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End-of-year Review 2018 – Top 50 Albums (Editor's choice) 20 Items

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Tirzah - Devotion Black Vinyl Edition
Roc Marciano - Behold A Dark Horse
Roc Marciano
Behold A Dark Horse
2LP | 2018 | US | Original (Marci Enterprises)
33,99 €*
Release:2018 / US – Original
Genre:Hip Hop
The 12-track project Behold A Dark Horse features guest verses from Black Thought, Knowledge The Pirate and Busta Rhymes, whose Conglomerate label, then known as Flipmode, signed Marciano to his first record deal. The Alchemist and Q-Tip, among others, contribute production, while six of the beats come from Roc himself.
Kamasi Washington - Heaven & Earth
Kamasi Washington
Heaven & Earth
5LP | 2018 | UK | Original (Young Turks)
27,99 €*
Release:2018 / UK – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
'The Choice' disc is hidden in the middle of the packaging, under a corrugated seam. The seam must be cut open to access the hidden disc.
Travis Scott - Astroworld
Kelly Moran - Ultraviolet
Lucrecia Dalt - Anticlines
Lucrecia Dalt
Anticlines
LP | 2018 | US | Original (Rvng Int'l)
17,99 €*
Release:2018 / US – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Lucrecia Dalt's Anticlines is a volume of poetic theory and sound contemplating the bodies of self and earth's surface. On Anticlines, Dalt conjures a sonic space of speculative synthesis and spoken word where South American rhythms rattle contemporary composition recalling Laurie Anderson, Robert Ashley, and Annea Lockwood. CD version comes with lyric booklet documenting Dalt's collaborative work with Regina de Miguel and Henry Andersen.
Grouper - Grid Of Points
Grouper
Grid Of Points
LP | 2018 | US | Original (Kranky)
18,99 €*
Release:2018 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
Not long after recording her 10th album, Ruins, Liz Harris traveled to Wyoming to work on art and record music. She found herself drawn towards the pairing of skeletal piano phrasing with spare, rich bursts of vocal harmony. From Liz Harris: Grid Of Points is a set of songs for piano and voice. I wrote these songs over a week and a half; they stopped abruptly when I was interrupted by a high fever. Though brief, it is complete. The intimacy and abbreviation of this music allude to an essence that the songs lyrics speak more directly of. The space left after matter has departed, a stage after the characters have gone, the hollow of some central column, missing.
Amaro Freitas - Rasif
Amaro Freitas
Rasif
LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Far Out)
19,99 €*
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Organic Grooves
This is a 180g pressing. A download code is included. Due for an Autumn release on Far Out Recordings, Rasif sees Amaro Freitas take a deserved step onto the world stage. From the Afro-Brazilian maracatu born on the sugar plantations of slavery,to the high intensity carnival rhythms of frevo and baiao, Amaro's heavily percussive approach to jazz is as indebted to these Pernambuco traditions as it is to Coltrane, Parker and Monk.
Marie Davidson - Working Class Woman
Marie Davidson
Working Class Woman
LP | 2018 | UK | Original (Ninja Tune)
21,99 €*
Release:2018 / UK – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance, Pop
Turning the mirror on herself, Marie Davidson arrives on Ninja Tune with Working Class Woman”, an album that is sure to be heralded as one of the most self-reflective recordings yet from the Montreal-based producer.

Building on the dancefloor-minded trajectory of her breakthrough LP Adieux Au Dancefloor, released via Veronica Vasicka's Cititrax imprint circa 2016. With “Working Class Woman”, Marie Davidson proves that once again that she can roll acidic new beat basslines and sleek, sexdrops tekno laced with sharp-edged vox like no one else. This super strong selection is sure to take pride of place within the collections and listening habits of anyone into DFA and Regis, Not Waving (with whom she recently collaborated) SOPHIE and GAIKA.

Working Class Woman reshapes Marie Davidson's sharp-edged Italo Disco, proto-industrial and electro influences into new modes of cyberpunk coldwave control, proof that looking inward can project a more expansive vision out into the world.
Laurel Halo - Raw Silk Uncut Wood
Laurel Halo
Raw Silk Uncut Wood
LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Latency)
18,99 €*
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
“What works reliably is to know the raw silk, hold the uncut wood. Need little. Want less. For- get the rules. Be untroubled.”

Laurel Halo presents six instrumental pieces that form a meditative, cinematic listening ex- perience. Inspired by recent film score work for Metahaven and Ursula Le Guin’s translation of the Tao Te Ching. Featuring cello work by Oliver Coates and percussion by Eli Keszler.

