Dec 31, 2017

Best electronic albums of 2017: another avalanche of ambience

Pull up a beanie chair, roll up fat one and let's float off with some ambient albums that didn't make my final top 20.

Ryuichi Sakamoto's wonderful async (Milan) simply layered gorgeousness upon gorgeousness, best summed up in the delicate and funereal andata. The vocals also shone on Reassemblage (Rvng Intl.) by Visible Cloaks, an immersive and creative trip inspired by a Vietnamese movie. Visible Cloaks had a couple of great label mates this year: Pauline Anna Strom showed off some wibbly woozy synths on Trans-Millenia Music (Rvng Intl) while I liked the twitters and tinks and tonks and gronks of Sugai Ken's UkabazUmorezU (Rvng Intl.).

I warmed to the field recordings of Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement's Ambient Black Magic (Hospital Productions), which is probably more techno than ambient, but whatevz. For the L.I.E.S. label's 100th release, we got some pleasant chill-out on Terekke's debut long-player Plant Age (L.I.E.S.).

M.E.S.H.'s second album Hesaitix (PAN) oozed with spatial strangeness, Midori Takada's Through The Looking Glass (Palto Flats) wowed us with Marimba-driven natural rhythms, Nadia Struiwigh's techno-focussed Lenticular (Central Processing Unit) felt like riding a flotilla through feather-clad clouds, and if I didn't describe Laraaji's Bring On The Sun (All Saints Records) as "a folk band in the reception room of heaven" I wouldn't be doing my job.

Scroll all of the best 2017 electronic albums by clicking here.

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