Best Albums of 2017

In the 70s music critics had an edge on the fans – if Richard Meltzer is to be believed, they got free records, invites to parties studded with stars, drugs and other party favours. In 2017 it is becoming increasingly common to not get sent the biggest new releases at all, never mind before they come out. (I note the dry irony in Taylor Swift’s album cover art appropriating newspaper logo fonts – several critics I know still haven’t received the promo.) In the mid 2000s I used to keep stacks of CDs in my desk, ordered by release date. When you opened the drawer, they stared back at you – imploringly, for less known artists, and reproachfully for the big names. Now digital promos from the majorspo arrive in dribs and drabs, sometimes expiring before you have a chance to hit ‘Play’ on track one. You can hear practically everything on demand via streaming, which is not new, but for me the landscape has finally flattened into a featureless horizon – your access is limited only by your time management. Everything is available, and everything is passing you by.

The effect on my listening is two-fold: I focus on genres I know I like, because there’s no force pushing me to engage with pop – it isn’t playing in the bars I go to, it doesn’t cross my twitter feed, I never hear commercial radio. (Pour one out for the major label marketers.) But I also feel perpetually behind, listening to records only once or twice because there’s an endless supply of new records being pushed by my genre outlets of choice (media content farms and ever-scrolling social feeds) and the FOMO is real, y’all.

So aside from the emergence of two new sounds, ‘weightless’ beat-deprived grime and dusty electro-ish drum machine industrial funk I’m dubbing CabVoltCore – neither of which I’ve seen trend pieces about so I’ve just guessed they exist – my listening this year roamed in a vast but fenced-in auditory landscape. And really, aside from the FOMO, it’s all good. I don’t miss what I don’t know exists (or don’t put at the top of a playlist). For what I didn’t miss, read on.

1. Jlin - Black Origami (Planet Mu)

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I really liked Jlin's debut, but I was a little suspicious of it being named The Wire's disc of the year - arriving amid the explosion of footwork at the time it seemed more like they wanted to celebrate the idea of experimenting with its rhythms than the actual result. Now I think they were just more perceptive than me - Black Origami is not conceptually that different from 2015's Dark Energy but it hit me like a bolt of lightning, maybe not coincidentally because the micro-bubble in radically strange footwork albums seems to have burst. With the field now largely to herself, Jlin's vision comes across as truly her own - a haunted landscape of reptilian hihats and shakers snapping menacingly over sand-blasted vocal snippets. If David Lynch remade Dune this would be the perfect soundtrack, all alien tones and martial snares conjuring a frightening yet fascinatingly unique planet ruled by huge worms. I don't know what worms sound like but they're in here somewhere, I'm sure of it.


The List

*** Not on Spotify

1. Jlin – Black Origami (Planet Mu)
2. Kendrick Lamar – Damn. (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope)
3. *Sinjin Hawke – First Opus (Fractal Fantasy)
4. Floating Points – Reflections – Mojave Desert (Luaka Bop)
5. Richard H Kirk – Dasein (Intone)
6. Eric Copeland – Goofballs (DFA)
7. Peverelist – Tessellations (Livity Sound)
8. Gnod – Just Say No To The Psycho Right Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine (Rocket)
9. Fjaak – Fjaak (Monkeytown)
10. Errorsmith – Superlative Fatigue (Pan)

11. Pissed Jeans – Why Love Now (Sub Pop)
12. Ekoplekz – Bioprodukt (Planet Mu)
13. Blondes – Warmth (R&S)
14. Wolf Eyes – Strange Days II (Lower Floor)
15. Kingdom – Tears In The Club (Fade To Mind)
16. Claude Speeed – Infinity Ultra (Planet Mu)
17. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory (Artium/Blacksmith/Def Jam)
18. Sampha – Process (Young Turks/XL)
19. Delia Gonzalez – Horse Follows Darkness (DFA)
20. Bjorn Torske and Prins Thomas – Square One (Smalltown Supersound)

