Panthersan’s Best Albums of 2017 #11 – 8

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

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

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

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*

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

17 thoughts on “Panthersan’s Best Albums of 2017 #11 – 8

  1. That probably is a Miles reference on the Nico Niquo album, or at least a hint towards late sixties jazz-rock ambient music. Joe Zawinul composed In a silent way and some of his early ambient Weather Report soundscapes appear to be inspirations here, particularly those from the first self-titled album.
    The title of the second track, He loved him madly, is the same as Miles epic electronic tribute to Duke Ellington, from Get up with it. (Though this He loved him madly has no apparent musical connection.) There’s also the “Green in Blue” reference.
    Some nice moments in this album, though for my tastes a little brash in the synth sound. Wierdly reminds me of parts of John Barry’s Diamonds are Forever soundtrack.

    • Thanks Nilpferd, very interesting to know – I had no idea! I think it’s cool that a 23 year old kid in Melbourne is taking inspiration from late sixties jazz-rock ambient music and putting his own twist on it.

      The collective knowledge of the ‘Spill never fails to amaze me. Glad you could find a few bits to enjoy!

  2. it’s always great seeing your picks for the year. quite like the prurient track – and i tried hard but struggled with FNF. didn’t get the liars album for once. I do have the slowcoaches album which is really good. had a track from it in my ‘summer’ mix (which is not summery, just when i made it).

    • If you struggled with FNF, Rainbow Mirror may be a battle! Glad to hear more love for Slowcoaches – it was a great find for me.

  3. I saw Liars live at Rough Trade where the purchase of the album was the price of entry. It was very loud indeed and quite magnificent so I was really surprised, when I got the album home, to discover how quiet and contemplative it was.

    • Ohh, I would have loved to have seen that! Like my namesakes Japanther, every Liars album is different to the last, but I think the quiet contemplation works well on this.

  4. Slowcoaches are good, aren’t they. I keep putting them on playlists but then not really giving them the attention they deserve. I must try harder! If you want it a bit grungier I recommend Dilly Dally https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMrZi0whVpM and if you haven’t clicked with Alvvays, please look out for my top ten countdown – coming v soon!!

  5. Yippee! Always look forward to your end of year posts. I’m still getting plenty of pleasure out of Foodman’s Ez Minzoku and Dark Web’s Giant Claw. Btw, I started a Panthersan kitty this year in anticipation of picking up on some of your selections. Listening now…

    Here’s Lentisimo Halo from one of my top albums of 2017.

    If you’re looking for film recommendations again this year my picks are –

    The Square. Director Ruben Östlund
    Thelma. Director Joachim Trier
    Loveless. Director Andrey Zvyagintsev.
    Get Out. Director Jordan Peele
    The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki. Director Juho Kuosmanen.
    Detroit. Director Kathryn Bigelow
    The Shape of Water. Director Guillermo del Toro
    Dunkirk. Director Christopher Nolan
    The Florida Project. Director Sean Baker
    Call Me By Your Name Director Luca Guadagnino
    My Life As A Courgette. Director Claude Barras
    Toni Erdmann. Director Maren Ade
    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Director Martin McDonagh

    • Ahh…too kind as always!

      Thanks for the list, that is exactly what I was after. I’ve only seen Get Out and I already had Florida Project, Dunkirk and Detroit on my list of things to watch, like…really soon…just as soon as i’ve written all those essays and finished Stranger Things..and….and….. – but hadn’t heard of any of the others, so that’s a nice list to work my way through in my two weeks off over Christmas/New year – thanks!

      • I had difficulty getting to sleep after I watched Get Out. I still have the occasional, disturbing, flashback of Walter running from the woods at around a hundred miles an hour towards Chris and then darting off to the right to avoid trampling him.

  6. I’ll be honest the only thing I’d heard on here before tonight was Slowcoaches. My ears struggled with some of it, but love the education. Thanks Panther!

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