You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to view this site.

Test Pressing
LISTEN / LOOK / READ / REVIEWS

2017 / Our Friends & Family Pick Their Favourites....

So it’s the Test Pressing 2017 year end round up. We are very lucky to know some of the finest collectors and selectors out there and once again we’ve tapped them up for the favourites of the year. A list as long as your arm for you to click into and hopefully find some music that you didn’t know. Looking at the list below there’s a couple of clear winners for a few of us. Androo came with a fresh sound that touched the reference points in a modern fashion, Jered Jex Opolis wrote an album that was melodic, tempo-broad and finely produced and both John Gomez and Moonboots curated compilations that touched many. Over to the list…

Top 3 Singles

1) CS + Kreme / Yu Su – ‘Roast Ghost’ / ‘Little Forest’ [Wichelroede]

2) Mogwaa ‘Déjà Vu (D.K.’s Trouble Town Dub)’ [Self-Released]

3) Céline Gillain ‎’What Happens If I Open My Mouth?’ [Lexi Disques]

Favourite Album: Jan Van den Broeke ‘11000 Dreams’ STROOM 〰

N,N-Dimethyltryptamine score.

Favourite Compilation: I Won’t Have To Think About You – Compiled by Bayu and Moopie [A Colourful Storm]

Record That Was Slept On: Andy Rantzen ‘1/66’ [Efficient Space]

The least travelled Efficient Space release to date, but easily my most played.

Jex Opolis, Test Pressing, Round Up, 2017

Top 3 Singles

1) Gropina ‘Cristallo di Bismuto’ (Paesaggi Records)

2) Noche Espanola ‘Noche Espanola’ (Highwood Recordings)

3) Hugh Mane ‘Real Sucker For Your Love’ (Adult Contemporary)

Record That Was Slept On: Justin V ‘No Vacancy’

Not necessarily slept on, but I thought this record deserved a bit more love than it got, at least in the U.S. Digging for new records is probably more challenging these days than digging for old ones because you don’t have the benefit of hindsight! Anyway, a great dancefloor weapon!

Top Album: Ariel Pink ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’

He’s a certified genius and the best songwriter working in rock or indie music today. In fact, I’d line him up to any American songwriter ever! He’s a machine like Burt Bacharach or something. Anyway, this album was more subtle that his last couple but equally rewarding with a few spins.

Favourite Compilation: Claremont 56 Ten Year Anniversary 2007-2017

Top 3 Singles

1) Androo ‘Naya’ (Second Circle)

He didn’t put a foot wrong this year with any of his releases. Drum machines and delays. Happy days.

2) Dazion ‘Be A Man’ (Second Circle)

Another brilliant release on Second Circle from Dazion. Sort of took all the good elements of the Afro sound and melded it with forward thinking house music.

3) Kay Zee ‘Barny (Fuga Ronto Remix)’

These guys are just on fire. Really looking forward to more form them in the new year.

Favourite Album: Jex Opolis ‘Ravines’ (Good Timin’).

Full of superb melodies and with production that is current and modern whilst drawing on pieces of the past. Jered nailed it.

Favourite Compilation: Various Artists ‘Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992’ (Music For Memory)

Record That Was Overlooked: Pedrodollar ‘Born Free 27’ (Born Free)

This record is just stupid. Every home should have one.

Top 3 Singles

1) Tornado Wallace feat. Sui Zhen ‘Today’ (Running Back)

2) Mac DeMarco ‘On The Level’ (Captured Tracks)

3) Omou Sangaré – Kamelemba (No Format)

Favourite Album: Ariel Pink ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’ (Mexican Summer)

Favourite Compilation: Various ‘La Torre Ibiza Volumen Dos’

Top 3 Singles

1) B-B Boogaloo ‘Crest Of A Wave’ (Growing Bin Records)

The other great record Brenda was involved in this year.

2) Jonny Hates Sax ‘Hold On’ (When Doves Cry)

Everyone swung their jazzy kecks to this edit.

(No video.)

3) Leonidas & Kay Suzuki ‘Synqlock Vol II’ (Burnin Music Recordings)

‘Interstellar Meditation’ is so good my Mrs even likes it.

Favourite Album: Hampshire & Foat ‘Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand’ (Athens Of The North)

The record I listened to the most this year so had to be number one with Nordso & Theill and Penguin Cafe very close runners up.

Favourite Compilation: Moonboots ‘Moments In Time’ (Music For Dreams)

The master presents a modern masterpiece. Moments in time, moments of true love.

Record That Was Slept On: Caravela ‘Caravela EP’ (None More Records)

I went well jazzy this year and I really loved this E.P from None More Records, The Vels Trio E.P & Emanative ‘Ominous Shanti’ 45 are on a similar tip and probably didn’t get the props they deserved either.

