – Outer Battery

UFO – Live in Youngstown – Chrysalis 

V/A – We Were Living in Cincinnati – Hozac

V/A – Jobcentre Rejects Vols 3 & 4 – On the Dole

Def Leppard – The Early Years 1979-1981 UMC

Hawkwind – At the BBC – Parlaphone

Redd Kross – Phaseshifter / Show World – Third Man

Reigning Sound – Home For Orphans – Merge 

Pole – 1-3 – Mute

Musica Transonic – S/T – Black Editions

Sonny Vincent – Diamond Distance & Liquid Fury – Hozac

Whirlywilrd – Complete Discography – Hozac

Eddie Criss Group – Undertaker – Hozac

Toho Sara – S/T – Black Editions

Velvet Underground – Live at the 2nd Fret

United Mutation – Dark Self Image – Radio Raheem

Singles / EPs

Home Blitz – All Through the Year – Sophomore Lounge

ISS – Too Punk For Heavy Metal – Total Punk

Native Cats – Two Creation Myths – Rough Skies

Limousine Beach – Stealin’ Wine + 2 – Tee Pee 

Rat-Nip – A Comfortable Chair – Song Book Records

Matt Jencik – Mind Out of Joint / 1969 in Pittsburgh – Self released

Chris Brokaw – Heaven – Self Released

Speed Plans – Field of Vision – Self Released

Public Acid – Condemnation – Beach Impediment

Yo La Tengo – Sleepless Night – Matador

Invalid – Demo – Cruel Noise 

Walkin’ Bulldog – Powerglide Vol. 1 & 2 – Self Released

Big Joanie – Cranes in the Sky b/w It’s You – Third Man

White Stains – Demo – Cruel Noise

Peace Talks – A Lasting Peace – Cruel Noise

Andy Larsen (Matador Direct)

New albums

M. Takara and Carla Boregas – Linha D’Água (El Rocha Records)

Valentina Magaletti, Marlene Ribeiro – Due Matte (Horn of Plenty)

Kübler Ross – Kübler Ross (Akashic Records)

Sarah Davachi – Cantus, Descant (Late Music)

Alan Braufman – The Fire Still Burns (Valley of Search)

Vladislav Delay – 500 Push-Up (feat Sly and Robbie) (Sub Rosa)

Beatrice Dillon – Workaround (Pan)

Ambrose Akinsmusire – on the tender spot of every calloused moment (Blue Note Records)

Lewsberg – In This House (12XU)

Cindy Lee – What’s Tonight To Eternity (W.25th)

Special Interest – The Passion Of (Night School/Thrilling Living)

Crazy Doberman – Illusory Expansion (Astral Spirits)

Nailah Hunter – Spells (Leaving Records)

CS + Kreme – Snoopy (Trilogy Tapes)

EPs, singles, collections, reissues, etc

Don Cherry – Om Shanti Om (Black Sweat Records)

Charles Curtis – Performances and Recordings 1998-2018 (Saltern)

Nkisi – Initiation (Initiation)

Neutrals – Personal Computing (Slumberland Records)

Xylitol – I’m Pretty Sure I Would Know If Reality Were Fundamentally Different Than I Perceived It To Be (Thrilling Living)

Alvin Lucier – String Noise (Black Truffle)

Coil – Musick To Play In The Dark (Dais)

Harry Pussy – Superstar (Palilalia)

Panasonic – Remix EP (Sahko Recordings)

Marika Politissa – All Parts Dark (Olvido Records)

Flaming Tunes – Flaming Tunes (Superior Viaduct)

Home Blitz – All Through The Year (Sophomore Lounge)

Time Cow – Time Cow’s Live Prog Dancehall From Home (Boomkat Editions)

Brett Grossman: former employee/ current staff veterinarian

Thirty-Nine Albums in Twenty-Twenty I listened to repeatedly:

Adrianne Lenker “Songs” (4ad)

Tristan Perich “Drift Multiply” (New Amsterdam)

Beatriz Ferreyra “Echos+” (Room40)

Dirty Projectors “5EPs” (Domino)

R.A.P. Ferreira and The Jefferson Park Boys “Purple Moonlight Pages” (Ruby Yacht)

White Poppy “Paradise Gardens” / “Sound Meditations 2” (Not Not Fun Records)

Cindy Lee “What’s tonight to Eternity” (W. 25th)

Laura Marling “Song for Our Daughter” (Chrysalis/ Partisan)

KMRU “Peel” (Editions Mego)

Fiona Apple “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” (Epic/ Clean Slate)

Joanne Robertson “Painting Stupid Girls” (World Music)

Angel Olsen “Whole New Mess” (Jagjaguwar)

Honey Radar “Sing the Snow away” (Chunklet Industries)

Yves Jarvis “Sundry Rock Song Stock” (Flemish Eye)

Jockstrap “Wick City” (Warp)

Jay Electronica “A Written Testimony” (Roc Nation)

Dehd “Flowers of Devotion” (Fire Talk)

Carl Stone “Stolen Car” (Unseen Worlds)

Sarah Davachi “Gathers” (Boomkat Editions), “Cantus, Descant” (Late Music)

Field Works “Ultrasonic” (Temporary Residence Limited)

Tara Clerkin Trio “Tara Clerkin Trio” (Laura Lies In)

Loving “If I am only My Thoughts” (Last Gang Records, Inc.)

Model Home “One Year” (Disciples)

William Basinski “Lamentations” (Temporary Residence Limited)

Liv.e “Couldn’t wait to tell you…” (In Real Life Music Publishing LLC)

Julianna Barwick “Healing is a Miracle” (Ninja Tune)

Lucrecia Dalt “No Era Solida” (Rvng Intl.)

Isabella, Jasper, and Simon Fisher Turner “Savage Songs of Brutality and Food” (Soleilmoon)

Otta “Songbook” (BOKKLE PIAS)

Military Genius “Deep Web” (Unheard of Hope)

Aki Onda “Nam June’s Spirit Was Speaking To Me” (Recital)

Ulla “Tumbling towards a well” (Experiences Ltd)

Jyoti “Mama, you can bet!” (SomeothaShip Connect)

No Home “Fucking  Hell”  (Hungry and Undervalued)

Markus Floats “Third Album” (Constellation)

Ian William Craig “Red Sun Through Smoke” (130701)

Lomelda “Hannah” (Double Double Whammy)

Built to Spill “Built to Spill plays the songs of Daniel Johnston”  (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)

Katie Gately “Loom” (Houndstooth)


Philip Corner “Chord: B Major/ Bb Minor 9 / Gong! (Transcription for Low Strings) (Unseen Worlds)

Imaginary Softwoods “Annual Flowers in Color” (Amethyst Sunset)

Lol Coxhill and Morgan-Fisher “Slow Music” (Aguirre)

Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers “Heroin” (Keplar)

Craig Kupka “Crystals” (Smithsonian Folkways)

Julia Reidy “Vanish” (Editions Mego)

Roedelius “Tape Archive Essense 1973-1978)” (Bureau B)  

The The “See Without Being Seen” (Cinéola)

Songs not on records or on records I like less

Vague Imaginaires “Mais qu’est-ce Que” 

Autechre “Esle 0”

Circa 2000 “The Echoing Green”

Pure X “Middle America”

Divino Niño”Made up My Mind”

Helena Deland “Seven Hours”

Bianca Scout, j.b. Glazer, Cameron Molloy, Harald Smart, Jacob Samuel, Elena Isolini “Dark Lore Bingo”

Sparkle Division “Sparkle on Sad Sister Mother Queen/ No  Exit”

Shit and Shine “Cream Tee”

Teleplasmiste “A Goodly Company”

Sharhabi Ahmed “Kamar Dawa” 

Ty Segall/ Cory Hanson “She’s a Beam”

Tricky “Vietnam”

Y La Bamba “Mariposa De Coalcomán”

Zia + Oscar Jan Hoogland “Trip The Light  Fantastic”

Lemon Twigs “Live in Favor of Tomorrow” 

CEL “Pink Korridor”

Aki Tsuyuko “Above another Lake”

Princess Nokia “Sunday Best”

MinaeMinae “Algenüberzug”  


Posted on

Reckless Records 2019 Employee Best of Lists

Dylan Sowle
BEST OF 2019

Tim Hecker – Anoyo (Kranky)
Steve Hauschildt – Nonlin (Ghostly International)
Better Oblivion Community Center – Better Oblivion Community Center (Dead Oceans)
Mort Garson – Mother Earth’s Plantasia [reissue] (Sacred Bones)
Equip – Cursebreaker X (100% Electronica)
Mike Krol – Power Chords (Merge)
Andrew W.K. – The Wolf [first time on vinyl] (Enjoy The Ride)
Adventure Time: The Complete Series Soundtrack (Mondo)
Amanda Palmer – There Will Be No Intermission (8ft. Records)
Alessandro Cortini – Volume Massimo (Mute)


Ladytron – Ladytron (Ladytron Music)
Iggy Pop – Free (Loma Vista)
The Flaming Lips – King’s Mouth (Warner Records)
LCD Soundsystem – Electric Lady Sessions (DFA)
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow (Jagjaguwar)
Flying Lotus – Flamagra (Warp)
Thom Yorke – Anima (XL Recordings)
King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard – Infest The Rats’ Nest (Flightless)
Hide – Hell Is Here (Dais Records)
Shrek: Music From The Original Motion Picture [first time on vinyl] (Geffen)

Philip Cerza
Jaime // Brittany Howard
All Mirrors // Angel Olsen
Anak Ko // Jay Som
The Center Won’t Hold // Sleater-Kinney
Igor // Tyler The Creator
Ilana (The Creator) // Mdou Moctar
In League With Dragons // The Mountain Goats
LEGACY! LEGACY! // Jamila Woods
Life Metal // SUNN O)))
Miss Universe // Nilüfer Yanya
No Holiday // The Muffs
Norman Fucking Rockwell // Lana Del Rey
On The Line // Jenny Lewis
Pony // Orville Peck
Purple Mountains // Purple Mountains
Remind Me Tomorrow // Sharon Van Etten
Sasami // Sasami
Sound & Fury // Sturgill Simpson
Thrashing Thru The Passion // The Hold Steady
Two Hands // Big Thief
When I Get Home // Solange

J.D. Reager
2019: My Year

New records
1. Toy Trucks Rockets Bells & Poetry lp
Ferocious garage rock/punk rock with big power pop hooks from Memphis, TN.  OG/ex-Reigning Sound.
2. Arthhur Lost In The Walled City cassette
Frenetic and dance-y rock music from Chicago with actual heart.  Amazing live band – so good, in fact, I stole them for myself (very politely). 
3.  Tape Deck One False Step cassette
Weird pop music from Memphis.  They Might Be Giants meets Randy Newman played by a metal band.  So good, in fact, I put it out myself (not as politely).
4.  Heels Good People Even Do Bad Things cd
Sincere and ragged folk-punk duo from Memphis.
5. Tim Heidecker What The Brokenhearted Do lp
Break-up album parody that hits/cuts on numerous fronts.

Old records
1. John Linnell State Songs lp
Re-issue of a wildly underappreciated solo album by the accordion-playing John from They Might be Giants previously only out on cd.  Features a haunting and charmingly out of tune carousel organ and songs so infectious, you may consider actually visiting Utah or Montana. 
2. Bruce Springstone Live at Bedrock 12” single
Sweet, blue collar rock jam that really evokes a certain place and time + a killer sax solo. Dig of the year candidate.
3. In-store plays
In addition to my usual suspects, I got into big Ike & Tina Turner, Dave Clark Five, McCartney Ram album, “Strange” Al Yankovic, Rufus Thomas, the Dillards, The Music Man soundtrack, and Leonard Nimoy kicks this year. 

Live shows
Jenny Slate @ the Vic, Bob Mould @ Metro, Comedy Bang Bang @ Chicago Theater, Riot Fest (Jawbreaker/Descendents/B-52s/Guided By Voices), Ben Ricketts/Heels/Rosey @ Hi-Tone (Memphis)

Neighborhood eats
1. Mixteco fish taco lunch w/ habanero salsa
2. IDOF chicken shawarma plate
3. Bop N Grill bulkogi philly egg roll

Angela Avila
Best of 2019 
(In No Particular Order)
Affront – Demo
TR/ST – The Destroyer-1
Slant – Vain Attempt 7” 
Jackal – EP 7” 
DJ N***a Fox – Cartas Na Manga
Skepta – Ignorance Is Bliss
Felicia Atkinson – The Flower and The Vessel
Sunami – Demo
Hannah Diamond – Reflections
DJ Nate – Take Off Mode
Game – No One Wins
Roy Garrett & Man Parrish – Hot Rod To Hell
Psychos – One Voice
Megan Thee Stallion – Fever
Wild Side – Who The Hell Is Wild Side?
Kedr Livanskiy. – Your Need
Lil Moss – TITU
Eartheater – Trinity
Qual – Cyber Care EP
Firewalker – The Roll Call 7”
Caroline Polachek – Pang
Sandy Alex G. – House of Sugar

Angela – Fantasy 12”
Dolly Mixture – Demonstration Tapes
The COMES – No Side
Lhasa – Acetabularia/ Acetatechno
Articles of Faith 7”s

Steven Rahman
In no particular order, these are things I liked from this year’s release slate:

Adam Deitch Quartet – Egyptian Secrets
Ezra Collective – You Can’t Steal My Joy
Benny the Butcher – The Plugs I Met
Injury Reserve – Injury Reserve
Dreamville – Revenge of the Dreamers 3
Da Baby – Baby on Baby
YBN Cordae – Lost Boy
Chance the Rapper – Big Day
Future Teens – Breakup Season
Phum Viphruit – Bangkok Balter Club
Moonchild – Little Ghost
Tank & the Bangas – Green Balloon
Clear Soul Forces – Still
21 Savage – I Am > I Was
Little Brother – May the Lord Watch
RWSKY – Drop It Low For Jesus

Gary Errera
Darkthrone – Old Star
Madonna – Madame X
Iggy Pop – Free
Kedr Livanskiy – Your Need
Alcest – Spiritual Instinct
Equip – Cursebreaker X
Drab Majesty – Modern Mirror
Boy Harsher – Careful
Moodymann – SINNER
Fire-Toolz – Field Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace)

BEST OF 2019

CURT BOETTCHER & FRIENDS Looking For The Sun (High Moon LP)
CARDIGANS First Band On The Moon (Universal LP)
END RESULT The Seven Year Locust Returns (Alonas Dream LP)
THE FALL Bend Sinister / The Domesday Pay-Off Triad Plus! (Beggars Banquet 2LP)
ARETHA FRANKLIN Amazing Grace Documentary
ARETHA FRANKLIN Songs Of Faith: Aretha Gospel (Geffen LP)
DURAND JONES & THE INDICATIONS American Love Call (Dead Oceans LP)
DAMON LOCKS BLACK MONUMENT ENSEMBLE Where Future Unfolds (International Anthem LP)
PETER PERRETT Humanworld (Domino LP)
JESSICA PRATT Quiet Signs (Mexican Summer LP)
MAMMAN SANI La Musique Electronique Du Niger LP (Sahel Sounds)
RAYMOND SCOTT The Jingle Workshop 2LP (Modern Harmonic)
STEREOLAB Mars Audiac Quintet (Elektra 2LP)
VANISHING TWIN The Age of Immunology (Fire LP)
CAETANO VELOSO Caetano Veloso (Third Man LP)
JESSY WILSON Phase (May 3rd LP)
VARIOUS All The Young Droogs (RPM 3CD)

Dillon Guelich 
Titanic Rising – Weyes Blood
Free – Iggy Pop
Pinata – Freddie Gibbs and Madlib
Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains
Infest the Rats Nest – King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
Ventura – Anderson Paak
Lookout Low – Twin Peaks
Fly or Die II: Bird Dogs of Paradise – Jaimie Branch
Where Future Unfolds – Damon Locks/Black Monument Ensemble
Stomping off from Greenwood – Greg Ward’s Rogue Parade
Waning Days of Babylon – Sci-fi Sleep Cycles (ANGUS)
Forward – Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble
Lost in the Walled City – Arthhur (honorable 2018 mention)
Crushing – Julia Jacklin

     My apologies to all of the albums I didn’t hear or list

Luke Dahlgren
— a dozen great new albums from the Reckless shelves —
Big Thief – U.F.O.F. (4AD) folk
Delroy Edwards – Wagon Wheels (L.I.E.S.) house
Giant Swan – Giant Swan (Keck) techno
Laurel Halo [mix] – DJ-Kicks (!K7) techno / experimental
Mid-Air Thief – Crumbling (Top Shelf) art pop / psych-folk
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs (Mexican Summer) folk
Junius Paul – Ism (International Anthem) jazz
Ana Roxanne – ~~~ (Leaving) ambient / experimental
Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology (Fire) art pop / electronic
v/a – CR015 (Chicago Research) industrial / experimental / post-punk
v/a – Eminent Domain (L.I.E.S.) industrial / techno / noise
v/a – Sunny Side Up (Brownswood) jazz

— plus: some reissued materials from this year —
Sachiko Kanenobu – Misora (Light in the Attic) folk
Konk – The Magic Force of Konk: 1981-1988 (Futurismo) funk-punk / no wave
Protomartyr – No Passion All Technique (Domino) post-punk
Arthur Russell – Iowa Dream (Audika) art pop / folk
Laurie Spiegel – The Expanding Universe & Unseen Worlds (Unseen Worlds) ambient / experimental
Jim Sullivan – If the Evening Were Dawn (Light in the Attic) folk
Victrola – Born From the Water: Demos 1983-1985 (Dark Entries) darkwave
v/a – The World of Keith Haring: Influences + Connections (Soul Jazz) disco / electro / punk

— also: check out these great Bandcamp releases —
AceMo – All My Life house
Afrikan Sciences – Centered house / experimental
Dan Derks – Nested & Phylum ambient / experimental
Flesh of the Stars – Mercy doom metal
MoMA Ready – The NYC Dance Project house

Lilly Cozzens
Cate le Bon – Reward
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
Andrew Bird – My Finest Work Yet
Grün Wasser – Not Ok With Things
Lana del Ray – NFR!
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
Dehd – Water
Aldous Harding – Designer
Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
Bill Callahan : Shepard in a Sheepskin Vest
Beau Wanzer – Lies121 EP
Panther Modern – Los Angeles 2020 EP
Luke Temple – Taking Chances (single)

James Marlon Magas 
Favorite 2019 releases
Let’s face it, 2019 has been a trying one for many. Music is one thing that helps unify us, give us strength to endure, resist and if we’re lucky, even thrive. Let music give us power. The surface may be gooey but the underground is alive and well.

