10. Dos Santos - City of Mirrors
I love the surf rock hints mixed within the overall Latin sounds of this record. Catchy songs, melancholically South American. I just love the dreamy atmosphere this album creates.
Favourite track: A Tu Lado
9. IDLES - Crawler
This new IDLES LP is much less immediate than the previous ones. But fuckin hell it is a grower. Much more musically explorative, same old iconic and urgent lyrics. One of their best works for sure. The production is a punch in the face. In a good way.
Favourite track: Meds
8. STR4TA - Aspects
FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK FUNK
Favourite track: Aspects
7. Sault - Rise
Brilliant. So many good ideas so well developed. Crystal clear production, fantastic sounds. Soulful, urgent, fierce and confident.
Favourite track: Strong
6. Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Philharmonic Orchestra - Promises
This one might be a bit overrated to be fair, but in the end it is such a nice piece of music. Sanders’ improvisation is brilliant, a great bridge to the spiritual jazz tradition. The minimalistic approach of the whole LP is very enjoyable, with some great emotional peaks, like when the London Philharmonic Orchestra kicks in in all its grandeur.
Favourite track: Movement 6
5. Emma-Jean Thackray - Yellow
Great arrangements, a sunny atmosphere, positive vibes, great musicians. What not to like? Yeah maybe the production is a bit on the dull side but still, this album is packed with so much good stuff that I can honestly live with that. Emma and her band are even better when improvising live! Have a look here
Favourite track: Venus
4. Jaubi - Nafs at Peace
Psychedelic, mysterious, passionate. This LP shits on the heads of all those hipsters “psych” bands out there, any day any time. Traditional eastern instruments mixed with jazz/western instruments crafting some improvisational pieces out of this world.
Favourite track: Raga Gurji Todi
3. Low - HEY WHAT
This was a very late discovery for me this year but what an absolutely brilliant album. I love the contrast between the melodic vocal parts and the multiforme texture of sounds. From the grinding out of limiter screams, to the soft guitars, there’s an eerie balance here that is just a pleasure to experience.
Favourite track: Days Like These
2. Alfa Mist - Bring Backs
A nocturnal album, yet colourful, explorative but rooted into traditions. I like to think of this album as one of the most representative soundtracks of contemporary London. One of the best soundtracks, of course.
Favourite track: Run Outs
1. Kaidi Tatham - An Insight To All Minds
Definitely my most spinned album of the year. Super groovy, smooth and warm sounds, great modal atmospheres (that could be on par with some of the best Hancock stuff), various rhythmic and genre explorations, never a dull moment for an interesting listening experience from start to finish.
Favourite track: An Insight To All Minds