21. Yo Gotti and Mike Will Made It – Gotti Made-It (Gotti Made-It/EMPIRE)
22. Queens Of The Stone Age – Villains (Matador)
23. Mura Masa – Mura Masa (Polydor/Interscope/Downtown/Anchor Point)
24. *Drake – More Life (OVO Sound/Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money/Republic)
25. The Mole – De La Planet (Maybe Tomorrow)
26. Future – HNDRXX (Epic/A1 Recordings/Freebandz Entertainment)
27. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream (DFA/Columbia)
28. ***Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe – Kulthan (Latency)
29. Farbror Resande Mac – Farbror Resande Mac (Horisontal Mambo)
30. Kelela – Take Me Apart (Warp)

31. Sherwood and Pinch – Man Vs. Sofa (On-U Sound)
32. Dizzee Rascal – Raskit (Dirtee Stank/Island)
33. Joakim – Samurai (Tigersushi/Because)
34. Gas – Narkopop (Kompakt)
35. Clap! Clap! – A Thousand Skies (Black Acre)
36. *Egyptrixx – Pure, Beyond Reproach (Halocine Trance)
37. *Daphni – FabricLive 93 (Fabric)
38. Sote – Sacred Horror In Design (Opal Tapes)
39. Tyler The Creator – Flower Boy (Columbia)
40. *Jacques Greene – Feel Infinite (Arts & Crafts)

41. Special Request – FabricLive 91 (Fabric)
42. *Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers (Constellation)
43. ***Craig Taborn and Ikue Mori – Highsmith (Tzadik)
44. Circle – Terminal (Southern Lord)
45. Oneohtrix Point Never – Good Time sndtrk (Warp)
46. Ikonika – Distractions (Hyperdub)
47. ***Weightless Vol 1 (Different Circles)
48. ***Weightless Vol 2 (Different Circles)
49. The Horrors – V (Wolf Tone)
50. ***Jay-Z – 4:44 (Roc Nation)

New mix: Metal Creature


These are grim times for dance — oh hell, for everyone. I am struggling with a few relatively minor things myself, but making this mix was unadulterated fun. I hope you enjoy listening to it. NB I make no apologies for back-to-back tracks from Inna Nice Up Fashion!, which you should go get right now. The ragga jungle revival starts here!

Download from Mediafire

1. Rhythmic Theory – Creeper – Circulation (Idle Hands)
2. Silk Road Assassins – Shaded – Reflection Spaces (Planet Mu)
3. DJ Haus – Hot In Dis MF (Deamonds remix) – Amy Becker Remixed (Amy Becker)
4. Atlas – Calm – Solitude EP (Keysound Recordings)
5. Mala – Kotos – Mirrors (Brownswood)
6. Sepalcure – Loosen Up (Edward remix) – Fight For Us/Loosen Up (Remixes) (Hotflush)
7. Addison Groove – Footcrab (Denham edit) – Footcrab (edits) (Groove)
8. 2562 – Circulate – Tectonic Plates, Vol. 1 (Tectonic)
9. Terror Danjah – Juicy Patty f Jamakabi – Juicy Patty (Keysound Recordings)
10. Hellktram – Rain Skin – Rain Skin/Knocking/Mind Oz (Encrypted Audio)
11. Lil Silva – Struggle – Jimi (Good Years)
12. Mavado – Gangsta For Life (Dark Mix) – Gangsta For Life remixes (1drop)
13. Tackle – Benzedrine – Benzedrine (Another Dark Age)
14. Special Request – Reset It (Head High mix) – Modern Warfare remixes (XL)
15. Top Cat – Request The Style (Special Request remix) – Inna Nice Up! Fashion (Nice Up!)
16. Tenor Fly – Rude Boy Talk (Toddla T & Mele remix) – Inna Nice Up! Fashion (Nice Up!)
17. DJRum – Induction – Forgetting (2nd Drop)
18. Source Direct – The Crane – The Crane (Nonplus)
19. Aisha Devi – Anatomy Of Light (Lakker Remix) – Of Matter And Spirit remixes (Houndstooth)

Mixed July 31 by Dave Morris a.k.a. deemo for

New mix: Shivers


A lousy day for the UK is not quite what I had envisioned for this UK-heavy mix — if anything I was hoping it would serve as a post-Remain-vote tribute to the cultural benefits of immigration, since pretty much none of the music I promote these days on the blog would exist without it. But so it goes, as my heart goes out to Britons who may be feeling less loved by their country today. Anyways that’s a lot of nonsense to pile onto what is supposed to be a party-ready mix of bass heavy tracks, so let’s get into the weekend — never mind the Brexit hangover.

