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Old 12-23-2017, 05:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Why did you change the title of your thread, Ant?
I didn't change the title. This was a new thread I created for 2017 albums. My 2016 list and previous years are still around.
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Old 12-23-2017, 05:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I didn't change the title. This was a new thread I created for 2017 albums. My 2016 list and previous years are still around.
Weird. I could have sworn it said "Anteater's Top 25+ etc"... Must just be me.
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Old 12-23-2017, 08:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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10. Crown Larks - Population


Genre: Post-Punk, No Wave, Krautrock, Jazz-Rock

Sounds Like: The Pop Group, Sonic Youth, Oneida, Thee Oh Sees, Out Of Focus, Amon Duul II


If there's one thing I really got out of this album as I digested and dissected it my first go-around, it was the certainty that the late 80's Paisley Underground movement and Germany's early to mid 70's classic Krautrock era all pulled from the same well of inspiration. Drugged out rhythms, a rickety marriage of spazzy vocals and avant-garde production to the repetitive, occasionally jazz-based instrumentation (sax and flute especially) and lush underpinnings of classic fusion groups. All of these elements can be disparate, but Crown Larks weave a difficult web into something both beautiful and shockingly cohesive. In fact, the work here at times sounds like a sister album to the classic Y by The Pop Group, though the choice of dialect between the two is fundamentally different.

The short and sweet of it is that at the end of the day I like experimental records to justify their existence to me, and Population does just that in spades. My criteria with all music is pretty simple: a good smooth jazz record validates its reason to be if it has some great melodies / production or captures a specific vibe. A great Third Stream album needs to balance its modal and classic tendencies well to really work, etc. etc. No matter what genre or style you go for, there are things to look for and I know what works and doesn't.

That one works fellas. Very very well. Give it a whirl if you feel deprived of strangeness and want a shot in the arm.



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Old 12-24-2017, 09:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
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9. Vanilla - Moonlight


Genre: Instrumental Jazzy Hip-Hop, Ambient

Sounds Like: Nujabes, A Tribe Called Quest, Enigma, J Dilla


Moonlight is exactly the kind of low key gem you expect to find on Bandcamp with enough browsing around: instrumental hip-hop isn't exactly a high profile genre to begin with, and the jazzier, almost vaporwave avenues are even less prominent than that. Enter Vanilla, a bedroom producer / beatmaker from the U.K. who has a marvelous knack for said style. Creative and liberal use of samples aside, he's got a very chill compositional sense rivaled by the best beat producers in the hip-hop world, and that's not light praise. I'm as picky with my beats as I am with my mocha-latttecinno-machiato-double-shots-with-caramel at the local hipter coffeehouse I frequent.

These 19 tracks are really meant to just wash over you and carry you to the top of Mt. Everest and back, but I love the melodies in 'The Love' and the 7-minute piano drenched 'Visions', which is worth the purchase of this album in and of itself. But hey, there's something for everyone here. Relax and enjoy the ride...




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Top 25 Albums of 2017

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Old 12-25-2017, 09:56 PM   #25 (permalink)
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8. Big Hogg - Gargoyles


Genre: Canterbury Scene, Jazz Rock, Progressive Rock

Sounds Like: Soft Machine, Caravan, Chicago, early War, Camel


Although this bunch hails from Scotland, it is very very evident even from the first few minutes of this remarkable little album called Gargoyles that this is a band that truly captures the best aspects of the spirit of early 70's British jazz rock, especially the whimsical greatness coming out of the Canterbury Scene through the first half of the decade or so. But as in the case with a lot of innovative young bands, Big Hogg also evoke the power of the jazz American brass-rock sound as well, particularly that of Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears and early War, especially on the horn-section laden moody 'Star Of The Show'.

My favorite song is undoubtedly centerpiece number 'The Beast' though, where the Canterbury stylings collide fully with a knack for hooky songcraft reminiscent on the Chicago Transit Authority self-titled from 1969 and becomes something new in the process. The best part is hearing vocalist Sophie Sexon bring the full weight of her femme fatale charisma to the mic with flair as a ripping guitar solo erupts in the second half against that parping horn section interplay. Brilliant stuff.

I've always had a soft spot for that charming, vaguely romantic wryness of the 70's jazz-rock sound in general, but as there are so few bands that can still pull it off its especially refreshing to get an album like this in 2017. Don't miss it lads and lassies.

