Redscroll Records’ Top Ten Under The Radar Releases Of 2015:
We were asked by our friends at Iris Records if we’d put together a top 10 list for the end of 2015. We obliged, but with a twist. We decided to make it a top ten list of under the radar releases. The list is included in their master list post on their site here: http://irisrecordsjc.com/reflect-and-party-give-thanks-make-year-end-lists-spend-nye-wsteve-steve/
We didn’t all agree on these, but rather we all contributed a couple here. We don’t even all agree as to the degree of how under the radar these are (or what radar?). What we agree about is that we all individually like the things on this list and each think those things we added deserve attention! Take heed and dive in! Do some listening and discovering and maybe even decide to buy it from us (in the store or online at the click of a link). We added some pictures and sounds and now its on our site (you’re looking at it now!).
(Alphabetically – mostly because everyone who works here contributed a little and ordering them would have turned the worm.)
(Dolch) “I & II Comp” [buy]
[Note: this band starts with “(“ and not “D” which is why it’s first and we at Redscroll are that specific about the alphabet!]
Everything about the aesthetic says doom/black metal with a reverbed fuzz and vocal style akin to myriad shoegaze bands. If I was told that I might run the other way knowing that other bands fitting that description have fallen flat. What if I take that all back and just say, “fuzzed out illbient vibes through a black mirror”?!
Broken English Club “Suburban Hunting” [buy]
I know that unless there is some unique connection between a particular artist and some other more main stream artist it’s hard to get attention as a producer of dark experimental music (how long did Oneohtrix Point Never put in work before getting recognized for it?). Broken English Club uses a lot of the aesthetics of Post-Punk, No-Wave and Industrial (think E.N. more than N.I.N.) music, but without being so out there that you can’t dance to it yet not being so in the pocket that you can refuse to.
DJ Nigga Fox “Noite E Dia” [buy]
Lisbon, Portugal is where this label is based out of and maybe that’s why I don’t catch wind of their releases from many directions around here (other than when I order and specifically look for them of course). African influenced sounds like Kuduro, Batida, Kizomba, Funaná & Tarrachinha put into a house techno blender.
King Dude “Songs Of Flesh And Blood – In The Key Of Light” [buy]
(Not Just Religious Music)
Personal and tragically dark folk.
Antoni Maiovvi & Umberto “Law Unit” [buy]
(Death Waltz Originals)
Two synth monsters on one release. Neither overshadowing the other. I got more, “Who is this?’s,” from this playing in the store than any other release this past year. Sure, that might have something to do with how much I played it, but nevertheless. I didn’t see much coverage of this beyond footnotes here and there. Maybe if it was an actual soundtrack and not just an album designed like one and put out by a mostly soundtrack label…
Mdou Moctar “Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai” [buy]
(Original Soundtrack Recording)
This is an actual soundtrack! It is not by a synth monster. It’s by a Taureg guitar monster. Mdou Moctar plays the Prince-ly part in this Niger based take on “Purple Rain” (the movie). It doesn’t take much of any musical cues from the purple one (the movie which I’ve yet to see beyond a trailer and some stills definitely takes many cues). The title translates to, “Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It.” Heavy psych to the serene. Hoping I’ll get to see the movie soon.
Mountain Movers “Death Magic” [buy]
(Safety Meeting Records)
This one is a bit hyper-local to us. New Haven band on a New Haven label. This run of records sold out real fast and with good reason. It’s their best effort yet! Dan Greene, the main song writer of the group, used to be in The Butterflies of Love (many releases on the Fortuna Pop! Label and a rumored turn down of a deal with 4AD – I should maybe talk to Dan about that). The label is rounded out with some of the state’s finest who’ve been in myriad other bands (so many that I don’t even want to start to list them). This record is some folk rock pop of the finest pedigree and just because they don’t tour so much doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be getting offers from all over.
Satyricon “Live At The Opera” [buy]
Josh’s most played record of the year! Loud symphonic fast metal with moaning opera singers and growling contrasted vocals.
Wrekmeister Harmonies ”Night Of Your Ascension” [buy]
(Thrill Jockey Records)
It’s quiet and then it’s loud. Many many special guests from The Body to Mind Over Mirrors to Twilight and beyond – all taking their moment to add to these pair of massive tracks.
Chelsea Wolfe “Abyss” [buy]
Her fifth album and with the strength especially of the previous two this one didn’t quite get the recognition it probably should have as Chelsea confronts her “hazy afterlife.”
That’s 10! Some more worth mentioning:
John Carpenter “Lost Themes” (Sacred Bones) [buy]
Dirt Devil (no label yet insofar as I know – just this promising video)
King Midas Sound / Fennesz “Edition 1” (& Instrumentals) (Ninja Tune) [buy]
Phemale “Dullard” (Erotic Mange, Cassette Only) [buy]
Police Des Moeurs “Ceux Qui Restent” (Mannequin Records) [buy]
XL Middleton “Tap Water” (Mofunk Records featuring labelmate Moniquea on a stellar track) [buy]
And, of course, we had 3 releases we’re proud of and definitely listened to frequently this past year:
Hex Inverter “Hex Inverter” CD & LP (Joint Release With Translation Loss Records) [buy]
Nothing Israel / The//Moon (Split Tape Release between two CT adventurous beat producers) [buy]
Theologian “A Means By Which To Break The Surface Of The Real” (First release using the sub-label moniker Nothing Under The Sun) [buy]