Album Review

Top 30 Drone Records Of 2016

I did it! I made a list. I didn’t think it would happen being a new dad and all, but it happened. I’m going to try to make a Top Metal list too, but no promises.

At 30 entries, this is the longest Top Drone list I’ve made. But I’ve been eschewing reviews lately and focusing on AGB Radio and A Thick Mist, so I figure 30 is acceptable if you count how many records I’ve directly recommended over the past year.

I seem to continually expand my definition of what a Drone Record is, which means there’s probably a few on here that are stretching the confines of that label, but I still did my best to try to keep it as Drone as possible.

There’s plenty of reoccurring themes in here. Namely, lots of voices/singing (11 have vocals present at least somewhere on the record) and lots of organs & harmoniums. Neither of those are all that surprising, though. But there’s two solo records from drummers, so that’s kinda cool. There’s also two heavily inspired by traditional Indian music, also kinda cool.

I had fun with this one. I changed a few things up this year. First, I decided to exclude any artist that’s been on any previous list. This meant no Saåad, Roly Porter, Andrew Weathers, Sarah Davachi, Mamiffer, Ian William Craig, Danny Paul Grody, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, etc. (Seriously though go listen to the new Saåad and Mamiffer records.) No one likes to see the same people on such a niche list over and over again, so this was a good way to keep things new and exciting.

The other thing I decided to do was not rank this in the traditional way. Instead, I put the records in positions 7-30 into four groups of six, and the records within each group aren’t ranked. So that means the records in group 7-12 aren’t ranked, aside from me liking them more than the previous 13-30 drone records. I did this except for the top 6, which are ranked traditionally. I hope it’s not too confusing.

As usual, I try to keep the Big Droners off this list because anyone who’s a fan of drone probably already knows that Eluvium and Tim Hecker put out records this year and while their music is A+ Amazing, they don’t really need a little DIY blog to help them out.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. Thanks for making incredible music.

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Album Review

Damian Valles – Nonparallel (In Four Movements) (Experimedia, 2012)


Damian VallesMovement III (Experimedia)

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Oh man, this is the besssst. Damian Valles, the multi-talented Canadian curator of the Rural Route series on Standard Form, has done some incredible reappropriating on Nonparallel. He’s taken a hefty collection of old classical Nonesuch LPs from the 60s & 70s and Jeckified them. Ripping the crackle straight from the dusty grooves and bathing the vintage strings in a dark glow, he gives a whole new meaning to neo-classical. And the drones Valles spins are some of my favorite kind, lush as fuck, buy cialis online overnight delivery with pops & clicks turned into a dozen muted typewriters, warm tones with buried melodies, vaguely threatening in the most blissful way, earthy & rich, layers and sheets of suffocating ambience, classical pianos melted in a cauldron of dark drones, something wholly original born out of forgotten thrift store relics. A fucking winner if I’ve ever seen one. Available in your favorite format at Experimedia very soon, but lets face it, if you pick this up on anything other than vinyl, you’re doing it wrong.