[Feature] 2017 Community End-of-the-Year Lists
Welcome to the second annual end-of-the-year list feature on Sunbleach! As with last year, Sunbleach hosts a curated space for artists, community members, label owners, and more to submit their annual discussions or personal lists on vaporwave for the year. Sunbleach does not publish an official album countdown, and instead any end-of-the-year postings will be those of the community.
Last year, we said that “most ‘top’ lists in music media are pretty easy to anticipate, and the need for a cohesive ranked document risks foregoing or being ignorant of experimental, lesser-run, or otherwise unknown releases with which fans may be more in tune.” We still stand by this – it’s far more interesting to see what anyone in the community comes up as their own personal bests instead of relying on an arbitrary tastemaker.
So without further ado, let’s look at this year’s rules for submission:
- First round submissions open from 1 December through 31 December.
- Albums that were released from 24 December to 31 December 2016 are allowed. Otherwise, all releases must be released in 2017.
- No reissues.
- Submissions may take the form of lists, write-ups, or anything else. There need not be a specific format for posting, and submissions may be simple lists of top albums, ranked lists, or individual write-ups.
- Twenty-five albums max.
- Submissions need not feature only albums, but may also include labels and other superlatives.
Sunbleach made posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit to solicit postings. No edits were made except for formatting for consistency. This year, the Chaos Era series from Dream Catalogue and Empire from R0x4ry were most often represented in end-of-the-year lists. Sangam and Sour Gout were also featured.
Did you make a list but didn’t send it in, or did you want to make one but decide against it until now? That’s okay, go ahead and send one in! Sunbleach will feature the community postings as a part of the AOTW through the end of the month!
Here are the community end-of-the-year lists, in no particular order. Thanks for reading!
VHS MIDNIGHT STYLE:
VMS back at it again after a crazy year in the world of audio manipulation. When I’m not busy making hypnagogic drift / sleeping, I keep tabs on what producers are hot and which are not. It is my delegated duty to distribute the dastardly but dedicated producers who are on my “hot” list (in no particular order):
1. Computer Graphics – Lo-Fi (Dream Catalogue)
Lo-fi house is the genre I’ve certainly been infatuated with this year, and Computer Graphics shows (s)he’s always at the top of the game with their second album, Lo-Fi. Breaking traditions by supplementing run-of-the-mill house traditions with wonky and spacey rhythms, Lo-Fi will put a pep in your step and get you grooving in the space of 50 minutes – use with caution!
2. MACHINE GIRL – …BECAUSE IM YOUNG, ARROGANT AND HATE EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR (Orange Milk Records)
Loud, abrasive, and taking no mercy on the listener, Machine Girl’s latest LP on Orange Milk never breaks pace to bring the best breakbeat, cybergrind IDM they have to offer. The vocals remind me a lot of B L A C K I E, except more refined and in tune with the frantic breaks of MG. The highlight of Orange Milk’s especially productive year, showing more diverse talent to come.
3. Various Artists – Elemental Breaks (Elemental 97)
Elemental 97 (Elemental 95’s dancier off-shoot) is definitely my favorite label of the year. But to pick one release would be tough, so why not a recent compilation that highlights the strengths of all of it’s roster? A breakneck rush from start to finish, if you want to enter the world of vaporjungle, this is the seatbelt you’d best strap on. An exciting compilation with no weak points.
4. Vincent Remember – Culture Vulture (Bedlam Tapes)
A frantic, in-your-face footwork album that sucks the breath out of you at 140BPM. 30 minutes of juke, vaporwave, and footwork that never fails to create a longlasting rhythm that’s tempting to the ear. Samples sprinkled all over really complete the depth of this eclectic record, which I find myself enjoying over and over to no end.
5. chris††† – Social Justice Whatever (Self released)
For a vaporwave list, I havent actually picked any proper vaporwave have I? And SJW is no different. More of a curated archive of L33T internet culture than a recognizable album, chris††† takes care and effort in arranging and manipulating relics of internet history to create nostalgia and disgust from the listener. Nothing like it, and nothing could match.
Hope you enjoyed reading, logging off and bogging off.
This is by far the release I’ve listened to the most this year. Two of my favorite artists coming together, not only as a split, but with two collaborations as well, really kept this on rotation. Treads those fine lines between happy, sad, and creepy that just end up making the right choice for any mood you’re in.
Pallbearer – Heartless (Profound Lore)
This is the only metal album I listed on here only because it was the only metal album I listened to more than once all the way through this year. These guys just keep getting better and better, and only make me excited for what’s next. Hugely dynamic, wandering, and fresh, this album covers so much ground without ever being incoherent.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: metal on a vaporwave list? I’m not even mad.]
HKE – 777 series (various labels)
What a thing to behold. Seven albums, seven tracks each, seven labels, seven months. An absurd undertaking that worked against all logic. There should have been, by the law of averages, a chunk of not good songs among these, but in reality, the majority of it was at minimum “good.” There is still one volume that has yet to be released, but even if the whole thing sucks, this entire project will still be a majority quality. [EDITOR’S NOTE: it has now been released on Asura Revolver.]
Various Artists – Chaos Era series (Dream Catalogue)
My contribution to this notwithstanding, these four comps are an amazing snapshot of a scene coming into its own. A group of artists doing what they want, without genre restrictions, without label interference, without music business bullshit. A time capsule of a music scene about to make its mark on the world.
