Sometimes German, sometimes English. • The title of this blog used to change from time to time. • Interested in me reviewing your music? Please read this! • I'm also a writer for • Please like and follow Audiovisual Ohlsen Overkill on Facebook!


MUSIC 2017: top EPs, live recordings etc.

It's that time of the year again!

Wrapping my head around the task of ranking my annual favorites always seems to be an impossible struggle and thus can only result in a snapshot of preferences in a moment in time.
This year it's especially difficult, because so many potential candidates for some categories have only just come into play from October to right now. And how do you weigh something totally fresh to your ears against stuff you know since March?

This is why I'm starting with the "smaller" categories this time and the post with albums and concerts will follow later, probably not even before Christmas. There's just too much still going on.[EDIT: Here they are!]

As always there's one general rule for you:

Whining about something missing is bullshit. I'm only one guy on his own blog, writing exclusively about stuff I personally own in some form. So even though I acknowledge that there are tons of genius music out there; as long as it's not in my collection I won't include it here.

There are several releases which would fit in more than one category, but in favor of including more artists in the whole thing I only featured those in one ranking.

The category downloads refers to any kind of album, EP, etc. which is only available as download.

The new category re-release refers to any form of old music being released again, as long as it brings something new to the release, so no regular, identical re-pressings.

EP TOP 5: 


  1. KAMASI WASHINGTON - Harmony Of Difference
    His giant, three hours long "The Epic" almost won my album of the year ranking in 2015.
    The latest effort of tenor saxophone sensation Kamasi Washington and his bunch of equally talented friends from Los Angeles (including two drummers) only clocks in at half an hour, but it delivers the same brand of grand maximalist spiritual jazz that surely would make his idol John Coltrane proud.
  2. DAVID BOWIE - No Plan EP
    One last time the Spaceman greets us from his recording studio on the other side with his three latest tracks plus the already familiar "Blackstar" hit "Lazarus". Especially "Killing A Little Time", which bursts with explosive prog and jazz elements, shows us that Bowie was nowhere near the end of his creativity when he passed away.
    Sometimes musicians who constantly play together and put out releases just need a little break from each other, a little distance. The dutch drums & sax free jazz duo Dead Neanderthals decided for a distance of about 100 meters, with each player performing on one end of an industrial tunnel.
    The improvisations on "The Depths" are a successful excercise in restraint - minimalistic, yet huge and deep at the same time.
  4. RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON - Fuzz Club Session
    Just four dutch dudes performing four of their hypnotic, robotic industrial space rock jams live in a studio.
    I still don't have too much to say about this Radar Men From The Moon EP, except that this is a flawless listen and definitely one of my psych favorites of this year.
  5. MOTORPSYCHO - The California EP
    I guess that's norwegian thoroughness:
    In case a fantastic double album and a breathtakingly brilliant tour weren't enough, supreme work animals of rock Motorpsycho also brought an EP with them on tour, which is comprised of two seven-inch records. Four tracks, four styles, everything top-notch.


TOP 7":

VIRUS - Investigator

Two new songs from this unmistakable weird psych prog group. The similar cover artwork already hints at it: With "Investigator" and the dark "The Blue Flags Of The Dead" the Norwegians start off right where they left after their 2016 album "Memento Collider", with especially the ladder song being a prime example of their unique songwriting approach.


    TOP 10":

    ORANSSI PAZUZU - Kevät / Värimyrsky

    Something old and something new. Something black and something blacker.
    While the previous masterpiece "Värähtelijä" highlighted the hypnotic, psychedelic and overflowing side of Oranssi Pazuzu, the two tracks of this record show them in a somehow more comprehensible mood with influences from funeral doom and Fields Of The Nephilim gothic. However this is still best labelled black metal, even though it defies the borders of the genre at any time.

    TOP Split:


    "Disharmonious howls, cacaphonous swarm" says it in the lyrics of the Sinmara track "Ivory Stone", and thus we're taught the programmatic essence of this 10 inch record. While I prefer the Misþyrming side, both bands unleash a furious helish inferno and represent Iceland's black metal scene in the best way possible.


