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2018 was a crazy year, no doubt, but to add a little joy to the end of your 2018 - Here are 10 of our favorite releases that came out this year. Check 'em out below:
VINAL EDGE RECORD's BEST OF 2018 LIST!
In no particular order...
Kink Gong(aka: Laurent Jeanneau) "Dian Long"
2LP’s packed with enough Glitch/Musique Concret/Sound Collage/Asian field recordings to satisfy the weirder friends in your circle of freaky pals. Chinese opera, pop music and field recordings seem to provide the stock for this dense and psychotic sound soup of a release. This made me realize how some of my favorite music pieces would not be deemed as music at all to most of the world, furthering my theory that “All sound is music”. --Chuck
Dhorimvishka is the latest project by Japanese drummer Tatsuya’s band Koenjihyakkei. Yoshida delivers his best work yet, seamlessly blending influences from zeuhl, prog rock, and jazz in exciting new ways. Yoshida takes a break from the intensity shown in his other works such as Ruins, and shows off the more melodic and jazzy side of his musicianship to great effect. The vocals, especially the female ones, really shine on this album, and Tatsuya ceases to please the listener with his iconic brand of percussion. Dhorimvishka will be an instant classic for anyone interested in Zeuhl, Rock in Opposition, or other similar genres and stands as my favorite release of 2018. –Jake
Temple of Angels "Foiled"
One of the most exciting and unique bands hailing from Austin, TX, Temple of Angels have completely outdone themselves with their recent EP, “Foiled”. The female vocalist has a fluttering, powerhouse delivery and a beautifully impressive vocal range. In the middle of the EP, a male vocalist briefly takes over and has a brooding voice that pairs well with the surrounding dark, bass-heavy instrumentation. The last track, “100 Lilies” is the killer, with an incredible, mind-bending vocal performance...seriously, it’s f***ing UNREAL. Temple of Angels are not particularly similar to any other bands, though they can be recommended for fans of early ethereal/goth/post-punk releases on 4AD, and others of that ilk. If there is an upcoming ethereal-wave revival, these folks are the spearhead! --Sunshine
Fishmans “Night Cruising 2018”
So I'm kind of cheating here because this release is composed of tracks remastered and made into a compilation for a 2018 release. The odds of anyone actually having heard these tracks in the past is fairly low and they are an active band more or less (although they haven't had proper new music in 20 years). Fishmans isn't an easy thing to pin down but many of their tracks are ambient/pop with heavy dub influence & elements of funk, neo-psychedelia, rocksteady and trip-hop. The androgynous vocal sound of Shinji Sato is the big singnifier of their records. Shinji passed away after the release of their last full release in 1997. Possibly for fans of HTRK. --Justin
Marie Davidson "Working-Class Woman"
Marie Davidson’s new record is nothing short of unique, funny, and clever. The opener seems to be a comical jab at common cliches overheard or directed toward musicians, presumably herself. The second track immediately goes into a high-paced dancefloor-packer aptly titled "Work It". This is not your average minimal-synth album, it’s not 80’s worshipping, it sounds like nothing else I’ve ever heard. This record is totally genre-defying, she threw in some EBM, a smidge of post-industrial, a tad progressive electronic, a pinch of avant-garde, and a bit of techno. It’s packed with twists and turns, all while maintaining a hypnotizing rhythm and her intoxicating voice. She drags you to hell with a few creepy tracks, only to take you back to a heavenly futuristic rave. This one wins album of the year for me, it’s Marie Davidson’s world and we’re all just living in it. -- Sunshine
Narcons “Sleek Machine”
Narcons are a 4-piece group of "seasoned" Houston based "musicians" known equally for their meme-styled online persona as they are for their space-punk music and live show. This release packs a punch -- no skippers on this one. For fans of Chrome and Slayer. Follow them for financial freedom. --Justin
Arve Henriksen "Height of the Reeds"
This guy has been a favorite here at the Edge for a while now, but when you put on an Arve Henriksen record you pretty much know what to expect, he has perfected the formula for beautiful ambient jazz LP’s. “Height of the Reeds” can be viewed as a sibling to his 2017 release “Towards Language”, this new album incorporates a similar spiritual tonality that he creates with his trumpet but with an added cinematic feel. I hear this record as cold, stark and contemplative but that’s really what I look for and enjoy from contemporary jazz composers. The ambient elements are the major draw here, and it is the main reason this one is a "best-of" in my book. Throw this one on in the morning, and watch your mood improve. If you like ECM records, smoky jazz artists like Bohren & Der Club of Gore and Angelo Badalamenti, and modern-classical composers that border on ambient such as Ólafur Arnalds, Tim Hecker, and Max Richter, you will probably like this one! --Sunshine
TWINS "That Which Is Not Said"
As a fan of 80's and 90's heavy-hitters in the EBM genre, I am thrilled to see the resurgence of it in 2018. "That Which Is Not Said" is Matthew Weiner's 3rd record under the TWINS moniker and his best work thus far. This album is pure industrial synthpop bliss. This one, like most of my other previous "best-of" albums, is not an easy pill for everyone to swallow so how can I describe this in a few words? Heavy, thumping, rhythmic synthesis with floundering male vocals that are prominent in EBM/synthpop. Recommended for regulars of Numbers nightclub and fans of TR/ST, Cold Cave, Boy Harsher, Multiple Man, Sally Dige, etc.
V/A "Voyager Golden Record"
I have ALWAYS wanted to own a version of this. This 3LP + book boxed set is a treasure for what it represents to the universe about our little 'ol planet earth. In 1977 Nasa launched the Voyager space probe. On it was a record player and a GOLD record of the music and sounds of the planet earth. The hope is that some day some creature will stumble across this and gain a sense of who we were on this planet in our own made-up time of 1977. Sounds, speeches, world music, I simply like knowing that all of these sounds were meant to represent to WHO KNOWS WHO, WHO WE WERE! The design of the box is of the plaque on the space probe that without words aims to tell where it came from and how to play the record. The Voyager 1 probe is now the most distant man-made object from Earth, and still communicates back! On it, is the rarest record there is to collect. I will have to be happy with the boxed set. -Chuck
Parquet Courts "Wide Awaaaaake”
We played this record in the shop SO MANY TIMES when it came out. While the band has "a sound" it is hard to pin down. Male vocal Indie Rock, yes, but SO MANY STYLES are on this record that it is a super fun ride. One minute there might be cool funk riffs, then a childrens choir. A GREAT party record for the tight pants set. -chuCk
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