David Shettler – Oblivian cassette (Trees USA)
DJ Nigga Fox – Cartas Na Manga 2×12” (Principe)
DJ Fett Burger & Speckgurtel – Red Scorpions 2LP (Clone Royal Oak)
Matt Jencik – Dream Character LP (Hands In the Dark)
Beau Wanzer – BW011 12” (Brew)
Roy Garrett & Man Parrish – Hot Rod to Hell LP (Dark Entries)
Patrick Cowley – Mechanical Fantasy Box LP (Dark Entries)
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana LP (RCA/Keep Cool)
Heart of the Ghost – Heart of the Ghost II LP (Dagoretti)
Robert Ashley – Private Parts LP (Lovely Music) reissue
Sun City Girls – Dawn of the Devi LP (Abduction)
Brett Naucke – Electronic Hypnosis Program 12” (Make Noise)
Jason Letkiewicz – The Reflecting Pool LP (Into the Light)
Mort Garson – Plantasia LP (Sacred Bones)
Pauline Oliveros – Reverberations 1 2LP (Important)
Solange – When I Get Home LP (Columbia)
Yutaka Hirose – Nova + 4 2LP (WRWTFWW)
Bill Orcutt – Odds Against Tomorrow LP (Palilalia)
Various Artists – Plastic Dance 2 LP (Cache Cache)
Nate Young – Volume 3: Dance of the Weeping Babe 12” (Lower Floor Music)
Good Fuck – Cherry Tree LP (Goof Duck)
DJ Overdose – Hang In There 12” (Curtis Electronix)
Mukqs – Any% cassette (Doom Trip)
ADULT. – Subsurface / Coming Apart 12” (Dais)
HIDE – Hell Is Here LP (Dais)
Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble – Where Future Unfolds LP (Outernational Conspiracy)
Incapacitants – Stupid Is Stupid 4LP box (Hospital Productions)
Los Piranas – Historia Natural LP (Glitterbeat)
Wobbly – Monitress CD/cassette (Hausu Mountain)
Teeth Agency – Johnny Mermaid 7” (Teeth Agency)
Wolfmanhattan Project – Blue Gene Stew LP (In the Red)
Madteo – Dropped Out Sunshine LP (DDS)
Steve Hauschildt – Nonlin LP (Ghostly International)
Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race LP (Century Media)

Things that happened:
Fire_Toolz live at Reckless Records on Record Store Day 2019
Sunn O))) at Rockefeller Chapel
Plantasia live at Garfield Park Conservatory (full disclosure: I was a participant)
Wobbly live at Reckless Records a coupla days ago
Flying Luttenbachers live at Co-Prosperity sphere

Jake Lingan
(Sandy) Alex G- “House of Sugar” (Domino)
Aphex Twin- “Peel Session 2” (Warp)
Satoshi Ashikawa- “Still Way (Wave Novation 2)” reissue (WRWTFWW)
Robert Ashley- “Automatic Writing”  & “Private Parts” reissues (Lovely Music)
Felicia Atkinson- “The Shelter And The Vessel” (Shelter Press)
Autechre Live (Warp)
Ka Baird- “Respires” (RVNG INTL)
Billington/ Shippy/ Wyche- “The Eventual Warp Cat” (No Index)
Blood Orange- “Cupid’s Pulse” (Domino)
Blue Gene Tyranny- “Out Of The Blue” reissue (Unseen Worlds)
Blue Gene Tyranny & Peter Gordon- “Trust In Rock” (Unseen Worlds)
Angel Bat Dawid- “The Orcale” (International Anthem)
Dave Dunno- “Bonefire” (self)
Equip- “Cursebreaker X” (100% Electronica)
Euglossine- Coriolis (Hausu Mountain)
Fire-toolZ- “Whisper” (Orange Milk)
Floating Points- “Crush” (Ninja Tune)
M Geddes Gengras- “I Am The Last of That Green and Warm-Hued World (Hausu Mountain)
Gerrit Hatcher- “Burnt Pan Rolling” (Kettle Hole)
Toshifumi Hinata- “Broken Belief” (Music From Memory)
Yutaka Hirose- “Nova +4” (WRWTFWW)
Frank Hurricane and the Hurricanes Of Love- “Life Is Spiritual” (Feeding Tube)
Iona Fortune- “Tao Of I Vol. 2” (Ecstatic)
Peter Ivers- “Becoming Peter Ivers” (RVNG)
Matt Jencik- “Dream Character” (Hands In The Dark)
JPEGMAFIA- “All My Heroes Are Cornballs” (EQT)
KHGB- “KHGB” (No Index)
KVL- “Volume 1” (Astral Spirits)
Lambchop- “This (Is What I Wanted To Tell You)” (Merge)
Craig Leon- “Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 2: The Canon” (RVNG INTL)
Merzbow- “Pulse Demon” reissue (Relapse)
MUKQS- “SD Biomix”  (Orange Milk)
Musica Esporadica- “Musica Esporadica” reissue (Music From Memory)
Brett Naucke- “Electronic Hypnosis Program” (Make Noise)
Nonlocal Forecast- “Bubble Universe” (Hausu Mountain)
Yoshio Ojima- “Une Collection Des Chainons: Music Fro Spiral” Vol. 1 & 2 (WRWTFWW)
Purple Mountains- “Purple Mountains” (Drag City) [RIP DAVID BERMAN]
Purple Pilgrims- “Perfumed Earth” (Flying Nun)
Royal Trux- “White Stuff” (Fat Possum)
Sharkula x MUKQS- “Prune City” (Hausu Mountain)
Solange- “When I Get Home” (Columbia)
Spirits Having Fun- “Auto-Portrait” (Ramp Local)
Carl Stone- “Baroo” & Himalaya” (Unseen Worlds)
Sunn O)))- “Life Metal” & “Pyroclasts” (Southern Lord)
To Live And Shave In L.A.- “Spatters Of A Royal Sperm” (Hanson)
Two Daughters- “Recordings 1979-1981” (VoD)
Vatican Shadow- “Washington Buries Al Qaeda Leader At Sea”, “Kuwaiti Airforce” & “Pakistan Military Academy” reissues (Hospital)
Visible Cloaks, Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano- FRKWYS Vol. 15
Xosar- “The Possessor Possesses Nothing” (Bedouin)
Nilufer Yanya- “Miss Universe” (ATO)
Neil Young- “Tuscaloosa”/ “Colorado” (Reprise)
Zoviet France reissues (VoD)
ZRL- “Physics For Listeners” (Homeroom)
Various- “Midnight In Tokyo Vol. 3” (Studio Mule)
Various- “Outro Tempo II- Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1984-1996” (Music From Memory)

Zack Caputo
1: Sonic Citadel by Lightning Bolt
The legendary hyper-jazz-metal duo returned after nearly half a decade to drop their most varied & consistent effort in years. Bouncing between some of the most accessible and some of the most violent material they’ve ever put to tape, this is the kind of record that seems to be becoming more and more rare nowadays: where every single moment of the 2 LP experience is fantastic and worth your time. This is easily one of the best records in a Lightning Bolt’s catalog, a discography filled with absolutely required listening.

2: There Existed An Addiction To Blood by Clipping.
Continuing their undying pursuit of pushing the conceptual boundaries of hip-hop music,
Clipping. released this genuinely chilling and immensely well crafted look into the “horror” behind “horrorcore”. Featuring some mind-blowing and innovative production (“Run For Your Life” is a true standout, having the beat play from the passing car of a character stalking our protagonist) and relentless flows, There Existed… is truly Clipping.’s crowning achievement so far. The single “Blood Of The Fang” is my vote for song of the year.

3: Bird Box Extended by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
I know you’re already rolling your eyes because a dusty record store clerk put a seemingly ostentatious 4 LP soundtrack release on their list, but hear me out! Instead of being a stereotypical squawk fest that just repeats the trailer motif or a pale imitation of synth-heavy horror scores of yore, Reznor & Ross created a two hour masterclass in sound design and drawn out tension. Tracks like the chilling, nine minute long “Trespasser” dig deep into your psyche and establish this boxset as their own take on the source material instead of background music for a mediocre film.

4: Volume Massimo by Alessandro Cortini
Yes, it may not be a massive evolution for Cortini’s signature soundscapes, but I would argue that such an evolution isn’t entirely necessary as his sound is so uniquely his already.  Volume Massimo no doubt finds him refining and perfecting the moods and timbres teased out of his drool-worthy synth collection, adding more layers than previous solo efforts to create a collection of concoctions that are beautiful, haunting, hypnotizing, and altogether virtuosic.

5: The Talkies by Girl Band
While everyone was busy thinking Girl Band had broken up after giving us the brilliant and, I would argue, ahead of its time Holding Hands With Jamie, they were busy creating this nerve shredding collection of new tracks. Diving deeper into moods of anxiety and panic while almost completely removing any climaxes or any sort of catharsis from the tracks, The Talkies feels like a nihilistic allegory for modern times where there is no light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to get used to the darkness.

6: Magdalene by FKA Twigs
I will argue until I’m blue in the face that FKA Twigs gets nowhere near enough credit for how much they helped usher in the current era of pop & R&B music, including breaking down the barrier between the two. Magdalene, their first album in five years, is a beautiful confirmation of this fact. Furthering the experimental sound found on her previous EP, M3LL155X, but pairing it with stronger songwriting and piercingly intimate lyricism, Magdalene is a beautiful achievement that requires multiple listens and every ounce of your attention to truly unravel.

SIC Records is slowly becoming one of my favorite modern labels, thanks to the legendary hip-hop reissues they put out this year (including records from Memphis legend Blackout, Bay Area OG C-Bo, and the trailblazing DJ Screw), but tapes like HPSHAWTY’s NIGHTMARE TO REALITY show that they’re not solely focused on the past. While recalling the unnerving moods and atmospheres of classic Memphis tapes from the likes of Tommy Wright III and DJ Paul, HPSHAWTY updates the sound in a way that elevates it from simply being a carbon copy to a fantastic release that stands on its own. Their collaborative release with KEVINTHECREEP, titled MANHUNT 2 and also on SIC Records, is equally dope.

8: Highway Hypnosis by Sneaks
On their third record, Sneaks takes their minimal, post-punk-like approach and applies it to an unexpected style: trap music. The result is a beautiful & weird release that’s as hypnotic as the title suggests. The tracks unfold and evolve, bang and clash in ways that recall M.I.A. or even some of the more tame Alec Empire productions, while Sneaks’ repeated mantras and deliveries create an experience truly one of a kind. Sneaks has never stayed in one place for long musically, but if they were to stay with this sound for one more album and flesh it out a little more, I’d be very interested to see what that evolution sounds like.

9: Anima by Thom Yorke
Thom Yorke has always been an amazing songwriter, creating some of the most emotionally resonant and devastating songs of the past couple decades with Radiohead, but his solo albums have never quite scratched the same itch for me personally. This is where Anima comes in, Yorke’s best solo album to date. Working with his live performance set up instead of a more concrete studio set up, the tracks on Anima pulse with nervous energy and fantastic grooves, with Yorke always seeming to find just the right pocket for the kick, just the right melody for the vocals, just the right timbre for the synths. It is a little front loaded and tapers off slightly near the end, but the two song run of “Twist” into “Dawn Chorus” (or Side B on the 2LP release) is the best single side of any record this year. 

10: All My Heroes Are Cornballs by JPEGMAFIA
Much has been said about how JPEGMAFIA constantly referred to this album as being  “disappointing” during the press run leading up to its release and it’s easy to see where he was coming from. Turning the dial way down from the aggression on his 2018 breakout Veteran, All My Heroes… finds JPEGMAFIA exploring more of the vaporwave sound he helped shape (see Dreamcast Summer Songs, released under his moniker Devon Hendryx if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and pairing it with more of the singing and emotional beats he teased previously. While not quite hitting the same sweet spot between experimental and accessible Veteran did, which in turn made it resonate with me so strongly, it’s still nowhere near the disappointment Peggy prematurely prepared his audience for. 

Honorable Mentions:
bi/MENTAL by Le Butcherettes
Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Van Etten
The Devil You Know by The Coathangers
The Hunchback of Based God by Lil B
uknowwhatimsayin? by Danny Brown

J David Cartwright
In no particular order

Anna Roxanne – ~ ~ ~ (Leaving Records)
Dean Blunt – Zushi (self-released)
Dj Speedsick – Nothing Lasts (Bank)
Gabber Modus Operandi – HOXXXYA (SVBKVLT)
The Arno – Ways Of Perfection (Chicago Research)
AceMoMa – AceMoMa EP (Jenken Recordings)
Mutant Joe – Home Invasion Anthems (Natural Sciences)
Fire-Toolz – Field Whispers [Into The Crystal Palace] (Orange Milk)
Victrola – Born From The Water (Dark Entries)
Angel Bat Dawid – Oracle (International Anthem)
Mr. Grimm – Anxiety (Static Switch)
Monogamy/ SCLT – Monogamy/ SCLY (Reserve Matinee)
Textasy – TEXAS TERRORTECH VOL. 1 (Natural Sciences)
DJ DR-660 – Sex Music (FTP)
Kim Gordon – No Home Record (Matador)

Ben Hegy
Cate Le Bon- reward [mexican summer]
Jamila Woods- Legacy! Legacy! [jagjaguwar]
Joshua Abrams Natural Information Society- mandatory reality  
[eremite records]
Boy Harsher- careful [nude club records]
Nilufer Yanya- miss universe [ato records]
Tyler, the Creator- igor [columbia]
Angel Bat Dawid- oracle [international anthem recording company]
Solange- when i get home [columbia]
Andrew Wasylyk- paralian [athens of the north]
Dj N*gga Fox- cartas na manga [principe]
Ela Orleans- movies for ears [night school]
Equip- cursebreaker x [100% electronica]
Mega Bog- dolphine [paradise of bachelors]
Park Jiha- philos [glitterbeat]
Resavoir- resavoir [international anthem recording company]

Matt Jencik
Big Thief U.F.O.F.
Blood Incantation Hidden History of the Human Race
Blut Aus Nord Hallucinogen
J.R. Bohannon Dusk
Darkthrone Old Star
Delia Derbyshire Dreams reissue
Suzanne Doucet reissues
FACS  Lifelike
Fennesz Agora
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Bandana
Inoyama land Commissions 1977-2000
Itasca Spring
JAB Erge Herbe
Clarice Jensen Drone Studies
Leviathan Verrater 4LP
Kedr Livanskiy Your Need
Damon Locks & Black Monument Ensemble Where Future Unfolds
Kali Malone Sacrificial Code
Fumio Miyashita Wave: Sounds of the Universe
Kinloch Nelson Partly on Time: Recordings 1968-1970
Nightfell A Sanity Deranged 
Ossuarium Living Tomb
Pan American A Son
Jessica Pratt Quiet Signs
Python Astrological Warfare
Rodan Hat Factory ‘93
Arthur Russell Iowa dream
75 Dollar Bill I Was Real
Sofia Bolt Sofia Bolt 
Solange When I Get Home
Masahiro Sugaya Horizon Vol. 1 
Thee Speaking Canaries Who Are the Shitbirds Playing? 
Telefon Tel Aviv Dreams Are Not Enough
Tomb Mold Planetary Clairvoyance 
Weyes Blood Titanic Rising
Thom Yorke Anima
Neil Young Tuscaloosa 
Neil Young Colorado
Various Artists Outro Tempo II: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1984-1996

Neko Case at The Vic
The Chills at Empty Bottle
Chromatics at Park West 
Grouper at Pitchfork Midwinter
Itasca/Matchess at The Hideout
Jawbox at Reckless and Metro
The Misfits at AllState Arena 
Peter Murphy 40 years of Bauhaus Ruby Celebration w/ David J at Rockefeller Chapel
Angel Olsen at The Riviera
Pan American at Elastic Arts
Max Richter at Harris Theater
Robyn at Aragon
Shellac at Reckless
Sunn O)))/Papa M at Rockefeller Chapel
Sharon Van Etten at Thalia Hall
This Is Not This Heat at Thalia Hall
Voivod at Thalia Hall
Jozef Van Wissem at Empty Bottle
Weyes Blood at Lincoln Hall
WITCH at Lincoln Hall


Casey Campbell
Lightning Bolt: Sonic Citadel
Tim Presley: I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk
Kim Gordon: No Home Record
Ty Segall: First Taste, also the Pig Man Demos Boxset
Reissue of Mort Garson’s Plantasia
Oozing Wound: High Anxiety
Dehd: Water
Brbra Bush: Blowie pt 2
Eddie Current Suppression Ring: All in Good Time
Thurston Moore: Spirit Council
Danny Brown: uknowhatimsaying
Oh Sees – Face Stabber

Leo Ciccone
Caterina Barbieri /// Ecstatic Computations
Bibio /// Ribbons
Floating Points /// Crush
Angel Bat Dawid /// The Oracle
Nils Frahm /// All Encores
Steve Hauschildt /// Nonlin
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma /// Tracing Back The Radiance
Loscil /// Lifelike
Topdown Dialectic /// Vol. 2
Telefon Tel Aviv /// Dreams Are Not Enough

Joe Seger


Sean Rowader

  1. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Infest the Rat’s Nest (Thrash Metal / Stoner Rock) [LP on Flightless/ATO] 

