2018 has come, and now shall fade into the shadows.
Pure unadulterated madness ringing through my ears; the sounds of fury have become a reflection of this great ethos. Once again, I’ve fallen in love with drunkin’ nostalgic rage and merriment while being here in this moment. Like stereophonic robots on my fingertips, I play in constant rhythm to the music everywhere. Music, whether it’s from past, present or coming soon.. is everywhere; and I love it death!
Out of the dust, somewhere in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, an unissued Van Gelder Studio recording by the late-great John Coltrane and his quartet, has been unearthed. I’m a staunch Jazz fan, so when the improbable new release Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album was dug up, it became another great reminder of what musical mastery truly is. To think that in New Jersey, recorded on a single day in 1963, a session that was lost for decades after its master tape was destroyed by Impulse Records to cut down on storage space; was now rebirthed and born again.
The tone from this magical quartet helped paved a way for an unknown future, and their sound certainly transcends time. When I listen to this album, I remember why I dig altered sounds. Coltrain, Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones, and McCoy Tyner were beyond our wildest imagination. Time travelers. Madcap composers who altered sound. They helped destroy the perception of how Jazz music should be; fusing old with new.
The ten albums I’ve chosen for my list reflect the wonderful universe of musical juxtaposition. My top ten are bookended with opposite styles, with a smorgasbord in-between. Enjoy!
To be clear.. my Top 10 — “these go to 11 !”
Top 11 Albums of 2018
11 : Seedy Jeezus – Polaris Oblique
Polaris Oblique is soulful. The Aussie power trio releases their second album through a variety of heavy riffs, dosed in 70s fuzzadelic monster jams. Polaris Oblique has diversity that will make most fuzz-heads stoked somewhere on this album. Rock and roll is alive and well; and it’s got a pulse deep inside these bros! Full Review Here
10 : Michelle Gurevich – Exciting Times
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Out of Canada, with Russian family roots, please welcome to my list — Michelle Gurevich! She has a femme fatale voice, and sultry lyrics that will bring anyone to their knees. Exciting Times is her fifth self-released album. Michelle Gurevich’s tone is slightly reminiscent of Leonard Cohen. Her slow core fuzz rock, has lo-fi pop, and this album kills it with tragicomic fatal humor. Beautiful melodies, and Gurevich has a sultry voice noir. All we have to do is bring the scotch.
9 : Kikagaku Moyo/幾何学模様 – Masana Temples
Kikagaku Moyo out of Japan have composed a brilliant album. Masana Temples is composed of beautiful psych pieces. The combination of krautrock meets (traditional – modern) Japanese music is phenomenal. Sitar instrumentals, funky groove, psychedelic riffs, CANism kraut geometric pattern beats and rhythm. So tight; Masana Temples is a hidden treasure!
8 : Familia De Lobos – Self titled
Buenos Aires have stirred up a groovy Argentinian sound. A six-piece Spanish tongued psychedelic rock and roll pack of wolves. Familia De Lobos self titled album is an empanada western, Sergio Leone style. It’s dipped in rich psychedelic rhythm, tribal musical structure, and voices who sacrifice outside their den. Full Review Here
7 : The Myrrors – Borderlands
From a desert of mirrors in Tucson, Arizona, erases all that is properly seen or felt, and then mystically placed on The Myrrors fourth full-length album Borderlands. The music is an intoxicating journey. The Myrrors, as always, have clarity towards a vision quest of enhancing the senses of sound. To try and describe this album is best when experienced on your own. Even the last song is rich in meaning; a title nod to Dostoyevsky’s “Note(s) From the Underground.” It’s a droned up sojourn through a cosmic borderless unknown. The Myrrors play their instruments with tribal abandon. Each song on Borderlands has purpose. The melodies dance. They continue towards compelling rhythm; in fact they’re almost horrifyingly captivating. Borderlands has a tone that says, once you enter, you’ll never be the same again.
6 : Kungens Män – Fuzz på svenska
Want fuzz? Kungens Män out of Stockholm, Sweden brings it with their latest release. A lot of different styles flow through Fuzz på svenska. A nice variety of psychedelic/drone, neo-krautrock, shoegaze, free jazz. The multifaceted songs sound effortless. The sax weaves through percussion, guitars and synth. Everything blends with an underground energy. The opening song transports toward an exotic third world empty street, the title track is absolutely stunning, “Tung pedagog” has funky groove, and the last song “Ljupt djud” is a nineteen minute free jazz boom. The album is ever shifting, and hardly settles on one idea for to long. Kungens Män will ease in dimensions, then swap them out with whatever emotional tone is needed for the mood. Fuzz på svenska is beautiful, it’s sweet on the ears, but also haunting with a transcendental quality. It’s a gorgeous spiritual oasis.
5 : Carlton Melton – Mind Minerals
Rising out of the ancient forests, and rhythmic shorelines of Northern California, Carlton Melton enchant us with their latest full-length album: Mind Minerals. Here the trio orchestrate a futurescape ambient-psychedelic-post rock soundtrack poem. This musical excursion is designed for the next fleet towards Jupiter. Fasten your seatbelts. Full Review Here
4 : Fu Manchu – Clone of the Universe
Seriously!? Fu Manchu refuse to go away. Not only are they still making albums, and have been doing so since the early nineties, but they’re making relevant music which crushes speakers everywhere. Clone of the Universe has that Fu sound, which never gets old. I should probably mention, it has the longest studio song to date (“IL Mostro Atomico” 18 plus minutes). This album embodies all of the stoner rock ingredients: retro thick, fuzz, psych rock & roll!
3 : Kiki Pau – Hiisi
Finland’s own Kiki Pau has been on a semi-hiatus for five years. Following their last album Pines (2013) has been well worth the wait. Hiisi is a masterpiece! It’s molten Jazz, folk, progressive – krautrock, dipped in improv; or shall I say: fuzzadelic heaven. The attention to detail is what draws me in every time. Once I hit play, I find myself lost in the streets of my thought labyrinth. The hypnotic mood of each song enters a calming tranquility of old-school progressive rock, and modern folkish fuzz. Note: Check out their Bonus track “Sarkofagi” (Long Version).
2 : Earthless – Black Heaven
Earthless over the years have been known for their blazing long instrumental jams, with little to no vocals. However on Black Heaven, Isaiah Mitchell serenades us with his soulful voice and lyrical charm. It’s not that he’s come up for air from his hendrixian guitar style. No, it’s still Earthless. The power trio still completely rips together. Black Heaven provides a vintage sound of classic rock and roll, with rev’d up Earthless style. This album is so much fun! It’s a game changer: shorter song lengths, soulful energy, rippin’, shreddin’, and vocals! Full Review Here
1 : Sleep – The Sciences
Sleep are one of the most important and iconic stoner/doom metal bands since the early 90’s. The Sciences is brilliant, and it’s an instant classic that’ll be listened to hundreds of years from now. This album shall always transcend time. Everything about The Sciences is perfect. And Sleep plays within the “stoner” genre without fear. These dudes know what they’re doing, and they do it right.
Everyone knew Sleep was releasing a new album, but when(?) was the question. Without pre-marketing, and without a whisper: surprise! On 4/20, The Sciences was released. It embodies everything you’d expect: heavy, doom, groovy, satirical-stoner song titles and lyrics, nods to Sabbath; it’s on point. Everything about it rules. It’s quite simple; The Sciences is album of the year. It’s supremely far and above anything else released this year.
Surya Kris Peters – ego therapy
Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium
Spaceslug – Eye The Tide