Top 3 Singles

1. FX Mchn ‘Tradition’ (Talahachi)

No video.

2. Solar ‘5 Seconds’ (Squirrels On Film)

3. Baxter Dury ‘Miami (Cocker & Parrot Remix)’ (PIAS)

Favourite Album: Milo ‘Who Told You To Think? (Ruby Yacht)

Favourite Compilation: Bill Brewster ‘Tribal Rights’ (NEWS)

Record That Was Slept On: Al Chem ‘Weird Fiction’ (Art Yard)

Top 3 Singles

1) Dazion ‘Be A Man’ (Second Circle)

2) Mark Barrott ‘Cascades (François K Remix)’ (International Feel)

3) Blackbush Orchestra ‘Sortez, les filles! (Kay Suzuki Remix)’ (Beauty & The Beat)

Favourite Album: Soundspecies And Ache Meyi (Manana Records)

2 of the Keen brothers and BATB’s favourites Soundspecies went to Cuba in 2016 to meet and experiment with local musicians Ache Meyi. This album is the result of these sessions, sounding like the perfect match between traditional folkloric rhythms and fresh modern beats. Featuring at least 2 tracks which I’ve been rinsing at parties this year.

Favourite Compilation: Various ‘Oté Maloya (The Birth Of Electric Maloya On Reunion Island 1975-1986)’ (Strut)

Record That Was Slept On: Twice ‘Takes Tomah’ (Not On Label)

A rather impressive organic jazz house remake of a kraut-rock record which sounded like heaven on the Klipschorns from London to Sapporo!

Top 3 Singles

1) PLO Man – Powerline (Acting Press)

2) Tandoori – Tandoori’s World Tour 1 (Twin Cities)

3) RAMZi ‎– Phobiza “Noite” Vol. 2 (Mood Hut)

Favourite Album: Francis Inferno Orchestra presents Veranda Culture (Veranda Culture)

This album rubs all my right spots, nerves and molecules in the most captivating, gentle, emotional, clever and understated way. It’s without a doubt one of the most brilliant albums I’ve heard in years.

Favourite Compilation: Various – Bottom Line Retrospective (Bottom Line)

Record That Was Slept On: DJ Sotofett presents Jesse ‘Twotinos’ (Keys Of Life)

Not sure if this was slept on or just fell between chairs? Either way, stupid chairs. It’s a great record with a fressh sound. Finnish/Norwegisch mix of psychedelic rock, afro, dub, balearic (sauna) and ambient.

Favourite Nut: The coconut

Top 3 Singles

1) B-B-Boogaloo ‘Crest Of A Wave’ (Growing Bin)

2) Lena D’Água ‘Jardim Zoológico’ (Strangelove Music)

3) hubbabubbaklubb ‘Tomme Lommer’ (Snorkel Records)

Favourite Album: Karel Arbus & Eiji Takamatsu ‘Some Backland Plaza’ (Jansen Jardin)

Thanks you Max! It’s a marvellous album. No doubt! That’s what I need for a mature Organic and Spiritual concept of putting passion and love in life and music! Sublime! It makes me think of Vangelis with Midori Takada and Wally Badarou…

Favourite Compilation: Moonboots ‘Moments In Time’ (Music For Dreams) / Various ‘Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992’ (Music For Memory)

Record That Was Slept On: Nu Guinea ‘Amore’ (NG Records)

It’s a fantastic and fresh Disco/Latin/Jazz-Funk cover of the Italian new wave duo Chrisma! A must have!

Top 3 Singles

1) Frank Murillo ‘What Jah Give (Androo Remix)’ (Redseal Records)

Combines all the right elements to get me excited. Makes me wanna dance.

2) Frank Ocean ‘Provider’ (Blonded)

“Stiff smile just like I’m Aphex Twin (yeah, come to daddy, yeah).” Best line in a pop song ever? My most listened to song all year.

3) Winsome ‘Untitled 2’ (Sugar Records)

Great hi-tech lovers rock. Big fave.

Favourite Album

I don’t really have a favourite album this year. I’m currently listening to Nicholas Krgovich ‘In An Open Field’, Jonti ‘Tokorats’, Golden Teacher ‘No Luscious Life’ and as I type this, Four Tet’s ‘New Energy’.

Favourite Compilation: Various Artists ‘Postcards From Phantom Island’ (P Vine Records)

Top 3 Singles

1) LNS & DJ Sotofett ‎’Jugando Con Fuego’ (Wania)

2) Coldcut X On-U Sound Ft. Hamsika Iyer ‎’Kajra Mohobbat Wala (Maximum Dub)’ (Ahead Of Our Time)

3) Kamasi Washington / Everything Is Recorded – Mountains Of Dub (XL Recordings)

Favourite Album: Die Orangen ‎’Zest’ (Malka Tuti)

Favourite Compilation: Jah Wobble ‎’The Lago Years’ (Emotional Rescue)

Record That Was Slept On: Matia Bazar ‎’Ti Sento’ (1986)

Top 3 Singles

1) Everything by Androo. Frank M ‘What Jah Give (Androo Remix)’ (Redseal Records), Androo ‘Naya’ (Second Circle) and Denis Mpunga & Paul K. ‘Funyaka (Androo’s Romantic Dub)’ (Music From Memory).

