I’d made my Top Ten list (of course!), but thought about giving the ‘Spill write up a miss this year, mainly because I am almost comically busy (I currently have one full-time job, 3 part-time/irregular ones, an inquisitive 5 year old to entertain, and possibly against my better judgement I’ve just gone back to studying (yet!) again) and I’m very aware that my own tastes very rarely overlap with other ‘Spillers (or anyone else for that matter!), but tradition is tradition and I did listen to a whole load of great music this year. The reason it is a Top 11 is because I had my Top 10 all worked out and then on December 1st, one of my favourite artists dropped a three and a half hour behemoth on Bandcamp that I’ve only listened to through once, but I thought deserved a mention.
11 Prurient – Rainbow Mirror
Ridiculously prolific NYC techno/black metal/drone/ambient/noise artist Dominic Fernow (as well as Prurient he also goes under Vatican Shadow and Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement) put out a good few releases in 2017 – all of them pretty great – but outdid himself in his final record of the year by making it a sprawling 3 and a half hour, quadruple-CD, 7-LP meandering monster. As I said, I’ve only given it the once over, but it sounded pretty incredible to me. Lurching from harsh noise to long ambient passages to stuttering drones and back again, it encapsulates all of the different personas that he has built up over the last couple of decades in one complete whole.
10 Liars – TFCF
This is another one that I didn’t hear until quite recently. TFCF sees Liars mainman Angus Andrew cast off his former bandmates and head to the Australian countryside to make what is for all intents and purposes a solo record. As you might imagine, this is manifested as a more contemplative sound that Liars have given us of late that harks back to their masterpiece “Drums Not Dead”. It took me a few listens to get into, but once it all clicked it became a firm favourite on my office turntable that fits perfectly into Liars’ already impressive canon.
9 Nico Niquo – In a Silent Way
Nothing to do with the Miles Davis album of the same name (unless I’ve completely missed something), this is the first album on my list from current favourites Orange Milk records (who gave us Foodman’s idiosyncratic addition to last year’s list). Nico Niquo is a bloke from Melbourne called Nico Callaghan that makes music that is kind of difficult to describe. It’s electronic, but there are no beats, dreamy and ambient without drifting into noodly nothingness. It has stabs of saxophone and clarinet amongst the synth lines and gives just enough to keep you coming back for more. Let’s call it New Age music for a new age.
8 Slowcoaches – Nothing Gives*
As many of you know, I’m a total sucker for female/female-fronted punk/garage/post-punk bands, so when I read the card in the record shop referencing post-punk and riot grrrl, but with a London edge, I bought it on sight. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. The whole album is fast and catchy, up and down, noisy and melodic, and seems to capture a certain kind of 21st Century existentialism that somehow manages to update 90s angst, by adding 70s fuzzy noise and 80s post-punk energy……OK, I’m pretty sure I haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about now…..but I liked it!
* the album actually came out right at the end of 2016, but it didn’t make its way to the record shops of Tokyo until 2017, so it still counts