2017 Music Rewind

2017 was Don­ald Trump’s first year as pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States. Per­haps it is “out­rage fatigue” at play, but it seems in ret­ro­spect that the albums that res­onat­ed with me this past year share cer­tain qual­i­ties. Most of my favorites exhib­it patience, stead­fast­ness, focus, and deter­mi­na­tion. I need­ed music that is restora­tive. I need­ed it to pro­vide space for my brain and my soul.

Jared C. Balogh — Between Probabilities (Evgeny Gerasimchuk, Grigory Bazhanov and Jared C. Balogh)

Balogh’s com­po­si­tions are com­plex thorny things some­times. Rhyth­mi­cal­ly dense, melod­i­cal­ly spiky, angu­lar in all the best ways. What a treat to hear this set of com­po­si­tions real­ized with live gui­tar (played by Evge­ny Gerasim­chuk) instead of ren­dered via com­put­er. Avail­able as a free down­load on WFMU’s Free Music Archive. Dis­clo­sure: Jared is my friend and band­mate.


Andrea Belfi — Ore

Live per­cus­sion with synth tex­tures. Explorato­ry, propul­sive, and edgy.

The Bug vs Earth — Concrete Desert

Two of my musi­cal heroes join forces for a full-length album of for­bid­ding atmos­phere and heavy dread.

Sarah Davachi — All My Circles Run

Slow-build­ing drone manip­u­la­tions of strings, voice, piano, and organ source mate­ri­als. Skill­ful and musi­cal edit­ing trans­forms and reveals the source material’s essence in a man­ner rem­i­nis­cent of Phill Niblock’s work.

Carla dal Forno — The Garden

Slow, brood­ing, post-punk-y sounds with icy min­i­mal wave melodies. Flaw­less use of drum machine in ser­vice of the songs.

Sharon Jones — Soul of a Woman

Swan song. Gone too soon. This is a mea­ger con­so­la­tion for the loss of such a tal­ent.

Jonwayne — Rap Album Two

Intro­spec­tive and bru­tal­ly hon­est with him­self. Jon­wayne at his most vul­ner­a­ble and exposed. A rar­i­ty in rap music.

Kid Koala — Music To Draw To: Satellite

A far cry from what one might expect of DJ-cre­at­ed elec­tron­ic music. Patient, del­i­cate, envelop­ing, ten­der.

Wayne Snow — Freedom TV

Alt/future R&B music with influ­ences rang­ing from bro­ken beat to deep house to Dilla/Spacek.