-Gizzard’s 15th album is a half hour of all-killer-no-filler thrash metal that departs from their signature hazy psychedelia. Infest the Rat’s Nest is full of snarling vox, house rattling double bass onslaught drums, djenting guitar hooks and hellish Venusian songwriting. There’s no satire going on here, this is clearly a band that just wants to have fun SHREDDING! Favorite track: Self-Immolate 

  1. 100 gecs – 1000 gecs (Monster Energy Drink Core / Experimental Electronica) [LP on Dog Show Records] 

-Chicago’s Laura Les and Los Angeles’ Dylan Brady take all the best parts of 2008 internet culture and blend it up in a happy-nightcore 3AM party rager. These songs are quick, constantly changing direction and absolutely dripping with Monster EnergyTM. Favorite track: hand crushed by a mallet 

  1. Mdou Moctar – Ilana: The Creator (Taureg / Psych-Pop) [LP on Sahel Sounds] 

-Hands down my favorite show of 2019 was Mdou Moctar’s April performance at Empty Bottle. Ilana is the first Mdou LP recorded with a full band in-studio, so these tracks carry some extra ‘live’ magic. Mdou’s songwriting reaches a new echelon, as the satisfying compositions outshine the instrumentation and production. Criminally good. Favorite track: Tarhatazed 

  1. Uffie – Tokyo Love Hotel (Electroclash / Dream Pop) [Digital Self Release] 

-Once upon a time. . . when music videos still aired on MTV, when MySpace still mattered, when the most recent Harry Potter film was Goblet of Fire (2006), an electropop prodigy named UFFIE was making waves in the electronica underground. After a handful of singles and a debut LP Uffie seemingly vanished. Until now! After a decade away from the game, Uffie returns with a 7 song EP that is more dreamy and less abrasive than her early stuff. Favorite track: Sharpie

  1. McCafferty – The House with No Doorbell (Emo / Delonge Core) [LP Self Release] 

-Although McCafferty is infamous for dropping off tours, cyclical break-ups (yes plural, the band has been “permanently ended” many times), and ultimately stressing out the fanbase, somehow they always manage to keep new material flowing. The House with No Doorbell isn’t as bonafide and aggressive as their 2018 LP, Yarn, but instead shows off the band’s ability to craft hooks, melodies, harmonies and overall vocal range. Favorite track: Unforgivable Curse #3

    1. clipping. – There Existed an Addiction to Blood (Hip Hop / Experimental) [2xLP on Sub Pop] 

-In a triumphant return, Clipping drops a ‘transmutation of horrorcore’ concept record that showcases expert use of samples, noisey production, and absolutely insane flows from Daveed. This record is full of nods to classic horror tropes like ‘Carpenter-esque’ piano 
on the lead single “Nothing Is Safe.” The album finishes with an 18-minute track from Annea Lockwood entitled “Piano Burning”, which is… well… a piano burning. Favorite track: Blood of the Fang 

      1. PUP – Morbid Stuff (Pop Punk / Emotional Tinge) [LP on Rise Records] 

-Some bands change, grow, evolve, maybe even devolve… but not PUP. This Canadian pop-punk 4-piece has a thing for consistency and so do their die hard fans. Morbid Stuff feels more like the third installment of a trilogy instead of a completely new album. PUP’s third LP is full of “adulting is hard, life can get f***ed” lyrics that are balanced out with upbeat joy-ridden hooks. Favorite track: Sibling Rivalry 

      1. FKA Twigs – Magdalene (Art Pop / Slow Core) [LP on Young Turks] 

-After three years of studio work, the legendary FKA Twigs drops only their second full-length album, Magdalene. Twigs’ executively produced this record with collaborations from Skrillex, Michael Uzowuru, Koreless and others as co-producers. This album is incredibly diverse and showcases more vocal acrobatics than we’re used to on previous Twigs’ releases. Clearly all the time spent crafting this album was worth it as Magdalene is an absolute ascendancy. Favorite track: Home with You 

      1. Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger (Garage / Power-Pop) [LP on Third Man] 

-11 years after Consolers of the Lonely, the superheros of alternative radio stations everywhere, the Raconteurs assemble and return! While fans may have been weary that the return was only a short lived cash-grab, the Raconteurs quickly put those thoughts to rest with some of their best songwriting ever, late night TV performances, and a colossal world-tour. Favorite track: Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying) 

      1. Sturgill Simpson – Sound & Fury (Psychedelic Country / Boogie Rock) [LP on Elektra] 

-Railroad foreman turned twangbox extraordinaire, Sturgill Simpson releases a genre-bending country/psych/boogie/synth-rock album accompanied with a full-length anime visual album. This experience is so diverse and inviting that it’s no surprise Sturgill is attracting more listeners to the waning and lonely Country section. This album is so dance-able it makes me want to take roller-disco lessons. But most of all, please do not sleep on the Netflix-released visual album with expert cinematography from Masayuki Fujii and Chigi Kanbe. Favorite track: Ronin 

Honorable Mentions
Gang Starr – One Of The Best Yet
Cage The Elephant – Social Cues
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing For Fishies
Oh Sees – Face Stabber
Blink 182 – Nine

Tom Walczyk
Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock (Merge Records)
Facs- Lifelike (Trouble In Mind)
Luxurious Bags – Frayed Knots (Twisted Village) ** First time ever on vinyl
Shellac – End of Radio (Touch & Go)
** Peel Sessions 1994
LE’ Pee- Diabolique (A Records)
** Anton Newcombe + Liminanas
Black Midi – Schlagenheim (Rough Trade)
** Amazing live set at Pitchfork this year
Delta 5 – Singles & Sessions 79- 85
(Kill Rock Stars)
Polvo  – Polvo (Merge Records)
**  Their first 7” record plus a few bonus songs put on one 12”
Peter Perrett – Humanworld (Domino)
** Singer from The Only Ones
Jonathan Fire *Eater – Wolf Songs for Lambs & Tremble Under Boom Lights (reissues on Third Man) ** Members went on to for The Walkmen

Honorable Mentions
Mort Garson – Mother Earth’s Plantasia (Sacred Bones)
Duster – Numero Reissues

Ethan D’Ercole
ONLY ONES: “Live in Chicago, 1979”
COLOURED BALLS: “Last Supper, First”
PRINCE: “Originals”
TERRY STAMP: “Fatsticks”
PATRICK COWLEY: “Mechanical Fantasy Box”
HAMMERSMITH GORILLAS: “Why Wait ’til Tomorrow 1974-1981”
SOLANGE: “When I Get Home”
HECKS: “My Star”
MATT JENCIK: “Dream Character”

Yasmin Bashir
Albums of the year: 
Solange- When I Get Home 
Klein- Lifetime
Fka Twigs- Magdalene
Kelsey Lu- Blood
Visible Cloaks, yoshio ojima, and satsuki shibano–Serentiatem
Mega Bog- Dolphin 
Spelling- Mazy Fly
Sasami- Sasami
Injury Reserve- Injury Reserve 
Kedr Livanskiy- Your Need 

P.R. Ryan
2019 Good Albums (In No Particular Order)
Denzel Curry – ZUU (Loma Vista)
Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstasy (Domino)
Charly Bliss – Young Enough (Barsuk)
Caroline Polachek – Pang (Perpetual Novice)
Alex Cameron – Miami Memory (Secretly Canadian)
Otoboke Beaver – ITEKOMA HITS (Damnably)
Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains (Drag City)
Injury Reserve – Injury Reserve (Loma Vista)
Channel Tres – Black Moses EP (Godmode)
Black Marble – Bigger Than Life (Sacred Bones)
Tyler, The Creator – IGOR (Columbia)
Black Midi – Schlagenheim (Rough Trade)
Katie Dey – Solipsisters (Run For Cover)
Vampire Weekend – Father Of The Bride (Columbia)
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – I Made A Place (Drag City)
Bleached – Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough? (Dead Oceans)
Empath – Active Listening: Night On Earth (Get Better)
Mike Krol – Power Chords (Merge)
Sandro Perri – Soft Landing (Constellation)
The New Pornographers – In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights (Concord)
Ezra Furman – Twelve Nudes (Bella Union)
Richard Dawson – 2020 (Domino)
Orville Peck – Pony (Sub Pop)
Pure Bathing Culture – Night Pass (Infinite Companion)
Rapsody – Eve (Roc Nation)

Friends of Reckless
Emily Elhaj (Musician/Writer/Reckless alum)
Brittany Howard – Jaime (ATO)
Aldous Harding – Designer (4AD)
Marvin Gaye – You’re the Man (UMG)
Sofia Bolt – Waves (Loantaka)
Girl Ray – Girl (Moshi Moshi)
Arian Shafiee – Pacific Medications (Lillerne)
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs (Mexican Summer)
Matt Jencik – Dream Character (Hands in the Dark)
KIM – s/t (Love Lion)
Cate Le Bon – Reward (Mexican Summer)
Hand Habits – placeholder (Saddle Creek)
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow (Jagjaguwar)
Chris Cohen – s/t (Captured Tracks)
Eric Dolphy – Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance)
Mac DeMarco – Honey Moon (Haruomi Hosono) (LITA)
Cass McCombs – Tip Of The Sphere (Anti)
Wand – Laughing Matter (Drag City)
Esther Suarez – La Bolognesina (Little Axe)
Solange – When I Get Home (Columbia)
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Mandatory Reality (Eremite)
Ana da Silva & Phew – Island (Shouting Out Loud)
Beyoncé – Homecoming (Parkwood/Columbia)
Vanishing Twin – The Age Of Immunology (Fire)
V/A – Late Night Tales: Floating Points (Night Time Stories)
75 Dollar Bill – I Was Real (Thin Wrist)
Angel Bat David – The Oracle (Int’l Anthem)
Tool – Fear Inoculum (Dissectional)
Pavo Pavo – Mystery Hour (Bella Union)
Chrissie Hynde – Valve Bone Woe (self)
Common – Let Love (Loma Vista)
Radiohead – III Wind (XL)
Homeshake – Helium (Sinderlyn)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen (Ghosteen)
Beth Gibbons – Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs) (Domino)
Big Thief – U.F.O.F. (4AD)
Rip Hayman “Dreams of India and China: Field Recordings & Repercussions 1973-1986 (Recital)

Don Cherry – Brown Rice (Verve)
Anna St. Louis – First Songs (Woodsist)
Johnny Greenwood – There Will Be Blood (Nonesuch)
Neil Young – Dead Man OST (Warner)
Haruomi Hosono (LITA)
Cruising OST (Waxwork)
Duster – Capsule Losing Contact (Numero)

Sharon Van Etten, Amoeba
Cass McCombs, Amoeba
Mdou Moctar & Marisa Anderson, Zebulon
Chris Cohen, Lodge Room
Aldous Harding, Old Style
Austin McCutchen & Ryley Walker, Zebulon
Cate Le Bon & Mac DeMarco, The Greek
Stereolab & Wand, Ace Theater
Sharon Van Etten & Sofia Bolt, Pappy & Harriet’s
Zsela, Brooklyn Steel
Rodrigo Amarante, Palace Theatre
Angel Olsen Tour 2019

DJing Public Records, Brooklyn
Iggy Confidential podcast

Coffee Manufactory, Los Angeles
Groundwork, Los Angeles
St. ALi, Melbourne
Congregation, New Orleans
Tandem, Portland, Maine
Maru, Los Angeles
Flat Track, Austin
Monmouth, London
Courier Coffee, Portland, Oregon

Jocelyn Brown (Music Supervisor/Producer)
albums I loved this year: 2019
telefon tel aviv – dreams are not enough galcher lustwerk – information
prince – originals
solange – when i get home
arthur russell – iowa dream
matt jencik – dream character
natural information society – mandatory reality
giant swan – s/t
dj shadow – our pathetic age
alessandro cortini – volume massimo
angel olsen – all mirrors 
helado negro – this is how you smile
raphael saadiq – jimmy lee
charles rumback and ryley walker – little common twist
lizzo – cause i love you
surachai – come, deathless
ana roxane – ~~~
khruangbin – hasta el cielo
jets – zoospa
cellophane garden – relation to the infinite
matana roberts – coin coin chapter 4: memphis
ryne ziemba – cataclysmos
jessica pratt – quiet signs
sault – 5
caterina barbieri – ecstatic computation
same waves – algorithm of desire
here lies man – no ground to walk upon
daniel wohl – etat 
jaimie branch – fly or die II: bird dogs of paradise
minutes unlimited – green data
waajeed – ten toes down ep 
freddie gibbs and madlib – bandana
itasca – spring
dj spinn – da life ep
emmavie – honeymoon
barker – utility
fennesz – agora
nick cave & the bad seeds – ghosteen
resavoir – s/t
baby rose – to myself
kindness – something like a war
75 dollar bill – i was real
hildur gudnadottir – chernobyl ost
brittany howard – jaime
kim gordon – no home record
labrinth – euphoria ost 
clairo – immunity
jenny lewis – on the line
sharon van etten – remind me tomorrow
rafael anton irisarri – solastalgia
robyn – honey
weyes blood – titanic rising
chasms – the mirage
william basinski – on time out of time
kiefer – superbloom
michael kiwanuka – kiwanuka
floating points – crush
black monument ensemble – where future unfolds
hania rani – esja 
carlos nino and friends – bliss on dear oneness
helen money – arriving angels
sunn o))) – life metal
nils frahm – all encores
freddie gibbs and madlib – bandana
sasami – s/t
tyler, the creator – igor
michael vincent waller – moments
nia andrews – no place is safe
laurel halo – dj kicks
andy stott – it should be us
benny sings – city pop
mereba – the jungle is the only way out
bill orcutt – odds against tomorrow
georgia anne muldrow – vweto II
various artists – outro tempo II

Dave Martin (Captured Tracks)
1  Wayne Rogers  – The Air Below (Twisted Village) / Major Stars – Roots Of Confusion Seeds Of Joy (Drag City)
2  Facs – Lifelike (Trouble In Mind)
3  Aquarian Blood – A Love That Leads To War (Goner)
4  75 Dollar Bill – I Was Real (Thin Wrist)
5  Gotobeds – Debt Begins At Thirty (Sub Pop)
6  The Silence – Metaphysical Feedback (Drag City) / Masaki Batoh – Nowhere (Drag City)
7  Gong Gong Gong – Phantom Rhythm (Wharf Cat Records)
8  Rocket 808 – S/T (12XU)
9  Ceremony – In The Spirit World Now (Relapse)
10 Flesh Eaters – I Used To Be Pretty (Yep Roc)
11 David Kilgour – Bobbie Is A Girl (Merge)
12 Matt Jencik – Dream Character (Hands In The Dark)
13 Thurston Moore – Spirit Council (Daydream Library)
14 Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society – Mandatory Reality (Eremite)
15 Brian Crook with The Renderers – This World Just Eats Me Up Alive (Ba Da Bing)
16 Eddy Current Suppression Ring – All In Good Time (Castle Face)
17 Stefan Christensen – The Upcoming Flame (Bruit Direct Disques)
18 Dead C – Rare Ravers (Ba Da Bing)
19 Cate Le Bon – Reward (Mexican Summer)
20 Sulfate – S/T (Prison Tapes)
21 Hash Redactor – Drecksound (Goner)
22 Mike Donovan – Exurbian Quonset (Drag City)
23 Modern Nature – How To Live (Bella Union)
24 Vivian Girls – Memory (Polyvinyl)
25 XV – S/T (Life Like) 

1 Peter Laughner – S/T box (Smog Veil)
2 Rema Rema – Fond Reflections  
3 Peter Jefferies – Last Ticket Home / Clutter (Grapefruit) 
4 Tokyo Flashback – Psychedelic Speed Freaks (Black Editions) 
5 Revenge – S/T (In The Red)
6 The Victims – S/T (In The Red)
7 The Pooh Sticks – S/T 7″ box (Optic Nerve)
8 Scientists – Not For Sale:  Live 1978/1979 (Grown Up Wrong)
9 Makoto Kawashima – Homo Sacer (Black Editions)
10 Country Teasers – The Toe Rag Sessions (Crypt)
11 Jim Shepard – Heavy Action (Ever/Never)
12 The Dum Dum Boys – Let There Be Noise (In The Red)
13 Bill Direen – A Memory of Others O.S.T. (Sophomore Lounge)
14 Jobcentre Rejects Vol 1 & 2 (On The Dole)
15 Cynics – Rock ‘N’ Roll (Get Hip)

Singles / EPs
1 Hammered Hulls – S/T 7″ (Dischord) 
2 Tyvek – Changing Patterns of Protective Coating – (Doubles Tapes) 
3 The Girl In Times New Viking – S/T (FAH-Q Catalog) 
4 F.U.K. – Road Kill b/w I Got A Head (Hozac) 
5 Too Much – Patent Leather b/w Dyslexia (Merge)
6 Long Hots – Nickle & Dime b/w Give & Take (Third Man)
7 David Nance – Meanwhile b/w Credit Line (Third Man) 
8 Loose Nukes – Demo 7″ (Cruel Noise) & Behind The Screen 7″ (Beach Impediment)
9 Rubber Blanket – New Garbage Truck b/w Pedestrian Bridge (Spacecase Records)
10 Heavy Discipline – S/T (Painkiller) 
11 Skiftande Enheter – S/T (Levande Begravd) & Snubblar genom drömmar (Appetite)
12 Scientists – 9H₂O.SiO₂ (In The Red)
13 Rat Nip – S/T (Self Released)
14 Vivienne Styg – Rose of Texas (Self Released)
15 Stress Group – S/T (Self Released)

