There isn’t an article in the world that is long enough to give the music of the last five years, or ten years, justice. This is a modest salute to the new music of 2017, broken up into weekly chunks because I am a human and I need to sleep. Catering to all sounds, here’s the top 5 picks for the week.
#1 Forana — Radio Slave (2017)
‘Forana’ is a track by house and techno producer Radio Slave (Matt Edwards), released earlier this month on the album Feel the Same. Radio Slave has had his fingers in various parts of the industry for years, with a notable creation of his being the label Rekids. This is his first release as Radio Slave, and this track is an otherworldly journey.
#2 Conversations — Christoph Berg (2017)
This is one of the best sensory experiences I’ve had this year. From the album of the same name, Conversations, comes a contemporary classical exploration of consciousness, memory, and time. This is the second track on the album, which can be bought as a limited edition vinyl from the label Sonic Pieces. An experimental composer with a unique vision, Christoph Berg continues to command our attention, and curiosity.
#3 Astral Plane — Valerie June (2017)
I fell head over heels in love with Valerie June’s sound when I heard The Order of Time, her second album. This album is a swirl of acoustic, country blues that gives the soul of soul music something to sing about. It’s modern, without abandoning the roots of what gives the blues and the banjo’s twang their musical patina. Listen to ‘Astral Plane’, and feel yourself fall onto something soft.
#4 Optimus Prime — BARQ (2017)
‘Optimus Prime’ is BARQ as their most experimental and fresh selves to date. The four piece released this tune in August this year, following a roaring welcome from the music community since their 2016 debut. This track shows us the broad range and style of Jess Kav’s vocal ability, and we hear the band splash sounds on a canvas as if to say ‘this is just the beginning’. Listen, and also check out their futuristic video.
#5 Poorman — Depeche Mode (2017)
“Corporations get the breaks, Keeping almost everything they make’’.
This is one track from Depeche Mode’s new album, Spirit. The album is laced with messages of protest and twenty-first century discontent, and ‘Poorman’ articulates this clearly. They keep the quintessential, recognisable Depeche Mode sound that has spanned 14 albums over 3 decades. Listen here.