Working in abstraction leads to a deeper lon- ging for touch and closeness.The tactile sen- sation of struck organ keys and bowed strings, wood and felt on drum heads. Smoke and dirt and stone. Febrile and tactile, hairy and hissy. A clover of highway onramps, a continuous flow, like old leaves melting on their way down a stream at the back of a house. Constant contradiction, the truth’s nowhere.
Michaela Meise - Ich Bin Griechin
Michaela Meise
Ich Bin Griechin
LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Martin Hossbach)
25,49 €* 29,99 € -15%
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
The album comes ina Japanese tip-on gatefold sleeve. When Michaela Meise performed at WestGermany at Kottbusser Tor in Berlin-Kreuzberg on March 20, 2015, accompanying herself on the accordion, I was perplexed. I knew her first album from 2010, which was about hymns (»Preis dem Todesüberwinder«, originally released on Clouds Hill, available as a download and stream through my label from July 2018 on), but what she was playing weren’t spiritual songs?! I wanted to put this music out on my label: the songs sounded sad, aloof and wistful but also proud, determined and unerring. The album title »I am Greek« is a tribute to Melina Mercouri's album »Je Suis Grecque!«, which was released in 1971 when Mercouri was deprived of citizenship by the Greek military junta. Mercouri lived – like Mikis Theodorakis and many other cultural workers – in exile. Meise's album is dedicated to the chanson scene of post-war Europe, whose songs were popularly folksy, but also political. Some talk about the experience of war, the Shoah and labor migration. Michaela Meise has translated the Greek, French and Romanian songs into German (with the help of Aliki Marini and Carmen Gheorghe) so that the lyrics are understandable to a German audience, a gesture that was also common in the European chanson scene. More than half of the songs are by Mikis Theodorakis. He knows the translations and new recordings, gave his blessing and just noted a wrong tone ... The other pieces on the album are by the French artists Barbara and George Moustaki and the German musician Alexandra. There is also a Romanian folk song. The album was recorded by Michaela Meise together with members of the group Isolation Berlin as well as the guest singers Carmen Gheorge and Dirk von Lowtzow (Tocotronic). The producer was David Specht (Isolation Berlin).
Mount Eerie - Now Only
Mount Eerie
Now Only
LP | 2018 | US | Original (P.W. Elverum & Sun)
19,99 €*
Release:2018 / US – Original
Genre:Rock / Indie
A sequel or continuation down the path that began with “A Crow Looked At Me”. 6 word-filled songs about the raw strangeness of the present moment, waking up in wreckage, living with pervasive echoing real ghosts and a growing young child. Autobiographical.

contains: 6 songs, 44 minutes, heavy old style gatefold tip-on jacket with special subtle blue paper on the inner liner sheet, all the lyrics, free download card
Celine Gillain - Bad Woman
Celine Gillain
Bad Woman
LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Drama)
17,99 €*
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Though highly contemporary Bad Woman is an album that takes Pop music back to a time when lyrics where more than esthetic gimmicks. With Céline’s music, one cannot avoid to listen to what she has to say. To be honest we’ve not been struck by lyrics as much as with this record for quite a long time, and it keeps on growing. Bad Woman can be seen as a mutant blend of everything that’s been produced by the music industry these last 30 years, from Cher’s delirious come-back in the 1990’s to the most embarrassing moments in Dance music (think Gabber and Happy Hardcore), blurring the frontier between “good” and “bad” taste, between commercial and alternative. Just like Cher’s Believe, Céline Gillain’s Bad Woman sometimes sounds like the music of a former diva who’s been through tough times, saw her expectations torn apart and came back to music with a bizarre testimony of her state of mind.
Farai - Rebirth
Nonetheless - S/T
Nonetheless
S/T
2LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Neubau)
21,84 €* 22,99 € -5%
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Welcome to the seductive groove of Nonetheless, a new duo formed of Florian Bocksrucker and Felix Bergleiter, and the first LP on Neubau. Across four sides of vinyl Nonetheless deliver an intriguing mixture of tough dystopian midnight-drive soundtracks and transporting early electronic/musique-concrète-hybrid interludes. Nonetheless is the sound of cogs turning, churning melancholy and pulsing snake-charmer drum machine palpitation. The end result is catharsis through sinister journeying. From the near-acidic punch of 'Machine of Love and Hate', to the grandiose slow-motion of 'Epik' and the ravey 'Exclusion Zone', Nonetheless' debut record is something special to savour, and is proudly presented as the tenth release on Neubau.
Max Graef - Lo Siento Mucho Pero No Hablo Tu Idioma
Max Graef
Lo Siento Mucho Pero No Hablo Tu Idioma
2LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Tartelet)
25,99 €*
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Four years after his breakthrough, Max Graef returns to Tartelet Records with his second solo album.

A dungeon dub symphony in four parts, Lo Siento Mucho Pero No Hablo Tu Idioma is an album's album. Brimming with new and old guests, interludes and bonus skits, it's a consummate sketchbook of Graef’s most unique music to date. “Every bit of music or work represents the mood and skills of a certain period,” he says.