    TOP 5 live recordings:


    1. CAUSA SUI - Live In Copenhagen
      Two album release concerts from 2013 and 2016 being eternalized on three records (plus a bonus 10 inch for early buyers), packed in a beautiful box with Miles Davis homage cover artwork.
      Flowing from gentle jazz over psychedelic jams to fuzzy heaviness, accompanied by guest musicians on additional guitar and saxophone, Causa Sui explode in quality and quantity on "Live In Copenhagen". Pure magic.

    2. SWANS - Deliquescence
      Michael Gira has just played his last concerts with this monolithic incarnation of Swans. "Deliquescence" documents an earlier stage of its long farewell tour and shows that even with the end approaching the band was still including more than an hour of brand-new music in their performances. The 45 minutes long opener "The Knot" stands as a perfect summary and culmination of the restless, epic and cathartic noise explorations of the last five Swans years.
    3. ESBEN AND THE WITCH - Live At Roadburn
      I wasn't even familiar with the band before, but their show in the Green Room of the 013 turned out to be one of the very highlights of this year's Roadburn festival.
      Combined with one of my own favorite photographs on the back cover, I'm really excercising my highest amount of objectivity and restraint here by not putting this record on the top of my list. It's wonderful.

    4. SUBROSA - Subdued - Live At Roadburn 2017
      I should have made an exclusive list only for "Live at Roadburn" albums, because besides this sublime document of Subrosa in their even more atmospheric "subdued" form the respective records from Hills and Slomatics also really deserve to be honoured here. I attended all three concerts and each one of them was special. Subrosa's show however still resonates closest to my heart. And anyone listening to the epic closer "No Safe Harbor" alone should understand why.
    5. CULT OF LUNA - Years In A Day
      The swedish post metal giants Cult Of Luna love things to be monolithic and overwhelming. So is this package, which includes a DVD (plus audio download) of a special extra-long concert in Paris and CDs with not one but two Roadburn shows, one being the 2016 performance of "Somewhere Along The Highway".

    TOP reissue:



    CYNIC - Uroboric Forms - The Complete Demo Recordings

    The content of four demo tapes, originally released between 1988 and 1991, now on vinyl and CD. With a bonus 7" and a booklet with all original artwork and liner notes on top. What a great way to follow Cynic back to their aggressive thrash and death metal roots! It's a shame that due to the split-up drama Sean Reinert wasn't involved in the making of this awesome reissue.

    TOP 3 downloads:


    1. KÖHNEN PANDI DUO - Darkness Comes In Two's
      A duet of Merzbow and Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation members playing three closely connected, doomy, atmospheric free jazz improvisations on drums and electronics. Released in January this dark and cinematic performance still moves me deeply each time I listen to it.
    2. EXIVIOUS - Chrysalis - the early demos
      With the instrumental jazz/metal/post rock fusion band calling it quits this year in favor of their new project Our Oceans, the dutch band dug into their archive and brought their early recordings from 2001 to 2003 to light. Beginning as a Cynic clone (at first even with matching vocals) this compilation should be interesting for any fan of Death-inspired progressive metal.
    3. ULVER - Sic Transit Gloria Muni ep
      Covering Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "The Power Of Love" can probably only result either in shame or in magnificence.
      Ulver are pulling this off absolutely beautiful, respecting the original while adding their own voice to it. Completed by two new tracks in the style of "The Assassination Of Julius Caesar" this EP is a perfect encore to that album.

    TOP tape:

    BOTANIST - Collective: Setlist 2017
    Shhh! This is the only tape I bought this year. And I haven't even listened to it, but only to the accompanying download. Please don't tell anyone!
    That being said the idea of selling a fresh recording of your tour setlist is neat and in case of the dulcimer green/black metal band Botanist makes a seriously good album which doesn't need to hide from their regular studio release.

    and else?

    Well, I'm too lazy to think of other lists, which includes dissappointments 2017 and hopes for 2018. (Favorite albums and concerts are coming in another post as mentioned above.)

    But since I have finally played some concerts of my own again, I will at least take the opportunity to link to the respective albums on Bandcamp:

    Keine Kommentare:

    Kommentar veröffentlichen