Rob Taylor - Albums of the Year 2015

by Rob Taylor Rating: Release Date:

While I was flicking through Uncut and Mojo best of 2015 lists and thinking how predicably dull many of the top choices are, I momentarily reflected on the fact that Soundblab is free from the chains of commercial influence.  

2015 was a top year for all sorts of genre music, and music for which genre classification no longer seemed to matter. My list might easily have included a few ‘cool’ choices, but at the end of the day, I have to be honest with myself and these are the albums that genuinely spoke to me as a music fan:

Jenny Hval - Apocalyse, Girl

Norwegian experimental artist who manages to combine theatrical nouse (see a live show), art rock, feminist growl and ironic reflection into an album of personal reflection that is exciting, intellectually stimulating and dropdead awesome. 

Kamasi Washington - The Epic Vol 1-3

Fuck me, this is good. Sorry guys this is jazz but if you’re starting to freak out for want of a familiar underground connection, try the fact that it’s on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder label. Mind bogglingly great soul fusion jazz that is equal parts John Coltrane circa Africa/Brass, Sun Ra spiritual yearning and inconceivably great playing. Washington is a saxophonist that has worked with Kendrick Lamar, so there. 

Giant Sand - Heartbreak Pass

If there’s been a better Howe Gelb effort since Chore of Enchantment, someone make me choke on it, because this to me epitomises everything great about American alt-country. Complete with Spanish guitars, pedal steel, viola, gospel choirs and the usual tools of country rock, you are certifiably loony if you don’t give it a listen

Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Best punk rock of the year - nuff said.

Shit and Shine - 54 Synth-Brass, 38 Metal Guitar, 65 Cathedral

This funky screwball electronic dance manipulation still screws with my mind, in a good way

Lilacs and Champagne - Midnight Features Vol.2

The man of leisure’s preferred apertiff, this chillout bits and scrapings of other people’s cutting room detritus is surely one of the coolest low-key offerings in 2015

Hills - Frid 

If I ever lose my sanity, I’m off to Sweden ………….. Where’s the new Goat album ?

Smokey - How Far Will You Go The S&M Recordings 1973-1981

Bawdy, funky disco provocateur tells us in gratuitous detail what he wants from a man, and makes us heterosexual guys shake our asses like we’re really wanting it. Not really new, but never released, so it counts. 

Messer Chups - The Incredible Croctiger

Russian surf rockers that are 100% authentic and 100% fun if you like that kind of thing

No 10 ? Maybe Follakzoid, maybe The Chills, maybe Capri Informis, maybe even The Sleaford Mods - that album was ace.

Cheers everyone and Merry Christmas.

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