Yesterday we presented the preferences of our readers from last year, now this is a list of 20 albums from 2019 that made an impression on us.
We have three pure electro albums from E.R.P., Jeremiah R. and Plant43 and the new electro-synthy album of veteran David Carretta, his first solo album for ten years. On the darker side of the synth palette we have two EBM/synth-pop albums from Boy Harsher and Years Of Denial, the debut album of Kris Baha, the third album of Greek producer June, a new one from Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers under his new moniker Opposing Currents and two more industrial albums from Autumns and Colombian Filmmaker.
On the other had we have two acid gems from DimDJ and Paranoid London, the first ever Gladio album, the second album from Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani and an experimental/ambient album from veteran Function on Tresor.
So, here it is compiled in chronological order.
Kanot is Jesper Jarold and Anton Kolbe. With the help of Lindha Kallerdahl’s expressive vocals, Jarold and Kolbe weave an eclectic yet durable sonic textile. Call it music for psychadelic hiking, primitive dance beats or speculative folk music – most of all, it is unrestrained music, for the smartest and the dumbest kid in the classroom. In the dense, and at the same time airy production, some drums anchor themselves steadily into the ground while others lash out like reverberating rhythmic gunshots. The tones from Jesper’s guitar and fretless bass float like leaves on the Drangme Chhu River, at times almost drowning in effects only to resurface in surprising and skillfully chiseled melodies that could play forever.
Producer, drummer and sound engineer in all forms Stiletti-Ana aka Ilari Larjosto is known for his wide output in the world of cosmic, techno, leftfield, disco and ambient music. Stiletti-Ana keeps the main focus rather on timeless quality releases than searching for the hype. His new solo album “Ab Ovo” is the first full length Stiletti-Ana LP and represents his discoveries in the world of heavenly cinematic arpeggios, conga driven ambient and physical 3D drone compositions.
Luca Venezia, aka Curses, has with his Carcassonne-Mini LP, written and produced a cold wave dream filtered through how all the sci-fi movie soundtracks of the eighties should have sounded like; picture The Cure on a study visit in John Carpenters studio in 1983. This six-track Mini LP is his first release on Hoga Nord Rekords and features eighties influenced dark and expensive sounding electronic music. Luca Venezia also solves the task of putting vocal elements in the tracks with sharpness and precision; the heavy processed reverberating overdubs float in and out on a tastefully low level in the mix.
Minami Deutsch crushes negativity, sorrow, and depressive energy on their new Hoga Nord Rekords release, ‘Can’t get there’, a five-track EP. The Japanese psych-scene is being kept vital by picking up all the best influences from all the best psychedelic music and mixing that with a delicate touch of Japanese music tradition. On this EP, you hear all that you love and miss from the 70’s krautrock bands plus a cover on cult band Index’s song ‘Israeli blues’ from 1968. Also on this record are two remixes of the title track by HNR household names Jamie Paton and Mythologen. Listening to this, you get the feeling of leaving half your brain in a Volkswagen down an endless Autobahn in 1972 and one-half lost in the astral plane as boundless light, above space and time.
Hoga Nord Rekords have had the opportunity to work with Al Lover twice before during the last four years and now it’s time for the next step in the relationship between them, this time with the 7” single ‘Dark Matter Discotheque / Mark E. Moon’. In these tracks, Lover’s influences mainly stems from a decadent eighties New York or Paris and you can almost smell the heavy perfume mixed with indoors smoking get the feeling of sitting in a room with mirror walls.
Pete ‘Bassman’ Bain, one of the founding members of the UK cult psych rock band Spacemen 3, formed Alpha Stone after Spacemen 3 and his other band The Darkside split up in the mid-nineties. In 1996 the band recorded the album ‘Stereophonic Pop Art Music’ and it was released on Bomp! Records on Compact Disc. The album hasn’t had a ‘proper’ vinyl release until now, 2018, when Hoga Nord Rekords continues their collaboration with Pete Bassman by releasing the album. You can clearly hear that Pete Bassman was the driving force behind Alpha Stone; fuzz, synthesiser -sweeps, programmed drums and processed vocals are the cornerstones in Alpha Stone’s sound. Raga-like mantras, heard in Farmer C, lies track to track with more percussion driven grooves and psychedelic pop oriented songs. The album’s sound has obviously survived the 20+ years shelved in obscurity and proves the ‘Drugby’ sound still vital! It’s always hard to sum up a bands particular sound in a few words, but you could say that if you put guitar and bass, synthesisers, a drum machine, and Julian Copes record collection in the hands of an alien, you’ve got Alpha Stone.