Igloo Magazine :: Best of 2015

So here it is—from ambient drone to post-rock, jazz and modern classical, from IDM to experimental to post-digital microsound; hallucinatory electronics to experimental soundscapery, candy-color post-kosmische to alien noise, intergalactic techno to post-hardcore mayhem and broken bass music, these are igloomag’s picks for the year…

Image by Alexander Semenov

Image by Alexander Semenov

Sherpas to your questing climbers

2015: a year of listening, and listing, dangerously. A year that moved disconcertingly rapidly, and that continued to put pressure on an increasingly besieged listener to make listening room. No sooner had ears peeled to reveal this colored vinyl gatefold sleeve picture disc or that shiny bespoke limited edition micro-CD package, than some upstart walnut veneer memory drive or other was vying for your ever more deficit-leaning attention. This year again has seen a length and breadth of sounds merging from all sides of the planet, from gifted newcomers and experienced campaigners alike. And, as other sites of musical interest gathered to negotiate a cast of thousands down to 50 or 30 or, worse, 10, here at Igloo HQ we figured there was no point subjecting ourselves to further angst or internecine strife with horse-trading; no, rather than seek to boil the contents of our respective contributor lists down to a single Top Whatever, it pleased us instead to let them all sprawl for your scrolling delight, and let you be the final arbiters with us as informed insider guides—sherpas to your questing climbers. There are sections, but these indicate nature, spirit, vibe and feel rather than a genre or sound and style. Of course, in some cases the releases are related in sound and style, but the list was just so big we wanted to facilitate the browse through without cramping style by boxing in with genre boundaries. It also recognizes the diversity of the list, which includes everything and post-everything. So here it is—from ambient drone to post-rock, jazz and modern classical, from IDM to experimental to post-digital microsound; hallucinatory electronics to experimental soundscapery, candy-color post-kosmische to alien noise, intergalactic techno to post-hardcore mayhem and broken bass music, these are igloomag’s picks for the year…

Links to reviews, a Soundcloud player, and a slideshow randomly displaying some of our favorite artwork in 2015, are also included below. No winners or runners-up; all the sections are alphabetized by artist.

Sections :: Brian Eno | Richard D. James | Meshell Ndegeocello | Robert Moog | Philip Glass


“It’s not the destination that matters. It’s the change of scene.” (Brian Eno)

Albums ::

2814 :: 新しい日の誕生 (Dream Catalogue)
Abdulla Rashim :: Shell of Speed (Northern Electronics)
Acronym :: June (Northern Electronics)
Alex Ketzer :: Marianne Brandt (Noorden)
Alex Menzies :: Order & Disorder (Kathexis)
Apocryphos, Kammarheit, Atrium Carceri :: Onyx (Cryo Chamber)
Aris Kindt :: Floods (Scissor and Thread)
Arovane & Hior Chronik :: In-between (A Strangely Isolated Place)
ASC :: Fervent Dream (Silent Season)
Benoit Pioulard :: Stanza I & II (Baro)
Boliden :: Meta (Chemical Tapes)
Celer :: How could you believe me when I said I loved you when you know… (Two Acorns)
Chris Weeks :: The Cloud (Self-Released)
Denzel + Huhn :: Brom (Oktaf)
Donnacha Costello :: Stay Perfectly Still (Self-Released)
Dronny Darko & protoU :: Earth Songs (Cryo Chamber)
Eating Flowers :: God Was A White-Tailed Deer (Reckno)
Fjordne :: Moonlit Invocations (White Paddy Mountain)
Flowers for Bodysnatchers :: Aokigahara (Cryo Chamber)
식료품groceries :: HOUSEWARES (Dream Catalogue)
Heezen :: Abandoned Memory (Feutlab)
Helios :: Yume (Unseen Music)
Hotel Neon :: Hotel Neon (Home Normal)
Juxta Phona :: we will not be silence (Home Normal)
Mark Harris :: In The Forests_The Animals Are Moving (n5MD)
Marsen Jules :: The Empire of Silence (Oktaf)
Martin Nonstatic :: Granite (Ultimae)
Misleading Structures :: Forest Fire (Self-Released)
Moon Zero :: Moon Zero (Denovali)
Nmesh and t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 :: ロストエデンへのパス (Dream Catalogue)
Northumbria :: Helluland (Cryo Chamber)
Noveller :: Fantastic Planet (Fire)
Offthesky & Pleq :: A Thousand Fields (Infraction)
The Orb :: Moonbuilding 2703 Ad (Kompakt)
Percival Pembroke :: Pembroke Autumn/Winter Catalog (Beer On The Rug)
Periskop :: Immerse (Kabalion)
Petre Inspirescu :: Vin Ploile (Mule Musiq)
Photophob :: And All The Dreams You Don’t Remember (M-Tronic)
Refracted :: Through the Spirit Realm (Silent Season)
Robert Rich :: Filaments (Soundscape Productions)
Saffronkeira :: Synecdoche (Denovali)
Shuttle358 :: Can You Prove I Was Born (12k)
Siavash Amini :: Subsiding (Futuresequence)
Subheim :: Foray (Denovali)
泰合志恒 :: 神秘的情人 (Tokyo Exchange)
t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 :: アンタラ通信 (Dream Catalogue)
Triac :: Days (Line)
William Basinski & Richard Chartier :: Divertissement (Important)
Yui Onodera :: Sinkai (Arctic Tone)

