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.
Before becoming Belgian new beat and techno titans, Praga Khan and Chris Inger were collaborators in a new wave influenced band called Shakti. “Verboden Dromen” gathers together the best of the outfit’s work recorded between 1987 and 1990, offering up tracks that join the dots between intoxicating synth-pop, moody new wave, hypnotic grooves and dark and sleazy dancefloor moments. All of the tracks have stood the test of time remarkably well, with highlights including the humid and exotic chug of “Kamasutra”, the hallucination-inducing tropical fever of “Demonic Forces” and “Shanah”, and the bustling, club-ready bounce of “The Awakening”, which sounds like the Thompson Twins after one too many tabs of acid.
”Venetian Blinds, bound to be partly closed for eternity, Offer a glimpse into a miniature of trompe-l’oeil and deceitful appearances. Time sometimes lets truth leak. Due to some obscure little schemes your name was never mentioned: Belinda de Bruyn, you sung with a glacial voice, shaping fantasies with surgical mastery.You were young, inexperienced, and very angry and deceived – and Kyoto’s song became a lone pop hit that never reached the charts. In the paranoid era that bred it, it should have. It has to. Give this ode to consenting voyeurism a second chance. Get the one you love a bouquet of black painted roses, this record and a venomous kiss.”
Stroom’s valentine special for 2019. ”Lovely” Electro / Wave from Venice, Italy (1981-1984).
Given that the Axel Libeert-helmed Pablo’s Eye project has been running continuously since the late 1980s, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Stroom has found it hard to put out just one retrospective of the Belgian collective’s work. In fact, “Dark Matter” is the third (and final) part of a retrospective trilogy that has brilliantly shed new light on Libeert and company’s work. Experimental, atmospheric and largely creepy, the showcased material variously touches on high-minded percussion music, slowly shifting ambient, Berlin school soundscapes, neo-classical-tinged global fusion, smoky downtempo grooves, the kind of intensely paranoid fare we’d expect from Dominick Fernow, and scattergun electronic dub. More than anything, Pablo’s Eye is a temporary atmosphere, like a taste or a dream.
Cult organ horror 7” from west flanders, Belgium restored & remastered.
Beautifully put together and deeply personal comp of pioneering Belgium New Wave / DIY enigma, Alain Neffe (Bene Gesserit, Psuedo Code, Subject etc). Highly reccomended – includes Folded Inner with Liner Notes (Biography).