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

Saåad – Deep/Float (Hands In The Dark, 2014)

saaad - deep-float album cover
SaåadNew Helicon (Hands In The Dark)

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Pure fucking magic right here. Ever since that 3-way collab with Saåad, EUS, and Postdrome from a few years back, I’ve been keeping an eye on all of those guys, and everything they’ve done has been stellar, and Deep/Float, Saåad’s vinyl debut, is no different. Truly magnificent dark drone that soars and heaves, bittersweet & melancholic doesn’t even crack the surface here, this penetrates deep in the core of your soul and shows you things you didn’t know you could feel, steady and slow moving but it feels like every passing moment is a climax, the point just before you can’t take it anymore and the world collapses under the weight of life, both minimal and overwhelming, this is utterly fucking gorgeous and will bring even the strongest to tears. These two Toulouse dudes are at the top of the drone chain with this one. Out next month, only 300 copies, you can do this.

Album Review

Saåad – Orbs & Channels (Hands In The Dark, 2013)


SaåadHieronimus (Hands In The Dark)

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Top of the fucking line right here you guys. This French duo, who took part in Sustained Layers, that three way intercontinental collaboration with EUS and Postdrome last year that made my Top Drone list, are back with tape of pure melancholic bliss. Huge drones on this, majestic and perfect in every way, like a dense fog rolling on from the shore in the middle of the night, foreboding as fuck, like everything’s about the go down the drain, the breath of Lucifer almighty on the back of your neck, dank walls echoing dejected howls, waves of depressing drones inducing hypnosis, horrifically satisfying with harmonies peaking through the darkness, sounds with no origin that just hover in the air, bittersweet & overwhelmingly gorgeous, a massive heartache of a record that’ll make you weep, Orbs & Channels sweeps me up with my favorite sounds, I can’t love this any more. Limited tapes on HITD are almost gone, so grab one while you still can, or if you miss out, Saåad have put it up for name-your-price style download on Bandcamp.

Album Review

Mind Over Mirrors – Check Your Swing (Hands In The Dark, 2012)


Mind Over MirrorsSecond Nature (Hands In The Dark)

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Pure fucking bliss. Jaime Fennelly drops a full length of new material that’s ripe for mind blowing. Last year he put out one of my favorite drone records, The Voice Rolling, so naturally I had high expectations for this. Not let down in the slightest. Basically any harmonium drone record is gonna get me psyched though so I guess he’s kinda got it easy. But seriously, this dude knows how to process his harmonium and make it sing the beautiful song. Check Your Swing isn’t just more of the same though, this time Fennelly is taking a bit of a Mountains approach, where his last record was super organic, here he’s gone a bit bloopy & sci-fi while still retaining the organic feel, like some real eXistenZ type shit, lush & buzzy with rhythms a hair too slow for dancing but perfect for spacing out & soaring, dense warm washes of digital reeds soaking up the sun then hiding under a mushroom, the complete opposite of a Cylon, an electronic shell with a bio-core, a perfect hybrid. Basking in the glory of MOM’s incredible harmonium drones is the only way to spend the rest of your life, so don’t mess up by skipping out on this.