5:5:5: IX. 2017.
The end-of-year spectacular returns with a volley of ten
5tracks apiece that hit home hard during
(but not necessarily from)
Another group-selected bonanza of foremost sounds, as chosen by a stellar cast of wise ears.
Each recalling and revisiting 5 tracks that lept at them during 2017,
and in doing so, co-curating another joyful gathering of random tracks,
ripe for exploring.
So here we go once again, in no particular order or sequence,
representing five individual tracks that impressed, impacted,
and caught their particular attentions in
(but not necessarily from) 2017.
| zillagramwiches | Readsy |
| Kubla Khan | Stephen Kin;aesthetic |
| Alphabets Heaven | Electric Ape
| Scaramanga Silk | Proprio |
| Branner Griswell | Damian Evans |
Lanark Artefax - Hyphen to splice
Totally broken up timing and crazy beat structures created in ways I’ve never heard before. Lanark is some of the most unique electronic music I’ve heard in a long time.
O$VMV$M - Fists
[2016, Idle Hands]
This short and minimal track always gets the spot I didn’t know I was looking to scratch. This artist is a mastermind of minimal intricacy.
bedwetter - stoop lights
[2017, Self Released / Hundebiss]
Lil ugly mane went on some different tangents recently with his subject matter and musical style. Personally I think it is some of the hardest hitting music I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.
Secret Circle (Lil Ugly Mane, Antwon, Wiki) ft. Despot - Satellite
Dream come true for these three rappers/musicians to come together and the music they are putting out is absolute fire.
Lukid - Fall Apart
[2009, Werk Discs]
Beautiful track, makes me think of being lost in a jungle environment. Lukid has an insane amount of wonderfully ear stimulating treats to discover.
Thundercat - Them changes
One of my favourite tracks of the last decade. A pure classic bassline, memorable soulful vocals, Isley inspired drums with one foot in the 70s and one foot in the future. My God what a groove !!
Nick Hakim - Cuffed
If ever there was a master of soulful kick-back vibes over a tasty hip hop beat this cat is the man. Watch out for him
Jlin - Kyanite
[2017, Planet Mu]
On Planet Mu. This lady is the future.. Combining glitchy chopped up vocals, world music percussion and technoid drums making the most improvised sounding electronica music I have heard this year.
St Vincent - Pills
[2017, Loma Vista]
Taken from one of the most exciting electronic pop album since Goldfrapp - Black Cherry. A gleeful bouncy number with a dark undertone that makes me think of Mary Poppins singing A Spoonful Of Sugar after smoking a blunt with Andre 3000.
Shabazz palaces - Dèesse Du Sang
[2017, Sub Pop]
Former Digable Planets artist takes us on an instrumental space journey harking back to the days of trip hop yet sounding massively futuristic with a little nod to Kraftwerk.
Ashra – Oasis
Correlations is the third studio album by pioneering German electronic music group Ashra, released in 1979. Ashra were formerly known as Ash Ra Tempel, but when reduced to the solo project of Manuel Göttsching, Virgin insisted on using the shortened name Ashra. It is the first Ashra album to feature a full band. I’m not too fussed with the album as a whole but THIS number is, for me, is so beautiful.
Sudan archives – Oatmeal
[2017, Stones Throw]
“Wake up, if you want some oatmeal then I’ve got you”. Don’t think I’ve ever heard a better song about cereal than this. Sudan Archives is a 23 year-old violinist/vocalist who writes, plays, and produces her own music. She is self-taught on the violin, inspired by Sudanese fiddlers, R&B, West African rhythms, and experimental electronic music. A truly beguiling EP. Her mellifluous violin wonderfully married with creative beat programming that you’d expect from the Stones Throw camp.
Lotte Kærså & Græsrødderne - Prøv Og Gør Li'som Jeg
Danish music teacher and composer Kærså made this children’s record with her backing band, Græsrødderne. This summer I became quite obsessed with Danish children’s records and this might be the pinnacle of my digging. I love the African, Kalimba or Mbira vibes on this. Incredible stuff.
Bartosz Kruczyński – Baltic Beat
[2016, Growing Bin]
Polish musical polymath, Kruczyński does everything on this transcendent LP, a lush, almost Reichian pastoral hymn, framed by synths and field recordings, to the rural expanses of Poland. I listened to this on repeat this summer as I finished up my studies. Kruczyński also records under his Ptaki guise with Jaromir Kamiński, who are also worth a gander.
Terekke – Mix91
Matt Gardner is one of my favourite producers and I was very happy to see his first long player released at the end of this year. For me, he rarely puts a foot wrong and I love the depth and drifting, lysergic, ambience to his tracks. Mix91 is dubbed out and bass heavy, I can’t wait to hear this on a big system. I believe he records with a relatively simple set up which I find inspiring and for me, bolsters the tenacious notion that less is often more.
Hanne Hukkelberg - The Whip
A crispy shard of brilliant elsewhere Synth Pop from Hanne, her return 2017 release shifting dramatically from previous albums, still this LP just grew and grew on me... just need the vinyl press!?!
Heatwave – Therm Warfare
Drawn hypnotically into a mini Rod Templeton groove obsession in 2017, not sure what started it, but Heatwave's apocalyptic Therm Warfare, as written by RT marked one of the explosive soul-boogie highs. Shrink-wrapped disco-funk with unashamed pop-tones, packed tight with horn stabs, grandious bells and an arpeggiating synth outro to die for. See also, Goin' Crazy on 12”!
Babla & his Orchestra - Yeh Pal Chanchal Kho Na Dena
Taken from his album of instrumental Bollywood versions, the arranger and percussion maestro, brother to legendary production duo Kalyanji-Anandji, Babla 'The Rhythm King' takes centre stage with this gently psyched, brass-heavy rhythm cut from Kalicharan, dotted with his signature disco lazers and understated electronics, it's a beautifully restrained funky-as version.
Pecker - Pecker Power (Part One)
[1980 / 2017, Better Days / Rush Hour]
Outhere psychedelic dub pressure from Japan's Pecker, brought to fresh ears thanks to a Rush Hour re-issue this year. Flipped-out vocals and guttural punctuations, gloriously eccentric and unforgettable funky dub, all leading up to those closing harmonies.
Lionel Hampton – Railroad No.1
Flying vibra-swing from the amazing Mr. Hampton & Orchestra, hues of blues in the break, resisting the quick driving beat, but this train ain't stopping.
Matt Martians - Where Are Yo Friends?
[2017, Three Quarter]
Drum Chord Theory is the antidote to the super pristine funk that's around right now. Great music, great vocals, great album cover.
Waajeed - Shango
[2017, Dirt Tech Reck]
2017 was the return of the horn stab. Every time I've played this out it's destroyed. I have no idea why Waajeed isn't at the same level of notoriety as some of his Detroit colleagues.
Diggs Duke - Beyond The Years
[2017, Following Is Leading]
Diggs Duke seemed to go through an incredible creative period in 2017. 'Beyond The Years' is beautiful, personal and not like anything else you heard in 2017.
GoldLink - Summatime ft. Wale & Radiant Children
Goldlink's basslines won 2017.
Gabor Szabo - Galatea's Guitar
Dreams was recorded in 1968 but seemed to be one of those albums that suddenly appeared on all of my YouTube recommendations in 2017.
The thread between west coast jazz and psychedelic rock, SOMEONE NEEDS TO REISSUE THIS.
Mono Junk - Channel B
Got more into my minimal dub techno recently thanks in part to Ben Kubla Khan; nothing happens and everything does. Less is more.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani - Closed Circuit
[2016, Rvng Intl.]
Present from Ring Mod on my birthday this year. Superb. Definite hints of Terry Riley combined with a freeform but cohesive improv electronic style.
Morte Macabre - Apoteosi Del Mistero
Swedish prog supergroup does 1970s Giallo covers - what's not to love? Mellotron menace (see also Mark Pritchard's Beautiful People for Mellotrons being lovely.)
Alemayehu Eshete - Alteleyeshegnem
A classic Ethio-jazz record given a Berlin buffing up, thickening the groove whilst still letting those haunting vocals shine. Superb,
Gary Clark Jr. - Don't Owe You a Thang
Worked in Chicago a lot this year and coincided with the Blues festival where GCJ was playing. Could have chosen any number off this album but chose this one as there's a 303-style guitar lick about halfway through.
Kamasi Washington - Truth
[2017, Young Turks]
Perfection! Yes, really. A modern classic. Epic. Essential. Beautiful. Stunning. Magical. This is a masterpiece - a real treasure!
