Warning! This might get a bit noisy…
7 Pharmakon – Contact
Margaret Chardier is the sole writer, musician, producer and artist that is Pharmakon. This is her third record and is as twisted, nasty, noisy and fucked up as anything you’ll hear by someone called Margaret! I do love a good sub-genre label, but I’m not sure what to call this kind of sound: harsh noise? power electronics? I don’t know, but I like the way that the violent tension opens up to more spacious clanging and banging and the way the whole of the art and aesthetic hold together in a way that is only possible when it comes from a dedicated artist with a singular vision.
6 Sete Star Sept – Beast World
Japanese noisegrind duo (bass and drums) Sete Star Sept are ridiculously prolific – a quick glance at Discogs shows no fewer than 7 splits and singles and various things for 2017 alone, but this is a rare full-length from them. I got into SSS at the start of the year when I started tentatively going out to some extreme metal shows around Tokyo and Yokohama. These are pretty intimate affairs, no more than 40 or 50 people (and often a lot less!) with 5 or 6 bands on the bill that might range from Oi punk, to funereal doom and anything and everything in between. This record is a game of two halves. Side A is a sonic assault of perfect noise-inflected grindcore that rips through 23 songs in 11 minutes. Side B is…..well, it’s kind of just them pissing around really – they basically drop the bass and just shout swear words (in English) over clanging drums – but it’s done with such charm and humour it never fails to raise a smile. Perhaps not for everyone!
5秘部痺れ (Hibushibire) – Freak Out Orgasm
I trailed this earlier in the year in my Riot Season records lowdown. Hibushibire are 3 psychedelic dudes from Kobe that wear their hair down to their arses and make heavy heavy freak out guitar music. I don’t have a great deal of this kind of music in my collection, which is maybe why I played this record to death this year. The psych jams are long, heavy and tight and are pretty much summed up by the title of the album.
4 Олег Буянов – Перепад Высот (OL – Height Difference)
I shared my discovery of Russian label Gost Zvuk records earlier in the year and this album is my favourite thing they have put out so far. This is the work of producer Oleg Buyanov who makes dance music that sounds in my overactive imagination like a Berlin rave in 1992 just at that moment at 2am when the hardcore rhythms give way to the chill out tunes. Some parts you can dance to, other you can’t and it all adds up to a supremely well-crafted old-school modern dance album.