EPs ::

36 :: Sine Dust (3six)
AES Dana & Miktek :: Alkaline (Ultimae)
Autumna :: Unfurl (Shimmering Moods)
Marconi Union :: Departures (Chemical Tapes)
Monochrome :: Unforgettable Call of the Octopus (Annulled Music)
Pact Infernal :: The Descent [Chapter 1] (Lucy Remixes) (Samurai Horo)
WaWuWe :: WaWuWe 002 (WaWuWe)

V/A Compilations ::

Digiseeds (Ultimae)
Eilean 53 (Eilean Rec.)


“It’s quite similar to guitar solos, only with programming you have to use your brain. The most important thing is that it should have some emotional effect on me, rather than just, ‘Oh, that’s really clever.’ ” (Richard D. James)

Albums ::

Anthony Naples :: Body Pill (Text / Proibito)
Badun :: s.o.t.s. Respace (Schematic Music Co.)
Bourbonese Qualk :: Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1987 (Mannequin)
Citizenn :: Human Interface (Crosstown Rebels)
Container :: LP (Spectrum Spools)
Crisopa :: A Lucid Dreamkit (n5MD)
Damiano von Erckert :: Also Known As Good (AVA)
Deadbeat :: Walls & Dimensions (BLKRTZ)
Dronelock & Ontal :: The Topics (Shadow Story)
exm :: llmnt (Touched Music)
eyesix :: Ouija (Carpe Sonum)
Faex Optim :: Triskaidekaphobia (Carpe Sonum)
The Fear Ratio :: Refuge of a Twisted Soul (Skam)
Fis :: The Blue Quicksand Is Going Now (Loopy)
Flatland Sound Studio :: Maximum Vacation Plus (Bedroom Research)
Four Tet :: Morning/Evening (Text)
Frank Riggio :: Psychexcess II – Futurism (Hymen)
George FitzGerald :: Fading Love (Double Six / Domino)
Hidden Orchestra :: Reorchestrations (Denovali)
IAEA Headquarters :: Storm 21 (Clean Error)
Internet Goddess Shinatama :: The Unified Consciousness (Dream Catalogue)
Jahiliyya Fields :: Chance Life (L.I.E.S.)
Jvox :: Strange Universe II (Component)
Kangding Ray :: Cory Arcane (Raster-Noton)
Keita Sano :: Holding New Cards (1080p)
Kingbastard :: Data (Odd John)
Kubbi :: Ember (Self-Released)
Legiac :: The Faex Has Decimated (Tympanik Audio)
Levon Vincent :: Levon Vincent (Novel Sound)
Lnrdcroy :: Much Less Normal (Firecracker)
Low Jack :: Sewing Machine (In Paradisum)
Mr. Jones :: Sounds For The Mute (The Public Stand)
Nour Fawzi :: Fragmented (Mindtrick)
Oneohtrix Point Never :: Garden of Delete (Warp)
Percussions :: 2011 Until 2014 (Text)
Piano Interrupted :: The Unified Field Reconstructed (Denovali)
Planet Pluto :: Foreign Body (Detroit Underground)
port-royal :: Where Are You Now (n5MD)
Randomform :: Furtherfield (Detroit Underground)
Ricardo Donoso :: Machine to Machine (Denovali)
DJ Richard :: Grind (Dial)
Robert Logan :: Flesh (Slowfoot)
Romare :: Projections (Ninja Tune)
Senking :: Closing Ice (Raster-Noton)
Sons of Melancholia :: Silencer (diametric.)
SOPHIE :: PRODUCT (Numbers)
Sote :: Arrhythmia (Record Label Records)
DJ Sotofett :: Drippin’ for a Tripp (Honest Jon’s)
Squarepusher :: Damogen Furies (Warp)
Stendeck :: Folgor (Tympanik Audio)
Surfing :: Surfing (1080p)
Syl Kougaï :: ΙΧΘΥΣ (Schematic Music Co.)
Tim Cosner :: DEADTECH / MODERNHOMES (Bonding Tapes)
Twit One :: The Sit In (Melting Pot Music)

EPs ::

25 Places :: Love More (Dirt Crew)
45 ACP :: Change of Tone (L.I.E.S.)
AFX :: Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 (Warp)
Clark :: Flame Rave (Warp)
Delroy Edwards :: Kickin Butts!! (L.A. Club Resource)
Djrum :: Plantain / What I Was Doing When I Was Doing What I Was Doing (Samurai Red Seal)
EVAC :: Source (Addictech)
eyesix :: Conet Communications Workshop (Sparkwood)
Faex Optim :: Mercury (Kahvi Collective)
Galcher Lustwerk :: Parlay (Lustwerk Music)
Ken Karter :: Monad XXI (Stroboscopic Artefacts)
Marquis Hawkes :: Sweet (Houndstooth)
Meat Beat Manifesto :: Kasm02 (Skam)
Qnete :: Untitled (ZCKR)
Robert Logan :: Extasis (Slowfoot)
Scyye :: From (Sparkwood)
Vai :: Son of Idaia (Holger)
Valance Drakes :: Fail With Honour Then Succeed By Fraud (Luana)
Wermonster :: Solar Tales (Uncomfortable Beats)