Where Graef's critically acclaimed debut LP Rivers of the Red Planet began an adventure away from the dance floor, No Hablo wormholes into totally lateral territory. Not interested in repeating old tricks, No Hablo sees Graef on a playful joyride through a whole new crate of influences. Echoes of Japanese video game music bubble through the Zelda-channeling “Master Quest” and dreamy bonus level “Midi Break 1.” “Midi Lisa” and “Intershop” roll out mutant digi-reggae, while “Rush” and “Level Zero” dig deeper into bass and juke. The album also premieres music with Chrissley Benz, a Kazakhstani singer.

As Graef explains: “No Hablo is a lot more intuitive with a lot less editing, raw arrangements, filled with experiments of strange instrumentation and rooms. I worked on it in a very unmusical way.”

But the record isn't a universe apart from his previous output. Throwbacks to the tape-deck world of g-funk and 80s boogie are still present, as well as a few psychedelic jazz cuts. The record also sees the return of Graef's father and guitarist, Gerry Franke, plus long-time collaborators Funkycan and Ludwig.

A record of 20 tracks, it covers many bases. It's your favourite PPU cassette via Ocarina of Time and out through a progressive garage jam, all stitched together in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Somehow it all makes perfect sense and reaffirms Graef's natural-born ear for killer hooks and unique melodies. The album's title – Lo Siento Mucho Pero No Hablo Tu Idioma – is an elegant and simultaneously ironic way of apologising for not speaking one's language in Spanish. It's a fitting metaphor that speaks to Max's ability to skip effortlessly between musical dialects with style and grace. This album proves it more than ever.
Julia Holter - Aviary Clear Vinyl Edition
YG - Stay Dangerous
Forests - Idol Collapse
Forests
Idol Collapse
LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Left Hand Path)
21,99 €*
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
Certain feelings, visions, and sounds recur to us as if in dreams. Flashes of recall, hints of remembrance, suggestions of what could have been, or what may yet still be. A spark — a glimpse — a glimmer. We gaze into the abyss, fearless; the abyss gazes back, familiar. Cognition — recursion — immanence. Left Hand Path presents the second full-length LP, Idol Collapse, from Forests. Written by Jon Du, Kuo-Hung Tseng, and Zun Long in Taipei, Taiwan. Eight songs in 36 minutes that unfurl like a flower and expand like a mushroom cloud, designed for utter osmosis and total absorption. The helix twists; the loop is closed. The cycle begins anew. Mastered by Mark Pistel at Room 5 Studios, San Francisco, California. Produced in a deluxe gatefold vinyl edition with artwork by Wang Yu and design, layout by Nathan Rickard and Allen Chiu.
MB Jones - Rok Spy
MB Jones
Rok Spy
LP | 2018 | EU | Original (Drama)
14,99 €*
Release:2018 / EU – Original
Genre:Electronic / Dance
High quality weirdo political pop from MB Jones (Jee Jee Band, EM Records) - sparse, quirky and strange with English and Korean vocals. TIP!
Recorded in Busan, Republic of Korea by former US special agent MB Jones, ROK Spy documents both his stay in a country on the verge of a nuclear conflict and his mission there (for obvious confidential reasons, the purpose of this mission is only to be referred to in an elusive way). While most of his personal belongings have disappeared – or, more likely, been destroyed – we are very thankful for the safe receipt of a USB stick containing 7 songs recorded in Autumn 2017, alongside a drawing and a few handwritten notes. We are proud to now be able to share these with you.
In order to do so, we hastily came up with a label. The circumstances under which it was born lead us into calling it “Drama”. This release is DRAMA1.
The content of this LP is a seemingly disparate set of pop-not-pop tunes, flirting with dance music on songs like the apocalyptical disco Nuclear War or the bizarre and mind puzzling boogie Pusan Perimeter. Though it is quite hard to put words on MB Jones’s productions (one may accurately call it an “oddball” of a record), his musical testimony may sit somewhere in-between Holger Czukay’s most narrative pieces and Arthur Russel’s most cheerful moments, sharing with these two brilliant musicians a genuine feeling of intimacy emanating from each second of his songs. The only thing that may be said without a doubt is that these 7 songs are the product of someone whose ear has been attentive and receptive to all sorts of contemporary musical genres (from trap to experimental electronic music and EDM).
It’s still not clear whether the cryptic lyrics evoke situations which already occurred, whether they are oracles, some insider’s warnings or whether they are the product of a mind in a hallucinatory state. On Poison Pill – the closing song – he is particularly ambiguous : “the CIA bought me a trip / I put the tab under my lip / They want to build a shopping mall / On the DMZ wall”. We’ll leave the interpretation to you.
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