2017 - Part One (Part Two or Three, as this took me forever, another day)
Excuse the categories, it's a personal view and a rough guide. Videos and Bandcamp links where available.
Saint Etienne - Home Counties
Anyone familiar with any of their albums will find themselves at home here. Gentle melodic pop that takes you back to 1994.
Dreadzone - Dread Times
Poppier, in a roots way, than their more dub/house style on the 90’s this is a terrific album full of bouncy tunes. They tour regularly and never fail to reduce the venue to a pulsating heap.
62 Miles From Space – Time Shifts E.P.
Languid pop-psych 1967-style
Cobalt Chapel - Cobalt Chapel
One half (the not-so-good-looking half) is Jarod from I Monster, Regal Worm etc. The music is very much in the if-you-like-Broadcast camp. One of the contenders for my top album of the year.
Heron Oblivion - The Chapel
Pretty much the studio album from last year played live, with the addition of two other numbers. But that doesn’t do this justice. The twin guitars show their true wildness here, eve if Meg’s voice is straining a bit to keep up the intensity (she’s wonderful, but no Grace Slick in that way).
Jane Weaver - Modern Kosmology
This could equally be in the pop section though it shows both psych and bits of krautrock roots.
Eat lights Become lights - Nature Reserve
Krautrock from the Moon Duo/Silver Apples end of things. They’re all dead good and this one’s as strong as the rest.
Arcane - Live @ E-day 2017
Arcane (aka Paul Lawler) tends to specialise in Schmoelling-era Tangerine Dream sounds (with a touch of Jean-Michel Jarre) – i.e. a mixture of sequencing and tunes – frequently the big ones that were a feature of Poland, Exit et al. This is a live concert and covers several of his old and new stuff.
Michael Brückner - Trees Of Olivandá
Another tuneful Tangerine Dream- inspired album. Lots of lovely synth sounds throughout! This is an album teaser:
Perge – Catharsis
This Perge album purports to be a live recording from their 1977 American tour. Of course, with all things Perge it’s nothing of the sort and is in fact a modern studio tribute to Tangerine Dream’s Encore tour of that date. Doesn’t stop it from being just perfect though! Another trailer:
Pyramid Peak – Roots
Atmospheric (with sequencers, of course)
Syn - fauni-genus
No videos for this, but if you liked Tangerine Dream’s Atem and/or Edger Froese’s Epsilon In Malaysian Pale then you’ll love this – no sequencing, just washes. Perfect late night music.
Siddhartha Barnhoorn - Tears in the Rain
Neon Vandal - Tears In The Rain: Music From The Motion Picture
These two need to be considered as an item, as they are both contributing soundtracks to the fan-made sequel short to the original Blade Runner film, Tears In The Rain. There’s no hiding from (and no shame in that) the fact that they channel Vangelis’s score directly – and they’d sit very well as an extra additional disk to the Anniversary set.
Jon Brooks – Autres Directions
(Aka The Advisory Circle, King Of Woolworths) makes electronic music that’s reminiscent of Biosphere and other more abstract, beatless musicians. This is a travelogue of a journey to France and back. If you like this then check out Agri Montana (Bandcamp Link).
The Irresistible Force - Kira Kira
Chill like it’s 1998 with Mixmaster Morris, thanks to Tobyjug!
Moon Wiring Club - Tantalising Mews
Hauntology. Creepy samples, with creepy music. To be played late at night with little or no lighting. Best listening position: behind the sofa. He’s been at it now for 10 years and they tend to come out at around Christmas. This year it’s a double CD (and there’s also a new LP – Cateared Choclatiers which is damned fine too) and it’s possibly his best.
There’s a Bandcamp site but the latest stuff isn’t there yet:
Roedelius, Chaplin & Heath - Triptych in Blue
Lovely, quiet afternoon music, mixing electronics with acoustic instruments. And yes, it's that Roedelius.
Pauline Anna Strom - Trans-Millenia Music
This a collection of her work from the mid-eighties. Classic Hearts Of Space type space music. A double CD and all excellent.
Com Truise – Iteration
Modern electronica with a strong Vangelis (to my ears) influence. Warning: the video’s a bit disturbing.
Carbon Based Lifeforms – Derelicts
Swedish chill, formerly of Ultimae Records fame.
Forest Swords – Compassion
It’s modern electronica, but vaguely unclassifiable. Whilst the video is reminiscent of Massive Attack, this doesn’t necessarily apply across the album. But there’s something really gripping about the whole thing. Another contender for my album of the year.