Top 15 Drone Records Of 2017

I feel like I missed a lot of drone records this year, especially after seeing other people’s lists. Like, there’s 4 records on A Closer Listen’s Top Ten Drone list that I haven’t heard yet. Oh well. Can’t listen to everything.

I’m especially happy with this list because not only does it have a lot of artists I’ve never heard of/written about before (15, 10, 4, 3) but also it has a lot of artists who I already love that are at the top of their game right now (14, 13, 7, 1). As usual, I tried to stay away from the high profile droners (yes, Lawrence English’s Cruel Optimism and Bibio’s Phantom Brickworks are phenomenal) and I do my best to let you know about my less-obvious favorites.

In case you missed em, you should check out my other lists: Metal and Not Drone Or Metal. There’s plenty of droney shit on the Not Drone Or Metal list, too, so you’ll definitely want to go there. The #1 on that list is an All Time Top 10er that I doubt will ever get unseated.

Here’s the Spotify playlist for those of you who like that sort of thing. It’s missing numbers 10, 8, 6, and 4, so stream those below.

As always: Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for making incredible music.

 
 
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Album Review

Billy Gomberg – Certain Words Again And Again (Sunshine Ltd, 2014)

billy gomberg - certain words again and again album cover
Billy GombergThe Present Until It’s Tangible (Sunshine Ltd)

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This is one of those instances where I know the artist, I’ve listened to him before, I’ve even reviewed a record of his before (Waiting In Poor Lighting), and while the name has stuck with me, I was never really hooked or anything. So if you’re maybe in the same boat as me in regards to Mr. Billy Gomberg, do yourself a favor and put this one on the top of your listening pile. Certain Words Again And Again is 40 minutes (45 if you’re listening to the digital version) of brilliantly beautiful minimal tender drone that effortlessly floats in the air, light & delicate, yet substantial enough to completely wrap your senses in a cloud of bliss, glowing shades of warmth that shift oh so slowly in a gorgeous display of silent transcendence brought to life, a stunning presentation of restraint and precision perfectly balanced between overworked and underdeveloped that can be so hard to achieve in minimalism, Gomberg has made something truly fucking exquisite, I just want it to swallow me whole and not have to care about anything else. And back to that time difference thing I mentioned before, the track listing differs between physical & digital versions, the physical has 2 long and 2 short songs, the digital drops the 2 short songs and adds another long one, so you’re actually treated to almost an hour of music here, wholly worth the $7 price tag.

Album Review

Billy Gomberg – Waiting In Poor Lighting (Avant Archive, 2012)


Billy GombergCold Of Course (Avant Archive)

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Absolutely incredible new tape from Gomberg on Avant Archive. Two tracks each side, the first one: drone, then some wonky dynamics. The opening on the A side is a subtle slab of calm, the stillness just before dawn, with an increasing sense of paranoia that the sun might not actually rise, that turns into a meditation on darkness and the possibilites of a world without sun. The B side opener is much more blissful, though just as dark, melancholic organ-type drones bringing down the house with deep rumbles and bittersweet progressions. Both closing tracks are full of echoey weirdness, drifting dreams, sustained tones plunked out and smothered in hiss, the last track depressing as hell, the epitome of loneliness. So so good. And this is one of AA’s limited releases, so you know what to do.