Top 15 Albums of 2015
15: Mother Engine – Absturz
Absturz is a wonderful heavy trip in the jams of Mother Engine. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. This is one of those albums that I can’t listen to at work, because I find myself a bit too much into the music, and not enough into my job 😀
14: Elder – Lore
This album may make you like Elder even if you weren’t much into them before. They keep their sound, but add some more prog rock to their style, which gives it a more distinctive note. And it’s an understatement to say that this album is even greater when played live.
13: Domo/Pyramidal – Jams From the Sun
This inclusion may not please everyone, because this album is very much “love it or hate it”. I loved it. The two spanish bands produced amazing jams, and a crazy track named “Uróboros”, for which you have to be on the same planet as the band to like.
12: Astral Son – Silver Moon
One of the discoveries of the year, the kind of trip delivered by Leonardo is very refreshing. He adds a touch of electronic music to a blend of space/psychedelic rock while not going full krautrock. This is one of the most hypnotizing albums on this list.
11: Black Rainbows – Hawkdope
My expectations were very high for this record, after Holy Moon and the split with Farflung, and they managed to be even better than I hoped. “The Prophet” alone would make this album a must-have, and seeing them live was crazy. Pure energy.
10: Killer Boogie – Detroit
Gabriele is in two bands in this top! Killer Boogie is the rougher, fuzzier, dirtier brother of Black Rainbows. This album will make you move, regardless of where you are, it has a ind of punk-ish energy to it, while blending it with heavy riffing and 70’s solos.
9: Sahara Surfers – High Lands
Pure stoner rock from the Austrian Alps. This album was a surprise for me as I did not hear much from them since their last release four years ago. The voice, the hooks, this is close to perfection.
8: Ampacity – Superluminal
After they released a great album (Encounter One) out of nowhere in 2013, I was wondering if the Polish band could follow it up. Short answer: they did. I have a soft spot for instrumental heavy psych/space rock, and this is on Yuri Gagarin levels of greatness.
7: Tinariwen – Live in Paris 2014
This is literally desert rock, as they are Tuareg from the Sahara. It’s far out from the genres usually discussed here, but make no mistake, this is an excellent album from a truly great band. If you like it, check out Bombino, Terakaft or Tamikrest.
6: Nik Turner – Space Fusion Odyssey
Nik Turner is the co-founder of Hawkwind, and he released a space jazz/rock album with Robby Krieger(the Doors), John Weinzierl (Amon Düül II), Steve Hillage (Gong), Billy Cobham and others. If that didn’t convince you to listen to it, I don’t know what will.
5: Papir – Live At Roadburn
I know live albums are kinda cheating, but this was released in 2015, so it counts 😀 I saw Papir live for the first time at Desertfest Antwerp this year, and this albums captures very well the incredible atmosphere that they are creating. Just like the Papermoon sessions, this is one of the best live albums ever done.
4: My Sleeping Karma – Moksha
My Sleeping Karma puts out another great album, keeping the magic while adding new elements to their distinctive sound. Moksha has the same quality as their previous albums: I always find myself going back to listen to it once in a while.
3: Energy 2000 – Zanzibar Special
This is an amazing band from Richmond, VA that does something very dreamy: chill instrumental psychedelic pop, enhanced by NASA voice samples. Zanzibar special is my favourite out of their 4(!) 2015 releases, just above Maximum Overdrive. This is not nearly fuzzy enough to be reviewed here, but they are one of my favourite active bands, and deserve a lot more exposure.
2: Agusa – Två
This Swedish band is again a bit too “soft” to be reviewed here, but this is definitely one of the best albums of the year. The two tracks of roughly 20 minutes each are a brilliant blend of psychedelic and prog rock, with a very hippy vibe due to the presence of an organ and a flute.
1: Electric Moon – Theory Of Mind
The masters of acid/psychedelic rock. The german trio delivers again with a new album, recorded live but with new material. They don’t take you to other planets, but to other galaxies altogether. I want to experience this live so badly I could go in another country just to see them. Theory of mind is pure jamming awesomeness 🙂
Yuri Gagarin – At The Center Of All Infinity
Øresund Space Collective – Different Creatures
Both are too recent, I haven’t listened to it enough to include them, but those are very good albums.