Niels Van Tomme (Update Contributor)

  • Best of 2015

    I rarely go out to see shows these days, which in turn makes my home-bound listening sessions all the more intimate and special. Throughout these sessions, I continue to discover an incredible amount of outstanding music, perhaps in a bit more focused way, without the distraction that is the search for a continuously new live high. While there were too many good releases to adequately compile into two truly substantial 2015 top 15’s, both for new and old stuff, here’s an attempt anyway.

    I decided to focus on those albums that truly surprised by defying all expectations of how a record in their respective genre should sound like in 2015, or ones that presented either an apotheosis and/or shift in gear of artists I’ve respected for years. In compiling the old/archival list, I was concerned with heritage – the records that would still stand years from now as humble yet suggestive markers of our by then trivial humanity.

    Besides those lists, I utterly enjoyed, was floored or lifted upwards by the enthralling music (re)released by the likes of Matana Roberts, The Supreme Jubilees, Don Cherry, Ro Maron, Carl Craig, Joan Bibiloni, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, John T. Gast, Palmbomen II, Pearson Sound, Biosphere/Deathprod, Kendrick Lamar, Lawrence English, Julius Eastman, Spectre, Charles Cohen, Natural Information Society & Bitchin Bajas, Arthur Russell, Deutsche Wertarbeit, FIS, Donato Dozzy, Akkord, William Basinski, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma, Asmus Tietchens, Vito Ricci, JD Emmanuel, Lloyd McNeill & Marshall Hawkins, J.B. Smith, The Mothmen, George Theodorakis, Boof, Karin Krog, Vilod, The Fear Ratio, Flying Saucer Attack, Alice Coltrane, M.E.S.H., Bourbonese Qualk, Tapes, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Domenique Dumont, Clara Mondshine, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Port Said, Stars of the Lid, Jean Guérin, De Leon, Pole, Albert Ayler, Regis, Philip Jeck, Harmonia, Visionist, Max Würden, King So So, Simon Scott, Deantoni Parks, Arca, Admx-71, and Anthony Child.

    There was one live event I need to highlight though. Experienced at Mayhem in Copenhagen, Jacob Kierkegaard’s earsplitting field recording performance of exorcism rituals in Central Africa was an utterly mesmerizing and visceral experience, which totally blew my mind. Its troubled soundscape was also a welcome reminder of the disruptive potential of “audio art”: no more background fodder!


    ÁINE O’DWYER “Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II” (MIE)
    PEDER MANNERFELT “The Swedish Congo Record” (Archives Intérieurs)
    JOSHUA ABRAMS “Magnetoception” (Eremite)
    FP-ONER “5” (Mule Musiq)
    TOMEKA REID “Tomeka Reid Quartet” (Thirsty Ear)
    WOLFGANG VOIGT “Rückverzauberung 10/Nationalpark” (Profan)
    HEITOR ALVELOS “Faith” (Touch)
    CARTER TUTTI VOID “f (x)” (Industrial)
    GRAHAM LAMBKIN/MICHAEL PISARO “Schwarze Riesenfalter (Ersthwile)
    DEEPCHORD “Ultraviolet Music” (Soma)
    KAMASI WASHINGTON “The Epic” (Brainfeeder)
    LEVANTIS “Romantic Psychology 1” (Technicolour)
    JASMINE GUFFOND “Yellow Bell” (Sonic Pieces)
    THE NECKS “Vertigo” (Northern Spy)



    DAVID BORDEN “Music For Amplified Keyboard Instruments” (Spectrum Spools)
    GIGI MASIN “Wind” (The Bear On The Moon)
    FINGERS INC. “Another Side” (Alleviated)
    COIL “archival releases” (Threshold Archives)
    VARIOUS ARTISTS “Cherrystones Presents: Critical Mass / Splinters From The Worldwide New-wave, Post-punk And Industrial Underground 1978-1984” (Touch Sensitive)
    LIAISONS DANGEREUSES “Liaisons Dangereuses” (Soulsheriff)
    VINCENT FLOYD “Moonlight Fantasy” (Rush Hour)
    PEKKA AIRAKSINEN “Buddhas Of Golden Light” (Arc Light Editions)
    POPOL VUH/FLORIAN FRICKE “Kailash” (Soul Jazz)
    LARAAJI “All In One Peace” (Leaving)
    PATRICK COWLEY “Muscle Up” (Dark Entries)
    SAVANT “Artificial Dance” (RVNG Intl)
    SUN RA AND HIS INTERGALACTIC ARKESTRA “Planets Of Life And Death: Amiens ‘73” (Strut)
    VARIOUS ARTISTS “Trevor Jackson Presents: Science Fiction Dancehall Classics” (On-U Sound)
    DAVID TOOP “Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul - Yanomami Shamanism, Songs, Ritual, 1978 (Sub Rosa)

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