Live shows
Ceremony @ Elsewhere
Loose Nukes / L.O.T.I.O.N. – Home Sweet Home
Jon Spencer & the Hitmakers – Rough Trade
Heavy Discipline / Rat Nip / Bad Breeding – Brooklyn Bazaar 
Fucked Up / Haram – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Scientists / Des Demonas – St. Vitus
Warthog / L.O.T.I.O.N. – Asbury Park Brewery
Limousine Beach – The Broadway
Bill Direen – Aeon Bookstore
Major Stars – Nublu
Cynics – Gran Torino
Benni / Sick Thoughts – Poor Boys
75 Dollar Bill & Josh Abrams and Natural Information Society – Roulette 
75 Dollar Bill & Condo Fucks – Union Pool
Public Puberty – The Grove
Hash Redactor – Hart Bar
Steve Gunn / Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore – Bowery Ballroom
Facs – St Vitus
Dark Blue – St Vitus
Gong Gong Gong PS 1
Ex Hex – Bowery Ballroom
Hammered Hulls – Union Pool
Flesh Eaters – Bowery Ballroom
David Nance / Long Hots / Home Blitz – Union Pool
Miss June – Berlin
Cate Le Bon / Dinosaur Jr. / Kurt Vile – Central Park Summerstage
This is Not This Heat – Elsewhere
Warm Drag – some house party
Tyvek – The Glove
Sanhedrin – St Vitus

Brett Andrew Grossman / Reckless Staff Veterinarian

New music (Mildly in order)
1. Angel Olsen “All Mirrors”  (Jagjaguwar)
2. Jessica Pratt “Quiet Signs” (Mexican Summer)
3. The Soft Walls “Not as Bad As It Seems (Soft Music)
4. Yves Jarvis “The Same But By Different Means” (Anti-)
5.  Ada Lea “What We Say In Private” (Saddle Creek)
6. Crumb “Jinx” [self-released]
7. Deem Spencer “Pretty Face” (Vinyl Me, Please)
8. Angelo De Augustine “Tomb” (Asthmatic Kitty)
9. Carla Dal Forna “Look Up Sharp” (Kallista Records)
10. Caterina Barbieri “Ecstatic Computation” (Editions Mego)
11. Deerhunter “Why hasn’t everything already disappeared” (4ad)
12. Olden Yolk “Living Theatre” (Trouble in Mind)
13. Panda Bear “Buoy” (Domino)
14. Tim Presley’s White Fence “I have to Feed Larry’s Hawk (Drag City)
15. Boy Scouts “Free Company” (Anti-)
16. Julianna Barwick “Circumstance Synthesis” (Commend There)
17. Hand Habits “Placeholder” (Saddle Creek)
18 Michael Jon Fink “Celesta” (Cold Blue Music)
19. New Pornographers  “In the Morse Code Of Brake Lights” (Concord)
20. Celer “Vamps” (Patient Sounds International)
21. Julia Shapiro “Perfect Version” (Hardly Art)
22. Sandy (Alex G) “House of Sugar” (Domino)
23. Lizzo “Cuz I Love You” (Atlantic)
24. Florist “Emily Alone” (Double Double Whammy)
25. Bitchin Bajas “Demeter” (Longform Editions)
26. Vanishing Twin “The Age of Immunology” (Fire)
27. Daniel Thorne “Lines of Sight” (Erased Tape Records)
28. Black Belt Eagle Scout “At the Party with my Brown Friends” (Saddle Creek)
29. Dehd “Water” (Fire Talk)
30. Freddie Gibbs, Madlib “Bandana” (Keep Cool)
31. Alessandro Cortini “Volume Massimo” (Mute)
Reissues/ Archive
1. Trey Gruber “Herculean House of Cards” (Numero Group)
2. Cobalt “Astral Travels” (Numero Group)
3. Charlie Megira “Tomorrow’s Gone” (Numero Group)
4. Ernest Hood “Neighborhoods”  (Freedom to Spend)
5. Various Artists Kankyō Ongaku (Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980 – 1990)- (Light in the Attic)
6. Various Artists “You’re not from Around Here” (Numero Group)
7. Mort Garson “Mother Earth’s Plantasia” (Sacred Bones)
8. The Caretaker “Everywhere, an Empty Bliss” (History always Favours the Winners)
9. Michael O’ Shea “Michael O’ Shea” (Allchival)


Dan Maloney (Faithful Anchor/Reckless alum)
Favorite Records of the Year

Cate Le Bon- Reward
Purple Mountains- Purple Mountains
Jessica Pratt- Quiet Songs
Aldous Harding- Designer
Tindersticks- No Treasure but Hope
Damon Locks Black Monument Ensemble- Where The Future Unfolds
Freddie Gibbs/Madlib- Bandana
Lana Del Ray- NFR
The Stroppies- Whoosh!
Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society- Mandatory Reality
Mick Trouble- It’s The Mick Trouble LP
Reissues Arthur Russell- Iowa Dream
Ernest Hood- Neighborhoods
Mort Garson- Plantasia
Jim Sullivan- Jim Sullivan
Norma Tanega- Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog
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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)

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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.” Here’s more stuff I loved this year:
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
“Cut To The Feeling” – Carly Rae Jepsen

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

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2017 Best of Lists: Reckless Friends


Emily Elhaj (Love Lion/Angel Olsen)

Wand – Plum (Drag City)
Arthur Russell – Instrumentals (Audika)
Big Thief – Capacity (Saddle Creek)
Blue Iverson (Dean Blunt) – Hotep (Self-Released)
Thelonious Monk – Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Sam)
Grouper – Paradise Valley 7” (Yellow Electric)
Jaimie Branch – Fly Or Die (International Anthem)
Yellow Days – Is Everything Ok In Your World? (Doobie McQueen / Good Years Music)
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord)
Slowdive – Sugar For The Pill (Dead Oceans)
Matt Jencik – Weird Times (Hands In the Dark)
V/A – Shout Music (Love Lion)
Dominique Lawalrée – First Meeting (Catch Wave)
Steve Lacy – Steve Lacy’s Demo (Three Quarter)
The Paperhead – Chew (Trouble In Mind)
The Feelies – In Between (Bar None)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble – Find Me Finding You (Drag City)
Hand Habits – Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) (Woodsist)
Daniel Caesar – Freudian (Golden Child)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – On The Echoing Green (Mexican Summer)
Gaussian Curve – The Distance (Music From Memory)
Alvvays – Antisocialites (Polyvinyl)
Kendrick Lamar – Damn. (TDE)
Neil Young – Hitchhiker (Reprise)
Dean Blunt & Joanne Robertson – Wahalla (Textile)
Sharon Jones – Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Son of a Lady EP (Tendril Tales)
Juana Molina – Halo (Crammed Discs)
Cleaners From Venus (Martin Newell) – Kitchen Table EP (Plastic Response)
Rev. Lonnie Farris – A Night at the House of Prayer (Buked & Scorned)
Kelly Lee Owens – s/t (Smalltown Supersound)

Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisc – Blade Runner 2049 (Epic)


Selena – Dreaming of You (Capitol)
Radiohead – OkNotOk (XL)
Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Death Waltz)
Elliott Smith – Either/Or (Kill Rock Stars)
Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See (Capitol)
Orange Juice – Coals To Newcastle (AED)
Marisa Anderson – Traditional and Public Domain Songs (MIssissippi)


Chris Cohen tour
Charlotte Day Wilson, 1306
Christian Scott, 3 Keys
Thelma & The Sleaze, Siberia
King Woman, Castillo Blanco
Bonnie Prince Billy & Bitchin Bajas, Music Box Village
Diamanda Galás, The Joy
MonoNeon & guests, Blue Nile
Khruangbin, One Eyed Jacks x 2
Grace Jones, Primavera
Rajasthan Express, Primavera
Seckou Keita, St. Mary’s
Sun Ra Arkestra, Jazz Cafe
Cass McCombs, Halfway Festival
George Clinton, Pitchfork
Newport Folk Festival
Hiss Golden Messenger & guests, Jane Pickens Theater
Frank Ocean, Øya & Flow
Princess Nokia, Flow
Solange, Hopscotch
Ariel Pink, Tipitina’s

RIP Kelan Phil Cohran

Dave Martin (Captured Tracks)
Full length records
1. Sweet Apple – Sing The Night In Sorrow – Tee Pee
2. feedtime – Gas – In The Red
3. Thurston Moore – Rock N Roll Consciousness – Caroline
4. Circuit des Yeux – Reaching For Indigo – Drag City
5. Matt Jencik – Weird Times – Hands In The Dark
6. Protomartyr – Relatives in Descent – Domino
7. Julie Byrne – Not Even Happiness – Ba Da Bing!
8. David Nance – Negative Boogie – Ba Da Bing!
9. The Stroppies – S/T – Tough Love
10. Brian Case – Spirit Design – Hand In The Dark
11. Power Trip – Nightmare Logic – Southern Lord
12. Outside inside – Sniff a Hot Rock – Machine Age
13. Sanhedrin – A Funeral For The World – Sanhedrin
14. Stefan Christensen – Shake Off the Village – C/Site
15. The Terminals – Antiseptic – Ba Da Bing!
16. Escape-ism – Introduction To Escape-Ism – Merge
17. Roe Enny – Glare – Root Strata
18. Kacy & Clayton – The Siren’s Song – New West
19. Damon & Naomi – Everything Quieter Than Everything Else – Ghost Future Archives
20. Obnox – Niggative Approach – 12XU
21. Glue – S/T – Glue
22. Exit Order – Seed Of Hysteria – Side Two
23. The Feelies – In Between – Bar None
24. Terry – Remember Terry – Upset The Rhythm
25. V/A – Tokyo Flashback P.S.F. – Psychedelic Speed Freaks Dbl CD – Super Fuji Discs

Singles / EPs
1. Superchunk – I Got Cut & Break The Glass 7”s – Merge
2. Cate Le Bon – Rock Pool 12” – Drag City
3. The Original Panther Burns – OGPB 7” – Spacecase / Selection
4. The Shifters – A Believer b/w Contrast of Form 7” – Market Square
5. Stefan Christensen – Open Day 7” – I Dischi Del Barone
6. Mordecai – What is Art 7” – Sophomore Lounge
7. Acteurs – Corridor 12” – MILD VILNC
8. Rakta – Oculto Pelos Seros 7” – Iron Lung / La Vida Es Un Mus
9. Rixe – Baptismo 7” – La Vida Es Un Mus
10. skiftande enheter – 4-Spårs 7” EP – Levande Begravd

Reissues / Old music
1. Crystalized Movements – Mind Disaster LP – Twisted Village
2. V/A – Tokyo Flashback Vol. 1 Dbl LP – Black Editions
3. World of Pooh – Land Of Thirst LP – Starlight Furniture
4. Can – The Singles 3xLP – Mute
5. Keiji Haino – Watashi Dake? LP – Black Editions
6. Hüsker Dü – Savage Young Dü/ Extra Circus 4xLP/7” – Numero Group
7. Stooges – Highlights From the Funhouse Sessions Dbl LP – Run Out Groove
8 Richard Hell – Blank Generation 40th anniversary Dbl LP – Sire
9. Gotobeds – Fucking In The Future + 5 LP – Comedy Minus One
10. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest LP – Acony
11. Chris Bell – The Complete Chris Bell 6xLP box – Omnivore
12. Lurkers – 5xCD box – Beggars Banquet
13. Madrigal – S/T LP – Subliminal Sounds
14. Pin Group – Ambivalence 7”, Coat 7” & Go To Town 12” – Superior Viaduct
15. Def Leppard – The Def Leppard EP 12” – Universal
16. V/A – Warfaring Strangers – Acid Nightmare Dbl LP – Numero Group
17. Blue Oyster Cult – Rarities Vol. 1 Dbl LP – Real Gone Music
18. The Nurse – Discography 1983-1984 LP – La Vida Es Un Mus
19. Dead Moon – What A Way To See The Old Girl Go LP – Voodoo Doughnut
20. Suicide – First Rehearsal Tapes LP – Superior Viaduct

Cassettes / digital releases
1. Midnight Mines – We Are the Primitives of a New Era – Loki
2. Private Sorrow – Fake Lions – Mystery Plane / Loki
3. Blank Statements – Signs Are Rampant – Hobbies Galore
4. Obedience – 2017 Demo – Obedience
5. Fully Glazed – S/T Cassette – Loki
And every other release on the Loki label.

Live shows
1. Shame – Babys All Right / L’Escogriffe
2. Protomartyr / Gotobeds – Monty Hall
3. The Everymen – Monty Hall
4. Tyvek – Union Pool
5. Warthog / La Misma / Concealed Blade / D.O.G. Brillobox

Haley Fohr (Circuit Des Yeux/Jackie Lynn)
Here are my top five colors for 2017:

Red as found in: The party flags that billow at the car lot on Cicero & George St. + a baseball cap bought & worn in Connecticut while on tour with Animal Collective.
Yellow as found in: A shirt titled “Acapulco” seen worn on a rooftop at 21st & Loomis on the 4th of July.
Green as found in: Hearing a viola while looking at the wet grass after a storm at Bohemian National Cemetery.
Blue as found in: The mirrored horizontal flip scene in the greenroom at Lincoln Hall on Nov 18, wearing a peacock robe.
Indigo as found in: You know… !

Dean Whitmore (Sub Pop)
Neutral, The Stevens, Alvarius B, Steve Gunn, Omni, Naomi Punk, Anthony Pasguarosa w/ John Maloney, Feral Ohms, Wolf Eyes, Pissed Jeans, David Nance, Uranium Club, Anxiety, Dream Decay, La Feline, Davy Kehoe, Protomartyr, Odyssey Cult (X2), Matt Jencik, Heron Oblivion, Housewives, Tunic, Kaleidoscope, FNU Clone, Juana Molina, Aaron Dilloway, Colleen, Ordnungsamt Et La Politesse, Richard Dawson, Karl Blau, Power, Sleaford Mods, Tiny Vipers + others

Taylor Brode (Semaphore mgmt)
Lil Peep – Come Over When You’re Sober Pt.1

Brian Foote [kranky/peak oil/leech]
john beltran ‘moth’ [detuned]
bulbs ‘anomalons’ [bulbs]
cloudface ‘super you’ [moodhut]
Kara-lis coverdale ‘grafts’ [boomkat]
cybe ‘tropisch verlangen’ [stroom]
demen ‘nektyr’ [kranky]
digital release ‘positive approach’ [drawing room records]
dj python ‘dulce compañía’ [incienso]
dj sports ‘modern species’ [firecracker]
kelman duran ‘1804kids’ [hundebiss]
richard horowitz ‘eros in arabia’ [freedom to spend]
indoor plants ‘udacha 15’ [udacha]
los & dj sotofett ‘jugando con fuego’ [wania]
mr. yt ‘brand new day’ [apollo]
nummer ‘second sight’ [going good]
olo ‘hardcore’ [help]
palta & ti ‘ep’en andre hjem’ [gravity graffiti]
porn sword tobacco ‘2017’ [acido]
ramzi ‘peze-pinton’ [12th isle]
s.o.n.s. ’shimokitazawa one night stand’ [s.o.n.s.]
sw. ‘untitled[sue16]’ [sued]
vtgnike ‘collection’ [gost zvuk]
wanderwelle ‘lost in a sea of trees’ [silent season]
xyr ‘labyrinth/reflections’ [not not fun]
hiroshi yoshimura ‘music for nine postcards’ [empire of signs]

Audrey Ewell (NY-based director of films, including black metal documentary Until the Light Takes Us)
This is stuff I liked – no order – and there was tons more that I just haven’t gotten to yet. But you can’t go wrong here. Unless you have bad taste, so.
Leyland James Kirby (aka The Caretaker) – We So Tired of All This Darkness
Fletcher Tucker – Cold Spring
Blut Aus Nord – Deus Salutis Meæ
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers
Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun
Forest Swords – Compassion
Laurel Halo – Dust
James Holden and the Animal Spirits – The Animal Spirits
Sarah Davachi – All my Circles Run
Anjou – Epithelia
Alice Coltrane – The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
Circle – Terminal

Honorable Mentions
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Rest
Fever Ray – Plunge (I miss the melancholy and moodiness)
DREAD (aka Lustmord) – Dub
Liars – TFCF
Equinoxx – Colon Man
Delia Gonzalez – Horse Follows Darkness

The Body – A Home on Earth
Grouper – Paradise Valley (released December 21, 2016)
Oranssi Pazuzu – Kevät / Värimyrsky

Mount Eerie – A Crow Looked At Me
I could only listen once to this album about the death of his wife, the pain too real, raw, and familiar after losing my partner, Aaron Aites, filmmaker (Until The Light Takes Us), musician (IRAN), and former Reckless Records list contributor. So I can’t be remotely objective, but I found it shatteringly effective.

And since there are no rules anymore, and we’re all hurtling toward certain fiery death at the tiny hands of a fat orange misogynist, as we try to love and create and not just angrily piss into the wind on Twitter, my favorite music of 2017 is by London-based producer/composer/dj Karen Gwyer: but it’s not her 2017 double lp Rembo, which is sort of clean techno and as such just not quite up my alley. Nope, it’s her older works, a little grittier and trippier and lovely, and new to me: Needs Continuum, Kiki the Wormhole, Prophase Metaphase Anaphase Telophase, and she has more I haven’t yet investigated. Sublime.