Sangam – The Parts We Left Out (Kudatah)
Sangam put out an incredible amount of music this year, and will be the only artist that shows up twice on this list. Though I included his split with Diamondstein, I’d be remiss to not include one of his solo offerings. Especially this one. I feel like this is the perfect release to introduce the unfamiliar with Sangam. It touches on pretty much everything he’s good at, and even adds a little to the repertoire. And next to his split with No Death, this is my favorite cover art of the year as well.
R0x4ry – Empire (Asura Revolver)
This is my absolute favorite ambient release of the year, hands down. I listened to it at least twenty times. Now, I don’t usually say this, but if you can, get the tape. The tape sound really adds another layer to an already well produced and arranged album.
Perturbator – New Model (Blood Music)
A bit of new sonic territory for Perturbator, and it really pays off. His absolute best release to date. My biggest regret this year was not seeing him live. Hope he comes through the states again next year.
Yoshimi – Japanese Ghosts II (Pyramids)
There is nothing I can say that will do justice to how much I loved this EP.
P A T H S – Sun Rider (Online Records)
Desert Vapor Rock. What a genius album. Great riffs, and simple arrangements make this something I can listen to over and over again. It’s like if Kyuss and Loop did some kind of weird half electronic collaboration. It just works so well.
Sour Gout – IRON_FETISH (Antifur)
This was my introduction to Sour Gout this year, and he is another artist that really pushed it as far as quality and quantity this year. I wanted to pick something of his for this list, and really struggled because there were really so many good things he put out. Dark, unexpected, and otherworldly, this is an album that truly takes you on a journey.
- Antichrist Siege Machine – Morbid Triumph (Stygian Black Hand)
- Ascended Dead – Abhorrent Manifestation (Invictus)
- Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore)
- Blattaria – Blattaria (Fallen Empire)
- Contaminated – Final Man (Blood Harvest)
- Converge – The Dusk in Us (Epitaph)
- Death Fortress – Triumph of the Undying (Fallen Empire)
- Extremity – Extremely Fucking Dead (20 Buck Spin)
- Lorn – Arrayed Claws (I, Voidhanger)
- Malokarpatan – Nordkarpatenland (Invictus)
- Necrot – Blood Offerings (Tankcrimes)
- Pyrrhon – What Passes for Survival (Willowtip)
- The Ruins of Beverast – Exuvia (Ván)
- Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors of Unbeing (Dark Descent)
- Tomb Mold – Primordial Malignity (Blood Harvest)
[Editor’s note: vid.nas’s full year in review encompassed over fifty albums total. A friend suggested he send it to Sunbleach. To read the full list, click here. To see this in image format (the original version), click here]
- Tzusing – 東方不敗 (L.I.E.S.)
- Thugwindow – Dead Colony (Kudatah)
- Young Thug – Beautiful Thugger Girls (Atlantic)
- Jlin – Black Origami (Planet Mu)
- Sangam – Purpose (Sunset Recordings)
- Chino Amobi – Paradiso (NON+)
- Animalman – Hypervisor (Antifur)
- R0x4ry – Empire (Asura Revolver)
- Ryuichi Sakamoto – Async (Commons)
- Àlom – Tuned (Antifur)
Shout out to everything Lil Peep produced this year, rest in power.
- 骨架的 – Opal Disc (self-released)
- .CASTING – RAWJAMZ (Stratford Ct)
- waterfront dining – cottage country (self-released)
- Azuresands大麻 – Killer Nerds (Crystal Coyote ll) (Power Lunch)
- skyline divine – So Divine! (Adhesive Sounds)
- Hawaii94 – Evolve (Stratford Ct)
- 개인 보호HYGEIA – JUNK폐물FILES (Occasionally Tapes)
- Satin Sheets – St. Francis (self-released)
- Jerry Galeries – Quartz Plaza (self-released)
- ぬいぐるみクレヨン Lush Crayon – シャチ Killer Whale (self-released)
- Omega Sapien – New Intelligence (TKX Vault)
- Various Artists – Chaos Era series (Dream Catalogue)
- チェスマスター – Infinity Of A Void (TKX Vault)
- CMD094 – 1992 (Ephemeral Dream)
- Sky Between Spirits – MEMORIES都市の端から (self-released)
- 猫 シ Corp. – LUXURY GIRLS
- HKE – Into Your Heart (self-released)
- 骨架的 – Sunset Melody (self-released)
- ESPRIT 空想 – 200% Electronica (100% Electronica)
- ファンタジー – 恒星間の美しさ (self-released)
- New Delhi Express – रोमांटिक सपना (TKX Vault)
- <456> <2> – First Reality ＳＯＬＤ (self-released)
- Crystal Vessel – Gemini (Audio Aesthetica)
- Elite Geographic – Synthetic Environments (self-released)
- Sonnig 991 – MALLSOFT ODYSSEY (Business Casual)
- Ganz Feld – Prophecies (Pyramids)
- R0x4ry – Empire (Asura Revolver)
- MIDSTYLE – WITHIN (Online Records)
- Hypercube Extrusion – 66 75 63 6b (HVRF)
- Reef Frequent – Unknown System Boundary (Midnight Moon Tapes)
- telepath & Agia – The Light of Our Love (self-released)
- creative_reality17 – The Evolution of Techwave (Sunset Grid)
- nano神社 (✪㉨✪) – Toonami Tapes, Vol. 1 (self-released)