50 More Must-Hear Albums of 2017

This is my official shout out to all the great albums that didn’t make the cut for the 50 best albums of 2017.

Some of these are albums I know I need to spend more time with. Some of them I simply didn’t get to until late in the year. The point is, I keep a running tally of all the albums I really like in a given year. Not just everything, but any album that really makes an impression in that moment. This way, I have an easy method for revisiting things that strike me but maybe don’t become an immediate obsession. It also allows me to remember a lot more great music than I otherwise would.

Just like my main list, these albums are all recommended by me. Everything here is worth a listen. All albums appear as I heard them chronologically.

Let’s begin:

Brian Eno – Reflection

This is Eno’s hour-long generative ambient experiment. It’s just one permutation of a sound that will be different every time you set it off, if you purchased the app. Unfortunately I don’t do Apple devices, but this is plenty good on its own.

Buy it on Brian Eno’s website.

•  •  •

R23X – Veltahl

VELTAHL is a striking moment of clarity sustained over 20 tracks of kaleidoscopic digital fantasia. It’s an explosion of crystalline tones and warped samples, adventure music for kids who grew up on pixelated visions of the future.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

The Flaming Lips – Oczy Mlody

The Lips continue their dark streak, this time with more synths and way less drumming. It’s groovy, weird, and almost suffocatingly atmospheric.

Hear & buy on the Flaming Lips website.

•  •  •

Earthen Sea – An Act of Love

Murky, organic slow motion techno with a cinematic drone feel. This guy made a big impact on my ears last winter.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Nathan Fake – Providence

Wild, noisy, unpredictable electronic music with an almost apocalyptic streak. Paired with Prurient, he’s on a whole new level this time.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Carsten Jost- Perishable Tactics

Dark, luxurious minimal house and techno coated in ambient textures, evoking the years of experience he’s had running Dial records.

Buy the album on Boomkat.

•  •  •

Kailin – Fracture

If Boards of Canada and Autechre made a damaged little dark beat album together, it’d almost sound like this.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

James Place – Voices Bloom

Dreamy electronica with a cultural, historical bent, this is deeply personal, cozy stuff to wrap yourself in.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Sven Weiseman – Separate Paths

Groovy, atmospheric, head-dancing techno that feels more laid back than its intricate construction implies. Just four little tracks made a big impact in 2017.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Dopplereffekt – Cellular Automata

Dopplereffekt returned after a decade of silence with this massive slab of decaying cyberpunk beat science.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Martin Schulte – Seasons

Soothing, blissed-out dub and minimal techno vibes across 60 hermetically sealed minutes. This Russian artist makes music that could easily mix with Deepchord on a DJ set.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Gorillaz – Humanz

It’s a new Gorillaz album. It’s a little messier, a little wilder, and a lot more packed with rap vocals than ever before. Vince Staples kills it.

Hear it pretty much anywhere via the Gorillaz site.

•  •  •

Shed – The Final Experiment

Homogeneous, densely detailed techno from a modern Berlin master. This is a real adventure.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Tornado Wallace – Lonely Planet

Balearic house meets earnest new wave melodies in a drifting, buoyant collection of humid summer jams.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Second Woman – S/W

Two guys from Telefon Tel Aviv and Belong got together and made some deeply strange electronic music, floating between footwork, noise, and shuffling IDM.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Chaos in the CBD – Zona Del Silencio

Lush, dreamlike deep house from the New Zealand duo, their most expansive tunes yet. A pair of ten minute journeys to weird, mystical spaces.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Teengirl Fantasy – 8AM

Introspective, melodic synth dreams from the moment before you wake up on a foggy beach in August.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Young Thug – Beautiful Thugger Girls

The album where Young Thug went singer-songwriter. Okay, he still raps, but this is definitely song-y material for the psychedelic hip-hop star.

Stream it on Spotify or buy it anywhere else.

•  •  •

Fhloston Paradigm – After…

This is far-future soul music, matured with a rotating suite of guest stars and a cohesive narrative that lends a proggy air to the album.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Noveller – A Pink Sunset for No One

Cinematic psychedelia from prolific guitarist, composer, and filmmaker Sarah Lipstate. Nothing else really sounded like this all year. Or before for that matter.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Ryuichi Sakamoto – async

Ryuichi Sakamoto came back in a big way with this sprawling album, with a menagerie of radically different pieces carefully placed together in his jewel box atmosphere.

Buy it through Milan Records.

•  •  •

Slowdive – Slowdive

Slowdive reunited a few years back and finally released a followup to their 1995 shoegaze-ambient masterpiece Pygmalion. While it’s kind of a step back into familiar, more traditionally rock-oriented sounds, it’s incredibly well made.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Christian Scott – Ruler Rebel

Christian Scott released an entire trilogy of albums in 2017, spanning a continent’s worth of jazz, hip-hop, and pure psychedelia, but the first and shortest entry is the most potent of the three. Perfect for anyone missing Miles Davis’ signature muted trumpet sound.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Kangding Ray – Hyper Opal Mantis

I’ll let the techno maestro describe this album his way: “HYPER is the primal, sensual lust, OPAL is the emotional catharsis, a blissful desire for love. MANTIS, like the insect it refers to, is the destructive, fatal attraction. ”

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

The Fun Years – Heroes of the Second Story Walk-up

Blurry, warm, faded psychedelia. The Fun Years returned in typically unassuming fashion this year and flew typically under the radar. This is the kind of low-key beauty you’re missing in your record collection.

Stream and buy on Bandcamp.

•  •  •

Part 1 | Part 2

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