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Twelve Great Post-Rock / Psychedelic / Jazz / Avant-Garde / Experimental Albums That Are Perfect For Thinking About Life & Other Important Stuff

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 9, 2018 07:47pm | Post a Comment

By Michael Henning

This list is a bit eclectic musically, with a number of styles and genres represented. However, the albums here are held together by a common thread: they all contain music that is excellent for thinking. Sure, you can think while listening to pretty much anything, but these 2017 releases are guaranteed to take your mind on a journey through inner space. They will undoubtedly lead you to some interesting places, so check them all out and see where your mind goes... just close your eyes, relax, and float away on a cloud of sound.

Cornelius, Mellow Waves

12.  Cornelius - Mellow Waves (Warner Music Japan)

A triumphant return for this Japanese artist, his first new proper (non-soundtrack) album since 2006's Sensuous. As the title perhaps indicates, this new one finds him mellowing a bit, but his penchant for slightly skewed pop music is still here. Some odd time signatures lead to interesting places, and his distinctly Japanese sensibilities are on full display again. Overall, this is an enjoyable and pleasant ride through the universe of quirky electronic-tinged pop we are used to from him. Although it might not be his best record, it is a very strong effort, and it fares quite well when compared to his earlier masterpieces Fantasma and Point.
Do Make Say Think

11.  Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions (Constellation)

Twelve Great Song-Oriented Albums of 2017

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 8, 2018 06:05pm | Post a Comment

By Michael Henning

I'm generally not that into traditional "song-oriented" music, finding myself more interested in music that is either instrumental (Ambient, Electronic, Experimental, etc.) or music that features singing in languages other than English (International and global sounds, both old and new). This year, however, I found myself enjoying a lot more music in this vein than usual. Here are a dozen great new albums from 2017 that worked wonders within the confines of rock/pop/folk music, bringing a freshness to the craft that makes them all deserving of recognition and attention.

Acetone

12. Acetone1992-2001 (Light in the Attic)

Nice career-spanning retrospective from this underrated California-based group. Their lazy, laid-back music fused indie rock with folk and country influences, and this well-curated compilation mines their catalog and comes up with some real gold.

 

Ten Lovely Ambient Albums of 2017, For When You Want to Get Mellow

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 2, 2018 04:31pm | Post a Comment

10 Ambient Albums of 2017

By Michael Henning

Everybody needs to unwind at some point, whether it's at the end of a long week of work, a stressful day where things feel like they are getting out of control, or even just hearing about another frustrating development on the political front. When you start to feel the need to mellow out, these ten lovely ambient albums released in 2017 will help you to calm down and really relax. Or, if you're already pretty chill, they will help you to achieve ice cold status, like a polar bear eating an ice cream sandwich on top of a glacier.

Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society

10.  Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society (Six Degrees)

Lovely languid clouds of synthesizer melodies from this duo, which includes Bombay Dub Orchestra main man Garry Hughes. Where that project focuses on global fusion beats with eastern-influenced orchestral arrangements, this is simply two guys making simple ambient music with a large collection of synths. The mellow works on this CD are very nice for nighttime listening, or a pleasant way to start your day in a quiet introspective mode.
Secret Pyramid

9.  Secret Pyramid - Two Shadows Collide (Ba Da Bing)

Eleven Excellent Electronic Albums from 2017

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 31, 2017 03:05pm | Post a Comment

By Michael Henning

In 2017, there were a number of excellent releases with electronic beats that captured my attention and kept me moving to their machine rhythms. I find that music like this is great for writing emails, reading, making art, or for doing chores at home. They are also good for when you are on the go... So, whether you are walking, running, cycling, or driving around, let these 11 great rhythmic electronic albums be your soundtrack and enjoy the ride!
 

The Future Sound of London

11.  The Future Sound of London - Archived : Environmental : Views  (fsoldigital.com)

Very nice collection of work from this long-running and highly influential duo. The CD version is a whole new album of previously unreleased material, while the 3-LP set compiles most of the material on the CD with some other work they released digitally over the last several years. That being said, the vinyl is probably only for diehard fans, but the CD is among their best material to date, making it a must for even casual fans, and also a great place to start for the curious minds who want to take a sonic trip with these UK legends.
Taballah II

10. Andy Haas - Taballah II (Resonant)

Ten Great World Music Reissues & Previously Unreleased Archival Gems of 2017

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 20, 2017 05:10pm | Post a Comment

By Michael Henning

Baba Zulu

10. Baba Zula - XX (Glitterbeat)

Excellent compilation of psychedelic bellydance dub jams from Turkey. If you need more reasons to check this out despite reading that description, then perhaps the fact that Mad Professor produced some of this record will help convince you to investigate. Comes as a 2-CD set (2nd disc is of dub versions) or with the material from the first CD spread out over a nice 2-LP set, plus a CD of the dub versions. Truly innovative global fusion of the highest order, these folks should be way more popular than they are here in the USA, and here's your chance to help remedy that.
The Photographs of Charles Duvelle

9. Charles Duvelle & Hisham Mayet - The Photgraphs of Charles Duvelle - Disques OCORA and Collection PROPHET (Sublime Frequencies)

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