Favorite Music of 2017

It’s 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday in December: the family is still sound asleep, the cat is trying to communicate something in its frantic meows, and John Maus’ Screen Memories plays at a low volume on the turntable. I am down in the dimly lit FFF bunker staring blankly at my own screen, scrolling through playlists from the year, and trying to reflect on what went down in 2017 on a personal level. Unlike last year, where I felt there were clear phases and specific interests that guided my listening, I’m having a hard time seeing anything remotely like that for this year, other than my current obsession with all things Flying Saucer Attack. Chalk it up to the general confusion of our times, I guess. What I can clearly discern is that there was a wealth of incredible new music that came out that provided endless hours of listening enjoyment: a buffer against the aforementioned confusion, if you will. So, I’m going to be brief here and simply offer up my thanks. Thank you to the artists that continue to make inspiring new work in the face of tweet-and-it’s-gone indifference. Thank you to the labels that support and take chances on artists in an “industry” with diminishing returns. Thank you to the writers that continue to provide insightful reviews and articles that goes beyond the 280-character count. Thank you to the record stores and online distributors that provide a vital outlet for this music. Thank you to the avid listeners that actively support what they’re passionate about. And closer to home, thank you to all of the guests that appeared on the FFF podcast show during the year and to anyone that has taken the time to check out what we do.

Listed below is my (David’s) favorite music of 2017. Like last year, I’ve decided to present 25 albums, 25 tapes, and 10 reissue/archival releases in alphabetical order. I realize that some of these releases might blur the categorical lines and some might have even technically come out at the tail end of 2016, but you get the general idea. These are the albums that stood out in one way or another and the ones that I spent the most time with during the year. I’ve left off the few releases that I put out on Round Bale Recordings this year, but obviously those are all quite near and dear to me, too. It’s worth noting that these are my choices alone; Carl will be sharing some of his favorites of the year on upcoming episodes of the weekly show. I encourage you to click on the links to find out more about each of these releases and to order something if it captures your attention.

 

Albums
Bellows – Strand (Shelter Press)
Blue ChemiseInfluence On Dusk (Greedy Ventilator)
BonsGras H’utsi (Spillage Fete Records)
Peter Brötzmann/Heather LeighSex Tape (Trost)
Crys Cole & Oren AmbarchiHotel Record (Black Truffle)
Ian William CraigSlow Vessels (130701)
Sarah DavachiAll My Circles Run (Students of Decay)
Benedict DrewCrawling Through Tory Slime (Mana)
Maya Dunietz & Tom WhiteSummer Crash (Singing Knives)
ElodieBalayes De La Main Du Hasard (Faraway Press)
Ekin Fil – Ghosts Inside (Helen Scarsdale Agency)
F ingersAwkwardly Blissing Out (Blackest Ever Black)
Giant Claw – Soft Channel (Orange Milk)
Headroom – Head In the Clouds (Trouble in Mind)
Giuseppe Ielasi3 Pauses (Senufo Editions)
JlinBlack Origami (Planet Mu)
MaraudeurS/T (Bruit Direct Disques)
Nicole MitchellMandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds (FPE)
MosquitoesS/T EP (self-released)
David NanceDo the Negative Boogie (Ba Da Bing)
NeutralNÄR (Omlott)
PancraceS/T (Penultimate Press)
RangersTexas Rock Bottom (Doom Trip Records)
Matthew RevertBeing Small (Kye)
Uranium Club – All Of Them Naturals (Fashionable Idiots)

Tapes
Altars AltarsBefore We Dive (Auasca)
Berber OxA Year and a Half (Cave Recordings)
Leif BrushStitched Phenomena (Pentiments)
Kate Carr – The Story Surrounds Us (Helen Scarsdale Agency)
C.I.A. DebutanteWe Will Play For Spirits (Crudités)
Kyle Eyre Clyd – Eaux (Ultra Violet Light)
Yannick DaubyMagicien Rouch (Tanuki)
Dogon Lock – Winnipeg’s West Nile (Korea Undok Group)
Michael Foster & Ben BennettIn It (Astral Spirits)
Freisen/Waters DuoNo. 3 (Shaking Box Music)
HimukaltVulgar (No Rent)
Id M Theft Able/Crank Sturgeonsplit (Ultra Violet Light)
Peter KrisDutch Flat (Patient Sounds)
Graham LambkinTwo Points on the Angle (No Rent)
MegabrethUltra High Noise (Field Hymns)
Jason MillardTall Reeds (Lighten Up Sounds)
Sylvia MonnierStock Shot & Addictive Sling (Sacred Phrases)
Lee NobleThe Hell Of You Come In (No Kings)
Pablo PiccoThe Bombastic and Repetitive Sounds of Tashi Ling Buddhas…(More Mars)
Razorlegs – Bloodshot (self-released)
C. ReiderListening After the End (Reno Park Press)
Troy SchaferUntitled No. 5 (Tree Tapes)
Tom James Scott – Nocturnes (Skire)
Andrew Weather – Under the Tree (Full Spectrum Records)
Chik WhiteSoft Shapes (Power Moves Library)

Reissues/Archival Releases
Franco BattiatoFetus/ Pollution (Superior Viaduct)
Leif BrushStitching In Process: Windmixed Data (Pentiments)
Drunk ElkS/T (House Rules)
Tod DockstaderEight Electronic Pieces (Etats-Unis)
Luc FerrariHétérozygote/Petite Symphonie… (Recollection GRM)
Flying Saucer AttackS/T / Distance / In Search of Spaces (VHF)
Keiji HainoWatashi Dake? (Black Editions)
Optical MusicsThe First Words: Recordings 1984-1987 (More Mars)
Voight/465Slights Still Unspoken (Mental Experience)
Neil YoungHitchhiker (Reprise)

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