V/A Compilations ::

Black Box N (Kaer‘Uiks)
Covert (Touched Music)
Ion Driver Presents… (Addictech)
One On Twoism V6 (Twoism)
Sectioned v5.0 (Section 27)
Touched Two, The Remixes (Touched Music)


“I just try to tell a story with a song, and be able to try to transmit the emotion to you. That’s all I’m really trying to do.” (Meshell Ndegeocello)

Albums ::

Anna von Hausswolff :: The Miraculous (City Slang)
Björk :: Vulnicura (One Little Indian)
Chelsea Wolfe :: Abyss (Sargent House)
Gacha :: Send Two Sunsets (Apollo)
Georgia :: Georgia (Domino)
Heather Woods Broderick :: Glider (Western Vinyl)
Jam City :: Dream A Garden (Night Slugs)
Jenny Hval :: Apocalypse, girl (Sacred Bones)
Low :: Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop)
Marika Hackman :: We Slept At Last (Dirty Hit)
Nuaia :: Belong to the Moon (BoogiePost)
Sóley :: Ask The Deep (Morr Music)
THEESatisfaction :: EarthEE (Sub Pop)
Tone of Arc :: Urgent Turquoise (Om)

EPs ::

Chloë March vs. Markus Mehr :: To Set The River On Fire (Hidden Shoal)
Kelela :: Hallucinogen (Warp)


“I was never worried that synthesizers would replace musicians. First of all, you have to be a musician in order to make music with a synthesizer.” (Robert Moog)

Albums ::

214 :: North Bend (Shipwrec)
Aerosol :: Leave (n5MD)
The Analog Roland Orchestra :: Dinsync (Pressure Suit)
ARC :: Arclight (DiN)
Dada Pogrom :: Kolophonium ‎(Kernkrach)
Franck Kartell :: La jetée d’Orly (Bass Agenda)
June :: Dominion (Suction)

EPs ::

Costolloe :: Inflex (Signal Code)
Diffuse Arc :: Olivia (Caustica Waveform)
The Exaltics :: The Truth Remixes (Solar One)
LA Synthesis :: Agraphobia Relapse (De:Tuned)
DJ Stingray 313 :: Cognition (Lower Parts)
Trenton Chase :: The Manor Conspiracy (June)
Tuning Circuits :: Sampler (MRT)
WC00160 & Abono :: Untitled (ALLISANDNOT)

V/A Compilations ::

Enter the Plague (MinimalRome)
Events at the Fatal Party (Contort Yourself)
V.A. 1 (La Beauté Du Négatif)


“The past is reinvented and becomes the future. But the lineage is everything.” (Philip Glass)

Albums ::

Bersarin Quartett :: III (Denovali)
Daniel Herskedal :: Slow Eastbound Train (Edition)
Donny McCaslin :: Fast Future (Greenleaf Music)
Eivind Aarset :: I.E. (Jazzland)
Floating Points :: Elaenia (Pluto)
Föllakzoid :: III (Sacred Bones)
Gavin Harrison :: Cheating The Polygraph (Kscope)
John Lemke :: Nomad Frequencies (Denovali)
Julia Kent :: Asperities (Leaf)
Kamasi Washington :: The Epic (Brainfeeder)
The Kandinsky Effect :: Somnambulist (Cuneiform)
Kuba Kapsa Ensemble :: Vantdraught 10 Vo. 1 (Denovali)
Madeleine Cocolas :: Cascadia (Futuresequence)
Maserati :: Rehumanizer (Temporary Residence)
Matthew Halsall & The Gondwana Orchestra :: Into Forever (Gondwana)
Metallic Taste of Blood :: Doctoring the Dead (RareNoise)
Mouse On The Keys :: The Flowers of Romance (Mule Musiq)
Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm :: Collaborative Works (Erased Tapes)
Rachel Grimes :: The Clearing (Temporary Residence)
Schnellertollermeier :: X (Cuneiform)
The Senior Allstars :: Dub From Jamdown – Darker Than Blue (Echo Beach)
Siri Karlsson :: The Lost Colony (Flora & Fauna)
Sonar :: Black Light (Cuneiform)
Spin Marvel :: Infolding (RareNoise)
Vula Viel :: Good is Good (Vula Viel)

EPs ::

Gala Drop :: Nova (Golf Channel)
Les Limbes :: Les Limbes (Hidden Shoal)


Soundcloud selections ::




Some of our favorite cover artwork from 2015 ::


Contributors :: Alan Lockett, Andrew Danso, Ben Steed, Chang Terhune, Cory Perla, Nocturnal Ghost, Pietro Da Sacco, Robbie Geoghegan. Preface by Alan Lockett.

Big thanks to Alexander Semenov for letting us use his amazing image of the Aurora Borealis.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments