V/A – Necktar 2017
Necktar 2017 is an yearly thematic and conceptial compilation, each year with a different theme, but always trying to represent that theme as it will be in 2017. This year, and for the first time, the several compilations released so far were bundled together in a physical release: one nice DVD that will give to every experimental music afficionado, as well as to those curious about the genre, a very nice summary of what’s going on in the scene with hundreds of tracks. Includes tracks from Kokori and Merankorii.
Ambience – Santuário
Ambience is back again, this time with a double album. Santuário isn’t Ambience’s best, in my oppinion (that title is still owned by the hard yet awesome “As Dez Esperas”, but this is surely Ambience’s most mature work. The only negative aspect I have to point out regarding this release is the lack of good mastering and sometimes even mixing. A shame, really…
ThanatoSchizO – Origami
Possibly the best ThanatoSchizO album ever, surely the most complete and mature… even if it is also the most different and the only non-metal album they have. Origami goes through the history of this band, and present us ambient and almost electronic reworked versions of its tracks. I was fortunate to be present in one of the only two Origami presentation concerts, and after seeing the album being played live I think I got to like it even better. Unfortunately soon after the news that ThanatoSchizO disbanded arrived.
Merankorii – Rather Than Bored
The first of the two albums Merankorii released in 2011, Rather Than Bored is also the first time Merankorii got its music in the vinyl format. This was the first non-canon Merankorii album, where the concept turns into itself, and Merankorii here shows four questions, two at each side of the record, the answer of all always being “rather than bored”. This is also the first Merankorii release to include a recording of Merankorii playing live (the first track being Merankorii’s concert “Live In Australia”).
V/A – Thanateros – Visions Of Love & Death
This is a Dark Ambient compilation, which might end up surprising you since some of the artists in this compilation aren’t known for their dark ambient work… A double CD release, with tracks from Sieben, Tony Wakeford, Coph Nia, Naevus and much more.
V/A – Icaro I
This is the first “Daidelus Records” release, a 3CD compilation that was released in several formats. This is also where Kokori’s most recent track (Inbrase) is present, and that only should be reason enough for you to buy this release. Includes also tracks from Pájaro De Mal Agüero, Verney 1826, Art Of Empathy, The Joy Of Nature, Hyaena Fierling Reich and more.
Merankorii – Alain
The last Merankorii album, Alain. As explained in Merankorii’s last concert, Alain is a reverse play of the concept explored by Pink Floyd’s sound engineers, when they started playing with “hyper-reality”. Picking another musical milestone, this one almost forgotten (the organist Jehan Alain), this album goes one step further from Merankorii’s Barbershop and even Rather Than Bored’s Morpheus, and practices the “The Medium Is The Message” motto in music, using the format as the medium, and the music/message a way to show off that medium.
Tenhi – Saivo
This was something I spent years waiting for: the latest Tenhi release. No surprise here if I say that this is awesome – after all it’s a Tenhi release. But I’ll have also to say a couple more things: for starts, the fact that there are three different editions for the album, but none on vinyl; the fact that this is surely the best thought out and produced of Tenhi’s albums, quite reminding me what Empyrium made with Weiland. And, like Empyrium’s Weiland, while I’m sure this is their best produced album so far, I’m not really sure this is my Tenhi’s favourite album… but it surely still deserves its place on this list.
+ko+ko+ – A Path To Nowhere
After 2009’s “What Are You Gonna Do?”, +ko+ko+ is back with its second full-length album “A Path To Nowhere”. Two years of compositions being made and remade, some tracks coming from earlier versions made for The 20th, this is a comeback from the simpler dark ambient drone-y compositions +ko+ko+ gave us in the meantime in singles from the Witte Dood project. No, this is indeed a “next step” from “What Are You Gonna Do?”, a more mature and well-thought album, that gives us a consistent yet diverse album, and while you have the dreamy-like tracks like “This-Train-Is-Leaving“, cold industrial ones like “Killing People”, or even funky (+ko+ko+-style, of course) danceable ones like “Together“, the truth is these tracks are nothing but different landscapes seen from the same path… a path to nowhere.
DVAR – Promo 2012
Now this one was a surprise – and a very nice one indeed. DVAR didn’t release a proper album in 2011, but they did release the dark ambient digital EP “Elah”, so I didn’t expect to get more from DVAR this year. But right in the end of the year, we not only get this great EP, but a promise of an upcoming album in 2012. See, this EP is actually a promotional digital release, with 6 tracks that will appear in 2012 in a double album. That double album will have 16 tracks in each disc (so 32 in total), and the six tracks here presented show six different facets of DVAR, telling us that next year’s list will have a place for DVAR’s upcoming album in the “Top 10” list…