Download from Mediafire

1. Alex Coulton – Ambush – Ambush / Direction (Tempa)
2. Cliques – 8th – Dotted (Tempa)
3. DVA and Addison Groove – Allyallrecords – Take It All EP (Hyperdub)
4. Phon.o – Bell Blender – Afterglow (Tectonic)
5. Nomine – Nomine’s Path – Path/Peace/Lost/Mantra (Tempa)
6. Skepta – Lyrics ft. Novelist – Konnichiwa (Boy Better Know)
7. Commodo – Set It Straight ft Rocks FOE – Set It Straight (Black Acre)
8. Boylan – Ghosts in the Machine – Ghosts in the Machine (Edgem)
9. Sully – Arco – Vamp (Black Acre)
10. DJ Voilà – Some Jazz – Aimless Summer (1080p)
11. Lone – Alpha Wheel – Levitate (R&S)
12. Deft – Ivory Tusk – Blackest EP (20/20 LDN)
13. Poirier – Kypoli feat. Machinedrum & Aleisha Lee – Migration (Nice Up!)
14. dBridge – Average Echo – Average Echo / Heritage (CNVX)
15. Etch – Triptych – Technicolor Daydream (Lapsus)
16. Folding City – Groundswell – Ice Riddim (Tuba)
17. J:Kenzo – Alight – Skatta / Alight (Cosmic Bridge)
18. Danny Scrilla – Come Cross – From The Vault Vol. 1 (Bandcamp)
19. Sam Binga & Om Unit – Windmill Kick – TransPacific EP (Bunit)
20. Special Request – Live From Alpha Centauri – Tessellations (Houndstooth)

Mixed June 14 by Dave Morris a.k.a. deemo for

New mix: Exercise


It’s January! And I didn’t give you a year end list, because really, year end lists are like fruitcake – they always just show up unannounced and unrequested. Instead I give you a mix, though the title may be misleading. It’s not really what you might call gym-appropriate; in my mind, it was about Exercise because a) Kelela has made that word a double-entendre that I heartily enjoy, and b) this isn’t the easiest mix for your poor ears, but then, no pain no gain. It’s grimy, noisy in spots (hey Russell Haswell), melodic in hardly any spots, but a good workout in terms of exploring the dusty corners of the grime and electronic world that might not get too many rinses in clubland yet that deserve attention nonetheless. Enjoy.

Click here to download from Mediafire

Deemo – Exercise by Deemo on Mixcloud

1. Howie Lee – Cloud Lamps – Mù Chè Shān Chū (Alpha Pup)
2. Chevel – Loop #42 (Minor Science Remix) – Blurse Remixed (Stroboscopic Artifacts)
3. Russell Haswell – Heavy Handed Sunset (Autechre ‘Conformity Version’) – As Sure As Night Follows Day (Remixes) (Diagonal)
4. Creta Kano – Skyway Motel (Lurka Remix) – Versions (Happy Skull)
5. Redshape – Paper Blades – Bleep Repeat (Bleep)
6. Acre – Holding Hands – Better Strangers (Tectonic)
7. Lord Real – Printed Mon3y – Kvlt Acid (Clan Destine)
8. Frisco – 1. 2. 3. – s/t (Frisco/Swindle)
9. Special Request – Tractor Beam – Modern Warfare (Warp)
10. DJ Sotofett – Breaking Set Of The Jungle Fantasy – TDD-DDRR-IPP MIX (Laton)
11. Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) [Skepta Remix] – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) [Remixes] (Young Turks)
12. Kelela – All the Way Down (Air Max ’97 Remix) – Hallucinogen Remixes (Warp)
13. Darj – The Edge – FKOFd022 (Fat Kid On Fire)
14. Chevel – Stranded (Paula Temple Remix),Blurse Remixed (Stroboscopic Artifacts)
15. DJ Madd – Peng Teng (feat. Redders) – Peng Teng (Roots & Future)
16. Rustie – Your Goddezz – EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE (Warp)
17. Gypsy Mamba – Herro – Da Feenux (Stones Throw)