Morgan Cuinet / Hands In The Dark

-Carlos Casas “Pyramid of Skull”
-Félicia Atkinson “Hand in Hand”
-Gregg Kowalsky “L’Orange, L’Orange”
-Colleen “A Flame my Love, a Frequency”
-Visible Cloaks “Reassemblage”
-Tomoko Sauvage “Musique Hydromantique”
-Carla Dal Forno “The Garden”
-Sarah Davachi “All My Circles Run”
-Lee Noble “The Hell of you Come In”
-Justin Walter “Unseen Forces”
-Greg Fox “The Gradual Procession”
-Bitchin Bajas “Bajas Fresh”
-Roe Enney “Glare”
-Jefre Cantu-Ledesma “On The Echoing Green”
-Roger Tellier-Craig “Instantanés”
-Sonja Labianca “About Room, Room To Be, Rooms”
-Ekin Fil “Ghost Inside”
-UUUU “s/t”
-Jessica Moss “Pools of Light”
-Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe “Marlek”
-La Tène “Tardive/Issime”

-Hiroshi Yoshimura “Music for Nine Postcards”
-Knud Viktor “Ambiances/Images”
-Midori Takada “Through The Looking Glass”
-Pauline Anna Strom “Trans-Millenia Music”
-Graeme Miller & Steve Shill “The Moomins”
-Yasuo Sugabayashi “The Mask Of Imperial Family”
-Marc Barreca “Music Works For Industry”
-Pep Llopis “Poiemusia La Nau Dels Argonautes”
-Richard Horowitz “Eros in Arabia”
-Coil “Time Machines”
-Jocy De Oliveira “Estórias Para Voz, Instrumentos Acústicos e Eletrônicos”
-Svarte Greiner “Knive”
-Emmanuelle Parrenin “Maison Rose”
-Barney Wilen “Moshi”
-François Tusques “Free Jazz”

Top 10 Bachelor Nation moments of 2017
By: Adam Luksetich (The Numero Group and the great state of Iowa)

1. Demario and Corinne get freaky in the pool causing ABC to SHUT DOWN production of Bachelor in Paradise one day into shooting.
2. Dean not giving his rose to Kristina. What was he thinking?!?
3. Danielle M making out with the “off limits” bartender Wells before she leaves the show. Get it girl!
4. Bachelor Season 21 ends in March with Nick getting engaged to Vanessa!
5. Nick and Vanessa separate in August.
6. Peter’s reluctance to propose to Rachel after multiple group dates, two 1-on-1 dates and an overnight date. Come on bro!
7. Host Chris Harrison confronts Lee about being racist on the Bachelorette: Men Tell All Special.
8. Demario’s ACTUAL girlfriend confronts him during the taping of The Bachelorette. He’s #notherefortherightreasons
9. Amanda is back for a THIRD time hoping to find love again . . . again.
10. Nick chooses Corinne over Taylor on a 1-on-1 date. Taylor then turns into some sort of voodoo priestess??

Also, Power Trip “Nightmare Logic” was killer.

Brett Andrew Grossman (Once was)

2017 In Order of How I Remember things:
1. The Clientele “Music for the Age of Miracles” (Merge)
2. Caterina Barbieri “Patterns of Consciousness” (Important)
3. Faith Healer “Try ;-)” (Mint)
4. Ty Segall “Ty Segall” (Drag City), “Fried Shallots” (Drag City)
5. Colleen “A Flame My Love, A Frequency” (Thrill Jockey)
6. The Proper Ornaments “Foxhole” (Slumberland)
7. William Basinski “A Shadow in Time (Temporary Residence    Limited)
8. Slowdive “Slowdive” (Dead Oceans)
9. Justin Walter “Unseen Forces” (Kranky)
10. Klein “Tommy EP” (Hyperdub)
11. Various “Eleven into Fifteen: a 130701 Compilation” (130701)
12. Perfume Genius “No Shape” (Matador)
13. Fleet Foxes “Crack-up” (Nonesuch)
14. Konrad Sprenger “Stack Music” (PAN)
15. Angel Olsen”Phases” (Jagjaguwar)
16. Ellen Arkbro “For Organ and Brass” (Subtext)
17. Jay-Z “4:44” (Roc Nation)
18. Juana Molina “Halo” (Crammed Discs)
19. Carla dal Forno “The Garden” (Blackest Ever Black)
20. Larry Achiampon “Untitled (Back to Church)” (Look Mama)
21. LCD Soundsystem “American Dream” (DFA)
22. Avey Tare “Eucalyptus” (Domino)
23. Chad VanGaalen “Light Information” (Sub Pop)
24. Ka Baird “Sapropelic Pycnic” (Drag City)
25. Destroyer “Ken” (Merge)
26. Big Thief “Capacity” (Saddle Creek)
27. Kara-Lis Coverdale “Grafts” (Boomkat Editions)
28. The New Pornographers “Whiteout Conditions” (Collected Works)

Reissues/ Archival/ Heard for the First Time:
1. Daniel Schmidt “In my arms, many flowers” (Recital Program)
2. Remote Viewer “Us In A happier” (Other Ideas)
3. Dominique Lawalree “First Meeting” (Wave Ltd.)
4. Hüsker Dü “Savage Young Dü (Numero Group)
5.The Boats “Static Clings” (The Boats Archive)
6. Various Artists “Trax Test (Excerpts from the Modular Network”  (Ecstatic)
7. Bernard Parmegiani “Rock (Soundtrack)” Transversales Disques”
8. Graeme Miller and Steve Shill “The Moomins” (Finders Keepers)
9. Chris Bell “Complete Chris Bell” (Omnivore)
10. Acchiappashpirt “Tola” (Canti Magnetici)

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RECKLESS RECORDS 2016 Employee Best of Lists

Jim Magas 2016 DJ crate
VIKI Viktoria – New Victorian LP (Midwich)
Alex Barnett – Chew From the Mind LP (Midwich)
HIDE – Flesh For the Living 12” (Midwich)
Moon Pool & Dead Band – Humanizer LP (Midwich)
Joel Graham – Geomancy 12” (Music From Memory)
DJ Fett Burger – Burger Trip 12” (Mongo Fett)
GAS – Box 10LP/4CD (Kompakt)
Keiji Haino – Milky Way LP (Black Truffle)
Good Willsmith – Things Our Bodies Used to Have LP (Umor Rex)
Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt – Live at Various/Various Live 2LP (Palilalia)
Madteo – Voracious Culturilizer 12” (M.A.D.T.E.O. Records)
Roberto Musci – Tower of Silence 2LP (Music From Memory)
Pauline Oliveros – Four Meditations / Sound Geometries LP (Sub Rosa)
Stallone the Reducer – Private Property LP (Est. 83)
Stallone the Reducer – Drug Pusher 12” (Est. 83)
Roman Flugel – All the Right Noises 2LP (Dial)
Robert Beatty – Floodgate Companion book (Floating World Comics)
DJ Sotofett / SVN – Current 82 12” (Dark Plan 5)
DJ Sotofett / Vera Dvale – Soukas Mix / Dybden (Wania)
DJ Sotofett – Generic Mix / Alternate Mix 12” (So Phat)
Omar S. – The Best 4LP (FXHE)
Theo Parrish – Sketches 3LP + Somethin About Detroit 12” (Sound Signature)
Jay Daniel – Broken Knowz 2LP (Ninja Tune)
Flo & Andrew – Take Suicide 12” (Mannequin)
Gesloten Cirkel – Mustache Techno Series 001 12” (Mustache)
Shinichi Atobe – Ship-Scope 12” (DDS)
Equiknoxx – Bird Sound Power 2LP (DDS)
Not Waving – Animals 2LP (Diagonal)
DJ Diamonds – Footwork or Die 2LP (Duck’n’Cover)
Michael Bundt – Electri-City LP (Bureau B)
Ariel Kalma – Interfrequence LP (Black Sweat)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – Sunergy LP (Rvng Intl.)
Suzanne Ciani – Buchla Concerts 1975 LP (Finders Keepers)
John Olson – Life Is a Rip-Off book (Third Man Books)
Demdike Stare – Wonderland (2LP)

J David Cartwright
1. Babyfather “BBF Hosted by DJ Escrow” – Concept art and rap/grime/hip hop collide here. This is a challenging album and not really for casual listening, but man is it good! It warrants multiple listens and along with the amazing album art, it is one cohesive work of art. Dean Blunt is great at expressing a dissonance that comes with being apart of this modern world. I highly recommend looking into every project he is involved in.

2. Ex-Terrestrial “Paraworld” – Ambient music with delicate beats, that for me feels like the equivalent of floating in the middle of the Dead Sea with the sun baking my bones. Check out the track Blue Smoke for confirmation.

3. Omar-S “The Best” – Detroit’s Omar-S effortlessly writes floor stompers here with some strangeness sprinkled in, i.e., Ah’Revolution which is simply minimal conga playing and a meandering voice saying something about a revolution. Seen Was Set was my ultimate summer jam!

4. Frank Ocean “Blonde” – This one will be on a lot of people’s lists this year and for good reason. This puppy is addictive, meditative, and very minimally composed. It is calming, yet leaves me with an intense feeling of loss and desire. Beautiful!

5. Charles Barabe “Les Dernieres Confessions” – Beautiful synthesizer compositions accompanied by a midi ensemble that will take you to the innerzone and back.

6. Elka “Chants” – Relaxing yet extremely groovy with nods to early Detroit Techno and Electro. Pass Groove is a flippin barn-burner!

7. Disasterpeace “Hyper Light Drifter OST” – A somber, introspective synthesizer soundtrack that if you’re familiar with Disasterpeace music you might come to expect, but this one (paired with the video game) definitely took me on a journey this year. You can stream and purchase this one on bandcamp.

8. Danny Brown “Atrocity Exhibition” – Danny Brown and Warp records, what a great union! There are some forward thinking productions on this one and this sucker is disorienting.

9. Horse Lords “Interventions” – An incredibly talented Baltimore band that blends West African rhythms and Krautrock influences. All the members of the band compliment each other by locking in through syncopated grooves. A must see live band!

10. ROM “Possible Mountain” – I love Chicago’s very own Hausu Mountain tape label! If you like experimental/ avant garde/ electronic music and video game soundtracks then look no further. “Possible Mountain” is an atmospheric journey that fans of Tortoise will feel right at home with. Airy jams with a myriad of styles and influences. Favorite track: Crawl Upside Down

Charles Taylor
Best Jazz:

Anthony Braxton: 3 Compositions [EEMHM] 2011
Artuan Ortiz – Hidden Voices
Paul Dunmall – Luddite
Ivo Perelman – Breaking Point
Tony Malaby – Incantations
Nick Mellevoi – Desertion
Freddie Redd – With Due Respect
Eri Yamamoto – Life
Wadada Leo Smith – The National Parks
Thumbscrew – Convallaria
Julie Kjaer – Dobbeltgaenger

Best Reissues:

Steve Miller Band – Sailor
Bunny Wailer – Solomonic Singles 1 & 2
Junjo Presents Heavyweight Dub Champion
Miles Davis – Paul’s Mall Boston September 1972

Beth Klacko

Music I liked this year in no particular order:

-Omar S. – The Best
-Joanna Brouk – Hearing Music
-Manuel Gottsching – E2-E4 (Reissue)
-Steve Hauschildt – Strands
-Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (Reissue)
-Oren Ambarchi – Hubris
-Angel Olsen – My Woman
-Ghoul – Dungeon Bastards
-The Field – The Follower
-Fake Limbs – Matronly
-Roman Flugel – All The Right Noises
-Klaus Johann Grobe – Spagat der Liebe
-Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
-Blasted Diplomats – Again
-V/A – Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music
-Romans – Valere Aude
-Sabbatical – Sundown

Matt Jencik
Asylum Party – Picture One reissue
Julianna Barwick – Will
Big Star – Complete Third Vol. 1 : Demos to Sessions to Roughs
Bitchin’ Bajas & Bonnie Prince Billy Epic Jammers & Fortunate Little Ditties
David Bowie Blackstar
David Bowie Bowie At the Beeb LP boxset
Joanna Brouk – Hearing Music
Caroline K Now Wait for Last Year reissue
Brian Case Tense Nature
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Skeleton Tree
The Clean – Getaway LP reissue
Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker
Deru -1979 reissue
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein Stranger Things soundtrack
DJ Richard – Grind
Noel Ellis S/T reissue
Fake Limbs Matronly
Forma Physicalist
Fuath I
Gaoth Dying Season’s Glory
Manuel Gottsching E2-E4 LP reissue
Lee Hazlewood Cowboy in Sweden LP reissue
Head of the Demon Sathanas Trismegistos
Heron Oblivion S/T
Itasca Open to Chance
Kikagaku Moyo House in the Tall Grass
Lifetones For a Reason LP reissue
Jackie Lynn S/T
Kedr Livanskiy January Sun EP
Matchess Rafter
MJ Guider Precious Systems
Angel Olsen My Woman
PAPA M Highway Songs
Jeff Parker New Breed
Pink Floyd Early Years 1965-1972 boxset
Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
Sand LP reissues
75 Dollar Bill Wood​/​Metal​/​Plastic/​Pattern​/​Rhythm​/​Rock
Them Speaking Canaries – Summer Band lathe-cut 7”
Träd, Gräs Och Stenar – S/T boxset
Tribulation Formulas of Death LP reissue
Troller Graphic
The Who – Live At Leeds 3LP Deluxe Edition reissue
Winterfylleth Dark Hereafter
La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela The Theatre of Eternal Music – Dream House – 78’17”
V/A Killed by Deathrock Volume Two
V/A (The Microcosm) Visionary Music of Continental Europe 1970-1986
V/A Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music

Big|Brave in-store @ Reckless
John Carpenter @ Thalia Hall
The Cure @ UIC Pavilion
Dungen in-store @ Reckless
Fabio Frizzi live score for “The Beyond” @ Music Box
Philip Glass @ Old Town School of Folk Music
Grouper @ Bohemian National Cemetery
Steve Hauschildt & Forma @ Constellation
Itasca in-store @ Reckless & Empty Bottle
Kikagaku Moyo @ Empty Bottle
Jackie Lynn @ Silent Funny
Matchess @ Hideout
Misfits @ Riot Fest
Angel Olsen @ Thalia Hall
Iggy Pop @ Chicago Theater
S U R V I V E & Majeure @ Empty Bottle
Tribulation @ Subterranean

Ethan D’Ercole
Jake Lingan- Labor of Love
Jacob Kart- Sigint
Jeff Parker- New Breed
Smokin’ Ziggurats- Smokin’ Ziggurats
Eternals- Espiritu Zombi
Patrick Cowley & Candida Royalle – Candida Cosmica
Le Tour – Jack Off Diamonds

Chloe Croom
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Twin Peaks – Down in Heaven
Whitney – Light Upon The Lake
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Chris Cohen – As If Apart
Beyonce – Lemonade
Broncho – Double Vanity
Mild High Club – Skiptracing
The Hecks – The Hecks

Favorite compilations of 2016:
Cosmic Machine – The Sequel: A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde [Because Music]
Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music [Numero Group]
New Orleans Funk – New Orleans: The Original Sound of Funk Vol. 4 [Soul Jazz Records]

Favorite Reissue of 2016:
Lee Moses – Time And Place! [Light in the Attic Records]

Ryan Scaccia
1. FOG – For Good (Totally Gross National Product)
2. TORTOISE – Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey)
3. BEN LUKAS BOYSEN – Spells (Erased Tapes)
4. JOHANN JOHANNSSON – Orphee (Deutsche Grammophon)
5. JESU/SUN KIL MOON – Jesu/Sun Kil Moon (Caldo Verde)
6. RIVAL CONSOLES – Night Melody (Erased Tapes)
7. DAVID BAZAN – Blanco (Barsuk)
8. HELEN MONEY – Become Zero (Thrill Jockey)
9. ADRIAN YOUNGE – The Electronique Void (Linear Labs)
10. JOHN CARPENTER – Lost Themes II (Sacred Bones)
11. JEFF PARKER – The New Breed (International Anthem)
12 ANDREW BRODER – Wertheimer EP (Lex)
13. SILVER APPLES – Clinging To A Dream (Chicken Coop)
14. FLOATING POINTS – Kuiper EP (Luaka Bop)
15. ADAM WILTZIE – Salero O.S.T. (Erased Tapes)

Dave Hofer
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (Warp)
While we wish Brown would sometimes lay off his signature high-nasal voice in favor of his more reserved flow, there’s no denying that this guy is brilliant. Discordant, heady hip-hop that sounds like no one else.
Car Bomb – Meta
Easily one of the most unique bands in metal, Car Bomb dropped this album after teasing their mailing list with five-second snippets of new music, which fans used the internet to connect and assemble into a full track, natch. Technical, very, very heavy & a sound that’s instantly recognizable.
Chris Cohen – As If Apart (Captured Tracks)
Ex-Cryptacize member finally releases his second album of earth-y, mellow songs. The recording is beautiful.
Creation is Crucifixion – Antenna Builder (Robotic Empire)
One of the best late-’90s/early-aughts bands resurfaces with a previously-unreleased, nine-minute track, three songs never released on vinyl & an entire live set from 2000. High-concept tech-death-grind straight out of a hacker’s wet dream.
Flowdan – Disaster Piece (Tru Thoughts)
This album makes the cut on the strength of the track “Bob Marley” alone.
Full of Hell – Amber Mote in the Black Vault 7” (Bad Teeth)
Technically proficient, catchy and very, very brutal grind from this band, who seem to have found their voice.
Internal Rot/Mellow Harsher – Split 7” (625)
Two sides with two different types of grindcore. Internal Rot play a crustier, death-metal influenced style while Mellow Harsher is so completely beyond insane-sounding you have to hear these guys to believe it. Amazing.
Mithras – On Strange Loops (Willowtip)
A late-2016 release, Mithras returns after nine years and delivers a great album of outer-space death metal. If prog fans can get past the vocals, the musicianship is — pun intended — out of this world.
Mr. Lif – Don’t Look Down (Mello Music Group)
After a seven-year break, Mr. Lif returns to the mic with a very strong album, a new label and what sounds like a new perspective. One of the best MCs of the last two decades.
Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife 2 (Interscope)
Second album from this bizarre duo with a unique sound. On the surface, it might not sound like these guys are doing anything special, but the production and their unique flows are more than meets the ear.
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP (TDE)
I was a bit worried about the follow-up to his excellent Oxymoron, but Q delivered a great album with his signature voice & eerie production. Dark subject matter, but masterfully executed.

Sea of Shit & Sick/Tired – Split LP (Deep Six)
Two of Chicago’s best hardcore/grind bands on one massively brutal split.
Skepta – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
Not exactly the grime style that Skepta is known for, this is a combination of grime and American-style trap with Skepta’s flow on top.
Venomous Concept – Kick Me Silly (Season of Mist)
I’m a bit biased due to Danny Lilker’s involvement, but this album from the half-Brutal Truth, half-Napalm Death hardcore project is undeniable.
Wormed – Krighsu (Season of Mist)
Completely insane third album of intricate, science-fiction death metal.

Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins live at the Chicago Theater.
Mutoid Man live at Reggie’s.
Hey Mercedes live at Subterranean.
Sea of Shit & Sick/Tired live at Reckless.
Meshuggah live at House of Blues.
Finally getting custom, Sensaphonics earplugs after years of ear abuse.
Changing from antiperspirant to deodorant.
UK vacation, where I learned about beheadings in a historical context.
Droves & Joyce Delaney live in Glasgow (AKA seeing shows on vacation is the best).
AAW & non-WWE pro-wrestling in general.
Motor City Machine Guns vs. the Young Bucks vs. the Addiction in Ladder Wars 6.
Fallout 4.
Still playing Metal Gear Solid V: the Phantom Pain.
The ability to melee while riding a motorcycle in Grand Theft Auto Online.

Kip McCabe Best of 2016 (in no specific order)

Meshuggah “Violent Sleep of Reason” (Nuclear Blast)
Johann Johannsson “Orphee” (Deutsche Grammophon)
Johann Johannsson “Arrival” Soundtrack (Deutsche Grammophon)
Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto “Revenant” soundtrack (Milan Records)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds “Skeleton Tree” (Bad Seed Ltd)
David Bowie “Blackstar” (Iso Records)
Cliff Martinez “The Neon Demon” soundtrack (Milan Records)
Papa M “Highway Songs” (Drag City)
Tortoise “Catastrophist” (Thrill Jockey)
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein “Stranger Things” soundtrack (Lakeshore Records)
A Tribe Called Quest “We got it from here… Thank You 4 Your Service” (Epic)

Steven Rahman

Sierra Hull – Weighted Mind

Beautiful Bluegrass music. Hull’s virtuosity as a mandolin player is matched brilliantly by the songwriting & her voice is wonderfully engaging. It’s powerful, even piercing and gives the some of the more delicate playing a weight & substance.

Last Shadow Puppets – Everything You’ve Come to Expect

I love Alex Turner. He’s one of my favorite musicians in the world. This is his second record with Miles Kane as the Last Shadow Puppets. It’s a very particular sound, this rock n’ roll old school sound that’s extremely somber, serious & full of soul. The strings are arranged by Owen Pallett.

Rihanna – ANTI-

What Rihanna does with this record is nothing short of amazing. She digs herself out of a hole that I’ve always placed her in. While there’s still the sense that a number of different hands are involved, the final product oozes with a single personality. That’s all well & good, but it’s in the songs themselves I think you’ll find the best evidence of change & growth. These are good songs, & they’re songs only Rihanna could’ve done justice. Check out the wailing in “Higher.”

Gregory Porter – Take Me to The Alley & Ashleigh Smith – Sunkissed

I’m putting these together, because I love them for much the same reason. These are great songs sung well. There’s no histrionics, there’s little in the way of style. These records are great because they keep it simple & do it incredibly well. If you like vocal Jazz you will like these.

Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book (Chance 3)

Chance the Rapper is all that is good & joyful about Hip Hop right now. He’s exemplary of a side of Chicago that we don’t get to hear much about, at least in mainstream music journalism. His sound is a little more populist, but not so much as to remove the individuality from it, especially considering the amount of Gospel influence. Chance’s music maintains a childlike sense of wonder even while talking about seriously adult topics like death & violence.

Noname – Telefone

It took me a bit to get into this one. It came out in the summer, but the music just didn’t grab me the way it would as the year progressed into fall, & then into winter. There’s an almost muted quality to the production, & a real vibe & feeling, but the most engrossing part of this is the poetic way the lyrics are weaved together.

Anderson .Paak – Malibu & NxWorries – Yes Lawd!

This is the year of Anderson .Paak. He was everywhere this year, & I think Malibu is the best record of the year. It’s just a completely amazing creation. It’s soulful, with this sense of rhythm. It’s a rapper’s soul album & that’s exactly what .Paak is. Yes Lawd! is essentially the soul version of Madvillainy. It’s shorter songs, almost sketches & they’re perfect little interludes.

Hamilton Cast Recording
I don’t really know what to say about this that hasn’t been said before. If you like hip hop, check it out. If you like musicals, check it out. Do you have a passing interest in history? Check it out. I promise you, the adventures of our first Treasury secretary as written & performed by this cast will impress you.

Honorable Mentions (AKA Records I really like but can’t write about because of lack of space):

Esperanza Spalding – Emily’s D+Evolution
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
Adia Victoria – Beyond the Bloodhounds
Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine
Schoolboy Q – Blank Face
Apollo Brown & Skyzoo – The Easy Truth
Kadhja Bonet – The Visitor
Funky DL – February
Common – Black America Again
Beyonce – Lemonade
Kaytranada – 99.9%
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White – Hella Personal Film Festival
Gensu Dean & Denmark Vessey – Whole Food
AFRO & Marco Polo – A-F-R-O Polo
Lando Chill – For Mark Your Son
BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
Corinne Bailey Rae – The Heart Speaks in Whispers
Oddisee – Alwasta
Oddisee – Odd Tape
Robert Ellis – Robert Ellis
Takuya Kuroda – Zigzagger

Chris W.

MY FAVORITE ALBUMS üv 2016 (alphabetically by artist)

Adrian Younge “The Electronique Void: Black Noise” (LINEAR LABS)
Angel Olsen “My Woman” (JAGJAGUWAR)
Beyoncé “Lemonade” (COLUMBIA)
The Caretaker “Everywhere At the End of Time” (HISTORY ALWAYS FAVOURS THE WINNERS)
Childish Gambino “Awaken, My Love!” (GLASSNOTE)
Chrysta Bell & David Lynch “Somewhere In the Nowhere EP” (BANDCAMP)
Clams Casino “32 Levels” (COLUMBIA)
Cliff Martinez “The Neon Demon (soundtrack)” (MILAN RECORDS)
Death In Vegas “Transmission” (DRONE)
Devendra Banhart “Ape In Pink Marble” (NONESUCH RECORDS)
Ela Orleans “Circles of Upper & Lower Hell” (NIGHT SCHOOL)
Eluvium “False Readings On” (TEMPORARY RESIDENCE)
Frank Ocean “Blonde” (BOYS DON’T CRY)
Gallant “Ology” (CIVIL MUSIC)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions “Until the Hunter” (TENDRIL TALES)
Hype Williams “10/10” (NOT ON LABEL)
Iggy Pop, Tarwater & Alva Noto “Leaves of Grass” (MORR MUSIC)
Jackie Lynn “Jackie Lynn” (THRILL JOCKEY)
James Blake “The Colour In Anything” (POLYDOR RECORDS)
Jenny Hval “Blood Bitch” (SACRED BONES)
Jóhann Jóhannsson “Orphée” & “Arrival (soundtrack)” (DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON)
Kanye West “The Life of Pablo” (GOOD MUSIC)
Kari Faux “Lost en Los Angeles” (WOLF & ROTHSTEIN)
Kristin Kontrol “X-Communicate” (SUB POP)
Lee Fields & the Expressions “Special Night” (BIG CROWN)
Library Tapes “Escapism” (1631 RECORDINGS)
Max Richter “Black Mirror: Nose Dive (soundtrack)” (DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON)
Mica Levi “Jackie (soundtrack)” (MILAN RECORDS)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds “Skeleton Tree” (BAD SEED LTD.)
Rihanna “Anti” (ROC NATION)
Slow Dancing Society “The Wagers of Love and Their Songs From the Witching Hour” (HIDDEN SHOAL)
Trentemøller “Fixion” (IN MY ROOM)
A Tribe Called Quest “We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service” (EPIC RECORDS)
Various Artists “Before the Flood (soundtrack)” (LAKESHORE RECORDS)
Warpaint “Heads Up” (ROUGH TRADE RECORDS)
The Weeknd “Starboy” (XO/REPUBLIC RECORDS)
Yann Tiersen “EUSA” (MUTE RECORDS)

Tom Walczyk
Here are some records that I found to help make 2016 a bit better
(no particular order)

Dinosaur Jr— Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not (Jagjaguawar)
Dow Jones & the Industrials- Can’t Stand the Midwest 1979- 1981 (Family Vineyard)
Halo Of Flies- Music For Insect Minds (AMREP)
— Plus all other AMREP reissues (Cows, Dope Guns, Helios Creed, Melvins…)
David Bowie- BlackStar (ISO Records)
Angel Olsen- My Women (Jagjaguwar)
Iggy Pop- Post Pop Depression (Loma Vista)
Bob Mould- Patch The Sky (Merge)
Nick Cave- Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed LTD.)
Savages- Adore Life (Matador)
Warpaint- Heads Up (Rough Trade)
Omni- Deluxe (Trouble in Mind)
Thee Oh Sees- A Weird Exits & Thee Oh Sees- An Odd Entrances (Castle Face)

*** Label of the Year— Superior Viaduct
Amazing reissues from The Fall, Flesh Eaters, DNA,
Suicide…. so many amazing titles made available again!!!***

I am sure there are releases that I missed so take the time and read all the lists and while shopping in the stores please come talk to us, we would love to point you toward something you will dig!!! Thank You!!!

Gary Errera


Jacob Kart

Lifetones “For A Reason” (reissue) (Light in the Attic)
Gas “Box” (reissue) (KOMPAKT)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith “EARS” (Western Vinyl)
Autechre “Tri Repetae” and “Incunabula” (reissues) (Warp)
Tal Sounds “Lifter And Higher” (Hausu Mountain)
Datach’i “System” (TimeSig)
Autechre “Elseq” (Warp)
Andy Stott “Too Many Voices” (Modern Love)
Carl Stone “Electronic Music From the Seventies and Eighties” (Unseen Worlds)
The Field “The Follower” (KOMPAKT)
Flux Bikes/ Suenolas (Festival Gear)
Horse Lords “Interventions” (Northern Spy)
Moon Bros “These Stars” (Western Vinyl)
Venetian Snares “Traditional Synthesizer Music” (TimeSig)

Benjamin Hegy
David Bowie- (blackstar)- ISO Records
Chris Cohen- as if apart- Captured Tracks
The Field- the follower- Kompakt
Manuel Gottsching- e2-e4- MG.ART
Lifetones- for a reason- Light In the Attic
Jackie Lynn- s/t- Thrill Jockey
Roberto Musci- tower of silence- Music From Memory
Omar S- the best!- FXHE Records
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith- ears- Western Vinyl
This Heat- deceit- Modern Classics Recordings
A Tribe Called Quest- we got it from here…. thank you for your service- Epic
Ryley Walker- golden sings that have been sung- Dead Oceans
Western Skies Motel- settlers- Lost Tribe Sound

Tim Quinlan
Le Matos – Chronicles of the Wasteland (December 2015 release)
A Tribe Called Quest “We Got It From Here…”
BadBadNotGood “IV”
Yann Tiersen “Eusa”
Umberto “Alienation”
Oddisee “The Odd Tape”
Wojciech Golczewski “Reality Check”
Chance the Rapper “Coloring Book”
Vince Staples “Prima Donna”
FM-84 “Atlas”
Anderson Paak “Malibu”
S U R V I V E “RR7349”
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein “Stranger Things Soundtrack”

Luke Dahlgren
20 best of 2016:
Top 5:
1. Parquet Courts – Human Performance (Rough Trade)
2. Kiran Leonard – Grapefruit (Moshi Moshi)
3. Sheer Mag – III (Static Shock)
4. David Bowie – ★ (Iso)
5. Kevin Morby – Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)
15 more (alpha):
Charles Bradley – Changes (Daptone)
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (Warp)
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial (Matador)
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed Ltd.)
The Gotobeds – Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic (Sub Pop)
Nicolas Jaar – Sirens (Other People)
Cass McCombs – Mangy Love (Anti-)
Mourn – Ha, Ha, He. (Captured Tracks)
Frank Ocean – Blonde (Boys Don’t Cry)
Angel Olsen – MY WOMAN (Jagjaguwar)
Preoccupations – Preoccupations (Jagjaguwar)
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)
Savages – Adore Life (Matador)
Solange – A Seat at the Table (Saint)

Ben Crowell
in no particular order:

David Bowie – Blackstar (Columbia/Sony)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed Ltd.)
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (Columbia/Sony)
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch (Sacred Bones)
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Stranger Things Vol. 1 & 2 (Lakeshore)
Julianna Barwick – Will (Dead Oceans)
The Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time (History Always Favors)
Aphex Twin – Cheetah EP (Warp)
Moon Pool & Dead Band – Humanizer (Midwich)
Mark Korven – The Witch OST (Milan)

Rachel’s – Systems/Layers (Quarterstick)
Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks OST (Deathwaltz)
Bobby Beausoleil – Lucifer Rising (Ajna)
Lee Harvey Oswald Band – Blastronaut (Touch and Go)
William Basinski – 92982 (Temporary Residence)

Christian Keck
in no particular order except #1

1. Hecks (self-titled)

Solange (A seat at the table)
Kendrick Lamar (untitled remaster)
Floating Points (Elaenia)
Thee Oh Sees (Weird Exits
Charles Bradley (Changes)
Hoops (self-titled)
Stranger Things OST Vol 1
Bitchin Bajas & Bonnie Prince Billy (Epic Jammers)
King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard (Nonagon Infinity)

Thor Jorgenson

John Jackson (in no order)
Oddisee- Alwasta EP
Charles Bradley- Changes
Gimungo- Movement
Jeff Parker- The New Breed
Saul Williams- MartyrLoserKing
Maker- Maker Vs Now Again 3
Dibiase- Baker’s Dozen Instrumental Series
Kool Keith- Feature Magnetic
Madlib- Our Vinyl Ways A Ton OST Beats 10″
Ras G- Baker’s Dozen Instrumental Series

Anthony Illarde
ABADDON Blues Tomorrow 45 (Alonas Dream)
BIG STAR Complete Third CD (Omnivore)
KARL BLAU Introducing Karl Blau LP (Raven Marching Band)
ALICE COOPER Live From The Astroturf 45 (Good Records)
BETTY DAVIS The Columbia Years 1968-1969 LP (Light In The Attic)
BOB DYLAN The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert! CD (Columbia)
THE ELECTRIC PRUNES I’ve Got A Way Of My Own 45 (Sundazed)
THE FLAT FIVE It’s A World Of Love & Hope LP (Augiedisc/Bloodshot)
GRAPEFRUIT Lullaby 45 (Cherry Red)
LEE HAZLEWOOD Cowboy In Sweden LP (Light In The Attic)
HAILU MERGIA / DAHLAK BAND ‎– Wede Harer Guzo LP (Awesome Tapes From Africa)
THE MICKEY FINN Garden Of My Mind 45 (Munster)
THE MILD HIGH CLUB Skiptracing LP (Stones Throw)
MONKEES Saturday’s Child 45 (Rhino)
RAMONES Ramones 40th Anniversary Edition 3CD (Rhino)
SUN RA & HIS INTERPLANETARY VOCAL ARKESTRA The Space Age Is Here To Stay LP (Modern Harmonic)
VARIOUS Last Of The Garage Punk Unknowns Vol 5-8 LPs (Crypt)
VARIOUS Scepter Records Out In The Streets Again: The Soul Sounds of Scepter LP (Sundazed)
VARIOUS Venezuela 70: Cosmic Visions Of A Latin American Earth LP (Soul Jazz)

JEFF APTER Tragedy: The Ballad of the Bee Gees (Jawbone Press)
JOHN DOE Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History of LA Punk (Da Capo Press)
DAVID HEPWORTH Never A Dull Moment: 1971, The Year That Rock Exploded (Henry Holt & Co)
PETER MILLS The Monkees, Head, and the 60s (Jawbone Press)
SIMON REYNOLDS Shock & Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy From the Seventies to the Twenty-First Century (Dey St.)
MIKE STAX Swim Through The Darkness: My Search For Craig Smith & The Mystery of Maitreya Kali (Process Media/ Feral House)

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: The Beatles Touring Years (Universal)
GIMME DANGER: Story Of The Stooges (Magnolia Pictures)

Zachary Caputo
1: Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown (experimental hip-hop on warp)
2: Bottomless Pit by Death Grips (experimental hip-hop on third worlds)
3: Splendor and Misery by clipping. (experimental hip-hop on sub pop)
4: ★ (Blackstar) by David Bowie (experimental rock on ISO)
5: Hit Reset by The Julie Ruin (dance punk on Hardly Art)
6: Changes by Charles Bradley (soul on daptone)
7: Scum With Boundaries by The I.L.Y.s (experimental rock on third worlds) [this is the only record on this list we don’t stock at Reckless as it was released as a free download online. go get yourself a copy! it’s free!]
8: Movement by Gimungo (experimental dance, self-released)
9: We got it from here… by A Tribe Called Quest (hip-hop on epic)
10: Eraser Stargazer by Guerrilla Toss (dance punk on DFA)
11: untitled unmastered by Kendrick Lamar (hip hop on top dawg)
12: MatryrLoserKing by Saul Williams (experimental hip-hop on fader)
13: A Moon Shaped Pool by Radiohead (experimental rock on XL)
14: You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen (singer-songwriter/folk on columbia)
15: Drug Apts. by Drug Apts. (experimental punk on interference pattern)
16: Trans Day of Revenge by G.L.O.S.S. (punk on total negativity and three other labels)
17: Dissociation by The Dillinger Escape Plan (mathcore on party smasher)
18: 99 Cents by Santigold (dance/pop on atlantic)
19: Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino (soul/p-funk worship on glassnote)
20: Nosebleed Weekend by The Coathangers (punk on suicide squeeze)

Gabriella Hileman
(no order)
joanna brouk: hearing music
drab majesty: completely careless
jessy lanza: oh no
suzanne cianni: buchla concerts 1975
pylon: live
jackie lynn: jackie lynn
Perry Ryan
Top 15 Albums

Crying – Beyond The Fleeting Gales (Run For Cover) [80s-style arena rock/synthpop]

Whitney – Light Upon The Lake (Secretly Canadian) [Country/soul/indie pop]
Jeff Rosenstock – WORRY. (SideOneDummy) [Punk]
Frank Ocean – Blonde (Boys Don’t Cry) [Art soul]
Andy Shauf – The Party (Anti-) [70s-style singer-songwriter]
The Avalanches – Wildflower (Modular/Astralwerks/XL/EMI) [Plunderphonics/neo-psych]
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book (Self-released) [Hip-hop]
The Range – Potential (Domino) [Electronic]
Xenia Rubinos – Black Terry Cat (Anti-) [Unclassifiable/Art pop]
David Bowie – Blackstar (ISO/Columbia) [Art rock]
Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine (Glassnote) [Throwback rock]
Kyle Craft – Dolls Of Highland (Sub Pop) [Southern glam, I guess]
D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M. (Empire/Atlantic) [Trappy-go-lucky]
The Lemon Twigs – Do Hollywood (4AD) [Rundgren-core]
A Giant Dog – Pile (Merge) [Raucous power pop]

Dylan Sowle
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- Skeleton Tree. I either want to BE Nick Cave, or I want him to adopt me. Those are my only options for happiness.
BRONCHO- Double Vanity. Definitely my most played album of the year. The singer also pronounces words like he’s learning them for the first time. Turn up tha fuzzzzz.
Beyoncé- Lemonade. I mean, come on. The QUEEN.
TacocaT- Lost Time. I never knew how badly I needed a pop punk song about Dana Scully until this album came out, and now I don’t know how I survived before it.
Andy Hull & Robert McDowell- Swiss Army Man OST. I wasn’t gonna list any soundtracks but this music and this movie are some of the most weird and beautiful things I experienced this year.
John Congleton and the Nighty Nite- Until The Horror Goes. I just couldn’t believe I was hearing new music from John Congleton in 2016. This dude’s insane.
Santigold- 99¢. Totally thought she was singing about “big balls” the first time this played in the store. Kind of disappointed she wasn’t.
Angel Olsen- My Woman. I’m gonna fall in love with you someday.
Frank Ocean- Blonde. I immediately restarted this album as soon as it finished, so that’s gotta mean something.
Worry- Jeff Rosenstock. Even though I think this is one of Jeff’s weakest albums of his career, it still rules and I’m so happy such an amazing artist is finally getting a fraction of the recognition he deserves. Go buy every record he’s ever made right now.