2) Lars Bartkuhn ‎’Massai’ (Utopia Records)

3) Dreamcast & Sasac ‘Liquid Deep’ (Peoples Potential Unlimited)

2 Favourite LP’s: Jex Opolis ‘Ravines’ (Good Timin’) and Golden Teacher ‎’No Luscious Life’ (Golden Teacher)

Favourite Compilation: Jan Van Den Broeke ‘11000 Dreams’ (Stroom)

Top 3 Singles

1) Mark – Here Comes A Fucking Startup Campus (A Colourful Storm)

2) CVX – Zibaldone I Of CVX (Laura Lies In)

3) Beatrice Dillon & Call Super – Fluo / Inkjet (Hessle Audio)

Favourite Album: Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement ‘Ambient Black Magic’

It’s hard to pick an absolute favourite from the year as I like records for different reasons. For example the Still I record on PAN is probably the most ambitious and exciting release of the year for me because of its cultural relevance and its exploration of something new. But Ambient Black Magic is the record i’ve listened to the most and got the most pleasure from all year.

Favourite Compilation: Akira Rabelais ‘Spellewauerynsherde’ (Samadhisound)

Record that Was Slept On: Blood Sport ‘Harsh Realm’ (Return To Disorder)

Released on Helena Hauff’s excellent Return To Disorder label, Blood Sport come correct with a punk / dance hybrid that is wild and refreshingly loose.

Top 3 Singles

1) Lanark Artefax ‘Touch Absence’ (Whities)

2) Equiknoxx ‘Our Ears Are Not Very Small’ (DDS)

3) Randomer ‘Spooky Hermann’ (Headstrong Records)

Favourite Album: Iona Fortune ‎’Tao Of I’ (Optimo Music)

A stunning album! Fortune’s enchanted music rearranged my brain on many, many mornings this year…

Favourite Compilation: Various ‎– 80s Underground Cassette Culture Volume 1 (Contort Yourself)

Record That Was Slept On: Nochexxx ‎’Planet Bangs’ (Alien Jams)

Because my favourite album was one that worked well for quiet times this one had to be one that kept me up at night, ha! Powerful and unsettling electronics on Chloe Alice Frieda’s excellent Alien Jams imprint.

Top 3 Singles

1) Bendith ‘E.P’ (Aficionado)

2) Stan Serkin ‘Save Me (Ashley Beedle Remix) (F*CLR Music)

3) B-B-Boogaloo ‘Crest Of A Wave’ (Growing Bin)

Favourite Album: Jex opolis ‘Ravines’ (Good Timin’)

Favourite Compilation: Moonboots ‘Moments In Time’ (Music For Dreams)

Top 3 Singles

1) Persian ‘We Should Shout (FIT Siegel Remix)’ (Mysticisms)

YES, I know it’s my own label.

2) Alphonse ‘Tribe of Atlantis’ (Klasse Wrecks)

3) DJ Central & Erika Casier ‘Drive (DJ Sports Club Mix)’ (Regelbau)

Favourite Album: I’m not really an album person…

Record That Was Slept On: Superstar/Tapes – Spirit World (Porridge Bullet)

Compilation: Various ‘Terra Incognita’ (Emotional Rescue)

Top 3 Singles

1) Pedrodollar ‘Born Free 27’ (Born Free)

2) Harmonious Thelonious ‘Abel’ (Versatile)

3) Toresch – Untitled (Offen Music)

Favourite Album: Die Orangen ‘Zest’ (Malka Tuti)

Kris Baha’s collaboration with Dreems. I wrote this up earlier this year and described it as ‘somewhere between Dreamtime Return-era Steve Roach, lost-in-the-studio ZZT dubs and oddball Australian new-wave – it’s a real trip.’ Still the best album for me this year for the originality of approach alone.

Favourite Comp: Akis ‘Space, Time and Beyond (Selected Works 1986-2016)’ (Into the Light)

Record that Was Slept On: John T. Gast ‎’wygdn’ (Blackest Ever Black)

Not sure I’m in a position to comment if this was ‘slept on’, so much as with all BEB presses there about 5 made which didn’t hang around and so not many people heard it. More great stuff from the mysterious John T. Gast.

//

And that’s it! 2017 round up over and out. Get involved. x.

Sign up to the Test Pressing newsletter