Oops! This is very late. I still wanted to continue my streak and wouldn’t you know it, there were some pretty hot albums that came out in the cold of December. While most of the output seemed like it was major labels shuttling out pop star records to make it in time for the next GRAMMY cycle, others felt like they were sneakily squeaking out as the year ended. I wish I could find more to feature here, but even my usual wellsprings of discovery seemed to be dried up when it came to December. Either way, I’m happy with the selection I have here. Some relatively well-known (indie) artists, plus a newcomer to the blog Pedro Kastelijns. Radical stuff. No Warm Visions descriptions, just a quick blurb about the sound. As one does with December!
Burial – Tunes 2011-2019 [Hyperdub]
A collection of every Hyperdub-released Burial project from the 10s. Absolutely essential electronic music that every fan should have in their collection. Already featured in my favorite albums of the 10s.
Daniel Lopatin – Uncut Gems Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Warp]
Oneohtrix Point Never-led journey through a glittering, shiny, anxious climb through altered states of reality. A vision that’s entranced by jewels and nothing more.
Duster – Duster [Muddguts]
Slowcore legends return for an unexpected new album and it’s great. Brutal distortion, hissing effects, disaffected vocal deliveries. Like they never even left.
Free Nationals – Free Nationals [OBE/Empire]
Criminally overlooked record tacked on at the end of last year. Total retro late 70s fonk throwback with a good selection of guest vocalists & emcees.
Julianna Barwick – Circumstance Synthesis [RVNG Intl.]
More delicate synthesis of new age keys + electronics with Barwick’s amazing, weightless vocals on top. What else could you need?
Kaytranada – BUBBA [RCA]
Another clinic in how to produce a record and mold songs around your guest stars. Not as summery as 99.9%, sounds a bit more club-focused. Lots of ultra-jams I can’t wait to bump this summer.
Pedro Kastelijns – Som das Luzis [Overseas Artists Recordings]
Warped, fisheye-lens Brazilian bedroom folk + rock tunes. Songs seem to degrade and reform as they progress. Packed with experimental gusto and bold psychedelic production.