Check them out on bandcamp - https://bighogg.bandcamp.com/track/the-beast



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Top 25 Albums of 2017

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Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-25-2017 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:04 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Dig Big KRIT as well. I'm not into southern hip hop enough to go through more than one side of the album in one sitting really, but I really love pretty much the whole album whenever I throw it on.

Might as well try to predict some of the upcoming albums. I'm thinking you probably dug Moses Sumney's debut. Maybe Sudan Archives? Iglooghost but that's a stretch.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:15 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Dig Big KRIT as well. I'm not into southern hip hop enough to go through more than one side of the album in one sitting really, but I really love pretty much the whole album whenever I throw it on.

Might as well try to predict some of the upcoming albums. I'm thinking you probably dug Moses Sumney's debut. Maybe Sudan Archives? Iglooghost but that's a stretch.
Neō Wax Bloom is good, but I just haven't been going back to it as much as other albums this year. As for Moses Sumney, Aromanticism is pretty stellar but it missed my top 25 by a hair. I'll be giving it a short review as part of my Honorable Mentions roundup after I get to #1.

All this being said, you doing a list too?
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Top 25 Albums of 2017

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Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
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What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:16 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Yep, I'm going to do it in January. I think I'm going for 20.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:58 PM   #29 (permalink)
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9. Vanilla - Moonlight


Genre: Instrumental Jazzy Hip-Hop, Ambient

Sounds Like: Nujabes, A Tribe Called Quest, Enigma, J Dilla


Moonlight is exactly the kind of low key gem you expect to find on Bandcamp with enough browsing around: instrumental hip-hop isn't exactly a high profile genre to begin with, and the jazzier, almost vaporwave avenues are even less prominent than that. Enter Vanilla, a bedroom producer / beatmaker from the U.K. who has a marvelous knack for said style. Creative and liberal use of samples aside, he's got a very chill compositional sense rivaled by the best beat producers in the hip-hop world, and that's not light praise. I'm as picky with my beats as I am with my mocha-latttecinno-machiato-double-shots-with-caramel at the local hipter coffeehouse I frequent.

These 19 tracks are really meant to just wash over you and carry you to the top of Mt. Everest and back, but I love the melodies in 'The Love' and the 7-minute piano drenched 'Visions', which is worth the purchase of this album in and of itself. But hey, there's something for everyone here. Relax and enjoy the ride...




Damn, that REALLY sounds like Nujabes. ****in' excellent.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:01 PM   #30 (permalink)
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7. Teen Daze - Themes For Dying Earth


Genre: Ambient Pop, Indie Rock, World Music, New Age

Sounds Like: Early 90's Talk Talk, Fleet Foxes, St. Lucia, Brian Eno


Probably the best "indie pop" anything record I've run across in years, Teen Daze is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Jamison Isaak as an avenue to explore more expansive sounds. The ideas present here, a sort of mono no aware distillation of the idea of seeking solace from the pain of the world through nature and the primordial - is a compelling one. Or at the very least, it is a typical concept made compellingly new again through a combination of dreamy pop and experimental yet still soothing ambient instrumentals. The album barely cracks the 40 minute mark, but it manages to keep a substantial balance between the vocal and ambient cuts to give you a sense of ebb and flow as you go along.

The two strongest vocal cuts here, opener 'Cycle' and the shimmering 'Lost' showcase a penchant for strong melodic progression and perhaps a strong sense of empathy as well. It's the kind of stuff that can connect with you when your guard is down. No ripping guitar solos here: synths and a mix of acoustics is the name of the game and the overall effect is sublime.

The last three minutes of the record, closing track 'Breath', is perhaps the best track of all despite its simplicity. Just one great synth wash coming in and out like the Pacific tide. No special variations, no tricks...just the digital recreation of falling into a trance. Or maybe just a deep sleep. Either way, it sold me and catapulted the whole album right over nearly everyone else.


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Top 25 Albums of 2017

Top 25 Albums of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by elphenor
Anteater's intelligence and utterly impeccable taste in music knows no bounds. Thanks to him I went from Communist to Libertarian overnight!
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord
What Ozzy was to Black Sabbath, Anteater is to MusicBanter. I am in awe of his majesty.

Last edited by Anteater; 12-26-2017 at 11:07 PM.
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