Top Shows, in no particular order

The King Khan & BBQ Show w/ The Gartrells @ The Empty Bottle
Seu Jorge Presents The Life Aquatic @ Thalia Hall
BRONCHO w/ SPORTS @ The Empty Bottle
Black Sabbath: The End @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Misfits @ Riot Fest
GYMSHORTS @ Bric-A-Brac Scummer Slam, East Room
Mean Jeans @ East Room
Nobunny w/ The Rubs, New Year’s Eve @ Beat Kitchen
Jeff Rosenstock @ Beat Kitchen
Louis C.K. @ Chicago Theatre

Philip Cerza
I hate ranking stuff, so this is in order of flow:
I Had A Dream That You Were Mine
– Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam Batmanglij,
We Got It From Here – A Tribe Called Quest,
A Seat At The Table – Solange,
Adore – Savages,
My Woman – Angel Olsen,
Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds,
A Mulher do Fim do Mundo – Elza Soares,
Leave Me Alone – Hinds,
Freetown Sound – Blood Orange,
ANTI – Rihanna,
Puberty 2 – Mitski,
Emotional Mugger – Ty Segall,
Shape Shift With Me – Against Me,
No Burden – Lucy Dacus,
Post Pop Depression – Iggy Pop,
I like it when you sleep… – The 1975,
X-Communicate – Kristin Kontrol,
Hopelessness – Anohni,
Singing Saw – Kevin Morby,
Wildflower – Avalanches,
99.9% – Kaytranada,
Atrocity Exhibition – Danny Brown,
Awaken, My Love – Childish Gambino,
Lemonade – Beyoncé,
“No Problem” – Chance The Rapper,
“Solo” – Frank Ocean,
“Fuck Donald Trump” – YG & Nipsey Hussle,
“Oui” – Jeremih,
“2 Phones” – Kevin Gates,
“Into You” – Ariana Grande,
“Boyfriend” – Tegan & Sara,
“Radio” – Sylvan Esso,
“Tiimmy Turner” – Desiigner,
“Purple Lamborghini” – Rick Ross & Skrillex,
AJ Styles’ entrance theme,
most of Joanne,
anything by or with Young Thug,
Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen,
and Blackstar.
Rest in power Bowie, Prince, Phife, Alan Vega, Leonard Cohen, and Miss Sharon Jones <3

Emily Elhaj
Cate Le Bon – Crab Day (Drag City)
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch (Sacred Bones)
Jeff Parker – New Breed (International Anthem)
David Bowie – Blackstar (Sony)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Until The Hunter (Tendril Tales)
The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time (History Always Favours The Winner)
Allen Toussaint – American Tunes (Nonesuch)
Wei Zhongle – Nice Mask Over An Ugly Face (Pretty Purgatory)
A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic)
Horse Lords – Interventions (Northern Spy)
BadBadNotGood – IV (Innovative Leisure)
Tim Hecker – Love Streams (4AD)
Cass McCombs & The Skiffle Players – Skifflin’ (Spiritual Pajamas)
Cass McCombs – Mangy Love (Anti)
Goat – Requiem (Sub Pop)
Rihanna – Anti (Roc)
Marie Davidson – Adieux Au Dancefloor (Minimal Wave)
Alex Barnett – Chew From The Mind (Midwich)
Bryson Tiller – Trapsoul (RCA) 2015
Marisa Anderson – Into The Light (Chaos Kitchen)
Equip (Kevin Hein) – I Dreamed Of A Palace In The Sky (Dream Catalogue)
Charles Bradley – Changes (Daptone)
Kevin Morby – Singing Saw (Dead Oceans)
Brian Case – Tense Nature (Hands In The Dark)
Chris Cohen – As If Apart (Captured Tracks)
Lionlimb – Shoo (Bayonet)
James Blake – The Colour in Anything (Universal)
Solange – A Seat At The Table (Saint/Columbia)
Joanna Brouk – Hearing Music (Numero)
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book (Self)
Rayon – A Beat of Silence (Morr)
Exploded View – s/t (Sacred Bones)
Angel Olsen – My Woman (Jagjaguwar)
Jeremiah Meece – Vocal EP1 (Nina Pop)
Frank Ocean – Blond (self)
The Hecks – s/t (Trouble In Mind)
Aluk Todolo – Voix (The Ajna Offensive)
Furia – Księżyc Milczy Luty (Pagan)

Gas – Box (Kompakt)
Impulse! reissues
Jack Rose reissues (Three Lobed)
Träd, Gräs och Stenar reissues (Anthology)
Talk Talk – Laughing Stock (Republic)
Lifetones – For A Reason (Light In the Attic)
Steve Reich – Four Organs / Phase Patterns (Superior Viaduct)
Metallica – Ride the Lightning / Kill ‘Em All (self)
David Bowie reissues (Parlophone)


New Years Eve Cover Band Bonanza, The Mothlight
Unknown Mortal Orchestra/ Lower Dens, The Fonda
Joan Jett/ Beck, The Palladium
Oozing Wound, Empty Bottle
Benoit Pioulard, Revolve
Lambchop, Mill & Mine
Kamasi Washington, Mill & Mine
Nico Muhly/ Sam Amidon, Bijou Theatre
Dungen, Empty Bottle
Jenny Hval, Pitchfork
BadBadNotGood, Nelsonville Music Fest
Thee Oh Sees, Hurra
Warehouse, Mothlight
Jackie Lynn, Silent Funny
L7, Metro
Dolly Parton, Ravinia
Rodrigo Amarante
The Raincoats/Angel Olsen, Islington Assembly Hall
Cass McCombs Band, Koorenhuis – Crossing Border
Tatsuya Nakatani & Makoto Kawabata, Allways Lounge

Reykjavik Roasters
Star Lounge, Chicago
Koladi Coffee, Alaska
La Colombe, NYC
Hometown, Den Haag
Izzy’s, Asheville
Roasted Coffee, Copenhagen
Mojo, New Orleans
Pilgrim, Hobart, TAS

Billy Smith  –  Good stuff in 2016!
“The Revenant” Soundtrack – Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto
Damien Jurado – Vision of Us On the Land (Secretly Canadian)
Colin Stetson Presents “Sorrow” Gorecki Sym 3 Reimagined
Charles Bradley “Changes” (Daptone)
Ben Lukas Boysen – “Spells” (Erased Tapes)
Various Artists – “Venezuela 70” (Soul Jazz)
OMNI – Deluxe (Trouble In Mind)
Michael Kiwanuka “Love & Hate” (Interscope)
Various Artists “Eleven Into Fifteen; A 130701 Compilation”
Shirley Davis & The Silverbacks “Black Rose” (Tucxone)
Outer Space “Chase Across Orion” (Tucxone)
Johann Johannsson “Orphee” (Deutsche Grammophon)
Lee Fields & The Expressions “Special Night” (Big Crown)
Dungen “Haxan” (Kemado)
Adam Wiltzie “Salero” (Erased Tapes)

Bryan Smith
Vektor – Terminal Redux LP
Pressing On LP
Sand reissues on LP
Dead Can Dance – Garden of Arcane Delights/ Peel Sessions 2lp
Biosphere – Departed Glories LP
Death – Sound Of Perseverance reissue
Quick – Untold Rock Stories reissue
Tortoise – Catastrophist
Gas – Box
Cate Le Bon – Crab Day
Max Richter – Sleep
This Heat/ Camberwell Now/ Lifetones reissues
Savages – Adore Life
Slint – Spiderland
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
The Moles – Untune The Sky
Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory
Swervedriver – Raise
Jesus Lizard – Goat
Talk Talk – Laughing Stock
Nirvana – Nevermind
Peter Jefferies – Last Great Challenge In A Dull World
LFO – frequencies
Nightmares On Wax – A Word Of Science
The Cakekitchen – Time Flowing Backwards
Entombed – Clandestine
Leatherface – Mush
Nation Of Ulysses – 13 Point Program To Destroy America
Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque
Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend
Dinosaur JR – Green Mind
Neil Young – Arc/Weld
There are other records that are great from 1991, but those are the ones I think were actually on my first best of list for Reckless back in the day.

Sarah Frier
-no order-
Angel Olsen – My Woman
Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From…
David Bowie – Blackstar
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Beyonce – Lemonade
A Giant Dog – Pile
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Dinosaur Jr – Give A Glimpse Of What You’re Not
Split Single – Fragmented World
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger
Tortoise – The Catastrophist
Savages – Adore Life
Natural Child – Okey Dokey

Jake Lingan
Best of 2016, in no particular order:
Lambchop- FLOTUS (Merge)
Oren Ambarchi- Hubris (Editions Mego)
Jessy Lanza- Oh No (Hyperdub)
David Bowie- Blackstar (ISO)
The Field- The Follower (Kompakt)
Horse Lords- Interventions (Northern Spy)
Rob Mazurek & Emmett Kelly- Alien Flower Sutra (International Anthem)
Jacob Kart- Sigint (Baro)
Tim Hecker- Love Streams (4AD)
Flux Bikes/ Suenolas split (Lake Paradise)
Gas- Box (Kompakt)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani- Sunergy (RVNG INTL)
Autechre- elseq 1-5/ reissues (Warp)
Andy Stott- Too Many Voices (Modern Love)
Joanna Brouk- Hearing Music (Numero)
Quicksails- Mortal (Hausu Mountain)
Kate Bush- Before The Dawn (Concord)
Suicide reissues (Superior Viaduct)
The Fall reissues (Superior Viaduct)
Roy Harper reissues (Science Friction)
This Heat/ Lifetones/ Camberwell Now reissues (Light In The Attic)
Spires That In The Sunset Rise & Michael Zerang- Kata Physin (No Index)
Sapropelic Pycnic- A Love Supreme (No Index)
El Is A Sound Of Joy- Plus (No Index)
Barn Duet- ASMR (No Index)
FLAK- Upheaval (No Index)
Havre de Grace- Black Sea II (No Index)

Adam Cavanaugh
1.) Giuliano Sorgini – “Zoo Folle” reissue from Four Flies Records
2.) Wojciech Golczewski – “Reality Check” from Death Waltz Originals
3.) Yuzo Koshiro – “Streets of Rage 2” soundtrack from Data Discs
4.) John Carpenter – “Lost Themes II” from Sacred Bones Records
5.) Mark Korven – “The VVitch (Witch)” soundtrack from Milan Records
6.) Bixio, Frizzi, Tempera – “Magnetic Systems” from Finders Keepers Records
7.) Prix – “Historix” from Hozac Records
8.) Bruno Nicolai – “The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave” soundtrack from Death Waltz Records
9.) Various Artists – “Mother 2” soundtrack from Ship to Shore Phonoco.
10.) Angelo Badalamenti – “Twin Peaks” soundtrack reissue from Death Waltz

Honorable Mentions
– Mad Monster Party soundtrack from Waxwork Records
– Skywave – “Killerrockandroll” from Kanine Records
– The Replacements reissues from Rhino
– Konami Kukeiha Club – “Lagrange Point” soundtrack from Ship to Shore Phonoco
– Face to Face – First three albums reissues (Don’t Turn Away, Big Choice, and Face to Face) from Fat Wreck Chords

Molly Mobley
1. Beyonce “Lemonade”
2. Carly Rae Jepsen “Emotions B Side”
3. Kendrick Lamar “Untitled Unmastered”
4. Jenny Hval “Blood Bitch”
5. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard “Nonagon Infinity”
6. Badbadnotgood “IV”
7. Angel Olsen “My Woman”
8. Charles Bradley “Changes”
9. Savages “Adore Life”
10. Frankie Cosmos “Next Thing”

Kevin Hein
The Field- The Follower
Tortoise- The Catastrophist
Jessy Lanza- Oh No
Disasterpeace- Hyper Light Drifter OST
Bibio- A Mineral Love
Ryuichi Sakamoto- The Revenant
Winter Sleep – Dreams (cassette reissue)
DJ Alina- Maniax
Jacob Kart- SIGINT
2814- Rain Temple
Useless / Virtual Dreams Plaza – Balance (split)
Vaperror- Acid Arcadia EP / Mana Pool LP reissue
Virtual Dreams Plaza- Dream Love
Telepath- Your Love / Everlasting Love cassette reissue
The Caretaker- Everywhere at the end of time
NMESH- Welcome To Warp Zone (cassette reissue)
Ghosting- 2D Fun At Grid World
George Clanton- 100% Electronica (cassette reissue)
Yoshitaka Azuma- Panzer Dragoon OST (LP Reissue)
Hong Kong Express- HK (Vinyl reissue)
Pretty much everything Orange Milk Records put out

Guilty pop pleasure of the year- Kero Kero Bonito- Bonito Generation

Lea Board
Best of 2016, in no particular order:
Ty Segall & the Muggers “Emotional Mugger”
Santigold “99cents”
Angel Olsen “My Woman”
Broncho “Double Vanity”
Beyonce “Lemonade”
Thee Oh Sees “A Weird Exits” & “An Odd Entrances”
Tribe Called Quest “We Got It From Here..Thank You 4 Your Service”
Suuns “Hold/Still”
Kid Congo & the Pink Monkey Birds “La Araba Es La Visa”
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard “Nonagon Infinity”
David Bowie “Blackstar”
Fat White Family “Songs for our Mothers”
Blind Shake “Celebrate your Worth”
Mind Spiders “Prosthesis”
Preoccupations “Preoccupations”

Courtland Green
Jeff Parker – Slight Freedom on Eremite Records
Jeff Parker -The New Breed on International Anthem Recording Company
Jeff Parker – Get Dressed flexi also on International Recording Company (They actually killed it this year)
Three for Parks! Aww maaaaan….
DJ Rude One – Closed Sessions (best Hip Hop record of the year)
Larry Dixon – Star Time box set on Past Due
Makaya McCraven – In The Moment on International Anthem recording company
De La Soul – And the Anonymous Nobody on AOI
Omar S – The Best 4 lp set
Theo Parris – Sketches 3 lp
Radius S/T
Tortoise – Catastrophist on Thrill Jokey
Tribe Called Quest – We Got it From Here
TV Pow- S/T
AlTone Edits all of em
Arsenio Rodriguez – Como Se Goza En El Barrio: Havanna and NYC Recordings 1946-1962 (finally Arsenio reissue!)
Bacao Rhythm and Steel Band – 55

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Friends of Reckless year-end lists 2016

Stephen Sowley (Fake Limbs)
20 records that I didn’t have to download or stream to enjoy. If Chance is so independent, why can’t I walk into a store and buy his record?