Clap! Clap! - Oriens. Oriri
[2017, Black Acre]
Cristiano Crisci is a total master! He expertly fuses exotic rhythms with modern dancefloor production. Experimental, fun and party rocking - and all at once. Incredible!
Blanck Mass - Please
[2017, Sacred Bones]
Powerhouse anthem! Soaring synths, beautiful textures, electro undertones, vocal snippets and sci-fi menace are all packed into this 'feels' gem!
dBridge - dB vs 45 King
Legendary D&B producer turns in this highly innovative beast of a beat 'n' bass monster. This just gets better the louder you play it!
Elsa Hewitt - One Day Old Today
Taken from her trilogy of 2017 albums, this gifted beatmaker / songwriter / producer delivers a sweet, quirky, lo-fi little number that is so memorable!
Afriqua – Mischkin
[2017, Cure Music]
Deep, galaxy exploring electronic dub from Afriqua, Detroit echoes via Berlin, expert-moulded perc-melodics with Pépé Bradock-level next placedness.
Clipping – Shooter
[2016, Sub Pop]
As tight as it is gritty, taken from the destructive Wriggle EP; this gun, drill & synth beat struck me this year, from the trio who continue to wield all the ideas at the edge.
Maalem Mahmoud Gania - Sidi Sma Ya Boulandi Ba Yourki
[2017, Hive Mind]
Glorious gnawa hypnotism; round, round, round rhythmic traditions from Northern Africa, call-response chants, strung-drones against impossible percussion-guimbri intersects.
Black Flower – Lunar Eclipse
[2017, Zephyrs / SDBan]
Heavy grooving, Ethio-riffing psych from the sublime Artifacts LP, snaking flute and strings beckon the closing waft of circling dubby haze.
Auntie Flo - Rainfall on Red Earth
16:20s of epic, slow expanding, outernational joy.
Please don't end, just keep that riff going.
Harold Budd - Bismillahi 'Rrahman 'Rrahim
[1981, Editions EG]
Don't let its "new agey" jazziness fool you. This is an empty needle of China White in a penthouse bathtub in Manhattan.
Salamat Ali Khan, Sharafat Ali Khan & Shafqat Ali Khan - Raga Durga
[1991, Nimbus Records]
Salamat delivering the universe to you. You are welcome.
Chocolate - Conga Forte, Rico Cajon
Minimal. Hypnotic. Sometimes you need to go clean.
Negro Prison Songs (Work Songs and Blues Recorded, Edited and Annotated by Alan Lomax) - Early In The Mornin'
[1958, Tradition Records]
Every hard song you know ain't as hard as this, even if you been to Georgia.
Wagaku - Shinto Shamanic Kagura Dance Music (Kuniburi No Utamai)
[2014?, Field Recording? / Yєu Ɲgนุуєท YouTube/ Unknown]
According to the poster, this is a Gagaku song in the Wagaku sect. It is to accompany Shinto Dance done by Shaman. Not much else is known. Is this recorded live at a ceremony? If so it is exquisitely done. Someone coughs around 37 seconds...
Teleman – Repeater
[2017, Moshi Moshi]
The always inventive 4-piece return with a track that builds to a frenetic end leaving you feeling you’ve been involved in a high-speed chase through the streets of the band’s native London.
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Deadly Valentine
CG can do very little, if anything, wrong. Superb new album “Rest” with this captivating piano-driven piece of perfection as its centrepiece. Likely to drive even the most reluctant of foot-tappers to the dancefloor.
Alessi Brothers – Seabird
Forgotten pop gem from the late 70s’ American duo that sounds like it could have been written and produced by Barry Gibb and Phil Spector.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – I Will Make Room For You (Four Tet Remix)
[2017, Western Vinyl]
Along with releasing one of the albums of the year, Kieran Hebden applies his remixing skills to this stunning track from the super-talented Washington state singer-songwriter.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Murder Of The Universe
Fancy a full-on psychedelic rock track narrated by UK Text-To-Speak Charles detailing a cyborg’s vomit growing to eventually engulf the universe? Yes please!
Massive appreciation to all the selectors for drawing together 5 from the sound of their respective 2017s. A genuine joy and treat to hear and pour over a few tracks that made personal impressions. Find a track from each nestled below in the 5:5:5: 2017 taster playlist:
All the previous 5:5:5: collections and curations right over here: