Best Albums of 2014
So that’s it then, another year over and done with and the flurry of year end lists come in. We’ve done ours – a twenty-five strong list of our favourite albums is presented below. Since Irregular Crates started, we’ve strived to create a hub of genre defying musical recommendations and not only this, we have been true to our name and done so on an all too irregular basis.
We’ve been sent lots of records so first of all, thanks to all who have submitted material to us and an even bigger thanks to those who’ve sent us records we’re likely to listen to for the rest of our days. I must also take this moment to apologise to those who haven’t received a response or whose work we haven’t been able to feature. I write in the third person a lot as I envisage long term that Irregular Crates will feature the recommendations of others and the team will grow. For now, it is just me – a one man operation and time has been all too limited this year. On this tip if anyone would like to receive free music in exchange for little more than a paragraph then please make yourself known!
Onto the list then – we’ve covered a wide musical spectrum in 2014 with Ambient, Drone, Modern Classical, Electronica, Dub, Downtempo, Folk, Funk, Post Rock, Hip Hop, House, Deep House, Tech House and Techno all being represented on our pages. After much deliberation we plumped for a record we simply couldn’t put down – Janek Schaefer’s Lay-by Lullaby on 12k. I remember once being stuck in traffic on the way to work and running very late indeed – I had notified my colleagues and all was well in that department. I had nothing to do but listen to the traffic flow by in the other carriageway and listened to the Ambient CDs in my car. The combination of drone and traffic is a truly soothing sound – the world passes you by as you sit static. Then a year later, Schaefer’s record came out. Lay-by Lullaby has been something of a sleep album for me mainly to restore after a long day – to gloss over the busy part of the day and promote relaxation.
Elsewhere, I’ve been particularly impressed with other Ambient/Electro Acoustic offerings from the likes of Ulises Conti, Christina Vantzou and Silmus. Other big highlights have come in from the House/Electronic scene with Max Graef‘s explosion playing a huge part. Then there’s been some great work from Folk influenced work from artists such as Puzzle Muteson, Tiny Ruins and Memory Drawings.
All in all, another terrific year for musical output – all that remains is for me to wish our readers/listeners the very best for 2015 and a solid list. You can click on the artwork to be directed to a place to listen/buy each record or if you’ve a spare hour (or so!) then why not hit play on our end of year mix – which I had my computer automatically assemble for you in my laziness. Thankfully my computer isn’t as good at mixing as me but the transitions are extremely quick so you’ll barely notice at least. This year for me was the year of the wedding – not only my own but celebrating the marriage of others too – so aptly, as we celebrate the end of the year with fireworks I have an image that I took at a friend’s wedding that I’ve used as the cover image to this special end of year mix. Enjoy!
To check out our end of year mix CLICK HERE
01: Janek Schaefer – Lay-by Lullaby [12k]
02: Ulises Conti – Los Griegos… [Flau]
03: Max Graef – Rivers Of The Red Planet [Tartelet]
04: A Forest Mighty Black – AFMB [Drumpoet Community]
05: FloFilz – Metronom [Melting Pot Music]
06: Puzzle Muteson – Theatrics [Bedroom Community]
07: Tiny Ruins – Brightly Painted One [Bella Union]
08: Silmus – Shelter [Volkoren]
09: Christina Vantzou – No. 2 [Kranky]
10: Memory Drawings – There Is No Perfect Place [Hibernate]
11: Taylor McFerrin – Early Riser [Brainfeeder]
12: Various Artists – Beyond Addis [Trikont]
13: Boozoo Bajou – 4 [Apollo/R&S]
14: Dopegems – Necksnappin’ [Heavenly Sweetness]
15: Kassem Mosse – Workshop 19 [Workshop]
16: Douglas Dare – Whelm [Erased Tapes]
17: Alexander Turnquist – Flying Fantasy [Western Vinyl]
18: Al Dobson Jr – Rye Lane [Rhythm Section]
19: Chris Carrier – Truestep Locomotion [Slapfunk]
20: Erik K Skodvin – Flame [Sonic Pieces]
21: Maps and Diagrams – Alluvium [Handstitched*]
22: Insecto – Post Edit De Un Cromosoma [Home Assembly Music]
23: Arve Henriksen – The Nature Of Connections [Rune Grammofon]
24: Jenks Miller / James Toth – Roads To Ruin [Three Lobed]
25: Real Estate – Atlas [Domino]