Moor Mother—Fetish Bones
Jenny Hval—Blood Bitch
G.L.O.S.S.—Trans Day of Revenge 7”
Solange—A Seat At The Table
David Bowie—Black Star
Jessy Lanza—Oh No
Blood Orange—Freetown Sound
In School—Cement Fucker 7”
Schoolboy Q—Blank Face LP
Omar S—The Best!
Pure Disgust—Pure Disgust
The Dead C—Trouble
Max D—Boost
Jeff Parker—The New Breed
Nels Cline—Lovers
Huerco S.—For Those That Have (And For Those That Haven’t)
Behavior—375 Images of Angels
Andy Stott—Too Many Voices

Brett Grossman
Angel Olsen “My Woman” (Jagjaguwar)
Radiohead “A Moon Shaped Pool” (XL Recordings)
Anna Meredith “Varmints” (Moshi Moshi Records)
Sarah Davachi “Vergers” (Important)
Benoit Pioulard “The Benoit Pioulard Listening Matter” (Kranky)
Bon Iver “22, A Million” (Jagjaguwar)
Solange “A Seat at the Table” (Columbia)
Ty Garrett Segall “Emotional Mugger” (Drag City)
James Blake “The Colour in Anything” (Polydor)
Tenniscoats “Music exists 3” (Majikicks)
Lucky Dragons “Ooga Booga Bongo Music” (Teenage Teardrops)
Weyes Blood “Front Row Seat to Earth” (Mexican Summer)
Jenny Hval “Blood Bitch” (Sacred Bones)
Meredith Monk “On behalf of Nature” (ECM)
Klein “Only” (Howling Owl)
Xinlisupreme “Tomorrow Never Comes” (FatCat Records)
Dungen “Häxan” (MexicanSummer)
Cate Le Bon “Crab Day” (Drag City)
Joey Purp “iiiDrops” (Save Money)
Wilco “Schmilco” (dBPM)
Eluvium “False Readings On” (Temporary Residence Limited)
Carla dal Forno “You Know What It’s Like” (Blackest Ever Black)
Huerco S. “For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)” (Proibito)
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam “I had a dream that you were mine” (Glass Note)
Parquet Courts “Human Performance” (Rough Trade)
Mitsky “Puberty 2” (Dead Oceans)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith “EARS” (Western Vinyl)
Damien Jurado “Visions of Us On the Land” (Secretly Canadian)
Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions “Until the Hunter” (Tendril Tales)
Andy Shauf “The Party” (Anti)
Car Seat Headrest “Teens of Denial” (Matador)
The Caretaker “Everywhere at the End of Time” (History always Favours the Winners)
Maja S K Ratkje “Crepuscular Hour” (Rune Grammofon)

Reissues / Archives
Blonde Redhead “Masculin Féminin” (Numero Group)
Big Star “Complete Third” (Omnivore Recordings)
Various Artists “Shanghai’d Soul: Episode 4” (Numero Group)
Washington Phillips “Washington Phillips and his Manzarene Dreams” (Dust-to-Digital)
Various Artists “Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music” (Numero Group)
Syrinx “Tumblers from the Vault (1970–1972)” (Rvng Intl)
Joanna Brouk “Hearing Music” (Numero Group)
Various “Sky Girl” (Efficient Spaces)
Carl Stone “Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties” (Unseen Worlds)
Various Artists “VENEZUELA 70: Cosmic Visions Of A Latin American Earth – Venezuelan Experimental Rock In The 1970s (Soul Jazz)
Julius Eastman “Feminine” (Frozen Reeds)

Dave Martin (Captured Tracks)

1. Major Stars – “Motion Set” (Drag City)
2. 75 Dollar Bill – “Wood Metal Plastic Pattern Rhythm Rock” (Thin Wrist)
3. Savoy Motel – S/T (What’s Your Rupture)
4. David Nance – “More Than Enough” (Ba-Da-Bing)
5. Omegas – “Power To Exist” (Beach Impediment)
6. Brian Case – “Tense Nature” (Hands In The Dark / Negative Days)
7. Cate Le Bon – “Crab Day” (Drag City)
8. Meet Your Death – S/T (12XU)
9. Tyvek – “Origin of What” (In The Red)
10. Dark Blue – “Start of the World” (12XU)
11. Counter Intuits – “Monosyllabilly” (Pyramid Scheme Records)
12. The Silence – “Nine Suns, One Morning” (Drag City)
13. S.L.I.P. – “Slippy When Wet” (Sorry State Records)
14. Gotobeds – “Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic” (Sub Pop)
15. Stefan Christensen – “American Pastoral Again” / “Empty Continents” / “Cryptic Slang” (Ever/Never – C/Site – The Loki Label)
16. Dinosaur Jr. – “Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not” (Jagjaguwar)
17. Old Head – S/T (Omentum)
18. Chook Race – “Around The House” (Trouble In Mind)
19. Heron Oblivion – S/T (Sub Pop)
20. Ultimate Painting – “Dusk” (Trouble In Mind)
21. Ryley Walker – “Golden Songs That Have Been Sung” (Dead Oceans)
22. Car Seat Headrest – “Teens of Denial” (Matador)
23. Renderers – “In The Sodium Light” (Ba-Da-Bing)
24. Terry – “Terry HQ” (Upset The Rhythm)
25. Estrogen Highs / Frustrations – Split (Safety Meeting Records)

7”s / 12”s / EPs

1. S/cks – “Sickening” b/w “New Crusades” (S/cks)
2. Neil Michael Hagerty & The Howling Hex – “Full Moon in Gemini” (Drag City)
3. Them Speaking Canaries – “Summer Band” b/w “He Did Send In The Army” (Chunklet / Third Uncle)
4. Lonely Wholesome – “Savage, Lovely, Lonely” (Bad Actors)
5. S.L.I.P. – “Mental Abuse” b/w “Stick It” (Mind Cure / BHF Records)
6. Rixe – “Les Nerfs A Vif” (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos)
7. Watery Love – “Ned’s Dreamcatcher” b/w “Meg’s Dreamcatcher” (Richie Records)
8. Mordecai – “Want To Be” b/w “Pictures of Her W/Them” (Richie Records)
9. Good Throb – S/T 7” (La Vida Es Un Mus Discos)
10. Triage – “Power Beat” (Larry Tony Produzioni)
11. C.C.T.V. – S/T (Lumpy Records)
12. Warthog – S/T EP (Beach Impediment)
13. Kaleidoscope – “Vol. 2, No. 1” (Katorga Works)
14. In School – “Cement Fucker” (Thrilling Living Records)
15. Cut Worms – “Don’t Want To Say Good-bye” b/w “Like Going Down Sideways” (Randy Records)


1. Träd Gräs Och Stenar – Box (Anthology)
2. Mike Rep & The Quotas – “Hellbender” (Hozac)
3. Angry Angles – S/T (Goner)
4. Lord High Fixers – “the beginning of the end…the end of the beginning” (Omentum Records)
5. Simply Saucer – “Saucerland” (Logan Hardware)
6. Halo of Flies – “Music For Insect Minds” (Amphetamine Reptile Records)
7. The Clean – “Getaway” (Merge)
8. Terminals – “Uncoffined” (Hozac)
9. Dow Jones & the Industrials – “Can’t Stand The Midwest 1979-1981” & Mr. Science – “1978-1979” (Family Vineyard)
10. Renderers – “A Dream of the Sea” (Tinsel Ears)
11. Stickmen With Rayguns – “Property of Jesus Christ” & “1,000 Lives To Die” (12XU)
12. Builders – “Beatin Hearts” (Grapefruit Records)
13. Dancing Cigarettes – “Dance Dogs Dance” (Magnetic South)
14. Cannanes – “A Love Affair With Nature” (Chapter)
15. Pylon – “Live” (Chunklet)
16. Jack Rose (Three Lobed / VHF)
17. Ivy Green – S/T (Pseudonym)
18. Night Birds – “Who Killed Mike Hunchback” (Fat Wreck Chords)
19. Keiji Haino – “Milky Way” (Black Truffle)
20. La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela – The Theatre of Eternal Music – “Dream House – 78’17”” (Aguirre Records)
21. Mars – “Mars Archive Volume 2: 11000 Volts to Tunnel” (Negative Glam / Feeding Tube)
22. Green River – “1984 Demos” (Jackpot)
23. Mike & The Melvins – “Three Men and a Baby” (Sub Pop)
24. Various Artists – “I Don’t Care – Dutch Punk 1977-1983 – Volume 2” (Pseudonym)
25. Sonic Youth – “Spinhead Sessions 1986” (Goo)

Adam Luksetich (Numero Group)
Probably just me being out of touch, but 2016 SUCKED for new music. Anywhere, here’s some I (Adam Luksetich) enjoyed:

Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy Of Molten Bones
Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder
Jackie Lynn – S/T
Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time
Bachelor In Paradise – Season 3 on ABC
Marissa Nadler – Strangers
Inquisition – Bloodshed Across The Empyrean Altar Beyond The Celestial Zenith
Shirley Collins – Lodestar
Blonde Redhead – Masculin Feminin (is this cheating?)

Most anticipated releases of 2017:
Matt and Adam’s Sick New Heavy Metal Band – Debut Demo Tape

Lincoln Hall/Schubas Music Dept.
Bayonne – Primitives
Beacon – Escapements
BJ Barham – Rockingham
Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Doug Tuttle – It Calls On Me
Ex-Cult – Negative Growth
Glyders – DIM
GoGo Penguin – Man Made Object
Imarhan – Imarhan
John Prine – For Better, Or Worse
Kikagaku Moyo – House In The Tall Grass
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity
Open Mike Eagle – Hella Personal Film Festival
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – High Visceral, Pt. 1
Pup – The Dream Is Over
Quilt – Plaza
Savages – Adore Life
Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits
Tim Hecker – Love Streams
Weaves – Weaves

Kevin Stacy (Danny’s)
2016 was a great year for music.
here is a list of labels that i think did exceptional work this year.


thanks for keeping the post-modern dancefloor moving!

a few of these had a 2015 digital release but were not to be found in solid form at a record shop until 2016.

M.I.A. / AIM

Dean Whitmore (Sub Pop Records)
Special “Favorite Records of 2016 That Were Released Really Late 2015” section:

Richard Dawson – Nothing Important
Wolf Eyes – I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces

Top 5 of 2016 (in no order after Heron Oblivion)

Heron Oblivion – I listened to this record 5 times in a row after my first listen. Beautiful & powerful, scrappy & assured. My favorite record of the year. There are obvious folk rock touchstones (Fairport, Pentangle) as well as echoes of previous bands the members have been in (Comets On Fire, Meg Baird, Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound). Punky jabs & Sonic Youth nods show up as well & manage to fit in seamlessly. Timeless record.

Dwarfs of East Agouza – Double LP from this trio from Cairo that features Alan Bishop & two Egyptian musicians. Repetitive jams w/ post punky bass lines, propulsive hand percussion, keys & guitar, heavy on the picking & light on the strum that can sound Arabic, African, atmospheric & rockin’. Groovy as hell. I do all four sides every time.

So Pitted – neo – Freak/art rock fueled by young adult despair/frustration/anger. Dirgy/sludgy riffs, throat shredding vocals. Arty & unpretentious. Made by kids weaned on Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead & 90’s radio hits? It’s not easy to understand how this comes of that for me… I hear Devo, Unwound, Karp, Nirvana etc.

Neutral – S/T – Cold, collage, art punk from Sweden. Songs center around a repetitive bass / keyboard / guitar line, tape hisses & warbles, spoken Swedish language female vocals deadpan, a taped conversation or found sound appears. Sinister & vulnerable, sometimes at the same time. At times this reminds me vaguely of Finnish “freak folk” bands of the oughts.

Karl Blau – Introducing.. – Covers of classic country tunes (many of which I must admit I didn’t know). Saw him play for 2 hrs at a bar in Anacortes over the summer & would’ve stayed for a third if he’d kept playing. I was only vaguely familiar w/ Karl before this which made me feel sorry that I missed a lot of opportunities to see him, buy his records & hear his great songs & wonderful voice.

Favorite Show of 2016
Senyawa – My girlfriend cried & screamed fuck yeah involuntarily, i stretched my eye sockets to keep from crying as well, forgetting there was anything else but this insane blend of modern, traditional, classical, punk, metal, noise music for awhile.

These Artists Released Records In 2016 That I Enjoyed A lot (In no order)

Hound Dog Taylors Hand, Uranium Club, Cate Le Bon, The Writhing Squares, Renderers, Nothing Band, Ryley Walker, Omni, Violence Creeps, Justin Gallego, Rafi Bookstaber, Male/Female, Spray Paint, Kikagaku Moyo, Spacin’, Private Room, Nathan Bowles, Oren Ambarchi, Primitive Parts, Goat, Trashies, Marisa Anderson, Roy Montgomery, Thee Oh Sees, Bad Breeding, Dead C, Mary Lattimore, Behavior, Vats, Colleen, the Baird Sisters, Lithics, Zig Zags, Rosalie, Stickers, EL-G, PJ Harvey, Ignatz, Lavender Flu, DoNormaal, Beret, Kane Strang, Gnod, VHS, Mothers, Chris Forsyth & the Solar Motel Band, Fat White Family, Dræmhouse, Male Bonding and all the other ones I’ve forgotten..

So many great reissues. Too many to list. A record consumer’s dream / nightmare. Keep it coming I guess.

Taylor Townes (Merge Records)
most things about 2016 were terrible, but here’s ten good records:

Bitchin Bajas & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties
Warehouse – super low
Psychic Temple – Plays Music for Airports
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani – FRKWYS Vol. 13: Sunergy
Kikagaku Moyo – House in the Tall Grass
Heron Oblivion – Heron Oblivion
Mary Lattimore – At the Dam
David Bowie – Blackstar
Matthewdavid’s Mindflight – Trust the Glide and Guide

Audrey Ewell
(Filmmaker (Until The Light Takes Us, 99%) whose most recent film, Memory Box, her last with filmmaking and life partner Aaron Aites before his death in April, can be seen here:

Top 22 picks masquerading (poorly) as a top ten list.

Upper echelons in no particular order:

Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits – This album is dedicated to Iran singer/songwriter and Until The Light Takes us co-director Aaron Aites, my beautiful and talented and now dead life and film partner.

Skepta – Konnichiwa – It’s an obvious pick if you’re into grime and I don’t think I can add anything to what’s already been written about Skepta or this album.

Mizmor – Yodh – For those times when you just need a good bleak pummeling.

Darkthrone – Arctic Thunder – I love these guys as people and musicians and this album takes me back a bit to their black metal… well I can’t say roots, as they started as death metal, but it harkens back to an earlier sound (leaving the crust punk by the side) and fuck it, it might be a nostalgia pick, but It’s fun and I like it. And if you’ve never seen lyricist and drummer Fenriz say “fun” with a heavy emphasis on sarcastic air quotes, you’re missing out.

Swans – The Glowing Man – Hi, it’s the Swans.

Isa – Эхо [Echo] – A guilty pleasure? Maybe. But I like that this Russian band is embracing a kind of spiritual seeking. Better than Stryper.

Clint Mansell – High-Rise OST – In a year that Mansell gave us this soundtrack, the Mondo re-release of The Fountain OST on vinyl, plus his score for Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” episode, choosing this of the three is a matter of personal taste. It stood out for me as the most pleasurably pagan-tinged and dreamlike aspect of High-Rise, while also fully serving the film.

GAIKA – Spaghetto – Really interesting EP with a mix of grime and dancehall and industrial. It’s layered and unfolds in interesting ways, rewarding repeat listens. The album is accompanied by an intriguing short film (commissioned by Warp) Another Hole in Babylon, which features an ominous knight and calls into question, for me at least, the notion of the “white knight.” When the helmet comes off, this knight is in fact, black. This EP would have made my top ten were it not for the video for “Glad We Found It” which features superficial, dated, fetishized, otherized, and objectified images of women as water-nymphs/sirens and it was just such a turn-off. That’s too bad, because I suspect he’s smart enough to know better, and to do better.

Roly Porter – Third Law – I had the pleasure of talking with Porter, a genuinely nice, down to earth guy, after his set at Unsound Festival’s insane Toronto installation. This took place at The Hearn, an abandoned power plant. It was the perfect setting for his space-vibed music (and also wouldn’t be out of place as a location for a new Alien or Prometheus film): epic, cavernous, dark, and a little otherworldly, like this album.

Top Ten:

10. Nick Cave – The Skeleton Tree – Heartbreak in a bottle. I relate.

9. Marissa Nadler – Strangers – She kept playing shows in NY and I kept going and crying. It was awkward. But you can’t let things like crying profusely in public stop you from doing what you want.

8. David Bowie – Blackstar – His life/art was the gift we’ll probably never be good enough to deserve.

7. Wrekmeister Harmonies – Light Falls – It makes me glad that people are finally catching onto them. They played my #2 live show of the year. Also I love the shirt I picked up there, plus, super conveniently, they also sold me coffee, which I was almost out of.

6. The Body – No One Deserves Happiness – I thought this album was just good until I couldn’t stop listening to Prescience over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. It inspired me to write a new opening for my script and you know what? It’s a better scene. Thanks The Body.

5. Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time – The first of the 6-album demise of the musical project as it slides into dementia. It’s the beginning of a journey into annihilation of self, memory, meaning. I’m just totally onboard for that.
4. Tim Hecker – Love Streams – He’s a cerebral dude. It takes a few listens. It’s super worth it.

3. Demdike Stare – Wonderland – It’s a soundtrack for end days (so, right now!), but that doesn’t mean we can’t dance while we’re disintegrating. Or at least take a few breaks from staring at each other in horror, to shuffle about a bit. So good.

2. Oranssi Pazuzu – Värähtelijä – Do you like metal? If so, you already know and love this album. But is it black metal? It wouldn’t exist without that lineage. But it’s equally inflected with Kraut and prog and stoner. I haven’t been this excited about modern black-ish metal since Aluk Todolo. If for some reason (some stupid reason) metal isn’t your thing, you could do worse than trying out this album just to mix it up a little.

Also #2. (Could not decide! Love them both!): Aluk Todolo – Voix – I love me the krautblack metal.

1. Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch – It’s just a super exciting, kinetic, record, both cerebral and visceral, and the first of hers that has connected with me on all cylinders. It keeps pulling back to it with its mixture of restraint and urgency, and I’m greedy for more.

Special Mention: Best Live Show of the Year: Inga Copeland at Trans Pecos, September 2016, New York City. I loved Hype Williams but I love her solo work more. Her ever-growing collection of EPs and albums are always amazing, and I can’t wait for the next studio release.

One for good luck:
James Holden, Camilo Tirado, and Luke Abbott – Outdoor Museum of Fractals / 555Hz – James Holden released my favorite record of 2013, The Inheritors. This isn’t mining the same gorgeously fractured future cityscape of cracked loss and corroded foundations tumbling into pure forgotten oceans of neglect, but is instead a sweet homage to composer Terry Riley.

OK, two for good luck (Sorry, I need it.)
Julien Marchal – Insight II – I didn’t have any reason to think I would be into this modern classical pianist’s album, as he was until recently completely unknown to me, but wow. I love the thrill of a new find.