Pour me another: our top six album picks of 2017 so far

slowdive2

A still from Slowdive’s “Sugar For The Pill” video

Okay so it’s mid July and thus a little over the halfway point of the year, but still worth a go, innit? Below find six recommended albums from the first half (and a small bit) of this slightly mad year, records that have kept this website extra lucid and a touch happier than otherwise would have. About 27% more.

Slowdive — ‘Slowdive’

This is more than just a comeback album for the sake of a comeback. This is this early nineties indie act’s finest studio LP yet, proving that the group still had relevance and material left in abundance. Beautifully shimmering stuff. And with a reassuring eight tracks, not a moment of filler in sight.

Nathan Fake — ‘Providence’

Neatly packaged disc filled with ambient techno splendour and measured, glacial sounds and shards, that magically come together to form a greater whole. That being a modern electronic masterwork of both noise and splendour.

Moon Duo — ‘Occult Architecture Vol 2’

Possibly the space rockian duo’s most fluid release to date. Of course, things here recall Loop, Spacemen 3, and, almost inevitably, Hawkwind. But it is all prepared and produced succinctly to give it that unique, subtly controlled Moon Duo feel. And similar to the Slowdive record, admirably produced and naturally layered. How can you not like this?

Clark — ‘Death Peak’

Politically charged, cliffs-edge industrial techno of thematic magnificence that, though pushes the Clark boundaries a little more, it’s also wholly, spine chill-inducing Chris Clark at his very best. (now eight studio albums into his Warp career).

Porter Ricks — ‘Anguilla Electrica’

Comeback LP release of top hole burrowing dub-techno and obscure underwater ambient wares, that should appeal to fans of Pole and Mouse On Mars. (and fans of Porter Ricks, oddly enough).

Forest Swords — ‘Compassion’

“I’ve struggled to see any kind of light at the end of the tunnel,” says producer Mathew Barnes on this, his second full-length. It all sounds impenetrable, full of technological breadth, classical inclined production, like an electro-classical opera. There is the sense of oncoming dread. And yet– like the best of these type of records– there exists the power of communal hope, of nature and reality coming to the fore, of sense prevailing over lunatic thought.

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