Mixed by Dave Morris a.k.a. deemo on Jan 15, 2016 for

New mix: Exclude


I am either about to emerge from a long period of distraction, or go into one, but I’m glad the mix train is at least running on time. This is kind of a decks-clearing (ha) mix that began with me going through all the singles I really liked this year (more on that soon) and picking out the best four on the floor ones I hadn’t used in anything yet. Relatively melodic and warm by my standards, so perhaps you will break this out in holiday party season? Enjoy, and don’t go away, there will be at least one more post before the end of the year.

Click here to download from Mediafire

Deemo – Exclude by Deemo on Mixcloud

1. Blond:ish – Inner Jungle – Welcome To The Present (Kompakt)
2. Art Department – The Agent (Nitin remix) – The Final Remixes (No 19 Music)
3. Slow Hands – I’ll find me (Soul Clap dub) – I’ll Find Me Remixes (Wolf + Lamb)
4. Pearson Sound – Thaw Cycle – Thaw Cycle (Pearson Sound)
5. Youandewan – Fool Be Cool – Spiral Arms EP (Aus Music)
6. Nightmares On Wax – Aftermath (Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer dub) – Aftermath (Warp) 7. The Black Dog – Hollow Stories Hollow Head (GoldFFinch remix) – Very Extended Play EP (Dust Science)
8. Hugo Massien – Better Let Her – Kontrol EP (XL)
9. Dance System – DOS 4 – System Preferences EP (Ultramajic)
10. Special Request – Reset It – Modern Warfare EP 1 (XL)
11. Hodge – Renegades – Amor Fati/Renegades (Livity Sound)
12. Jamie XX – Loud Places (Tessela remix) – Loud Places Remixes (Young Turks)
13. Paula Temple – Oscillate – Tw33tz/Oscillate (50 Weapons)

Mixed Dec. 4, 2015 by Dave Morris a.k.a. deemo for

Mix: War Games

Expedition 21 Docking

Rough and rugged, rugged and raw – is anyone else feeling like grime is having a moment? There’s plenty beyond that realm in this ruffneck bizness mix, but I do have to say that the Boxed Vol. 1 comp feels like the actual resurgence of that sound that the Grime 2.0 comp was trying to manufacture (not that Ninja Tune’s set was unwelcome). Lock into this sound like you’re sitting in a beat-up Ford Fiesta trying to pull in some bashment pirate radio…

Click here to download War Games from mediafire

1. TOKiMONSTA – Focused Chaos – Half Shadows (Ultra)
2. Jack Dice – Stash’s Theme (Feat. Stash Marina) – Sip Paint (Modern Love)
3. High Klassified – Scopola – Palindroma (Fool’s Gold)
4. Mumdance & Logos – Proto – Legion / Proto (Tectonic)
5. Dizzee Rascal – Strings Hoe (Wen Refix) – Strings Hoe (Wen Refix) / Signal (Keysound)
6. L-Vis 1990 – Ballad 4D VIP – Ballad 4D VIP / Not Mad (Helix Bootleg) (Night Slugs)
7. Danny Brown – Shouldn’t Of – The OD EP (Fool’s Gold)
8. Strict Face – Saigon Figure – Boxed Vol. 1 (Boxed)
9. Patrick Sexx – Placebo Pinch – Shape (Alpha Pup)
10. Lakker – Mausoleum – Containing a Thousand (R&S)
11. 040 – Minors – Let It Be Known (Butterz)
12. Martyn – Vancouver – Vancouver (Head High Remix) (White Label)
13. Youngsta – Poseidon – Destruction / Poseidon (Tempa)
14. Special Request – Ride VIP – Soul Music (Houndstooth)
15. Crazy Bald Heads – First Born – First Born (Text)
16. Digital Mystikz – 2 Much Chat – 2 Much Chat / Coral Reef (DMZ)
17. Machinedrum – Now U Know Tha Deal 4 Real – DJ-Kicks: Brandt Brauer Frick (K7)

Deemo – War Games by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud